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Kyodo News Digest: March 18, 2023

Shohei Ohtani (C) and other members of Japan’s World Baseball Classic team arrive at Miami International Airport in Florida on March 17, 2023, ahead of their WBC semifinal game. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


International court issues arrest warrant for Putin over Ukraine war crime

BRUSSELS – The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war crime of allegedly overseeing the forcible deportation of Ukrainian children during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The move prompted a strong reaction from the Kremlin, with Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov calling it “outrageous” and “unacceptable,” according to Russian news agency Interfax.


China’s Xi to pay 3-day state visit to Russia from March 20

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a three-day state visit to Russia from Monday at the invitation of his counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday, his first trip to the country since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the Ukraine crisis, as well as ways to boost bilateral ties. In February, China sought a comprehensive cease-fire in Ukraine in a position paper issued on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country.


Tokyo gov’t ordered to pay damages for death of arrested Nepalese man

A Japanese court on Friday ordered the Tokyo metropolitan government to pay damages of around 1 million yen ($7,500) over the 2017 death of a Nepalese man who was forcibly restrained while in police custody.

The Tokyo District Court determined that the authorities’ failure to provide Arjun Bahadur Singh with proper treatment was illegal and that his death was caused by him being inappropriately fitted with restraining devices at a police station in the capital’s Shinjuku Ward.


Japan egg prices soar amid record 16 million bird flu cullings

TOKYO – Egg prices are soaring in Japan as the current avian flu season sees a record 16 million birds marked for culling, impacting both the restaurant sector and households already struggling with inflation.

Egg-laying hens make up more than 90 percent of birds in the process of being culled, according to the agriculture ministry, limiting the supply of eggs and pushing prices higher.


U.N. chief condemns North Korea’s latest ICBM test-launch

NEW YORK – U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday condemned North Korea’s recent test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile in violation of resolutions adopted by the world body’s Security Council.

A statement from his spokesman said that Guterres urges North Korea to “immediately desist” from such destabilizing actions and “fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions.”


German minister to visit Taiwan next week for 1st time in 26 years

BERLIN – Germany said Friday its minister of education and research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, will visit Taiwan next week, in what German media say would be the first such visit by a Cabinet minister in 26 years.

Stark-Watzinger’s trip is certain to upset China, which views the democratically governed island as part of its territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary.


Prosecutors indict 3 ex-SDF members in reopened sexual assault probe

FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Fukushima prosecutors on Friday indicted, without arrest, three former members of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force on suspicion of indecent assault in a reopened investigation into the sexual harassment of a female ex-colleague.

Prosecutors re-examined the sexual harassment of Rina Gonoi, 23, that occurred while she was serving in a unit at Camp Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture, after a September 2022 inquest challenged their decision not to prosecute three suspects in connection with the case.


Wheelchair tennis great Shingo Kunieda given People’s Honor Award

TOKYO – Shingo Kunieda, widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of wheelchair tennis, received the People’s Honor Award from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday.

“This is a testament to the greater recognition the Paralympics now has,” the 39-year-old Kunieda said as he attended the presentation ceremony at the premier’s office with his wife Ai, and his mother, Tamano. “I would really appreciate it if this helped to create a more hospitable environment for the sport.”


Video: Ukrainian students mark end of academic year in southwestern Japan


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