A Steller's sea eagle flies above drift ice off Rausu in Hokkaido, northern Japan, on March 1, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan lower house passes fiscal 2024 budget

TOKYO - Japan's House of Representatives on Saturday approved a 112.57 trillion yen ($750 billion) draft budget for the next fiscal year starting in April to boost the nation's defense capabilities, help households cope with inflation and assist recovery efforts in areas hit by an earthquake on New Year's Day.

The budget put forward by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's ruling camp is the country's second-largest ever, smaller only than the 114.38 trillion yen requested in fiscal 2023.


Japan gov't mulls declaring official end to deflation: sources

TOKYO - The Japanese government has begun considering declaring an official end to deflation, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday, some two decades after it acknowledged that prices were falling moderately.

While Japan has maintained that the country is "not in a state of deflation," it has yet to be convinced that deflation is already a thing of the past. It has struggled for years to dispel deeply-rooted public perceptions that prices and wages will not rise.


Japan to revise official romanization rules for 1st time in 70 yrs

TOKYO - Japan is planning to revise its romanization rules for the first time in about 70 years to bring the official language transliteration system in line with everyday usage, according to government officials.

The country will switch to the Hepburn rules from the current Kunrei-shiki rules, meaning, for example, the official spelling of the central Japan prefecture of Aichi will replace Aiti. Similarly, the famous Tokyo shopping district known worldwide as Shibuya will be changed in its official presentation from Sibuya.


10 caught in avalanche in Japan's Northern Alps, all confirmed alive

NAGANO, Japan - Ten people were caught in an avalanche in Japan's Northern Alps in central Japan on Saturday, with two of them rescued by a helicopter and the remaining eight safely descending the mountain on their own.

The snowslip occurred on the 1,888-meter Mt. Kazafukidake in Otari, Nagano Prefecture, affecting several groups including backcountry skiers. The two men rescued by a police helicopter had no life-threatening injuries.


Japan agency warns of more quakes as temblors continue east of Tokyo

Japan's weather agency has warned of more earthquakes in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo following a series of temblors in recent days, detecting a movement known as "slow slip" in tectonic plates off the coast.

The slow-slip event is believed to be occurring off the Boso Peninsula on the boundary between the continental plate and the Philippine Sea plate, according to the Geospatial Information Authority.


Japan city to require multilingual trash rules posted for foreigners

SAITAMA, Japan - A city near Tokyo will require owners of new single-room apartment complexes to post basic garbage sorting and disposal rules in seven languages from April in a bid to help its increasingly multinational inhabitants avoid making mistakes that can cause conflict with their neighbors.

The city of Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture, which government data showed had the largest foreign population of any Japanese city as of June, currently requires rules to be made available in Japanese, English and Chinese but has decided to add Vietnamese, Tagalog, Turkish and Korean by revising an ordinance.


Fifth of quake-hit Japan area hospital's nurses may quit amid crisis

KANAZAWA, Japan - Around a fifth of the 133 nurses employed in a major hospital in Wajima, a city that suffered heavy damage in the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake, have decided to quit or are considering it, the hospital has said.

The potential exodus poses challenges for the hospital and three other institutions facing a similar situation in the northern Noto region's two towns and two cities, including Wajima, with health services already disrupted in the aftermath of the magnitude-7.6 quake.


Abused former GSDF member Gonoi gets women of courage award

WASHINGTON - Rina Gonoi, a former member of Japan's armed forces, received the U.S. Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award for leading a public campaign against sexual harassment, the State Department said Friday.

"Her bravery to take on social norms emboldened countless survivors of abuse to come forward with their own stories so that they no longer suffered in silence," the department said in a statement listing the awardees. Gonoi was sexually assaulted while serving in Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force.

Video: Rare breeds of eagles spend winter in northern Japan