Cherry blossoms are in full bloom at Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on April 18, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


G7 urges all parties to work to de-escalate Iran-Israel tension

CAPRI, Italy - The Group of Seven foreign ministers on Friday urged "all parties to work to prevent further escalation" amid rapidly growing fears that Iran and Israel could enter a cycle of retaliation and counterretaliation following Israel's reported attack.

In a communique issued after three days of talks in Italy, the G7 ministers also said they are "ready to adopt" additional sanctions against Iran in response to "further destabilizing initiatives," in the wake of its missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend.


Nikkei ends down 2.7% as market rattled by Middle East tensions

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index ended down 2.7 percent Friday, hit by global economic concerns stemming from escalating conflict in the Middle East and semiconductor issues being dumped amid fears of a slowdown in growth in the industry.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished down 1,011.35 points, or 2.66 percent, from Thursday at 37,068.35, suffering the largest point drop since Feb. 26, 2021. The broader Topix index ended 51.13 points, or 1.91 percent, lower at 2,626.32.


Israel launches retaliatory attack on Iran

TEHRAN - Israel launched a retaliatory attack against Iran on Friday, according to news reports, nearly a week after Tehran's unprecedented strike on the country with hundreds of missiles and drones.

Explosions were heard near an airport in the central Iranian province of Isfahan but nuclear facilities in the province were not damaged, local media reported.


Japan PM, U.S. envoy to U.N. vow continued cooperation over North Korea

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations agreed Friday to continue working closely together to address issues surrounding North Korea, including its past abductions of Japanese citizens.

During his talks at his office with the ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Kishida emphasized the necessity of implementing U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which has developed nuclear weapons and advanced missiles.


Ex-Japan PM Aso eyes meeting with Trump during trip to N.Y.

TOKYO - Former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is making arrangements to meet in New York with Donald Trump, who is seeking to be reelected as U.S. president in November, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.

Aso, currently vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is scheduled to visit New York from Monday to Thursday, the source said.


Pakistan bomb attack targeting Japanese kills local guard: report

ISLAMABAD - A van carrying five Japanese nationals was attacked by a suicide bomber and a gunman in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, killing a local security guard and injuring another guard and a bystander as well as one Japanese, according to Pakistani media, police and the Japanese government.

Dawn News TV reported that the security guard died in hospital after he was injured in the attack.


Japan lower house passes bill for swift removal of defamatory posts

TOKYO - Japan's lower house passed a bill on Friday aimed at facilitating the swift removal of defamatory content on social media platforms like X, Instagram, and YouTube with more transparency.

The bill calls for operators to set up points of contact for accepting deletion requests and disclose criteria for removing posts, among other measures. It is expected to be enacted in the current Diet session through June following deliberations in the upper house.


BOJ considering inflation forecast for FY 2026 of around 2%

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan is considering forecasting Japan's core inflation will be around 2 percent in fiscal 2026 in its new outlook report, aided by a positive cycle of pay and price hikes, sources familiar with its thinking said Friday.

The Japanese central bank is also studying revising upward its inflation outlook for fiscal 2024, which began this month, from the current 2.4 percent. The bank is expected to raise its forecast for fiscal 2025 from 1.8 percent to around 2.0 percent, the sources said.

Video: Cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Hirosaki Park, Aomori Prefecture