Myaku-Myaku, the official mascot for the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, poses in front of Tokyo Tower in the capital on Nov. 30, 2023, 500 days ahead of the event's opening. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Johnny's successor starts compensating sexual abuse victims, 23 paid

TOKYO - Smile-Up Inc., the successor company to Johnny & Associates Inc., said Friday it has started compensating victims of sexual abuse by the Japanese talent agency's late founder Johnny Kitagawa, with 23 of the more than 800 people seeking redress receiving payments.

The company said on Nov. 22 that its panel of lawyers, formed in September, confirmed 35 people as victims of sexual abuse by Kitagawa, who died in 2019 at the age of 87, and would begin notifying them of compensation plans.


9 referred to prosecutors on detainee's death at Japan police station

NAGOYA - Police sent prosecutors investigative papers Friday on eight current and one retired police officer in central Japan over alleged inappropriate treatment that led to the death of a detained man suffering from chronic diseases late last year.

The allegations the nine face include professional negligence resulting in the death of the 43-year-old man who was being held in a cell at the Okazaki police station in Aichi Prefecture. The man was battling schizophrenia and diabetes and died of kidney failure but is suspected of not receiving adequate medical care.


Japan hopes for early easing of tensions in Gaza: PM tells Israel

DUBAI - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed hope during his meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Friday that tensions in Gaza would ease as soon as possible, the Japanese government said.

In their talks on the sidelines of a U.N. conference on climate change in the United Arab Emirates, Kishida was also quoted as telling Herzog that increasing deliveries of supplies to Gaza is important to improve the humanitarian situation there.


Japan, S. Korea revive currency swap agreement as ties thaw

TOKYO - Japan and South Korea signed Friday a bilateral currency swap agreement to enable access to the other's funds in times of emergency, reviving an arrangement that expired eight years ago amid the cooling of ties over wartime history.

The signing of the $10 billion swap arrangement came after the finance ministers of both nations agreed to revive it during talks in June.


U.S. slaps sanctions on North Korea with allies over spy satellite

WASHINGTON - The United States on Thursday imposed additional sanctions on North Korea in the wake of its launch of a spy satellite last week, in coordination with Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The U.S. Treasury Department said eight individuals who facilitate sanctions evasion to assist North Korea's weapons development and one hacking group that gathers intelligence for Pyongyang will be targeted.


U.S. keeps flying Osprey in Japan despite calls to suspend operations

TOKYO - The U.S. military continued to fly tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft in Japan on Friday, despite Tokyo's request to suspend the operations in the wake of a crash two days earlier near the southwestern island of Yakushima.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said earlier in the day that Japan has been informed by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that Washington recognizes a formal request from its Asian ally to ground the aircraft.


Japan's biggest ruling party faction allegedly pools secret funds

TOKYO - The biggest faction of Japan's ruling party is alleged to have pooled secret funds worth around 100 million yen ($676,000) to reimburse members who exceeded their quotas in selling fundraising party tickets, sources close to the matter said Friday.

Prosecutors are investigating the Liberal Democratic Party faction, formerly led by slain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the grounds that it omitted reporting the extra income as a political fund for at least the past five years, the sources said.


Japan baseball champion Tigers' slogan tops Japan 2023 buzzword list

TOKYO - This year's slogan of the Japan Series baseball champion Hanshin Tigers, "Are (A. R. E.)," was selected as Japan's top buzzword for 2023, the award's organizer said Friday.

The phrase, an acronym for Aim, Respect and Empower, came as Hanshin Tigers manager Akinobu Okada referred to the league championship as "are," which means "that" in English, so as not to add pressure to the team by saying the full phrase out loud.


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