a transfer of power in yemen. it looks like the arab spring uprising is about to claim another leader. welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. yemen's president, ali abdullah saleh signed a deal proposed by neighboring countries to transfer his power to the vice president. saleh signed the agreement on wednesday while seated beside
saudi arabia's king abdullah in the saudi capital riyadh. saleh said he hopes the people of yemen will unite in order to overcome the country's troubles. the deal calls for the ruling party and anti-government forces to set up a provisional government and for an election to choose a new president to be held within three months. anti-government demonstrations have continued in yemen since january, demanding that president saleh step down after more than 20 years in power. following the arab spring upridings in tunisia, egypt, and libya, it appears that yemen's autocratic administration is likely to be forced out as well. however, some people in yemen doubt that the president will give up power. armed clashes continue between troops led by president saleh's family and anti-government forces with no prospect of a settlement being reached any time soon. the foreign ministers of japan and china have agreed that the two countries will
strengthen their relationship. foreign minister koichiro gemba met with his chinese counterpart yang jiechi wednesday for the first time since he assumed the post. nhk world's hitoshi hirouchi reports. >> reporter: more than one year has passed since a chinese fishing boat rammed a japanese patrol vessel near the disputed senkaku islands in the east china sea. gemba says that chinese responded favorably to his position on improving ties. >> translator: i believe japan/china relations, which have been shaky, are heading toward stabilization. i think we had very meaningful talks and deepened our understanding of each other, and we achieved results. >> reporter: the two leaders agreed to strengthen strategically beneficial ties.
they also agreed to make final arrangements for prime minister yoshihiko noda's first visit to china next month. gemba asked for an early resumption of negotiations toward signing a treaty on joint gas development project in the east china sea. the talks have been suspended since last year. gemba also called for the creation of a framework for dialogue between the two countries to avoid potential maritime dispute. yang said china would cooperate on the issues. gemba asked china to alleviate or to lift import restrictions on farm products from japan as soon as possible. they were imposed after the accident at the fukushima
daiichi nuclear power plant. yang said china would seriously consider the matter, employing scientific assessment to ensure safety. next year the two countries will mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties. the question of how far noda can solidify the relationship with china will attract attention during the first visit to china since taking office. hitoshi hirouchi, nhk world, beijing. people on the south korean island of yeonpyeong have gathered to remember the victims of a north korean attack. north korea's military pounded the island with artillery a year ago on wednesday. four people died. yeonpyeong is located near the disputed maritime border in the yellow sea.
the victims of the attack were two south korean marines and two civilians. 100 military officers and other people gathered at a hillside park for a memorial service for the two marines. they could see north korea in the distance. organizers unveiled a monument bearing the portraits of the dead marines. following the memorial service people honored the two civilians who died in last year's attack. they unveiled a monument near the factory where the victims were working at the time of the shelling. donors paid for the monument. about 3,000 people also went to tejang national cemetery for a memorial ceremony.
prime minister kim hwang sik addressed the gathering. >> translator: my heart bleeds at the memory of the incident. the south korean government will never compromise when it comes to the safety and security of its people and the country. >> the south korean government has repeatedly demanded the north apologize for the yeonpyeong attack. it also wants its neighbor to take measures to make sure something like that doesn't happen again. but members of north korea's ruling workers party aren't sorry at all. they once again defended their military attack on yeonpyeong island. the newspaper "rodong sinmun" ran a commentary on wednesday. it calls the shelling a product of provocation and says south korea is solely responsible. the newspaper maintains the attack wouldn't have happened if the south had not intruded into north korean waters. last friday the "rodong sinmun" accused south korea of building up its military near yeonpyeong island. it warned that could trigger all-out war. even though the two countries
are at odds, they're still exploring ways to improve relations. so far this year senior government officials from both sides have held two meetings to discuss north korea's nuclear program. time for business news with yong gi khan. europe's debt problems are starting to affect the region's safer assets. >> that's right. we've seen italian and spanish bond yields spike, and we're starting to see that impact on german bonds as well. germany failed to get sufficient demand for its 10-year government bonds offered for sale on wednesday. it's a sign that investors are avoiding even german sovereign debt, which has been considered relatively sound as the european debt crisis deepens. the german government planned to raise about $8 billion in an auction of newly issued bonds. however, the bids amounted to only about $5.2 billion. germany has had its demand shortfall in the past but not to this extent.
the yield on the benchmark 10-year german government bond is at 2.1%. that is up seven basis points from tuesday. on the european government bond market overall selling was widespread on wednesday. the yield on the italian 10-year issue at one stage went above 7%, a level that will make it difficult for the country to rebuild its finances on its own. the yield on spanish government bonds also remained high at the 6.6% level. sources say that only the european central bank was a major buyer of government bonds. u.s. stocks also tumbled on wednesday, as weak demand at the german government bond auction sparked investor fears. selling pressure mounted in new york as market players were worried that the sovereign debt problem has begun to threaten even germany. the dow jones industrial average closed the day at 11,257. that is down 236 points, or 2%
from tuesday's close. sources say the selling spree was also triggered by the rise in italian bond yields, weak data on u.s. consumer spending, and employment also weighed on market sentiment. all right. let's check on the markets to see how things are kicking off here this thursday morning in japan. we go to ramin mellegard, who's at the tokyo stock exchange. so ramin, how are things kicking off this thursday as the european debt worries continue? >> very good morning to you, yonggi. yes indeed, markets were closed here yesterday, but we did see global markets trading lower as you mentioned there on that weaker than expected german 10-year bond auction and also some weaker than expected data out of europe, china, and in the u.s. as you mentioned there, the dow dropping around 2%. but also in asia we did see the hang seng falling around 2%. and also the euro taking another beating against the dollar and the yen. but let's have a look at the opening levels here this thursday morgan.
and you know what? we're hitting a fresh intraday low here. we're below 8,227, which was the low set after the march 11th disaster. so fresh intraday lows on the nikkei. you can see they're down 133 points. now, the u.s. markets are going to be closed for thanksgiving so, we might see a little bit of range trading after this catch-up that we're seeing right now. you can see the markets significantly lower. now, financial shares may be a bit of a focus. we did see those shares trading lower in the u.s. as well as energy and industrial stocks. we'll keep track of those here on the nikkei as well. down 134 points now. and also that follows the weaker than expected china purchasing managers index, which has been the worst since march 2009. let's have a look at the currency levels as well this thursday morning. as stocks kick off here. 77.20-23 dollar-yen. and look at that. euro/yen, 103.07-13. the euro did sink against the
dollar, and it's traded lower against the yen there, following the german 10-year bond auction on wednesday. but let's also keep track of commodities. i did mention energy and industrial stocks. but we did see wti crude oil prices falling around 2%. also metals, we did see gold and copper trading lower. domestically here, we have the olympus former president michael woodford who is back in town after being fired last month following the exposure of that corporate bookkeeping scandal. a lot of volatility in olympus shares. it's been down 57% since the scandal broke out and 60% higher just in the last two weeks. we're going to keep track of that and a lot more. but as i said there, the nikkei hitting a fresh intraday low this morning. back to you, yonggi. >> okay, ramin. a lot of things to watch out for. that was ramin mellegard at the o stock exchange. and here's a recap of the latest market figures.
and that's all for now in biz news. and it's back to catherine. >> thanks very much, yonggi. as ramin mentioned, the former president of olympus corporation has arrived in japan from britain, and that's to cooperate in an investigation into the optical equipment maker. michael woodford will speak to japanese authorities who are looking at the company's cover-up of huge financial losses. woodford spoke to the media on wednesday after he arrived at narita international airport. he called on olympus to come clean about a scheme to hide its substantial losses from investors. >> what is the detail? who received money from olympus? which organizations or companies
or people worked with olympus? we need answers to that. not just saying it was done and that's the end of the story. >> woodford also said he's prepared to return as president if shareholders want him to. the company fired woodford on october 14th. he said he was dismissed because he questioned large payments that were made in four acquisitionses. olympus cited a disagreement over his management style. olympus executives later admitted the company had inflated payments for corporate buyouts to hide investment losses from the 1990s. woodford will meet the tokyo district public prosecutors and the commission of exchange and securities. he remains an olympus director and will also attend a board meeting on friday to question the company about the cover-up. a meeting of nuclear experts from around the world is discussing ways to promote medical research and treatment for radiation exposure. the two-day symposium got under way on wednesday in hiroshima.
the gathering is the first of its kind jointly sponsored by hiroshima prefecture, medical organizations, and the international atomic energy agency. one of the speakers was fukushima university medical professor seiji yasimura. he is in charge of conducting a survey on the health of residents in fukushima prefecture following the nuclear disaster. but professor yasimura warned that the budget for the survey is not sufficient and may run out. he also said that few people are filling out the surveys that would help him estimate levels of radiation exposure. he said help is needed. iaea deputy director general daoud mohammed said the agency will provide all possible support to fukushima prefecture if requested. a popular blogger from china is visiting central japan to help promote the area and lure back chinese tourists. japan is a favorite destination for many chinese travelers, but their numbers have fallen sharply since the march 11th disaster. song jun runs a blog that's
visited by about 10 million people every year. he was invited to japan by officials from three prefectures near tokyo to write about their top spots. local residents guided song as he visited the city of koshu in yamanashi prefecture. the destinations included a he disused railway tunnel that wa used more than 100 years ago. song asked questions about the brick walls which are tainted with soot from locomotives. koshu is known for its vineyards, so song also visited another old tunnel where more than 600,000 bottles of local wine are stored. the tunnel provides stable temperatures and humidity. song was given a bottle of wine before he left. >> translator: since the march 11th disaster chinese tourists have been worried about the nuclear accident. i'll write about the region on my blog and tell them japan is a safe and wonderful tourist destination.
"newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post march 1 1th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss nuclear watch and the road ahead on "newsline." australia has long accepted immigrants to help its economy grow. they've come from a variety of countries. but these days the government is keen on bringing in greek workers. as their country's racked by financial crisis, many greeks find australia's job market attractive. hiromi kurasaka reports from melbourne. >> reporter: elaini and her two children live in the melbourne
suburb. seven years ago australian immigration authorities rated her as a skillful teacher and journalist. she left greece to make a home in australia. she works as an interpreter. >> she told the doctor that her back was sore, her legs were sore, her hips were sore, but the medicine did nothing for her. >> i'm sure that if i was in greece i wouldn't have any chance to be self-efficient with two kids, work, and you know, do everything. but here i can. >> reporter: about 25% of australia's populations are immigrants. the australian government used to have an immigration policy that gave strong preference to white people from europe.
but by mid 1970s the country had finished dismantling the policy. the country's economic boom have increased the need for more workers. so australia have accepted non-white immigrants. in recent years the government have favored immigrants with advanced degrees like doctors and engineers. australia hopes these skilled professionals help the country become more internationally competitive. >> for australia skilled migration is an absolutely essential part of the longer-term structural reforms that our economy is undergoing. >> we also know we are unable, we will be unable to fill in from the existing population. >> reporter: australia's government now tries to attract immigrants from greece. even before this greeks have long been set nlg australia. enough greeks have moved to
melbourne to form a large community. now australia tries to attract young educated greeks who cannot find work in their home country because of its economic crisis. >> welcome to a land of endless opportunity. the western australian economy is experiencing increasing demand for skilled workers in a diverse range of industries. >> reporter: an australian job recruitment fair in october attracted a lot of interest in athens. 13,000 greeks applied for 850 openings. this nursing home took part in the event. it hopes to find skilled staff to care for elderly people. >> there's an expanding population base. we didn't have a supply of those people here in australia, a
ready supply. we thought we'd be part of that expo. >> reporter: this greek organization in melbourne has received a sudden influx of inquiries from greeks hoping to move to australia. >> these are just the inquiries that were made in the past, let me see, two months. at the same time we received about 4,000 or 5,000 phone calls. >> reporter: australia places a lot of importance on its immigrant work force to keep the economy going. the government hopes the new arrivals make a strong contribution to the country's future. hiromi kurosaka, nhk world, melbourne. tokyo is warmer this thursday morning compared to wednesday. let's take a look at the global weather forecast now with sayaka mori.
>> hello. welcome to your weather update. starting off with east asia, a strong low pressure system is impacting northern japan, bringing heavy rains, strong winds, as well as thunderstorms across hokkaido, all the way down to the northern -- all the way down to the northwestern flank of japan, and this system could develop even more, and usher cold air from the north so blustery conditions are expected in hokkaido as well as the tohoku region in the next 12 hours and the stormy conditions will gradually move eastward, but could create 30 centimeters of snow in hokkaido today. however, the southern portions of japan are looking at much drier conditions. meanwhile, the korean peninsula and much of china are experiencing very dry conditions. some precipitation popping up across the midsection of china, but it's not on the severe side. down towards the south, it's largely wet across the philippines, and scattered thunderstorms are possible
throughout the day here. meanwhile, the southern half of vietnam are still looking at rain throughout the day. we're expecting 18 degrees in tokyo, slightly warmer than yesterday, and 3 in seoul, despite the sunshine, and minus 9 in ulan bator, but warming up to 24 in hong kong. heading over to the americas today, we can see a cluster of clouds over the pacific. this is tropical storm kenneth, but it's moving away from any land masses. meanwhile, low pressure systems and fronts are impacting the pacific northwest as well as british columbia, bringing heavy snowfall, coastal rain, as well as strong winds. the stormy conditions will continue into friday here. on the other hand, the central and eastern portions of the u.s. are looking at very dry conditions, under a high pressure system. but the southern end of florida peninsula, the northeastern states as well as parts of the eastern end of canada are still looking at some showers, but that should taper off as we head into tonight. as for temperatures, we are
expecting 8 degrees in winnipeg and 13 in chicago, and 10 degrees in toronto, and warming up to 23 in houston and 26 in miami. finally, let's go over to europe then. high pressure systems are dominating much of continental europe, bringing dry weather, lots of sunshine for you. but the southern parts of italy and the western balkan peninsula are still looking at severe thunderstorms, and conditions will continue throughout thursday. up towards the north a long frontal line is impacting the northern british isles, as well as the west coast of norway and parts of sweden. the precipitation will linger throughout thursday, and rain could become heavier across the northern uk in the next 24 hours. meanwhile, a separate system is bringing heavy snow and rain across finland and that will move to northwestern russia in the next 24 hours. we're expecting minus 2 degrees in moscow, very chilly here, and
♪ ♪ our lead stories this hour, yemen's president ali abdullah saleh has signed a deal proposed by neighboring countries to transfer his power to the vice president. saleh signed the agreement on wednesday, while seated beside saudi arabia's king abdullah in the saudi capital, riyadh. saleh said he hopes the people of yemen will unite in order to overcome the country's troubles.
the deal calls for the ruling party and anti-government forces to set up a provisional government and for an election to choose a new president to be held within three months. anti-government demonstrations have continued in yemen since january, demanding that president saleh step down after more than 20 years in power. following the arab spring uprisings in tunisia, egypt, and libya, it appears that yemen's autocrattic administration is likely to be forceed out as well. however, some people in lyemen doubt the president will give up power. the former president of olympus corporation has arrived in japan from britain to cooperate with an investigation into the optical equipment maker. michael woodford will speak to japanese authorities who are looking into the company's cover-up of huge financial losses. woodford spoke to the media on
wednesday after he arrived at narita international airport. he called on olympus to come clean about its scheme to hide financial losses from investors. >> what is the detail? who received money from olympus? which organizations or companies or people worked with olympus? we need answer to that. not just saying it was done and that's the endthe story. >> woodford also said he's prepared to return as president if shareholders want him to. the company fired woodford on october 14th. he said he was dismissed because he questioned large payments that were made in four acquisitions. olympus cited a disagreement over his management style. olympus executives later admitted the company had inflated payments for corporate buyouts to hide investment losses from the 1990s. woodford will meet the tokyo district public prosecutors and the commission of exchange and securities. he remains an olympus director and will also attend a board meeting on friday to question