Yusaku Maezawa, the entrepreneur who became the first Japanese civilian to travel to the International Space Station in December 2021, attends an event in Tokyo on Nov. 27, 2023, showing a capsule he used to return to Earth from space. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan to recommend A-bomb photo archive for UNESCO heritage list

TOKYO - The Japanese government decided Tuesday to recommend a collection of photos and videos depicting the devastation in Hiroshima after the August 1945 atomic bombing to a UNESCO documentary heritage program for 2025, the 80th anniversary of the U.S. attack.

If accepted, it will mark the first time documents related to the atomic bomb have been added to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Memory of the World Register.


Japan begins trial of over-the-counter "morning-after pill" sales

TOKYO - Japan began trial over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills on Tuesday as the nation takes a major step toward joining dozens of others that make the emergency contraception drugs available without a doctor's prescription.

Morning-after pills are now sold at 145 drug stores nationwide at prices ranging from around 7,000 yen ($47) to 9,000 yen as part of the health ministry's investigative trial.


Taliban should not be forcibly removed: ex-Afghan president Karzai

KABUL - The international community should not seek the forcible removal from power of Afghanistan's interim Taliban government but encourage inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue to bring about improvements to their policies, former president Hamid Karzai said.

But Karzai, who served as the country's first democratically-elected leader from 2002 to 2014, told Kyodo News in a rare interview with foreign media that the Taliban must resume girls' education immediately, saying it could be a step toward it becoming the "legitimate" and "recognized" government.


Japan OKs 1st home-grown COVID shots tailored for Omicron subvariant

TOKYO - Japan's health ministry on Tuesday approved the manufacture and sale of a coronavirus vaccine made by Daiichi Sankyo Co. that targets an Omicron subvariant, paving the way for the first domestically produced COVID-19 shots to be used across the country.

The vaccine, which will be sold under the name Daichirona and tailored for the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, is expected to be supplied to local governments from early December and will be offered free of charge. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has agreed to purchase 1.4 million doses of the vaccine.


Israel, Hamas extend Gaza truce for two additional days

JERUSALEM - Israel and Hamas agreed Monday to extend the current cease-fire in Gaza by two days, according to mediator Qatar, with more hostages set to be released by the Palestinian militant group.

The agreement came as the deadline for the four-day cease-fire approached and the Israeli military said an additional 11 hostages had been released by Hamas.


Japan nonprofit group director convicted in overseas organ transplant case

TOKYO - The head of a Japanese nonprofit organization was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in jail for mediating overseas organ transplants for Japan residents without government approval.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that Hiromichi Kikuchi, director of the Association for Patients of Intractable Diseases, had violated the organ transplant law by facilitating transplants for two recipients in Belarus, collecting a total of 51.5 million yen from them.


Life term sought for man over killing of doctor in 11-hr standoff

SAITAMA, Japan - Prosecutors on Tuesday sought a life sentence for a 68-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a doctor and attacking other medical workers last year during an 11-hour standoff at his home near Tokyo.

Hiroshi Watanabe, who was charged with killing 44-year-old Junichi Suzuki with a shotgun, had the "strong intention to murder as many as he could," prosecutors said at the Saitama District Court, noting that the defendant fired at more than one person.


Aichi police accused of denying sick man treatment, leading to death

NAGOYA - A group of officers based at a central Japan police station are expected to be referred to prosecutors over allegations they failed to make adequate medical care available to a detained man who suffered chronic diseases, leading to his death late last year, an investigative source said Tuesday.

The case of the 43-year-old man is being investigated as professional negligence resulting in death. The Aichi prefectural police are making arrangements to send investigative papers to prosecutors detailing the allegations against the officers from the Okazaki police station who were in charge of detention cells.


Video: Shogi star Sota Fujii serves as train conductor in Kagawa