U.S. Air Force conducts a parachuting drill at its Kadena Air Base on Okinawa's main island in southern Japan, on April 19, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan eyes launch of new dialogue framework on int'l AI regulations

TOKYO, April 20 Kyodo - Japan is considering establishing a new framework for dialogue involving like-minded nations to discuss international regulations on the appropriate use of generative artificial intelligence technology, a government source said Saturday.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to reveal the plan to launch a "Friends" meeting on AI issues at a ministerial council meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development scheduled for May 2 to 3 in Paris, the source said.


Corrosion found in treated radioactive water tanks at Fukushima plant

TOKYO - Corrosion has been found on the inside of tanks used to store treated radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its operator has revealed.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said there are no problems with the strength of the tanks, but added that some of the more than 1,000 containers at the plant were installed over 10 years ago and have aged over time.


World's 1st recycled diapers go on sale at stores in southwest Japan

KUMAMOTO, Japan - A major Japanese hygiene products maker began selling the world's first "horizontally" recycled disposable diapers Saturday at shopping centers in the southwest of the country.

The diapers, manufactured by Unicharm Corp., were created under the concept known as "horizontal recycling," meaning used products are reproduced into their original item, and will eventually be sold in 68 stores by retailer Aeon Kyushu Co.


Gymnastics federation won't start giving Olympic prize money: chief

LONDON, April 20 Kyodo - The International Gymnastics Federation will not offer prize money to Olympic medalists now or in the future, its president Morinari Watanabe said Friday.

He voiced the stance in a phone interview with Kyodo News after athletics' world governing body earlier in April announced its plan to give $50,000 to gold winners in Paris this summer, making it the first international federation to award prize money at an Olympics.


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 mounting fears that following Israel's reported attack on Iran, the two countries could fall into a cycle of retaliation and counterretaliation.

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 following its missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend, both "now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives."


North Korea says it conducted cruise missile "super-large warhead" test

BEIJING - North Korea has conducted "a power test of a super-large warhead" for a cruise missile and a test launch of its new anti-aircraft missile in the Yellow Sea, Pyongyang's state-run media reported Saturday.

The country's Missile Administration said the test of a warhead for the Hwasal-1 Ra-3 strategic cruise missile and test-firing of the Pyoljji-1-2 new-type anti-aircraft missile were conducted Friday afternoon as "part of the regular activities" for the rapid development of technologies related to new-type weapon systems.


BOJ chief points to hiking interest rates if inflation keeps rising

WASHINGTON - Bank of Japan chief Kazuo Ueda said Friday the central bank will "very likely" raise interest rates if underlying inflation continues to increase, stressing future decisions will be data dependent.

After its first interest rate hike in 17 years at its previous policy meeting in March, Ueda acknowledged Japan's experience with zero interest rates over a long period means determining how high rates should go is a "challenge."


Basketball: Yuta Watanabe to quit NBA, play in Japan next season

NEW YORK - Memphis Grizzlies swingman Yuta Watanabe said Friday he will play in his native Japan next season.

The 29-year-old revealed the plan on Instagram Live after the Grizzlies missed the playoffs in his sixth NBA season, the longest stint for a Japanese player in the world's top league.


Supplement sales in Japan shrink 8% after red yeast rice pill scare

TOKYO - Sales in Japan of supplements claiming to have health benefits have fallen 7.7 percent from a year earlier after reports of hospitalizations linked to a red yeast rice dietary supplement, according to recent industry data.

Sales of supplements classed as food claiming functional benefits to the body dropped in the week from March 25 for the first time in 11 weeks to 870 million yen ($5.6 million) amid growing concerns about such products, Intage Inc. said.

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