Kyodo news summary -1-.
---------- Ex-lawmaker Suzuki released on parole after 1 year in prison
UTSUNOMIYA, Japan - Former House of Representatives member Muneo Suzuki was released on parole Tuesday from a prison in Tochigi Prefecture after being imprisoned last December for bribery and other offenses.
The 63-year-old leader of New Party Daichi, a small political party based in Hokkaido, was expected to serve his full term in prison until April 2012, but a corrections committee under the Justice Ministry decided on parole in view of his remorse and other factors.
---------- Tokyo stocks open lower on S&P's downgrade warning on eurozone
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened lower Tuesday as market sentiment was dampened by a U.S. credit rating agency's announcement that it may downgrade the sovereign ratings of Germany and five other eurozone nations with triple A status as the result of the worsening eurozone debt crisis.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 34.46 points, or 0.40 percent, from Monday to 8,661.52. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 1.33 points, or 0.18 percent, at 747.28.
---------- Crown prince relieved of temporary role of emperor in state affairs
TOKYO - The Cabinet on Tuesday decided to relieve Crown Prince Naruhito of his temporary role fulfilling the duties of emperor in state affairs after Emperor Akihito recovered from bronchitis.
The crown prince stood in for the emperor after his father was hospitalized on Nov. 6, conferring autumn decorations and attending to the emperor's regular duties.
---------- U.N. adopts resolution commending volunteers in disaster-hit zones
NEW YORK - The U.N. General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution commending volunteers in disaster-hit areas at a meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, which had been launched at Japan's initiative.
''The aim of the International Year of Volunteers in 2001 proposed by Japan is for governments, the U.N. system and civil society to collaborate and identify ways of enhancing the recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteer activities,'' Japan's Ambassador to the United Nations Tsuneo Nishida said in his remarks.
---------- Cabinet approves dispatch of GSDF for decontamination in Fukushima
TOKYO - The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the dispatch of about 900 Ground Self-Defense Force troops to clean up local government buildings in the vicinity of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The troops will conduct a decontamination operation at municipal office buildings in the towns of Naraha, Tomioka and Namie in Fukushima Prefecture for two weeks from Wednesday.
---------- Dollar trades in upper 77 yen in early Tokyo deals
TOKYO - The U.S. dollar stayed in the upper 77 yen range early Tuesday in Tokyo, little changed from its levels in New York late Monday.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 77.81-82 yen against 77.77-77.87 yen in New York and 77.98-99 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday.
---------- S&P puts 15 eurozone nations on watch for negative implications
NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Monday it has placed its long-term sovereign ratings of 15 eurozone members on ''CreditWatch with negative implications,'' indicating the possibility that the six nations with triple A status including Germany could be downgraded.
Among the six countries with the top rating, Austria, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands could see their ratings lowered by one notch, while France could be downgraded by up to two notches, the U.S. rating agency said.
---------- N.Y. stocks rally on hopes for European bailout breakthrough
NEW YORK - New York stocks rallied Monday, with the Dow index closing at its highest level in about three weeks on hopes for a breakthrough in solving Europe's debt crisis.
The 30-issue Dow Jones Industrial Average, which edged down 0.61 point last Friday, rose 78.41 points, or 0.65 percent, to end at 12,097.83, its highest finish since Nov. 11. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, which inched up 0.73 point last Friday, climbed 28.83 points, or 1.10 percent, to 2,655.76.