Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada throws the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 31, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


2 LDP heavyweights to be advised to leave party over funds scandal

TOKYO - The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is to advise two heavyweights of its biggest faction to leave the ruling party due to their roles in a political funds scandal that has rocked the party since late last year and plans to expel them if they do not comply, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The LDP, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is set to formally decide on the punishment of 39 members in total on Thursday, as some of its factions were found to have neglected to report portions of fundraising party revenue for years, with hundreds of millions of yen reimbursed to members.


Japan to resume funding for U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA

TOKYO - Japan will resume providing funding for a U.N. agency to support Palestinian refugees, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Tuesday, after suspending it in January following allegations of agency staff involvement in last year's attack on Israel by the militant group Hamas.

A contribution of some $35 million that had been scheduled in fiscal 2023 ended March for the U.N Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, will be delivered soon, Kamikawa told reporters in Tokyo.


North Korea fires ballistic missile, lands outside Japan's EEZ

TOKYO - North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, with the projectile falling into waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

The missile was fired in a northeasterly direction from North Korea's west coast at 6:52 a.m., flying over 650 kilometers at a maximum altitude of about 100 km, according to the ministry. There were no reports of damage to aircraft or vessels.


Japan, U.S. eye framework to help firms investing in decarbonization

TOKYO - Japan and the United States are considering jointly supporting firms investing in decarbonization projects via a new framework that would give them subsidies and tax breaks, government sources said Tuesday.

Projects related to electric vehicles, as well as hydrogen, viewed as a cleaner energy source, will likely be among the initiatives to be targeted by both nations, which place importance on green growth, they said.


Japan to give 590 bil. yen more in funds to Rapidus in chip push

TOKYO - Japan's industry minister said Tuesday it will provide up to 590 billion yen ($3.9 billion) to Rapidus Corp. in additional subsidies as the country ramps up efforts to strengthen its domestic semiconductor supply chain.

Combined with the 330 billion yen already earmarked by the ministry, the amount of government finance going into the Japanese chip venture will total almost 1 trillion yen.


Tokyo police confirm 2018 death of North Korea abduction suspect

TOKYO - Tokyo police said Tuesday they have confirmed that a suspect in North Korea's 1980 abduction of Japanese national Tadaaki Hara died in 2018, the first death among 11 alleged abductors of Japanese citizens put on an international wanted list.

The Metropolitan Police Department's Public Security Bureau said they have confirmed Kim Kil Uk, a former principal of a North Korean school in Japan, died on March 13, 2018, in South Korea at age 90. They did not disclose the cause of his death.


Japan, U.S., Australia, Philippines to hold drill in South China Sea

MANILA - Japan, the United States, Australia and the Philippines are set to hold a joint naval exercise on Sunday off the Southeast Asian country's Palawan Island in the South China Sea, multiple government sources said Tuesday, amid China's continuing aggressive actions.

It would be the first full-scale exercise involving the four countries, the sources said. The exercise will include anti-submarine warfare training, communication drills and sailing of ships in formation.


Shizuoka governor to resign after gaffe insulting vegetable sellers

SHIZUOKA, Japan - The governor of Shizuoka Prefecture said Tuesday he will resign amid backlash over a gaffe saying civil servants being inducted into the prefectural government were intelligent people, "unlike those who sell vegetables."

Gov. Heita Kawakatsu told reporters he intends "to step down following the June prefectural assembly" after making the remarks during a roughly 20-minute address to the new employees the previous day.

Video: Shohei Ohtani sends video message to new Japan Airlines employees