People pray at a church in Bucha near Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2024, the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as victims of a massacre committed by Russian soldiers are buried there. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Football: Nadeshiko Japan beat North Korea 2-1 to reach Paris Olympics

TOKYO - Japan secured a place in the Paris Olympic women's football tournament by beating North Korea 2-1 in the second leg of their final Asian qualifying tie Wednesday in Tokyo.

Center-back Hana Takahashi tucked home the 26th-minute opener and Aoba Fujino's 76th-minute header proved enough for Nadeshiko Japan in front of a crowd of 20,777 at National Stadium, where the visitors halved the deficit through substitute Kim Hye Yong nine minutes from time.


Japan prime minister to attend parliament panel on funds scandal on Feb. 29

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday that he will attend a parliamentary hearing on the political funds scandal that has rocked his Liberal Democratic Party, in an apparent attempt to break an impasse in negotiations on launching proceedings.

The ruling and opposition parties said they have agreed to hold the House of Representatives political ethics committee meeting for two days from Thursday, one day later than initially planned, with Kishida set to appear on the first day with the media in attendance.


South Korea fertility rate hits fresh low in 2023 at 0.72

SEOUL - South Korea's total fertility rate marked another record low of 0.72 in 2023, government data showed on Wednesday, as the only member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a rate below 1 continues to tackle a fast decline in the number of babies born.

According to the data from government agency Statistics Korea, the total fertility rate, or the average number of children a woman would have in her lifetime, was lower than the previous year's 0.78. The number was far below 2.1 children per woman, which is needed to maintain a population at its current level.


4th release of Fukushima treated radioactive water begins

TOKYO - The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday started a fourth release of treated radioactive water into the sea, in what will be the last discharge for the fiscal year ending March.

As in the previous rounds, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. will discharge 7,800 tons of treated water over about 17 days, having confirmed that the radioactivity level of the latest batch of water meets the standards set by the government and the utility.


Japan PM mulls visiting North Carolina during state visit to U.S.

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is considering visiting North Carolina when he visits the United States in April, a government source said Wednesday, with Toyota Motor Corp. constructing its new battery plant there.

The prospective visit to the southeastern state appears aimed at showcasing Toyota's contribution to job creation and investment in the United States, should Donald Trump, who has criticized the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, be reelected as president in November.


Japan 2023 average new condo price hits record high for 7 yrs in row

TOKYO - The average unit price of new condominiums across Japan hit a record for the seventh straight year in 2023 due to continued rises in construction material and labor costs, climbing 15.4 percent to 59.11 million yen ($392,500), a research institute said Wednesday.

In addition to rising prices in areas away from major cities, increased supplies of condominiums priced at 100 million yen or more in central Tokyo areas have contributed to pushing up the average, the Real Estate Economic Institute said.


New Tuvalu government reaffirms ties with Taiwan

SYDNEY - Tuvalu's Prime Minister Feleti Teo reaffirmed his country's ties with Taiwan after taking office Wednesday following a general election last month, according to a government statement shared on social media by an incoming minister.

The South Pacific nation is one of Taiwan's three remaining Pacific allies after Nauru severed ties with the self-ruled island in favor of mainland China in January.


Toyota logs 1st Japan sales fall in 13 months on Daihatsu scandal

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its domestic sales for January fell for the first time in 13 months as a data-rigging scandal at its small-car unit Daihatsu Motor Co. led to a production halt of some Toyota brand cars the unit made.

The number of cars Toyota sold in Japan slipped 13.7 percent from a year earlier to 112,425 units as the supply of cars the automaker commissions Daihatsu to make dwindled, Toyota said.

Video: Ships salvaged after wrecked by the earthquake in Noto region