A rehearsal for the Paris Olympic flame lighting ceremony is held in ancient Olympia, Greece, on April 15, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Kishida's leadership put to test as by-election campaigning begins

TOKYO - Official campaigning for three House of Representatives by-elections began in Japan on Tuesday, with the races to serve as crucial tests of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's leadership as he seeks to ride out a political funds scandal that has rocked his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Up for grabs in the votes on April 28 are seats in three electoral districts in Tokyo as well as in Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures, all of which were held by the LDP before becoming vacant.


Japan urges Iran, Israel to exercise restraint amid mounting tensions

TOKYO - Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Tuesday urged Iran and Israel to exercise restraint to prevent further escalation of tensions in the Middle East following Tehran's missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In separate phone talks with her Iranian and Israeli counterparts, Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Israel Katz, Kamikawa also said Tokyo is seriously concerned about Iran's attack and "strongly condemns such escalation," according to the ministry.


Japan watchdog to instruct Google to improve search ad practices

TOKYO - Japan's trade watchdog plans to instruct Google LLC to reform its business practices after finding that it may have imposed unfair restrictions in its search advertising agreement with Yahoo Japan, sources close to the case said Tuesday.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission believes the practices by the U.S. search giant could further undermine competition in the advertising market, the sources said. Yahoo Japan, now LY Corp., has said it had no choice but to accept Google's request because it receives ad distribution technology from Google.


Osaka Expo's self-built pavilions to drop to 40 from initial 60

OSAKA - Around 40 countries are set to build their own pavilions at the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka next year, down from the initially planned 60, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said Tuesday.

"Looking at various circumstances, (the number in the end) will be around 40," Yoshimura told reporters, as inflated materials and labor costs have affected the construction plans of countries participating in the global event from April 13 through Oct. 13 next year on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay.


Japan vows to promote strategic, mutually beneficial ties with China

TOKYO - Japan pledged to pursue strategic and mutually beneficial relations with China in its annual foreign policy report released Tuesday, even as the two countries remain at odds over various issues, while recognizing the importance of dialogue.

The 2024 Diplomatic Bluebook said Japan will promote a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" with China, using the wording last seen in the 2019 report, although the neighboring country poses "an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge."


2 burnt bodies found on riverside north of Tokyo

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan - The burnt bodies of two people were found Tuesday on a riverside north of Tokyo and police are investigating the case as suspected incident of corpse abandonment.

The identities and genders of the bodies discovered in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, are not yet known, the local police said.


Kioxia aims to list this year at earliest amid chip demand recovery

TOKYO - Japanese chipmaker Kioxia Holdings Corp. is aiming to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, possibly as soon as this year, to raise funds for ramping up production in the wake of a recovery in demand for memory chips, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Bain Capital, Kioxia's major shareholder, notified the chip firm's lenders of the initial public offering plan on Monday, according to the sources. The memory chipmaker planned to go public in 2020 but called it off due to a downturn in the semiconductor market.


China's Xi warns against protectionism in talks with German leader

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping, in talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing on Tuesday, emphasized the "huge potential" for win-win cooperation between the world's second- and third-largest economies and urged vigilance against the rise of protectionism, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The Chinese leader stressed the importance of adopting "an objective and dialectical view on the issue of capacity through a market and global perspective," the ministry said, referring to Western nations' concerns over Beijing's overproduction of items, including electric vehicles.

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