Skip to main content

tv   Newsline  PBS  November 16, 2016 12:00am-12:31am PST

12:00 am
hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." it's wednesday, november 16th, at 10:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. a lawyer for south korea's president has effectively rejected a request by prosecutors to question her by wednesday. it's the latest development in a deepening political scandal that has dogged park geun-hye. >> translator: i need to take considerable time to study the issues and prepare the defense. in principle, the prosecution should be carried out in written form. >> the lawyer said questioning park in writing will minimize
12:01 am
the impact of the inquiry on state affairs. but that's not what prosecutors asked for. they have said they want to meet the president to ask about her links to a long-time friend who is at the center of the scandal. she's suspected of conspiring to abuse power and attempting to defraud two foundations. the prosecutors say they need to question park before kheu's detention expires on sunday. an opposition politician lashed out at park on tuesday. he said he will lead the public campaign until park steps down. under the country's constitution, a presidential election must be held within 60 days of a president resigning or is removed from office. he's expected to run in the next presidential race. analysts say he seems to be focused on the possibility of had being held ahead of the original schedule of late 2017.
12:02 am
seenor officials from russia and japan are hammering out details of economic cooperation. vladimir putin is scheduled to fly to japan and sign the deal next month. representatives from both sides led a meeting on tuesday. they said they'll speed up talks on about ten agreements to be signed by putin and shinzo abe. they want the countries to work together in political, economic, and cultural fields and he said he hopes they can get closer to a peace treaty acceptable to the people of both countries. russia and japan did not sign a peace treaty after world war ii. workers in fukushima have started building an intermediate soil facility for soil and waste contaminated in the 2011 nuclear disaster. ground-breaking ceremonies were held tuesday in fut aba and okuma. two facilities will be built,
12:03 am
one for storing waste, the other to store soil. >> translator: i want each one of you to take pride in being a part of this essential work for reeb regional revival. >> thousands of tons of material was contaminated five years ago when the nearby fukushima daichii nuclear plant suffered a triple meltdown. the waste has been kept at temporary sites longer than the three years the government had promised. it says it hadn't been able to acquire the land for the new site. the environment ministry plans to begin operating the facility in about a year. >> a lawyer for a boy who was bullied after fleeing the fukushima disaster has spoken out. he released a note the boy wrote last year about what he went through at a primary school south of tokyo and how he considered killing himself. the boy writes that while he
12:04 am
thought of suicide, he decided to keep on living, even if it was painful. he kept in mind how many people lost their lives in the earthquake and tsunami. >> translator: the boy says he made the note public because he thought it would be meaningful if it could encourage other children. >> the boy writes how hurtful it was for classmates to add the word "germ" to his name. he said he knew it referred to radiation, even though there was nothing wrong with his health. after calls in december to investigate, education authorities recognized this month the boy was bullied. yokohama's mayor says she instructed the school board to tackle the issue. >> translator: the incident was regrettable. i strongly think that the bullying was impermissible.
12:05 am
>> the boys' parents say their family was put under great stress. they criticize the school and the education france's president and the head of the u.n. have urged u.s. president-elect donald trump to respect the paris agreement. it obliges all countries to take steps to fight global warming. trump indicated he would pull the united states out of the pact. francois hollande made the call as members of the accord held a first meeting in morocco to the sidelines of the u.n. climate conference. he says as the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, it's not just the americans' duty to respect the commitment, but also in their interest. >> translator: i can assure you france will lead this dialogue with the united states and its new president in openness, in respect, but with demands and determination on behalf of the
12:06 am
100 states that have already ratified the paris agreement. >> the u.n. secretary general called on trump to understand the seriousness and urgency of the issue. >> he may have to understand the reality of the whole world's programs, including particularly on climate change. >> the meeting runs through friday amid growing concern over possible loss of u.s. leadership in global negotiations. britain's prime minister is under criticism after a major newspaper says her government has no overall plan to exit the european union. theresa may says her government will start so-called brexit negotiations by the end of march. "the times" reported tuesday that divisions in her cabinet have stopped the government from drawing up a broad strategy. the newspaper quoted a leaked memo prepared for the cabinet
12:07 am
office. the government -- or rather the document is dated november 7 and says the government is working on more than fi 00 related projects and could need 30,000 extra civil servants, but it says it could still take six months before the government decides on its priorities. it says brexit supporters, including boris johnson, are sharply at odds with those who are cautious, such as the chancellor of the exchequer, philip hammond. the government says it wasn't aware of the report. >> we don't recognize the document. it is certainly nothing commissioned by government and it's not in keeping with my experience. >> the main opposition party accuses may's government of prioritizing its own interests and failing to make decisions. it's time now to see what's making headlines in business. u.s. government officials have released data that show consumers are spending more. let's go to ai at the business desk. what are you seeing?
12:08 am
>> u.s. retail sales are an important piece of economic data. consumption makes up such a big part of the u.s. economy and because people tend to be more confident about their financial situations when they're willing to open up their wallets. in the october data, it beat market expectations. officials at the commerce department say retail sales came in at $465.9 billion, up 0.8% from the month before. the rise is apparently due to improved employment and higher wages. americans spent more on cars and gasoline as well as online purchases, but department stores saw a continued decline. the data is stirring speculation that federal reserve policy makers may raise interest rates at their next meeting in december. a hike would be the first in a year. but the policy makers are also expected to examine the outlook for the u.s. economy after donald trump's victory in the presidential election. investors expect that trump's
12:09 am
promises of larger infrastructure investment and tax cuts will boost growth. but some are concerned those policies may lead to bigger fiscal deficits. they also fear the prospect of protectionist trade measures. well, tokyo stock prices opened higher. market sentiments also being boosted by gains on wall street. and that was after strong retail sales numbers. the nikkei is currently trading up by more than 1%, 17,852. the financial sector is leading the gains on expectations that the feds may raise interest rates next month. energy-related stocks are also higher after a sharp rise in crude oil prices following reports that omt peck members are making a final push to reach a deal to cap production. speculation of a rate hike in the u.s. is fueling demand for the dollar.
12:10 am
it went above 109 yen, currently it's right along the 108 and 109 yen levels. and the greenback also gained against the euro. that's trading at the mid to lower end of $1.07. a surge in yields on u.s. treasuries has led yields higher in other bond markets. the ten-year japanese government bond yield entered positive territory for the first time in about two months. let's turn to markets open now in the asia pacific region and we're seeing gains elsewhere as well. seoul's kospi up by half a%. australia up by a tenth of a%. china will open in just under half an hour. nhk has learned that a government affiliated bank in japan plans to provide loans for a biomass power project in britain. it uses materials from plants and animals, such as wood chips and cattle manure.
12:11 am
sources say the development bank of japan along with other institutions in japan and europe will provide funding to build a plant near middlesbrough. the development bank will lend tens of millions of dollars in project financing. the biomass plant will be one of the world's largest with a 300 mega watt capacity. it will supply electricity to 600,000 homes and it's expected to start operating as early as 2020. biomass power generation is expected to increase in japan now that the paris agreement has taken effect. the accord aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. the sources say that development bank is hoping to apply the know-how from the british project to promote renewable energy in japan. a top priority for japanese prime minister shinzo abe is what's known as work style reform. the challenge is to improve working conditions and practices that were established mainly during the 1960s when the economy saw consistently high
12:12 am
growth rates. many experts believe the current situation has long been due for serious reform. now key measures under consideration include narrowing the gap between regular and non-regular workers, including introducing eecht quaul work and equal pay rules, addressing long working hours, and helping elderly people find the work. well, nhk "newsline" will focus on the issue in a three-part series. today we focus on improving working conditions of non-regular workers, and that includes part-timers as well as contract employees. government officials want to boost their pay so they spend more, thus help trigger a virtuous economic cycle. some firms are gradually making head way, but many others are struggling. nhk world reports. >> translator: prime minister abe has pressed to reinforce the
12:13 am
gaps between regular and non-regular workers. nearly 4 in 10 workers in japan are in non-regular positions. the number is up by nearly two million from three years earlier. the workers average wages are less than 60% of their regular counterparts and this wage gap is far wider than in many european nagsss. the international monetary fund is also pushing for reform in japan. it pointed out this august that the labor market is deeply divided between regular and non-regular workers and many are not enjoying the benefits of the wage hikes. some businesses are making -- this farm runs operations in one of okinawa's airports. it's upgraded the status of all of its 214 contract workers to regular full-time positions. 20% of its people used to be on contracts. this man is a ground crew
12:14 am
member, who guides aircraft and handles cargo. he's 31 years old and joined three years ago as a contract worker. his wage was more or less fixed at about $7.6 an hour, including extra pay for night shifts. after becoming a regular employee, his monthly income grows by about 40%, including a family allowance and other benefits. that encourage him to get married and start a family. >> translator: my work and aspirations changed after i became a regular worker. if my bosses recognize i'm working hard, my wage will increase. having a family, i'm leading a fulfilling life now. >> reporter: after many non-regular workers quit their
12:15 am
jobs. in his section, more than 15% of its staff used to leave each year. it's paying off. the number of those quitting has dropped nearly 40%. still, personnel costs have risen by around $190,000 a year. company officials say the costly reforp was only possible because airport traffic was increasing and the business expanding. >> translator: we were able to invest in workers because we were sure an increase in earnings would offset rise in personnel costs. businesses that can't expect profits may have trouble making such reforms. >> reporter: high on the government's agenda is introducing rules for equal pay for equal works. it plans to release guidelines within the year. but businesses are divided on
12:16 am
the issue. a study by a group of economists shows that more than half are opposed to the law. and express points that regular workers take on more important roles. companies need to evaluate workers equally. >> translator: to realize equal pay for equal work, the government needs to draw up feasible guidelines. they need to draw up guidelines and make the companies explain if they're playing by the rules. >> reporter: changing systems and workplace practices in japan is the kind of ground-breaking reform that comes around once in a few decades. people are watching to see whether the government can come up with pragmatic policies and how they're going to apply them. >> sony is showcasing the history of its products before its landmark building in tokyo's
12:17 am
begin ginza shopping district is demolished in april. the electronics maker is displaying about 730 items at the tony building. ranging from a rice cooker to a cutting edge watch with an electronic wallet function. many visitors are stopping at the section for the walkman line of portable music players. >> translator: it's nostalgic. the products remind me of the gear i used to have. >> i think it was a lifestyle to have this, i think. because it was something like a fashionable at this time. >> the sony building opened in 1966. it's mainly been used as a showroom for sony products, attracting about four million visitors a year. ar the building is knocked down, various events will be held at the site until the tokyo olympics and paralympics happen if 2020. sony plans to erect a new
12:18 am
building after that. the exhibition runs through february 12th. and that is the latest in business for this hour. here is another check on markets. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ japanese culture will be on the world stage during the 2020 olympics. among the classical arts is
12:19 am
theater where the players wear masks and dance. a performer is trying to bring it on a wider audience and has invited children from an international school to perform in the play. here's how they learned to appreciate this traditional art form. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: achireo is teaching the art of no to these children, aged 7 to 12. the project began in september. the children are learning how to pose like water birds. the play is called "the water ferry" and the water birds are cleaning up a dirty river to make it beautiful
12:20 am
>> translator: noh is performed by professionals. so it's great that children can learn a little more about it. maybe some of them will want to start practicing to be professional. >> reporter: the children in the play are from all over the world. from england to saudi arabia, to china. the props are all hand-made. the children are drawing bird faces, which they'll attach to the brooms they use in the play. the many colors and the children's props represent their cultural diversity. >> translator: i think these children will sweep away the stereotype cal ideas. >> reporter: the day of the performance. yamamoto comes to the dressing room before the play to see the
12:21 am
childre children. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: the stage is in a shopping mall. yamamoto plays the water goddess. he meets a traveler heading to osaka from kyoto. he grieves the river is so dirty and tells the traveler. now the water birds appear on stage. the water birds begin cleaning the polluted
12:22 am
[ speaking foreign [ applause ] >> reporter: when the water birds have finished cleaning the river, the dragon arrives and creates a trail of pure water for the water goddess to walk on. the water goddess, played by yamamoto, returns, and performs a special dance of gratitude and blessing. >> it was a great experience. >> i did enjoy it. even though it was pretty hard, but still, i did enjoy it. >> reporter: when th . >> translator: when they return to their home country, if this experience makes them want to see noh again or have their
12:23 am
children or grandchildren perform it or see it, that will make me very happy. >> looks like a lot of fun there. well, switching gears, people in new zealand are trying to clean up damaged towns. a magnitude 7.8 quake hit on monday. but it seems the weather isn't cooperating with the recovery efforts. robert speta joins us with the latest. >> yes, weather definitely very important out here. and unfortunately, it has been rather rough. even on the satellite picture, you can kind of see what we're talking about here. some of the areas in the south have been looking at some fair skies out there. back towards the north, this frontal area which was pushing overhead, just brought an abundance of rainfall, and specifically in wellington, we had severe flooding. right here, you can see the ground that was buckled during this earthquake, over this past weekend. now the water is just rushing right through that.
12:24 am
that's definitely eroding it, making the situation much worse. not to mention the fact of mudslides, which there's been thousands of them, but once you get the heavy rainfall, on a lot of these loose grounds, it just makes the situation that much worse out here. this is definitely we're going to be watching over the coming days. because the rain is not over yet. we actually have another front that's pulling in from the west. as that low does push overhead, that's going to bring a few more showers from christchurch over to wellington, over the next 24 to really the next 72 hours. next several days, this is not going anywhere very fast. i expect the scattered showers with cooling temperatures working their way in later on this week. really the threat of localized flooding even still there in a few locations. now, i do want to take your attention to the north. widespread snowfall across parts of hokkaido today. specifically over to sapporo and also asa hi, we've seen over 30
12:25 am
centimeters of snowfall in the past 24 hours. the main reason for this is these northwesterly winds. and you're expecting that into thursday. central and western japan over to the korean peninsula, we're seeing high pressure working its way in. that means clear skies, tokyo with a high of 16. beijing getting up to 11 as well. and you're also looking at hazy conditions and poor air quality because of that stagnant air that's sitting in over a lot of the cities. easterly flow off producing showers on shore around shanghai, something to watch out for. you might want to have an umbrella with you. some storms out across europe, any travel plans for northern europe, might see some delays. we have one low that is pushing through germany into poland. and some red-level warnings in a
12:26 am
few locations winds about 70 kilometers per hour, heading into poland. also heavy snowfall, because this front, as it pushes east, not quite blizzard conditions, but definitely enough to cause reduced visibility out there on some of the roadways. and back towards the west, our next storm system off iceland will dive to the south, across the british isles and to the low country, bringing wide showers, even across the foot hills of scotland, towards the north as well, snowfall potentially. london at 13, berlin up to 9. showers to the south, and warsaw, high of 4, but expect some snowfall mixed in there as well. all right, i'll leave you now with our extended outlook. ♪ ♪
12:27 am
♪ ♪ and that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. xnóx
12:28 am
12:29 am
12:30 am
host: this week, global 3000 heads to mumbai in india. the megacity is expanding at an uncontrolled rate. will that be the end of mangrove forests and the flamingos? in egypt, the police force seems to operate according to its own rule, leaving many citizens traumatized. but first, a rare glimpse into life in north korea. more and more people are successfully escaping the world's most isolated country. we hear one young woman's story. it's been almost 70 years since the korean peninsula was split in half. since then, north korea has been ruled by a communist dictatorship. life in the two countries could


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on