. hello there. welcome to nhk "newsline." it's tuesday, november 15th, 10:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. foreign and defense ministry officials from japan and south korea have agreed to share military intelligence. the move comes in the face of a growing threat from north korea. their agreement details the range of information they will share and rules for protecting their intelligence. japanese officials say seoul is eager to strengthen security ties to deal with north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests. but some in tokyo worry that the south korean procedures to conclude the pact might not go smoothly.
president park geun-hye is now embroiled in a deepening political scandal. four years ago seoul canceled the signing of a similar agreement because of domestic opposition related to japan's war-time past. prosecutors in seoul are seeking to question president park over the political scandal and public outrage against her shows no sign of abating. nhk world has more. >> reporter: 260,000 people took part in the rally in seoul. that's the biggest rally in south korea since its democratization in 1987. >> translator: this is the first time i've participated in a rally in over 40 years. i think president park herself is not so bad, but politics itself is to blame. >> translator: i don't feel as though i'm fighting alone here. our joint efforts may bring some changes. i hope more young people will pay attention to politics and make this country better.
>> reporter: prosecutors say they have told the presidential office they want to question park on tuesday or wednesday. they're hoping to shed light on the scandal involving her long-time friend, businesswoman choi soon-sil. the office says it will respond on tuesday. officials say they need time to rearrange park's schedule and select her lawyers. choi will likely be indicted on saturday. she's suspected of pressuring businesses to donate huge sums of money to two foundations she's linked to. it's also alleged she had illegal access to the presidential office's internal documents. this is the first time a sitting president will be investigated by prosecutors. they hope to clarify the extent of park's involvement. to do this, they want to speak to her directly, not through written communications.
two of park's close aides were questioned on monday. the prosecutors appear to be collecting evidence in preparation for the interview with the president. they're also casting an eye on the giant conglomerates that account for three-quarters of south korea's gdp. last week they started calling in executives from hyundai motor, hanwha group, sk group, and samsung electronics. they also talked to hanjin group chairman choi yun ho. hanjin shipping is the nation's largest container carrier. korean air is part of the group. hanjin and other major businesses are thought to have donated about $70 million to the two foundations linked to choi. prosecutors have apparently concluded they need to talk to business leaders to get to the bottom of the allegations. they also want to question former presidential aides they
believe coerced them. president park is under tremendous political pressure. the chairperson of the opposition democratic party of korea choo mi-ae lashed out. at the president. >> translator: the public has deemed the president unqualified for the post. she must excuse herself from state affairs as quickly as possible. >> reporter: choo was to meet with park on tuesday, but later on monday decided not to because of strong opposition from within the party. other opposition parties say they should form a united front and demand that park resign. nhk world, tokyo. the parents of a japanese woman abducted by north korea decades ago are renewing their call for her to be returned. she was abducted by north korean agents exactly 39 years ago.
she was on her way home from school in the city of niigata and was only 13 years old. her parents spoke to nhk. >> translator: the abductions took place not under the current leader, kim jong-un, but during the era of his father. i hope that the young leader feels obliged to return abductees, including megumi, to their families. >> she says she feels saddened as the year end approaches. she has fond memories of spending time with megumi during the christmas season. s she and 11 and others are still unaccounted for. officials in the western japanese city of skoel ca have finished filling a giant
sinkhole that swallowed a busy intersection last week. they've now opened the road and lifted evacuation orders. traffic resumed in front of the main train station tuesday morning just a week after the hole opened up, shocking residents. the cave-in happened suddenly, cutting off power, water, and gas in parts of the city. surprisingly, no one was hurt. city officials believe construction work to extend a subway line caused the problem. >> translator: we think it is important to have a third party thoroughly investigate the cause as well. >> crews have been working around the clock dumping wet cement and sand into the hole. it was supposed to be fixed by monday, but heavy rains slowed the work. >> translator: i was surprised the road was restored in just a week. >> translator: i'm still a little worried that sinkholes may emerge on other roads. >> city officials say they won't resume the subway project until they're sure something similar will never happen again.
u.s. president-elect donald trump is getting to work in building diplomatic relations. he spoke to russian president vladimir putin about cooperation and fighting terrorism. media in china say he'll meet president xi jinping in the near future. china's state-run central television reported that xi and trump spoke over the phone on monday. xi said there's an opportunity opportunity and huge potential in china/u.s. cooperation. trump reportedly called china a great and important country and said the two nations can realize a win/win relationship. the remarks come in contrast to trump's campaign rhetoric where he criticized china for taking jobs away from american workers. now, trump has taken to twitter to deny he's ever said more countries should have nuclear weapons. the tweet was one of a handful that attacked "the new york times." trump sent out the messages on sunday. he called the times' coverage
dishonest and bad. trump is, in fact, on record having made comments about nuclear proliferation. in an interview with the times in march, he said countries such as japan, south korea, and saudi arabia might be better off with nuclear weapons. trump also made similar comments at a cnn town hall event. critics have said trump's comments in march contradict conventional u.s. policies and could destabilize the east asia region. now take a look at business news. japan's three major financial groups have released their earnings reports, and they all say profits are down. ai uchida is here from our business desk to tell us why. ai, what's behind the declines? >> catherine a major factor in the central bank's negative interest rate policy. that triggered lower lending rates, narrowing the margins for these groups. these groups are reporting year on year declines in net profit in the six months through september.
here's a breakdown of the numbers. mitsubishi ufj posted an 18% drop to $4.5 billion. sumitomo had a 7.5% fall. the decline was 6.7% at mizuho. the net profit of both these two was down to $3.3 billion. still, the financial groups maintain their forecasts for the entire business year through march. they cited solid growth in lending in the united states as well as other countries. now, moving on, drones are becoming widely used in japan to help out with land surveys, disaster relief, and logistics. but a big danger is collisions involving the unmanned aircraft. nhk has learned that research institutions and businesses are planning to conduct a major joint experiment on traffic control for drones. the participants include two national research groups and more than ten businesses.
they are planning to conduct testing in a coastal area of fukushima by march. they're going to try out using an air traffic control system. the plan is to fly several drones at the same time, each with a pre-assigned radio frequency. the system was designed -- was recently developed, rather, by the japan aerospace exploration agency. researchers will see if they can successfully monitor the location of the drones in realtime and avoid collisions. tokyo's stock prices opened higher on the stronger dollar against the yen following trump's win in the u.s. election last week. but the benchmark went into the negative and is trading in a narrow range as investors are taking profits after recent rallies. the nikkei 225 currently in negative territory, down a quarter percent at 17,629. the energy sector is higher on a recovery in oil prices following renewed hopes for an opec deal to cap production.
the telecom and defensive stocks are weighing on the benchmark. on to currencies. the dollar reached the 108 yen level earlier, a five-month high. the pair now is at 107.8. investors are speculating that president-elect trump will increase government spending, and that's pushing up bond yields on inflation expectations. this has sent the dollar higher against other major peers. but the euro is regaining a bit of ground this morning, currently at $1.07. the common currency is also up against the yen. that pair at 116.1 yen. let's turn to markets open now in the asia-pacific region. we are seeing move in seoul that's unchanged. in australia, we are seeing losses of just about 6 tenths of a%. china markets will open in just under half an hour. officials in china's central government have given local authorities a new set of rules
for dealing with their debt problems. the contingency guidelines are aimed at avoiding economic and financial impacts. now, the officials in beijing say total local government debt stood at 16 trillion yuan. that's about $2.3 trillion at the end of last year. the amount is set to be bigger when debt guarantees that local governments issued for state-owned businesses are included. the central government has told each local government to set up a special team and separate debt-related risks into four grades depending on how they could impact the economy. it also told them to take measures to avoid risks, and this includes freezing non-essential public works projects and digging into their own local coffers to finance certain projects. generations of kids have grown up drinking milk, but for those allergic, that's not an option. one answer may be goat milk. the drink is gaining attention
in japan as a nutritious alternative. >> reporter: this farm in kochi prefecture is home to about 70 goats. people who allergic to cow's milk sometimes find goat's milk easier to digest. one challenge to marketing goat milk is its strong smell. a feed was developed designed to reduce the odor. it contains rice and grass grown without pesticides. >> translator: our goat's milk has to taste good above all else. if it's also healthy and causes fewer allergies, terrific. i can recommend our milk with confidence. i want everyone to try it. >> reporter: a scientist has analyzed the components of milk. he says one reason people with a dairy allergy can drink goat's milk has to do with proteins.
this experiment helps illustrate the difference. first, both times of milk are poured into centrifuges. about 15 minutes later, the proteins are extracted. they're dyed blue and placed in another machine to break them down further. here are the results. the data on the left is from cow's milk. the blue at the bottom signals the presence of a protein called alpha s 1 casein. it's one of the substances that cause a milk allergy. the data on the right is from goat's milk. there's no blue at the bottom, so the allergy-causing protein is absent. some people who allergic to the protein can drink goat's milk. >> translator: people with dairy allergies could make up for the nutritional shortfall by drinking goat's milk. it has a very good potential to become a substitute for cow's milk. >> reporter: a dairy farm that's been in business for nearly a
century has begun selling milk from goats. it expects demand from people looking for an alternative to cow's milk. the goat milk they sell is from his farm. it earned kudos from college students who visited the factory. >> translator: the smell isn't so strong, and it's easy to drink. >>. >> translator: it would be great if people with a milk allergy could enjoy this product. >> translator: there are so many people with milk sensitivity these days. we know because we sell cow's milk. we'll keep working hard to sell goat's milk so lots of people with a dairy allergy can enjoy it. >> reporter: goat's milk that's easy on the taste buds and the stomach. for some allergy sufferers, it could become the drink of choice. >> and if do you have a dairy allergy, a medical checkup is recommended before trying goat milk. thaelsz the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you now with a check
pakistani soldiers were killed on the border between the two sides. military officials attended their funerals. details of the incident remain unknown. both sides blame the other for opening fire. they've clashed repeatedly in the area over recent months, resulting in the deaths of dozens of soldiers and si civilians. india's prime minister made a surprise visit to pakistan and held talks with his counterpart. but in september, militant groups attacked an indian army base in kashmir, killing 17 soldiers. india said the attackers came from pakistan, and the move towards reconciliation has soured since then. the stigma surrounding hansen's disease or leprosy dates back thousands of years. even today, people who once suffered from the disease still
have a hard time. recently in tokyo the issue was put under the spotlight. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the star of the show is nio maki, aged 83. this is the first time she has ever walked down the runway in front of a crowd in a designer dress. this san tore yum in tokyo has been her home for most of her life. she showed symptoms of leprosy and was quarantined here at the age of 10. she used to climb this hill, crying as she gazed toward her hometown. >> translator: i just wanted to go home again to see them all. >> reporter: her symptoms later subsided. she got married, but she never had any children.
at that time, if she had become pregnant, she would have been forced to have an abortion. >> translator: we felt it would be for the best just to not get pregnant. >> reporter: the leprosy left her with deformed hands, and she always tried to conceal them. but in recent years, she has felt encouraged to come out in the open. the fashion show was one inspiration. >> translator: i just want others to know the truth. that's all. >> reporter: the event was dreamed up by fashion designer, ta ca fumi. his aim was to make a statement and discharge prejudice. he created a white lace dress
especially for maki. he added pockets so maki could hide her hands at any time if she wanted to. >> translator: is it ease to put your hands in? >> translator: yes, it's loose. >> translator: i don't want people to feel pity. they're shining, like maki. i want to make it easier to understand other people and to stop discrimination and prejudice. >> reporter: the show encouraged presentations on the history of leprosy in japan. the images on this dress show maki on the hill, gazin gazing .
at the end of the show, maki herself appears on the catwalk, moving forward into her new life. [ applause ] >> translator: it's really important we learn more and stop rejecting people who suffer from diseases. >> translator: the show is a step forward. i hope that not only people at the event but everyone will understand each other more. >> reporter: maki's appearance on stage is a celebration and has helped spread the word about the need to do away with discrimination. nhk world, tokyo. >> lots of love at that event.
switching gears now, sky gazers around the world have a special treat. the biggest supermoon in decades is lighting up the night sky. people in japan enjoyed it despite poor weather conditions. the phenomenon occurs when the moon is both full and at its closest point to earth. supermoons appear a few times a year, but this one is quite special. it's the largest to be seen since 1948. it appears to be about 30% larger than when the full moon was at its smallest this year back in april. heavy clouds are hanging over many parts of japan, but some lucky children had the chance to view the moon from up in the sky. japan airlines operated a special flight to offer fantastic views of the supermoon. about 100 people were invited to join. many of them children from earthquake-hit regions in the northeast and the southwestern prefecture of kumamoto. the plane climbed to an altitude
of 11,000 meters. >> translator: it looks bigger than usual, and it's super bright. >> translator: i'm thankful to have such a rare opportunity. >> sky gazers hoping to catch another supermoon of this scale will need to wait until november 25th, 2034. that's a long wait. people here in tokyo weren't so lucky. it was a cloudy and rainy one last night. our meteorologist robert speta joins us now with a look at what's up ahead. >> yes. actually here on monday, we saw widespread cloud cover. scattered showers across much of western and central japan. still seeing that actually back toward the north. a few areas across parts of t toho tohoku. the potential of a tornado actually coming out of some of these with these storms. they're rather potent. the good news, the weather does look fairly decent across the tokyo area heading into tuesday evening and even over towards wednesday. back towards the north, we are
going to look at some lingering showers. even some of these areas, you're looking at snowfall there in parts of hokkaido, also around the sapporo region. as that front does continue to move through, it's ushering in some cooler temperatures from the northwest. so if we take a look at the three-day forecast, sapporo, 10 on tuesday, but dropping down to 2 by wednesday. the snowfall there expected for you. tokyo, cloudy to sunny skies throughout the rest of the week, but temperatures will be going from about 20 down to 16. overnight lows by the way on wednesday and thursday will be pushing into the single digits. back towards the west, though, things are staying on the clear side. if you are in northeastern china, even over towards the korean peninsula as well, we have northerly winds coming in. beijing with a high of 10. seoul getting to 10 as well. still some scattered showers down towards the south. bangkok with a high of 34. do also want to take our
attention into the southern hemisphere here at new zealand. we still have the recovery of last weekend's massive earthquake and also multiple aftershocks continuing to take place between christ church and wellington, getting closer and closer to wellington. but the big thing as far as the weather is concerned, we have been seeing landslides. some of these areas actually causing damming of a few of these rivers combined with the rainfall, really making for a severe flood threat in a few locations. that's one thing we're watching out for here. we still have heavy rainfall expected, especially in western areas of the southern island heading through the rest of tuesday. valley locations, though, going to see the precipitation into wednesday and thursday along the eastern seaboard, even in christchurch and wellington. three day forecast, windy conditions, but wednesday and thursday, showers going to continue to kick in. even a little bit cooler temperatures. definitely might be impacted in some of these areas trying to recover.
take a look here across the americas. some travel weather concerns expected later on this week. for now, we have a bit of a lull along the mid-atlantic states. bringing a few scattered showers and heading off towards new england as well. but the big attention i'm paying to right now is back toward the pacific northwest. we have this low coming onshore. in these areas of portland, seattle, vancouver, expecting heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours. higher elevations, maybe even some widespread snow. the big thing is, watch this low track across, and it really starts to develop. and as we look ahead into thursday and friday, might be seeing some blizzard conditions in a few of these areas. right now, temperatures are well above average. actually near record-breaking for a few locations out here. but as we look ahead into thursday and friday, it drastically changes with temperatures dropping below the freezing point for many of you. all right. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook.
>> here is your host. >> our week just wouldn't be the same without some highlights. so let's get this show on the road with a quick preview of today's subjects: gadget guy, a british special effects artist and his extraordinary batman suit big book, painter david hockney presents a monograph of his work. cultural city, we discover the arts and literature scene of frankfurt in west germany. we start off the show with grown adults dressing-up in super hero outfits even though it still isn't halloween or comic-con. one man leading the way irishman julian checkley, who's perfected his caped crusader costume to