some call it the 4 steve in honor of the late steve jobs, apple co-founder. the new smart phone has a double camera and double the processing speed. more than a million worldwide preordered it. the device is being released in seven countries, including japan. japanese customers are the first in asia to start using the iphone 4s. our reporter joins us live from tokyo. how is the turnout where you are? it looks pretty exciting over there. >> it is very exciting over here, katherine. the store just opened now. check out this long line curving across the building. as you can see in front of the store, bouquets of flowers have been left in honor of steve jobs. our crews arrived at 6:00 this morning. already at that time, we counted
360 anxious people to get their hands on the iphone 4s. let's talk to people in line about what they are so excited about. >> this gentleman says he is really excited about the voice recognition system. >> the bigger and better smart phone. in countries such as japan and the united states, more mobile carriers are getting into the iphone game. how is that expected to change things? >> here in japan, the monopoly for iphone ended. the same in the united states where sprint has now joined mobile powerhouses at&t and
verizon wireless. what this does with more distributors making the product, not only broadens the customer base but puts pressure on them to improve the data network to accommodate heavy traffic smart phone users that aren't just calling and texting, they're now uploading and downloading video. better yet, they may be watching us live on the nhk world live app. >> mobile carriers seem to be betting on smart phones as the future of their industries. how is that changing the market in japan? >> well, catherine, for years cell phones like these dominated the market. studies show 9% of people signing cell phone contracts are using smart phones. the same study says by 2016,
that 9% will be jumping to 60%. some say the iphone is one of the many reasons for that growth. catherine, back to you in the studio. >> rina, as you mentioned earlier with more mobile phone carriers offering the iphone, i'm sure we'll see many more jumping on the band wagon. in other news, video vok i can't has approved a plan to expand the eurozone bailout fund. the plan is designed to contain the european credit crisis. this means all the 17 eurozone nations have endorsed the measure. >> translator: on this day, slovakia's parliament passed the measure by a majority on thursday. to 114 to 30. it provides funding to troubled
countries. on tuesday, however, the parliament rejected the bill. some members of the governing coalition abstained from voting amid public opposition to bailing out debt-ridden countries like greece. thursday's approval came after they gain support by agreeing to hold an election two years earlier than scheduled. >> translator: i would like to thank the lawmakers that voted in favor of the bill. slovakia will remain a member of eu and the euro zone. we confirm the measure with today's ballot. >> they manage to pass that ensuring the nations approved it. stocks in new york recovered from an opening selloff thanks
in part to what happened in slovakia. the dow jones industrial average was down as much as 138 points on thursday before trimming the losses to just 40 points. technology shares are strong as the nasdaq finished with a gain of 15 points. the s&p 500 losing 0.3 of a percent. australian stock is trading 4222. that's down about .5%. the foreign exchange market is trading at 76.87-92 range. and the ftse sagged .71%. and fran's index dropped 1.3%. u.s. president obama and the south korean president confirmed the free trade agreement passed
by u.s. congress wednesday will further strengthen bilateral relations. the leaders held talks at the white house for about two hours thursday. at a post meeting news conference, obama praised congress for passing the free trade pact. >> we agreed to move ahead quickly with the landmark trade agreement congress passed last night. it's a win for both our countries. >> he also said he will work hard to get south korea's parliament to ratify the agreement at the earliest possible date. his visit to the united states is the first in 13 years by a south korean president. the u.s. free trade agreement may take effect as early as next january. the move could bolster japan's chief export competitor in asia. how will the fta benefit the u.s. and south korea? a 2.5% tariff now imposed on south korean car imports to the united states will be eliminated
within five years. south korean import duties on american beef and pork will be removed after a certain period of time. this is a tv commercial in south korea. >> the ad is sponsored by the south korean government. the country is promoting free trade under the strong leadership of president lee myung-bak. >> translator: our country needs to expand into the world economy. the fta is a core national strategy. >> with trade accounting for nearly half of south korea's gdp, the president has a strong belief that going overseas is the only path for further development. japan, on the other hand, only began preliminary talks with the eu in may for an economic partnership agreement.
japan is lagging far behind its neighbor in terms of free trade. japanese business leaders are concerned that the u.s./south korean trade pact could erode the competitiveness of japanese cars and tvs and hurt exports. >> translator: a free trade pact can make a huge difference. japan needs to achieve economic growth by better incorporating external demand. otherwise, this country will have no future. >> the japanese government has yet to decide whether to join u.s.-led talks for the multinational transpacific partnership agreement. the agricultural sector says that promoting agriculture and improving food self-sufficiency will not be possible if japan joins the tpp.
concerned about the us/south korean fta agreement. prime minister yoshihiko noda is ordering his officials and ruling democratic party executives to quickly decide on whether japan should participate in tpp negotiations. next we go to our bureau in bangkok for the latest on what's making headlines in the region. >> they are celebrating the wedding of a young monarch. first royal wedding in 23 years is a simple, fresh start for the newly democratic nation. 31-year-old married a 21-year-old commoner. the celebrations were held in the country's ancient capital in the presence of the royal family and prominent buddhist figures. the ceremony was broadcast live on national television and will be followed by several days of
festivities. >> translator: we think of our king as a god. we see it as a very good development. he's been good for his people in the past, and it bodes well for our future, too. >> everything is changing. our king is going to start a new life getting married. and i think it's good. >> the king of bhutan enjoyed absolute rule until 2008 when the country adopted a constitutional monarchy and election of parliament. the nation with a population of 700,000 is also known for koing the term "gross national happiness", a concept that talks about people's level of contentment over mere economic growth. that policy faces difficulties
linked to widespread unemployment among citizens. now the royal wedding has given them one more reason to be happy and hopeful for the future. and southeast asia remains under threat of more flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains. the united nations says around 4 million people have been effected so far across the indochina peninsula. this map published by a united nations agency shows in red the areas effected by floods since august. it covers tie hand, cambodia, laos. tie land worst off with 280 killed and 2.3 million effected. residents of bangkok are on alert for possible flooding in the city. in neighboring cambodia, more than 200 people have been killed by floods and landslides after
rivers overflowed. they call the disaster the worst in cambodia in over a decade, with one million people effected and half the districts in the capital already flooded. in southern vietnam, floods are worsening with at least 34 deaths, many of them children. damage to local crops and infrastructure is estimated at about 45 million u.s. dollars. in laos, at least 30 people have died and 400,000 have been effected. the rains are expected to continue for several more weeks, raising expectations that the crisis may still worsen. sri lanka entoured two decades of wars before the tsunami that killed more than 30,000 people on the island. two years after the conflict ended, some areas are on the way to full recovery, thanks to
tourism. >> translator: this is southeastern sri lanka. the beach is known to surfers around the world. last month, an international surfing competition was held here. nearly 100 surfers from 19 countries took part. >> there's so many things to see, wildlife, good surf. yeah, it is very good. there could be a lot of potential here. >> earlier, he is a hotel operator in aragombi. he opened the hotel 12 years ago, but his business suffered as tourists stayed away because of the civil war. sri lanka saw intensifying
conflicts in the 1980s. fighting continued more than 20 years between the government dominated by the ethnic majority and militants in the northern part of the country. the country was also struck by a massive tsunami after the 2004 indian ocean earthquake. this picture was taken right after the tsunami. his hotel was destroyed. in sri lanka alone, more than 30,000 people were killed. this concrete pillar is all that is left of the original hotel. >> in like ten minutes, my building already gone, everything. i can't forget it. i see it really in my eyes, this
happening. >> encouraged by friends, he rebuilt the hotel, but guests were slow to return. the change came with the end of the civil war in 2009. >> sri lanka. >> the sri lankan government is trying to attract international tourists. in december, 2010, a sea plane service started. getting here from the nation's capital used to take at least eight hours by car. now it is only a one hour flight. security has improved in the two years since the end of the conflict, and the number of tourists is on the rise. about 650,000 people visited sri
lanka in 2010, 1.5 times more than the previous year. visitors started to come back to his hotel as well. on this day, a brazilian family was staying there. >> families will come to, back to this area, i hope in the future my tourism we grow up. >> the war is over and stability has been restored. sri lankans are optimistic tourism can play a part in the country's reconstruction. >> looks like an amazing place. that wraps up our bulletin from bangkok. the japanese government will unveil its decontamination
strategy next month. it will decontaminate towns and villages around the fukushima daiichi plant. earlier, we spoke to a reporter to get a few details. >> earlier this week, the ministry of environment issued a set of policy plans on decontamination. what are the major points of the plans? >> the biggest point of the report is that a central government has expanded areas where it takes responsibility for decontamination. now the government will be responsible for decontaminating all the areas with radiation levels of one millisievert instead of five. at first, the area to be decontaminated extended 2,419 square kilometers. but the government changed the threshold after getting pressure
that more areas should be decontaminated. they expanded it even more. the report also sets a goal for reducing radiation levels in certain time frames. under the plan, in residential areas with annual radiation levels less than 20 millisieverts, the government will aim to half radiation levels from august 2013 to august 2011. they will aim for 60% reduction in schools and parks used by children in the same time frame. following this report, the environment minister has this to say. >> the ministry will make all out efforts for decontamination and radioactive waste disposal. it is very important that we as
the government do this with the cooperation of the other ministries. >> already in fukushima prefecture and surrounding areas, there's scraping off the surface grounds of school yards and cleansing roads. what specific measures are in the policy plans? >> first of all, topsoil of farmland must be removed. the government experiment near the nuclear power plant shows if four centimeters of topsoil on rice pad ees are removed, radiation can be reduce frd 10,000 beck relevance to 2,000 beck res of soil. iaea experts are visiting japan and say the level is low enough. but at the same time, falling leaves must be collected from large forests and woods or roofs
of buildings must be washed away. the government must also decide where it will store the huge amount of radioactive soil. according to the environment ministry's initial assessment, such soil amounts to 28.79 million cubic meters, which is equal to 11,000 times larger than a swimming pool used for the olympics. now the areas for decontamination has expanded furthermore the amount of radioactive soil and waste would increase substantially. >> will contaminated soil and waste need to be disposed of appropriately. what are future plans for disposal disposal?>> the government has yet to show details. it will be transported to
storage sites in each municipality. soil with high levels of contamination will be stored in temporary storage facilities set up by the central government. in many municipalities, it is not easy to find locations for such storage sites because of concerns among residents. it is not clear where the central government's storage facilities will be located. in fukushima, decontamination work has already begun, but unless the locations of storage sites are secured, cleanup efforts cannot make progress, so the central government should so specific policies immediately. >> regarding the fukushima daiichi, already the cost to resolve the accident as well as the compensation has grown enormous. cost for decontamination are certain to be an additional burden, right? >> the environment ministry initially estimated that 1.14 trillion yen would be required
to decontaminate areas with annual radiation levels of five millisieverts are more. but the recent change in the threshold would raise the cost furthermore. the government will pay the cost first and ask the tokyo electric power company to pay later. but if the cost rises substantially, it's not certain to what extent tepco can bear the cost. the environment ministry says it will do whatever it can do with the current budget, but it remains to be seen whether the ministry can meet the needs of citizens with financial constraints. let's take a look at the global weather forecast.
>> hello. time for the weather update. let's start with east asia. it is wet again across southeast asia. tropical depression left the philippines and is moving northwesterly direction. it could restrengthen into a tropical storm by tonight. and this area has been contending with serious flooding situations. any additional rain is not good news. we will keep you posted on its progress. inched oh china peninsula is seeing heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms as well. meanwhile, a front is dumping heavy rain across southeastern china to southern japan and the southern korean peninsula. the rain will develop and target western japan today. we're expecting over 150 milliliters of rain. some areas could see as much as 300. definitely stay on the watch for flooding and landslides. central and northern japan will see torrential rain saturday.
as for china, southeastern corner, things will be gradually easing heading into tonight. but it will stay wet across the northeast parts of china. as for temperatures, we expect 24 in tokyo, 17 in seoul. it is getting up to 26 in hong kong and 30 degrees in tie pay. as for the americas, irwin is now a tropical storm and continues to bring heavy rainfall inch of central america. risk of flooding and mudslides will remain high the next several days. meanwhile, several stornls are dumping heavy rain. severe weather can be found in the mid-atlantic region. tornados were reported in virginia. risk of severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds and tornados will continue here throughout tonight. meanwhile, the western parts of the u.s. and canada stay dry and
settled under this high pressure system. a few showers pop up across the pacific northwest. as for temperatures on friday, we are expecting 30 degrees in houston, 31 degrees in los angeles. the east coast is on the mild side. we expect 23 in new york and 22 in washington, d.c. and 23 in atlanta. finally, let's go to europe. it is west and thundery in southern italy and southern balkan peninsula. gusty winds are possible throughout friday. the british isles has a dry spell, but a system is approaching. it will be very wet across this area over the weekend. a high pressure system is keeping things dry and settled across much of continental europe, but temperatures are very cool in berlin with only 11 degrees, and 10 degrees in vienna, 9 in warsaw. but the eye beerian peninsula is experiencing a dry weather. expect 28 in madrid and 33 in
that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us. we'll be back with more updates at the top of the next hour. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >p > i'm here with world. tthe first pick is a documenta thp that loothat looks at tthe first pick is a documenta thp that loothat looks a in use of new energy sources. since the japan earthquake, interest in energy resources have skyrocketed. this follows the competition between companies to provide new energy systems for the energy saving smart cities of the
future. next, a fresh look at water and how it is valued by japanese culture. in cool japan, people introduce fresh water from different viewpoints. free water is available in japanese towns and cities. reporters set out to discover the culture of water in japan. and our last pick, the mark of beauty. inside guide to traditional japanese aesthetics. cue tan ee yak ee we're. why the