Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, surrounded by red maple leaves, is lit up during a test event on Nov. 16, 2023, two days before the start of the special night viewing through Nov. 30. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Itochu mulls investment to help rebuild scandal-hit Bigmotor

TOKYO - Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. said Friday it is considering investing in Bigmotor Co. in a bid to help reconstruct the used car dealership mired in an insurance fraud scandal.

Itochu, together with its subsidiary Itochu Enex Co. and investment fund J-Will Partners, won exclusive negotiation rights and will launch due diligence. They plan to make a final decision by next spring, it said.


Japan, China seek mutually beneficial ties through talks amid strains

SAN FRANCISCO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Thursday to build "mutually beneficial" bilateral relations based on common strategic interests, despite what Tokyo views as an "unscientific" import ban on its seafood and a host of other pending issues.

At their first face-to-face meeting in a year, Kishida said both sides agreed to hold expert consultations on Japan's release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, a source of recent bilateral tensions.


Baseball: Two-way star Ohtani wins 2nd unanimous AL MVP award

LOS ANGELES - Two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the first Japanese to win an MLB home run title, became the first player in MLB to win two MVP awards by a unanimous vote on Thursday.

The 29-year-old Ohtani, currently a free agent, won his second American League Most Valuable Player Award, collecting all 30 first-place votes despite an injury-hit end to his season that limited him to 135 games for the Los Angeles Angels.


Baseball:Japan beats South Korea to secure final berth at Asia championship

TOKYO - Chihiro Sumida threw seven scoreless innings and Chusei Mannami hit a solo home run as Japan edged South Korea 2-1 Friday to secure a place in the final of the Asia Professional Baseball Championship.

Three-time World Baseball Classic champion Japan picked up its second win in as many games in the round-robin stage of the four-team tournament at Tokyo Dome, while South Korea fell to a 1-1 record.


Kabuki actor Ennosuke gets suspended term over parents' suicides

TOKYO - Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke was given a suspended jail term Friday for helping his parents kill themselves with sleeping pills in a family suicide pact in May after learning of a magazine report accusing him of sexual abuse and harassment.

The Tokyo District Court handed the 47-year-old Ennosuke a jail term of three years, suspended for five years, saying his decision to assist his parents' suicides was "short-sighted" and that his culpability for the criminal act "cannot be taken lightly."


Japan, S. Korea leaders vow joint response to N. Korea, close contact

SAN FRANCISCO - The Japanese and South Korean leaders agreed Thursday to respond jointly and trilaterally with the United States to North Korea's nuclear posturing as they vowed to communicate closely about regional and global challenges, in the latest sign of a thawing in relations long marred by wartime history.

Meeting for the seventh time this year, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol both expressed their hope for further deepening of bilateral cooperation across a range of areas, not limited to security and their economies.


19-yr-old gets prison term for stabbing students near Univ. of Tokyo

TOKYO - A Japanese court on Friday sentenced a 19-year-old man to a prison term of six to 10 years for stabbing two senior high school students and an elderly man near the University of Tokyo on the day of nationwide entrance exams in January last year.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of seven to 12 years for the man for attempted murder and other charges. The defendant was a second-year senior high school student in Nagoya, central Japan, at the time and his name has been withheld because he was a minor when he committed the crime.


Ruling party lawmaker suspected of vote-buying in Tokyo mayoral race

TOKYO - Ruling party lawmaker Mito Kakizawa is under investigation on suspicion of vote-buying to elect a mayoral candidate in a Tokyo ward in April, sources close to the matter said Friday.

Several secretaries of Kakizawa, a House of Representatives lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party, offered and distributed cash to several Koto Ward assembly members, the sources said.


Video:  Self-driving taxi service in New York