-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the ground beneath. japan's nuclear watchdog concludes a nuclear plant may be on unstable footing. officials with the nuclear regulation authority found something unsettling under a plant in northern japan. the discovery could keep the plant off line. the officials released their final assessment of an inspection they made this month at the higashidori nuclear plant. faults under the compound are likely active. officials with the power company argued the faults aren't active. they said there are no indications the faults have moved recently. experts with the regulation authority say there is nothing
to back up the claim. >> translator: we think that active faults exist under the compound. we conclude that there is no evidence to contradict our view. >> the team will finalize its report in the next few weeks. tohoku electric will have to review measures to protect against earthquakes. this is the second time that active faults have been found under nuclear power plant in japan. japan's new prime minister has laid out how he plans to govern the country. he's back in the role he held five years ago. he said he and his cabinet will make every effort to tackle the challenges japanese face. >> translator: a strong economy is essential to japan's future.
my cabinet will carry out bold financial policies, well-timed fiscal policies, and a strategy to encourage private investment towards economic growth. my cabinet will carry out these economic policies and achieve results. >> abe said he and his ministers will revamp japan's foreign policy. >> translator: we should rebuild our diplomacy to protect our national interests. we are facing many challenges in our relations with china, south can korea and even the united states on which japan's security is based. strengthening u.s./japan
alliance is the first step towards rebuilding japan's diplomacy and security. >> abe promised his government would take the lead in rebuilding northeastern japan. he will achieve results as soon as possible to regain the trust of the japanese people. he said his cabinet is designed to overcome crisis. he was elected as prime minister, a post he held before between 2006 and 2007. he's the first politician in 64 years to return to the position after resigning. abe filled the cabinet with familiar faces and new ones. he appointed suga as chief cabinet secretary. that makes him the head government spokesperson.
aso is his deputy. he will serve as finance minister and financial services minister. the new foreign minister is fumio kishida. he served in the previous cabinet. onodera is defense minister. he's well versed in dip ro mat tick and security issues. he chaired a lower house committee in okinawa and the northern territories. a newly created post for akira amari for the council on economic and fiscal policy which was cut by the previous government. we asked people in central tokyo what they expect from the abe administration. >> translator: i hope it will fix the economy and energize japan. >> translator: i want a new cabinet to use tax-free on the tsunami survivors.
i really have a high expectation about this. >> translator: i want a new administration to listen to the voices of young people and do something new because nothing really seems to have changed. >> abe takes charge as japan is embroiled in some difficult relations with its neighbors. a former u.s. official hopes the new government will rebuild regional ties and those with the u.s. former deputy secretary of state james steinberg was a leading advocate for the asia pacific region. he welcomed abe's plan to make his the first foreign destination. >> i think there's no substitute for leader to leader discussions. given the delicacy and importance of issues in east asia now. >> steinberg expressed the concerns over the senkaku islands. japan controls the islands in the east china sea. china and taiwan claim them. >> the re-elected leader in the
united states and new leaders in all three major countries of northeast asia. this is an opportunity to take a step back and get a new perspective and avoid this tit for tat and day to day things causing so much tension. >> steinberg called on japanese leaders to break the stalemate over relocating a u.s. air base in okinawa. he says the delays are hindering efforts to build a stronger alliance. a chinese government plane approached japanese air space over the senkaku islands. fighter jets were scrambled to interassessment the craft. defense minister officials say air defense force personnel spotted the plane. the twin propellor aircraft belongs to china's state oceanic administration. the plane came within 120 kilometers of the area and left without entering japanese air space. it's the third day in a row the chinese aircraft has been
spotted at the same time on a similar course. self-defense forces are on heightened alert. it is suspected the chinese may be making regular surveillance flights. north korea hinted that there is more to come after one of its rockets successfully put a satellite into orbit this month. the country's state-run media suggests plans in the works to develop even bigger rockets. the satellite was carried into orbit on a rocket. korean central television broadcast images of a banquet for the scientists involved in the rocket project. the footage showed one of the proposed nine rocket. the wednesday edition of the korean workers party newspaper made the first reference to the nine indicating the country's plan to build the large rocket in stages.
>> nobody is capable of stopping this from advancing. we must develop and launch more powerful rockets. the united states, japan, and other countries have developed a launch. they said it was a test of a ballistic missile technology and was in violation of u.n. security council resolutions. china has opened what it calls the world's longest high speed rail line linking the capital of beijing with guan jo in the south. here's more. >> reporter: the first high-speed train from beijing is about to leave the railway station. many passengers are carrying coats because the temperature in beijing is about 20 degrees centigrade lower than here.
the new line stretches nearly 2300 kilometers, including a section already in service. the trip between the two cities will take about eight hours instead of the current 20 1/2 hours. china says it developed the high-speed train line on its own. based on the technology used by japan's train. the launch of the new service expands china's high-speed railway to more than 9300 kilometers. officials plan to extend it to 16,000 kilometers by 2020. the chinese government temporarily suspended construction of high-speed train lines after 40 people died in a two-train collision last year. but it has resumed construction with the aim of helping correct economic disparities between the coastal areas and shoring up the economy.
questions remain about the safety of high-speed railways. >> translator: it's good to be fast as well as safe but safety should be given priority. >> reporter: many ministry officials stress that they reinforced safety measures. these include reducing maximum speed to 303 kilometers per hour for the time being. 50 kilometers per hour slower than the trains are capable of. nhk world. populous, prosperous, pushing ahead. china's wealth brought it power, wealth and problems. pollution threat continues their health and strained relations with its neighbors. find out the challenges that
china faces on "newsline." investors on tokyo markets are seeing numbers they haven't seen in months. we have been seeing a weaker yen. >> exactly, catherine. we have been seeing it for a few weeks now. that's pushing up the nikkei way higher today. in fact, the nikkei reached the highest level since early march 2011 which is prior to the major earthquake. the nikkei index is trading at 10,367 which is a gain of 1.3%. the nikkei's gains are due to optimism that the bank of japan is likely to take further easing steps. there are hopes that exporters will post higher earnings. traders said overseas institutional investors are returning and taking an aggressive stance on tokyo stocks. let's look at the markets. market players are buying up
dollars and selling the yen on the yeps the bank will take action. the pair is quoted at 87.75 to 76. earlier in new york the kou oh touched a high against the yen. dealers are closely monitoring how the negotiations on the u.s. fiscal cliff will progress. they resume later in the day. the euro is trading at 113.43 to 48 against the yen. the european currency has risen to a 17-month high. in other markets in the asia pacific region, south korea is trading a touch lower at 1,980. in australia the benchmark index is trading just a touch higher up 1/5 of a percent at 4,643. the new finance minister says the issuance of more government bonds may be needed to secure funds for the fiscal 2012
supplementary budget. his comment follows the prime minister's inauguration. >> the former government failed to pull japan out of deflation. it's important for the public to feel japan's economy has improved. >> aso said he doesn't have to abide by the ceiling of $515 billion for bond issuance set by the former government. on the issue of a consumption tax hike scheduled for april 2014, aso said in the past there was a shortfall in government revenue despite tax increases. he says he has to form budgets carefully to prevent a recurren recurrence. chief cabinet secretary yos yoshi hirasuda spoke out against the next bank of japan governor and says it should be someone to -- views on ending deflation.
the current governor will step down in april when his term expires. cabinet ministers can appoint the new governor with diet approval. >> the prime minister has stated his views on pulling our country out of deflation since he became ldp leader. i think it's only natural to choose a person who shares such ideas. >> suga said abe gave instructions for a large scale a budget for this fiscal year. he hopes it will boou the flagging economy. the south korean president elect said she would tackle the growing disparity between the giant conglomerates and smaller businesses. she's now trying to keep the election promise. she met representatives of an association of smaller companies
and merchants. she said she wants to protect the interests of smaller businesses by cracking down on unfair competition and illegal transactions by big firms. a focal point on the presidential election was how to deal with wage disparities among large and smaller firms. another key issue was unfair working conditions for part-time employees. she's calling on large companies for self-restraint to show the public she's keeping her election pledge. more business headlines for you next hour. let's look at markets.
the japan aerospace exploration agency has given the media a glimpse of its new asteroid explorer. it will be launched in december of 2014 to retrieve rock samples from an asteroid. in 2010 it successfully brought it back. it is one and a quarter meters long. it's covered with solar panels and features an intake for collecting samples from an asteroid's surface. >> we understand this won't be easy. but we'll correct the problems
encountered by the earlier explorer and have a fully equipped probe ready in december of 2014. >> japanese tourism has been sluggish since the march 11 disaster. some businesses are struggling to attract visitors. the world famous fish market in tokyo is changing its strategy to become a real tourist destination. it's starting to see foreign visitor numbers pick up again. here's more. [ bell ringing ] >> reporter: rows and rows of tuna in the largest fish market in the world. professional auctioneers and wholesalers handle fish every day at the market. the outer market is geared more towards visitors and tourists who also want a piece of the action. you will find more than 300 mom
and pop shops in little eateries well known to provide the freshest foods from the inner market. the sights, sounds and tastes of japanese cuisine have attracted visitors for years. >> it's a very good experience. >> time is running out as we know it. the inner market which contains the tuna auction will move to a new home by spring of 2015. local traders want to attract as many people as possible in the short time left. they have cooked up a few ideas to help foreigners experience the traditional markets one last time. to lure back tourists lost after last year's disaster. the outer market information center now has volunteers who offer english guidance services. >> these are the oldest and
traditional sushi shops. >> okay. >> organizers say it was never meant to be a tourist spot but it became one by word of mouth. for them to provide a service specifically for tourists is a brand new concept. now about 1,000 foreigners visit the booth every month. >> we are seeing a boost in the number of foreign visitors. we realized we needed to make ourselves more tourist-friendly. we thought we should add this service to enhance their experience here. >> the english trend is spreading to individual stores within the market. this hand made knife shop was founded by a swordsmith six centuries ago. back then an english service wasn't necessary. but now. >> tourists have a much easier time shopping here.
he learned some english phrases on his own to help customers make the right purchase. he admits that his english isn't perfect but it gets the job done. he says sales made to foreign customers have increased since he started studying. >> thank you very much. have a good day. >> hungry shoppers then search for lunch. many line up outside tiny sushi shops. this one offers special services for kids or foreigners who have never tasted raw fish. the micro sushi is a playful way to introduce raw fish to lucky first timers at no cost.
but don't be fooled by the size. it's packed with the same full flavor as the original. >> mm! >> they love it. it definitely leaves an impression. >> i would like to take my mother and friends to try them. sometimes they get scared. big ones. >> they hope one smile bite would turn the shop into a big tourist attraction. the people here are adapting to the changing times. making their businesses more approachable in a variety of ways while maintaining the traditional spirit. nhk world tokyo. >> people in northeastern parts of the united states are struggling with severe weather conditions. here's more in the world weather
forecast. >> the wintry mist is impacting the northeastern states. we see the cloud mass is moving along on the atlantic coast. on christmas day we found more. severe weather outbreaks. let's go to a video from there. a violent winter storm battered the u.s. on christmas day spawning numerous tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the southern states. a tornado struck mobile, alabama, causing widespread power outages and damaging structures. the storm triggered rare heavy christmas snow. serious car accidents have been report eed and a thousand fligh cancelled. the death toll has risen to six. let's pull you back to show you that this storm system is still sitting here. it's around virginia as we speak moving and migrating to the new england states.
for your snow forecast it's about 60 centimeters in areas including up state new york, ontario and much of the new england states as it moves towards the area. also freezing rain will be on tap for you across the region. that's going to bring more travel hazards. also gusts are strong. so both combined with the snow will bring you blizzard conditions. we'll have to wait a while until the system pulls away. more than 200,000 people have lost power due to the system. it will be a tough overnight hour for you. for the thursday time highs, new york looking at 7. toronto, minus 2. down to 3 in oklahoma city. houston, recovering from the single digit but 13 degrees is the high for thursday. let's move over to the asian
continent and monitor the tropical storm you have been talking about. pulling away from land masses and the warm water keeping in a tropical storm but by saturday morning it should be downgrading to a tropical depression. still packing winds of 65 kilometers per hour. but the rain will be heavy here in luzanne. heavy rain. 50 millimeters of rainfall could be possible in the next 48 hours there. across southeastern china things are very wet with heavy rainmakers. the stationary front that's going to be sitting here for a while longer out to japan. still seeing snow to accumulate. it will be tapering off 50 centimeters. up to 108 kilometers per hour. wind gusts possible here.
our lead story this hour. officials with the nuclear regulation authority say faults under a plant in northern japan may be active. the discovery could keep the plant off line for an indefinite amount of time. the officials released their final samt of an inspection made earlier this month at the higashi dori nuclear plant. they confirmed the belief that the faults are likely active.
officials from plant operator electric power company argued that the faults are not active. they said there are no indications that the faults have moved in recent times, but pointed to a lack of evidence substantiating the utility's claim. >> we think that active faults exist under the compound. and we conclude that there is no evidence to contradict our view. >> the team will finalize its report in the next few weeks. officials will have to review measures to protect against earthquakes. this is the second time that active faults have been found under a nuclear plant in japan. that wraps up this edition of "newsline." thanks for joining us.