Candles are lit on Feb. 21, 2024, at the site where the Canterbury Television building stood in Christchurch, New Zealand, in front of the photos of 115 victims, including 28 Japanese students, who died when the building collapsed in the M6.3 earthquake on Feb. 22, 2014. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan's Nikkei stock index closes at all-time high

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index closed at an all-time high Thursday, breaking the previous record set more than 30 years ago, as expectations grew for another year of record profits and Japan's return to steady growth.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 836.52 points, or 2.19 percent, from Wednesday at 39,098.68, topping the previous closing high of 38,915.87 marked in December 1989, when Japan was experiencing an asset price bubble.


Japan Diet panel on funds scandal to be held for 2 days from Feb. 28

TOKYO - Parliamentary hearings in Japan to probe a political funds scandal, which has rattled the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, are set to be held for two days from Wednesday, lawmakers said, with five key LDP lawmakers agreeing to participate.

The ruling and opposition camps will formally decide on Monday the format of the political ethics committee session meetings, such as whether they should be open to non-panel member lawmakers and the media, the lawmakers said.


Japan eyes providing $32 mil. in additional humanitarian aid to Gaza

RIO DE JANEIRO - Japan is considering providing $32 million in additional humanitarian aid for civilians in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Wednesday, as the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas drags on.

At a Group of 20 ministerial gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Kamikawa voiced her "serious concern" about the "critical humanitarian situation" in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave amid Israel's bombardment and besiegement of the area, Japan's Foreign Ministry said.


Indonesian activists sue Japan over treated water release

JAKARTA - A group of Indonesian environmental and human rights activists on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Japan, demanding an end to the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, which started last summer.

Marthin Hadiwinata, a member of the local environmental organization Ekomarin and one of the plaintiffs, said the release of the treated nuclear wastewater "will directly impact Indonesia's ecosystem," asserting that seafood products contaminated by the water pose a hazard to humans who consume them.


Japanese yakuza charged in N.Y. over nuclear material trafficking

NEW YORK - A U.S. attorney said Wednesday a leader of a yakuza organized crime syndicate has been charged with conspiring to traffic uranium and weapons-grade plutonium from Myanmar to other countries.

Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, is accused of contacting an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who was posing as a narcotics and weapons trafficker, in 2020 about the sale of nuclear materials to be supplied by an ethnic insurgent group in Myanmar, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.


Lawmaker says Chinese invasion of Taiwan would fail with U.S. support

TAIPEI - U.S. congressman Mike Gallagher, who is leading a bipartisan lawmakers' delegation to Taiwan, said during a meeting with President-elect Lai Ching-te on Thursday that if China were to try and invade the self-ruled island, that effort would fail due to U.S. support.

"If (Chinese President) Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party were to ever make the incredibly foolish decision to attempt an invasion of Taiwan, that effort would fail," the House of Representatives member said, adding that Taipei has "a deep reservoir of friendship and support from the United States Congress."


Event held in Japan to claim South Korea-held islets amid improving ties

MATSUE, Japan - An annual ceremony was held in western Japan on Thursday to push the country's claim to a group of South Korea-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan, a long-standing sticking point in bilateral ties that have recently been improving.

Shimane Gov. Tatsuya Maruyama and Shojiro Hiranuma, a Cabinet Office parliamentary vice minister, attended the commemoration day event organized by the prefectural government for the islets, called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.


Indian foreign minister to visit Japan in March for bilateral talks

TOKYO - Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is scheduled to visit Japan next month for a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Yoko Kamikawa, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Kamikawa and Jaishankar are set to hold the "Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue" in Tokyo during the Indian minister's stay in the East Asian country for three days from March 6, according to the ministry.

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