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tv   Newsline  PBS  March 8, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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pressure on the peninsula, north korean leaders respond to tougher u.n. security council sanctions prompting south korean military leaders to put their forces on high alert. welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm ross mihara. officials in north korea have threreenen to unilaterally scrap all non-aggression agreements with south korea. their announcement follows the u.n. security council's approval of tougher sanctions against the north. council members made the move to
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punish the reclusive nation for carrying out a nuclear test last month. >> translator: the united states and south korea went as far as adopting a u.n. security council resolution to impose more sanctions on our country while trying to set off a nuclear war. >> a statement by the committee in charge of interkorean dialogue says north korea will scrap non-aggression being pacts with the south starting monday. the same says the country will close the north/south hotline at the demilitarized zone. authorities at pyongyang said they would cancel the 1953 armistice that ended hostilities in the korean war. they justified that decision by saying they were responding to u.s./south korea military exercises that started a week ago and will continue into april. north korea's announcement has sparked strong reactions in seoul. south korean defense officials say they're ready to strike back against anything the north
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throws at them. >> translator: north korea is conducting military drills with unprecedented intensity. they mobilized submarines, fighter jets, and special forces for the maneuvers. >> a defense ministry spokesperson has warned south korean forces will retaliate against any provocation. he dismissed the threat of preemptive nuclear strike saying such an attack would mark the end of kim jong un's regime. south korean president park geun-hye issued a stern warning. to pyongyang. >> translator: any country that focuses exclusively on strengthening its military power while people are starving is bound to face self-destruction. chinese leaders have long supported their counterparts in north korea. still, they back the latest u.n. security council sanctions. the world's most populous nation is in the middle of a leadership
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transition. nhk world's james tengan reports from beijing on china's reaction to north korea's latest moves and the other challenges facing its next generation of leaders. >> reporter: xi jinping is expected to be confirmed as china's president and premier li keqiang next week at the national people's congress. it looks like the situation on the korean peninsula will be their first major foreign policy challenge. chinese government officials are trying to show they're doing what they can to keep the peace. a foreign ministry spokesperson appealed to leaders in north and south korea to let cooler heads prevail. >> translator: the relevant countries should show calm and restraint so we can avoid any further escalation of the situation. >> reporter: hua chunying says china is carrying out u.n. resolutions consistently and is fulfilling international obligations.
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north korea's response to the latest round of u.n. sanctions has put china on edge. officials in beijing want to avoid driving authorities in pyongyang into a corner which could result in the regime's collapse. they fear that would prompt north koreans to flee across the border and into chinese territory. china is north korea's biggest aid provider and trading partner. its incoming leaders have not made any public comments about this latest tension on the korean peninsula. so it's not clear how they'll follow up on the new sanctions and what kind of relationship and influence their administration will have with the north korean regime. north korea is just one of a long list of issues the next generation of leaders will have to face head on. we wanted to get a snapshot of the challenges they face at home and abroad. so we spoke with experts from two of china's leading
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universities. one focuses on internal affairs, the other specializes in foreign policy. >> thank you very much for your time. >> welcome. >> nice to meet you. >> this professor teaches law at peking university. he led a group of 70 experts who signed a series of proposals submitted to the government in december. shortly after xi jinping became communist party chief. they described chinese people as frustrated with corruption, abuse of power and growing wage gap between rich and poor. they said this frustration would reach a critical point if political reform didn't move ahead. they warned chinese society could face a violent revolution and fall into chaos. he posted proposals on his website but he said it was erased within 24 hours. >> why chinese society is so unstable today?
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precisely because of a lack of credible reform. it's because of this lack the government or the government policies, government actions are not responsible to people. so that's why our air is so dirty. our underground waters got into trouble. so many people, especially the peasants, lost their land. we need a reform to start with. because the government has only emphasized economic reform. they only pay lip service to judicial reform. >> reporter: in january, a demonstration in guangdong province made international headlines. journalists and citizens took to the streets after chinese censors rewrote an editorial in the weekly newspaper. the protesters called for media freedom, but four days later, local police shut down their rallies.
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>> what do you think the xi administration's stance will be on media control? >> i think this is success for media freedom. at least the government did not take any unnecessarily harsh measures, but the government would be very nervous on too much negative reports, which would tarnish the image of the government. i don't think the current government can successfully resolve these problems, including the environmental and ecological destruction without basic political reform and the improvement of the rule of law. >> reporter: but do you think in five years the government will be more lenient toward the media? >> that would happen only if we have enough social pressure and
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we will have enough social pressure only when enough people stand up. i think a big problem with our society is that everybody is too timid to express our ideas for fear mostly. i'm not a radical person, you know. as you can see, i'm very moderate but even moderate voices can be taken as offense by the government. without these voices, our society will become more radical. >> reporter: that was professor fan of peking university. over at xinhua university, another professor is regarded as an academic who has influence over chinese government officials. he's the dean of the institute of modern international relations. our conversation about foreign policy started with the military and his argument in favor of the
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increase in china's defense budget to about $120 billion. >> we need stronger ability to protect security, people's security and thus security of society. people should not be shocked by china and build a strong military power because that's what we need for the new security problems we're facing in the future. >> xi jinping called for the so-called restoration of the chinese people last november when he took charge of the communist party. former leader min used the expression after the 1989 tiananmen square incident. >> this is called international rejuvenation. it means chinese people looking
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position like the dynasty. we believe with the largest population of the world, it should be the strongest power in the world and should enjoy that equivalent respect from the rest of the world. >> reporter: that approach is reflected to some extent in the territorial dispute between china and japan. japan controls the senkaku islands in the east china sea. china claims them and calls them the daiwu islands. chinese protested across the country after the japanese government nationalized the islands last september. the demonstrations have died down but chinese vessels remain active in an area just outside japanese waters near the islands. >> the abe administration deny there's a dispute over the islands, deny there are conflicts between the two countries. that's really a strain. i think admitted disputes is a precondition for an improved china and japan's relations. if the abe administration adopt
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a positive approach and are looking for a way to settle the disputes over the island, i think that kind of initiative or action would definitely get a very positive response from xi jinping's government. >> reporter: professor yan, in your eyes, what are the biggest differences between the old leadership and the upcoming administration? >> china's international status has already changed. no matter what their personal orientation they prefer and they have to adopt a china foreign policy according to the china's new international status. the conflict between china and u.s. will become deepen and widened. so from my understanding china's policy, these potential conflicts, escalating, first. during the cold war, and there's
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no social contact, no social, economic, cultural contact between u.s. and the soviet union. so from my understanding the chinese government will carry out policy and based on the people's contact to be continued and also preventing military confrontation between china and the u.s. >> reporter: so there you have it. two different chinese academics with two different views of china's new leadership. professor jong as we heard is critical of the government. i was actually quite surprised about how outspoken he was. he blasted government officials for liberally spending public money on expensive meals and travel. and he accused leaders of using the dispute over senkaku islands to divert the public's attention away from domestic issues. on the other hand, professor yan is supportive of xi jinping's leadership. he believes xi is the right person to lead china because he lived in the country side during the cultural revolution and
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lived through the reforms of the 1980s. so yen believes xi will do everything to avoid a repeat of that kind of domestic chaos. that wraps up our special coverage, "china, change and challenge." "newsline" will continue to keep you updated on the leadership transition here in the world's second largest economy. >> that was nhk world's james tengan in beijing. the people of venezuela said good-bye to the man who led them for 14 years. they gave president hugo chavez a state funeral in the capital, caracas. ♪ about 30 foreign leaders joined venezuelans for the ceremony at a military academy.
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crowds of chavez's supporters gathered outside. the vice president is due to take oath of office as acting president. the vice president says people will be able to see chavez forever as a preserved body on permanent display. government officials say they'll call a presidential election within 30 days. analysts say vice president maduro will probably run on the ruling party's ticket. people in the united states have another reason to believe their economy is gaining traction. they saw share prices on the new york stock exchange hit a record high this week. now they're seeing more encouraging data about jobs. officials at the department of labor say the jobless rate fell to 7.7% last month from 7.9% the month before. unemployment is the lowest it's been in more than four years. it's been under 8% for six straight months. employers added 236,000 nonfarm jobs.
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analysts had expected 160,000. people found new positions in professional and business services, construction, and health care. analysts are considering what the job data mean for their economy over the longer term, and they're trying to figure out how government spending cuts will hit american workers. here's a view from ethan harris at bank of america merrill lynch global research. >> certainly improvements in the job market very important to confidence in the economy. and spending. and we think that the recent improvement in the stock market is likely to continue over the course of this year. the median term outlook for the u.s. economy is quite good and we certainly expect steady growth over the next couple years. we are going to have kind of a rough patch in the second quarter.
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we had significant tax increases in the united states. we've also had the spending cuts, many of which will kick in in april. and these will impact employment reports. we wouldn't be surprised if in the april, may, and june reports we get very soft numbers instead of the 200,000 gains we've experienced in recent months. we wouldn't be surprised to see numbers of below 100,000 as government agencies pull back on their contractors. japanese leaders want their u.s. counterparts to understand how they're trying to grow their economy. finance minister taro aso called the new u.s. treasury secretary jack lew to say the japanese are not aiming to weaken the yen. >> translator: i explained that we're not engaged in a currency war. that our main goal is to get out of our deflationary slump.
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i made it clear that the yen's depreciation is just a by-product. >> aso said he and lew also discussed the global economy. he said they agreed to work closely together to ensure stable growth. people in northeastern japan have spent nearly two years trying to get back on their feet. next monday marks the second anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. or nuclear accident. the march 11th disaster left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing. survivors have been moving forward on a path to recovery. almost all of the 120,000 companies in areas devastated by the tsunami were small and medium-sized firms. many were already feeling the weight of their loans after a long economic slump. and they had to decide whether to take on additional debt to
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restart operations. government officials say only 2/3 of those companies are back in business. people in the city of kesennuma face many of those challenges. managers of firms in fish processing and noodle production are finding ways to start afresh. people across japan have invested in their future. they help the residents of kesennuma find their way back. nhk world's akiko okamoto reports. >> reporter: fujita was born and raised in kesennuma. he cultivates seaweed and catches fish for a living. his family members have been fishers for more than 100 years. but the tsunami two years ago destroyed everything. his company, his boat, his home.
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>> translator: i was devastated. i didn't know what to think when i saw that everything was gone. >> reporter: fujita suffered more than $1 million in financial damage. but he never gave up on his business. a few months after the disaster, he heard about a unique investment fund company. the firm based in tokyo originally manages funds for musicians. the company brings together fans who want to make small-lot investments in artists. they wanted to use the system for the devastated region. the system works like this. one unit of investment costs less than $120. of that, about half is invested while the other half is a donation. the fund company takes a small fee.
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in return, the investors receive the firm's products as a gift. if the firm makes a profit, the investors are also paid dividends. investors can freely choose which company to support with just one click of a mouse. >> translator: investors say they're happy because they can see how their money is being utilized by the devastated firms. they can feel they're part of the reconstruction process. >> reporter: fujita decided to take a chance. in just six months, he was able to raise more than $100,000. with the money, he bought a new boat and rebuilt his workplace. >> translator: i'm so glad we started this fund. i can't believe so many people are supporting us.
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>> reporter: shigeru and keiko kumagai own a noodle company in kesennuma. the tsunami destroyed their factory. the total damage was over $3 million. >> translator: the problem was my existing debts. we usually make about $1 million a year. to ask for more than a year's sales was out of the question. >> reporter: the kumagais also found salvation through the investment fund. they decided to raise $800,000. in order to receive this fund, kumagai is reaching out to potential investors, promoting the company's potential growth at an event in tokyo.
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people ranging in age from 20 to 70 came to the event organized by the fund company. they handed out samples of the company's products. >> translator: when i heard that the company lost all its machinery and packages products with their own hands, i felt eager to help right away. >> reporter: with the fund's assistance, the kumagais were able to rebuild their noodle factory last november. they raised half of the money from the fund. >> translator: i have so much appreciation for our investors. we need to pay dividends based on our sales. we'll work very hard. i don't want to let our investors down. >> reporter: although the investments may be small, when added up, they become a driving force that allow the recipients to rebuild their businesses and restart their lives.
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akiko okamoto, nhk world, kesennuma. workers at a japanese electronics company have high hopes for their newest robot. it's capable of removing radioactive substances from inside nuclear reactor plants. they want to send it into the damaged fukushima daiichi nuclear plant this summer. the one meter tall remote control robot can wash radioactive materials from walls and floors using high-powered water jets. the water travels at several hundred times the pressure of tap water to remove substances, sucked up by a vacuum at the tip of the robot's arm. >> translator: we hope our robot will improve the environment of the nuclear power plant and help with the recovery process. >> workers from tokyo electric power company have been struggling to decommission the reactors. they can enter the reactor
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buildings for only short periods because of the high levels of radiation. people in northeastern japan are reminded daily of what they lost on march 11th, 2011. the earthquake and tsunami took away loved ones, homes, entire communities. survivors are moving ahead, but they still face obstacles at the damaged nuclear plant and all along the pacific coast. "newsline" will bring you their stories. don't miss "path to recovery two years on." the world marks international women's day on march 8th. along with celebrations, there are also calls to do more. in the indian capital of new delhi people gathered to demand an end of sexual violence against women. protesters took to the streets to urge the government to improve security for women. about 500 people took part in the demonstration.
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that number is about five times that of recent years. according to a group that organized the event. a violent rape case last year is sparking public anger. last december, a 23-year-old female student was raped on a bus by a gang of six men. she was thrown on to the road and died of injuries in a hospital two weeks later. last month, india's cabinet approved the death penalty for severe rape cases. new cases continue to be reported around the country. this has led to calls for a strict crackdown on perpetrators. rape cases in india have shown a spotlight on persisting social problems in this emerging economic giant. here are the latest market figures.
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up now, the weather forecast for the weekend.
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