Here is a selection of Kyodo News photos taken this week in Japan and beyond.

March 16

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Blue Impulse aerobatic team flies over Fukui to celebrate the start of a shinkansen bullet train service between Ishikawa Prefecture's Kanazawa and Fukui Prefecture's Tsuruga -- a new extended route of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. (Kyodo)
The Hokuriku Shinkansen Line extension establishes bullet train services in Fukui Prefecture for the first time, carrying hopes for a tourism boost in areas hit by the New Year's Day earthquake. (Kyodo)
Sanjuro the feline sits on a cushion in Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture, during the opening ceremony of a facility dedicated to the cat, which was bestowed the "lord" of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in 2018 after it ran away from home and settled in the 13th-century castle following a deadly rain disaster in the area. (Kyodo)

March 17

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party revises internal rules to toughen penalties for lawmakers involved in political funds scandals, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida apologizing at the party's annual convention for "inviting suspicion and mistrust" among the public. (Kyodo)

March 18

The opening ceremony of the 96th spring invitational high school baseball tournament is held at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. (Kyodo)

March 19

"Samurai" warrior dolls of Shohei Ohtani (far L) and rookie Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2nd from L) of the Los Angeles Dodgers are unveiled by doll maker Kyugetsu Co. in Tokyo ahead of the boys' festival on May 5, when Japanese households traditionally decorate warrior dolls. Seen behind them are dolls of sumo wrestlers from central Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture, hit by a deadly earthquake on Jan. 1. (Kyodo)

Members of the North Korean men's national football team arrive at Tokyo's Haneda airport ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Japan on March 21. (Kyodo)

Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda (C) speaks to reporters in Tokyo after holding talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following the central bank's decision to end its negative interest rate policy. (Kyodo)

March 20

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hits an RBI single in the eighth inning of MLB's season-opening game against the San Diego Padres at Seoul's Gocheok Sky Dome. (Kyodo)
Kaori Sakamoto of Japan performs in the women's short program at the world figure skating championships in Montreal. (Kyodo)

March 21

The Los Angeles Dodgers have fired Shohei Ohtani's high-profile interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, the club said, following allegations he stole millions of dollars of the star's money to cover illegal gambling debts. Ohtani's temporary interpreter, Will Ireton, is pictured next to the two-way star during the Dodgers' game against the San Diego Padres in Seoul. (Kyodo)
Returning midfielder Ao Tanaka scores the early winner as Japan sees off North Korea 1-0 at home in World Cup qualifying, in the Samurai Blue's first game since being knocked out of the Asian Cup at the quarterfinal stage. (Kyodo)

March 22

The Kumamoto District Court in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan, rejects damages claims by 144 unrecognized sufferers of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease against the state and others. (Kyodo)
Kanazawa University holds a graduation ceremony in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, following a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that hit the Noto Peninsula area of the central Japan prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast on Jan. 1. (Kyodo)


Back number:

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - March 9-15

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - March 2-8

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Feb. 24 - March 1

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Feb. 17-23