A juvenile male leopard cat, an endangered species, looks around upon being released into the wild on a mountain in the southwestern Japan island of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, on April 22, 2024, after being treated at a protection center for injuries from a car accident and completing reintroduction training. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


LDP proposes forfeiting unreported political funds in reform plan

TOKYO - Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday compiled draft proposals on political funds reform in the wake of a recent slush money scandal, centering on forfeiting deliberately unreported income for submission to the national coffers.

The LDP, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also proposed obliging lawmakers to issue certificates when submitting their political funds reports and that neglecting to sufficiently check the documents could result in punishments, according to the reform plan.


Japan eyes cashless tax refunds to stem illicit resale by tourists

TOKYO - Japan is considering introducing cashless tax refunds for inbound travelers, as part of efforts to prevent them from illicitly earning money by reselling tax-free items before departure, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

Under the envisaged system, the government would have foreign travelers pay for products that include the consumption tax, which would be later refunded through a credit card or other cashless format, the sources said.


U.S. forces to join search for crashed Japan SDF choppers in Pacific

TOKYO - The U.S. military will join Japan's search and rescue efforts for seven missing Maritime Self-Defense Force members after two helicopters crashed in the Pacific over the weekend, Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said Tuesday.

The U.S. Navy will dispatch a P-8 patrol plane, Kihara told reporters, with the search areas off the Izu island chain, about 600 kilometers south of Tokyo, widening as time passes due to tides.


IAEA starts 2nd review of Fukushima water treatment process

TOKYO - An International Atomic Energy Agency task force on Tuesday began a review of the process in which treated radioactive water is discharged from the Fukushima nuclear plant, the second review since Japan started releasing the water into the ocean last August.

The task force will inspect the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan on Wednesday while the current release is underway, and hold discussions with the industry ministry, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and the Nuclear Regulation Authority during its mission through Friday.


Japan supermarket sales grow 3.7% in FY 2023, biggest rise in 32 yrs

TOKYO - Japan's supermarket sales in fiscal 2023 rose 3.7 percent from the previous year on a same-store basis, marking the largest rise since 1991, as price hikes for food and other goods propped up sales, an industry body said Tuesday.

Sales at 10,920 supermarkets operated by 54 companies totaled 13.73 trillion yen ($88.7 billion), with shoppers also buying more items as they became less frugal in March, according to the Japan Chain Stores Association.


 Economic security minister Takaichi visits war-linked Yasukuni shrine

TOKYO - Japan's economic security minister Sanae Takaichi on Tuesday visited the war-linked Yasukuni shrine, seen by some of Tokyo's Asian neighbors as a symbol of its past militarism, raising concerns about potential backlash from China and South Korea.

Takaichi, known for her hawkish views on national security issues, has routinely visited the Shinto shrine in Tokyo on various occasions, such as its biannual rites and the anniversary of Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.


Strong aftershocks rattle Taiwan but no casualties reported

TAIPEI - Strong aftershocks continued to rattle Taiwan on Tuesday after a deadly earthquake claimed the lives of 17 people in the island's eastern county of Hualien in early April, but there were no reports of casualties following the latest temblors.

The aftershocks in the early hours of Tuesday registered magnitudes of 6.0 and 6.3, respectively, leaving at least two multistory buildings that had been unoccupied in Hualien partially collapsed and tilted. Another quake registering a magnitude of 5.8 occurred in the morning.


Honda to build new EV plant in Canada as competition intensifies

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. is planning to build a new electric vehicle factory in Canada as part of efforts to strengthen its production capacity in North America amid intensifying competition, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

It will be Honda's second EV plant in North America, a major market for battery-driven cars, as the Japanese automaker is currently retooling its existing factory in Ohio in the United States so it can produce all-electric vehicles from 2025.

Video: Endangered leopard cat released on western Japan island