A traditional rice-planting dance is performed on Feb. 18, 2024, at Kusano shrine in the Ukedo area in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture. The shrine was rebuilt after being swept away by tsunami triggered by the March 2011 earthquake. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


No-confidence motion against scandal-hit minister voted down in Diet

TOKYO - Japan's House of Representatives on Tuesday voted down a no-confidence motion against education minister Masahito Moriyama, who has drawn scrutiny over his links to the controversial Unification Church.

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan criticized Moriyama, whose ministerial portfolio covers religious affairs, in the motion for his repeated "insincere" explanations in parliament regarding his ties to the religious group.


South Korean plaintiff receives Japanese firm's money deposited at court

SEOUL - A South Korean who won a wartime labor case against Japanese firm Hitachi Zosen Corp. received money deposited by the firm at a Seoul court on Tuesday, a lawyer said, after the company failed to comply with an order by South Korea's Supreme Court to compensate the plaintiff.

This is the first case in which funds from a Japanese company have been transferred to a plaintiff following a trial related to wartime forced labor, the lawyer of the plaintiff said.


EU to seek security accord with Japan amid China's assertiveness

MUNICH - The European Union decided Monday to negotiate with Japan on concluding a security and defense partnership agreement, with the bloc seeking to elevate bilateral ties to a higher level, an EU document showed amid China's maritime assertiveness.

The two sides will explore increasing cooperation across wide areas including maritime security, intelligence sharing and coping with hybrid attacks, a new form of warfare that combines military and non-military tactics such as distributing fake information to achieve strategic objectives.


Some LDP lawmakers to attend Diet ethics panel on fundraising scandal

TOKYO - Japan's Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday informed the opposition bloc that a senior member of the faction formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would attend a special committee to probe a political funds scandal that has rocked the ruling party.

The LDP said a lawmaker of another faction would also address the scandal at the committee on political ethics in the House of Representatives, but the opposition camp has called for the presence of other prominent members of the ruling party.


Taiwan drives away China Coast Guard boat amid rising tensions

TAIPEI - Taiwan drove away a China Coast Guard vessel that entered waters near a remote Taiwanese island, Taipei said Tuesday, as cross-strait tensions rise following the deaths of two Chinese fishermen last week when their boat was chased by Taiwanese authorities.

The Chinese vessel entered waters near Kinmen, just a couple of kilometers away from Xiamen, a port city in the Chinese province of Fujian, at 9:05 a.m. and departed an hour later after a Taiwanese boat drove it away using radio and broadcast equipment, Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration said.


Football: Japan women head to Olympic q'fier in Saudi Arabia

CHIBA, Japan - Japan's national women's football team are preparing to play the first of their two final Olympic qualifying games against North Korea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Japan Football Association announced Tuesday.

Norio Sasaki, the chairperson of the JFA women's committee, informed reporters in Chiba, east of Tokyo, that the team and their staff will depart for Saudi Arabia on two flights Tuesday night. The Asian Football Confederation on Monday instructed the JFA to prepare to play there.


Putin gives Russian-made car to N. Korea's Kim amid closer ties

BEIJING - Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a Russian-made car for his personal use, the Asian country's state-run media said Tuesday, amid deepening ties between Moscow and Pyongyang.

The gift was received by the leader's sister Kim Yo Jong and Pak Jong Chon, secretary of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, on Sunday, the official Korean Central News Agency said. KCNA did not report where the North Korean side received the vehicle.


Japanese high school star drawn to Stanford by baseball, academics

HANAMAKI, Japan - Trailblazing Japanese high school slugger Rintaro Sasaki said Tuesday he chose to attend Stanford University in California because of its standing as both a good baseball school and an academic powerhouse.

"I want to become good enough so that starting in two years, I'll be selected in the pro drafts in both Japan and the United States," Sasaki told a press conference at Hanamaki Higashi High School in northeastern Japan's Iwate Prefecture.

Video: Kimono-fitting session in Kyoto ahead of Miyako Odori dance festival