hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday, august 29th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. republicans have nominated mitt romney as their party's challenger to president barack obama. representatives from the 50 states chose romney as their candidate for the november presidential election at their national convention in tampa, florida. the participants adopted a party platform to seek a smaller government. the platform calls for cuts in the fiscal deficit, relaxation of federal regulations, and tax
cuts for all income levels. it also criticizes the obama administration for reducing the military budget, saying it's weakening the united states' international standing. it calls for the return of a strong america by achieving peace through strength. the u.n. refugee agency says more than 210,000 syrians have poured into neighboring countries to escape the fighting between government and opposition forces. the office of the u.n. high commissioner for refugees, or unhcr, said on tuesday that 214,120 syrians have fled to other countries in the region. turkey hosts the largest number at 74,000. 70,000 refugees are now in jordan, about 10,000 have crossed the border in the past week alone. the number of arrivals doubled from the previous week. another 54,000 have arrived in lebanon and many are staying in schools, finding new refugee
shelters has become an urgent task as the new school year will soon begin. the unhcr initially estimated that 185,000 people would flee syria by the end of the year, but the actual number has already exceeded this. the agency will appeal to the international community for more support. now nhk world reports on the hardships facing syrian refugees in lebanon. >> reporter: lines flock the border of lebanon. the syrian capital of damascus is just a 40-minute drive away. the number of refugees rose dramatically after the discovery last week of a massacre in a suburb of damascus. but crossing the lebanese border provides little relief. people don't know where they might run into those loyal to the syrian regime.
and the decision to flee could endanger relatives who remain in syria. >> translator: the syrian government has deployed armored vehicles in daraa. the suburb is completely surrounded with more than 20 checkpoints spread over three kilometers. yesterday, an entire district was completely set ablaze. >> translator: the city of homs is 90% destroyed. there's no food or medical supplies. >> reporter: lebanon doesn't have established refugee camps like those in turkey or jordan. about 250 people have taken shelter in this school. not far from the border. this is a 30-year-old farmer.
he arrived three months ago from the city of homs with his wife and their four children. their home was destroyed in the fighting. his 75-year-old mother was finally able to cross the border a day ago. the family is running short on supplies and depends on meals provided by humanitarian groups. >> translator: the world has abandoned us. we don't have a home. we don't have any food. and we have no clothes. >> reporter: the refugees worry about the possible attack by pro-government militias. hezbollah is one of the most powerful political forces in lebanon, and a traditional ally of the syrian regime. several members of the shia groups serve as ministers in the lebanese government. so those who have fled the
violence in syria live in fear, even far from home. sho beppu, nhk world in lebanon. police in beijing have begun investigating an incident involving japan's ambassador to china. two vehicles forcibly stopped ambassador uichiro niwa's car in beijing on monday evening. a man got out of one of the vehicles. he ripped the japanese flag from the front of the ambassador's car and fled. the embassy provided photos of the vehicles and the man to beijing police. the images were taken by an official who was in the ambassad ambassador's car. the police have a keen interest in the matter and have launched an investigation. the agency request the police swiftly arrest the suspect. niwa said the incident was deplorable. some neighbors will sit down at a table together for the
first time in four years. officials from japan and north korea will meet on wednesday in the first direct talks since 2008. the japanese say they want the abduction of their citizens on the agenda. north korea's envoy has arrived for the talks in beijing. he refused to comment on the kidnapping of japanese nationals in the 1970s and '80s by north korean agents. >> reporter: if we anticipate the talks before they begin, the speculation could trigger misunderstanding. i think it would be impolite. >> the meeting will be the first under leader kim jong-un. his diplomats claim the abduction issue is resolved. japan's foreign minister disagrees. >> translator: there are various matters pending. i believe the abduction issue is
a top priority. i'll proceed to discussions with north korea. >> a committee of the south korean national assembly has adopted a resolution on japan in a climate of diplomatic tension. members are demanding an apology and compensation for korean women forced to work in military brothels during world war ii. they want japan to admit responsibility for so-called comfort women. south korean lawmakers described what they endured as a crime against human values. members urged south korean officials to discuss the matter with their counterparts in japan and elsewhere. a spokesperson says the government has yet to decide on a course of action. japan's ground self defense force has conducted a drill to evacuate a remote island in the event of an emergency. participants played out a scenario in which an island had come under military or terrorist
attack. about 30 personnel and 50 residents took part. the residents took a bus to an airport, then a helicopter air lifted them from the island. local governments usually conduct emergency drills involving civilians. the sdf is leading this kind of exercise for the first time. >> translator: it was our first experience. we were nervous. >> translator: i'm confident the sdf will evacuate us if there's an emergency. >> the ground self-defense force plans to carry out similar drills on four other remote islands off hokkaido. a panel says the majority of japanese don't want to rely on nuclear power. it's urging the government to review its energy policy. the panel found that 70% to 80% of survey respondents think nuclear power should be reduced to 0% or 15% by 2030. it says this reflects a growing public mistrust over
governmental decision making on nuclear policy and concerns about safety. the panel insists the government present concrete plans to ensure nuclear safety, recycle spent nuclear fuel and promote renewable energy sources. it also stresses continued discussion on the nation's energy policy. chinese are going through a wine bubble. the price of the french wine is on the rise, so some businesspeople from china are buying bordo wineries and sinking lots of money into production, but the boom is also attracting criminals. nhk world reports. >> reporter: this summer, chinese tourists have been showing up all over bordeaux. at the same time, the finest wine setting for more than
$1,300 a bottle have been flying off the shelves. >> translator: this is a $1,400 of wine our chinese customers typically buy. they tend to purchase it more for the name than for the wine itself. >> reporter: the area's 8,000 wineries or catoeu make wine from grapes from their own vineyards. now some owners are selling their wineries to chinese businesspeople. four years ago, a chinese bought this one. the french owner hadn't been able to afford equipment to keep making good wine, but the new chinese owner poured money into the business. the result, a superior wine. she replaced all the bad red wines.
because newer oak wine barrels improve the wine's quality, the chinese owner replaced the old barrels. >> translator: the chinese investments have become the standard for us here. everything is good. >> reporter: but the chinese interest in wine has attracted counterfeiters. >> translator: this chateau has been transporting wine to china for four years. now criminals are selling a counterfeit version of the firm's wines. >> translator: the real one is on the left and the fake one is on the right. they look exactly the same. >> reporter: several details separate the authentic brand from the counterfeit. the logo of the wine is printed
directly here, but on the other bottle, the design is glued on. the design owner was shocked counterfeit. now for just $4, criminals can make a counterfeit label and sell the bottle for about $1,500. >> translator: our wine isn't even the most expensive, so i can't believe that they are counterfeiting our wine. >> reporter: bordeaux's wine community is fighting back. they developed a system to identify a bottle's authenticity. all you have to do is snap a picture of the label with your smartphone. >> translator: this app can analyze distribution information. if you take a picture of the label and the app cannot recognize it, the wine isn't
ours. >> translator: we hope that our chinese customers will be satisfied with the quality and that they will want to try other bordeaux wines. >> reporter: bordeaux wine makers are trying to develop a good relationship with chinese. like fine wine, it may take time to mature, but they continue efforts to protect their industry. nhk world, bordeaux. >> the report says 200,000 bottles of a high-end bordeaux are produced each year, but in china, more than 2 million bottles are sold. wine counterfeiters pay $400 to $500 for empty bottles of the genuine product and refill them with inferior wine.
now let's take a look at the market figures. the association of southeast asian nations will accelerate plans to create a regional economic block. >> asean plans to combine its member economies into a single market of some 580 million people. economy ministers meeting in cambodia on tuesday have agreed to speed up efforts to reach that goal by 2015.
discussions in the city of siem reap focused on improving integration and boosting trade. ministers want to counter risks to economic growth, such as the european debt crisis. asean secretary general surin pitsuwan stressed the need for action. >> everything is on course. we will have to accelerate a little bit more. so far i think we have achieved almost, well, 72%, 73%. >> on the diplomatic front, asean is busy dealing with a number of territorial disputes between member nations and china over the south china sea. asean foreign ministers failed to reach agreement with how to deal with the disputes at their meeting in july. some members have strong economic links with china. the group faces a challenge to
maintain a united voice while its members have different opinions and allegiances. economic progress often comes at a cost to the environment, and that's something people in vietnam's booming cities know only too well as they struggle through crowded streets, traffic jams, and chronic pollution. so they have something to celebrate as the country broke ground tuesday on its very first subway line. nhk world reports. >> reporter: i'm in the biggest commercial city in vietnam. this is also one of the most important business centers in asia, but the city streets are crowded with buses and motorbikes, so the people of vietnam having a subway system has been a long-cherished dream. the first subway line in vietnam. construction is being supported
by a yen loan and technology from japan. for the first stage, an elevated track is being built by a trading company. the number one line will run through the center of the city over a total distance of 19.7 kilometers. of that, 17.2 kilometers will be completed in the first phase, including 11 stations and railroad yard. construction should be complete by the end of 2016. the population of vietnam will soon reach 90 million. with more people and an accelerating economy, traffic congestion and air pollution are worse than ever. the government says new subway networks are the potential solution. it plans to build five more
lines and eight lines in the capital hanoi. >> translator: we will complete this project and we hope to win more orders. >> translator: we appreciate japan's railway technologies and safety pressures. we hope japan will help us construct other railway lines too. >> reporter: for the people of vietnam, the subway network is an important symbol of the country's progress. it's also a great project for japanese companies who want to win more deals in vietnam. akiko ichihara, nhk world. another wave of athletes is descending on london ahead of
wednesday's start to the paralympic games. among them is a pakistani man with a chance of bringing home his country's first olympic gold medal. pakistan's able-bodied athlete failed to win a single medal at the olympics, so success at the paralympics could help challenge deep-rooted prejudice. nhk world reports from islamabad. >> reporter: he's a long jumper. one of his legs is shorter than the other because of paralysis that affected him as a small boy. >> translator: i put a cushion in one of my shoes when i run. i can't keep my balance without it. >> reporter: he won a silver medal in beijing four years ago. he attends a camp in islamabad shortly before departing from london. he wakes up at 4:30 a.m. for intensive training.
his goal is to stand atop the podium with a gold medal around his neck, but he as another aim, as well, to help eradicate prejudice against disabled people in pakistan. >> translator: in pakistan, there is deep-seeded prejudice against people with disabilities. they often receive verbal abuse. i want to show them that if you do your best, god will help you and you'll be successful even with a disability. >> reporter: he hopes success in london will bring some rare good news to people in pakistan. the economy is weak and violence widespread. more than 35,000 people have been cured across the country over the past decade.
>> translator: i want to prove young people in pakistan can be active members of the world community. we're not inferior to other nationalities. i want to show we can do anything if we put our minds to it. >> reporter: pakistan failed to win a medal at the recent olympic games. ali's fellow countrymen will look to him to represent pakistan and give hope to everybody, no matter their ability or circumstance. nhk world, islamabad. and that will wrap up our bulletin for today in bangkok. people along the u.s. gulf coast have boarded up their windows. a hurricane is on the way. sayaka mori joins us now. what's the latest? >> good morning, catherine. people in the central gulf coast are bracing for the arrival of
hurricane isaac. because isaac has been moving at a quite slow pace, the outer band of storm has been producing stormy conditions. let's go to some video from mississippi. this was the scene on tuesday as isaac moved further towards the gulf coast. storm surge and flooding, along with damaging winds, will pose an increasing threat to communities along the coast from louisiana to the florida panhandle today. residents have all been advised to prepare for the coming storm. let's pull you back and show you the projected path of hurricane isaac. isaac is projected to make landfall in southeastern louisiana within the next couple of hours. probably as a category 1 hurricane and then move towards the north. once it makes landfall, it will gradually weaken, but heavy rain will continue and move along -- move parallel to ther t t several days. tropical storm conditions are
occurring along the gulf, central gulf coast, that means fierce winds are blowing and heavy rain is going to pound. we're anticipating as much as 500 millimeters or more in southeastern louisiana and over 400 millimeters in surrounding areas. very heavy rain is on the cards. in addition to heavy rain, storm surge, dangerous, dangerous surf, as well as dangerous rip currents are going to be a major concern along the coast as the system gets closer. now, on the other side of the world, we've got two tropical systems which were once typhoons. let's first talk about this bigger one. this is boll von, right now a tropical storm, yesterday it made landfall in northern north korea as a strong typhoon. devastated the area, and it's now moving towards the northeast. right now, sustained winds are 82 kilometers per hour, still bringing windy conditions within this yellow circle. it's on a weakening track, but
heavy rain will continue, as much as 100 millimeters is likely anywhere in the path of the storm. the korean peninsula is getting drier as bolaven pulls away from the region, but it's not out of the woods yet, because severe tropical storm tembin is approaching. tembin is now situated close to the sakishima islands. gusts over 100 kilometers per hour and waves up to 6 meters is likely clout this morning. it will move parallel to the east coast of china and then make landfall in south korea tomorrow as a severe tropical storm status. so things will remain quite critical across the korean peninsula for the next several days. down towards the south, a trough of low pressure and tembin are enhancing the monsoonal flow over the english channel peninsula, producing -- i should say, increasing showers, so torrential rain is likely throughout the day.
our lead stories this hour. u.s. republicans have nominated mitt romney as their party's challenger to president barack obama. representatives from the 50 states chose romney as their candidate for the november presidential election at their national convention in tampa, florida. the participants adopted a party platform to seek a smaller government. the platform calls for cuts in the fiscal deficit, relaxation of federal regulations, and tags cuts for all income levels. it also criticizes the obama administration for reducing the military budget, saying it's
weakening the united states' international standing. it calls for the return of a strong america by achieving peace through strength. police in beijing have begun investigating an incident involving japan's ambassador to china. two vehicles forcibly stopped ambassador uichiro niwa's car. a man got out of one of the vehicles. he ripped the japanese flag from the front of the ambassador's car and fled. the embassy provided photos of the vehicles and the man to beijing police. the images were taken by an official who was in the ambassador's car. the police reportedly told the embassy they have a keen interest in the matter and have launched an investigation. the embassy will strongly request that the beijing police swiftly arrest the suspect. ambassador niwa said the incident was deplorable. that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.