A woman clad in a 12-layer traditional Japanese kimono, having been chosen to play this year's Saio-dai heroine during upcoming Aoi Festival in Kyoto, purifies herself at Shimogamo shrine in the western Japan city on May 4, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Intel partners with 14 Japanese firms to automate chipmaking process

TOKYO - Intel Corp.'s Japanese arm has formed a research body with 14 domestic firms to automate "back-end chipmaking processes" such as packaging as Japan and the United States step up efforts to strengthen chip supply chains.

Materials supplier Resonac Holdings Corp., one of the firms involved in the project, said Tuesday that the association was established on April 16, aiming to implement automation technologies by 2028.


Japan police arrest common-law husband of burned couple's daughter

TOKYO - Police have arrested the common-law husband of a woman whose parents' burned bodies were found in Tochigi Prefecture last month, they said Tuesday, suspecting he played a leading role in the crime.

The number of suspects in the case now totals six after the arrests of Seiha Sekine, a 32-year-old corporate executive who worked as a manager at the couple's restaurant management company, on Monday and another acquaintance of the couple on Tuesday.


DisneySea reveals new Fantasy Springs area to open in June

CHIBA, Japan - The new Fantasy Springs theme area at Tokyo DisneySea, drawing on films including "Frozen," was revealed to the media on Tuesday before its official opening in June.

The section, also based on "Peter Pan" and "Tangled," includes four rides within its approximately 140,000 square meters of land, according to operator Oriental Land Co.


Japan completes 5th round of Fukushima treated water discharge

TOKYO - The release of the fifth batch of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea concluded Tuesday, its operator said.

In the latest discharge, the first of fiscal 2024 from April, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. released around 7,800 tons of processed water, with a total of about 54,600 tons planned for release over the year.


BOJ on watch for impact of weak yen on inflation, policy: chief

TOKYO - Bank of Japan chief Kazuo Ueda said Tuesday after meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that the central bank will keep close tabs on the impact of the yen's recent sharp drop on inflation and its conduct of monetary policy.

Ueda reiterated that the weak yen has had no big impact on underlying inflation so far, but he expressed caution that currency moves could potentially affect the economy "to a great extent."


Nintendo to announce successor console to Switch by end of March 2025

OSAKA - Nintendo Co. will announce the successor to the hugely popular Switch game console by the end of March next year, its president said Tuesday.

President Shuntaro Furukawa's remarks at a press conference came amid speculation that the Japanese gaming company has been working on new hardware in response to slowing sales of the console, which first came out in 2017.


Australia PM raps China over release of flares in chopper's path

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday his government has expressed concerns to China over an incident where a Chinese fighter jet released flares in front of an Australian helicopter above international waters in the Yellow Sea, rapping the act as unsafe and "completely unacceptable."

A J-10 jet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force on Saturday intercepted an Australian navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on a routine flight during an international operation to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea, according to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles.


Japan saw over 16,000 deaths from COVID-19 in May-Nov. 2023

TOKYO - While life has gradually returned to normal almost a year since Japan downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk disease category, persistent waves of infections resulted in over 16,000 deaths between May and November last year, according to government data.

Health experts have stressed the need for a renewed understanding that lives are still being lost to the virus, even after the government reclassified COVID-19 as an infectious disease on par with the seasonal flu on May 8 last year, facilitating the normalization of social and economic activities.

Video: Japan's Golden Week holiday period wraps up