he has won the backing of some of the most influential politicians in washington. obama met with 16 republican and democratic leaders at the white house. he wanted to convince them to prove military strikes against the regime of syrian president bashar al assad. he told them an attack would hinder assad's ability to use chemical weapons. >> i think it is appropriate we act deliberately, but i also think everybody recognizes the urgency here and we're going to have to move relatively quickly. >> the republican speaker of the house of representatives has opposed obama's policy since he took office. but john boehner said u.s. forces need to act. >> i'm going to support the president's call for action. i believe my colleagues should support this call for action. >> secretary of state john kerry and secretary of defense chuck hagel are also backing the president. they made their case at a hearing of the senate foreign relations committee.
kerry said a lack of u.s. military response would send the wrong message, not to just syria, but to iran and north korea over their nuclear development. >> iran is hoping you look the other way. north korea is hoping that ambivalence carriee day. they are all listening for our silence. >> some senators said the u.s. should win wider support from its allies before carrying out military intervention. others asked if obama's plan for limited military action would really be effective in pressing the assad regime to aban dan its chemical weaponry. serve out of ten lawmakers have yet to decide or have not made clear whether they will support a strike. members of the public are more negative about the idea of a possible strike. a new poll suggests a majority of americans is against u.s. strikes. abc news and the "washington post" conducted a poll last wednesday through sunday.
they spoke with about 1,000 people. 59% of respondents said they oppose launching missile strikes against the syrian government. 36% said they support them. the interviewers also asked about joint military action with u.s. allies. more than half of respondents said they were against such strikes. 46% said they would support them. 70% of respondents said they're against the u.s. and its allies supplying weapons to opposition forces in syria. 27% support the idea. israeli and u.s. forces have added to the tensions in the middle east. they tested a missile system over the met mediterranean sea. the israeli defense ministry released a statement, saying the test of the arrow missile defense system. they worked together to develop the technology. it's designed to intercept balance stick missiles from
syria, iran and other countries hostile to israel. many israelis fear if forces strike syria, forces will retaliate by attacking them. russia's deputy defense minister criticized the americans, saying they should not be playing with arms and missiles in such a volatile region. time now for the latest in business news. investors in tokyo, london and new york also start september on a positive note. ai joins us from our business desk. pretty good start to the month, ai. >> exactly, catherine. we saw a pretty upbeat manufacturing data from china and europe early this week, and the united states after a long weekend also released better than expected key manufacturing data. and on that u.s. stock prices rose on tuesday. the dow jones inched up 0.16% to end the day at 14,833. for more on japanese markets, we go to eileen lee at the tokyo
stock exchange. eileen, tokyo rallied monday and tuesday. are we still seeing the momentum continue? >> good morning, ai. not really at the moment. as shares are facing some pressure of the big gains on tuesday. let's take a look at the opening levels for wednesday, september 4th. the nikkei is lower by 0.7% at 13,881 points. moving away from the 14,000 level. and this is after the index rose 3% on tuesday, an improved market sentiment and much weaker yen. and now the broader topix down 0.63%. a strong rally on monday and tuesday, but many investors are still keeping an eye on obama's seeking approval from congress for a military strike on syria. and we'll see how developments there play into the markets. and moving on to currencies. let's take a look at dollar yen first. dollar yen now is at 99.60 to
61, with the dollar higher against the yen as the institute for apply management index showed u.s. manufacturing activity in august. the reading is also the highest level in more than two years. still, the dollar's gains against the yen are somewhat capped ahead of the policy meeting and an important jobs data due out on friday. now, as for the euro, marketplaces are looking to the european central bank meeting on thursday for the decision on interest rates. as we can see there at the bottom of the screen, euro yen is at 131.17 to 24. with the japanese currency ahead of new york. so there is a lot of focus on central banks and economic data, as well as syria. we also received the federal reserve book later today in the u.s. and will be keeping track of all that. but at the moment, pretty
negative start to the trading day today. back to you, ai. >> all right, eileen, thanks for that update. japanese prime minister shinzo abe says he'll decide in october whether to proceed with the consumption tax increase. he says he'll make the call after he reviews a series of economic data. abe made the comment on tuesday in a meeting with economic revitalization minister, akeyeda amatey. they discussed a plan to raise the tax from 5% to 8% next april. abe said he wants to study the bank of japan's survey before making a decision. it's the central bank's quarterly analysis of business sentiment, and is set for release on october 1st. it was suggested the prime minister could make the final decision within the first two days of october. revised gdp figures for the april to june period are due out next monday. indices for consumer prices and industrial output for august
will be released at the end of this month. and employment data will be announced october 1st. more japanese executives are interested in transporting goods through arctic waters. a business seminar to promote a trade route was held in tokyo. the seminar attracted about 200 representatives from japanese trading houses and ship building firms. last month, a japanese chemical company imported oil products from norway via the northern sea route. by using the route, vessels can cut travel distance between europe and asia by one-third compared to its canal route. melting ice from climate change is making it possible. russia is actively promoting the route. most of the sea lane is along the country's arctic ocean coast. russian officials said ships can use the new route for six months beginning in june every year. >> translator: it's a good way for us to save time.
but the route can only be navigated for a limited period. >> russian officials said they expect nearly 50 vessels is cross the arctic ocean this year. and that's the latest in business news for this hour. i will leave you with a check on markets. philippine officials say they're feeling the pressure. they say china appears to be building a concrete structure on a disputed shoal in the south china sea. they say china is trying to put the rocky reef under its control. officials of the philippines'
defense ministry reported their findings about the scarborough shoal at a national assembly session. they see a navy aircraft took photos on saturday. the officials say the photos show a concrete foundation and about 30 blocks blocks along with a stole gate. scarborough shoal is 200 kilometers of the luzon island. the shoal is within the country's exclusive economic zone. china stepped up its claim over the reef in recent years, sending more surveillance vessels. >> i got the report. we had this sent to the department of foreign affairs. it would allow me to complain. it will be the more than affairs secretary who will complain. >> flipino officials came say china claimed the ownership in 1995 after putting up a wall.
the reef had been under the control of the philippines. a pakistani teenager shot for defending girls' rights says education will bring peace to the world. malala use self sigh was invited to the opening ceremony for a public library in the british city of birmingham. last october, the taliban shot her while she was on her way home from school in pakistan's valley. she was airlifted to britain for treatment and is now attending school in birmingham. she is 16 years old. >> even children of 6 and 7 years have read more books than me. now i have challenged myself that i will read thousands of books and i will empower myself with knowledge. pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism.
>> malala repeated the message she delivered in july in a speech at the united nations. she said one book, one pen, be one child and one teacher can change the world. in insurgentses in afghanistan are increasing attacks with deadly consequences. nearly 1,800 policemen lost their lives. new afghan interior minister dodd zi said monday 1,792 police were killed in the past six months. that's about the same number killed during the entire 12 months before. the minister added that more than 2,700 were wounded. reuters reports most of the policemen were killed by roadside bombs. the afghan government urgently wants a peace deal with taliban insurgents. but militants have been stepping up attacks ahead of a withdrawal of international combat troops and the presidential election scheduled for next april.
the japanese government is trying to dispel situations at fukushima daiichi. shinzo abe has approved a $417 million budget to deal the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water at the plant. the funds will be allocated to enclose the site behind a barrier of frozen soil, a method whose effectiveness has yet to be demonstrated. nhk world's suzuki reports. >> reporter: an estimated 1,000 tons of ground water is flowing from nearby mountains towards the plant every day. about 400 tons sweep into the basements of the damaged reactors where the water becomes highly contaminated.
tepco engineers are trying to stop the inflow of ground water into the plant. but the company has been struggling to control the situation. experts say, about 300 tons of contaminated water ends up in the ocean every day. in addition, several leaks have been detected in storage tanks. the japanese government has decided to intervene. >> translator: we've drawn up a basic plan to solve the problem of contaminated water, instead of reacting to each new problem as it arises. >> reporter: engineers plan to freeze the soil around the site. crews would bury pipes underground. they would then circulate coolants at a temperature of minus 40 degrees celsius. the frozen soil would act as a dam to prevent ground water from seeping into the plant. but the effectiveness of this
method remains unclear. it has never been used on such scale in japan. nor tested over long periods of time. local people have been briefed on the government, and tepco's measures to deal with the contaminated water. many fishermen voice their frustration at the way the situation is being handled. >> translator: enough already! who do you think is most important, your company or the japanese public? >> reporter: the nuclear regulation authority says there may be no alternative to releasing some of the water into the ocean after filtering out radioactive particles. the government and the expert panel are trying to restore trust with the fishermen and is locals. but they admit that it may take some time. milk eco suzuki, nhk world. workers at the plant have been taking a closer look at tanks used to store contaminated
water. they say some of the seams appear to have failed. workers detected high levels of radiation over the weekend near the bottom of three tanks. the readings were highest where steel plates were bolted together. workers later noticed that resin from inside the tanks had pushed to the outside. the resin is used to seal the seams. it expands when soaked with water. officials with tokyo electric power company believe the resin broke down through wear and tear. they say there's no sign that water has leaked, and radiation levels on the ground beneath the tanks are not high. last month, workers found 300 tons of radioactive water had leaked from one tank. they had been monitoring radiation more closely ever since. people in fukushima are angry with the way tepco has handled the leaks. three people have filed a criminal complaint against the company and its top management. >> translator: tepco's management feared bankruptcy,
and kept putting off the necessary measures. such negligence went on for about two years, resulting in the current situation. and the company didn't tell the government that conditions were critical. >> he says his clients accuse tepco and 30 executives of violating anti pollution regulations. the company's president is one of the people named in the suit. the plaintiffs accuse him of failing to take adequate protection measures because of the high cost. they say tepco's management approach didn't change, even after the nuclear accident. tepco officials declined to comment. now, you may have never seen a fish like this before. about a meter long and with apro attituding forehead, it ruled the waters in the sea of japan, so much so that divers came to call him the boss. he gained international fame in
a 2009 french documentary. but what happened to him next remains a mystery. n here's more. >> reporter: the waters inside were the territory of the boss. in the fish kingdom, its big forehead symbolized its power. local divers knew this fish for more than 20 years. its nickname was ben kay. after the legendary monk. he had his pique in the summer season, and he looked like a king. but he was getting old. he began to sleep in. and lost his teeth.
suddenly last november, he vanished. the divers were shocked. >> translator: i came here like every year, especially to see him. i'm going to miss him. >> translator: i was really looking forward to seeing him today. i'm almost in tears. >> reporter: especially disappointed was this local diver. for many years, he led tourists to see ben kay. >> translator: ben kay was really a great diving partner. he promoted scuba diving around s sato island. i'm so grateful to him. >> reporter: this summer people
wanted him to know about the young fish that looked like a new boss. he had to see for himself. he went down 30 meters to the ocean floor. there was no sign of any boss. and then a much bigger one appeared. this had to be the new boss. he was so much more bigger than the other. he swam around for a while
before going in between some rocks. to exactly the spot the divers had called the throne of ben kay. he seemed to be showing off his new domain. >> translator: i saw it. very impressive specimen. >> a new hero. >> translator: i wish him well. i hope he is not taken out in a turf war. and i hope his new fans have many chances to see him. >> reporter: ben kay's successor will have to wait for a nickname, until the locals decide on one. for the time being, he is just the new boss. nhk world, sato island. >> time now for a check on the weather. a storm has made land fall in western japan.
here's how residents are being affected in world weather. >> people in western japan are dealing with this storm system. i think it will be working on the flooding alleviation for quite some time. this is dumping heavy downpours, and the stormy conditions are still affecting the area. let me first show you a video coming up from the district. severe tropical storms dumping very heavy rain, making land fall at 3:00 a.m. this morning. the prefecture has had 96 milli meters of rain in one hour. over 250 millimeters has fallen over the past 24 hours and more than the monthly average for september. public transportation has been did he say disrupted. the system is now traveling over a land mass, but still maintaining its intensity as a severe tropical storm status. this is moving at the speed of 30 kilometers per hour. it's quite a fast-moving system, making a very erratic movement,
very unpredictable. looks like it will be staying across the western japan for quite some time. which means that the gusts will be still packing up right now 126 kilometers per hour in the center of this. but 122 kilometers per hour and more than 100 kilometers per hour gusts reported already. and that's likely to continue and pick up the high waves, as much as 4 meters in the coastal areas. rough sea conditions, as well as tropical moisture is included in here, and associated with the stationary boundary, which means the storm system, tropical moisture, the stationary bed and cold air aloft will all make it a very unstable condition. we're talking about cats and dogs for a few days. it looks like this will be bringing more heavy rain on top of about 400 millimeters that we have already had in kutsche and on top of that 300 millimeters
is possible, just into thursday morning in parts of any additional amounts could trigger mudslides. it's going to be a very high risk. so lots happening here. and due to that cold air aloft and the surface temperature difference, quite diversions again today. so that's going to make it quite unstable, which means that severe thunderstorms will likely erupt, popping up across much of the country here today, again in the tornadic activity cannot be ruled out. so cats and dog conditions again today here across japan. low pressure system over southern china is dumping quite some heavy rain, as well. about 200 millimeters have been found in guangshi province. additional amounts topping 100 millimeters. looks like it's going to be a rainy and thunderstormy event across the tropics. tokyo down to 29 degrees. looks like a nice day out there
in seoul, though, with plenty of sunshine at 28 degrees. now to europe. the main focus here is the heat dome over west and central regions. but we do have a rain band coming in. this is an atlantic system that will be swinging by the british isles with that cold front. that's going to be dropping the temperatures dramatically. take a look at this. dublin at 23, down to 15 degrees on your friday. london at 27 into thursday. but a huge drop. a 9 degree drop into your friday. so that's going to be very difficult for your bodies to cope with. do watch out for that. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
a japanese movie as one big notable film festival in canada. took the prize for best artistic contribution at the montreal world film festival. cab kabuki eye plays the main character. the story is set in the late 16th century and depicts the quest for his own form of tea ceremony while also experiencing for bidden love. it's based on the novel, which itself won a japanese literary award in 2009.
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: top house leaders vowed today to back president obama's plan to strike syria. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the pressure for military action intensified today in a white house meeting with lawmakers and at the first hearing on capitol hill. we hear from michigan democrat carl levin. >> ifill: then, japan struggles to stem radioactive leaks from its crippled nuclear plant, including a plan to build an ice wall below the damaged reactors.