welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's some of the stories we're following this hour. the u.s. administration says it does not want to go to war with syria but wants to send a strong message to the assad regime. japan's prime minister is considering a tax hike that could help fill some big gaps in the national budget. and that's got some business
people nervous. and two and a half years after the nuclear accident in fukushima, we look at the fate of the people who were forced to abandon their homes. the u.s. administration is stepping up efforts to gain support for military action in syria. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is spearheading the diplomatic push while president barack obama is preparing to personally argue the need for a strike to the american people. nhk world reports. >> reporter: at home and abroad, the obama administration continues to make its case for military strike against syria. speaking in london, the u.s. secretary of state, john kerry, said washington still believes diplomacy is the only way to solve the syrian crisis. but bashar al assad's regime cannot go unpunished. >> and if we don't stand up to it, we will face it more and they will think they can
intimidate anybody. i don't believe that we should shy from this moment. the risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting. >> reporter: the u.s. says it has proof syrian forces used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 people last month. but the people suggest nearly 60% of americans do not support military action in syria. >> the video doesn't determine whether we should go to war. and i've talked to my constituents, and they are overwhelmingly opposed to going to war. >> reporter: kerry said the administration is not proposing a war. >> we will not have people at risk in that way. we will be able to hold bashar al assad accountable without engaging in troops on the
ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort. >> reporter: still, long-time allies of the syrian regime remain strongly opposed to even a limited strike. russia's foreign minister said his country will only continue to encourage all sides to talk. >> translator: we will continue to pursue the russian-american initiative on convening the international conference known as geneva 2. we will continue to achieve the implementation of this initiative without any preconditions. >> reporter: clarifying his administration's position is now up to president obama himself. he's scheduled to make a personal appeal to the american people in a televised address on tuesday. the latest attempt to get their support for what currently seems like a highly unpopular plan.
nhk world. japan's economy in the second quarter expanded much faster than they originally reported. officials at the cabinet office say the latest figures for the april-to-june period suggests that gdp rose by 0.9% in real terms. this translates to an annualized 3.8% growth, improfit of 1.2 percentage points compared to the preliminary numbers released last month. the gdp has expanded for a third consecutive quarter. corporate capital spending rebounded for the first time in six quarters. those figures were revised to 1.3% from minus 1.1%. exports grew 3%. prime minister abe wants to look through the gdp numbers and other figures for growth. then he says he'll make a decision that could bring more balance to japan's books. he says he'll decide next month whether to raise the consumption
tax in april from 5% to 8%. but many business people are worried about what that could do to their bottom line. here's the report. >> reporter: this modern condominium looking out over tokyo bay is drawing crowds. >> translator: i wish i could live in such a gorgeous place. >> reporter: condo buyers came to make a purchase before the consumption tax goes up. >> translator: if you seal a deal now, you'll only have to pay 5% in taxes. >> translator: a 3 percentage point difference is a big deal. >> translator: once the tax rises to 8%, condo prices will also go up. now is the best time to buy. >> reporter: the building won't be ced until 2015. but nearly half of the units are already sold.
that's much faster than the developer expected. some industries are pinning their hopes on the race to buy before the tax hike. others are more worried about the impact after. company managers are looking for ways to cope with the possible tax hike. business experts are hosting seminars nationwide. on how to prevent higher tax from hurting them, and attracting business owners. this gentleman is one of them. his company makes box meals and sells 3,000 of them a day. he's weighing the benefits of using locally-grown vegetables,
hoping to buy a few for consumers and give him an edge over competitors. but he will pass on the extra costs to consumers when the tax goes up. if he absorbs the extra cost himse himself, he will still see lower profits. >> translator: the higher consumption tax will lower our sales. we'll have to review some of our operations to cope with it. we can't just pass on a 3 percentage point rise to the consumer. >> reporter: one expert says the government officials are facing a key challenge in figuring out how to minimize the negative effects of a tax rise on the economy. if they decide to go ahead. >> translator: a temporary economic slowdown is inevitable
with a consumption tax hike. the government is under pressure to devise a strategy for growth that convinces companies that it's safe to expand. policies that help boost wages are also essential. >> reporter: government officials are under pressure to reduce japan's $10 trillion national debt. but at the same time, they need to keep up the momentum of economic recovery without harming business and consumer sentiment. nhk world, tokyo. hundreds of muslim gunmen are clashing with police on the island of mindenuo in the philippines. >> reporter: the rebels oppose ongoing peace talks between
another muslim insurgent group and the president's government. the group demands complete independence from the philippines which has a catholic majority. the afp news agency reports that between 200 and 300 heavily armed rebels landed on the island from several boats at dawn on monday. they entered the city where they fought with government troops, at least two members of security forces, and four civilians were killed. >> translator: i saw them roaming around and knocking at the door of my employer's house. they got the people inside, and took them away. >> reporter: the fighting has spread to surrounding coastal communities where the rebels have taken at least 20 civilians hostage. the airport and other facilities in the city are now under strict supervision of the military.
the rebels belong to the liberation front which is opposed to peace talks with the government on mendenou. >> we want our own government. we want independence. >> reporter: the government has been in talks with a separate insurgent group, the islamic liberation front which is the largest in mendenow. in a 2012 deal brokered by malaysia, the two sides agreed to set up an autonomous government in the region in 2016. but this agreement has been rejected by the faction clash with government forces. fighting between the government and separatist groups started in the 1970s. more than 60,000 people have been killed in conflict, and 2 million have fled the region. the government of india has deployed hundreds of troops to a
northern state of the country. at least 28 people were killed over the weekend in clashes between hindus and muslims. reuters reports that religious leaders of both communities have been called in to mediate. authorities say they are closely monitoring the situation. >> translator: there have been incidents of violence. we're making every effort to prevent further problems. we are increasing police patrols in both rural and urban areas. and we are keeping an eye on anti-social elements. >> reporter: gunfire and street fighting broke out on saturday. thousands of hindus had gathered in the area to demand justice for the killing of three hindu men who had reportedly protested the harassment of a local woman. authorities say the violence has been fueled by rumors spread over the media. police have arrested at least 90
people. a state of alert has been declared for the state. a.p. reports commune at violence is on the rise in india with 451 incidents reported already this year, compared with 410 for all of 2012. south korea's president is working to step up ties with vietnam. she met in the vietnamese capital to win a contract for a planned nuclear power plant. here's the report from hanoi. >> reporter: president pak is making her first visit to vietnam since assuming office. her talks on monday mainly focused on strengthening economic cooperation between the two nations. >> translator: we agree that sharing south korea's experience in developing nuclear power
plants should contribute for advancement of the power generation. >> reporter: vietnamese leaders have agreed to have russia build its first nuclear power plant. and japan build its second. government has already made plans to build additional plants. as they believe economic development depends on secure ing the supply. international competition for construction contract is heating up. in january, japanese prime minister shinzo abe made vietnam the destination of his first state visit since assuming power last year. japan is already vietnam's largest investor and donor, and hoping to further the ties by exporting infrastructure technologies. but south korea has similar plans in mind.
ceos are accompanying president park on her visit to vietnam. they hope to export products, and technology to the country. the nations work to boost their economic economies. competition is heating up between japan and south korea to seize on that momentum. nhk world, hanoi. that wraps up our report from bangkok. japan's defense ministry says it will keep up strong surveillance in the east china sea. wednesday will mark one year since the country purchased the senkaku islands from a private owner. china and taiwan also claimed them. on sunday, the ministry reported spotting two chinese bombers flying between okinawa's main
island and miyako island. they said they did not violate japanese air space. >> translator: we scrambled fighters to monitor the chinese aircraft, which were flying on an unusual course. >> china's defense ministry said the aircraft were taking part in an annual training program, and that the exercise was not aimed at any specific country or target. the chinese military is also active at sea. two navy vessels passed through the same area early monday morning. they were sailing north toward the east china sea. the frigettes did not enter japanese waters. japanese authorities say the ships were probably returning from a drill in the pacific. they base this assessment on sighting of the same vessels heading south in the area two weeks ago. a suspected unmanned aircraft was spotted flying near japan's air space above the east china sea on monday. japan's defense ministry said the aircraft was flying near the
senkaku islands, it crossed the bimedian line, halfway between japan and china but did not enter japanese air space. the aircraft then moved in the direction of mainland china. ministry officials say there appeared to be no cockpit on the plane. if confirmed, this would be the first appearance of a drone in this area on record. the ministry says it will analyze photos of the aircraft to identify its nationality. the reporters were told the defense minister made the disclosure as it was a highly unusual incident. >> translator: we will continue to closely monitor the waters and air space around the senkaku islands in the east china sea, to protect japanese territory. a reminder of japan's 2011 tsunami is about to disappear.
workers in the northeastern prefecture of miyagi are about to begin dismantling a fishing boat that washed ashore in the disaster. the number 18 sits about 600 meters inland in a residential area of the coastal city. the vessel weighs about 330 tons, and is 60 meters long. on monday, the demolition team and the president of the firm that owns the vessel visited the nearby shrine to pray that the work goes safely. city officials have planned to preserve the ship as a disaster memorial. but they found nearly 70% of the city's residents want it gone. the demolition work is expected to be complete by mid-october. the disaster in fukushima forced almost 150,000 people from their homes. more than two years later, certain areas, the ones shown in red on this map, remain in the no-entry zone.
government officials say people won't be allowed to return for a long time. exactly how long, no one knows. people from the town are scattered throughout japan. here's their story. >> reporter: he's 65 years old. he's lived in this building for more than two years. >> reporter: this former high school in kazo city near tokyo is the last evacuation center still housing disaster survivors. about 100 people live here. their average age is 70. this community leader has no
income apart from his pension. the operator of the fukushima plant gave him just nine months' worth of compensation. only part of the 2 1/2 years' worth he's been promised. he's unsure about his future and worried about his elderly neighbors. many of them have to buy boxed meals. they can't cook for lack of proper facilities. they sleep in classrooms divided by cardboard walls. >> translator: it's really quite a miserable existence. i've been wondering why we've had to live like this, and for so long. >> reporter: their hometown is a few kilometers away from fukushima daiichi. 1,400 residents evacuated to the former school right after the disaster. they may never see their homes again.
he showed us pictures of his hometown. >> translator: there were so many of them. it was really gorgeous. >> reporter: parade of the cavalry passing near his house. people cheering at a traditional festival. these are scenes of normal life before the accident. >> translator: we know we can't go back. it's just so cruel, from our point of view. >> reporter: they're trying to find apartments nearby. evacuees don't have to pay rent for the first two years, but after that, nothing is certain.
this man is 91 years old. he says he wants a house where he can live the rest of his life in peace. if he can't go back home. >> translator: my life is so pathetic now. i feel like i've lost out by living so long. i would have liked to have died ten years ago. >> reporter: many residents say thed tee rather remain in the school than be scattered and isolated in yet more temporary housing. but he says he doesn't know what to do.
>> reporter: he will stay at evacuation center until the last moment to see everyone off. after that, he says, he will create a network of former residents to keep track of elderly that need assistance. he said helping one another is the only way they can ensure their community will survive. nhk world, kazo city, japan. after drenching rain on sunday, clear skies are returning to tokyo. for more we turn to meteorologist robert speta. >> clear skies and much cooler weather across much of japan here. we saw temperatures drop off into the low 20s, high teens for the overnight hours for much of mainland japan. we had a cold front go through, and that brought all that rough weather here on sunday. well, the cold front does
exactly what it is said to do, and it brought in colder weather from the north. it brought much clearer and fair weather, not only across japan but much of the korean peninsula. this is one of these migratory highs, means it's coming through for just a few days and it moves out and we have a new system come in. you can see the stationary boundary dominating beyond the basin. this already brought heavy rainfall, about 100 millimeters recorded in the past 24 hours. you could still see an additional amount of that going into our tuesday out here, as this does continue to linger. something to watch out here. now into the tropics. we have a low pressure area that's spinning up in the south china sea. this will bring rain showers across this area here. working into vietnam, that's where the bulk of the showers will be with this storm system. luzon will get in on this as well. into the 30s across much of the tropics. out towards hong kong, 32.
taipei at 32. then into the 20s once we look farther north. let's look toward the americas. well, what we are seeing is two areas of interest. we have this storm system pushing across the dakotas into the midwest, bringing severe weather. also heavy rain showers into the southwest, around the four corners region, even towards northern mexico. you've already seen heavy rainfall. reports of flooding across this area. this is still going to be occurring. we have the moisture coming in from remnants of tropical storm lorena. you could see about 100 millimeters of rainfall throughout your work week in many areas here. remember, this is desert in many areas out here. so it's very dry soil. you get that amount of rain, it's going to cause some flash flooding. something to watch out there. now, that is not the only area. like i said, we do have the storm system toward the north. this is one of these fall-like storms. i know we're in september. but it really is starting to get more into the transition season.
you have the warm front here. that's doing exactly what that does, temperatures in the 30s across much of the midwest. the storm in itself is interacting with the warm air and cooler air behind it and bringing thunderstorm activity. some of it could be severe in the western great lakes. as this pushes east, temperatures will continue to warm up across much of the eastern u.s. high of 32 here in new york on your wednesday. even the washington, d.c., up to 34. now, by friday into saturday, you're going to see about a ten-degree drop following this. so enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, if you like these temperatures, into the 30s. it's going to feel a lot more fall-like going into the weekend. already feeling fall-like across much of western europe. this is bringing heavy rain showers from germany down to the northern balkans. thunderstorms popping up in northern italy. dominating much of the weather here in europe. behind it we have the cooler air filtering in.