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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 16, 2010 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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it's friday september 17th, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. welcome to this edition of "newsline." prime minister naoto kan will launch his new cabinet on friday following his re-election as the democratic party leader. kan will appoint ak heero o'hata as the economy trade and minister. he's a seven-term lower house member of the ruling democratic party with a strong support base among labor unions. kan is planning to name the democratic party's policy chief
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koichiro gemba as national strategy minister. gemba now serves as cabinet minister in charge of reforming the public servants' system. kan is also considering appointing land and transport minister seiji maehara to the post of foreign minister. the current foreign minister, katsuya okada, has accepted kan's request for him to become the democratic party's secretary-gener secretary-general. chief cabinet secretary yoshio sengoku and finance minister yoshihiko noda are expected to retain their posts. in the new party executive line-up kan asked former party secretary-general ichiro ozawa and the party's upper house leader, azuma koshiishi to serve as his deputies. however, koshiishi told aides that both he and ozawa have declined the offer. now, on friday morning kan accepted the resignations of all current ministers at a cabinet meeting. before he launches his new cabinet this afternoon he will formally appoint new party executives at a meeting of all legislators from the party. the party meeting is expected to
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start soon. on friday afternoon kan will meet shizuka kamei, the leader of the coalition partner. after that he'll announce the line-up of the new cabinet. eight years ago today north korea acknowledged it had abducted japanese nationals. however, a sense of disappointment lingers among relatives of the abductees. on september 17th, 2002 north korean leader kim jong il held a summit meeting in pyongyang with japan's then prime minister june ciro koizumi. at the meeting the north acknowledged the abductions for the first time. five abductees returned to japan in 2002, but 12 others remain unaccounted for. relatives of those abducted and their supporters have held anniversary rallies every year since then to appeal for the return of their loved ones. but no events are scheduled on this year's anniversary. shigeru and sakie yokota say they're not in good health and will stay home today.
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their daughter, megumi, was abducted in 1977, when she was only 13. this coming saturday, afghanistan will hold its second parliamentary elections since the fall of the taliban in the u.s.-led war that began in october 2001. however, concerns are growing whether the balloting can be done safely as the taliban has stepped up sabotage activities in many parts of the country. >> people will be able to exercise their right to vote freely and without interruption.
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>> the afghan government and the international community regard the poll as an important step toward speeding up the country's reconstruction and self-reliance. more than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the . the election comes at a time when the united states is scheduled to begin withdrawing its troops from next july. campaign activities have been limited due to attacks by taliban insurgents. last month, six candidates and campaigners were killed in herat province. the european union has given provisional approval for a free trade agreement with south korea that will go into effect from july 1st, 2011. foreign ministers from the 27 eu member countries reached the decision on thursday. last october south korea and the eu provisionally agreed to conclude an fta designed to phase out tariffs on most industrial and agricultural products. however, afterward italy
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strongly opposed the deal on the grounds that cutting eu tariffs on south korean cars could greatly affect its auto industry. at thursday's meeting eu foreign ministers took italy's concerns into consideration and decided to delay the launch of the fta by six months. the two sides also agreed that emergency restrictions would be issued when imports of compact cars and other vehicles from south korea suddenly increase. >> it is i think a very big step, a very big step in opening markets in asia for our companies. >> the fta document will be officially signed at the eu-korea summit. that's the eu-south korea summit on october 6th. and now we check out the latest in business news. here's ines matsuyama. >> thanks, catherine. tokyo stocks continued to rise on wednesday morning thanks to japan's recent moves to weaken the yen. the nikkei 225 ended the morning
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session at 9,580 points, up 71 ticks, or 0.8%. export-related stocks led gainers, but profit taking kept the market's gains. to currencies now. and the dollar's little changed against the yen early friday. investors are wary of more intervention by japan's monetary authorities in currency markets. the dollar is now at 85.72-74 while the euro is trading at 112.10-13. the upcoming three-day weekend is also adding to the market's cautious mood. here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened up a quarter of a percent higher. it's currently up 0.3%. the shanghai key index for major blue chips is up 0.3%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.2%. makers of precision glass
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products may soon polish surfaces using a metal that's not rare earth. japanese researchers have developed the new polishing technology and it's drawing a lot of attention at a time when china is restricting export of rare earth metals. a research group led by ritsumeikan university professor yasuhiro tani has discovered that a metal called zirconium can be used to polish precision glass products. these include televisions with liquid crystal displays and lenses. zirconium can be sourced more easily than cerium, which is the rare earth metal that's now being used for polishing. the researchers also found that the new technology with zirconium will make polishing more efficient rather than with cerium. this will cut metal usage by 40%. the research team plans to put the technology into practical use in about two years. the u.s. is criticizing china and japan over their currency policies. treasury secretary timothy
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geithner said china is too slow in letting the yuan go higher while lawmakers oppose japan's currency intervention. the senate and the house of representatives invited geithner to the hearings on china's industrial policy on thursday. lawmakers were critical of china because the chinese currency has risen only a little over the past three months. that's despite china's announcement in june that it would raise currency flexibility to push the reforms in its exchange rate spichl system. >> the pace of appreciation has been too slow, and the extent of appreciation too limited. and we are examining the important question of what mix of tools, tools available to the united states, and what multilateral approaches might help encourage the chinese authorities to move more quickly. >> turning to japan's recent intervention, senate banking committee chairman christopher dodd also criticized.
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>> one thing's very clear. unilateral currency intervention by japan, china, or any other nation represents a gap in international cooperation on exchange rate policy. >> ahead of the u.s. midterm elections in november, members of congress are cautious on currency rates which could affect american jobs. and the chairman of euro zone finance minister jean-claude juncker has criticized japan for unilaterally intervening in the market to stem the rise of the yen. >> the yen in its relations with the euro is not overvalued but is still undervalued, and we didn't like the way the japanese authorities were dealing with that matter. >> juncker, who is also luxembourg's prime minister, spoke in brussels after an eu meeting on thursday. he added he has conveyed the view to japanese officials when they discussed the metal.
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juncker also mentioned that china's currency is still undervalued. he added that major powers need to have formal talks with china and discuss patiently. the decline in the euro against other currencies is viewed as a key to sustaining the european economy. increased exports are important during the slow pace of economic recovery across the region. the annual tokyo game show has opened featuring the latest gaming technology. this year china has 28 companies participating, nearly twice the number from last year. tokyo game show 2010 opened on thursday in chiba city just outside tokyo. 194 companies and organizations from 14 economies are displaying their latest game consoles and titles. one of the items introduced by japanese companies is a game console featuring a controller system that allows a player's movements to control the on-screen character in detail. one online game developed by a beijing company allows more than
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100,000 people to play simultaneously. a japanese company official looking at the chinese exhibits appeared to be impressed. it's been a busy week here in japan in the race for leadership of the ruling democratic party prime minister naoto kan beat his opponent and was re-elected. he then authorized a market intervention to weaken the yen. for an analysis of the country's economic climate our market reporter ai yuchida spoke with chief market economist at midori securities. >> japan continues to fight inflation with recent economic data showing that consumer price indexes continues to fall month on month. what kind of economic and fiscal
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policies does japan need for us to exit deflation? >> the condition between supply side and the demand side is not so good. so there is continuous down side pressure onto the japanese prices of goods and services. so i think the japanese government should implement strong initiative in the policy of adding people on this land, both japanese and tourists or some immigrants. so i don't think the monetary approa approach is a strong answer for the deflation problem. i think the real economic change that is the demand side, strengthening policy in the
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population viewpoint is the key. i'd like mr. kan's government to do such policies. >> do you think he will? >> i think some tax cut for households with two or more babies is a good measure to add japanese population. there is no plan in the discussion of the ministry of finance tax committee. so i don't see any good sign in the government's policy discussion. >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: but ueno supports the kan administration for taking action to send the yen lower in the global currency markets just a day after the prime minister was reappointed. >> the intervention was surprise also for me.
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so to move the market in the timing was excellent at present. however, whether the intervention is success or not is decided after some weeks or even some month. if we see stronger numbers of u.s. economy, then the dollar is going to be bought and the yen is going to be sold. so then the japanese intervention is going to be a success. >> well, moving on to japanese government bonds, considering kan's fiscal policies and considering the states of world economies right now, how do you think the japanese government bond market will perform from now on? >> we have already found the upper side of the range. so now the market is beginning to search for the lower side.
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u.s. situation and the bank of japan movement, those two keys for the market movement in the near future. mr. kan is on the fiscal belt tightening side, but he does not believe so. so the result of the dpj election was a good factor upon the market. however, we should pay also close attention to the japanese political situation because the twist of diet is still there. so the dpj as the ruling party cannot pass only one view through the diet without any cooperation from the opposition parties. >> that was yasunari ueno, chief
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economist at mizuho securities. next is a recap of the latest market figures. ♪ ♪ ♪ and now back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. japanese were shocked to learn last july that the family
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of a deceased man was still collecting his pension payments after his death. the news triggered an investigation that discovered some senior citizens on the resident registration files can't be located. a survey shows at least 350 seniors over the age of 100 are missing. in many cases it's because of inept record-keeping by local governments. >> reporter: hachioji city in tokyo discovers an elderly man registered as a resident is actually missing. >> reporter: if kazuo tashi rchl o is still alive, he is 102 years old. the city had known he'd been missing for several years. but it never did anything about it. the missing man's
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daughter-in-law lives in tashiro's home now. misao tashiro says tashiro left home about 40 years ago, at the age of 63. he told his family he was going to look for a job and never returned. the family has not heard from him since. his family looked for tashiro everywhere, without luck. they've never stopped paying his health insurance fees. >> translator: our feeling is that when he finally comes back we want him to know that we've been waiting for him. we just want to make him happy even a little bit. >> reporter: hachioji city first became aware that kazuo tashiro was missing eight years ago. in 2002 volunteer workers visited his home to do a survey about senior citizens. but the volunteer workers never
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got to interview tashiro, and they never reported he was missing because it wasn't their job. five years later an employee of the senior citizens department dropped off a gift in honor of tashiro's 100th birthday. misao told the employee that tashiro was missing. the employee recommended that she remove tashiro's name from the registration files. but misao didn't want to. >> translator: to me it wasn't that simple. it would be hard for me to say just delete his name. >> reporter: although the senior citizens department confirmed that tashiro was missing, it took no further action. it didn't even report tashiro's status to the registration department, although both offices are on the same floor. so tashiro's name stayed on the
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record. >> translator: it's true that we didn't consider it a major issue at the time. what we should have done when we were first informed was explain to his family about the resident registration. we also should have had better internal communication. that way we could have avoided the situation. >> reporter: finally, the city responded to the various reports about missing senior citizens. it removed tashiro's name from its residence files on august 30th. two days later misao visited the metropolitan police department's center for missing persons. even though kazuo's name has been removed from the records, misao still can't let go.
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>> translator: i don't believe this is over. everything is still the same. whether his name is on the list or not. i hope i can still find him. >> similar incidents are showing up in many other cities and towns across japan. our survey shows that 30% of the cases are caused by poor government recordkeeping. now let's take a look at the global weather forecast with saki ochi. >> hi there and welcome to your world weather update. now, east asia is keeping an eye on this storm system here. this is a typhoon now. really showing some signs of strengthening over the past couple of days, packing winds now well over 120 kilometers per hour. typhoon fonapi is a strong typhoon now, moving rather slowly still. it's never really had much speed.
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it still continues to move at a very slow pace and likely considered to move in a more westerly direction in days to come, gradually getting closer to taiwan this weekend. now, some stronger waves and a bit of rain will start affecting the southern islands of japan first tonight and then likely conditions may get a little bit stormier for those of you in taiwan later on. we're also looking at a frontal system here moving out of so a couple showers this morning. but that starts pulling away. and then for northern china a rain band here has been in place for a while now. and it looks like it's going to continue to spread. and then inch a little bit toward the korean peninsula as well. as for highs, we're looking at 23 in beijing. 19 for ulan bator. 37 in chongqing. still another hot day for you. also quite steamy in taipei at 34. now, across the americas and mexico, southern mexico, that is, right here, dealing with the
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hurricane system, hurricane carl, getting ready to make its second landfall on mexico. it was a tropical storm system when it hit the yucatan peninsula. but now it's definitely strengthened. currently a category 1 hurricane. but there is the chance that it could strengthen further over the next couple of hours. by the time it makes landfall sometime friday, right along the coast of veracruz, it could become a major hurricane. so we really need to keep an eye on the development of carl and definitely take precautions against the incoming storm system and definitely rhinefall will will be affecting you and strong winds. then there's a chance of mudslides as well as coastal flooding. now, out toward the atlantic, too, plenty more systems to talk about. hurricane julia currently a category 1 hurricane, and then hurricane igor, this one still a large and dangerous category 3 major hurricane, packing winds of just over 200 kilometers per hour. remaining out at sea. so the biggest threat right now are the rip currents and the
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high surf. all along the caribbean islands. and even for the east coast of the united states later on tonight. and then all the way through the weekend likely seeing high surf as well as some very dangerous rip currents develop. anywhere along this region we'll really need to keep an eye on the storm system. and then bermuda too, forecasts are really calling for it to get right over the island. so we'll need to keep a close eye on this storm system. now for the united states there is this low pressure system to the northeast that's getting pushed out fairly quickly. by friday should look a little dryer for those of you here. showers move through central canada, and then a new rain system is moving into the pacific northwest as well. here's a look at highs. still quite chilly for central canada. that clear really starting to work its way southward. 11 degrees for your high in winnipeg, and remaining at 18 in vancouver. all right. and now here is your three-day outlook. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ prime minister naoto kan will launch his new cabinet on friday following his re-election as democratic party leader. kan will appoint ak heero ohata as economy trade and economy minister. he's a seven-term lower house member with strong support base among labor unions. kan is planning to name the democratic party's policy chief koichiro gemba as national strategy minister. gemba now serves as cabinet minister in charge of reforming the public servant system. kan is also considering appointing land and transport minister sage yay maehara to the post of foreign minister.
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the current foreign minister katsuya okada has accepted kan's request for him to become the democratic party's secretary-general. chief cabinet secretary yoshihiko sengoku and finance minister yoshihiko noda are expected to retain their posts. in the new party executive line-up kan asked former party executive general ichiro ozawa and the party's upper house leader azuma koshiishi to serve as his deputies. however, koshiishi told aides that both he and ozawa have declined the offer. now, on friday morning kan accepted the resignations of all current ministers at a cabinet meeting. he will launch his new cabinet this afternoon. he appointed new party executives at a meeting this morning of all legislators from the party. on friday afternoon kan will meet shizuka kamei, the leader of the people's new party. the governing coalition partner. and after that kan will announce the line-up of his new cabinet. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us.
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my colleague gene otani is up next at the top of the hour with more of your updates. so do stay with us.
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