Japanese Princess Aiko visits Ise Jingu shrine in Ise in the central Japan prefecture of Mie on March 26, 2024. The 22-year-old daughter of Emperor Naruhito graduated last week from Gakushuin University, where she studied Japanese literature. (Kyodo)

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


Yen hits 34-yr low vs dollar as BOJ signals ultraeasy policy to stay

TOKYO - The yen briefly hit a 34-year low near the 152 line against the U.S. dollar Wednesday 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.

The yen fell to 151.97 per dollar, its lowest level since 1990 after Bank of Japan board member Naoki Tamura said short-term interest rates would remain near zero for the time being, despite the central bank ending negative interest rates last week.


Japan aims to launch next-gen. passenger jet by around 2035

TOKYO - Japan will launch a next-generation passenger aircraft by around 2035, in another attempt to establish a domestic industry following the failure of a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.-led project to develop the country's first passenger jet, sources said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and several companies in the private sector will work together on the project, sharing an investment of about 5 trillion yen ($33 billion) over the next 10 years, the sources said.


Japan supplements linked to health claims largely made since Sept.

TOKYO - Reports of ill health after consumption of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co.'s red yeast rice dietary supplements implicated in two deaths largely relate to products made since September last year, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The findings reported to a meeting of related ministries and agencies come amid a widening scandal over the firm's supplements advertised as cholesterol-lowering.


Japan eyes upgrade of 16 airports, ports for possible defense use

TOKYO - Japan plans to upgrade five airports and 11 ports, designating them for use by the country's defense forces and coast guard in case of military emergencies, a government source said Wednesday, with concerns lingering over China's maritime assertiveness and a potential conflict over Taiwan.

Nearly half of the 16 commercial facilities, which include Naha and Nagasaki airports, are located either in Okinawa Prefecture or the southwestern main island of Kyushu, apparently reflecting Japan's efforts to beef up defense around its far-flung southwest islands.


Japan finance chief vows "decisive steps" if yen weakens excessively

TOKYO - Japan will take "decisive steps" to stem excessive weakness in the yen, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Wednesday, after the currency fell to a 34-year low against the U.S. dollar despite the Bank of Japan's first interest rate hike in 17 years last week.

Suzuki told reporters that appropriate action would be taken "without excluding any options" to cope with excessive moves in the yen, driving speculation that the government may intervene in the currency market for the first time since late 2022.


Hydrogen vehicle filling station opens at former Tokyo Olympics site

TOKYO - One of Japan's largest hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles opened Wednesday at the former site of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics main athletes village, the metropolitan government said.

Major oil distributor Eneos Corp. will operate the station and produce hydrogen in line with a Tokyo government plan for the site, with the amount of hydrogen supplied equivalent to that required to operate around 40 fuel cell buses for a day.


U.S., Japan national security aides prepare for Kishida's visit

WASHINGTON - The highest-ranking U.S. and Japanese national security advisers on Tuesday discussed measures to reinforce the deterrence capabilities of their countries' decades-old alliance in preparation for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to Washington next month.

President Joe Biden's top national security official Jake Sullivan held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Takeo Akiba, during which the two also discussed ways to deepen cooperation with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere, according to the Japanese government.


Man dies after his jacket gets caught in escalator at Japan station

MITO, Japan - A man has died following an accident involving his suit jacket getting caught in an escalator at a station in eastern Japan, police said Wednesday.

The staff of JR Mito Station found Mamoru Suzuki, a 72-year-old resident of Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, collapsed but still conscious at around 9 p.m. Tuesday, with the back of his jacket ensnared in the escalator's handrail, according to the local police.


Basketball: Rui Hachimura logs 16-point double-double in 2OT Lakers win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - Japanese forward Rui Hachimura had his first double-double of the NBA season Tuesday as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a late-game deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-124 in double overtime.

Hachimura started and scored 16 points for the Lakers while snaring an NBA career-high 14 rebounds during his 39 minutes of action at Fiserv Forum, Wisconsin, where the Bucks comfortably led after each of the first three quarters before a 10-point Laker rally in the last four minutes of the fourth forced overtime.

Video: Details emerge of ancient sword unearthed in Japan's Nara