Kyodo News Digest: Dec. 25, 2022

A volunteer dressed as Santa Claus delivers gifts to children in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan on December 24, 2022. (Kyodo)

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


Figure Skating: Uno wins 5th national title, earns spot at worlds

KADOMA, Japan — Shoma Uno crashed a quad flip in an otherwise clean free skate on Sunday en route to her fifth career national figure skating title and first in three years.

Uno scored 191.28 points for a total of 291.73 in the free skate, nearly 40 points ahead of second-place finisher Koshiro Shimada, on the final day of the national championships at the Towa Pharmaceutical RACTAB Dome in Osaka Prefecture.


China urges Japan to focus on bilateral relations from a strategic perspective

BEIJING – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday called on Japan to “guide the course of bilateral relations from a strategic perspective” after the leaders of the two countries agreed last month to promote stability and growth in relations.

Wang said in an online speech at a Beijing symposium that it was important for the two Asian neighbors to “avoid going back and forth, be far-sighted and look forward” in their relations after marking the 50th anniversary of normalization. bilateral relations in September.


Japanese medical bodies aim to develop drugs tailored for rare diseases

TOKYO – Two medical institutions in Japan plan to develop customized drugs for patients with genetic disorders in an effort to find treatment for rare diseases, a senior member of the project said Sunday.

The project, which involves Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the National Center for Neurology and Psychiatry, will search for rare diseases that have the potential to be treated with nucleic acid drugs, a new emerging class of therapeutics, from a database of about 2,250 patients.


Soccer: Hajime Moriyasu to continue as Japan coach after World Cup run

TOKYO – Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu, who led the Samurai Blue to the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, will retain his position, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The decision will be made at a Japan Football Association board meeting and will be the first time a Japanese coach will continue after the World Cup.



There have been an estimated 1 million daily cases of COVID-19 in China amid the surge in the virus

BEIJING – Daily new COVID-19 infections in China are believed to have reached hundreds of millions, according to figures released by regional authorities, amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus since the government significantly relaxed strict anti-virus measures earlier this month.

East China’s Zhejiang province said on Sunday that the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the area had surpassed one million and the figure is expected to double by the turn of the year.


Switzerland seeks broad Security Council discussions on North Korea issues

NEW YORK – Switzerland’s top envoy to the United Nations has pledged to work with North Korea and Russia on contentious issues related to its invasion of Ukraine, as his country becomes a new member of the Security Council starting next month.

Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl said in a recent interview with Kyodo News that Bern’s first participation in the council will not undermine its status as a neutral country, but will help coordinate lively discussions on upcoming issues.


FOCUS: Russia’s war overpowers opposition to Japan’s nuclear policy shift

TOKYO – Japan has made a major shift in its nuclear power policy amid concerns about a stable electricity supply as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted commodity markets and driven up energy prices.

After the 2011 nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan prompted the government to reduce reliance on nuclear power, lawmakers and officials decided not to build new reactors because of public safety concerns and falling costs of renewable energy.


Figure Skating: Kaori Sakamoto wins 2nd consecutive national title

KADOMA, Japan – Reigning world champion Kaori Sakamoto won the women’s title at Japan’s national figure skating championships for the second straight year and third time overall on Saturday.

Sakamoto performed a nearly flawless free skate to score 155.26 points for a total of 233.05 at the Towa Pharmaceutical RACTAB Dome in Osaka Prefecture. He was a bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics in both the short and free programs.


3 are found dead in a suspected murder in Saitama

SAITAMA, Japan – Three people were found dead with serious injuries in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture on Sunday as police investigated the case as a homicide.

The police received several calls around 7:10 a.m. reporting that they were arguing at a house. There was also an emergency call around 7:25 a.m. reporting a fire in the same place.

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