Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on Feb. 11, 2024, shows cherry blossom trees in bloom along a river in Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The cherry blossoms in the central Japan town are known for their early flowering. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan, Pacific islands oppose change of status quo amid China clout

SUVA - Japan and Pacific islands nations on Monday expressed their strong opposition to any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force or coercion during a ministerial meeting held amid China's growing influence in the region, according to a chair's summary.

During the meeting in the Fijian capital Suva, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told reporters she agreed with her counterparts from the 18 members of the Pacific Islands Forum on the importance of the "international rules-based order," while pledging continued support to the strategically important region.


Daihatsu partly resumes domestic output after safety test scandal

OSAKA - Daihatsu Motor Co. resumed part of its domestic production on Monday, around one and a half months after suspending its entire output in Japan due to safety test rigging.

Daihatsu, the small-car unit of Toyota Motor Corp., restarted production of two models at its factory in Kyoto Prefecture after earning clearance from the transport ministry in January for shipments of those vehicles.


Athletics: Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum killed in car crash

TOKYO - Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died Sunday in a car accident in his native Kenya, local media reported.

The 24-year-old was killed along with his coach, Rwanda's Gervais Hakizimana, while driving on a road in western Kenya.


Hilltop Hotel in Tokyo beloved by renowned writers temporarily closes

TOKYO - Hilltop Hotel, an old-fashioned establishment in Tokyo that served as the regular lodgings for many renowned figures in Japanese literature, closed Monday for an undetermined period due to the run-down condition of its 87-year-old building.

Yasunari Kawabata, who in 1968 became the first Japanese writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and novelist Yukio Mishima were among the frequent users of the hotel, which opened in 1954 on a hilltop near Tokyo's Jimbocho areas, home to many publishing companies and bookstores.


Football: Takefusa Kubo extends Real Sociedad contract until 2029

BARCELONA, Spain - Spanish club Real Sociedad said Monday they have extended Takefusa Kubo's contract until 2029.


"My wish is to continue growing hand in hand with this team," the 22-year-old Japan attacker said through the La Liga club.


Sapporo Snow Festival crowds recover to pre-pandemic level in 2024

SAPPORO - The Sapporo Snow Festival drew 2.39 million visitors through Sunday, with an organizer saying attendance has recovered to pre-pandemic levels after the removal of coronavirus measures.

It is the first time in four years the annual festival, one of the country's biggest winter events, was held at full scale, using three locations in the capital of Hokkaido in northern Japan.

Video: Cherry blossom trees in Shizuoka