Biwa trout prepares to spawn in a river leading to Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, on Nov. 15, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Malaysia arrests 7 Japanese men suspected of phone scam operation

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police said Monday they arrested seven Japanese men suspected of operating a phone scam that targeted citizens in their home country after raiding a condominium in Kuala Lumpur.

The men, aged between 23 and 41, were arrested and immediately charged with violating immigration law.


World's first "Frozen" area officially opens in Hong Kong Disneyland

HONG KONG - The world's first full-fledged area themed on the hit animation "Frozen" officially opened its gates Monday at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort as the franchise celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

The highly anticipated "World of Frozen" saw hundreds of guests lining up for hours outside the area before it officially opened, with dedicated fans dressed up in movie-related garb.


Japan vice ministers visit Ukraine to examine recovery needs

TOKYO - Two Japanese senior vice ministers have visited Ukraine along with a business delegation to examine requests for Japanese contributions to future reconstruction of the war-torn country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Kiyoto Tsuji, a senior vice foreign minister, and Kazuchika Iwata, a senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry, arrived in Ukraine on Sunday. They will meet with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv, according to the Japanese ministry.


Cargo ship operated by Japanese firm seized in Red Sea

JERUSALEM - A British-owned, Japanese-operated cargo ship has been seized in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed Houthi armed group, the Israeli military and other sources said Sunday.

The Japanese government confirmed that the cargo ship operated by Nippon Yusen K.K., more widely known as NYK Line, had been seized and said there were no Japanese citizens among its crew.


Parliamentary debate on inflation-fighting extra budget begins in Japan

TOKYO - Japan's parliament on Monday began deliberations on a 13.20 trillion yen ($88 billion) extra budget for fiscal 2023 to next March, as the government moves to fund an economy-supporting package that aims to alleviate the burden of rising prices on households.

The additional spending will bring the total expenditure for the year to a whopping 127.58 trillion yen, of which a third will be secured by issuing government debt.


Japan finishes 3rd round of Fukushima treated water discharge

TOKYO - The third round of discharging treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea concluded Monday, the plant operator said, with the utility planning another round in the current fiscal year.

As in the previous rounds, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. released about 7,800 tons of processed water about 1 kilometer off the coast via an underwater tunnel from Nov. 2.


Japan eyes banning cannabinoid HHCH after gummies render many ill

TOKYO - Japan's health ministry said Monday it is planning to ban HHCH, a synthetic substance derived from cannabis, as soon as this week after people who consumed gummies containing the cannabinoid had to go to the hospital earlier this month.

Once HHCH, or hexahydrocannabihexol, is designated as a psychoactive drug, its possession, use and distribution in Japan will be illegal, health minister Keizo Takemi said in a press conference.


New Tezuka "Black Jack" manga episode created using AI unveiled

TOKYO - A new episode of Osamu Tezuka's famous "Black Jack" manga made with the help of artificial intelligence was unveiled Monday, with the creators saying that while the work reflected the spirit of the late legendary manga artist, its ability to depict human feelings remains an issue.

"We are happy that a very Tezuka Osamu-like work has been created," said Makoto Tezuka, son of the late artist and director at Tezuka Productions Co., one of the organizers of the project, which was launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the medical drama about an unlicensed genius surgeon.


Video:  Biwa trout preparing to spawn in northern part of Shiga Pref.