Kyodo News Digest: May 9, 2024

A sailing ship carrying the torch for the Paris Olympics sails off the coast of Marseille in southern France on May 8, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan court OKs family name change for man in same-sex relationship

NAGOYA – A Japanese family court has allowed a man living with a same-sex partner to adopt the same family name as his partner, judging that the two are in a relationship similar to marriage, the man said Thursday.

The man in his 30s, who wished to be referred to by the pseudonym Akikazu Takami, said he was happy that the Nagoya Family Court in its March 14 ruling had dealt with the issue “sincerely.”


Japan’s real wages fall in March for record 24th month

TOKYO – Japan’s real wages in March decreased for the 24th consecutive month, the longest decline since comparable data became available in 1991, falling 2.5 percent from the same month a year earlier, government data showed Thursday.

Real wage growth, seen as crucial for Japan to completely emerge from its long fight against deflation, has lagged behind price hikes, eroding households’ purchasing power as prices for everyday goods have continued rising due to high raw material costs and a weak yen.


Figure skating: Olympic medalist, 2-time world champ Shoma Uno retires

TOKYO – Japan’s Shoma Uno, a two-time men’s figure skating Olympic medalist and back-to-back world champion, announced his retirement from competition via social media on Thursday.

A six-time Japanese national champion, Uno won the individual men’s silver at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and bronze in Beijing in 2022. He also won team silver with Japan in 2022.


Nissan FY 2023 net profit doubles on post-pandemic growth, weak yen

TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday its net profit for the year ended March almost doubled from a year earlier to 426.65 billion yen ($2.7 billion), as vehicle sales grew following the coronavirus pandemic and a weaker yen boosted its overseas profit.

Its sales for fiscal 2023 jumped 19.7 percent to a record 12.69 trillion yen while operating profit rose 50.8 percent to 568.72 billion yen, the Japanese automaker said.


Japan probing video of MSDF ship possibly taken by unauthorized drone

TOKYO – The Japanese Defense Ministry is examining a video that purports to show a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel in port, suspecting it may have been taken by an unauthorized drone, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The video, which was posted on a Chinese social media platform, stirred controversy earlier this year as it appears to provide a clear shot from above of the deck of the helicopter carrier Izumo.


Japan PM plans to attend Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland in June

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to attend an international leader-level meeting in Switzerland next month to explore measures to achieve peace in Ukraine, a government source said Thursday.

Kishida is expected to visit the Burgenstock resort, where the first “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” is scheduled to take place, after participating in the three-day Group of Seven summit slated to be held in Fasano, southern Italy, from June 13, the source added.


Panasonic posts record net profit helped by U.S. car battery subsidy

OSAKA – Panasonic Holdings Corp. posted Thursday a record net profit of 443.99 billion yen ($2.85 billion) for the business year ended March, jumping 67.2 percent from the previous year, helped by U.S. subsidies for battery production for electric vehicles.

The Osaka-based manufacturer said that its earnings received a boost from both the tax credits provided by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and one-time gains resulting from the sale of its LCD panel unit. The liquidation of Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display Co. led to a reduction in income taxes.


Kenyan Olympic marathon medalist referred to prosecutors over assault

TOKYO – Eric Wainaina, a Kenyan former marathon runner and a two-time Olympic medalist, was referred to prosecutors on Thursday for allegedly slapping a woman and station worker in Tokyo in March, police said.

The 50-year-old, who won a bronze in Atlanta in 1996 and a silver in Sydney in 2000, is suspected of attacking the woman, aged under 20, and the male member of staff in his 50s at Komazawa-daigaku Station around 10 p.m. on March 27 and leaving the man slightly injured, according to the police.

Video: Japan minister apologizes for interrupting Minamata victims’ remarks

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