Eimei, one of three giant pandas at Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, flying to China, enjoys his bamboo meal on his final day for public viewing on Feb. 21, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Biden says democracies stronger 1 year into Russia’s war on Ukraine

WARSAW – U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that democracies around the world have become “stronger” after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago, while reaffirming Washington’s continued support for Kyiv with its allies.

A day after making a surprise visit to Kyiv, Biden repeatedly stressed the importance of democracy and freedom in remarks delivered from the gardens of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, declaring that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never.”


G-7 condemns Russia, vows to impose further economic costs

WASHINGTON – The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven on Tuesday condemned Russia’s continued attacks on Ukraine and pledged that their major democratic countries will take additional steps aimed at weakening Moscow’s ability to finance the war.

“We will impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities — inside and outside of Russia — that provide political or economic support to these violations of international law,” they said in a statement, released three days before the first anniversary of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.


Japan warns China against spy balloon intrusions in defense talks

TOKYO – Japanese defense officials warned their Chinese counterparts over further possible intrusions of Japan’s airspace by Chinese spy balloons and demanded that no such incidents happen again during their talks in Tokyo on Tuesday.

While tensions linger over suspected Chinese spy balloons spotted over Japan in recent years, the two sides pledged to continue working together for the planned launch of a hotline between defense authorities around the spring to avoid unexpected military incidents.


Japan’s Kinuko Ito, who placed 3rd at 1953 Miss Universe, dies at 90

TOKYO – Kinuko Ito, a Japanese former model and actress who won third place at the 1953 Miss Universe pageant and became synonymous with “Japanese beauty” in the early postwar period, has died, her family said. She was 90.

The Tokyo native, whose real name was Kinuko Matsumura, died of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital on Feb. 14.


Japan 2022 average condo price hits record high for 6th year in row

TOKYO – The average unit price of new condominiums across Japan hit a record high of 51.21 million yen ($382,000) in 2022, topping the previous record for the six straight year due to soaring costs of construction materials, a report by a research institute showed Tuesday.

The price, up 0.1 percent from the previous year, also reflects an upward trend fueled by the popularity of properties located near train stations, the Real Estate Economic Institute said.


Beloved giant panda Xiang Xiang departs Japan for China

TOKYO – Japanese-born giant panda Xiang Xiang arrived Tuesday in China from a Tokyo zoo after large crowds bid farewell to the 5-year-old bear who became hugely popular in Japan but was sent to her parents’ home country to start a search for a mate.

Xiang Xiang traveled to China’s Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport aboard a charter flight, accompanied by two zoo employees watching her closely.


ANA, JAL, 3 others picked to operate flying taxis for 2025 World Expo

TOKYO – ANA Holdings Inc., Japan Airlines Co. and three other companies have been selected to operate air taxi services during the 2025 World Exposition to be held in Osaka in western Japan, the event’s organizer said Tuesday.

Japan wants the “flying cars” to be one of the main attractions at the expo, with the next-generation mobility expected to provide access to the event venue to be set up on an artificial island in Osaka Bay.


Japan Post retiring cheap airmail stationery amid online shift

TOKYO – Japan Post Co. said Tuesday it will from the end of September cease sales of its aerogrammes and postcards that can be sent internationally for a low fixed price, amid falling usage as online communications become more prevalent.

For years, the company’s international aerogrammes and postcards have been enabling senders in Japan to convey messages to people abroad for just 90 yen ($0.70) and 70 yen, respectively.


Giant panda at western Japan zoo


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