welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant has resumed decontaminating wastewater after fixing the system it uses to reduce radioactive material. bashar al assad promises to comply to see his stockpile of
chemical weapons eliminated. in autumn the skies over china are usually a clear blue. but this year, a cloud of pollution is obscuring the view. the operators of fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have resumed the operation of a system used to filter radioactive materials from water. it says human error caused the suspension last week. workers at tepco resumed their test run of the advanced liquid processing system, or alps, designed to eliminate radioactive materials from the water that is accumulating at the plant. they suspended operations on friday. they had just resumed it for the first time in a month and a half. the workers detected a reduction in the flow of contaminated water in a pipe that sends water to a storage tank. tepco officials said a loose rubber mat clogged the drain. they said workers forgot to remove it after inspecting the
inside of the tank. they had used the mat under a ladder during the inspection. the plant's officials have been plagued with problems using the alps. they found a water leak in june caused by corrosion. the operator of the monju prototype reactor says it has completed safety checks it had failed to perform. it's a reactor located on the sea of japan coast. the japan atomic energy energy told nuclear regulators it has finished checking 14,000 pieces of equipment at monju. the operator had been blamed for more than 12,000 missing safety checks. in may, regulators ordered the suspension of preparations to restart the reactor. the japan atomic energy agency later discovered that it had failed to check another 2,000 pieces of equipment. the reactor uses plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel to generate power. it was turned on in 1994, but a sodium coolant leak in 1995 resulted in a suspension of
operations for more than 14 years. the reactor was restarted in may of 2010 and shut down once again in october of that year after a fuel exchange device fell into the reactor. last week the science ministry decided to continue running monju for at least another six years. the president of syria says he will abide by a u.n. security council resolution designed to eliminate his stockpile of chemical weapons. bashar al assad spoke to an italian tv station, and expressed for the first time his intention to live up to the resolution. >> of course, we have to comply. we will comply with every treaty we sign. >> assad also spoke about a proposed international conference to bring syria's civil war to an end. the security council resolution called for government and opposition representatives to attend negotiations.
assad said he would decide whether to take part depending on the framework of the conference. he stressed islamist extremists should be excluded from the talks. the president said he cannot negotiate with any forces that have links to the international terrorist group al qaeda. as the diplomatic discussions continue, so does the war. government forces attacked a high school in the northern city on monday. at least 14 people, including students died. an international team of chemical weapons inspectors has left the netherlands for syria. they're about to take the first steps toward destroying that country's chemical arsenal. the team of 20 experts from the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons is expected to arrive in the syrian capital damascus on tuesday. they will discuss how to inspect and dismantle the weapons based on reports submitted by syrian authorities. the opcw plans to finish
surveying all such facilities in syria within 30 days, and completely dismantle the country's chemical stockpile in the first half of 2014. the organization is placing a high priority on the safety of its inspectors. this is the first time the group will be carrying out operations in a war zone. syria is believed to possess about 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including sarin gas. air pollution in china has gotten worse. it's a legacy of the period of rapid growth. hazy skies once a seasonal phenomenon, more common in winter. but these days pollution has become a problem in aut here's the report from beijing. >> reporter: the skies over beijing are usually clean and
blue this time of the year. but not this autumn. a cloud of pollution has hung over the city for several days. this is central beijing. the air around here is so hazy, some cars have their headlights on, even though it's still daytime. emissions from cars and factories include tiny particles. levels of the pollutant on monday were from 3 to 9 times higher than the world health organization guidelines. >> translator: i am covered with dust after a one-day walk. i have a throat ache. >> translator: we cannot buy air. it is not only for individuals, but for all people. i want the government to take the initiative to promote effective controls. >> reporter: this foot ablg was taken sunday in eastern china.
visibility was so limited, that some expressways were closed. china's people began a week-long national holiday on tuesday. but government officials are urging vacationers to refrain from driving. experts attribute the serious air pollution at this time of year to an unusual atmospheric conditions. they say weaker winds and higher than normal humidity prevent pollutants from spreading. these conditions are usually worse here, because most people heat their homes with charcoal. an increase in number of people in china are voicing fear of the possible health effects of living in a toxic haze. the chinese government announced plans in september to limit the number of vehicles. they want to reduce the density of air pollutants by more than 10% by 2017. will this plan produce results? people are watching closely to
see what the government will do to help clear things up. nhk world, beijing. a chinese diplomat is dismissing the possibility of a one-on-one meeting between the leaders of china and japan. xi jinping and shinzo abe will both be attending the upcoming apec summit in bali. vice foreign minister said the government is arranging for president xi to meet individually with other leaders. but he said prime minister abe is not on the list. he argued japanese leaders have taken no meaningful actions to improve relations, and stressed it's for japan to acknowledge that a territorial issue exists over islands in the waters between the countries. china and taiwan both claim the senkaku islands. the japanese government maintains no issue exists and the islands are an inher tant
part of its territory. xi and abe briefly exchanged words this month in russia. it was the first time they had spoken since they both took office over the last year. chinese leaders, however, may be sending a signal that they wish to mend relations through municipal channels. they will send a delegation to japan to promote economic exchanges. it will be the first major chinese mission to japan in a year. they say a delegation of some 50 members, including businessmen, will visit tokyo in mid-october. and they will hold seminars to attract more investment. about 2,000 japanese companies are currently doing business in gu ong dong. they contributed to the growth of the local economy. japanese investment has slowed due to the strained diplomatic relations between the two countries. regional governments in china had exchanges after anti-japanese demonstrations
spread across the country in september last year. australia's new prime minister tony abbott is visiting where he held talks with the president on monday. here are the details from bangkok. >> indonesia has the largest economy in southeast asia, and australia's newly elected prime minister tony abbott hopes to boost ties with his populist northern neighbor. but the main focus of his meeting with the president was the touch stone issue of asylum seekers. abbott's decision to visit indonesia before old allies such as the united states or britain reflects its focus on emerging asia. 20 senior business people are accompanying the prime minister as australian companies seek opportunities in the growing indonesian economy. but relations have been strained by the issue of asylum seekers from asia and the middle east.
thousands of them each year set off in rickety boats risking their lives to reach australia. on friday, a boat carrying a group of asylum seekers from the middle east sank off the indonesian coast, en route to australia. at least 33 people were reportedly dead and dozens are missing. during the recent election, abbott campaigned on a so-called stop the boats policy, promising to intercept them and turn back the vessels. officials in jakarta have said the policy may breach indonesian sovereignty. indonesian foreign minister last week raised concerns through a meeting with his australian counterpart, julie bishop. he said the policy could affect cooperation between indonesia and australia on immigration issues. even so, indonesia places high priority on maintaining good relations. one reason is that it sees
australia with its large agricultural accept ter as a nearby source of food as a demand at home rises amid the growing economy. according to abc of australia, in a joint press conference after the leaders' meeting, abbott described the talks as very warm and constructive. they said they needed to work together to tackle the issue of asylum seekers. at least three people have died in pakistan after a u.s. drone attacked a militant compound in the troubled tribal areas. the attack was the second drone strike in less than 24 hours, adding to controversy over the use of unmanned aircraft. the strike took place on monday morning in datta khel. the area near the afghan border is known to be a stronghold for militants with links to the taliban and al qaeda.
a.p. quotes unnamed pakistani officials as saying there are dead militants. america's use of drones is unpopular in pakistan. the government has repeatedly protested that they violate pakistani sovereignty. washington considers them a vital tool in the fight against militants in pakistan's tribal areas. in afghanistan, at least nine people have died after a checkpoint came under attack in the western province of hirat. violence in the area appears to be increasing since u.s.-led international troops hand over security to afghan forces. police who said taliban insurgents on monday killed two officers and three civilians. afghan authorities added that four insurgents were also killed in the ensuing gun battle.
attacks against the afghan army and police are on the rise as most international troops prepare to leave the war-torn country by the end of 2014. concerns are mounting that afghanistan's own security forces are ill-prepared to counter the taliban on their own. myanmar was once heavily reliant on its relationship with china in security matters. but since it began its cratization, leaders have been diversifying their alliances. the maritime self-defense force are currently making their first call at a myanmar port near the largest city, yang on. three japanese vessels are on a worldwide training cruise. the port in myanmar is the 17th out of 18 that they are scheduled to visit. rear admiral said japan's maritime self-defense force with myanmar if the other side was
agreeable. >> translator: this port call marks the start of a new level of defense exchange between japan and myanmar. >> myanmar's former regime maintains strong, economic links with china since the 2011 transition toward civilian rule. myanmar has pursued a more diverse policy. in february, myanmar participated for the first time as an observer at the multinational exercises hosted by the u.s. and thailand. myanmar has also been strengthening security relationships with european countries and other asean members. that wraps up our bulletin in bangkok.
toshiba plans to scale down overseas tv production. the electronics maker is struggling to compete with south korea and other foreign manufacturers. toshiba announced that the firm will halt television production at two of its three overseas plants. it will begin discussing selling or closing them. toshiba officials will boost outsourcing of tv production from 40% to 70% by fiscal 2014. the streamlining measures will mean cutting about 2,000 overseas workers. about 6,000 toshiba employees currently work in the tv business in japan and abroad. toshiba officials are hoping to rebuild the tv manufacturing business by ending domestic production. sonny and panasonic are also struggling with sluggish television sales and may follow suit. the clock is ticking down for members of the u.s. congress. lawmakers must reach a budget deal to avert a partial government shutdown. but republicans and democrats remain far apart on the issue.
lawmakers on each side of the aisle say their political opponents are responsible for the impasse. democratic party law maergs control the senate. they're scheduled to meet monday. they'll discuss an amended bill passed by the republican dominated house of representatives. that bill would keep the u.s. government funded beyond the start of the new fiscal year on tuesday, but the legislation calls for delaying health care reforms championed by president barack obama. house speaker john boehner urged the senate to also pass the legislation. boehner took senate democrats to task for waiting until the last minute to meet. he accused them of deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown. dick durbin said in an interview he thinks the senate will reject the house bill. he criticized republicans for adopting what he called a destructive strategy. partisan disputes over fiscal affairs have repeatedly threatened gridlock in the u.s.
failure to pass the budget will trigger huge inconveniences for ordinary americans. >> my message to congress is this. do not shut down the government, do not shut down the economy, pass a budget on time, pay our bills on time. refocus on the everyday concerns of the american people. >> but senate democrats who control the chamber are struggling to accept the amended funding bill. the one-year postpone of health care reform is a particularly tough sell to president obama, who regards it as his key policy achievement. if the worst happens, it would be the first government shutdown for about 18 years, when bill clinton was president. again, hundreds of thousands of federal workers could be told to stay at home. applications for pension benefits may be partially suspended. passport issuance will also be delayed with long queues for applicants. national museums and parks will
also shut down across the nation dealing a blow to tourism. anything considered essential r health and safety includes defense, security, disaster response and hospitals will remain open. cash-strapped semiconductor maker has a little breathing room. it has received about $1.5 billion in capital injection. renesass executives and eight companies provided the funds. the firms included toyota motor and panasonic. the innovation network corporation holds 69% of renasas. the company has been struggling ever since its establishment through a merger of hitachi, nec and mitsubishi electric. they've posted losses for eight straight years. in october, company officials plan to draw up a turn-around plan. one of asia's largest exhibitions of digital household
appliances and electronic technologies will kick off near tokyo on tuesday. nearly 600 companies and organizations from japan and overseas will showcase their latest i.t. technologies at the fair. a major telemun indications company will exhibit their eyeglasses. users look through the device, english sentences are automatically translated into japanese. the device can also display a virtual menu and keyboard in front of their eyes. they can choose a variety of functions like photos and movies. meanwhile, the four japanese automakers are showing off car technology. one is displaying the self-driving system. it senses the movements of other cars and enables the driver to pass automatically. the fair will continue through saturday. competition in china's
apparel market is heating up. the operator of a clothing chain has opened the largest ever store in shanghai. >> congratulations! >> thousands crowded the opening of retailing company flagship store in central shanghai on monday. the six-story building covers about 8,000 square meters. >> translator: middle-aged people are getting more fashionable. i'm looking forward to a broader line for our generation. >> there are 225 outlets in china. in the coming years the company plans to open between 80 and 100 new stores annually in the country. here are the latest market figures.
there are three tropical systems in the west pacific. for more, we turn to rachel for the details. rachel? >> hi there. yes, very, very busy in the tropics at the moment. we're going to go first to some video coming out of vietnam. this is showing you what the situation was like earlier on today. typhoon, a typhoon then wutip. prior to landfall, the storm had already been blamed for the sinking of three chinese vessels causing 74 people to go missing
in the south china sea. an estimated 61,000 fishing vessels heeded typhoon warnings. these are vessels from both vietnam and china, that went back into port ahead of the storm. authorities have also evacuated thousands of people in vietnam from low-lying areas. and regions prone to landslides. this typhoon wutip is the strongest storm to hit vietnam since 2006. so that was the situation earlier on. it is no longer a typhoon. we now have a severe tropical storm. that's what happens after making landfall. we see the system start to downgrade, start to dissipate and lose their strength. if we take a look at the winds here, you can see it's still a strong, potent system. winds at 108 kilometers. it hasn't really come down by very much. but it will continue to weaken off over the next couple of days. as it does so, though, that doesn't mean the rain dries up,
unfortunately, as the winds start to subside. we can still see very heavy rain. you're going to be seeing at least 250 millimeters, anywhere in the red, just for the coast of vietnam, that rain pushing into laos as well. we have more than one system, so we'll move on to the next. this one just to the east of the ogasawa islands at the moment. it's not going to be strengthening very much. in fact, it is going to be a fairly weak storm, as it heads up towards japan, and moves probably parallel to the coast here. you'll still see showers and cloudy skies from kanto and pushing up toward hokkaido. however, the storm to watch is further towards the south. at the moment it's still a tropical depression, but it is expected to become a major storm. you can see it just peeping up into the screen here. this one is headed for okinawa, and later on mainland japan,
east of the philippines where it's situated right now. this is the one to watch, and it's probably going to be bringing some pretty bad weather to japan over the weekend. i'll give you a quick look at your temperatures. i would like to move on into the americas, because we have another big storm to talk about there. in the northwest, your's ryou'r being pounded by a winter storm. look at all of this wind here. did i say wind before? i meant snow. expanding all the way across vancouver, b.c., down into montana, through idaho, into wisconsin as well. and you are just going to be seeing that heavy snow as well as heavy rain, particularly for oregon, and into washington state, too. that is really going to be bringing the potential for flash flooding, as the rain has been ongoing for quite some time. so pretty slick driving conditions. do watch that if you're going to be out on the roads. elsewhere across the u.s. and
oyster growers are sending shellfish to the market for the first time since the area's coastline was devastated by the tsunami disaster in 2011. oyster growers working along the coast have rebuilt processing plants and restored their oyster beds. tanks that eliminate harmful bacteria have been replaced, allowing the oysters to be delivered in the shell to be eaten raw. >> translator: this year is a beginning. i want to increase the shipments next year, as the business takes off. >> 450 boxes each containing 20 to 40 oysters were transported to the tokyo area on monday. that's "newsline" for this
in this episode of tomorrow, a french journalist gathers the latest information on post-disaster japan. david is a science journalist and director who appears on many scientific programs in france. with a doctorate in molecular and cellular biology, he's also a commentator. immediately after the 3/11 earthquake, he began the visiting japan regularly, directing documentaries.