Here is a selection of Kyodo News photos taken this week in Japan and beyond.

Dec. 23

Two-time defending world figure skating champion Shoma Uno clinches his sixth men's national title and second in a row with a confident free skate performance. (Kyodo)
Students from the National Institute of Technology, Oyama College, in Tochigi Prefecture win the third Creative Robot Contest for Decommissioning, held in a seaside town in Fukushima Prefecture to explore the possibilities of robot use in the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture. (Kyodo)


Dec. 24

The ekiden road relay team from Kamimura Gakuen High School in Kagoshima Prefecture overtakes Miyagi Prefecture's Sendai Ikuei just before the finish line to win the women's high school national championship held in Kyoto. (Kyodo)


Jockey Yutaka Take extends his record for career G1 victories to 81 aboard second favorite Do Deuce at the 68th running of the Arima Kinen. (Kyodo)


Two-time defending women's world champion Kaori Sakamoto earns a spot at March's worlds by winning her third straight Japan national title. (Kyodo)


Dec. 25

Shoma Uno performs during the exhibition gala after the Japan national figure skating championships in Nagano, central Japan. (Kyodo)
Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows a Daihatsu Motor Co. factory in Ryuo in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan. The small-car unit of Toyota Motor Corp. said the same day it will suspend production at all domestic factories until at least the end of January due to a safety testing scandal. (Kyodo) 

People gather for an event to mark the 130th anniversary the following day of the birth of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, in his birthplace of Shaoshan in Hunan Province. (Kyodo)

Dec. 26

Sumo wrestlers resume practice at the late stablemaster Shikoroyama's stable in Tokyo on Dec. 26, 2023, ahead of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament starting on Jan. 14. Shikoroyama, or former sekiwake Terao, died of heart failure aged 60 on Dec. 17. (Kyodo)
Nakamise shopping street in Tokyo's Asakusa area is crowded with people ahead of the New Year. (Kyodo)
Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue strikes a pose after defeating Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in their four-belt world super bantamweight title unification match at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Dec. 26, 2023. (Kyodo) 

Dec. 27

A giant bell is rung by monks at Chion-in temple in Kyoto in a rehearsal for a bell-ringing ceremony on New Year's Eve. (Kyodo)
Giant panda Rauhin is given a "kadomatsu" traditional Japanese decoration for New Year and ice blocks in the shape of 2024 in celebration of the coming year at the Adventure World amusement park in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture. (Kyodo)
Shinto priests at Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine replace a large "shimenawa" sacred straw rope with a new one ahead of the New Year at a waterfall in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture. (Kyodo)
New Los Angeles Dodger Yoshinobu Yamamoto, wearing his No. 18 jersey, is introduced at a press conference at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as the National League baseball club announces a 12-year contract with the Japanese pitcher. (Kyodo)

Dec. 28

The Japanese government gives the green light for a modified landfill plan to realize the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture, taking the unprecedented step of overriding the local government's objection to the plan. Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki's objection had suspended the construction project amid local calls for the base to be moved out of the prefecture. (Kyodo)
Former Japanese senior vice justice minister Mito Kakizawa, a lawmaker who belonged to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is arrested over allegations of vote-buying in a Tokyo ward mayoral election in April. The arrest is set to deal another blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's administration. (Kyodo)
A year-end "otakiage" ritual, in which monks throw charms and amulets onto a temple fire in appreciation for the granting of worshippers' wishes, is held at Naritasan Shinsho-ji in Narita in Chiba Prefecture. (Kyodo)

Dec. 29

Travelers flood airports and major trains stations in Japan as they head to their hometowns and other destinations for the New Year holiday season. To ease overcrowding, JR Central and JR West have made many Shinkansen bullet train seats reservation only during the period for the first time. (Kyodo)

Back number:

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Dec. 16-22

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Dec. 9~15

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Dec. 2~8

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Nov. 25 - Dec. 1