Japanese Emperor Naruhito (3rd from R), alongside Empress Masako, waves to well-wishers from a balcony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo during his birthday celebration on Feb. 23, 2024. Their daughter Princess Aiko (far R), Crown Prince Fumihito (3rd from L), Crown Princess Kiko (2nd from L) and Princess Kako also appeared on the balcony. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


TSMC opens 1st Japan chip plant amid supply chain concerns

KUMAMOTO, Japan - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, opened its first factory in Japan on Saturday, as the Japanese government aims to enhance the supply chain of advanced semiconductors while mitigating the economic risks from tensions between Taiwan and China.

The government will provide about 1.2 trillion yen ($8 billion) in subsidies for the project, which also sees TSMC starting the construction of a second plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, within the year. Production there will start at the end of 2027.


U.S.-led Indo-Pacific deal on supply chain resilience takes effect

TOKYO - An agreement involving the United States, Japan and other Indo-Pacific economies on supply chain resilience took effect Saturday, in what is being dubbed a first-of-its-kind multinational deal laying out steps for enhancing collaboration in times of significant disruption in the region.

The deal, negotiated under the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework launched in 2022, allows members to help each other secure critical items in times when supply chains are disrupted, such as during a pandemic. Since China is not part of IPEF, some consider it a means of reducing reliance on the country for semiconductors and other key goods.


U.N. chief repeats call for Russia to stop invasion of Ukraine

NEW YORK - U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres repeated his call Friday for Russia to stop its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, while a group of some 50 members of the world body demanded Moscow's immediate withdrawal prior to the second anniversary of the start of the war.

"The United Nations Charter and international law are our guide to creating a world free from the scourge of war. Yet Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine directly violated both," Guterres told a session of the U.N. Security Council.


Japan Defense Ministry hosts Singapore Airshow display for 1st time

SINGAPORE - Japan's Defense Ministry is participating for the first time in the Singapore Airshow, one of the largest aviation exhibitions in Asia, in a bid to showcase products made by Japanese companies that are now available for export.

A total of 14 Japanese firms have put their products on display at the six-day exhibition that runs until Sunday, ranging from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.'s C-2 transport aircraft and P-1 maritime patrol aircraft, and UH-2 multi-purpose helicopters built by Subaru Corp. to NEC Corp.'s mobile surveillance radars.


Watch that survived Hiroshima atomic bombing sells for over $31,000

NEW YORK - A melted wristwatch that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, has sold for $31,113 at an auction in the United States.

The watch, which was recovered from the ruins of the western Japan city, is frozen in time at the moment of detonation at 8:15 a.m., according to RR Auction.


Hello Kitty theme park in Tokyo closes Feb. 24 after "terrorist threat"

TOKYO - A Hello Kitty theme park in western Tokyo was forced to temporarily close on Saturday after receiving what it labeled a "terrorist threat."

Sanrio Puroland in Tama notified police around 9 a.m. that it had received an email warning a "hazardous" object had been placed on the premises. The email arrived on Saturday, according to the theme park.


Government to extend extra 100 bil. yen for quake relief in central Japan

KANAZAWA, Japan - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday his government will additionally allocate around 100 billion yen ($665 million) to the reconstruction of the Noto Peninsula following the earthquake that rocked central Japan on New Year's Day.

The emergency spending from reserve funds under the fiscal 2023 budget will finance measures such as expanding the scope of relief payments providing up to 6 million yen per household to cover youth and families raising children, Kishida told reporters following his second official visit to areas devastated by the magnitude-7.6 quake that hit Ishikawa Prefecture.


Rugby: Brave Lupus handcuff Eagles, extend unbeaten run to 7 games

TOKYO - Brave Lupus Tokyo continued their unbeaten start to the Japan Rugby League One season Saturday as they downed Yokohama Eagles 27-7 with a stifling defensive performance.

Todd Blackadder's men notched their seventh straight win to stay hot on the heels of the only other unblemished side, the Robbie Deans-coached Saitama Wild Knights, who lead the table by a bonus point.

Video: Okinawa firm starts B-747 cargo plane maintenance work at Narita