Ambassadors to Japan gather in Yokohama on Dec. 6, 2023, to call for an end to the killing in Gaza in an event hosted by the Japan-based nongovernmental organization Peace Boat. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


U.S. military grounds entire Osprey fleet after crash off Japan coast

WASHINGTON - The U.S. military said Wednesday it has temporarily grounded its entire fleet of Osprey aircraft after finding that last week's deadly crash off the coast of southwestern Japan during a routine exercise may have been due to a malfunction.

The decision to ground all Ospreys deployed worldwide by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps came after the Japanese government repeatedly asked the United States to suspend flights of the aircraft in Japan amid renewed concerns over their safety.


G7 to introduce import restrictions on Russian diamonds next month

TOKYO - The Group of Seven major countries decided Wednesday to introduce import restrictions on Russian diamonds next month as part of efforts to support Ukraine amid the invasion and reduce revenues Moscow can make from the trade.

The G7 leaders will also continue to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's peacebuilding initiative called Peace Formula, while underscoring the importance of reducing conflicts and protecting civilians in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement released after their online summit.


Death penalty sought for man over 2019 Kyoto Animation arson attack

KYOTO - The prosecution on Thursday demanded the death penalty for the man who has admitted to the 2019 arson attack on Kyoto Animation Co. that killed 36 people, while his defense sought an acquittal or lesser sentence, citing what they said was his mental incompetence.

In seeking capital punishment for Shinji Aoba, 45, in the lay judge trial at the Kyoto District Court, a prosecutor said his conduct was "premeditated, extremely dangerous and truly cruel, having a significant impact on society."


China's Xi Jinping seeks to uphold strategic partnership with EU in summit

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that Beijing and the European Union should uphold a "comprehensive strategic partnership" in his meeting with leaders of the regional bloc, according to the country's Foreign Ministry.

The meeting in the Chinese capital came shortly after Italy officially informed China of its withdrawal from the Asian country's signature Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative, according to media reports.


ASEAN, Japan, China, S. Korea to launch funding for future disasters

KANAZAWA, Japan - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, China and South Korea agreed Thursday to launch an emergency financing program to deal with future pandemics and natural disasters, in their latest attempt to ensure financial stability in the region.

The envisaged launch of the Rapid Financing Facility comes as the "ASEAN Plus Three" group is seeking to boost the safety net under the Chiang Mai initiative, created in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, to provide liquidity of up to $240 billion in times of emergency.


Teacher to plead guilty over deaths of Japanese teens in Australia

SYDNEY - A Japanese teacher is expected to plead guilty to failing his duty of care after the drowning deaths of two Japanese schoolboys on a popular tourist island in Australia's east in 2019, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday cited the man's lawyers as saying.

The 16-year-old boys from Kanagawa University High School died while on a guided group tour at Lake McKenzie, a picturesque freshwater lake on the World Heritage-listed K'gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, in Queensland.


Japan PM Kishida resigns as ruling party faction head amid funds scandal

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that he decided to step down as chief of his faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, with its political funds scandal taking a further toll on his already flagging government.

The LDP has recently faced criticism amid allegations that five factions, including Kishida's, underreported their revenue from political fundraising parties, from which the extra income may have been returned to some lawmakers as kickbacks.


Ex-Peruvian President Fujimori freed on humanitarian grounds

SAO PAULO - Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison term for human rights abuses during his presidency in the 1990s, has been freed on humanitarian grounds, according to local media.

The release of Fujimori, 85, Wednesday follows an order given by Peru's constitutional court earlier this week and came despite the Inter-American Court of Human Rights urging the Peruvian government not to release him based on requests from families of victims in the rights abuse cases.

Video: Car crashes into building in Fukuoka