Signs and decorations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, including the Olympic rings, are seen on the walls of the Hotel de Ville City Hall in Paris, France, on April 17, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan court orders compensation to 26 unrecognized Minamata victims

NIIGATA, Japan - A Japanese district court on Thursday ordered a chemical maker to pay 4 million yen ($26,000) each to 26 unrecognized sufferers of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease, while dismissing claims against the Japanese government.

The Niigata District Court recognized that 26 of the 47 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who were not eligible for relief payments under a special law that went into force in 2009, were victims of the disease.


Court orders ex-head of illegal manga site to pay 1.7 bil. yen

TOKYO - The Tokyo District Court ruled Thursday that the former operator of a now-defunct website allowing users access to pirated manga must pay a total of around 1.7 billion yen ($11 million) in damages to three major Japanese publishers.

The compensation over the website Manga-Mura is the largest ever levied in similar lawsuits, according to the plaintiffs -- Shogakukan Inc., Kadokawa Corp. and Shueisha Inc.


G7 top diplomats discuss Middle East conflict on 2nd day of talks

CAPRI, Italy - The Group of Seven foreign ministers began the second day of their talks in Italy on Thursday to discuss how to cooperate in de-escalating tensions in the Middle East following Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel.

The ministers will explore the possibility of imposing sanctions on organizations and individuals involved in the production of Iranian missiles and drones, according to Italian diplomatic sources.


Studio Ghibli to receive honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes

TOKYO - Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli will receive an honorary Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes International Film Festival in France in May, according to organizers.

Co-founded by internationally renowned anime director Hayao Miyazaki and known for its masterpieces such as "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Spirited Away," the Oscar-winning production company "has unleashed a fresh wind on animated film over the past four decades," the festival's organizers said in a statement Wednesday.


Nippon Steel says buyout ensures U.S. Steel to remain American icon

TOKYO - Nippon Steel Corp. and United States Steel Corp. stressed on Thursday that the U.S. steelmaker will remain "an iconic American company for generations to come" even after the planned acquisition by the Japanese firm.

The joint statement came after U.S. President Joe Biden vowed Wednesday that U.S. Steel will remain "totally American" in his latest show of support for unionized workers who oppose the deal.


G7 finance chiefs say excessive forex moves bad for global economy

WASHINGTON - Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven countries on Wednesday reaffirmed their view that excessive movements in foreign exchange rates can have adverse effects on economic stability.

A joint statement released after their meeting in Washington also said they will "ensure close coordination of any future measure to diminish Iran's ability to acquire, produce, or transfer weapons to support its destabilizing regional activities."


Badminton: Former world champ Kento Momota to retire from Japan nat'l team

TOKYO - Former badminton world champion Kento Momota announced Thursday he will retire from playing for the Japanese national team.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, the 29-year-old said he would represent Japan for the last time at the Thomas Cup international team competition starting later this month in Chengdu, China.


Ainu loses legal battle over right to catch salmon in northern Japan

SAPPORO - A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by a group of Ainu indigenous people in northern Japan to be recognized as exempt from a ban on commercial salmon fishing in a river, arguing they had inherited this right from their ancestors.

The Sapporo District Court handed down the ruling involving the Raporo Ainu Nation, which includes descendants of Ainu communities who began residing around the river in Urahoro, Hokkaido, centuries ago. This lawsuit marked the first instance where the Ainu people sought recognition of their indigenous rights from both the central and Hokkaido governments.

Video: Earthquake hits western Japan Prefecture