Kyodo News Digest: April 12, 2024

KYODO NEWS KYODO NEWS - Apr 12, 2024 - 23:00 | All, Japan, World

A Shinto ritual is held at a beach on Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on April 11, 2024, as the beach opens for swimming the same day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan's population falls for 13th straight year, pinned below 125 million

TOKYO - Japan's population fell by 595,000 from a year earlier to total 124,352,000 as of Oct. 1, marking the 13th consecutive year of decline, with household size also continuing to shrink, national data showed Friday.

The population of Japanese nationals fell by 837,000 to 121,193,000, marking the largest drop since comparable data became available in 1950, according to a demographic survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, despite government efforts to grapple with the country's declining birthrate and rapidly aging society.


Ohtani's former interpreter charged with over $16 million bank fraud

LOS ANGELES - The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani was charged Thursday with illegally transferring more than $16 million from one of the baseball player's bank accounts, the Justice Department said, describing Ohtani as the victim in the case.

It said Ippei Mizuhara, who faces a bank fraud charge, made the transfers from November 2021 to January 2024 "without the player's knowledge or permission" to pay off his gambling debts incurred with an illegal bookmaking operation.


U.S., Japan, Philippine leaders show united front against China

WASHINGTON - The leaders of the United States, Japan and the Philippines on Thursday agreed to advance their defense and economic cooperation, in a move aimed at pushing back against China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed "serious concerns" about China's "dangerous and aggressive" actions in the South China Sea in a statement released after the first-ever summit between leaders of the three countries, held in Washington.


Japan partners with European cooperation forum in support of Ukraine

BERLIN - Japan on Thursday became a partner nation of a multinational forum that brings together countries in eastern and central Europe, with Tokyo vowing to engage more deeply in the group's efforts to promote infrastructure development in the region and provide support to Ukraine.

Following a meeting held in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, leaders of the Three Seas Initiative -- comprising 13 European Union member states lying between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas -- welcomed Japan as the fourth "strategic partner" of the group after the United States, Germany and the European Commission, according to a joint statement.


China summons Japan official over "negative" stance at U.S. summits

BEIJING - China summoned a senior Japanese diplomat on Friday to lodge a complaint, claiming Tokyo displayed a "negative" stance toward Beijing during a Japan-U.S. summit and in trilateral talks involving the Philippines held in Washington, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Liu Jinsong, director-general of the ministry's Asian Affairs Department, made "solemn representations" and expressed "serious concern and strong dissatisfaction" regarding the two summits in a meeting with Akira Yokochi, chief minister at the Japanese Embassy in China, it said.


Leader of biggest LDP faction seeks review of funds scandal penalty

TOKYO - The de facto leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction filed a request Friday for a review of a recommendation that he leave the party over a political fundraising scandal.

Ryu Shionoya, who serves as chairman of the faction formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told reporters that the recommendation was based on "numerous factual errors," demanding a "fair judgement based on the facts."


Japan chipmaker Rapidus establishes Silicon Valley subsidiary

SANTA CLARA, California - Japanese chip venture Rapidus Corp. said Thursday it has established a subsidiary in Silicon Valley to expand its reach in the world-leading IT and semiconductor hub.

Rapidus Design Solutions LLC, located in Santa Clara, California, will be led by President and General Manager Henri Richard, an executive with decades of leadership experience in semiconductor sales and marketing built up while working with firms like Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and International Business Machines Corp.

Video: Swimming season begins at beach in Kagoshima Prefecture

Apr 12, 2024 | KYODO NEWS