Rinka Watanabe of Japan performs her short program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai on Feb. 1, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan to allow longer stays for digital nomads to boost consumption

TOKYO - Japan plans to enable foreign talent and remote workers, known as "digital nomads," to stay longer in the country under a new visa system in order to boost economic growth and consumption, the government said Friday.

Under the envisioned system, foreign digital nomads, who travel while working remotely for companies, will be able to reside in Japan for up to six months by obtaining the designated activities visa, a rise from the current 90 days allowed under the short-term tourist visa, according to the Immigration Services Agency.


Death sentence finalized for man over 2021 murder, arson as minor

KOFU, Japan - The death sentence has been finalized for a 21-year-old man convicted of murder and arson as a minor in 2021 after he withdrew an appeal, a Japanese court said Friday.

The defense team for Yuki Endo filed the appeal on the deadline Thursday, but the defendant withdrew it later in the day, the Kofu District Court said.


JAL net profit jumps fivefold in April-Dec. on demand recovery

TOKYO - Japan Airlines Co. said Friday its net profit for the nine months ended December increased more than fivefold from a year earlier to 85.87 billion yen ($587 million), thanks to a post-COVID surge in travel demand.

The major Japanese air carrier maintained its full-year earnings forecast, with its group net profit set to grow 2.3-fold to 80 billion yen on sales of 1.68 trillion yen, up 22.4 percent, signaling limited impact from the collision between one of its passenger jets and a Japan Coast Guard aircraft at Tokyo's Haneda airport last month.


North Korea carries out 4th cruise missile launch this year

SEOUL - North Korea fired several cruise missiles into the Yellow Sea on Friday, South Korea's military said, marking its fourth such missile launches this year.

The unidentified missiles were fired at around 11 a.m., South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, following launches on Jan. 24 and earlier this week on Sunday and Tuesday, highlighting North Korea's increased pace in testing activity.


DNA tests show dead man likely 1970s bombing fugitive in Japan

TOKYO - DNA tests have shown a man who died earlier this week at a hospital is likely to be the person wanted for one of a series of terrorist bombings in Japan during the 1970s, investigative sources said Friday.

The man confessed last month to being alleged bomber Satoshi Kirishima, who was a member of an extreme left-wing group. The DNA test results conducted on the suspect's relatives found that "there is no inconsistency in kinship" between the two parties, the sources said.


Figure skating: Japan's Chiba wins 4 Continents women's gold

SHANGHAI - Japanese teenager Mone Chiba won the women's gold medal Friday at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, with compatriot Rinka Watanabe earning the bronze.

The 18-year-old Chiba, who qualified for March's world championships and was runner-up at Japan's nationals in December, won with a career-high 214.98-point total at Shanghai's SPD Bank Oriental Sports Center.


Football: Ito out of Japan squad amid sexual assault allegations

TOKYO/DOHA - The Japan Football Association on Friday announced the withdrawal of winger Junya Ito from its Asian Cup squad in Qatar amid sexual assault allegations, which he has denied.

The JFA initially said Thursday that the Stade de Reims man was leaving as the issue "demands a cautious response" and out of consideration for his mental and physical condition. However, later in the day, they said his departure was put on hold ahead of further discussions on Friday.


Japan PM grateful to N. Korean leader for quake sympathy message

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday voiced his gratitude to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who sent a message of sympathy over a deadly earthquake that hit central Japan on New Year's Day.

It is rare for a Japanese premier to receive a message from a North Korean leader, as the two nations have no diplomatic relations, and Pyongyang has been critical of Tokyo for deepening defense cooperation with the United States and South Korea.

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