A Christmas tree is lit up in St. Peters Square in Vatican City on Dec. 9, 2023.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Blue Impulse aerobatic team flies during an aviation show at the ASDF base in Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Dec. 10, 2023.
A man takes a copy of Iwate Nippo newspaper's extra edition in front of JR Morioka Station in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan, on Dec. 10, 2023, after Shohei Ohtani agreed to a record $700 million, 10-year contract with Los Angeles Dodgers. The newspaper is circulated in the prefecture where Ohtani hails from.
Visitors to Omiwa Shrine in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, western Japan, replace a 400-kilogram "shimenawa," lengths of laid straw rope, with a new one ahead of the New Year.
Japan's Hana Yoshida smiles after winning bronze at the Grand Prix Final figure skating competition in Beijing on Dec. 9, 2023.
Wataru Morishige of Japan competes en route to winning bronze in the men's 500 meters at a World Cup speed skating meet in Tomaszow Mazowiecki in Poland on Dec. 9, 2023.
Japanese Empress Masako visits the residence of former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko in Tokyo with Emperor Naruhito on her 60th birthday on Dec. 9, 2023, for customary birthday greetings. (Pool photo)
TOKYO, Japan Kyodo - Japanese judoka Rika Takayama, Ryuju Nagayama and Miku Takaichi had an interview in Tokyo on Dec. 4, 2023, after securing their places in the national team for the Paris Olympics. (Kyodo)
YAKUSHIMA, Japan Kyodo - Video taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on Dec. 6, 2023, shows U.S. military personnel on an inflatable boat as search efforts continue in waters around the Nov. 29 crash site of a U.S. military CV-22 Osprey aircraft off the island of Yakushima in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kagoshima. (Kyodo)
TOKYO, Dec. 6 Kyodo - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday that he has told executives of his ruling party to hold off on fundraising parties, as he strives to regain public trust undermined by a political funds scandal involving its factions.
KYOTO, Dec. 7 Kyodo - The prosecution on Thursday demanded the death penalty for the man who has admitted to the 2019 arson attack on Kyoto Animation Co. that killed 36 people, while his defense sought an acquittal or lesser sentence, citing what they said was his mental incompetence. (Kyodo)
TOKYO, Japan Kyodo - Video shows pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who recently revealed that she had left Hong Kong to study in Canada with no plans to return, giving an online interview on Dec. 6. 2023, that agreeing to spend time in mainland China before her departure overseas was a high-stakes decision for her. (Kyodo)
BATAM, Indonesia, Dec. 6 Kyodo - Japan began training three Southeast Asian countries in sea monitoring from the air, in the latest effort to help enhance their maritime surveillance capabilities amid China's growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Indonesian, Philippine and Malaysian coast guard officials boarded an airplane from Batam Island, western Indonesia, near Singapore, to get briefed on high-tech surveillance equipment, according to the Japan Coast Guard. (Kyodo)
TOKYO, Japan Kyodo - Nihon University's board of trustees chair Mariko Hayashi speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 4, 2023, apologizing for a drug scandal involving members of the school's American football club. (Kyodo)
Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata & Yukio Mishima