chinese men who snatched the flag from a car carrying the japanese ambassor. police say they won't pursue criminal charges. political analysts say authorities want to close the case to avoid further diplomatic tension. china central tv r rortedn the story tuesday night. a senior official from the beijing public security bureau briefed japanese embassy staff. police decided to detain two men for five days under the public security control law. they gave a warning to another man who drove one of their vehicles. last week, the men drove up and blocked the path of a car carrying ambassador uicihro niwa. they tore off the japanese flag from the hood and fled. the public security officials said the men were dissatisfied with relations with japan and were angered by the sight of the flag. the officials said police could
not find the flag. the chinese government announced a penalties about a week after the incident. political analysts say government officials want to avoid anyurth riffs with jan and avoid public criticism. japanese government officials say they can't demand a harsher punishment. they say they have to follow chinese law. they praised what they called china's swift punishment. the south korean military has canceled a landing drill on disputed islands in the sea of japan. the drill wases part of a yearly training exercise. south korea controls the islands. japan claims them and calls them takeshima. military commanders scheduled the drill during four days of training this week around the island. government leaders decided to cancel the landing. president lee myung-bak visited the islands last month. a senior aide says that was enough to show his resolve to protect the territory. the official says the drill was
not intended to provoke a war with a friendly nation. the south korean and japanese leaders will attend a gathering this week of the asia pacific economic cooperation forum. but they're not expected to meet face to face. president lee and prime minister yoshihiko noda will be among members attending the summit in vladivostok, russia. >> translator: there's no meetimeet ing scheduled between the leaders of south korea and japan. neither side has proposed holding a meeting. >> he said ministers would not meet either. japanese foreign minister koichiro gemba and south korean foreign affairs and trade minister kim sung-hwan will attend the meeting lat in t day. north korea disclosed burial sites that may contain the remains of japanese who died around the end of world war ii. north korea has been showing the
burial sites to a japanese group preparing to repatriate the remains. japanese media have been allowed to accompany the group. the group was led to a recently discovered site. they were also brought to nearby cities in the eastern part of the country on the sea of japan coast. about 1,500 japanese are said to have died in a town in the province of hamgyong-namdo. the japanese contingent offered incense and prayers. >> translator: when we go back to japan, we'd like to tell the bereaved families what we saw at the burial site. >> it's unusual for north korea to allow foreign media into areas along the sea of japan. life in the region is much harder than in pyongyang. north korea's disclosure of the burial site underscores its eagerness to improve ties with japan. south korea estimes a signifant drop in north
korea's grain harvest this year. the forecast is raising fears the north could face a desperate food situation. south korea's unification ministry released its yearly prediction of the north's grain harvest. crop production will fall between 400,000 and 600,000 tons from the average year. a spring drought and recent widespread flooding are cited as the cause. the ministry expects with foreign aid north korea may face grain shortages of 800,000 to 1 million tons from november. the per kilogram price of rice traded in the north rose about 1.5 times between february and august. analysts point out the deteriorating food situation will hurt north korea's leadership. supreme leader kim jong-un has made a promise to improve the people's lives. a south korean government panel has proposed measures to combat bullying in schools. the members say the education
system should be reviewed because it puts too much importance on university entrance exams. a number of junior high school students in south korea have committed suicide over bullying in the past year. the government announced a comprehensive plan in february to tackle the problem. officials propose setting up a 24 hour telephone hotline. they also want the police to actively investigate reports of bullying. the government's anti-bullying committee met on tuesday to discuss long-term policy. >> translator: i hope the measures will lead to an overhaul of the education system, and the tendency to hire students with impressive academic backgrounds. >> the panel's measures mainly target junior high schools. they include encouraging students to participate in club and volunteer activities. the members recommend hiring more art teachers as well as instructors who can teach sports on saturdays when south korean schools are usually closed.
syrian government forces have launched large-scale attacks in the heart of the northern city of aleppo. the move is raising fears that civilian casualties will increase. opposition activists in syria say government forces have deployed troops and helicopters in central aleppo to mount ground and air assaults. many civilians are still living in the center of the city. the free syrian army has reportedly been fighting government forces on the city's outskirts to avoid battles in the central district. air strikes in northern aleppo on monday killed 35 people. a human rights group says 4,960 civilians including over 500 children were killed across the country in august. that's the highest monthly total since the anti-government uprising began in march last year. the leaders of france and italy have been wrestling with a problem everyone in europe seems
to be wrestling with. we're joined with that story and more from the business desk. so what's happening on the continent there? >> yeah, well catherine, the governors of the european central bank will meet on thursday and other leaders are trying to refine their message even before those meetings get started. leaders of france and italy a urging aggressive buying on government bonds of spain and other ailing economies. french president francois hollande and the italian prime minister met in rome on tuesday, discussed how best to contain the debt crisis. after the meeting, hollande told reporters some european nations with excessive debts continue to face high borrowing costs. he said the ecb needs to step in and address the issue. monty supported hollande's stance saying government bond yields have gone up regardless of economic fundamentals. he says this poses a big problem and has to be resolved. ecb officials plan to discuss bond buying at the upcoming board meeting.
the french and italian leader's comments are seen as a push for the central bank to work out specific measures. let's check the markets now. u.s. stocks ended mixed. the dow jones industrial average declined .4% to 13,035 on weak manufacturing data. but the tech heavy nasdaq rose .3% to 3,075 and hopes apple shares could gain. and to see how the stocks are trading here in tokyo this wednesday we switch over to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. ramin, how are stocks kicking off today? >> very good morning to you. indeed, we had a mixed session in the u.s. come to the opening levels here in just a second. the dow of course faltering a touch on weak manufacturing data which showed a contraction in august for the lowest level in three years. but then again, we had the nasdaq trading higher on hopes, as you said there, for gains for apple onendi new le of
products next week. we'll look forward to that. let's have a look at the opening levels, of course, here for the nikkei and the topix this wednesday. 8,740, down .4%. for the nikkei, 723. topix down the same amount. the nikkei closed slightly lower yesterday on profit taking following another up and down day. volatility was seen in the likes of sharp which closed up 12.3% yesterday, having been down 18% in the two sessions befor yesterday. so we'll defitel kp track of sharp today, for any further volatility. also, we'll be keeping track of apple-related commodity, apple-related stocks which are a lot of the component makers and that's, of course, ahead of the pending new line of products due out from apple next week. so we'll keep track of the lights of morada manufacturing and toshiba which make
components that go into apple products. let's not forget autos as well. that follows sales in the u.s. for august which shod t likes of toyota up 46%, sales numbers, compared to august last year, and honda up 60%. so we'll keep track of how those shares trade today. automakers have made a very strong comeback since the march 11th disaster last year. so we'll keep track of all of those. i have to mention gold as well. we did -- commodity-related prices. that's in focus. gold future prices hit its highest level in just over five months on the new york mercantile exchange on tuesday. yuko? >> ramin, now, ahead of the key european central bank policy meeting on thursday, investors are hoping for ecb action to address the debt crisis in the region. how have the euro been trading today? >> yeah, of course, that's a major focus. ecb meeting coming up on thursday. having a look at currency, top of the page, top of the screen, rather, 78.44-48 dollar jsh yen.
the euro, 98.30-35. a major focus coming up to and following the ecb meeting on thursday, yuko. we'll keep track of all of that and the stocks and sectors i mentioned before. back to you. >> thanks, always, ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. the drought in the united states may trigger another food crisis across the globe. to avoid this, three agencies at the united nations are urging governments around the world to take joint action. the food and agriculture organization, the world food program, and the international fund for agricultural development released a statement saying that corn prices have surged due to the record drought in the u.s. the agencies warn that soaring prices of corn, wheat and soybeans could cause a recurrence of the global food crisis seen in 2007 and 2008. they call for short-term efforts to curb the sharp rise in food prices that might seriously affect more people. it also notes there needs to be review of the current framework for producing and distributing
food as the world population is growing. the agencies urge countries to avoid panic buying and refrain from imposing export restrictions. they also appeal for international support to help poor nations boost their food output. that is all for me for this hour. i'll leave you with a recap of the rketigures. the japanese people's growing distrust of nuclear power now has a price tag.
the industry minister says it will cost more than $600 billion to go nonnuclear by the year 2030. a recent opinion poll suggests that's what half the population wants. yukio edano spoke at meeting of cabinet ministers in charge of energy policy. he said the cost of building renewable energy infrastructure would add up. he pointed to the expense of constructing generating facilities and power lines. edano warned immediately shutting down reactors would cut the power supply by 30%. he said going nonnuclear would weaken the country's bargaining position when buying oil and natural gas. the government has promised to draft a new energy policy. ministers are working on scenarios for ending nuclear dependence while compensating for lost power generation. the prospect of a new, or a nonnuclear japan is proving to be a hard sell to big business. an executives association issued a challenge to the govement.
>> translator: the government must explain and prove how there will be no downside for business and people's daily lives in all nuclear reactors are scrapped in future. this should be confirmed with concrete evidence and analysis. >> he stressed that many businesses are opposed to abolishing nuclear power out of concern it would destabilize the economy. government officials have released their blueprint for rebuilding areas at the hearof e nuclear debate. they want to decontaminate and restore lifelines in parts of evacuation zones around fukushima daiichi within two years. reconstruction minister hirano released the plan. it covers sections of the zones where evacuation orders have been lifted. government officials will focus for the first two years on decontamination and on restoring water, sewage and power to
residents can live there. they'll offer residents jobs in those areas and in decommissioning the damaged nuclear reactors. ministry officials aim to restore train and bus services and promote local industries within five years. their ten-year plan calls for attracting young people to the region. they'll focus on developing new industries including the production of renewable energy and medical equipment. many taiwanese look out or pass by nuclear plants as they go through their day. taiwan has six operating reactors. two others are under construction. many worry what happened to people in fukushima might happen to them. plant workers, litary, and othe he tak part i a drill to make sure they're prepared. nhk world's naoki makita reports from taipei. >> reporter: workers played out an emergency scenario at the
nuclear complex near taipei. they assumed a natural disaster knocked out all power at the plant and disabled its cooling system. firefighters sprayed water to practice bringing a fire under control. then helicopters, military vehicles and patrol ships moved in. helicopters came measuring radiation levels around the nuclear power plant. just as crews did following the fukushima daiichi accident. participants practiced measuring radiation from land and sea, too. the exercise follows a decision to expunge the are around the nuclear plant subject to radioactive monitoring. most reactors are located in the vicinity of densely populated taipei. and residents have been increasingly worried after the
disaster in fukushima. officials at taiwan's nuclear power regulator say they want to minimize the damage in the event. they plan to reinforce their evacuation plans to ensure residents are safe. oki makita, nhk world, taipei. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster, but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." tokyo is not known for its agriculture, but hundreds of years ago in the edo period, locals grew their own vegetables. now a group is trying to bring back that long-lost produce and they're finding success. so much so that edo-tokyo
vegetables are getting rave reviews on international restaurant guidebooks. nhk world's rina nakano has the story. >> translator: this is good. >> translator: i've never had anything like it. >> reporter: these people are taking a bite from the past. the edo-tokyo vegetable plate is this hotel restaurant's tribute to historical tokyo cuisine. it's the first of its kind and offered only for a limited time. what makes the dish so special? rare vegetables. one of them is even used for this confection. >> translator: i can't believe it's a vegetable. it makes a great dessert. >> reporter: it looks like a stretched out pumpkin and smells like a honey dew melon, but it's actually a vegetable called kondin gourd. it was popular during the edo period when sweets were hard to
come by. >> translator: it has a nice, natural sweetness. >> reporter: these flavorful veggies were widely available in tokyo at the time. residents grew them right here in the city. but as tokyo got bigger and bigger, the farmlands disappeared. and edo tokyo vegetables began to fade from the scene. recently agriculture officials rediscovered some seeds of edo period veggies and people began growing and distributing them in small amounts. >> translator: i'm proud to offer a dish with such rare vegetables. >> reporter: obtaining these won't always be easy with such a limited supply, but the hotel plans to continue offering them in seasonal dishes. more people are getting onboard the movement to bring back these long-lost veggies. in the edo period, people raved about these eggplants. they used to be grown right here
in this area, but now there are no farms, not even a gardening facility. so people had to get creative. locals found an unusual way to reproduce what's known as the phantom eggplant. residents in this tokyo neighborhood are harvesting the phantom, or terajima eggplants, in small flower beds. round shape, shiny coat, and rich flavor. those are what set it apart from modern day eggplants. the vegetable is being revived. thanks to some dedicated local businesspeople at the terajima eggplant revival project. one of them is sakamoto. his family runs a snack shop. >> translator: my brother's obsessed with those eggplants. even when he's supposed to be working, he slips out to water them. >> reporter: sakamoto and the
other volunteers don't have any farming experience, but they're passionate about growing the eggplants in their own neighborhood. >> translator: we want, first of all, for locals to discover these vegetables. then we want our businesses to use them to create something new. that's what we're going for. >> reporter: these shopowners are taking the lead. they're experimenting with the eggplant to create new dishes. the vegetable has even inspired the neighborhood's new mascot. >> translator: tastes great. >> reporter: the interest in edo-tokyo vegetables isn't about harvesti and eating rare plants. it's about a community coming together to revive something that was once forgotten. rina nakano, nhk world, tokyo.
people in northern japan are sweating through unusually high temperatures. sayaka mori joins us now with more in her world weather forecast. >> well, catherine, the heat in northern japan isn't going anywhere. for example, in sendai, highs have been over 30 degrees over the past 17 days. it looks like it's going to be anothehot day today with a highf 31, so abo 5 degrees higher than average. it looks like much above average temperatures will continue for the next couple of weeks in northern japan. so because of the heat we may see some popup thundershowers during the heat of the day. scattered showers also in western japan because this frontal line is bringing ample moisture from the south. right now, the front is bringing lots of heavy rain from southeastern russia through the korean peninsula down toward the southern portions of china. the heaviest rain can be found in southern guangdong. we're expecting asuch as 250 millimeters of rain over the next 24 hours. as you can see, the system will slowly make its way toward the
east. so the korean peninsula should get drier, but instead, much of japan will be affected on your thursday. down toward the south, a trough of low pressure is enhancesing the southwest monsoon, still producing lots of heavy rain in the philippines, indochina, the ma lay peninsula as well as northeastern india. all right. as for the highs, getting up to 32 degrees in chongqing, but looking at moderate temperatures in seoul with a high of 26. tokyo, another hot day wita high of 33 degrees, with plenty of sunshine. all right. heading into the americas. there we can see a cluster of clouds over the atlantic. this is tropical storm leslie. leslie is situated far from any landmasses but producing swells along the coast of the caribbean islands and the eastern u.s. because it's a large system. right now packing sustained winds are 100 kilometers per hour. this is a tropical storm but will likely become a hurricane within the next 48 hours or so and get very close to bermuda by
saturday night. all right. as for north america, remnants of isaac have been drenching the northeastern starts and the central gulf coast. in alabama about 80 millimeters of rain has been recorded over the past 24 hours. this is quite a lot for this region. rain will slowly make its way toward the eastern u.s. so toward the east coast, so flash floods are going to be a big concern. out west we've got more potent storm moving across the upper mississippi river valley and the plains, so the risks of severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds and even tornadoes will continue for the next 24 hours or so. back behind, dry out toward the west, and we've got wildfire reported in many locations, and conditions are quite critical, particularly in montana, wyoming, south dakota, as well as nebraska. in terms of temperatures, heat is hanging on from chicago down toward houston, getting up to 31
in chicago and 40 degrees in oklahoma city, and 36 degrees in houston on wednesday. all right, finally, let's go over to europe. we have a large low pressure system affecting the scandinavian peninsula. this is quite powerful in terms of winds. winds over 108 kilometers per hour have been reported in southern norway and we have a yellow alert for high waves posted in the south coast of finland. the system will move toward the north but wet weather will continue in western norway. down toward the north, a stationary low pressure system is bringing severe thunderstorms and heavy rain in italy, and that will be affecting the northwestern portion of the balkan peninsula today. in terms of highs, looking mild across many locations. here's your extended forecast.
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> warner: good evening from the time warner cable arena in charlotte, where the gavel came down just an hour ago for day one of the democratic national convention. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, it's the first of three days when the democrats make their case for a second term for president obama and vice president biden. >> woodruff: we'll take you to the floor to hear