The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – A series of strong earthquakes jolted Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday, the weather agency said, issuing no tsunami warning.
Local police said they have received no immediate reports of major damage. The Japan Meteorological Agency asked people in the affected areas to be alert for about the next week over the possibility of a strong aftershock.
TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday, giving key posts to familiar faces with proven records, in a bid to reverse flagging public support and steer clear of dubious ties with a religious group spotlighted by the killing of former premier Shinzo Abe.
Kishida hopes the renewal will pave the way for a long-term, stable administration to tackle what he termed “the biggest challenges of the postwar era,” citing resurging COVID-19, the Ukraine crisis and its economic fallout like inflation, and rising U.S.-China tensions over Taiwan.
Pelosi raps China over bid to use Taiwan trip to create “new normal”
WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday criticized China for using her recent visit to Taiwan to intensify pressure on the self-ruled island, saying Beijing seems to be seeking to create a “new normal” in the region.
Having led a congressional delegation to Asia in a trip that made her the first U.S. House Speaker in 25 years to visit Taiwan, Pelosi said she was “proud” that she made the visit and emphasized, “We will not allow China to isolate Taiwan.”
TOKYO – At least five members of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s new Cabinet were revealed Wednesday to have had relations with the Unification Church, despite a reshuffling that was aimed at purging links to the controversial religious group amid plummeting public support.
The revelations, made by the Cabinet members to the press, came as the revamp replaced seven ministers found to have had links with the church, including former defense minister Nobuo Kishi, the younger brother of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot last month.
TOKYO – New Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Wednesday aired “strong concern” over China’s recent military drills near Taiwan in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled democratic island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.
“Combined with a lack of transparency of its national defense policies and military forces, recent military activities by China have become a strong concern for our nation, the region and the international community,” Hamada told a press conference after he assumed his post in a Cabinet reshuffle earlier in the day.
TOKYO – Japan’s daily coronavirus tally soared to a record 250,403 cases on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s new Cabinet faces the challenge of tackling the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid renewed concerns over a strain on the medical system.
“We will move into a new phase toward” a life with COVID-19 without delay, Kishida said at a press conference after the new lineup for his Cabinet was announced the same day.
Honda lifts FY 2022 operating profit outlook on weak yen, price hikes
TOKYO – Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday it has raised its full-year operating profit forecast to 830 billion yen ($6.2 billion) from the previously projected 810 billion yen, helped by the weaker yen and price hikes in overseas markets in response to global inflation.
The Japanese automaker also revised upward its sales outlook for the current business year through March to 16.75 trillion yen from 16.25 trillion yen. But its net profit estimate was unchanged at 710 billion yen due to an impairment loss and a higher tax burden.
Tokyo court rejects request to halt state funeral for ex-PM Abe
TOKYO – A Tokyo court has dismissed a request filed by a group of 50 people, including civic group members, to issue an injunction ordering a stop to a state funeral for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In a decision dated Aug. 2, the Tokyo District Court ruled that the use of public funds for the planned funeral did not violate Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of thought. The group has appealed.
TOKYO – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida selected just two women for a total of 19 ministerial positions in a Cabinet reshuffle Wednesday, highlighting Japan’s slow progress in fulfilling gender parity.
Sanae Takaichi, 61, was named minister for economic security, and Keiko Nagaoka, 68, secured her first Cabinet post as minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology.
Read More: Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 11, 2022