increased presence. commanders across asia strengthen their personnel and equipment to back up their claims to territory. chinese commanders are doing more to make their presence known in the south china sea. they're beefing up their equipment as others beef up their forces. they've deployed a patrol vessel off the southern province for the first time. the maritime safety administration launched this ship, running more than 90 meters long. it has a heli pad.
china is locked in territorial disputes with several countries. diplomats are expected to react strongly to deployment of a larger ship. commanders in the philippines are trying to bolster their control over some islands in the south china sea. they've begun staging elite marps on the islands. senior military officials say they started deploying marines in october. they had already stationed naval officers there. the commanders say they've almost doubled the number of personnel on some of the islands. the marines underwent training to protect the territory and carrying upgraded weapons. the military is expanding a facility on the island of lawok. to manage threats from china and from north korea. the new defense minister has revealed plans to strengthen the self-defense forces.
he addressed about 600 senior officials from the defense ministry and the self-defense forces on his first day on the job. >> translator: our nation's security is under increasing threat. we need to review our capabilities both in quality and quantity. >> he pointed to the dispute over the senkaku islands in the east china sea. chinese planes have flown into and around japanese air space in the area and chinese ships have sailed into japanese waters. he said he's also concerned about north korea's nuclear and missile development programs. newly released details showed myanmar canceled a visit of sdf vessels out of
consideration of china. two ships were scheduled to visit on the way back from mine sweeping drills in the persian gulf. no japanese vessel has ever made a port visit to the country. myanmar was under military rule for almost 25 years. the nation has been strengthening ties with japan and western nations since its transition to civilian rule in march of last year. but the country's leaders have also been trying to maintain close ties with china. japan's new government has promised to repair frayed ties with south dakota. he spoke with south korea's kim a day after taking office, saying south korea is japan's
most important neighbor and they share fundamental values and interests. he alluded to a dispute over the senkaku islands in the sea of japan. kim said it's important to maintain close communications. they agreed to work closely on issues relating to north korea. japanese government officials may be looking forward to the new year, but they have to sort through a slew of economic data first. so what can you tell us? >> you're right, they can't kick up their heels just yet, because they have a handful of economic indicators to sort through for japan for november. the jobless rate improved to 4.1%. officials at the internal affairs ministry say the figure is out 0.1 program poiercentage
from the previous month. separately labor ministry officials said job availability was flat. 80 positions were available for every 100 job seekers. the officials say the global economic slowdown and an end to government subsidies for eco friendly vehicles have reduced the number of jobs available in manufacturing industries. industrial output fell 1.7%, the first decline in two months. major indexes that contributed to the decrease are general machinery, fabricated metals and information technology and telecom electronics. mobile phones, drive transmission and control parts for transportation, as well as steel bridges are also key items cited for the overall decrease. the ministry says it expects the index to be up in december.
analysts too say they expect industrial output will pick up as external demand they be bottoming out. and internal affairs ministry officials released the consumer price indecision. that fell 0.1% from a year earlier. it excludes volatile prices of fresh foods. the negative number came after price declaims for overall package tours. for overseas package tours that is. so people refraped from buying travel plans in november. let's get a check on the markets. the nikkei, this is a new high for this year after rising above the highest level posted yesterday. it's currently at 10,421, getting closer to a gain of 1% from thursday's closing levels. market participants are becoming more certain that the bank of japan may take further action to pull the country out of deflation, since the consumer
price indecision fell in november. that was for the first time in two months. participants added that the yen's first slide is sending shares of exporters higher. so let's take a look at the currency markets. the dollar is hovering near a 29-month high against the yen. the yen is falling on expectation that the boj will initiate further monetary easing. the euro is trading at around a 17-month high against the yep. 114- .58. let's take a look at australia. the benchmark index is there is trading higher, 4,685. looks like a positive start to the asia-pacific so far this friday. we'll see where trading takes us. here's a look at some other markets.
>> the president also said reforms are needed from the grassroots level up to the level of the central government. he called for the cooperation of bureaucrats as well as the general public to achieve a government free of corruption. he has been president since march of 2011. he has since been promoting a package of democratization and economic reforms. his efforts won the agreements of western countries to ease economic sanctions imposed during myanmar's military regime. now he's trying to turn around the country's economy, which is the weakest among asean member countries. myanmar has the geopolitical challenge of being placed near india and the rest of southeast asia and has an abundance of natural resources. these factors are drawing the attention of foreign investors who see the country as the last frontier to asia. the question remains whether he can handle a sudden influx of foreign investment. myanmar will serve as the chair country of asean in 2014.
in that capacity, it will host key diplomatic talks like the east asia summit where the leaders of other powers gather. he seems eager to groom the country's bureaucrats for the world stage and change their mindset. eight years have passed since the indian ocean tsunami. it struck on december 26, 2004 and left more than 220,000 people dead or missing. but one island had a low number of casualties. the reason can be found in music. ♪ >> reporter: the song comes from indonesia. it means tsunami in the local dialect. each song has been passed down for generations ever since a
major tsunami killed thousands when it struck the island over a century ago. ♪ >> reporter: children have been brought up on this lullaby and adults continue to sing it while tending to their fields. the song teaches people how to protect themselves from a tsunami and has been popular still in the island. what should you do if an earthquake strikes? >> translator: run for the hill tops as fast as you can. >> reporter: after the 2004 indian ocean earthquake, many
people, remembering the song, did just that, headed for the hills. although over 160,000 people were either killed or remain missing in the pro-vince only, only seven people died on this island, which has a population of just 80,000. this is a researcher at the university who is visiting the islands to study the song. >> translator: this song saved everyone's life. through studying the song, i believe we can integrate this local knowledge into future disaster prevention education by listening to the song. >> reporter: through her research, she was further shocked to find leer yaks about the march 11 earthquake have been added to the song. ♪
>> translator: the song says to immediately run to the nearest hilltop. >> translator: i realize that you must always be cautious and that you must immediately run away in order to save your life. >> reporter: although the song was only sung in indigenous communities, it is gradually being passed on to a wider audience as a song that can actually save lives. nhk world, indonesia. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land waiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of the past 2011 disaster won't be easy.
but step by step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time, right here on "newsline." u.s. sailors are suing the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. they claim tokyo electric power company issued misleading information after the disaster there last year and they claim they were exposed to radiation. the nine plaintiffs include eight members of the "uss ronald reagan," and they were deployed just off the plant shortly after the disaster. the plaintiffs filed their suit last week at the u.s. federal court in san diego. they argue that tepco officials misrepresented the dangers and gave them a false sense of security. the suit says that increased their risk of developing cancer. but it does not specify levels of radiation exposure. they're demanding the utility
pay $10 million in damages to each of them and $220 million to set up a fund for future medical costs. tepco officials say they have not yet seen the details of the case. new year postcards are an essential part of the ritual of seeing in the new year in japan. sent to friends, family and associates, they're delivered on the morning of january 1 and hold a special significance. in iwate, one woman is drawing on that tradition to keep the spotlight on her region as it recovers from last year's quake and tsunami damage. >> reporter: this stationary store in iwate prefecture has a hot new product. new years cards made from wood, not paper. they're the brainchild of this woman. >> translator: we're getting orders from all over japan. hokkaido in the north.
>> reporter: she came up with the new product as a way to keep reminding people outside the disaster zone that things are still far from back to normal in her hometown. her home and store were high enough not to be affected by the tsunami. after the disaster, her shop and house became a base for the rescue workers that came from all over the country. >> translator: fewer people are coming to help us these days. and that makes me sad. slowly but surely, people are starting to forget about the places that were so badly hit by the disaster. >> tikano thought long and hard about what she could do to keep people's focus on her area. there used to be about 1,000 pine trees standing along the coast here.
they were a well-known symbol of the local community. they were almost all swept away. tikano decided to produce something using the timber from those pine trees. she came up with the idea of making new year's cards. eventually she found a company that could do the job. >> translator: when people actually feel these cards in their hands and know they're made from the pines destroyed by last year's disaster, they might feel like doing something for this area. >> last year tikano couldn't bring herself to send any new year's greetings. but this year she has been writing messages to her friends in tokyo. her message is a heartfelt thank you to the friends who have continued to support this area even after the disaster.
>> translator: last year many people didn't want to use the word "happy" in their new year greetings. but now over a year has passed since the disaster. i hope people can change the way they feel this year and will want to send out new year's cards with a positive spirit. >> the famous pines may be destroyed, but thanks to takano's new year's cards, the wood is spreading new year cheer while also helping her local community. a civic group in okinawa will be ending its truth mission. after 30 years, it will stop buying films from the u.s. about the island world war ii battles involving thousands of civilians. they say they've achieved their goals and they're getting too old. volunteers establish the okinawa historical film society in naha city in 1983. their mission was to show people in and out of japan a true
picture of the fighting in okinawa between the former japanese imperial army and u.s. forces. out of 200,000 deaths, about 100,000 were local residents. members used donations to buy and screen the films. they purchased film by the foot. when the film society began, a foot of film could be bought for 100 yen or about a dollar. the group has collected over 110,000 feet of film. the society's leader says the films they collected is a legacy of the okinawan people. >> translator: we hope that the history listens to the battle of okinawa as they carry out the peace movement. >> the films will be donated to the archives where they will be preserved. the tokyo metropolitan
government has held a bid to host the 2020 summer olympics. the international olympic committee plans to pick the winner september of next year. about 800 people participated in the event, including four london olympic winners and business interactions. >> translator: we should win the bid. the olympics will be a opportunity. >> a nonpartisan group handed the governor a petition signed by more than 1 million people supporting the bid. >> translator: many people want to host the olympic games. i will work towards making their dream come true.
>> the government wants to boost momentum before they review japan's public support as possibly as soon as next month. a tropical storm hit the fiphilippines and they're deali with heavy rain. that storm is heading towards the indo china peninsula. >> we're still tracking the tropical storm, which is over the south china sea heading towards the indochina peninsula. the waves and winds will get stronger as this approaches the region. already getting some rain affecting the area, the coastal areas especially. moving away from the philippines, but still the easterly flow will be dumps across the eastern coast of luzon. and the ground is well saturated. reports of 300 millimeters in
some locations of this area in the past 24 hours. and any additional rainfall is likely to trigger flooding, land slides and mudslides. this is likely to continue into the next 48 hours. so we'll keep a close eye on this system yet again. in the bigger picture, we have a system that is covering the korean peninsula, moving towards western japan as we speak, bringing snow to much of the south korea regions. again, that will be moving into japan. much of the precipitation will be rain. but central regions of japan, as well as tohuku will see it turn white and it could get heavy, upping the risk of avalanche. even in tokyo, we'll start to see those sunny and dry weather turn yet. it's going to be staying wet into saturday morning. some areas will be likely to see a very heavy rain of up to 100
millimeters in kyushu. in the southern areas here, the precipitation will likely turn white there, as well, due to the cold surge dominating much of china. beijing at minus 2. seoul at 3. but finally we're looki inin ii above freezing digits since last friday. moving over to the american continent, you can see the cloud formation moving to the canadian maritimes into the next 24 hours. total amounts of heavy snow could target the region with 40 centimeters of additional fresh show, that combined with the gusts could reach up to 100 kilometers per hour. out towards the deep south, another round of severe thunderstorms could be likely in louisiana and mississippi. much of this would be scattered
and heavy rain on the coastal regions. houston back to 19, so back to the norm alter temperatures. and in europe, a messy picture. lots of numerous gust reports. 79 to 82 across much of the central regions. we still have these several low pressure systems creating precipitation, especially heavy in the coastal areas, with some thunderstorms the on top. but this system will be further intensifying as it moves towards the british isles, bringing gusts of 140 miles per hour, enough to damage houses and uproot trees. precipitation is likely to continue throughout your weekend. temperatures, not too bad. london and paris, both at 11 degrees and moscow at freezing. stockholm, just minus 4 for your
more to make their presence known in the south china sea. they've deployed a patrol vessel for the first time. the maritime safety administration launched the ship that weighs more than 1,500 tons and runs more than 90 meters long. it has a heli pad and can sail 7,000 kilometers without refueling. diplomats from nations are expected to react strongly to the deployment of a larger ship. >> that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.