Photo taken on April 12, 2024, shows twin giant pandas Xiao Xiao (L) and Lei Lei at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens. They will live separately from each other from April 16 to prevent possible injury. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan PM conveys "future-oriented" messages in state visit to U.S.

RALEIGH, North Carolina - Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized Friday that he was able to convey "future-oriented" messages on relations with the United States during his state visit to the country, the first by the Asian nation's leader in nine years.

"I believe that I could send such messages through several opportunities, including the Japan-U.S. summit" to the American people and the world, Kishida, who is scheduled to leave the United States on Saturday, told reporters.


Man arrested over theft of 10 mil. yen gold tea bowl from Tokyo store

TOKYO - Tokyo police arrested Saturday a man suspected of stealing a pure gold tea bowl costing around 10 million yen ($65,000) from a major Tokyo department store earlier in the week.

Masaru Horie, 32, allegedly took the bowl at around 11:40 a.m. on Thursday at a special exhibition and sale event at the Takashimaya department store's Nihombashi branch in central Tokyo, police said.


North Korea's Kim, China's No. 3 leader vow deeper ties in anniv. year

BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Zhao Leji, ranked No. 3 in the ruling Chinese Communist Party's leadership, vowed to deepen bilateral ties in their meeting Saturday in Pyongyang, according to Chinese state-run media.

As this year marks the 75th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic relations, Kim said North Korea is willing to "deepen traditional friendship and write a new chapter" in bilateral relations, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.


Baseball: Shohei Ohtani ties home run record, reaches 1,000 career hits

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani tied the record for most home runs by a Japanese player in Major League Baseball and reached 1,000 career hits across Japan and the United States in an 8-7, 11-inning loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday.

His first-inning solo shot moved him alongside former New York Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui with 175 MLB home runs. He registered his 1,000th hit on a double to lead off the fifth at Dodger Stadium.


U.S. Steel shareholders overwhelmingly approve Nippon Steel takeover

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania - Nearly 100 percent of the United States Steel Corp. shareholders who cast votes on Friday regarding Nippon Steel Corp.'s proposed acquisition of the company approved the plan, despite opposition from unionized workers backed by President Joe Biden.

The U.S. steelmaker said, based on a preliminary count of ballots, that more than 98 percent of the votes at a special meeting of shareholders were in favor of its $14.1 billion merger deal with the major Japanese firm. The votes in favor of the transaction represented 71 percent of its outstanding shares.


Golden Week holidaymakers in Japan to reach 90% of pre-COVID level

TOKYO - The number of Japanese holidaymakers traveling at home and abroad in the upcoming Golden Week holiday period is expected to reach 23.32 million, recovering to over 90 percent of the pre-COVID level, a major travel agency said.

With this year's Golden Week to be the first since Japan downgraded the legal status of the coronavirus to the same category as seasonal influenza, the figure represents a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year, JTB Corp. said.


Ohtani's ex-interpreter released on bond after court appearance

LOS ANGELES - The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani was released on a $25,000 bond after his first court appearance Friday over the allegation that he stole more than $16 million from the baseball player to pay off his own gambling debts.

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, was temporarily detained by authorities after he turned himself in earlier in the day. A federal judge ordered him to undergo gambling addiction treatment and not to contact Ohtani.


Tennis: Japan sweeps Kazakhstan to reach Billie Jean King Cup finals

TOKYO - Nao Hibino completed Japan's 3-0 win over Kazakhstan in their Billie Jean King Cup tennis qualifier in dramatic fashion Saturday, clinching her country's place in the team event's finals.

Hibino outlasted Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) to give the Naomi Osaka-led Japan an insurmountable lead in the best-of-five indoor hardcourt tie at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum.

Video: Twin giant pandas at Ueno zoo