The Japan Meteorological Agency's new weather observation ship, Ryofu Maru, is shown to the media in Tokyo's Daiba waterfront area on April 24, 2024, featuring an antenna to measure the level of moisture vapor. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Meta sued over investment ads with fake celebrity endorsements

KOBE - Four people sued the Japanese arm of U.S. tech giant Meta Platforms Inc. on Thursday over false investment ads using fake celebrity endorsements on Facebook and Instagram.

The plaintiffs, including those from Kobe and Tokyo, filed the lawsuit with the Kobe District Court in western Japan, claiming they had lost money because the company was negligent in verifying the legitimacy of such advertisements. They are seeking a total of 23 million yen ($147,000) in damages.


Toyota fails to meet 10.1 mil. output target in FY 2023 amid scandals

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its global production in fiscal 2023 grew 9.2 percent from a year earlier to a record 9.97 million vehicles but fell short of its goal of 10.1 million, impacted by recent data-rigging scandals at its group firms.

Its overseas production in the year ended March rose 5.0 percent to a record 6.66 million vehicles, helped by robust demand in North America and Europe, the company said.


Dollar at 34-yr. highs in upper 155 yen as intervention line tested

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar rose to new 34-year highs in Tokyo in the upper 155 yen range on Thursday, as currency traders tested the limits of the yen's weakness amid speculation that a market intervention by Japanese authorities is still a way off.

Recent firmer-than-expected U.S. economic data has reduced trader bets that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates, suggesting a continuation of the wide interest rate differential between Japan and the United States that sent the yen to as low as 155.74 in Tokyo.


Japan grants special residency permit to Russian man opposing Putin

TOKYO - A Russian man who effectively sought political asylum in Japan before the start of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine said Thursday that Japanese immigration authorities have granted him special permission to stay.

In mid-March, the man, who has spoken out against Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, was granted a one-year "designated activities" visa, which has no restrictions on movement and permits employment under certain conditions.


Japan March duty-free sales at department stores surge to record high

TOKYO - Duty-free sales at Japan's department stores in March surged nearly 2.5-fold from a year earlier to a record 49.5 billion yen ($320 million), as demand for luxury brands were boosted by the weak yen amid an influx of travelers during cherry blossom season, data by an industry body showed Thursday.

The figure was the highest since comparable data became available in October 2014, surpassing pre-pandemic levels of 2019 for the ninth straight month, while the number of duty-free shoppers also set a fresh record for March at 454,000, the Japan Department Stores Association said.


Blinken seeks fair treatment of U.S. firms in China

SHANGHAI - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns about Beijing's nonmarket economic practices and called for fair treatment of American companies operating in China during a meeting Thursday with Chen Jining, China's top official in Shanghai, the State Department said.

Blinken, who is on a three-day visit to China through Friday, said the United States seeks "a healthy economic competition" with China and "a level playing field for U.S. workers and firms operating in China," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.


Presidential aide Lin picked as Taiwan's new foreign minister

TAIPEI - Presidential aide Lin Chia-lung has been picked as Taiwan's new foreign minister, incoming leader Lai Ching-te said Thursday, taking a job that is expected to see him face the challenge of steering foreign policy amid mounting cross-strait tensions.

Lai, who will be inaugurated as president on May 20, told a press conference in Taipei that Lin will help strengthen Taiwan's international presence, citing his past experience in national security and foreign affairs.


Latest EVs displayed at 1st Beijing motor show in 4 years

BEIJING - The Beijing motor show reopened on Thursday after a four-year hiatus, featuring the latest electric vehicle models from major automakers worldwide, amidst intensifying competition in the world's largest auto market for new energy vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. unveiled four new energy concept vehicles at the auto show, with President and CEO Makoto Uchida vowing the company's commitment to a "China-tailored strategy."

Video: Japan weather agency's new observation ship unveiled