hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, september 3rd. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japan's leaders have drawn up a plan to address the crisis at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. they've watched as workers have tried to deal with the buildup of radioactive water. they're earmarking about 21
billion yen, $210 million to try to solve the problem. they'll use the money to decontaminate the water and to try to contain leaks. they plan to do that by freezing soil around the damaged reactors. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga will lead a panel overseeing work at the plant. the panel will take charge of decommissioning the reactors. the members have promised to improve communications with workers and officials from plant operator tokyo electric power company. prime minister shinzo abe is scheduled to meet with his cabinet on tuesday to authorize the plan. now the head of japan's nuclear regulation authority says it will legally oblige tepco to address the leaks. he criticized people at the utility for continuing to make quick fixes. shunichi tanaka addressed the concerns about leak of water from a dank last month. he said reports on what caused it, how it happened and how much water got out are only
estimates. they then suggested one possible approach. >> translator: we might have to consider releasing some of the radioactive waste water that is below the safety limits into the ocean. nuclear power plants around the world have been doing so as a matter of fact, but first we have to purify the wastewater from the fukushima plant to that level. >> tanaka said if the people in charge of the plant released the waste water, they'll have to explain what they're doing. he said higher concentrations of tritium and strontium were found in groundwater samples in may. he said tritium levels were higher near the beach suggesting groundwater was seeping into the ocean. tepco officials say they are improving the way they monitor tanks holding radioactive water. they say they've increased the number of inspectors from 10 to 90, and they'll check the tanks twice as often. those responsible for the only two nuclear reactors still operating in japan are shutting
them down for regular inspections. that will leave all the country's nuclear power generators idle for the first time in about 14 months. workers with kansai electric turned off the number 3 reactor at the ohi plant early tuesday. they'll do the same with the number 4 reactor in about two weeks. experts and members of the nuclear regulation authority say a fault running beneath the ohi plant is not active. they agree that the facility has not moved recently and has no possibility of moving in the future. the government bans the operation of atomic power facilities above active faults. operators of the ohi facility and five other plants have applied for safety screening to restart their reactors. it's not clear whether the nuclear regulation authority will give the utilities the green light. thousands of residents are still waiting to go home. vast tracts of land are still
waiting to be restored. and more than half of fishing ports on the pacific coast must be rebuilt. people in northeastern japan still face challenges following the 2011 disaster, but step by step they're moving forward. see their stories every wednesday on "the road ahead" right here on "newsline." sharp gusts of wind damaged hundreds of buildings and injured dozens of people near tokyo. local residents say the areas were struck by a tornado. the gust began shortly after 2:00 p.m. on monday and left a trail of debris in the city of koshigaya. video footage shows what was happening at the scene. firefighters and police say the powerful winds ripped through parts of the city and damaged more than 300 buildings. police say 66 people were injured. one of them reportedly suffered a fractured skull. >> translator: bits and pieces flew into our house.
i heard windows break, the sound of shattering. it's okay. i was given first aid. >> one witness reported seeing something that looked like a tornado more than 300 meters high. another said the sky suddenly darkened and she saw a big blast twister in front of her. people in the nearby city of noda are reporting similar damage. one person was injured and more than 150 buildings were damaged there. the winds knocked down utility poles and overturned cars. u.s. president barack obama thinks the syrian government should be punished for what he believes was an attack using chemical weapons. obama has met groups of lawmakers. he's also phoned others to try to win their support. he's trying to persuade members of congress to approve a military strike. obama's national security team
briefed members of the house of representatives. it revealed classified intelligence to bolster its argument about the need to act. many lawmakers say obama's aides provided strong evidence that forces loyal to syrian president bashar al assad had used chemical weapons. but many questioned the effectiveness of limited strikes and wondered what u.s. forces would do after such an operation. the senate foreign relations committee is scheduled to hold a similar briefing on tuesday. many lawmakers, both democrats and republicans, say they're undecided about whether to support a strike. earlier in the day, u.s. secretary of state john kerry spoke on interview programs on five tv networks to seek public support. >> if we don't stand up to this, i can't contemplate that the congress would turn its back on all that responsibility and the fact that we would have, in fact, granted impunity to a ruthless dictator to continue to gas his people.
>> kerry added that it would send the wrong message to iran and north korea as well. in syria, opposition leaders say government forces have renewed their attacks after a recent decrease in fighting. they say government pilots bombarded a residential area in damascus on sunday killing 15 people. they say government forces are taking advantage of obama's decision to seek approval from congress. assad is defiant in the face of the threats. his neighbors are anxious. they fear an intervention will only spread more instability. nhk world's sho beppu reports from beirut. >> reporter: president assad met in damascus on sunday with a group of iranian lawmakers. he reportedly told them he hopes the u.s. congress will reach a sensible decision on a possible attack. iranian television says assad repeated it was the opposition
that attacked civilians with chemical weapons. he said those who conspired against syria would soon be buried in graveyards. syrian tensions are forcing people to flee their homeland. since the start of the unrest 2 1/2 years ago, almost 2 million people have left as refugees and more are waiting to get out. a constant flow of cars crosses this checkpoint between syria and lebanon. many people say they lived near an airport or military installation, both possible targets of strikes. >> translator: i am fleeing because i'm scared of the attacks. >> translator: i don't want the u.s. to intervene, but i want this war to end.
>> reporter: if the military action goes ahead, observers fear the assad regime and its supporters such as lebanese shia islam group hezbollah may retaliate against u.s. ally israel. hezbollah has already sent fighters to syria to support the assad forces. supporters of the group were defiant during friday prayers at a mosque in southern beirut. people are being urged to join the battle against the united states. some had hung a slogan along the main street saying, our determination to fight. >> translator: the u.s. is the principal culprit of terrorism. they are the ones that always start the attack. >> translator: military action doesn't achieve anything. we will keep protesting.
>> reporter: iran is strengthening its rhetoric against president obama and his threat of force. in israel, the military is boosting its missile defense system. in addition to the unrest from the syrian civil war, the prospect of an american attack is shaking the region further. sho beppu, nhk world, beirut. syria's opposition has not been struggling alone. the government of the gulf state of qatar has been supporting their fight. in a recent interview with nhk, qatar's foreign minister, dr. attiyah, harshly criticized the use of chemical weapons against civilians. the government of qatar has backed syria's opposition. in november last year it hosted the formation of the national coalition for syrian revolutionary and opposition forces.
the group was formally recognized as the legitimate representative of the syrian people. foreign minister attiyah accuses the assad regime of killing innocent people, including children, with toxic gas and says he would support direct military action. >> no one has the facility to launch but the regime. and it has been used before. it has been used before in february. we always wish to see something happen through u.n. security council, but with the reluctance of the security council and with the, unfortunately, the blockage of vetoes, then i think there is another way for the international community to save and protect the syrian people. >> he also acknowledged there are foreign volunteer fighters flooding into syria to support the rebels but says he does not see this as a big problem. >> foreign element should not
worry us unless we keep this dragging on. the sooner we get a solution, okay, the sooner this foreign element has to leave syria. the head of nato says he's convinced assad's troopses used chemical weapons. still he says the alliance will not join an attack on syria. >> i don't for see any further. it is for individual nations to decide how to react to what has happened in syria. >> rasmussen said nato forces have already placed interceptor missiles in turkey to protect its border with syria. it said the alliance could be pushed to respond if syrian troops make an attack across that border. prosecutors in egypt have ordered ousted president mohamed morsi to stand trial on charges related to murder. state-run television reports morsi and 14 senior members of
the muslim brotherhood will stand trial. the islamist group is morsi's power base. last december his supporters clashed with opposition demonstrators in the capital, cairo. at least seven people were killed. prosecutors argue morsi instructed his followers to silence the opposition with force. morsi held power until the beginning of july when egypt's military leaders overthrew him. his supporters staged protest after protest, demanding he be reinstated. then last month security forces moved in to stop the demonstrations. more than 850 people were killed. the interim government issued a state of emergency that allows police to arrest people without a warrant. security forces have detained about 2,000 members of the muslim brotherhood including the leader of the movement.
japan's most famous animation director has announced his retirement. oscar winner hayao miyazaki said "the wind rises" will be his last film. miyazaki will hold a press conference on friday to explain why he decided to end his career. miyazaki's announcement has made news around the world. china's cctv says he created many masterpieces focused on people around the world. some people call miyazaki the walt disney of japan. "the wind rises" is now competing at the venice film festival.
>> translator: his retirement will be a big loss for the international film industry. i hope he'll change his mind. >> the venice festival judges in 2005 awarded miyazaki an honorary golden lion. he was the first japanese director to win the award. ♪ miyazaki pioneered a style of animation that influenced many of his peers. ♪ >> miyazaki's 2001 production "spirited away" won him an oscar and became japan's highest
grossing film of all time. and he has three other films on the top ten list. visitors at the jibly museum in tokyo expressed disappointment at miyazaki's announcement. >> translator: i'm so sad. >> translator: i wanted my children to see more of his productions. it's too bad he's retiring. >> fans flocked to buy copies of miyazaki's movies. officials from one major rental chain say his films have been borrowed more than 22 million times over the past three decades. japanese health authorities have been drawing up plans to prevent an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu. they say they'll work with drug makers to try to develop a vaccine. a new strain of the h7n9 avian flu left 44 people dead this year in eastern china. no new infections have been
report since august, but officials from japan's health ministry say there's the potential for a pandemic if the virus mutates and transmits more efficiently. ministry officials met with a group of health experts to discuss the risk of a global outbreak. researchers in the united states and other countries are trying to develop vaccines, but they haven't succeeded yet. the health officials say they'll provide samples of the virus to japanese drugmakers to help their research. they say they hope to have a prototype vaccine by early next year. indonesia's finance chiefs have been struggling to control their slumping currency and the latest economic figures will only add to their woes. southeast asia's largest economy posted a record monthly trade deficit in july. officials at the statistics bureau said the trade gap widened to more than $2.3 billion. exports stood at $15.1 billion. imports $17.4 billion. fluctuations in the market have dented the economy.
prices for a key export, coal, have dropped but oil and gas which account for about 23% of imports, are rising. the winding deficit will make it harder for policymakers to support the indonesia rupiah. it has fallen 10% in the last six months against the dollar. investors are buying dollars as they speculate the federal reserve is going to scale back monetary easing. members of a crew in northeastern japan find themselves on a different mission from those working near them. other workers are still clearing away debris 30 months after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the region, but some researchers are trying to preserve what was left behind with the help of 3-d technology. a room filled with peck lar-shaped symbols. the black marks.
glasses the viewer steps into a 3-d world. in front is a giant fishing trawler washed ashore by the tsunami. the glasses offer a 360-degree view. the color, shape, even the texture reproduced in exact detail. a team with tohoku university has brought the ship to life. you can still see the real thing, but not for much longer. symbolic reminders of the tragic event are disappearing one after the other. the sight-seeing boat deposited on top of a building is now gone. so is this elementary school. 500 people took refuge on the roofhore. in april, cleanup crews removed all traces of the building. government researchers have compiled a register of march 11th disaster monuments. they identified 47 structures in
the three hardest-hit prefectures, iwate, miyagi and fukushima. only eight of them are listed for preservation. the stranded trawler is one of the most recognized symbols of the trauma, an image seen around the world. its fate has sharply divided the residents of kesen sum ma, miyagi prefecture. >> translator: my house was washed away by the tsunami. i don't want to see the ship because it reminds me of the suffering. it's too hard. >> translator: i want the ship to be kept as a legacy, like hiroshima's atomic bomb dome. people will forget about the disaster otherwise. >> the local government asked residents, preserve or scrap? their opinion polls show that 70% were opposed to preserving the trawler. the majority ruled. demolition crews will soon begin dismantling the vessel.
alarmed by the trend t tohoku university team is rushing to collect as much data as possible. they are using laser instruments to report precise details of each surviving structure. computer analyzes the data and reproduces the object in three dimensions. the project team has worked on seven monuments so far. >> translator: every time the sen duke u region is hit by tsunami, people say they have to pass on their experiences. i want to show what happened to northeastern japan even after the region recovered. >> this ruined building in ri rikuzentakata was all that remained of a community center. 80 people lost their lives here. a demolition crew removed everything but the wave left behind. a cleanup team now uses the site to sort through debris.
the community center lives on in this 3-d image. it shows each piece of debris inside and out. a closer look shows handwriting on the walls. they are messages, words of sorrow and parting written by the victims' families. this elderly couple lived near the community center. they are in no doubt about the importance of preserving these images. >> translator: it's important for us to keep at least the image for our children and grandchildren. >> the university team says 3-d images alone will not be enough to preserve these memories. they're hoping to view a permanent viewing facility, a place where the monuments won't be forgotten. time now for a check on the
weather with may shoji. heavy rains have washed through cities and towns in western japan. what's the latest there? >> yes, catherine, quite a rough start here across japan in regards to whether we have had the very heavy rain and people in western japan are trying to evade the flooding conditions and tornadic activity that swept across central japan. and on top of that we have a storm system that's coming our way. this is the tropical storm toraji. it has picked up a pace a little bit but still at a snail's pace. it will be bringing stormy conditions across okinawa with heavy downpours as well as thunderstorms. it is likely to pack up gusts of 126 kilometer per hour as it approaches mainland japan picking up the waves as much as four meters high. very rough sea conditions. not only directly hitting the
islands but also already pulling the energy from the humid flow of the moisture from pacific and the east china sea energizing this stationary boundary that's formed over the sea of japan across much of this country. and that is bringing a deluge of rainfall. let me show you video from key oego prefecture yesterday. people across japan faced heavy rains and thunderstorms yesterday from this front. officials issued rain and flood warningings all over. nearly 80 millimeters of rain fell in just one hour affecting public transportation and thousands of people were forced to flee their homes. this is likely to continue with more landslides and swollen rivers today with more rain on the menu. to give you an idea, 400 millimeters fell across localized areas in western japan. on top of that 200 millimeters
is likely across the sea of japan of 100 meters of additional rainfall. on top of that, the surface level temperatures are still very summerlike and the cold air aloft, they both clash. and that creates severe thunderstorms. and yesterday a tornado swept through koeshshigayakoshigaya. this was taken by our fellow lovely pal sayaka mori. this is hour hs after the tornadic activity swept through there. you can see the closets were just blown away. this is a roof from another house. this is the devastation. people are still out of power. tokyo's still going to be reaching up to 33 degrees, so there is still a potential of that collision. very dry across central china, but extremely wet here in the southern regions and thunderstorms will be continuing
across the tropics. a quick look here in europe. we have a big high pressure system that's dominating much of the west and the central regions pushing the unstable conditions away towards the northeast. it will still be very bad weather wise here across this area, but pleasant and dry. in fact, above average temperatures will be continuing across the area. you'll see 30s across the iberian and the south, but that's likely to spread into the central regions. geneva will be reaching 31 degrees on thursday. rising up to 31 in bordeaux. a cooling trend here still very much above your average. i'll leave you now for the extended forecast.
we'd like to remind you of our lead story this hour. japan's leaders have drawn up a plan to deal with the crisis at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant. they're earmarking about 21 billion yen, $210 million, to address a buildup of radioactive water. they'll use the money to decontaminate the water and try to contain leaks. they plan to do that by freezing soil around the damaged reactors. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga will oversee work another the plant. the panel will take charge of
decommissioning the reactors. they promise to improve communications with workers and officials from plant operator tokyo electric power company. prime minister shinzo abe is meeting with his cabinet to authorize the plan. that is all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us.
>> good evening. as president of the american bar association, it's my pleasure to welcome you today to this special law day program entitled constitutional equality for women in the united states. i'm especially pleased to be here because i have a vested interest in the topic. this is our 12th annual public program to commemorate law day and our fourth year connecting us here at the woodrow wilson inteio