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Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 26, 2023

Basketball fans enter Okinawa Arena in Okinawa, southern Japan, on Aug. 25, 2023, as FIBA World Cup co-host Japan tips off against Group E opponent Germany the same day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Basketball: Germany shoots down Japan in World Cup opener

OKINAWA, Japan – Germany proved far too strong for Japan in their opening FIBA Basketball World Cup Group E clash Friday, outgunning the tournament co-host 81-63 on the back of a 25-point, nine-rebound performance from Orlando Magic big man Moritz Wagner.

Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder scored 14 and Indiana Pacers center Daniel Theis notched 13 for the 2022 EuroBasket bronze medalist, which led at every change at Okinawa Arena.


China bans operators from processing seafood originating in Japan

BEIJING – China on Friday banned food production operators from purchasing or using seafood originating in Japan to process it for sale, a day after suspending all marine product imports from the neighboring country.

The fresh measure was announced in response to Japan’s release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea that started Thursday. China vehemently opposes the ocean discharge.


Japan, U.S., Australia, Philippines conduct joint naval drills

TOKYO – Japan, the United States, Australia and the Philippines have held joint naval drills in the South China Sea, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Friday, amid China’s continuous attempts to obstruct Manila’s supply activities at military footholds in the water.

The four countries’ training on Thursday comes after a Chinese coast guard vessel shot a water cannon at a Philippine military-chartered boat near the Manila-controlled Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea early this month.


Japan’s 1st new tram in 75 years starts operating north of Tokyo

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan – Japan’s first new tram system in 75 years began operating north of Tokyo on Saturday, with features designed to make it easy to access for the elderly and wheelchair users as Japan’s society grays.

The so-called next-generation tram system in Tochigi Prefecture runs between the east side of JR Utsunomiya Station and the nearby town of Haga, covering the 14.6-kilometer route in 48 minutes.


FOCUS: Osaka frets over World Expo failure amid slow pavilion construction

TOKYO – Concerns are growing among the organizers of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka that the event may flop due to the slower-than-anticipated construction of pavilions by overseas participants.

The event, to be held from April 13 to Oct. 13 in 2025 on the man-made Yumeshima island in Osaka Bay, western Japan, is set to showcase technological and cultural exhibitions from around 150 countries and is expected to attract 28.2 million visitors. Its economic impact is estimated to reach about 2 trillion yen ($14 billion).


N. Korea tells UNSC meeting its satellite launch caused “no harm”

NEW YORK – North Korea defended its latest launch of a satellite-carrying rocket in a U.N. Security Council session Friday, saying the country had exercised its sovereign right and caused “no harm” to the security of its neighbors.

Kim Song, the North Korean ambassador to the world body, told the session that Pyongyang “will never” be bound by past Security Council resolutions that ban the country from using ballistic missile-related technologies and have resulted in sanctions imposed against it.


Prosecutors question Japan lawmaker over wind farm bribery case

TOKYO – Tokyo prosecutors have questioned lower house member Masatoshi Akimoto on a voluntary basis over allegations that he received tens of millions of yen from a wind power company, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad is expected to decide whether to build a bribery case against the former ruling Liberal Democratic Party member, known as an advocate of renewable energy.


Maui priest grateful for photograph of burned temple’s last moments

KAHULUI, Hawaii – A Buddhist priest from Japan based in Lahaina on Hawaii’s Maui island cherishes a photograph of his place of worship before it was engulfed in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

Ai Hironaka, 46, resident minister at the Lahaina Hongwanji temple, now lives as an evacuee with his family at a friend’s house in the island’s northern region of Kahului.


Video: New hovercraft in Oita

Read More:Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 26, 2023