Kyodo News Digest: September 30, 2022

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Two-time Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu (front row, C) poses for a photo during a celebratory event held in Tokyo exactly 50 years to the day since the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations on September 29, 2022. ( Kyodo ) == Kyōdo

Here is the latest list of news digests selected by Kyodo News.

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South Korea, the United States and Japan hold anti-submarine exercises in the face of the North Korean threat

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea, the United States and Japan held anti-submarine drills in international waters off the Sea of ​​Japan on Friday for the first time in five years, amid concerns aroused by the potential threat posed by North Korean submarine ballistic missiles.

The one-day trilateral drills came amid heightened concerns following North Korea’s ballistic missile launches into the Sea of ​​Japan last Sunday and again on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Putin signs decrees recognizing the independence of 2 Ukrainian regions

TOKYO — Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed decrees recognizing the independence of two southern Ukrainian regions, partly controlled by Russia, in a move seen as an escalation of Moscow’s seven-month war on Ukraine.

With the decrees on Zaporizhzhia and Kherson taking effect immediately on Thursday local time, Putin is preparing to sign a treaty later Friday that would formally annex them along with two occupied regions in eastern Ukraine.

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US imposes sanctions on China-based companies for Iranian oil sales

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on companies based in China and elsewhere for their alleged involvement in sales of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.

The move came as Tehran continues to ramp up its nuclear activities in violation of a 2015 multilateral accord, under which Iran agreed with the United States and five other major powers to limit its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

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Figure Skating: Yuzuru Hanyu will perform an ice show in November and December.

TOKYO — Yuzuru Hanyu’s first ice show will take place in Japan in November and December, the two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist announced Friday.

The show he is producing and performing in, titled “Prologue,” is scheduled for November 4-5 in Yokohama and December 2-3 in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture.

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US, Pacific Islands agree to strengthen ties as China’s influence grows

WASHINGTON — The United States and Pacific island nations agreed to strengthen their partnership at a summit meeting that ended Thursday, with Washington pledging $810 million in support to the region as it seeks to fend off China’s growing influence there.

The US administration of President Joe Biden also unveiled its first-ever national strategy dedicated to the Pacific Islands which warned that China’s “economic pressure and coercion” could potentially undermine peace and security in the region.

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The defense chiefs of Japan, the United States and Australia will meet in Hawaii on Saturday.

TOKYO — Defense ministers from Japan, the United States and Australia are due to hold a trilateral meeting in Hawaii on Saturday, with the countries keeping a close eye on China’s growing maritime assertiveness in the region.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told a press conference on Friday that he was to meet his American and Australian counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Richard Marles. Hamada is expected to return to Japan from Hawaii on Sunday.

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Japanese court rejects long-stay visa for American gay man married to Japanese woman

TOKYO — A Japanese court on Friday upheld the denial of a long-term stay visa to an American who had married his same-sex Japanese partner in the United States.

The Tokyo District Court also dismissed damages of 1.1 million yen ($76,000) sought by US national Andrew High and his Japanese partner Kohei, who claimed the visa denial infringed on their freedom to live with family. The Japanese has requested that his surname not be disclosed.

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Pro-Russian hacker group stops cyberattacks on Japan over money issues

TOKYO — A pro-Russian hacker group that launched cyberattacks on Japan in early September has halted the operation due to financial difficulties, the group said on Friday.

Killnet claimed responsibility for attacking the websites of Japanese ministries, Tokyo Metro Co., Osaka Metro Co. and other Japanese companies, rendering them temporarily inaccessible.

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