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.

March 17, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Western analysts say Russia’s offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk may be losing steam as Ukrainian troops continue all-out resistance. Russian private military firm Wagner Group and Ukrainian forces are locked in a fierce battle for full control of the Ukrainian stronghold of Bakhmut. 2. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing intends to play a constructive role in bringing about a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. China’s Foreign Ministry said the two ministers held telephone talks on Thursday. The ministry quoted Qin as saying he had expressed concern about an escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis and the possibility of it getting out of control.
3.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have agreed to resume the so-called shuttle diplomacy between the leaders of the two countries. Such mutual visits have not taken place in more than a decade.

March 16, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The Japanese Prime Minister and South Korean President are holding talks in Tokyo. Kishida Fumio and Yoon Suk-yeol are hoping to improve strained relations between the countries, as North Korea speeds up its nuclear and missile development. Yoon is the first South Korean president to visit Japan in 12 years – excluding international gatherings.
2. Japan’s defense ministry says the suspected intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Thursday likely had the capacity to travel as far as 15,000 kilometers. That is enough to reach the entire US mainland. There is a high possibility that it was what’s known as a lofted missile. 3. A senior White House official has spoken about the US drone that went down into the Black Sea, after it has a physical encounter with a Russian jet. He said the device might never be recovered.

March 15, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Economic data released by China on Wednesday show the world’s second-largest economy picking up at the beginning of this year, following the end of the “zero-COVID” policy. The National Bureau of Statistics says retail sales in the first two months rose by 3.5 percent from the same period a year ago. It was the first increase after three straight months of declines going back to October of 2022. 2. Japan’s annual wage negotiations are set to peak on Wednesday, when many companies will respond to labor unions. Many unions are having their demands met, but the question is whether workers at not only big firms but also smaller ones will be given persistent pay raises. 3. Japan’s Upper House has stripped a member of the chamber of his status as a lawmaker for failing to attend a single Diet session. On Wednesday, the Upper House plenary session voted 235 to one to expel opposition Seijikajoshi 48 Party member GaaSyy. He will no longer be a lawmaker.

March 14, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. South Korea’s military says North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday morning. This comes one day after US and South Korean forces began joint military drills. 2. US President Joe Biden has pledged to do whatever it takes to contain the fallout from a pair of banking collapses. He is working to restore confidence after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
3. China’s President Xi Jinping is reportedly planning a visit to Russia next week for talks with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

March 13, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist Oe Kenzaburo died of old age on March 3. He was 88. Oe won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, becoming the second Japanese author to receive the honor after Kawabata Yasunari.
2. China’s President Xi Jinping has reiterated his determination to push for the reunification of Taiwan in a speech to the National People’s Congress. Xi said he will advance the process of the reunification of the motherland, stressing that China will firmly oppose pro-independence and secessionist activities and the interference of external forces. 3. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed confidence that his forces will successfully defend the strategic city of Bakhmut from Russia. The city is a Ukrainian stronghold in the country’s eastern region of Donetsk.

March 10, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have wrapped up their two-day meeting on Friday, the last one for Governor Kuroda Haruhiko. Reflecting on the past 10 years, he called monetary easing a success, and said the potential of Japan’s economy had been fully demonstrated. 2.Twin panda cubs at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo are being prepared for independence from their mother starting on Friday. Male Xiao Xiao and female Lei Lei will be 21 months old on March 23. Wild pandas become independent of their mothers around the age. 3. The latest polls in South Korea show that almost 60 percent of the respondents are against the government’s plan for settling the wartime labor issue with Japan. The plan announced on Monday says a government-backed fund supported by donations from domestic companies is to compensate people who say they or their relatives were forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two. The survey shows that 35 percent of the respondents support the plan, saying it is good for the national interest and relations with Japan. But 59 percent said they are against the plan as it does not include apologies and compensation from Japan.

March 9, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will visit Japan for two days from next Thursday to hold summit talks with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. It will be the first visit to Japan by a South Korean president in about four years.
2.Japan’s Lower House has endorsed the appointment of economist Ueda Kazuo as the new governor of the Bank of Japan. Ueda, a former BOJ policy board member, is to replace Kuroda Haruhiko, whose term ends on April 8.
3. International Women’s Day demonstrations have taken place in Turkey, Peru, Brazil and many other parts of the world, calling for advances in women’s rights.