The "blue pond" in Biei in Hokkaido, northern Japan, is lit up on Nov. 11, 2023. (Kyodo)

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


Japanese senior vice finance minister quits over unpaid taxes

TOKYO - A Japanese senior vice finance minister resigned on Monday after acknowledging that his company had repeatedly failed to pay taxes, dealing another setback to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has been facing low approval ratings for his Cabinet.

Kenji Kanda, a House of Representatives lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has admitted that land and property belonging to his company was seized by authorities on four occasions between 2013 and 2022 due to the nonpayment of fixed asset taxes.


No ex-Johnny's singers cast for NHK year-end show after sex scandal

TOKYO - Japan's public broadcaster NHK announced Monday a list of singers who will perform in its year-end live music show, omitting artists from what used to be Johnny & Associates Inc. after the male talent agency admitted to decades of sexual abuse by its late founder.

It is the first time in 44 years that NHK has not called up performers from the agency, renamed Smile-Up Inc. last month, for its annual show "Kohaku Uta Gassen," or red and white song battle, in which singers are divided into male and female teams.


Ex-lawmaker secretary becomes Japan's youngest female mayor at 33

KYOTO - A 33-year-old former secretary of a ruling party lawmaker has become Japan's youngest-ever female mayor after winning election in Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture, on Sunday, according to the Japanese city mayors' association.

Shoko Kawata, an independent backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito, as well as the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, beat two other newcomers in the mayoral election held following the resignation of the former mayor.


Tokyo stocks flat as tech gains offset by caution over U.S. CPI data

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended flat Monday, as early gains on technology buying were pared by investors locking in gains amid caution ahead of U.S. inflation data later this week.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 17.00 points, or 0.05 percent, from Friday at 32,585.11. The broader Topix index finished 0.10 point lower at 2,336.62.


Knife-wielding man shot by police after Osaka apartment quarrel

OSAKA - A police officer used his handgun to shoot a man wielding two kitchen knives on Monday in Osaka after an altercation at an apartment building in which a woman was injured.

The man, identified as Koji Matsumoto, 58, was conscious when he was taken to hospital after a bullet hit his right flank, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of violation of the swords and firearms control law.


Japan shogi prodigy Shota Fujii receives PM's Award

TOKYO - Japanese shogi prodigy Sota Fujii received the Prime Minister's Award on Monday for his achievement in becoming the first player ever to hold all eight major titles in the traditional board game.

The government commended the 21-year-old player, who secured the last remaining Oza title in October, for inspiring dreams and hopes among the public while contributing significantly to the development of Japan's culture.


Japan, U.S., South Korea missile info-sharing system in final stage

TOKYO - Japan, the United States and South Korea affirmed Sunday that their system to share real-time information on North Korean ballistic missiles is "in the final stage" toward launch by year-end, Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said.

Kihara told reporters in Tokyo after holding a virtual meeting with his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Shin Won Sik, that the three countries will further accelerate their work on the mechanism, saying "smooth progress" has been seen in their arrangements.


Football: Urawa's Ito latest to withdraw from injury-hit Japan squad

TOKYO - Urawa Reds midfielder Atsuki Ito on Monday joined the growing list of injury withdrawals from the Japan squad for their two second-round Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

Ito, who was hurt in his club's 2-1 loss to Vissel Kobe on Sunday, pulled out shortly after it was confirmed that Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi would also be unavailable.


Video:  "Blue pond" lit up in Hokkaido