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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  August 7, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's monday, august 8th, 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. credit rating fell from the topnotch aaa to aa plus. markets were lower on sunday. markets in tokyo, seoul, and sydney are expected to open in about an hour.
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now let's see how the currency market is moving here. look at the euro again. 111.80-87. amid huge concern about global sta stock markets, seven countries are holding emergency phone talks monday to ease the market unrest. in new york last friday, the dow jones industrial average fluctuated sharply briefly falling by over 240 points but closing more than 60 points higher. the downgrade of the credit rating made another blow for the financial markets. stock prices fell in the middle east on sunday in response to the u.s. bond down graid. with the key index down by 4% at one point on sunday afternoon. the markets in ka tar also ended
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lower. holding an emergency immediating on sunday. in japan, the strong yen is crippling export related industries. on thursday japan intervened in the foreign exchange markets to stop the yen's rise. but investors continue to view the yen as a safe haven as the situation in the u.s. and europe isn't getting any better. now, there's still not a solution to the greek debt crisis. the contagion is causing concern and has rippled to italy, spain, and other nations. the g 7 talks are taking places monday morning. their goal will be to send a message to the global markets and the g7 nations with committed to working together on this situation. all eyes are on their joint statement. as we wait for the finance ministers of the group of seven
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nations before markets open in asia, we go over to emily wang at the stock exchange. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. we'reabout an hour away better stock markets here in tokyo open. investors here in tokyo will be among the first to react to the latest development. investors are still waiting to see what the g7 leaders have to say. but the key question is how far it would go in sentiment. already taken a beating with the u.s. debt debate. over the health of the u.s. economy as well as the debt problems. with all that, global debt markets plunged last week. dow jones industrial down 5.8%. and in europe down 10%. and the german down over 12%. now, with s&p's downgrade, it
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adds a whole new level to the markets. a key concern for traders now is the currency market whether we'll see further selling of the dollar in favor of other major currencies including the yen. i know you just went through those numbers. but dollar/yen still trading at that 78 level. this morning we are seeing it dip back to the 77 level before moving back to up 78. now, overall analysts are divided over how markets would react to s&p's downgrade. but for the time being, we could see investors take moves as they wait to see how u.s. and european markets might react. stock markets will be opening in less than an hour. for now back to you in the studio. >> thanks very much. emily wang there at the tokyo stock exchange waiting for the
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markets to open. in other news, private research firms expect japan's gross domestic product for the april to june period to slink f shrink for a third consecutive quarter. estimates japan's gdp will decline to 1.2% from the previous quarter. the figure represents contractions of minus 1.4% to minus 4.7% on a analyzed basis. contribute the contractions to restraint from japanese consumers following the march 11th disaster. they say production and exports also dropped because of shortages of auto parts after the disaster. some of the firms expect japan's gdp to improve in the july to september period. saying supply chains are likely to turn positive.
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others say it depends on foreign exchange rates in the united states and europe. u.n. secretary general now in japan is expected to ask the country to serve as a cochair of meeting of a summit level conference on nuclear issues scheduled for september in new york. pan arrived sunday night. on monday he'll meet survivors of the march 11 disaster. he'll also meet the governor of fukushima to hear his account of the impact of is the nuclear accident. he plans to give speeches on the importance of safety management of nuclear power. later on monday he will go to tokyo for talks with prime minister naoto kan. they're expected to exchange views on nuclear power generation. sources say the united nations want to ask him to serve as cochair of the committee. he is likely to tell kan -- on
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nuclear issues. japan's defense ministry will soon start a field study in south sudan so it can decide whether or not to send to the african nation for a peace-keeping mission. south sudan became independent in july putting an end to two decades of conflict between the muslim government in the north and the mainly african christians in the south. the united nations has decided to send 8,000 peace keepers to south sudan. it has asked japan to send forces to help the country build infrastructure such as roads and bridges. nhk has learned that the defense ministry plans to send a team of experts to the country by the end of august to study security and road conditions. after hearing from the team, the ministry will make a final decision on whether or not to send ground self-defense force troops as peace keepers.
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the buddhist statue at a temple in nara has undergone an annual dusting ahead of the mid-august holidays when people pay visits to their ancestors' graves. on sunday about 150 people including buddhist priests gathered for a ceremonial chanting ahead of the traditional dusting. they then climbed on to the hands and the knees of the strew and carefully removed dust with brooms and dusters. some were raised on hanging chairs to clean the statue's shoulders and face. many people took pictures of the scene as dust filled the temple hall. >> translator: i'm glad i could see this. >> translator: it's easy to see how big the buddha is when people climb on to it. now let's take a look at the
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extended weather forecast for selected cities around the world. that wraps up this edition
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of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay request us. we'll be back with more updates at the top of the next hour. . a new day begins in kyoto, a city more than 1,000 years old.
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in a quiet area around the main street is a shop known for the japanese sweets. he's the current owner of the shop founded in 1893. wagashi sweets are hand made one-by-one.
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for their beautiful appearance, they are often called edible jewels. the wagashi that tommy is always making is called the star festival. wagashi, evolved from sweets that came from china about 800 years ago. it came to be offered with tea at tea ceremonies and proved to be something unique to japanese culture. back when sugar was a precious commodity, wagashi was a luxury only the noble class could afford. wasn't until the 17th century when the country became more
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stable that it became widely available to commoners. and it was kyoto that played the central role of making wagashi what it is today -- a sophisticated culture on its own. >> translator: the sweets we make here are not for everyday consumption. they are sweets for hospitality. to entertain people other than yourself. there are many confectioners working at the shop. his job is to make wagashi with his own hands and to closely supervise what everybody is doing.
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the main ingredients for wagashi are sugar, beans, rice, potatoes, and japanese arrow root. the ingenious way of combining them with a touch of seasonal feeling and a narrative account for the infinite variation of wagashi. it's 9:00 a.m., three hours have passed since they started making wagashi. it's time to open the shop.
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>> translator: good morning. this is sui tomi. thank you very much. hi. we've received your call about the 11th. please let us know when you have more details. yes, thank you. >> he's talking to one of his regular customers whose family has been coming to the shop for generations. their wagashi are basically made to order. he carefully listens to each customer so he can create a wagashi that are just right for them. >> our customer gives us an order telling us what sort of sweets they would like and we make them on their behalf. >> he carefully considers what sort of wagashi would make each customer happy. for a customer planning to
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entertain guests in the fall, he creates one in the shape of red chrysanthemum which symbolize wishes for good health. chrysanthemum pedals are drawn one by one with a bamboo pallet.
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what lies behind this wagashi with beautifully contrasting red and white is an almost forgotten japanese custom of wishing someone eternal youth and longevity by covering a chrysanthemum with cotton. photographers have come for magazines in tokyo.
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he willingly accepts interview to perfect the appeal of wagashi to as many people as possible. he's not quite happy with the white part. >> translator: should we switch it with another one? for tomizo, the wagashi he makes are like his children. he's strict with them -- in a loving way.
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in the afternoon, they start making the special wagashi that they make available only one day every year. wagashi are profoundly seasonal. they don't just reflect the ever changing seasons.
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the fact that each wagashi is only available at a certain time of the year is also a reflection of the spirit that cherishes each passing day. every tiny wagashi represents wisdom. they are now making the wagashi that will only be eaten on june 30. by eating it on this day, they say, people in kyoto appreciate their well being over the past six months and wish for happiness in the coming six months. this wagashi is called minazuki, meaning june. it's said that the triangular part represents ice to make people forget about the hot
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weather and that the red beans sprinkled on top are for warding off evil spirits. wagashi and kyoto are basically about seasons or seasonal feelings. they are about how we express the season through them. and it's even better if the wagashi are slightly ahead of the season. >> you will never find it made here displayed on the shelf. they will only be delivered to each and every regular customer as a token of his gratitude.
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no matter how busy he may be, he makes a point of coming home once in the afternoon. wagashi from his own shop await him there. away from the shop, hep tastes the wagashi that his shoppers made. he carefully checks whether the flavor is clearly defined and how compatible they are with tea from his customers' point of view. this is a routine he follows daily. >> translator: i make a point of tasting everything we make. i can't get involved in every single process. so, it's crucial that i take the time to taste everything. so i can maintain the flavor of
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that suitomi is known for. this is fine. okay. okay. good. this will do. >> from the corner of the kitchen, he pulls out an iron bar. he uses it to brand the wagashi.
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oh, that's how it's going to be. i see. >> branding gives each wagashi a face, so to speak. there are many branding irons at the shop, including those that have been passed down from the founder. flowers, animals, letters, and characters. they lie, waiting to give each wagashi a face. tomizo always designs his brands himself. it used to be common place for a confectioner to design his own brands but few do so these days. he believes it's an important role of a shop owner.
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>> translator: everyone used to do this. >> next year is the year of the rabbit. the brand design that will be used for the new year's wagashi is completed. >> we can't use the same ones all the time. a brand is the face of a wagashi. so, i try to create new ones as much as possible. >> would you ask them to get the branding irons done in a hurry?
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>> 5:00 p.m., the shop calls it a day. but his day is not over yet. he still needs to organize materials for the lecture he's supposed to give at a university in a few days. >> i'm showing how wagashi changes throughout the year starting in the spring and historic stuff. >> tomizo currently teaches at fife different universities, giving lectures on the history and culture of wagashi. he accepted his positions in spite of his busy schedule
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because he wanted young people to learn how to appreciate wagashi. >> translator: sweets represent the culture. the older you go, the more they like sweets. that's wagashi in kyoto. they are definitely part of the culture. >> what new wagashi will kyoto create tomorrow. creating something new or preserving tradition. preserving tradition. tomizo's long day finally end. -- captions by vitac --
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