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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  April 9, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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show and tell. north korea allows the media to see what it's launching later this week as its neighbors remain on high alert. welcome to nhk world "newsline." north korean authorities are just days away from a controversial countdown. they have moved a rocket into place and they say they're going to use it to send a satellite into space sometime between thursday and monday. but foreign governments don't buy it. they say this is all an
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elaborate cover for a long range missile test. the north's leaders are trying to counter the claim by giving media a front-row seat. they invited about 60 international journalists to check out the launch tight in pyongan-pukdo in the northwestern part of the country. all three stages of the 30-meter long rocket are in position. it's marked with a north korean flag and the name milky way 3 in korean. officials show journalists what they say is the satellite they plan to launch. the device is covered with solar panels and is equipped with cameras and antennas. the north korean official responsible for the launch facility says everything has been prepared. he says crews could lower the satellite, fuel up the rocket and launch it at any time. he also says his country's leaders have an even bigger goal in mind. they want to put larger satellites into orbit in the future including a geostationary
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communications satellite. >> translator: we have already set out a concrete program. it could pass over japan. it could also fly over other countries. >> we asked hideki kenada to provide analysis. he's a retired vice admiral from japan's maritime self-defense force and an expert on ballistic missiles. >> the new rockets which they say to carry the satellite into space, when i look at that and also i compare with the old rocket, which was tried to launch the satellite but failed in april 2009, i can observe two things are different. the one thing is they have -- new one has four nozzles which means very strong power.
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and give strong powers to the rockets or missiles. and the other one, in the bottom you may see the contra wing. so that contra wing they didn't have in 2009, but now they have, which has some very, very precise control of the rocket would be available. this is very precise and very stable and reliable things. their effort made to the south, which means they have lessons learned from the failure of the launch attempted missile in april of 2009. after that, they made an effort to improve the new ballistic
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missile or rocket to launch a satellite. we can say, not only me, but every expert of the missiles or rockets or space issue in the world think that satellite rocket this time would be equivalent to the experimental firing of the ballistic missile. specifically long-range ballistic missile, which north korea didn't have now. >> that was hideaka kenada, retired air force vice admiral. north korean authorities have been using state run media to document the leadup to the launch. every step of the way. korean central television reported on the foreign media visit we showed you earlier. the station says the tour shows there is heightened international interest in the upcoming event.
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>> analysts say the korean central television report may be trying to boost the national profile and authority of the country's new leader, kim jong-un. missile defense units in okinawa are preparing to intercept the rocket if it strays into japanese territory. ishigaki island is a key operational base for self-defense forces. the sdf has deployed land-based pac-3 missiles ahead of the launch. 300 ground self-defense personnel have arrived to provide security. medics are there in case debris from the rocket causes casualties. they set up tents near ishigaki port to serve as a field hospital. the self-defense forces are preparing for the possibility of liquid fuel falling from the rocket.
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the sdf has chemical warfare vehicles and gas masks on hand just in case. iran is another country defying international pressure on its nuclear program. six major countries will resume talks with iran on saturday in istanbul. a spokesperson for an eu coordinator revealed the plan to nhk. the talks stalled in january last year when a previous meeting ended without agreement. the group of six nations includes the united states and three european countries, plus russia and china. the spokesperson said the european union sxrekts progress this time. they hinted the upcoming round of talks could continue for a few days. the international community is stepping up sanctions on iran tass speeds nuclear development. the united states and afghanistan have signed a deal handing afghans the authority to conduct night searches for taliban insurgents.
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rising anti-u.s. sentiment may be behind the decision. the commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan john alan and afghan defense minister wardak announced the deal. >> the people of afghanistan can be very proud to know that their special operations forces have taken lead for the conduct of counterterrorist operations in afghanistan. >> u.s. troops will continue to take part mainly by providing afghans with information and technical advice. u.s. military officials say nighttime operations are the most effective way to counter terrorism. they say their troops succeeded in detaining many taliban members through the more than 2,000 raids on afghan homes last year alone. recent incidents involving u.s. servicemen have fueled afghan resentment. they include the burning of the koran that sparked violent protests as well as a shooting rampage that left many civilians dead.
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japan's sony is cutting about 10,000 jobs worldwide this year because of its money losing flat panel television business. the electronics maker plans to eliminate several thousand jobs and flat panel tv production and reduce management positions in japan and overseas. sony expects to post a net loss of about $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended last month. that's mainly due to poor flat panel tv sales in the united states and europe. it will be the firm's fourth consecutive year of losses. on april 1st, about 2,000 sony employees were moved to a newly established company. sony and two other electronics companies, toshiba and hitac
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hitachitachi made this company. all seven board members of sony including chairman howard stringer and ceo kazuo hirai plan to forgo their bonuses for the last business year. corporate bankruptcies in japan declined in fiscal 2011 for the third straight year. the fall is attributed to increasing reconstruction projects after last year's march disaster. a private create research firm teikoku data bank says a little over 11,400 companies went under last fiscal year, down 0.5% from 2010. the number fell 27% in disaster hit areas in northeastern japan. the reason was assistance the government provided for companies struck by the earthquake and tsunami. the research firm notes, however, that the business situation may be worse than it appears in the coastal reege rad regions where residents had to evacuate following the fukushima
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daiichi accident. in these areas, it says 1500 companies had to suspend business, but not file for bankruptcy or authorities cannot locate the owners. japan's current account balance in february returned to the black for the first time in two months. but the surplus is down 30% in yen terms from a year earlier as european debt problems continue to weigh on exports. japan's finance ministry said in a preliminary report that the current account surplus was about $14.5 billion in february. but the nation's trade surplus plunged over 85% year on year to about $1.3 billion. exports fell 2%, amid a slowdown in the global economy triggered by europe's credit worries. imports on the other hand surged more than 11%. higher prices of crude oil are to blame along with a rise in imports of liquefied natural gas to fuel thermal power plants after the nuclear accident last year. meanwhile, the income surplus
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grew nearly 4% over $15 billion. the ministry says it will closely watch the impact of high oil prices and the yen's strength on japan's trade figures. china's inflation rate turned higher last month after falling the previous month. the country's consumer price index rose 3.6% in march from the same month last year. china's inflation had accelerated to 6.5% last july when the economy showed signs of overheating. prices later turned lower after authorities tightened lending. the pickup in march was due to rising crude oil prices and higher material costs. the chinese government also loosened monetary controls. the march inflation rate is below the target rate of around 4% for the year but analysts say authorities likely will tighten monetary policy again to keep inflation in check. the ongoing fukushima
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nuclear crisis has sparked renewed interest in natural energy sources. a growing number of companies and individuals in japan rin stalling solar panels to generate their own electricity. the problem is solar generation is still inefficient and remains relatively expensive. japanese researchers are working all out to come up with cutting edge answers. >> reporter: a housing company is tackling the problem of solar panels overheating. the hotter the panels, the less energy they produce. in summer, when their surfaces can hit 60 degrees celsius, they are 20% less efficient. one way to keep the temperature down is by sprinkling them with water. however, water evaporates quickly and the cost of using so much water actually drives up operating costs. so the company tried using ceramics underneath the solar
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panels. ceramics absorb water and that water evaporates slowly. that means less water is needed to cool down the panels. under the glass surface of panel is the layer of silicon that generates electricity. the ceramic underlay retains water, so the temperature can be kept down without having to add water continuously. the company has found that by making the ceramics into flat panels they can reduce the temperature by seven degrees. its next target is to bring that down by over ten degrees. >> translator: if this approach can be developed for use on people's houses, much more power can be generated than at present. >> reporter: another company is focusing on maximizing the amount of sunlight being collected.
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steel company in aichi has developed panels that move constantly so they face the sun, to take in as much sunlight as possible. the key point is the acrylic lenses used on the panel's surface. this lens collects 820 times more sunlight than a standard panel. the light is focused so it hits a solar cell which converts the light into electricity. although they are much more expensive, each cell gathers so much light that fewer are needed. this should help to keep costs down. this solar technology is among the most efficient in the world. the cells generate twice as much energy as conventional solar panels. >> translator: our aim is to focus on developing large scale components for use in solar power plants.
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>> other researchers are looking into the properties of different materials. professor masafumi yamaguchi of the technological institute is the head of a teamwork on a collaborated project with eu researchers. yamaguchi has come up with a way using all the components of sunlight. up to now solar power has come only from visible light, not ultraviolet or infrared light. yamaguchi's team has broken new ground successfully generating energy from all three sections of the light's spectrum, maximizing its potential. they developed this triple layered solar cell. in tests, these cells generated over twice as much energy as conventional cells. combining this method with the
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new lenses will increase generation capacity even more. >> translator: if solar power generators can be made long lasting, efficient and cheap, they will outperform all other methods of generating electricity. >> professor yamaguchi says he hopes that by 2030 as much as 100 million kilowatts can be generated from solar power equivalent to the output of 20 nuclear power plants. here are the latest market figures.
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prime minister yoeshihikerb yoshihiko noda is facing a crisis in confidence. a poll shows more than 50% of respondents disapprove of the prime minister's cabinet. this is the first time the number surpassed the midway point since the minister took power last september. the survey says 53% disapprove of noda's cabinet, that's a jump of 5 percentage points from a month ago. 30% of respondents support noda's cabinet, a drop of 3 percentage points. the poll was conducted over the weekend. of the people who disapprove of noda's cabinet, 46% said they cannot expect much from its policies. another 27% said the cabinet lacks the ability to implement its ideas. the poll also addressed the issue of restarting nuclear reactors halted for inspections. 15% said they support the
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resumption. 39% were against. and 42% were unsure. operators of a nuclear plant in central japan are trying to prove their facility poses no threat to the public. kansai electric power company executives want to restart two reactors at the ohi plant. they submitted a plan showing how they comply with new government safety standards prompted by last year's accident at fukushima daiichi. kansai electric president makoto yagi handed in the paperwork to yukio edano. >> translator: i believe it important for operators to raise safety benchmarks yourselves. >> translator: we'll carry out the plan so we can further improve safety. >> the timeline includes the installation of 2015 installation in 2015 of vents equipped with filters to scrub radioactive material from steam.
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they're used to release pressure from containment vessels in the event of a nuclear emergency. the company also plans to build an earthquake resistant office building the same year. the utility says the office will serve as a response center for dealing with nuclear accidents. only one of japan's 54 reactors is operating right now. the rest aside from the damaged fukushima units are offline for regular maintenance. they can't go back online until they pass tests, comply with the standards we just mentioned, and win approval of regions that host them. but many locals still have doubts about safety. some are urging the government to speed up the launch of a new regulator for the nuclear industry. an association of municipalities hosts nuclear plants and they put their concerns to goshi hosono. he says the trestress tests required lack a scientific basis.
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he also calls into question the designated service life of a i unit which is currently 40 years. he requested an agency work effectively with enough disclosure and explain how it is going to improve safety. hosono said launching the agency would give peace of mind to people who live near nuclear plants. he said he hopes to get support from opposition parties to do that soon. a titanic memorial cruise has set sail from england. it is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fateful 1912 voyage of the iconic liner. some of the passengers are descendants of titanic's doomed maiden outing. the cruise started from south hampton on sunday with 1,309 passengers on board. this is the identical number to that carried by the titanic. the ship left from the same port
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as the original voyage and will follow a similar route, ending in new york. some passengers wore period clothing. the ship's restaurant will serve the same dishes as on their original cruise. a live band will add to the mood with music of the era. the passengers include relatives of the people that were on board the titanic. >> my grandfather sailed on the titanic, surviving on lifeboat 13. i want to see new york and see the statue of liberty. >> the trip will include a visit to the location where the ship sank between april 14th and 15th after colliding with an iceberg. a memorial service will be held at the spot. it was warm and sunny today in tokyo. robert has the weather forecast for here and around the world. robert? >> yes, gene. temperatures got up to 24 degrees here in tokyo. that's a full ten degrees than
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what you saw yesterday. only a high of 14 was saw. but let's look at the bigger picture. you are seeing this very fair weather across much of the country, due to a combination of worm air surging in from the south, combined with clear skies across here. hokkaido seeing this low pressure work quickly away from the japanese coast. that will be ushering in much fairer and dryer weather in behind it. take your attention here toward eastern china. a developing area of low pressure will work its way to the east, but only after dropping up to about 50 to 100 millimeters of rainfall there along southeastern china. and then expected to move off to the korean peninsula where this will be bringing some unfavorable conditions to that rocket launch expected sometime this week, before moving on to japan where by midweek you're going to be expect something heavy rainfall and even gusty winds. this system is not going to be anywhere remotely near last tuesday's storm. that record-breaking storm that brought the very high winds out
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across much of the country. but will be one of those days where you want to have an umbrella handy throughout the day. let's look at temperatures. in manila, warm and steamy down there at 34 degrees. going to be accompanied by afternoon rain showers and even thunderstorms. similar situation in bangkok. also in hong kong, a high of 28, very warm there. and seoul, a seasonable and average temperature of 18. now, over to the americas. a developing low pressure system still working its way off towards the east, ever so slowly. but today it is going to be a threat of severe weather for your monday here in northern texas. oklahoma. golf ball-sized hail or tennis ball-sized hail could be happening here possibly. also damaging winds and even the threat of tornadic activity cannot be ruled out. if you remember last week, we had all the reports of tornados along eastern texas here. looks like this week will be coming in with another big bang as far as severe weather adding up to the already aggressive
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tornado season you've been seeing so far here in the central plains. but out ahead of this, dry air continues to settle over the eastern coast. fire weather warnings actually in effect up and down much of the eastern seaboard. this is due to a combination of high winds and very dry weather and warm temperatures. north of that, though, a wintry precipitation or a wintry mix is starting to finally work its way off the new england coast. following that, some fairly chilly temperatures will start to work their way into wisconsin and also michigan. so overnight, on tuesday, going into wednesday, you could see some freezing temperatures there. sensitive vegetation outside needs to be covered up or protected here. to the south oklahoma at 24. now europe, a frontal system is working its way through the british isles today. this is expected to work its way down towards france and even spain where you've been seeing some drought conditions. so any rainfall here is a very welcome, starting to get a little bit of a relief into there and out ahead of that,
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high pressure is still dominating much of the mediterranean. fair weather out there in italy and the east of that. and another low pressure system is working its way through the baltic states and into turkey. temperatures in athens at 18. stockholm, single digit temperatures of 6. meanwhile, in moscow, also single digit temperatures at 5. here is our extended outlook.
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once again, our lead story. north korean authorities are just days away from a controversial countdown. they have moved a rocket into place. and they say they're going to use it to send a satellite into space sometime between thursday and monday. they invited about 16 international journalists to check out the launchpad. the site is in pyongen 350 an-p the northwestern part of the
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country. all three stages of the 30 meter long rocket are in position. it is marked with the north korean flag and the name milky way 3 in korean. officials showed journalists what they say is the satellite they plan to launch. the device is covered with solar panels and is equipped with cameras and antennas. the north korean official responsible for the launch facility said everything has been prepared. he says crews could load the satellite, fuel up the rocket and launch it at any time. he also said his country's leaders have a bigger goal in mind. they want to put larger satellites into orbit in the future including a geostationary communications satellite. >> translator: we have already set out a concrete program. it could pass over japan. it could also fly over other countries. we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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