February 23, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.Japan’s Emperor Naruhito turned 62 years old on Wednesday. Ahead of the birthday, he expressed his thoughts to the media at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Emperor said his heart aches when he thinks about the people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and are struggling financially or facing deeper isolation.
2.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he has canceled plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday. Blinken said, “Now that we see the invasion is beginning and Russia has made clear its wholesale rejection of diplomacy, it does not make sense to go forward with that meeting at this time.”
3.The head of the United Nations has urged Russia to exercise restraint over Ukraine, criticizing Moscow’s planned deployment of what it calls a “peacekeeping” force in eastern Ukraine. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Our world is facing the biggest global peace and security crisis in recent years.”