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Kyodo News Digest: Nov. 25, 2022

Japanese supporters clean up litter at Khalifa International Stadium after Japan defeated Germany in a World Cup Group E football match in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 23, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan PM Kishida eyes U.S. trip for talks with Biden in Jan.

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to visit the United States in January for talks with President Joe Biden, government sources said Thursday, with deepening the bilateral security alliance likely to top the agenda.

The trip is being arranged for Jan. 7-9, or sometime around then, in what would be his first visit to Washington since taking office in October last year, the sources said.


Ad giant Dentsu raided over bid rigging in Tokyo Olympic test events

TOKYO – Tokyo prosecutors and the country’s fair trade watchdog on Friday searched the head office of ad giant Dentsu Inc. and the home of a senior official at the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee over alleged bid rigging for the rights to organize test events for the 2020 games.

In the latest development in a series of scandals surrounding the massive sports event, held in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, searches were conducted on suspicion of unfair restraint of trade. They also covered Tokyo-based event production company Cerespo Co.


Tokyo consumer prices rise 3.6% in Nov., biggest gain in 4 decades

TOKYO – Consumer prices in Tokyo gained 3.6 percent in November from a year earlier, marking the steepest increase since 1982 amid higher energy and food prices that are increasingly squeezing household budgets, government data showed Friday.

The yen’s sharp depreciation has been inflating import costs for resource-poor Japan, with the core consumer price index excluding volatile fresh food items up for the 15th straight month, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.


Opposition leader Anwar sworn in as Malaysia’s PM

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as prime minister Thursday after the palace named the former deputy prime minister the country’s new leader following Saturday’s general election that resulted in a hung parliament.

Anwar’s multiethnic Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, is expected to form a government with the National Front coalition popularly known as BN, the former ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.


Japan gov’t domestic travel discount program to continue next year

TOKYO – The Japanese government will continue to implement its domestic tourism subsidy program through next year, tourism minister Tetsuo Saito said Friday, although the start date will depend on COVID-19 infection rates.

The National Travel Discount program, originally planned to last until Dec. 27, provides a financial subsidy of up to 11,000 yen ($79) a night per person for up to a total of seven days, but the subsidy will now be reduced to a maximum 7,000 yen per night from 2023.


Japan confirms oil from Sakhalin 2 project excluded from price cap

TOKYO – The Japanese government said Friday oil from the Sakhalin 2 energy project will be excluded from the price cap policy on Russian oil slated to be imposed in early December by an international coalition led by the United States.

The price cap coalition, including the Group of Seven industrialized nations and Australia, will limit the price of crude oil from Russia from Dec. 5 to deplete Moscow’s revenue for its war in Ukraine.


Soccer: Yokohama FC to hire recently retired Nakamura as coach

TOKYO – Newly promoted J-League first-division side Yokohama FC will appoint retired player Shunsuke Nakamura as a coach, the club said Friday.

The 44-year-old former Japan midfielder hung up his boots at the end of the J-League second-division season last month after Yokohama FC secured promotion back to the top flight with a second-place finish in the J2.


FEATURE: Japan Alps lodge owner turns to artists to protect environment

TOYAMA, Japan – The owner of a hikers’ lodge in the Northern Alps in central Japan has been offering up-and-coming artists extended free stays in the hope that the works they create there will help build conversations around the importance of preserving the region’s natural resources.

Jiro Ito, 41, says the only condition he imposes on artists staying at Kumonodaira Mountain Hut, located in a remote mountainous area stretching across Nagano, Gifu and Toyama prefectures, is that they agree to display their works at exhibitions he organizes and on other occasions.

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