tv Newsline 30min KCSMMHZ August 30, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT
welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm shery ahn. both houses of japan's diet has elected the new leader of the democratic governing party yoshihiko noda as the country's 95th prime minister. >> translator: the house of representatives has decided to designate yoshihiko noda as prime minister of japan. >> the lower and upper houses named noda as japan's sixth prime minister in five years at plenary sessions. noda was elected democratic
party president on monday. he will replace naoto kan who has occupied the country's top post since june last year. noda is working to select senior party officials and cabinet members. we asked people here in tokyo what they expect from the country's new leader. >> translator: he should have a clear direction as prime minister. >> translator: including the strong yen, there's many problems with our economy. i would be happy if priority was given to reviving japan's economy. >> translator: focus should be on rebuilding efforts due to the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. and improving relationships with the united states and other countries. >> here's a closer look at the new man taking the reins. >> noda acquired his ambition to become a politician soon after he graduated from university.
>> translator: i want to become a politician to end the culture of money politics. >> reporter: noda was elected to the lower house of the diet in 1993 as a member of the now defunct japan new party. he became a dpj lawmaker in 2000. noda set up a makeshift podium in front of a train station almost every day for more than two decades to appeal to voters in his constituency in chiba prefecture near tokyo. he did this every day until he joined the cabinet last year. >> translator: i often see noda distributing leaflets in front of the station. >> translator: i think he's hardworking and sincere. >> reporter: he ran in the dpj leadership election in 2002 in the hope of accelerating a generational change in the party. he lost the election but gained national recognition. noda attracted attention as a potential future leader along with former foreign minister
seiji maehara. he became senior vice finance minister when the dpj took power in 2009. he was promoted to the post of finance minister in june last year when naoto kan became prime minister. one of the biggest challenges he faces is a strong currency. the yen surged to a record high against the dollar earlier this month. japan's monetary authorities intervened in the currency market in an attempt to apply the brakes. >> translator: carefully monitoring the market, i'll take decisive action if necessary. >> reporter: noda was one of the first dpj lawmakers to announce plans to run for leadership. during the race for party leader, noda repeatedly expressed his intention to tackle fiscal consolidation head-on, including the consumption tax increase. >> translator: in the difficult global financial situation, international attention is focused on whether japan is
prepared to make efforts to maintain fiscal discipline. i don't believe the japanese government can evade fiscal reconstruction any longer. >> reporter: noda lost some of his supporters after maehara joined the race. in order to win, he had to rebuild his strategy. >> translator: i will work hard to push this country's politics forward. we have the heavy burden of a surging yen, deflation and finance reforms. i will shoulder all of them. >> these are some of the reactions to the appointment of japan's new leader from overseas. a u.s. state department spokesperson stifled a laugh over japan's frequently changing leaders when a reporter joked that the department issues similar statements every time the country elects a new prime minister.
>> our alliance has flourished under each and every japanese prime minister. we look forward to our continuing close cooperation with the government of japan and the next prime minister across a broad range of issues facing our two nations. >> how many prime ministers would that be? >> i don't know. how many prime ministers would that be? >> chinese newspapers are reacting cautiously. branding noda a hardliner on perceptions of wartime history. articles in tuesday's edition mentioned a remark by noda about world war ii. he said japanese military leaders convicted as major war criminals have had their honor legally restored so it is now inappropriate to treat them as war criminals. later on tuesday, chinese premier wen jiabao sent a congratulatory message to noda. wen said creating a friendly
relationship of long-term stability between the two nations is conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the world. he expressed hope that both sides will work together to promote exchanges in cooperation in various fields. joining me in the studio is nhk world senior political commentator masayo nakajima with his take on japan's new prime minister. thank you for coming in. what is the first order of business for the new prime minister? >> noda has to pick his cabinet members and fill posts. he will pretty likely use these appointments as an opportunity to ease friction within the democratic party. noda has already has given promotion to a member of the camp that didn't support his leadership. he will be the dpj's secretary general, the most important post in the party. >> noda has many challenges ahead. two of the biggest ones i would think are managing the ongoing nuclear crisis, drawing up a new energy policy. what can we expect from him when
he comes to these two tasks? >> well, noda supports the idea of reducing japan's dependence on nuclear power. but he says that nuclear power plants that have passed so-called stress tests should be restudied in order to fulfill japan's electricity demands. he also insists that this country should start increasing the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources. but he doesn't have any concrete plan for how to supply enough power without relying on atomic energy. >> very tricky situation when it comes to nuclear power. for the last couple of years we have seen japan go through this, what we might call a revolving door prime ministership. six leaders over the past five years. so how long can we expect mr. noda to keep his job? >> well, it will all depend on how much public support he can win back for the government. you know, the political situation hasn't changed a bit. noda will also have to face a
divided diet where he cannot pass bills without help from the opposition parties. noda says he will do his best to get the opposition to cooperate because he knows that his administration will be cornered sooner or later if he cannot pass important bills. but the main opposition leader, of the democratic party wants a general election because it believes that it can defeat the ruling dpj and regain power. the most important bills for noda will be on for the ones to enact next year's fiscal year budget. if these bills don't pass, the government will not be able to carry out its policies. next april could be a crucial time for noda. he may be forced to resign or call a general election if he cannot win cooperation from the opposition by then. but, you know, in that case, the japanese public probably won't accept another new prime minister without a general election.
>> this ongoing political uncertainty is no doubt taking a toll on japan's foreign relations. one example, the scheduled summit talks with u.s. president obama that had to be canceled because naoto kan seemed likely to resign. what can we expect from mr. noda when it comes to diplomatic relations? >> expected to hold summit talks with the u.s., china, and south korea by the end of this year. but any work noda wants to do will be held up by further political change, you know, all of these countries as well as russia will have presidential elections. or a transfer of power in 2012. north korea may also experience a transfer of power. on top of this, noda will need to deal with the rise of nationalism in china, russia, and south korea. you know, japan's involved in territorial disputes with all
these three countries, so the new prime minister's foreign policy abilities will definitely be put on test. >> masayo, before we let you go, mr. noda has been talking about raising the income tax in order to fund reconstruction efforts. will he be able to address that issue any time soon? >> well, i don't think so. noda is also in favor of a consumption tax hike to finance increasing social security costs. but finding a consensus within the dpj, democratic party, won't be easy. you know, more than half of the dpj members might come out against the tax hike if their minds turn to the possibility of a general election in the new future and that's possible. >> masayo, thank you very much for coming in. that was nhk world's masayo nakajima. the march 11 disaster.
the september 11th attacks. two anniversaries, one source for in-depth coverage. join nhk world for "japan, six months on" and " 9/11, defining a decade." beginning september 5th then sunday, september 11th, we'll mark the anniversaries. 2:30 p.m. japan time for the 3/11 disaster. 9:40 p.m. for the 9/11 attacks. japan's mandatory power saving for heavy users will come to an end in september, earlier than scheduled. the government announced on tuesday that it will lift the ban as the peak summer heat is over. a legally mandated 15% cut was put in place from july 1st due to expected power shortages after the march disaster in eastern japan. the curve covered factories and other heavy power users in the regions including tokyo. electricity for these areas is supplied by tokyo electric power company and tohoku electric power company. the cuts were originally due to
last until september 22nd for areas covered by tokyo electric and september 9th for areas covered by tohoku electric company. the government now says power saving will come to an end on september 9 and september 2 and devastated areas. >> translator: the supply demand situation has been improving, and we are hearing from consumers, particularly in the disaster-stricken tohoku region, that they want the mandatory cuts lifted earlier. >> however, the government is concerned that lingering late summer heat may be more intense than expected. it is still calling on companies and households to continue to save power voluntarily. japan's health ministry will restore the cumulative radiation exposure limit for emergency workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant to the original 100 millisieverts this autumn.
the current limit is 250 millisieverts. the ministry raised the limits soon after the nuclear accident in march to gain enough time for plant workers to control the situation. the ministry says 103 workers who started at the plant just after the accident have been exposed to cumulative radiation of more than 100 millisieverts but it says all staff who began work since april have been exposed to less than 100 millisieverts. based on the reduced exposure, the ministry has concluded that there's no longer a need to maintain the higher provincial radiation limit. in libya, supporters of colonel moammar gadhafi continue to fight back on tuesday, one week after the effective fall of his government.
the whereabouts of the deposed libyan leader remain unknown since he fled his compound in tripoli. the vice chairman of the opposition's national transitional council abdel hafiz ghoga told nhk in benghazi on saturday that the council plans to hold a parliamentary election within eight months. he said that within one year after the election a democratic constitution would be established and a new government launched. gadhafi forces are putting up resistance in the central town of sirte, gadhafi's hometown, and they're not responding to calls for surrender by the national transitional council. after more than six months of civil war, huge amounts of weapons are available across libya raising fears of a possible crime surge. a new survey shows that more than half of monuslim americans find life harder in the united states since the attacks on
september 11th, 2001. the pew research center polled 1,000 muslims across the united states from april to july this year. the number of respondents who said it's more difficult to live as a muslim since the terrorist attacks climbed to 55% from 53% four years ago. 43% of those surveyed said they were discriminated against for being muslim over the past year. 22% said they have been called offensive names while 21% reported being singled out by airport security officials. and in the netherlands, a trunk stuffered with euro bills fell from a bank transport vehicle spilling the cash along a freeway. some motorists as you can imagine jumped on the opportunity. the incident happened on monday morning in the province of linburg. many motorists parked on the
road's shoulder and ran to scoop up loose notes. some apparently drove off with money they picked up. local police spent more than an hour restoring the flow of traffic. the police say it's not known how much cash was lost. and it's time now to check on some of the stories we have gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin with this item sent by ddi india. three days of heavy rain in the indian financial hub mumbai paraloized normal life. train services have been disrupted, flights delayed and educational institutions closed and landslide killed one person and injured two others. the meteorological department says about 178 millimeters of rain fell in the city on monday, it predicts more rains on tuesday and has issued a high tide alert. the western state also affected where most of the rivers are flowing above the danger levels
following heavy rains upstream. roads and highways in parts of the state have been inundating, disrupting traffic. thailand's and laos started four transport services to link cities between the countries and agreement signed in the morn thai province on tuesday. since 2004, the neighbors have been jointly operating thai-lao international bus services on six routes to promote cross border travel and tourism. foreign tourists can ride the buses all the way across the border. a traditional tibetan festival kicked off inty bet aon the mouse region on monday. thousands of tourists gathered near a buddhist monostair early in the morning. dozens of monks participated in
the ceremony. the yogurt festival originated in the 11th century to celebrate the ending of the fast by monks. the weeklong fest ral has plays and traditional sports. yak fighting and horsemanship. more than one month has passed since the high speed train crash in china killed more than 40 people. the government says it will release the results of the investigation by mid-september but the government's response to the accident left bereaved families doubtful whether the investigation will uncover the truth. nhk world's okatani has the story.
>> reporter: she lives in fujian province, southeastern china. her husband worked for a trading firm. he died in the high speed train crash on his way home from a business trip. their 18-month-old daughter still does not understand that her father has died. >> translator: i miss my husband so much every day. if i were to be reborn i'd want to get married to him again. >> reporter: on hearing the news about the train crash, she rushed to the site. when she arrived, railway officials immediately offered to pay her about $25,000 in compensation. she says they should have first clarified the cause of the accident instead of offering money.
she joined other bereaved families to protest near the accident site. the authorities later raised the compensation to around $140,000. but they also demanded that the families sign an agreement not to take any legal action. this was the government's apparent attempt to discourage the families from suing. wen refused to sign the agreement. officials told her that her husband has extramarital affairs. they also told her that they would not release her husband's body and the longer she refused to sign the more her husband's body would decompose. in the end, she gave in and signed the agreement. if her husband was alive, he
would have turned 35 on this day. she says he liked fashion so she bought him new clothes to wear in heaven. she burned them in front of his remains at the cemetery. the railway authorities say they will announce the results of their investigation in september. but she is thinking about filing a lawsuit if the contents of the report is not convincing. >> translator: the authorities are only interested in developing the railway. but for us ordinary people, living with family members is the most important thing. i'll keep persisting until the government determines the cause of the crash and clarifies who is responsible. >> reporter: the chinese government has implemented
safety measures for the high speed rail network. they include reducing the top speed of some trains and repairing cars with problems. however, chinese media recently reported that an elevated high speed train track was built over a new condominium forcing the residents to leave. >> translator: it's so noisy that i can't sleep at night. officials should live here to see what it's like. >> reporter: an expert says china is developing its my speed rail network for its national pride and vested interests. >> translator: the authorities have been putting too much emphasis on development. their unbalanced approach could further decrease the quality of development. the government should spend more on improving people's lives. >> reporter: attention is focused on whether china can
change its development policies to truly benefit its people. and the chinese people are hoping that the government will make their safety a priority. ryuta oktani, nhk world. welcome back. i'm mai shoji. let's look at your weather forecast. a couple of storms to talk about. this is tropical storm nanmadol. nanmadol is going to make another landfall in fujian province in china. as it does so, it will downgrades itself into a tropical depression, but the ample moisture will still bring lots of rain to south china, as well as southeastern china and as it travels inland it will bring probably about 80 millimeters to fujian provinces. maybe in fujian where it will
make landfall again could probably build up to about 150 millimeters of rainfall accumulation so heavy rain will still continue into the end of the week. heavy rain and storm surges as well as high waves are still continuing in taiwan and southwest monsoon is enhanced by this typhoon, the tropical storm, excuse me. so still, northern luzon looking at very high waves and heavy rain. we do really want to prepare for this one, as well. this is typhoon talas heading to the pacific side of japan. i think it's going to make landfall friday evening around kanto, pacific coast of japan. also already struggling with very strong winds. the waves are up to about 8 meters high. strong winds, we're talking about what would make people difficult for driving on the streets. and that is going to maintain
its intensity and head towards us into our weekend. really do want to keep a very close eye on this system. it will bring lots of heavy rain, as well. accumulation for 48 hours looks like this. the islands affected by the outer bands. we are looking at 300 millimeters or more rain to come towards us. tok tokyo's already been affected with the outer bounds of this storm. we already had showers and sprinkles today. and chonqing looking hot there and seoul and tokyo looking at 27 degrees for our wednesday high. here in north america, we have a low pressure system in eastern canada bringing us showers and few storms and behind that system, high pressure dominates. the associated front and just -- in the front of this system is where we're going to be seeing some severe activity of
thunderstorms and that will be pushing towards the east and towards the midwest. now, iowa seeing the bulk of heavy rain there but behind the system, though, very dry and warm weather to come for you. here are your temperatures. denver at 33 degrees. phoenix at 44. still excessive heat warnings still prevails there. heading over to europe, scandinavian peninsula and the balkans along the associated front for stormy activity. and if there are a few storms just along this front, the winds will be picked up up to about 85 kill meetee meters an hour. the british isles looking at sunny spells, as well. atlantic system pulling in towards the iberian peninsula. spain looking at thunderstorms. looking at 20 degrees kiev at 27. looking at athens at 23.