welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. funds to fight a potential disaster. japan's leaders pledge $470 million to manage the latest crisis at fukushima daiichi. securing support, u.s. president barack obama gets the backing of an old adversary for a strike on syria.
and traditional lake farmers of central myanmar float ideas for protecting their way of life as the country rides away towards economic development. japan's leaders have approved a $470 million plan to deal with hundreds of tons of contaminated water accumulating at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. right now about 400 tons of groundwater is leaking into basements of the damaged reactor every day and is being tainted with radioactive substances. the water is being pumped out and stored in tanks. the government plans to use the funds to decontaminate that water and freeze the soil around the buildings to prevent groundwater from seeping into the basements. translator: we've drawn up a basic plan to achieve a fundamental solution to the problem of radioactive water instead of reacting to each new problem as it comes up. >> prime minister shinzo abe has pledged his administration will
make an all-out effort to successfully resolve the situation at fukushima daiichi. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga has been tasked with leading government ministers to oversee work at the plant. other government officials will be stationed near the site to improve communications with workers and people in charge of the plant. workers have been taking a closer look at tanks used to store contaminated water. they say some of the seams appeared to have failed. workers detected high levels of radiation over the weekend near the bottom of three tanks. the readings were highest where steel plates are bolted together. workers later noticed that resin from inside the tanks had pushed to the outside. the resin is used to seal the seams. it expands when soaked with water. officials with tokyo electric power company believe the resin broke down through wear and tear. they say there's no sign that
water has leaked out, and they say radiation levels on the ground beneath the tanks are not high. last month, workers found 300 tons of radioactive water had leaked from one tank. they've been monitoring radiation more closely ever since. people in fukushima are angry with the way tepco has handled the leaks. three people have filed complaints against the company and the top management. >> translator: tepco's management feared bankruptcy and kept pushing off the necessary measures. such negligence went on for two years, resulting in the current situation, and the company didn't tell the government that conditions were critical. >> he says his clients accuse tepco and 30 executives of violating anti-pollution regulations. the company's president naomi hirose is named in the suit. the plaintiffs accuse him of failing to take adequate protection measures because of the high cost. they say tepco's management approach didn't change even
after the nuclear accident. tepco officials declined to comment. the president of japan's olympic committee says tokyo is safe enough to host a 2020 summer games. tzunekazu takeda has sent a letter to all other members of the international olympic committee, assuring them that radiation levels in the air and water in tokyo are normal. he was responding to concerns that some of the water of fukushima daiichi reached the pacific ocean. meanwhile, experts from the nuclear regulators are looking for active faults beneath other power plants. they're currently visiting the plant in northern japan to conduct a second on-site survey. the officials are examining distortions in the earth near faults that run underneath the compound. they believe two of them may still be active. plant operator, tohoku power
company, says it has new data to prove they're not and is calling for a debate on the matter. the regulator bans power companies from operating nuclear power companies on active faults. the plant is one of four nuclear facilities where its officials are carrying out on-site surveys. they've already ruled that a reactor at another plant in central japan sits on an active fault. they also say there are no active faults at the ohi plant in the same prefecture. u.s. president barack obama is trying to rally lawmakers in washington to support a military strike on syria. while he faces opposition from some members of his own democratic party, one former rival has given his approval to the president. republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham met obama at the white house on monday. mccain, who lost to obama in the
2008 presidential election, warned of the consequences should congress reject the president's proposal to strike syria. >> a rejection of that -- a vote against that resolution by congress, i think, would be catastrophic because it would undermine the credibility of the united states of america and the president of the united states. >> but mccain said he and other lawmakers will only support an operation that aims to remove syrian president bashar al assad from power. mccain urged the obama administration to revise its draft resolution. some democrats, though, want it revised the opposite way. they want any military action to be limited in scope and duration. obama has said the strikes should last only a short time. he said he has no plans to depose assad. meanwhile, france's leaders are trying to build support for any part they might play in a strike. prime minister sean mark mt. the
leaders in paris on sunday two days before lawmakers are scheduled to gather at the assembly for emergency session. he said the french will not act alone. >> translator: france is determined to take action against bashar al assad for use of chemical weapons. >> he drew on a report to bolster his argument. it says syria has the largest arsenal of chemical weapons in the world and that assad's forces have access to more than 1,000 tons of arms containing nerve agents such as sarin. syria's ambassador to the united nations is reaching out to the organization for help, bashar says the u.n. chief has a duty to stop countries such as the u.s. and france from launching a strike. syria's state-run news agency says he sent a letter to secretary general ban ki-moon, it criticizes u.s. secretary of state john kerry for claiming he has proof the syrian government used chemical weapons.
it says kerry is relying on old stories fabricated by terrorists and fake photos from the internet. the letter says ban has a responsibility to avert an attack on syria and push for a political solution to the crisis. but assad is not backing down in the face of the threats. he says his forces will retaliate if france takes military action. the paris-based newspaper carried comments from assad on its website. he said that if the policies of the french government are hostile to his people, then syria will become an enemy. he said french interests will suffer negative consequences. assad said military action against his country could ignite a powder keg and lead to war throughout the region. a top u.n. official says more than 2 million syrians have fled the violence in their country. the high commissioner for refugees says people from the war-torn country have poured into neighboring nations.
the syrian uprising began two and a half years ago. since then more than 700,000 people have fled to lebanon. around 500,000 to jordan. and 460,000 to turkey. the u.n. says the number of refugees has surged over the past month as fighting intensified in the northeast. and they warn that the possibility of a u.s. military strike could cause even more people to flee. prime minister shinzo abe has been keeping a lot of people in japan guessing when he will decide whether to raise the consumption tax to 8% next april as scheduled. he has now given us a pretty good idea. abe says he'll make the final decision early next month. he made the comment during the meeting with the economic revitalization minister amari. he plans to make up his mind
after studying the bank of japan's quarterly report on business confidence, which will come out on october 1st. amari reported to abe that more than 70% of 60 experts who expressed their views at hearings last week came out in support of a tax hike in april. major japanese companies are joining hands to encourage tourists to spend more in the country. they have set up an organization in an effort to double sales to those visitors. the japan shopping tourism organization has been established by about 20 companies they are in the tourism, retail and related businesses. a leader of the group expressed hope to pitch what he called the charms of japan to foreign visitors through shopping. the number of tourists from overseas has been growing due to the weaker yen. their total estimate $3.3 billion last year. the companies plan to put up more signs in multiple foreign languages at department stores.
they'll also talk with flight attendants who are used to welcoming visitors from other countries to learn from their experiences. microsoft has agreed to buy nokia's mobile phone business for 5.4 billion euros or more than $7 billion. the agreement includes the licensing of nokia's patents and mapping services to microsoft. the two companies said they will finalize the deal by march next year. microsoft formed a tie-up with nokia in 2011 to provide operating software to smartphones, but microsoft's market share has been lagging behind that of apple and google. nokia was once the world's leading mobile phone maker, but it has been struggling due to its slow entry into the smartphone business. it is now facing the possibility of 20,000 job cuts. nokia's ceo will return to his post at microsoft he left in 2010. two tell kom giants have
agreed on the third largest takeover deal in corporate history. britain's votafon is to sell its stake verizon wireless to verizon communications. the two firms jointly operate verizon wireless. the british firm stands to gain $140 billion from the sale. they plan to boost in other economies. verizon hopes to maintain top market share by taking full control of the wireless subsidiary. here are the latest market figures.
some japanese lawmakers want to impose tough prison terms on public officials wlo leak important secrets. they've approved the outline of a bill to protect -- be protected by strict confidentiality and it recommends that public officials who leak such information serve up to ten years in jail. government officials want to submit the bill to the extraordinary session of the diet later this year. they're asking for the public to submit feedback. journalist glenn greenwald
has revealed new information on the u.s. intelligence agencies program. greenwald, who works for "the guardian" newspaper, says that the president eavesdropped on brazilian president and mexican president enrique. those reports show which websites the presidents visited. brazilian justice minister eduardo cardozo says it would present a clear violation. brazilian officials summoned the u.s. ambassador for an explanation. greenwald said the information came from secret documents of edward snowden. he is wanted by the u.s. on charges of spying and has been granted temporary asylum in russia. former u.s. basketball star dennis rodman is visiting north korea for a second time. he's returning to see his
friend, leader kim jong-un. rodman wasme by government officials as he arrived in pyongyang. when he visited in february, he watched a basketball game with kim who's reportedly an nba fan. they also dined together. >> my plan basically to come over not to be a diplomat but to be a friend of the marshal and of the country of north korea. >> north korea recently revoked an invitation to u.s. special envoy robert king. he was set to visit the country last week to seek the release of detain knee kenneth bay. rodman would not discuss bay's release. accepting the former nba player to try to show a positive attitude toward mending relations with the united states. china has underscored its policy regarding maritime disputes in the south china sea.
cholaphansa narula is following the story. claims over parts of the south china sea, which china also says it owns. chinese premiere stressed not a problem between china and asean and only with specific companies. lee was speaking at a ceremony to mark the launch of the china asean expo on tuesday. premiere lee and several southeast asian leaders attended the opening of the expo in the southern chinese city of manning. stress china's stance on the maritime disputes. >> translator: we believe the debate over the south china sea is not an issue between china and asean. it should not be allowed to cooperate undertakings and we believe there's no possibility that it will. >> the philippines is i talks with the united states to expand
u.s. military activity in the south china sea to counter china's presence. philippine president initially planned to attend the opening of the expo with other regional leaders, but the chinese side reportedly proposed he stay away. vietnam also has a dispute with china, but the prime minister did attend. the remarks were meant to discuss important stage and put pressure on the philippines. insurgents in afghanistan increasing attacks on the afghan police with deadly consequences. since march, nearly 1,800 policemen lost their lives. new afghan interior minister said on monday 1,792 police were killed in the past six months. that's about the same number killed during the entire 12 months before. the minister added that more than 2,700 were wounded. reuters reports most of the dead policemen were killed by roadside bombs. the afghan government urgently
wants a peace deal with taliban insurgents, but militants have been stepping up attacks ahead of the withdrawal of international combat troops and presidential election scheduled for next april. the interethnic minority of central myanmar live a unique existence supported by a water-based ecosystem. chemical farming threatens to ruin their traditional way of life, but some members think they've found a solution. nhk world traveled to the region and has the story. >> reporter: lake il sits 900 meters above level. the lake is a precious resource for people around its shores. the interethnic minorities live in stilt houses. they fish and they farm, but not on the land. farmers place layers of mud on
top of water weeds growing wild in the lake. on these flats they grow vegetables such as tomatoes and beans. water levels fluctuate several meters between the wet and dry seasons. inland farmers don't have to worry about their crops being submerged because the mixture of mud and weeds floats. but this traditional way of farming is under threat. the ecosystem of the lake seems to be changing. >> translator: the water weeds have become overgrown blocking the waterways. >> reporter: more farmers have been using chemical fertilizer to boost their crops, but the chemicals also feed the growth
of weeds. people living nearby worry that pesticides and chemicals might affect their health. he believes there's a way to protect people's health and way of life. he has been farming on the lake for more than a decade. he believes organic soil made from natural organisms in the lake can replace the chemicals that harm the environment. >> translator: the water used to be drinkable right out of the lake, but not anymore. organic farming helps improve the quality of the lake water. >> reporter: they visit a lakeside to show them his organic vegetables. they have been going up ever
since myanmar began its democratic reforms two years ago. the hotels cater to a rising number of foreign tourists. he hopes the hotel will be a first step into a promising new market. he wants more farmers to drive. he goes from village to village teaching people about organic farming. more than 1,000 people have taken part in his training sessions. >> translator: let's not use chemical fertilizers but make compost using leaves and branches instead. promoting organic farming will help us secure safe and clean water and also make farming sustainab sustainable. >> reporter: the people have a unique lifestyle so close to nature.
preserve traditions in a natural and sustainable way have only just begun. >> and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm cholphansa narula in bangkok. heavy rain all across japan. for more, we turn to rachel ferguson from the weather team. rachel. >> hi there. yes. we have been experiencing continued heavy rain here on tuesday. a couple of reasons why, we've got this frontline continuing just to sit here really along the length of the country and plenty of moisture being supplied by toraji, which is the tropical system which is inching ever closer to kyushu. let's get you updated on the statistics from this system. it's moving northeast at 20 kilometers an hour. the winds are sustained at 90 kilometers an hour with gusts at 126. it's a severe tropical storm. now, it could make landfall in kyushu on wednesday evening, that will be local time. at the moment we're seeing some very strong wind gusts coming in to coastal southern kyushu and
waves of about four meters. now, the rain is going to be the main factor with this system because it's not the first system to come through recently. we had another one, which was invigorating that same front and really just pounding the southern half of japan, particularly down here in kyushu with some heavy rain. into the hundreds of millimeters over the last couple of days. so we're going to see additions to that. in the last one-hour spell in fact, we had a report of kochi getting about 122 millimeters of rain in a one-hour span. now, that is some incredibly heavy rain. into the next 72 hours, 250 millimeters might be a conservative estimate of what to expect down here. mudslides, landslides and further flooding are going to be very, very high concern. as for the rest of eastern asia, heavy rains also going to be targeting portions of southern and southwestern china.
widespread rain though here amounting to about 50 to 100 millimeters. so it is going to be quite wet for many of you. in hong kong for example, chongqing, down to just 21 degrees now. tokyo, 29 and rainy here as well. beijing also seeing some showers and low temperature 22 there. all right. let's take a look on into the americas. now, things are starting to clear out across the east here. many of you have been dealing with some storms. now you're going to see some sunshine. some very pleasant weather in fact around the great lakes region. strong high, canadian high, coming in there. still going to be seeing thunderstorms though from eastern canada right along this front into the gulf states. so watch for that on your tuesday and into wednesday. even though you'll be seeing improving temperatures over the next couple of days, there could be some frost on the ground on your monday into tuesday morning. so do watch out for that as well. out west, lots of monsoonal rain showers, some of them could be on the heavy side. and that could lead to flash
flooding particularly in burn areas. but over the mountains you could see some small hail in that as well. and it continues to be very hot in the southwest. los angeles, 30 degrees for you. we have 34 in denver. and out towards the northeast, i said temperatures were going to improve, you'll be seeing 30 degrees by saturday in toronto jump of about ten degrees. chicago will also be improving, but that temperature's going to fall first. and then come back up towards the end of the week. into europe, not much to see here. we've got some showers moving out towards western russia here over the black sea region. but it's starting to dissipate as it goes. high pressure over much of the rest of the continent, even the british isles managing to keep clear with that front looming overhead. temperatures are going to be improving in central portions, but it still looks very chilly out towards the east. these are even going to drop further into the end of the week. here's your extended forecast.
a japanese movie has won big at a notable film festival in canada. "ask this of rikyu" took the prize for best artistic contribution at the 37th montreal world film festival. the actor plays the main character, the team master, and it depicts his own form of a tea ceremony, while experiencing forbidden love. it's based on a novel that won a japanese literary award in 2009. the film's director thanked people for their support, including the actors and staff. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us. until next time.