Photo taken on Jan. 30, 2024, shows a full-size statue of a Tyrannosaurus rex being installed adjacent to JR Fukui Station in Fukui. The central Japan prefecture, known for the largest discovery of dinosaur fossils in Japan, will display the statue that roars and moves its neck to promote tourism ahead of the March 16 start of a shinkansen bullet train service through the city of Fukui. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


2 vice ministers from LDP's biggest group quit in escalating scandal

TOKYO - Two parliamentary vice ministers from the largest faction within Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party resigned Wednesday over a political fundraising scandal that has been rattling the country's politics since late last year.

The two lawmakers' faction, formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been at the center of the scandal. Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated during an election campaign in July 2022.


Hotel stays in Japan back to pre-pandemic level at 594 million

TOKYO - Overnight stays at accommodation facilities in Japan by Japanese and foreign travelers rose 31.8 percent in 2023 from the previous year to 593.51 million, nearly the same as pre-COVID-19 levels from 2019, government data showed Wednesday.

Looking at the data only for foreigners, stays at hotels and Japanese inns, among others, increased about seven-fold amid a revived tourism boom helped by a weaker yen and the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.


China's change of cross-strait flight path triggers Taiwan protests

BEIJING - China's announcement it would bring a flight path for civilian aircraft closer to the median line in the Taiwan Strait, which has effectively served as a "borderline" between the two sides, triggered protests from the self-ruled island on Wednesday.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said Tuesday it was canceling an "offset measure" for the southbound operation of the M503 flight route, which was set by the mainland just west of the median line in 2015.


Football: Japan reach Asian Cup last 8 with 3-1 win over Bahrain

DOHA - Japan booked their place in the Asian Cup quarterfinals in Qatar with a 3-1 win over Bahrain on Wednesday.

World Cup standout Ritsu Doan and Real Sociedad star Takefusa Kubo scored for the Samurai Blue before a mix-up between goalkeeper Zion Suzuki and striker Ayase Ueda led to an own goal that momentarily gave life to Bahrain.


ANA lifts FY 2023 net profit forecast amid demand recovery

TOKYO - ANA Holdings Inc. on Wednesday lifted its net profit forecast for the year ending March to 130 billion yen ($880 million) from an earlier projection of 80 billion yen, helped by a post-COVID recovery in air travel demand.

The new estimate represents a 45.3 percent rise from a year earlier, in a major reversal from the previous figure that had forecast a 10.6 percent decrease, the Japanese airline said.


Japan's Jan. consumer confidence rises to highest level in 2 yrs

TOKYO - Japan's consumer confidence improved in January for the fourth straight month, hitting its highest level in over two years as higher consumer prices began to steadily ease, the government said Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people rose 0.8 points to 38.0, its highest level since December 2021.


Former Pakistan prime minister Khan, wife, given 14-year prison terms

ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced to 14 years in prison at a special court on Wednesday, in a high-profile case involving the misappropriation of state gifts, according to local media reports.

Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were also barred from holding public office for 10 years and slapped with a fine of 787 million Pakistani rupees ($2.8 million) each after they were found guilty of retaining and selling state gifts while he was in power.


BOJ members more positive about policy normalization at Jan. meeting

TOKYO - Bank of Japan board members view conditions as gradually falling into place for the central bank to begin normalizing its monetary policy, amid growing expectations that strong wage growth will ensure stable inflation, a summary of their opinions showed Wednesday.

At their Jan. 22-23 policy meeting, several members pointed to the possibility of the BOJ attaining its 2 percent inflation target. One said that the central bank will be able to begin policy normalization in a month or two, after examining the impact of a deadly earthquake that struck central Japan on New Year's Day.

Video: Volunteer activities in full swing in quake-hit Noto Peninsula