March 31, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. A New York grand jury has indicted former US President Donald Trump, making him the first former president to face criminal charges. The charges remained under seal on Thursday, but the investigation centered on Trump’s alleged hush-money payments to a porn star who claims she had an affair with him. 2. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed the need to focus on “de-risking” relations with China, rather than decoupling from the Asian nation. In a speech in Brussels on Thursday, von der Leyen noted that China is strengthening its ties with Russia as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine.
3. Leaders in Finland and Sweden saw Russian troops roll into Ukraine and decided to end decades of neutrality. They promised the countries would join NATO together. Now, the Finns are set to join the alliance on their own. All 30 NATO nations have to approve any new members. However, leaders in Turkey raised objections. They argued both countries were soft on terrorism. They held months of talks, then cleared the way for Finland. On Thursday, Turkish lawmakers added their approval.

March 30, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen started a tour of two Central American countries on Wednesday. The trip includes two transit stops in the United States, where she will likely meet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai is due to visit Guatemala and Belize via New York. The two Central American nations have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Before returning home on April 7, she will stop in Los Angeles. 2. Mount Fuji has not erupted in more than 300 years, but Japan has a new strategy in case an eruption is imminent. A major blowup could prove catastrophic for neighboring communities and also paralyze daily life in Tokyo and beyond. The evacuation plan was unveiled on Wednesday. It was developed by three prefectures along with the central government.
3. The 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Tans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, including Japan, are expected to reach broad agreement with the United Kingdom on its membership. The CPTTP took effect in 2018. The UK will be the first country to be approved other than the original 11 members, which include Australia, Canada and countries of the Asia-Pacific.

March 29, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Koga Hajime

1. Myanmar’s military-appointed election commission has announced that the political party led by Aung San Suu Kyi will be dissolved as of Wednesday. The military, which seized power in a coup in 2021, enacted a new law on the registration of political parties in January. 2. A US senior official says Washington has decided to stop providing Russia with information on strategic nuclear weapons, citing Moscow’s failure to comply with the New START nuclear arms control treaty. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby noted that the pact is important not only for the two countries but for the world. He said that the US would prefer to be able to share information again, but Russia must show the same willingness.
3. Japan and the United States have signed an agreement to support EVs that run on batteries produced in Japan. The deal aims to strengthen supply chains for key minerals used in EV batteries. The two countries announced the deal on Tuesday. The minerals covered in the pact include lithium, nickel and cobalt.

March 28, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Koga Hajime

1. US investigators say a fatal school shooting in the southern state of Tennessee that claimed the lives of six people was premeditated. A 28-year-old local resident opened fire Monday morning at an elementary school in Nashville, killing three children and three adults before being shot dead by police.
2. North Korea has unveiled what appear to be tactical nuclear warheads as leader Kim Jong Un called for scaling up the production of weapons-grade nuclear material.
3. Ukraine is taking deliveries of battle tanks from its Western partners, as the country prepares to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on social media on Monday that the country’s armed forces have received Challenger 2 tanks from Britain and other armored vehicles from the US and Germany.

March 27, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. China’s Foreign Ministry says a Japanese man detained in the country is suspected of engaging in espionage activities. Major Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma has confirmed that one of its employees in his 50s was detained in Beijing on suspicion of violating Chinese law.
2. Myanmar’s junta chief has overseen a massive military parade and stressed his soldiers will continue to confront pro-democracy forces head-on. Top general Min Aung Hlaing called the pro-democracy groups “terrorists.” He said their attacks are a conspiracy to devastate the country, and the military will resolutely oppose them.
3. Ukraine and Western nations are slamming Russia’s plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that a storage facility for such weapons is scheduled to be constructed in Belarus by July 1. The Ukrainian foreign ministry condemned Putin’s plan on Sunday, calling it another provocative step by his administration.

March 24, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to further solidify the country’s three-way security cooperation with Japan and the United States in the face of North Korea’s repeated military provocations.
2. Several hundred thousand people have marched in Paris to protest pension system reforms by the administration of President Emmanuel Macron. The French government is promoting the reforms that include raising the pension age from the current 62 years to 64. Last week, the government forced a reform bill through parliament without a vote by taking advantage of a constitutional article.
3. Miura Riku and Kihara Ryuichi have claimed gold in the pairs figure skating at the World Championships in Japan. The pair, known as “Riku-Ryu,” performed last after topping the short program the day before. They started with a twist lift and three consecutive jumps. They earned the highest “level four” for the execution of the lift. They accurately performed their spins and lifts, and skated to the end with elegant and synchronized moves as the crowd cheered them on.

March 23, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio returned to Tokyo on Thursday morning after visiting Ukraine and other countries. Kishida said his visit made him painfully aware that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an outrage threatening the international order. Kishida said seeing the places where people have suffered aggression with his own eyes,and listening to the personal accounts of their horrific experiences, made him keenly aware of the recklessness of Russia’s actions.
2. The new school year began this week in Afghanistan, but in most parts of the country girls can only attend elementary school. The Taliban Islamist group regained control of Afghanistan in August 202. The group has refused to allow girls to attend junior and senior high schools. Last December, the group suspended university classes for women. 3. Campaigning has begun for gubernatorial elections in nine prefectures across Japan, kicking off a series of nationwide local elections held every four years. The key campaign issues include policies to support children and child-raising amid the falling birthrate. Candidates are also expected to focus on the revitalization of regional economies.

March 22, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japan has won the World Baseball Classic for the third time, beating the defending champion United States 3 to 2 in the final. It’s their first title since 2009. Japan finished the tournament undefeated and Ohtani was named the Most Valuable Player.
2. Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two leaders have framed their relationship as one with “no limits.” Putin and Xi discussed their shared goal of providing a counterbalance to the West. They hailed what they called a “new era.”
3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has said Tokyo will make 30 million dollars available through NATO trust funds to help Ukraine acquire non-lethal equipment. Kishida said he definitely wanted to visit Ukraine meet Zelenskyy in person and deliver his country’s unwavering solidarity before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May.

March 21, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Japan advanced to the final of the World Baseball Classic by beating Mexico 6-5. “Samurai Japan” will face Team USA in the final on Tuesday in Miami.
2.Japanese officials say Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is heading to Ukraine after visiting India. It will mark the first visit to Ukraine by a Japanese leader since the start of the Russian invasion.
3. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held an informal meeting in Moscow on Monday. The Chinese president is on a three-day state visit to Russia. This is his first visit since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

March 20, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow to hold summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi started his three-day state visit to Russia on Monday. This is his first visit since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February last year. A summit meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has invited his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to the G7 summit in May and Modi accepted. The two leaders met in New Delhi, the capital of India on Monday. Both countries agreed to continue to commit to maintain a rules-based world order. 3. Six major central banks have announced a coordinated move to inject more dollars into the global financial system. The decision follows the collapse of two US banks and comes amid a deal for an emergency takeover of Credit Suisse.