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

March 23

A sample cherry tree in Kochi, western Japan, comes into bloom ahead of other parts of the country, according to a local weather observatory. Kochi is the capital city of Kochi Prefecture, located on the southern part of the main island of Shikoku in western Japan. (Kyodo)

Students toss their hats into the air at a graduation ceremony at the National Defense Academy in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan. (Kyodo)
Former Samurai Blue captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto speaks at a press conference in Tokyo after assuming the post of Japan Football Association president for a two-year term. (Kyodo)

March 24

Takashi Kimura (C) is elected new governor of Kumamoto Prefecture in southwestern Japan. The 49-year-old former deputy governor succeeds four-term Gov. Ikuo Kabashima, 77, who taught a young Kimura as a University of Tokyo professor. (Kyodo)
Takerufuji receives the Emperor's Cup from Japan Sumo Association head Hakkaku after winning the 15-day Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on the final day. The bottom-ranked No. 17 maegashira became the first wrestler since Ryogoku in 1914 to win a championship in his top-division debut. (Kyodo)

Japanese swimmer Yui Ohashi, winner of two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, earns a chance to defend her Olympic 200-meter individual medley title in Paris. She won the women's 200-meter individual medley final at the games qualifying trials at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. (Kyodo)

March 25

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the premier's office in Tokyo. Kishida has conveyed his intention to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang's state-run media reports, quoting a statement by the leader's sister who called on Tokyo to make a "decision" on improving bilateral ties. (Kyodo)
Wireless translator earphones in the shape of the beloved Japanese mushroom-shaped chocolate snack "Kinoko no Yama," sold as "Chocorooms" in the United States, will hit the shelves this week, food manufacturer Meiji Holdings Co. says. (Kyodo)
Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani says he is not involved in gambling and never made payments to an alleged illegal bookmaker in California. (Kyodo)

March 26

Major Japanese department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. says its outlet in Shanghai will close in late June due to the expiration of the store's lease. (Kyodo)
A public bath in the Wakura Onsen hot spring resort in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, resumes its service following a strong earthquake that hit the Noto Peninsula area on Jan. 1. (Kyodo)
Japanese Princess Aiko visits Ise Jingu shrine in Ise in the central Japan prefecture of Mie. The 22-year-old daughter of Emperor Naruhito graduated last week from Gakushuin University, where she studied Japanese literature. (Kyodo)
Two people are believed to have died and over 100 hospitalized after consuming red yeast rice dietary supplements from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co., the Japanese drugmaker and the health ministry say, amid swelling safety concerns over the products. (Kyodo)

March 27

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets scouts who attained the highest rank bestowed by the Scout Association of Japan. "We pledge to contribute to society by working all the more proactively," Ryosuke Okada, an 18-year-old high school senior, said in his remarks at the premier's office. (Kyodo)
The yen briefly hits a 34-year low near the 152 line against the U.S. dollar in Tokyo on renewed expectations the Bank of Japan will maintain its accommodative stance even after raising interest rates for the first time in 17 years. (Kyodo)
The Japan Swimming Federation announces a slate of athletes competing in the Paris Olympics this summer, including Yui Ohashi, Airi Mitsui, Daiya Seto and Ippei Watanabe. (Kyodo)

March 28

The Hakkoda-Towada Gold Line, a "snow corridor" connecting the northeastern Japan city of Aomori and Lake Towada, reopens after closing during winter. Driving on the eight-kilometer road, which has a snow wall of up to 7 meters high, will be permitted from April 1. (Kyodo)

Photo shows a launch pad for land-based Tomahawk cruise missiles on the U.S. Navy's McCampbell destroyer anchored at its naval base in Yokosuka near Tokyo. Training by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel aboard the U.S. destroyer is shown to the media the same day, with Japan planning to buy 400 land-based Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States for their deployment on the MSDF Aegis destroyers in fiscal 2025. (Kyodo)

Shohei Ohtani (17) is all smiles after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in their regular season opener at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Ohtani had two hits and reached base three times as the Dodgers won 7-1. (Kyodo)

March 29

People gather around a "Somei Yoshino" sample cherry tree at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, used by the Japan Meteorological Agency for observation, as the start of the blossom season is declared in the region after it came into bloom. (Kyodo)

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. President Akihiro Kobayashi speaks at a press conference in the western Japan city of Osaka. The company said it has confirmed a fifth death linked to the consumption of its red yeast rice dietary supplements and that it has yet to determine the substance that may be responsible for the deaths. (Kyodo)


Japanese ski jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi reflects on the just-ended season in which he won the prestigious Four Hills Tournament for the third time and finished second in the World Cup overall standings at a press conference in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

Back number:

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - March 16-22

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