welcome to nhk world "newsline" i'm gene otani in tokyo. the apec summit in beijing has ended after two days of talks. leaders agreed to make efforts to create a framework for a new free trade zone, which would cover the entire asia pacific region. analysts say china appears to have used its position as the host of the summit to boost influence in the region. this comes at the expense of the united states and japan. in this special "newsline" coverage, we'll be focusing on china's diplomatic maneuvering at the summit.
the leaders of the 21-member apec forum have issued a joint declaration. it commits the apec nations and regions to study the feasibility of the new regional economic integration. it would be called the free trade area of the asia pacific. the statement says the results of their research will be compiled by the end of 2016 with the goal of setting up the new framework at the earliest possible date. >> translator: the apec leaders have agreed to promote a road map to create the free trade area in the asia pacific. this is a historic step forward. >> president xi says he hopes to create the proposed free trade framework as soon as possible. he stressed this meeting produced major results. the chinese president also announced that his country would
provide $10 million to help strengthen the role of apec. this is being seen as an apparent attempt to increase china's influence in the region. this is the first time china has hosted the apec forum in 13 years. leading up to it, president xi worked hard to promote his country's diplomacy, and growing influence in the region. nhk world's eiji hamanishi has more. >> reporter: chinese officials gave the apec leaders a warm welcome. they use the opportunity to underline their country's coming of age. >> translator: for the asia pacific and the world at large china's development will generate huge opportunities, providing benefits, as well as lasting and infinite promises. >> reporter: so far, president xi jinping has met with the leaders of more than ten countries on the sidelines of the apec forum.
in one of the meetings, xi and south korean president park geun-hye signed a document that confirms a free trade agreement after two years of negotiations. xi also met russian president vladimir putin. the two leaders agreed to the construction of a new pipeline to carry natural gas from russia to china. they also agreed to allow chinese firms to take part in oil production in eastern siberia, and cooperate in other energy projects. china is also courting other rapidly growing asian economies. ahead of the apec summit, chinese officials briefed the leaders of seven asian nations on a fund to be set up by china. the silk road fund is designed to help finance infrastructure projects in asia. china says it will inject $40 billion into it.
china has also proposed the asian infrastructure investment bank. it plans to cover half of the bank's $100 billion capital. officials in the u.s. and japan are expressing concern over china's pro-active diplomacy. u.s. president barack obama says observing international rules is important for countries seeking to expand influence in the regions, and around the world. president xi will meet with obama on wednesday. the meeting could help set the stage for creating a new framework for the asia pacific. the fastest growing region in the world. eiji hamanishi, nhk world, beijing. japanese prime minister shinzo abe was one of the leaders who held talks with xi. they met one-on-one for the first time since they took office. abe described the meeting as a
big step forward for japan/china relations. >> translator: japan and china have a responsibility for the peace and stability of the region and the world. we were able to send out a strong message to the world that we will enhance our cooperation in the spirit of a mutually beneficial strategic relationship. >> the pair spent about half an hour together. the summit was the first between leaders of japan and china in 2 1/2 years. abe said he had frank talks with xi and agreed to work on their relationship. >> translator: various issues arise between countries that share borders. it's often the case all over the world. that's one reason why neighbors should maintain dialogue. i believe we can find ways to
resolve any kind of challenges through frank discussions between leaders. >> ties soured in september 2012 when japan nationalized the senkaku islands in the east china sea. japan owns the islands china and taiwan claims them. japan claims they're an inherent part of history and international law. it says no issue of sovereignty exists to be resolved. the leaders agreed to prepare to launch a communications mechanism to avoid unexpected incidents at sea and in the air. abe said he also urged xi to address specific issues, including illegal activity by chinese fishing boats around remote japanese islands. let's now hear how the chinese side reacted to their japan/china summit talks.
takafumi terui reports from beijing. >> reporter: this is tuesday's edition of a beijing daily. newspapers here have been carrying reports on the apec forum on the front pages. and many of them gave wide coverage to the meeting between abe and xi, with a large photo of the two leaders. the papers say the talks were held at japan's request. but they also say the meeting was important. as part of efforts to improve ties between the two countries. much attention was given to the expression on president xi's face when he met abe. he looked more stern than in other images of him with apec leaders. many people believe this was because of the two countries' strained relationship. many messages posted on the chinese social networking service weibo said it was good
president xi didn't try to flatter abe. they said his expression reflected china's discontent and animosity against japan. >> translator: if president xi had been too friendly with japanese prime minister abe, people in china would have felt uncomfortable. >> translator: it was necessary to put the issues on the table and talk. people in both countries would know what their leaders have in mind. >> reporter: although xi jinping is still significant that the chinese should have with the japanese prime minister this may change the mood that has prevailed over the country. but it is unlikely that the
bilateral relationship will improve significantly any time soon. china ease officials maintain that japan should honor the four-point agreement reached between them last week, and that japan should take steps to improve ties. an expert on the japan/china relationship points out that the key to improving ties will be how the two countries approach their differences over the senkaku islands in the east china sea. >> translator: japan and china should now take steps to prevent possible contingencies and manage risks. at the same time both countries should carefully examine historical facts and laws pertaining to the islands. >> reporter: chinese government officials will be watching japan's moves closely as well as domestic sentiment at home, as they decide on the next move.
in efforts to improve ties with japan. >> takafumi, thanks. that was nhk world's fact fumemy terui in beijing. our senior commentator mass say nakajima joins us with his analysis. what's the reaction from the japanese side? >> the japanese government sees the summit as an important first step toward better ties. in that sense it's worth mentioning that the two leaders agreed to start talks about setting up a hotline between their two countries. so the japanese side is hoping that the tensions will finally begin to ease as a result of this meeting. >> would you say the japanese government is optimistic with its relationship with china? >> well, i think optimistic is too strong a word. the japanese know that it will take time to change the mood. and they know that the two nations will still have some difficult problems to work through. chinese leaders want the japanese counterparts to
acknowledge that there's a sovereignty issue over the senkaku islands. and they want abe to promise that he will stay away from the yasukuni shrine which honors japan's war dead. those remembered include leaders convicted of war crimes after world war ii. but abe is not prepared to make such concessions. and meetings between officials from japan and china have repeatedly failed to provide solutions to these issues. >> so, what's next for japan/china relations? >> well, the chinese say that the two nations are neighbors who cannot live without each other. and abe said something similar. he described japan and china as two nations that need each other and cannot afford to cut ties. so for now the countries have agreed to keep working on their relationship in an effort to make things better. it won't be easy. but abe said even if there are
problems he wants to find solutions through dialogue. he said he wants ministers from the two countries to meet more often, and that could pave the way for another summit meeting with president xi. i think the future of the relationship depends on whether these two leaders can keep building trust through talks. >> masayo thanks, as always. wrapping up the series of bilateral meetings, chinese president xi jinping will meet u.s. president barack obama on wednesday. an economist at fujitsu research institute takes a look at what the leaders of the world's two farnlgest economies will likely discuss, and how the relationship between their countries is changing. >> translator: the u.s. and china have numerous conflicts of interest. they include issues on human rights, and information security, as well as the impact
of the u.s. possibly re-engaging in asia. i believe the two sides will be able to understand and manage these concerns better by exchanging views. the unofficial summit is expected to focus on ways to avoid worsening friction between the two countries. and to work together on issues of mutual interest. they include boosting trade and investment, as well as increasing domestic demand in china. america's influence around the world is weakening. it also has many domestic problems. for its part, china's influence is growing. the world is facing different issues from those in the past.
in this context the u.s. needs more help from china to tackle global issues. but china cannot do it alone, either. as the world changes, what's needed is governance. not by a single country, but by a multilateral network. >> xi and obama are expected to discuss issues including beijing's growing assertiveness in the south china sea when they meet on wednesday. analysts will be watching to see how the two leaders can bridge their differences. a south korean court has handed down the sentence to a captain of a sunken ferry. lee joon-seok was acommitted of homicide charges but he could serve 36 years in prison for negligence in one of the worst passengership disasters in the country. the district court in the
southern see of guangzhou delivered the decision. the presiding judge said lee neglected to take proper measures to help the passengers. but he said he cannot determine if the captain knew the passengers would die if he failed to evacuate them. and he found lee guilty of gross negligence. prosecutors had sought the death penalty. the captain defended his actions saying he did all he could to try to get people safely off the vessel. and prosecutor says his team will appeal the decision. he says the captain should be found guilty of homicide. the ferry sank off the southern coast of the country. 304 people, mostly high school students, are dead or missing. the verdict comes as officials in south korea and the underwater search for the missing. >> translator: crews have raised concerns over safety for rescue operations at the site. we've decided that we will not be able to conduct the underwater search anymore.
>> the oceans, and fisheries minister apologized for not being able to continue the search. 295 people are dead, but 9 people are still missing. the official said they will discuss salvaging the vessel with experts and families of the missing. but they say it will be costly and take a long time. the yen is dropping. ron madison has the latest on this story. >> that's right, gene, it sure is. in fact, investors are still buying the dollar and pushing down the yen. you see the greenback breaking above the 116 yen level for the first time in more than seven years. the last time the dollar hit that level was back in october 2007. we're seeing the yen right now at 115.88 for the last little bit it's been hovering around 115.99 and bouncing in 116. so we are seeing a bit of a pullback now. compare that as well to the higher than the mid 114 level that we saw during tokyo morning trading hours. analysts say the nikkei sharp rise has encouraged people to sell the yen for riskier assets.
prime minister abe declined to comment on the weakening yen but he said his government will take measures to deal with any negative impact. >> translator: in general terms a weaker yen is beneficial to export oriented companies or businesses with overseas operations. for those affected by rising import prices such as smaller firms and people outside major cities, i think we should keep careful watch and provide support if necessary. >> abe stressed jan rn is committed to the decisions of g-20 and g-7 meetings that currency rates must be determined by the market. well that weaker yen is indeed pushing up japanese stocks. market players drove the nikkei to its highest level in seven years. the nikkei average climbed more than 2% today, closing above that 17,000 mark for the first time in seven years. investors encouraged by media
reports that said prime minister abe may postpone a planned sales tax increase. the report eased investor concerns that the tax hike may dampen consumer demand. shares in department stores and other retailers were among the top performers. elsewhere around asia markets were pretty mixed today. china's shanghai composite retreated from a three-year high. this was due in part to traffic taking. meanwhile jakarta's major benchmark snapped a six-day losing streak. here's the picture in europe. bench marks are all in positive territory, although london just slightly right now gains of 0.2% for frankfurt, paris is up 0.4%. supporting investor sentiment are upbeat earnings reports from european companies. they include british telecom vodafone and german consumer goods group hengle. now did it to from japan's cabinet office shows that consumer sentiment has worsened for the third straight month. worker sentiment also fell. officials at the cabinet office say the consumer confidence index in october was down one
point from the previous month to 38.9. they attribute the decline to the weaker yen which has pushed up prices for food and other key items. the officials polled more than 8,000 households nationwide on their outlook for the coming months. and the cabinet office also says business sentiment among workers that are sensitive to consumer transports in october. the index of the economic watchers survey fell to 44.0, that's down 3.4 points from the previous month. the officials for this polled more than 2,000 workers, including retail workers and taxi drivers. a department store worker said sales of big ticket items such as jewelry and watches fell sharply. one worker at a food processor complained of soaring prices for raw materials. and that is going to do it for biz this hour. let's see how things are going with the markets now.
tokyo, at the nuclear power plant in niigata prefecture. about 1500 people took part. the participants included central and local government officials as well as residents within a 30 kilometer radius of the plant. the drill assumed the quake had increased the risk of a radiation leak. the details were not given. the plant's operator, tokyo electric power company, set up a task force. workers rushed to confirm that emergency generators used for cooling reactors were working. and there were no other problems. at the prefectureal office officials were divided over how to evacuate residents. the niigata governor said they should evacuate immediately while radiation levels were low. but a central government official said they should stay indoors. health officials practiced making iodine medicine, used to protect young children's thyroid glands from radiation exposure. japanese scientists say they have developed a method to detect alzheimer's disease in
its early stages from just a few drops of blood. scientists at the national center for geriatrics and gerontology and nobel chemistry prize winner koichi tanaka carried out the research. alzheimer's have a buildup of substance called beta amyloid in their brains years before they develop symptoms. finding that substance requires imaging scanning and special chemicals making early detection difficult. the scientists conducted blood tests on more than 60 elderly people. they discovered those with beta amyloid had an increase in an a certain protein in their blood. >> translator: we hope this method will contribute to developing drugs to treat alzheimer's. >> the scientists hope that the method can be put into practical use and that the disease can be detected before it fully develops. storms in the bay of bengal continue to interfere in recovery efforts on the east coast of india. our meteorologist jonathan oh is
here with the details. jonathan? >> hello, gene. yes, we have been talking about this particular region every once in awhile when it comes to cyclones. there are no cyclones to talk about. but because of a cyclone that happened one month ago the eastern side of india, especially the coast, have been dealing with recovery efforts. and we have had issues with those recovery efforts because of low pressure systems that continue to develop in the bay of bengal. let me show you what's happening on the ground to give you an idea what's happening. you can see the waves bouncing up and down. because of the winds also picking up in the process. and like i mentioned, about a month ago, the east coast of india was hit by an intense cyclone and ended up killing at least 25 people. many are struggling for basic needs like food and water. and, because of persistent strong easterly winds and developing low pressure system in the bay of bengal, it's difficult for the recovery effort to continue to take place. it's been delayed several times. and most recently the india
meteorological department has issued new warnings keeping fishermen out of the water, telling them that they need to stay out because of the dangers. of course the fishermen really do depend on the livelihood to be able to survive. but when they have to stay out of the water, it makes it very difficult for them. and it doesn't look like the weather pattern is going to improve any time soon. another low pressure system is now coming onshore. that's really going to kick up the winds and bring more rain into a region that does not need more rain right now. they need a little bit of a calm to be able to recover efforts. that's something we'll have to watch out for as we go through the next few days. we're also talking about some rain, some very windy conditions in parts of east asia. we have a low pressure system coming over the korean peninsula. so that's bringing some rain, in fact some snow showers into portions of northeast china. we have another low pressure system south of tokyo. that's bringing some instability, so cloud cover, some sprinkles, eventually leading to some rain and windy conditions. that will actually increase as this system moves toward the north into the northern portions of japan. we are also continuing to monitor the rainy season down
toward the south into the philippines and also into thailand. we're still going to see the rain continuing as we go into wednesday. the low into the korean peninsula bringing rain for seoul. a high of 10 degrees on wednesday. 10 in beijing. colder air from the low on the west side will bring temperatures down to negative 4 for the high in ulan bator coming up on wednesday. here's a look at the forecast for north america. speaking of cold weather, we have this massive drop in temperatures taking place in the central portions of the united states. because of a cold front associated with a dipping jet stream that's dragging all that cold air down into areas like texas and the southern plains. they're going to see a 15 degree drop, 15 degree celsius when it comes to temperature change. and the low ahead of the system is going to bring snowfall continually into parts of ontario and also into quebec. let me show you some of the temperature highs coming up on tuesday. negative 8 in denver with some snow showers. negative 5 in winnipeg and even more colder temperatures. billings negative 15 on
wednesday. a 14 degree drop from 21 to 7 from tuesday into wednesday coming up for pittsburgh. so a very cold weather expected. wrapping things up with a look at europe we are seeing a very unstable weather pattern for the western half of the continent we have a cold front coming onshore. so a lot of wet weather for the iberian peninsula. and this pesky low pressure system down to the mediterranean is bringing this warm moisture in, causing the instability, creating excessive rain, tornadoes, large hail, and gust possibilities as we go into tuesday. meanwhile, while the southern portion of the continent is seeing wet weather, drier conditions, as high pressure controls the eastern half of europe with highs in the mid teens for warsaw and vienna. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.