A dragon stature is displayed in Beijing on Feb. 8, 2024, two days before the Year of Dragon Lunar New Year begins. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan to pledge 15.8 bil. yen for Ukraine's reconstruction

Japan will pledge 15.8 billion yen ($106 million) in aid to support the reconstruction of Ukraine from war damage in seven fields such as infrastructure rebuilding and demining, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

The governments of the two countries are expected to agree on Japan's involvement in the European nation's post-war reconstruction and sign more than 10 memorandums of cooperation at the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction slated for Feb. 19 in Tokyo.


Football: Afif penalty hat-trick hands Qatar 2nd straight Asian Cup

LUSAIL, Qatar - Qatar secured back-to-back Asian Cup titles Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Jordan thanks to a hat-trick of penalties by Akram Afif.

Afif, named Most Valuable Player, was the tournament's top scorer with eight goals for Qatar, who won their first Asian Cup in 2019 by beating Japan 3-1 in the final in the United Arab Emirates.


Ukraine PM says Japanese companies can play big role in war recovery

KYIV - Ukraine intends to sign a "full range" of agreements with Japan at a reconstruction conference in Tokyo later this month to spur investment and boost economic cooperation between the countries, its Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said recently.

Shmyhal is set to lead his country's delegation at the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction on Feb. 19 where discussions will take place on rebuilding the country from the war damage sustained since Russia's February 2022 invasion.


87% of Japan firms say paternity leave averages less than 3 months

TOKYO - More than 80 percent of major firms saw male employees take child-care leave of less than three months over the past year while female employees got longer leave times, a recent Kyodo News survey showed, underscoring the dominant role women continue to play in child-rearing in Japan.

In the survey that covered 113 companies between November and December, around half of them reported in their securities filings that at least 80 percent of their male employees took paternity leave, regardless of the length.


Disabled account for over 20% of 2010s Japan disaster-linked deaths

SENDAI - People with disabilities accounted for more than 20 percent of deaths caused by physical and mental strain following major earthquakes in the 2010s in Japan, a recent Kyodo News study showed.

The survey of local governments showed 21 percent of deaths linked to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan involved people with disability certificates, while the comparable figure from the 2016 quakes in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, stood at 28 percent.


Japan taxi, bus driver's license tests to go multilingual

TOKYO - Japan is set to offer tests for driver's licenses for taxis and buses in foreign languages amid a shortage of drivers in the country, with the police agency distributing sample questions in the coming weeks.

The National Police Agency will issue sample exam questions in 20 languages to prefectural police forces nationwide by the end of March, allowing them to formulate their own questions based on local needs, an official said.


Biofuel tested for coal-fired steam locomotives in eastern Japan

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan - The operator of coal-fired steam locomotives in the tourist spot of Nikko in eastern Japan is trialing a biofuel as a way to cut its carbon dioxide emissions, the first such initiative in the country.

Tobu Railway Co. said it started the trial, set to last around one year, on Jan. 31, partially replacing the coal used by its SL Taiju locomotives with biocoke, made from buckwheat chaff, wood chips, coffee grounds and other materials.


Snowboarding: Ono, Hirano retain halfpipe World Cup season titles

TOKYO - Japan's Mitsuki Ono won her third straight snowboarding halfpipe World Cup event Saturday in Calgary to clinch the women's overall title for the second season in a row.

Compatriot Ruka Hirano joined Ono in claiming back-to-back overall titles after finishing second in the fifth and final round of the men's circuit in Canada.


Weight calculation error behind 2023 Tokyo construction site accident

TOKYO - An error in calculating the weight of steel beams likely caused a fatal accident at a construction site near JR Tokyo Station last year, an investigative source said Sunday.

Two workers died and three were injured on Sept. 19 when steel beams fell on the seventh floor of a building being constructed by Obayashi Corp., which informed police of the calculation error.

Video: Lantern festival in Nagasaki