tv Satellite News From Taiwan PBS December 31, 2010 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT
hello. it is time for nhk world's news update. i'm james tengan. seiji maehara is considering visiting china in spring as part of efforts to fix frayed bilateral relations. in an interview with nhk, he said his trip will come before or after his trilateral meeting in japan with the chinese and south korean foreign ministers. japan-china relations soured in september after a chinese
trawler collided with japan coast guard ships offer the senkaku islands in the east chainia sea. maehara reiterated china's position on this matter. >> translator: there is no territorial problem between japan and china. japan will continue to exert its control over the senkaku islands. >> reporter: he also referred to economic relations between the two countries. >> translator: it is vital for japan and china to build a win-win relationship. we can do this by advancing discussions on free trade agreements and by further boosting trade. >> maehara said he expects he and prime minister naoto kan will visit china in 2011 and chinese leaders will also come to japan. south korea confirmed its first bird flu cases in chickens and ducks in more than two and a half years.
the foreign ministry says the virulent h5n1 strain of avian influenza was discovered on friday at two poultry farms in the southern part of the country. local authorities have destroyed 7,000 chickens and 10,000 ducks. they have called more than 90,000 chickens at a nearby farm to prevent the flu from spreading. the transport of chickens and ducks has been band within areas of a 10 kilometers radius of the outbreaks. early in 2010 south korea reported cases of h5n1 in wild birds. the country is suffering from the worst foot and mouth epidemic in its history. the disease has been spreading since late november. authorities have so far called 580,000 cattle and pigs or 4.5% of the population of those farm animals. travel agencies in japan are increasing their efforts to
attract chinese tourists following a decline in the number of visitors from that country. the drop is believed to have been caused by strained relations between the two nations. starting in january, japan's leading travel agency, jtb, will begin sending instructors to hotels that want to receive tourists from china. they will educate staff about what chinese travelers generally expect. jtb will also start a service to translate leaflets and signs at hotels into chinese. another company nippon travel agency has set up a division to handle tours that combine sight-seeing with medical services, such as cancer checkups. this comes ahead of a new medical visa that starts in january. it will allow foreign nationals to stay in japan for up to six months to receive medical treatment. the japanese government eased visa requirements in july for individuals from china. the number of chinese tourists began to drop in october, about a month after a chinese trawler collided with two japan coast guard ships in the east china sea.
the chinese capital, beijing, has taken another step towards easing its transportation gridlock by opening five new subway lines. the new lines all stretch from central beijing into the suburbs and add nearly 110 kilometers to the city's subway network. once outside the city center the trains run on the surface. there are a large number of potential riders in beijing suburbs. china's economic growth has led to the construction of many condominiums there. beijing's subway network now stretches 340 kilometers. the city plans to add another
200 kilometers by 2015. things are looking up for at least one sector of japan's energy business, its solar energy. concerns about the environment are increasing demand for more efficient methods and companies are responding with a multitude of solutions. >> reporter: this looks like a contemporary art insulation, but these clover shaped mirrors are actually designed to generate solar energy. japanese power plant companies are intensifying their focus on solar thermal generation. their target market, however, is not jo pan, but overseas. solar thermal plants are made from thousands of mirrors that reflect light into a huge storage unit. the heat activates its turbine
that generates the electricity. the energy source is naturally limitless. it's sunshine. but up until now, generating power this way has been more expensive than conventional oil fired power stations. solar thermal generation accounts for less than 1% of the world's electricity production, but because the environmental impact is minimal, that figure is expected to rise to 11% by 2015. european companies have taken the lead in this field. a measured project is now under way to divert electricity to europe from thermal plants in the middle east and north africa. it's estimated that by 2015, 15% of europe's electricity requirements will be sourced this way. japan is not a major player in
this industry, although it was first country to construct a solar thermal generation plant almost 30 years ago. the problem is that japan doesn't get enough sunshine to generate viable levels of electricity, so thermal technology has been overlooked. one of the most promising markets for solar power plants is the middle east and north africa. there is no shortage of sunshine in this vast region. the focus is now clearly on this market. at a economic forum held in tunisia, japan promoted their solar thermal technology. >> most japanese people think of oil when they think of arab countries. but in the future, we expect to collaborate there in many fields.
>> reporter: japanese companies are now hard at work improving solar thermal technology with the aim of breaking into this regional market. they have developed a remarkable new system called the beam down method. normally solar thermal generation relies on a single set of mirrors placed on the ground. the new japanese method involves double reflection with a large set of mirrors reflecting into a single domed mirror on a tower. the mirrors are equipped with sensors and moaters to follow the sun. this produces higher than normal temperatures. furthermore, the system is cheaper to build. the mirrors also have another unique feature. in fact, this mirror is not flat, but slightly concave. this shape allows it to better and more efficiently trap light.
light reflected from a curved mirror is more concentrated. this method generates temperatures as high as 1,500 degrees celsius, three times higher than conventional systems. >> translator: we have the technology to catch up with and even overtake the west. we'll soon conduct megawatt scale tests and then tackle more markets. >> reporter: with japan's solar technology on the rise, the competition may be heating up in the thermal power industry worldwide. you're watching "newsline." in other news, the united states and european countries are
criticizing the sentence that's been handed to mikhail khodorkovsky. the former russian oil tycoon embezzlement and more years in money laundering. he was considered vladimir putin's political rival. a russian court sentenced him on thursday. the former president of the now defunct yukos oil company is already serving an eight year prison term for fraud and tax evasion. he was arrested in 2003. khodorkovsky once criticized and challenged putin's authority when the russian leader was president. the united states and european countries say both sentences are reprisals for his opposition to putin. the u.s. denounced the verdict as politically influenced. the russian government countered saying politicians do not exert pressure on the country's judiciary. the vatican has taken action to enhance its financial
transparency following an investigation by italian police into allegations of money laundering. the vatican bank officially known as the institute for religious works has been the focus of the probe. in september, authorities seized 23 million euros or $30 million the vatican deposited in an italian bank. the vatican denies any wrongdoing. pope benedict xvi signed new laws on thursday. the measures require the vatican to comply with international standards to improve transparency. a financial watchdog will be set up as early as april so transactions comply with international rules. the vatican said in a statement it will work in solidarity with other countries and police forces around the world. and former israeli president moshe katsav has yet to announce whether he will appeal his conviction on rape and sexual harassment charges. a court in tel aviv found him guilty on thursday.
three judges ruled that katsav raped an aide while tourism minister and also say he sexually harassed employees at his official residence while he was president. sentencing will come at a later date. katsav has denied the charges. the former president is an immigrant from iran, served as a legislator as a member of the right wing likud party before becoming president. katsav stepped down in 2007 before the end of his term after the allegations became public. prime minister benjamin netanyahu has said the verdict is a sad day for israel and its citizens, but he said the court sent a clear message that all are equal before the law, and that every woman has exclusive rights to her body. japan's two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the u.n. security council ends on friday. japan is now seeking ways to remain involved in u.n. discussions on north korea from outside the council.
japan has held the rotating presidency of the council twice since january 2009. in april, then foreign minister katsuya okada attended the council and led the negotiations to issue a president's statement on peace building in post conflict countries. japan also served as liaison between the security council and south korea over north korean issues. but japan has failed to gain support for its calls for the council to explicitly condemn north korea on two occasions. one was over the sinking of a south korean war ship in march, allegedly by the north. and another was north korea's artillery attack on a south korean island in november. japanese officials are voicing concerns about being out of the council -- security council from the new year. they say it will now be difficult to obtain information on the moves of the various u.n. member nations. an avalanche in the mountains of western japan
killed four ski resort workers on friday. it happened at around 1:00 p.m. in tottori prefecture. the four workers were checking the site of another avalanche when the second struck. a resort official says they closed the courses and no skiers were there. 60 centimeters of snow had fallen in the seven hours leading up to the accident. a local meteorological observatory had issued a snowstorm warning for the area. weather forecasters say a low pressure system is expected to develop rapidly off japan's pacific coast bringing more snow to the western parts of the country. next we look at baseball in china. its professional baseball league was established in 2002 and is still a work in progress. but with people from around the world pitching in, the country
is fast raising its game. >> reporter: we went to see one of the china baseball league games about an hour's drive from beijing. the league was in the midst of its 2010 season, running from july 12th to august 29th. ballparks in china can only accommodate several thousand people. for the moment, that's probably enough, since most chinese aren't even familiar with the rules of the game. the number of fans is growing, though, thanks in part to coverage during the olympics.ea are in partnerships with japanese professional baseball teams. the lions, for example, have an alliance with the yokohama base stars, the base stars' coach was
sent to serve as the manager for tianjin this season. he says the team has a number of players with high potential. he concentrated on teaching trading know-how and game tactics to the most competent players to build up the team's strength. but he sees a problem that even practice probably can't overcome. >> translator: these players began baseball at the age of 15 or 16. that's too late. some japanese kids start playing with the baseball when they're about 3 years old. china will have a hard time catching up with other countries without introducing the game to children when they're elementary school age. >> reporter: takagi isn't just setting out a blueprint for someone else to build on. he's doing his part in the construction project by coaching a kids team. incentives, he believes, will get more children involved.
the china league players are employees of the government's sports bureau and don't make much money. he thinks if baseball players were treated better, chinese kids would aspire to a future in the game. in may, a hong kong-based sports investment company signed an exclusive partnership with a chinese baseball association and decided to provide funds to the league. the same company entered into a 15-year contract with the china youth baseball league last year. >> without professional league, china will not have exit for good players. without good china youth baseball league, the professional league will not have a good support for the next generation. so it is a mutual benefit. for three years, i will not see any profit, any return in both the cybl and cbl. but after three years, i think i
will have much better idea. >> reporter: the world's largest baseball body is also showing interest in the chinese game. major league baseball has established a training academy, the mlb development center at a high school in the city of wuxi in the eastern province of jiangsu. >> we want to make baseball the number one sport in the world. in order to do that we think it must be played at a high level and the largest country by population in the world. >> reporter: 36 students who have passed ability tests including a 30-yard sprint, distance throw and broad jump are now training at the center. they practice after school, on week days and on the weekends. >> reporter: producing elite players is likely a long-term
endeavor. the immediate objective is bringing chinese baseball to a higher level and creating a better environment for the sport. >> we have what we call a golden guest program. so every weekend during our regular academic year we bring in coaches and players, like four, so they can take that back to their baseball area, to their town, to their provinces and say, hey, these are the things we learned, this is what's going on, and they can kind of spread better baseball. >> reporter: so it is not just the government trying to build up the sport for private industry. the development of chinese baseball is an international endeavor. >> translator: japan has won the world baseball classic title twice. and the winner at the beijing olympics was not the united states or a european country, but rather south korea. this shows that baseball is a sport that asians can do well in. i believe china will certainly reach the top level too.
>> if that turns out to be true, baseball's current heavyweights will have another formidable competitor to contend with and given china's track record in other sports, that day may not be far away. just a few meters away is miwa gardner with the latest weather report. >> hi there. time now for a look at the world's weather. let's begin with conditions right here across east asia. now, as we look at our satellite shot, you can see not much going on across mongolia, northern china. but we do have a very strong area of high pressure and that's going to pour cold air across much of the region. maybe some of this precipitation in the southwest of china will be falling as sleet, maybe snow. let's talk about the system here near japan, though, very strong area of low pressure, just on the pacific. we have been dealing with incredibly heavy snows causing all kinds of problems,
avalanches, blizzards, and it looks like more of this wet weather will continue for the next 24 hours. and not only that, we're looking at strong winds, winds up to 72 kilometers per hour in some places, waves across the sea of japan side of the country, getting up to perhaps nine meters high. and then, of course, that snow in the next 24 hours into new year's day, piling up in some places 80 centimeters additionally. very, very dangerous situation here in terms of that winter storm. and, of course, temperatures are going to be quite cold. tokyo seeing about 8 degrees for the high on saturday. minus 2 in seoul. minus 1 in beijing. also getting pretty cool in shanghai with just 4. it is only going to get cold near the weekend. 13 for you in taipei, which is quite chilly. and 27 here in manila. on into north america, we have a big storm system here as well to deal with for your new year's eve and new year's day. it is going to be this one right here. winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings across much of the northern plains, into the great lakes area. and even into parts of ontario.
and then this front line here, that's going to be, of course, a little warmer, and a lot more stormy, though. so we're looking at hail, strong winds, damaging gusts, as well as potential for tornados to develop in this corridor as well. eastern seaboard, pretty calm and dry, should enjoy a nice new year's eve. to the west, calm as well. looks like more rain coming into california as we head to the next 24 hours. temperatures like this, very chilly, you see here behind the front, minus 11 for the high in denver. just 2 degrees in both vancouver and seattle. 12 in chicago. but that will dip below zero in the days to come and 6 in new york city. on we go to europe, a bit stormy here across the western mediterranean. but pretty calm and dry for much of continental europe until we hit this system here in the baltic sea. that's going to push some really chilly air as well as the risk of snow flurries to parts of not only germany, but poland as well as the baltic region here. western russia, you can also see some very cold temperatures as
well as snow. minus 7 for the high in moscow. just 0 in warsaw. 4 in berlin. over towards the west, a little more mild, 7 in london. 3 in paris. and just 10 in madrid and 17 in lisbon. what about new year's eve weather across the world? let's go back to asia here this evening. it is going to be quite calm, clear skies in tokyo, beijing, shanghai, cloudy in jakarta and singapore, maybe clouds hanging about in bangkok as well as new delhi. over to europe, we talked about that before, it is mild in london. overcast skies for you. some snow flurries popping up in stockholm and moscow and could be a wet day in madrid and rome. looking at north america, clear picture in vancouver, but quite chilly. some storms could be moving their way through chicago, but it will be a nice day in new york city. that's all for me. happy new year. here's your extended forecast.
here on "newsline," our top stories once again. japanese foreign minister seiji maehara says he's considering visiting china in the spring as part of efforts to fix frayed bilateral relations. in an interview with nhk, maehara said his trip will come before or after his trilateral meeting in japan with the chinese and south korean foreign
ministers. japan-china relations soured in september after a chinese trawler collided with a japan coast guard ships off the senkaku islands in the east china sea. he reiterated japan's position on this matter. >> translator: there is no territorial problem between japan and china. japan will continue to exert its control over the senkaku islands. >> he also referred to economic relations between the two countries. >> translator: it is vital for japan and china to build a win-win relationship. we can do this by advancing discussions on free trade agreements and by further boosting trade. >> maehara said he expects he and prime minister naoto kan will visit china in 2011 and chinese leaders will also come
to japan. south korea confirmed its first bird flu cases in chickens and ducks in more than two and a half years. the foreign ministry says the virulent h5n1 strain was detected on friday at two poultry farms in the central part of the country. local authorities have destroyed 17,000 chickens and 10,000 ducks. they have culled more than 90,000 chickens at a nearby farm to prevent the flu from spreading. the transport of chickens and ducks has been banned within an area of a 10 kilometer radius of theed y ed y the outbreaks. early in 2010 south korea reported cases of h5n1 in wild birds. the country is suffering from the worst foot and mouth epidemic in its history. the disease has been spreading since late november. authorities have so far culled 580,000 cattle and pigs or 4.5% of the population of those farm animals.
a seasonal topic for you, caterers in the western japanese prefecture of kyoji spent friday preparing traditional local cuisine for new year's day. they arranged fresh lobster and mackerel sushi on platters and combined them with traditional japanese new year's foods like black beans and sweet chestnuts. many local residents feel they cannot celebrate the first day of the year without the dishes called sawachi. a catering service that has been in business for about a century has tripled its staff for the occasion. about 30 chefs and part timers worked through the night to prepare the food. >> the shop sells a set for $160 or higher and it received orders from more than 500 sets in 2010. and that's it for this