The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
Japan envoy holds talks with Taliban officials in Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD - Japan's ambassador to Afghanistan held talks with senior Taliban officials in the capital Kabul on Tuesday and Wednesday, a deputy spokesman of the Taliban's interim government said.
It is the first time that talks between Ambassador Takashi Okada and Taliban officials in Kabul have come to light since the Taliban took control of the war-torn country in August ahead of the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of that month.
Shinsei Bank drops defense plan against SBI's hostile takeover
TOKYO - Shinsei Bank on Wednesday dropped its plan to launch a defense against a hostile takeover bid by SBI Holdings Inc., making it likely that the midsize Japanese lender will come under the wing of the major online financial group.
Skeptical of the expected synergies and merits, Shinsei had objected to SBI's unsolicited tender offer to raise its stake from around 20 percent to a maximum of 48 percent, offering 2,000 yen ($17) per share. The bank canceled an extraordinary shareholders' meeting planned for Thursday to seek approval for the defense plan.
U.S. invites Taiwan to virtual "Summit for Democracy" in Dec.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden has invited Taiwan, along with Japan and dozens of other countries, to a virtual meeting of the leaders of the world's democracies in December, the State Department website showed Tuesday.
But Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will not participate, apparently to avoid angering China, with the island's Foreign Ministry saying digital minister Audrey Tang and representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim will join it instead.
Japan to issue 22 tril. yen in new bonds to fund extra budget
TOKYO - Japan has decided to issue new government bonds worth 22.1 trillion yen ($192 billion) to fund an extra budget for the current fiscal year through next March that will help finance an economic stimulus package on the COVID-19 pandemic approved last week, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
The envisaged supplementary budget of 31.6 trillion yen, which is expected to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday, will be used mainly for coronavirus measures and also securing a stable supply of semiconductors, the sources said.
Japan, Vietnam leaders share "serious concerns" over S. China Sea
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday agreed to step up security cooperation between their countries while sharing "serious concerns" over aggressive moves in regional waters in a veiled reference to China's growing assertiveness.
A joint statement following their meeting in Tokyo said the two agreed on the importance of upholding an international order that is based on law, while affirming they will work together toward economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan to release hundreds of thousands of kl of reserve oil
TOKYO - Japan will release hundreds of thousands of kiloliters of crude oil from its emergency reserves, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to address rising prices in tandem with the United States and other major energy-consuming countries.
Hagiuda told reporters the timing of the release is still "under consideration," adding, "We will be in step with the United States and other nations concerned."
NASA launches test mission for defending Earth against asteroids
WASHINGTON - NASA launched a spacecraft early Wednesday to test technology to alter the course of an asteroid by slamming into it, the world's first full-scale mission of its kind to better prepare for defending Earth against hazardous space objects.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft is on a one-way trip to the Didymos asteroid system, aiming to intentionally collide with moonlet Dimorphos, which is approximately 160 meters in diameter, between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1 next year.
Myanmar to be absent from ASEM summit: sources
PHNOM PENH - Myanmar's military government has informed host country Cambodia that it will not participate in a two-day summit involving leaders of Asia and Europe to be held virtually from Thursday, ASEAN sources said Wednesday.
The sources said Myanmar was told it could only send a "nonpolitical representative" to take part in the Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations excluded junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing over the country's post-coup political turmoil.
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