Shohei Ohtani (far L) of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes live batting practice at spring training on Feb. 21, 2024, in Glendale, Arizona. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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

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Japan PM Kishida to address U.S. Congress in April

WASHINGTON - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson has told a high-ranking government official that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will address a joint session of Congress during his official visit in April, sources with knowledge of the situation said Friday.

The U.S. side will soon formally inform the Japanese government of its decision to invite Kishida to deliver a congressional speech, the sources said, adding that Washington and Tokyo will try to realize his appearance in the legislature possibly on April 11.

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Japan emperor mourns quake victims, hopes to visit disaster-hit areas

TOKYO - Emperor Naruhito, on the occasion of his 64th birthday on Friday, mourned the lives lost in a powerful earthquake that struck central Japan on New Year's Day and extended his sympathy to the people displaced.

The emperor expressed his desire to visit areas affected by the disaster on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture with his wife Empress Masako.

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Sumo: Former yokozuna Hakuho penalized over protege's violence

TOKYO - Sumo's governing body decided Friday to demote former yokozuna Hakuho, now known as stablemaster Miyagino, and give him a salary cut over repeated violence by his 22-year-old protege Hokuseiho.

The Japan Sumo Association has accepted the retirement of the Mongolian-born, Hokkaido-raised Hokuseiho after he physically abused two junior stablemates for more than a year, saying it would have recommended that he retire had he not made the decision first.

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Japan PM Kishida considering visit to Brazil in early May

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is considering visiting Brazil in early May, government sources said Friday, after foregoing a tour of South America earlier in the year amid a political fundraising scandal involving his ruling party.

The prime minister may also travel to Paraguay, while planning to attend an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting to be held for two days from May 2 in France, the source said.

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U.N. members to urge "immediate" Russian withdrawal from Ukraine

NEW YORK - More than 30 U.N. member states are set to call in a statement Friday for Russia to withdraw immediately from Ukraine and countries including North Korea to stop providing weapons to Moscow, according to diplomatic sources.

Ahead of the second anniversary of the launch of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba plans to read out the statement, backed by the United States, Japan and the European Union, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, the sources said.

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Japan, Australia to conduct study on underwater drones

TOKYO - Japan and Australia have recently agreed to launch joint research toward the future development of underwater drones, as the two countries step up defense cooperation amid China's maritime assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is the first specific project the U.S. allies will work on since they signed a deal last June to simplify procedures for joint technical studies on defense equipment, according to the two governments.

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Japan, U.S., South Korea agree on closer cooperation over North Korea

RIO DE JANEIRO - The top diplomats of Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed Thursday to pursue closer cooperation in addressing North Korea's steady development of nuclear and missile capabilities, and its expanding military cooperation with Russia.

"Cooperation and coordination with our closest allies is more important than ever," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as he met with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Yoko Kamikawa and Cho Tae Yul, in Rio de Janeiro, citing regional challenges also including "increasingly assertive actions" by China.

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U.S. sees rapid increase of Chinese entering illegally via Mexico

JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, California - As China continues to grapple with post-pandemic economic woes such as reduced growth and high youth unemployment, an increasing number of Chinese migrants are choosing to enter the United States illegally in hopes of freedom and a better future.

The number of apprehensions of Chinese nationals at the border with Mexico in fiscal 2023 alone far surpassed the total for the preceding decade, topping 24,000 according to government data. At one place near the border in California, a local estimated that such Chinese have come to account for roughly 30 percent of the area's illegal entries.


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