Daily News Portal

Kyodo News Digest: Feb. 2, 2023

People gather in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo to protest against Myanmar’s military rule on Feb. 1, 2023, the second anniversary of the coup that ousted Myanmar’s democratically elected government. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


U.S. Fed slows pace of rate hikes with 0.25 point increase

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved another hike in its benchmark interest rate, but at a slower pace of 0.25 percentage point, with the suggestion that “ongoing increases” will be needed to battle persistent inflation.

The decision lifts the federal funds rate, which banks charge each other for overnight borrowing, to a new target range of 4.50 to 4.75 percent.


Myanmar extends state of emergency as nation marks 2 years since coup

YANGON – Myanmar’s ruling military extended a state of emergency imposed on the country for another six months Wednesday, signaling it has no desire to end its prolonged rule as the country marked two years since a coup ousted its democratically elected government.

The announcement comes as the military continues to face resistance from those calling for the return of democracy in a brutal civil conflict that has seen thousands killed.


South Korean temple loses Buddha statue ownership case to Japan

DAEJEON, South Korea – A South Korean appeals court ruled Wednesday that a Buddha statue stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012 belongs to the temple, overturning a lower court ruling that had acknowledged a South Korean temple’s ownership of it.

The Daejeon High Court, however, left the issue of returning the 14th-century statue to the Japanese temple to the South Korean government, which is currently in possession of it, calling for Seoul to take international norms into account.


China puts into operation expanded coast guard fleet of 150 vessels

ZHOUSHAN, China – The China Coast Guard has put into operation its expanded fleet of around 150 vessels, with the refitting of around 20 vessels transferred from the country’s navy almost completed, according to sources familiar with the matter.

With each ship weighing at least 1,000 gross tons, the Chinese coast guard now has more than twice the 70 large patrol vessels possessed by the Japan Coast Guard.


30-month sentence sought for ex-chairman in Olympic bribery trial

TOKYO – Prosecutors on Wednesday sought a 30-month sentence for the former chairman of a major suit retailer, who, along with two others, is charged with giving 28 million yen ($215,000) in bribes to a former Tokyo Olympics organizing committee executive to land a sponsorship deal.

Hironori Aoki, the 84-year-old former chairman of Aoki Holdings Inc., “used the Tokyo Olympics for self-interest and trampled the public value of the tournament,” prosecutors said in a trial at the Tokyo District Court.


Football: Japan’s oldest pro footballer Kaz Miura to play in Portugal

TOKYO – Fifty-five-year-old Kazuyoshi “King Kazu” Miura will play in Portuguese football’s second division for Oliveirense on a loan deal from J-League first-division side Yokohama FC, the teams announced jointly Wednesday.

“I’m going to make an effort so that people will be able see me playing my kind of football, even in new surroundings,” Miura said in a statement.


Japan, NATO vow to continue sanctions on Russia, ahead of G-7 summit

TOKYO – Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged Wednesday to continue imposing punitive sanctions on Russia over its war in Ukraine, around three months before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit.

During their meeting in Tokyo, Hayashi and Stoltenberg also exchanged views on the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, while agreeing on closer collaboration between Japan and the U.S.-led, trans-Atlantic alliance, according to the Foreign Ministry.


Baseball: NPB to cover MLB players’ insurance in WBC camp

TOKYO – Nippon Professional Baseball will pay the necessary expenses to have Shohei Ohtani and the four other MLB players on Samurai Japan’s roster attend its World Baseball Classic training camp in February, a source with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

Players joining the Japan team ahead of its first official WBC warm-up game on March 6, will need to be insured against injury, but NPB’s 12 teams are prepared for that expense. Japan’s training camp starts Feb. 17 in Miyazaki Prefecture in western Japan.


Video: Bridgestone unveils newly developed Soft Robot Hand

Read More:Kyodo News Digest: Feb. 2, 2023