A large number of sardines and mackerel are washed up on a beach in Hakodate, northern Japan, on Dec. 7, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Top spokesman accused of not reporting 10 mil. yen in income: source

TOKYO - Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan's top government spokesman, is accused of failing to report more than 10 million yen ($70,000) in income raised through events hosted by his party faction, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Matsuno belongs to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction, formerly headed by slain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has been suspected to have pooled funds amounting to over 100 million yen without reporting the revenue in political funding statements.


Yen briefly rises to mid-142 in volatile trade, BOJ policy shift view

TOKYO - The yen briefly surged to the mid-142 level against the U.S. dollar in Tokyo trading on expectations of a Bank of Japan policy shift, with a cautious tone also prevailing ahead of U.S. employment data due out later in the day.

The firm yen sent Tokyo stocks sharply lower on concerns exporters could see their profits squeezed by their stronger home currency.


Japan's GDP revised down to 2.9% fall in July-Sept., inflation bites

TOKYO - Japan's economy shrank an annualized real 2.9 percent in July-September, sharper than the previously reported 2.1 percent, hurt by weaker-than-expected private consumption and slowing growth of exports, government data showed Friday.

Real gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, declined 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, against its earlier reading of a 0.5 percent contraction.


Photo shows Kishida met leaders of controversial religious group

WASHINGTON - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had a meeting with leaders of organizations affiliated with the controversial Unification Church in 2019 in Tokyo, a photo obtained by Kyodo News showed Thursday.

The meeting, held together with former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, took place at the Liberal Democratic Party's headquarters on Oct. 4 of that year, according to a person close to Gingrich who provided the photo.


Chinese balloon spotted crossing Taiwan Strait before election

TAIPEI - A Chinese balloon was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, according to the island's Defense Ministry, as the self-ruled democracy heads toward its Jan. 13 presidential election.

Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Friday that it may have been a weather monitoring balloon. Beijing, which claims the island, has been increasing its military pressure on Taipei ahead of the election, with its aircraft and ships having in recent years ignored the boundary that had been respected by both sides for decades.


Honda recalls over 1.13 million cars due to Denso fuel pump glitch

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. filed a recall with the Japanese transport ministry for over 1.13 million cars Friday, citing a fault in a fuel pump manufactured by Denso Corp. that can cause unexpected engine failure.

The announcement is the latest recall resulting from the malfunctioning car part produced at Denso, with the affected number of vehicles reaching over 3.82 million units across eight automakers since March 2020.


Ex-cop's appeal over murder of family dismissed, death penalty upheld

TOKYO - Japan's top court on Friday dismissed an appeal by the defense of a former policeman who was given the death sentence for the murders of his wife and two children in 2017, exhausting his legal options.

Five judges on the Supreme Court's Third Petty Bench unanimously upheld two lower court decisions that sentenced Mitsuru Nakata, 45, to death for the murders in Ogori, Fukuoka Prefecture. His defense had argued a third party could have been responsible.


New firm managing ex-Johnny's performers named Starto Entertainment

TOKYO - The new firm established to manage Johnny & Associates Inc. performers unveiled its company name Friday as Starto Entertainment Inc., in a bid to start afresh following a sex abuse scandal involving the late founder of the former male talent agency.

The company name, selected from among more than 140,000 suggestions from fans, is derived from "star(s)," referring to current and prospective performers, and "to" in Japanese, which means "with," the firm said, vowing to commit to supporting each performer's talents and personal goals.

Video: Sardines, mackerel washed up on beach in Hakodate