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

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Biden says Russia is starting ‘invasion’ of Ukraine, unveils sanctions

WASHINGTON — Russia is beginning an “invasion” of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, as he and other Western leaders moved to impose sanctions on Moscow in response to his order to deploy troops in two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

The situation over Ukraine escalated when Russia, which has been massing troops near Ukraine for months, on Monday recognized the two self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent and ordered troops to be deployed there. for “peacekeeping” missions.

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Japan’s Emperor calls on people to keep the fire of hope alive during the pandemic

TOKYO – Emperor Naruhito, on his 62nd birthday on Wednesday, called on Japanese people to keep “a fire of hope” in their hearts and to support each other in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The emperor also said he was grateful to the healthcare workers and many people who have battled the protracted pandemic, while offering his condolences for the losses suffered over the past year.

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Japan records record number of daily COVID deaths at 319

TOKYO — Japan reported a record 319 daily coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, surpassing the 300 mark for the first time, as the number of new infections fell from the previous week.

According to prefectural data, Osaka recorded a record 63 deaths while Tokyo recorded 25. The daily death toll broke the previous record of 270 recorded last Thursday.

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Japan condemns Russia’s decision as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday condemned Russia’s recognition of the independence of two pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as a violation of national sovereignty, as well as international law and peace agreement reached.

“Russia’s series of actions violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which we never tolerate and strongly criticize,” Kishida told reporters.

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Start of a multinational military exercise in Thailand

BANGKOK – A multinational military exercise dubbed Cobra Gold began Tuesday in Thailand with the participation of around 3,500 people from about 20 countries, although the annual event has been reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the official said. Thai army.

Hosted by Thai and US forces, one of the largest multinational military exercises in Southeast Asia will be held in locations across Thailand until March 5.

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Japan holds annual event to claim islets held by South Korea

MATSUE, Japan — Japan held an annual ceremony on Tuesday to assert its claim to a group of islets controlled by South Korea, but also called for a solution, amid protracted disputes between the two countries over the history and territory in times of war.

The ceremony in Matsue has been held every February 22 since 2006 after the Shimane Prefectural government designated the day as “Takeshima Day” in 2005, a century after a cabinet decision was issued placing the islets of the Sea of ​​Japan under the jurisdiction of the Western Prefecture. .

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Japanese court orders damages for forced sterilization for the first time

OSAKA — A Japanese court on Tuesday ordered the state to compensate three disabled people for forced sterilization under the now-defunct Eugenics Protection Act, awarding damages for the first time among Similar lawsuits filed in nine courts and their branches across Japan.

The Osaka High Court has asked the central government to pay a total of 27.5 million yen ($239,660) in damages to the three people from western Japan – a couple and a woman aged 70 to 80 years old – and recognized the eugenics law as unconstitutional.

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New Zealand quietly celebrates 11th anniversary of Christchurch earthquake

SYDNEY — New Zealand on Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of an earthquake that struck the island’s southern city of Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people and injuring thousands.

Among the casualties, 115 people were killed when the six-storey Canterbury Television Building collapsed in a 6.3 magnitude tremor. Among them were 28 Japanese and others from Asian countries, including China and Thailand, who were studying English at a language school on the third floor.