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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  April 12, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." one day down, four to go. north korean space officials missed the first window for their much anticipated launch. they say they're using a rocket to send the satellite into space some time between now and monday, but many countries believe they'll be testing their long-range ballistic missile capabilities. japanese leaders say they are on 24-hour alert. north korean authorities announced last month they would fire off a rocket between thursday and monday.
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the launch is expected between 7:00 a.m. and noon. it's timed to happen around the 100th anniversary of the birth of kim il-sung, the founder of north korea, that sunday. >> translator: the government will continue to make its utmost effort to collect and analyze relevant information so we can be on alert should something happen. >> if something does happen, japan's self-defense forces are on standby in tokyo and the southern okinawa islands. they are under order to shoot down any debris that could enter japanese territory. experts say north korean officials at the launch site may be waiting for ideal conditions before they go ahead. foreign ministers from the group of eight nations insist they will work until the last minute to try to persuade the north koreans to cancel their plans. the ministers agreed the launch would be a violation of u.n. security council resolutions. the g-8 ministers discussed the issue at length on the first day
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of their two-day meeting in washington. >> we all share a strong interest in stability on the korean peninsula and we will be discussing how best to achieve that. >> clinton said she and her counterparts will discuss a response if the launch goes ahead. japanese foreign minister koichiro gemba said it is regrettable that north korean officials announced the launch in defiance of its agreement it made with the u.s. negotiators. the north koreans agreed in february to a moratorium on missile tests in exchange for u.s. food aid. the g-8 ministers are considering issuing an emergency statement condemning north korea if the launch happens. japan's foreign minister spoke with his russian counterpart sergei lavrov after the g-8 discussion. gemba says he asked for support to get the u.n. security council to act if north korea goes ahead with the launch. gemba and lavrov discussed measures that could be taken.
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gemba revealed he spoke about what japan expects russia to do in the security council regarding the possible adoption of a new resolution condemning north korea. he says lavrov replied cooperation is important among the nations that make up the six-party talks on north korea's nuclear program. the members are japan, russia, the united states, china and north and south korea. north korean leader kim jong-un has assumed two key posts within the ruling workers party on top of the supreme post of first secretary. >> the presidium of the
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political bureau is considered the party's highest decision-making body with an overall command at party activities. they originally had five members but in recent years existed in name only. for a time, kim jong-il, who died in december, was its only leader. with the addition of kim jong-un and his close aide, choe ryong hae, the party only has five members. the only party post kim jong-un held before this was vice chairman of the central military commission. yuko atani covered stories on the korean peninsula. why did north korean officials hold off the launch today? >> well, certainly they seemed ready to go. our colleagues were watching events unfolding in pyongyang. so they thought the launch might come on the first day of the five-day window. they keep their eyes on the screen but nothing happened. although there are several possibilities. one might be weather.
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it was cloudy there. clouds and wind do not favor a launch. another possibility might be that it was canceled for security reasons. kim jong-un may want to watch from the launch site so his presence would require tightened security. finally the leadership may want to choose a symbolic day for the launch. they may want the timing to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birthday of kim il-sung on sunday. >> there's plenty of symbolism this week. so, how does the launch fit into what's happening politically? >> well, all of the events seem orchestrated to highlight the leadership of kim jong-un. memberers of the workers party named him their leader on monday. it's a newly-created post to consolidate his grip on power. members of parliament which named kim jong-un as part of the
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party in the country. if so, he'll hold the most senior position of the party and the country. the earthquake off sumatra sent shockwaves to those living around the epicenter due to a possible tsunami. today, we found out there was a major flaw in a system that was supposed to save lives. thankfully, no major tsunami was caused by this quake. however, not everything went according to plan. the false alarm exposed defects in the tsunami warning system. nhk world reports from banda aceh on the lessons to be learned. >> reporter: when the strong jolt hit sumatra, it seemed for a few hours afterwards like a
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repeat of the nightmare of 2004. in banda aceh, the streets were jammed with cars as residents rushed away from the coast. several accidents were reported. the provincial government says the evacuation procedures need to be re-examined. the emergency also uncovered a malfunction in the tsunami warning system. indonesia's meteorological authorities say a warning was issued to towns and village along the coast five minutes after the earthquake hit. municipal offices then told people to evacuate by sounding sirens, but four of the six warning locations in the province did not work properly. authorities suspect both the main and backup power sources were cut by the earthquake. they've launched an investigation. many people expected the siren
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would sound, stood around waiting for instructions. they eventually began to evacuate after receiving word from people in other areas. indonesia and other countries around the indian ocean didn't have a tsunami warning system in place in 2004. as a result, they were unprepared for the destructive tsunami that year. a regional warning system was launched last october. it sent data to more than 20 countries and territories, including the expected arrival time of tsunami waves, but there are many issues to overcome before the system can reliably deliver this potentially life-saving information. nhk world, banda aceh. safe war is the chosen location for a new water research institute owned by
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japan's toshiba corporation. it's a hub for water-related businesses in asia. for toshiba it's a chance to win a bigger share of this growing market. nhk world's mark ho has the story. >> reporter: water, the source of life as we call it, has been identified as a strategic growth area for singapore's economy. toshiba on wednesday unveiled its new research institute. the facility was established at the invitation of the singapore government. several senior government officials were in attendance at the opening ceremony. singapore sees water as a key growth industry. the city state has been working to nurture water-related businesses in firms and researchers from abroad. toshiba says the institute will explore technologies to remove harmful substances from waste
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water using a special metal powder. it will also work on a technology to extract rare metals. toshiba believes the institute will give it quick and easy access to information on water businesses and help increase its sales across asia. >> translator: we hope the new research institute will provide opportunities to work with global firms in water-related businesses and find partners to launch new businesses, using our special metal powder. >> we must continue to invest in new means, new ideas and new technology that will help us continue to be able to ensure water supply is adequate, affordable and sustainable well into the future. >> reporter: in emerging asian economies, demand for treatment facilities is expanding rapidly.
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amid population growth and urbanization. the japanese government projects the global market for water-related businesses will grow to over $1.2 trillion by the year 2025. mark ho, nhk world, singapore. thailand is gearing up for its traditional new year festival. every year, the celebration is marred by an alarming increase in the number of deadly road accidents caused by alcohol consumption. this year, a troop of police officers is raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, using a special coordinated campaign. ♪
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>> 12 female police officers danced to promote road safety. their stage is a busy intersection in bangkok's main shopping district. the police officer behind the campaign says the new method was delivered and designed to attract attention because traditional warning messages weren't getting through. there were more than 3,200 accidents during last year's festival. the female officers hope their dance moves will encourage drivers to heed their message about dangers of drunk driving and make the roads safer for everyone during this year's celebrations. that wraps up our bulletin. a minivan plowed through a crowded intersection in a popular tourist district in kyoto. eight people died, including the driver. 11 others are hurt.
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the area was packed with people. first the van slammed into a taxi. >> translator: the car hit my taxi and didn't stop. >> then it sped toward an intersection. >> translator: the vehicle ran a red light and entered the intersection at full speed. >> the van's horn honked as it careened through the crossing, hitting pedestrians. it finally came to stop after it crashed into a utility pole. the sister of the 30-year-old driver told nhk he had been suffering from a condition that made him lose consciousness. she says he was seeing a doctor. police are looking into whether the ailment could have led to the accident. syrian forces are peer to have halted their attacks on civilians to meet thursday's deadline for an internationally
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backed cease-fire. resident of the central city of holmes told nhk that people are staying indoors. >> a resident of the city says that the shelling stopped and the city was quiet from the morning. the administration of bashar al assad said in a letter to kofi a annan that troops would cease-fire by thursday. it says it has the right to counter attack anti-governmental groups. it's ready to resume its offensive at any time. electric vehicles are coming closer to matching gasoline-powered cars in the race for mileage and low cost. industries worldwide are revving
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up their competitive edge with new technologies. a japanese venture capital firm that developed an electric vehicle combining technologies is zooming into the spotlight. >> reporter: this say world class electric vehicle, recently unveiled in tokyo. it runs 351 kilometers per charge. that's nearly 1.5 times further than electric vehicles currently in mass production. a key factor is the innovative wheels. motors are inserted directly inside the wheels. it's called in-wheel motor technology. since the power efficiency increases with this technology, the vehicles can achieve a mileage rate 30% more than existing electric cars.
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sim-wil was developed by thin drive corporation, a venture capital company. this professor has been leading the project. the firm is choosing multicompany collaboration instead of in-house development. they say that this is a more efficient way to promote the industry. thin drive could spark a trend. the vehicle's extended mileage goes beyond in-wheel motors. technologies from a range of industries are being used. chemical companies and parts manufacturers have helped reduce the weight of the vehicle. >> translator: it's a completely new principle. everything is ground breaking. until now, it was the norm to make cars from steel. but on top of that, i think we're going to see more new materials being used. >> reporter: the chemical company dupont japan saw it as a good chance to enter the ev industry.
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one of their special films is being used in the indicator lights. this innovative material can be molded to the finest details when heated. the film is being used to replace circuit boards. the process allows the panels to be 80% lighter than before. it's the first time the film has been used in a vehicle. >> it gives us a chance to work on something that is very important to us, which is automotive lightweightness. we think this is one of the future directions we need to pursue. >> reporter: part of the brake technology was created by samstar engineering, which produces motorcycle parts. brakes in cars are generally made with cast iron. the in-wheel motors in this electric vehicle help with braking so thinner stainless
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steel parts can be used, saving 1.4 kilograms in total weight. sim-wil was developed with the help of over 30 companies and more than 15 new technologies were used in the project. >> translator: i think electric vehicles will become the norm. the fact that so many companies have joined forces is an extremely big step forward. >> reporter: one company in asia has already contacted sim-drive about mass producing the in-wheel motors. brand new technologies may spur development of an epic making form of vehicle. now here are the latest market figures.
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japan's march 11th disaster took a heavy toll on the country's population. but people have been inspired to write, paint and sing. a 10-year-old girl composed a piece of music that struck a chord. it's about living in darkness and searching for the light. ♪ >> reporter: a song that speaks to its audience. in this case, tsunami survivors. the young pianist and composer of the song is hirari sato. she started playing piano at age 5. hirari has been blind since
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birth. early on, she showed a talent for setting her thoughts and feelings to a melody. hirari lives in central japan. she's visiting with her mother. in march last year, as the terrible events unfolded, hirari listened to the news coverage. her mother's explanation helped her to picture the devastation. as those images played out in her mind, an idea took root. hirari wanted to do something to help. she wrote her first complete song. arriving in kamayashi, hirari visited a junior high school damaged by the tsunami. >> translator: no windows? so it is like being outside. >> reporter: touching the
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wreckage, feeling the debris beneath her feet, hirari got a deeper understanding of what happened. >> translator: i can't believe the things that were swept away by the tsunami. i want to sing songs that will touch the hearts of these people. >> reporter: time for the performance. hirari's concert is being held at an inn destroyed by the tsunami. the inn reopened in january. her song is called "mirai," which means the future. ♪
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>> reporter: the lyrics draw on hirari's own life story. they explain where people can find hope in times of hardship. ♪ ♪ >> translator: her love in the
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song washed over all of us. >> translator: she made me want to live my life in a more positive way. [ applause ] >> translator: i'm happy that my singing could cheer them up. i hope they will look into their hearts and find the strength to move forward into the future. >> hirari's cd will go on sale this summer. she will donate some of the proceeds to help people in the disaster area. another great day of sunshine in tokyo with temperatures above 20 degrees celsius. robert speta has more on the weather for here and elsewhere. robert? >> well, yes, gene, actually temperatures all the way up to those 22 degrees today. and it does look like going into friday, expecting another high of 22 across tokyo. but by the weekend, these are going to start to drop down about ten degrees, all the way down to 13. this is due to an area of low pressure coming out of eastern
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china here, continuing to develop, but also dropping some thunderstorms and large hail there in southeastern china. and already in the last 24 hours, there in yangon, you saw reports of 73 millimeters of rainfall out of this system. as it starts to work its way off towards the northeast, though, it is going to be working its way into western kyushu bringing heavy rainfall there before moving on to tokyo here by saturday. that's when you're going to be starting to see those temperatures drop, windy conditions and that heavy rainfall. all the way from 22 on friday down to 13 on saturday. over in seoul, though, you're looking at a high on friday of 16. ulan batur, 12. overnight, could see those go down to negative 1. in the south, bangkok, 37. manila, 34. this will be accompanied by afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms popping up there in the tropics. moving into the americas, the central plains are seeing an area of low pressure develop here and push off towards the east as it finally gets a move
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on. a jet stream starts to pick it up, taking it to the northeast. although this is already dropped some tornadoes, large hail, and it does look like that severe threat will be continuing to linger here on thursday in texas, western oklahoma and also the central portions of texas there. excuse me, you'll be seeing the threat of tornadoes, large hail, high winds, up to 100 kilometers per hour could develop out of these storms as this system starts to move its way off towards the northeast. do also want to take your attention to the southeastern u.s. there is a wildfire currently burning here, near the georgia/florida border. that's producing some heavy smoke as far south as orlando and daytona beach. you're seeing reports of smoke reducing visibility there. anybody with respiratory issues across this area needs to take the proper precautions as the winds continue to blow in from the north, causing that smoke to drift towards the south. this will be accompanied by some very high temperatures out in miami, looking at 29 for your high. towards west, denver, 21.
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winnipeg, high of 16. overnight hours, these will be dropping below freezing. definitely need to be bundling up there towards the north. moving on to europe, a frontal system is moving through the iberian peninsula, bringing some high winds and rain there to france. and spain. but this is the big topic of discussion, a new low pressure system coming out of algeria is going to be moving across the mediterranean, off towards italy, through the weekend. this will be popping up some thunderstorms could be severe at times. want to keep your windshield wipers on high there in northern italy. the alpine regions, heavy snow accumulations will be adding up there. keep those ice scrapers in your cars if you do plan on leaving those out overnight as the snow continues to fall. and also you want to be bundling up there as temperatures will be dropping well below freezing there. though down in rome, looking at a high of 15. low to midteens across much of the western iberian peninsula there. out in the stack holme, single dingell temperature of 6. and moscow, high of 9.
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here is your extended outlook. we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us
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