welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. a family takes action. relatives of a centenarian who committed suicide after the fukushima nuclear accident will sue for damages. the islamic state militant group has released what it says is a message from its leader calling for his supporters to take their fight worldwide. and conflicts around the world have turned a record number of people into refugees.
now, the united nations top expert offers his perspective. the family of a man who committed suicide after the fukushima nuclear accident is taking action. the 102-year-old refused an order to evacuate his home near the fukushima daiichi plant in 2011. now his relatives are prepared to sue the company that runs the crippled facility. the village of iitate has been empty for over three years. it is 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant and one month after the accident, the japanese government ordered residents to leave. the day after the evacuation order, fumio okubo killed himself at home. he was the oldest resident of the village and said he couldn't leave the place where he had spent a century. okubo's daughter-in-law, mieko, is one of three relatives who are planning to file lawsuit against tepco in the tokyo district court. she says he should have had the chance to pass away peacefully in his hometown, surrounded by
his loved ones. she says the purpose of the lawsuit is for her, and her relatives, to be positive. she also wants to prove that her father-in-law would not have killed himself if the nuclear accident had never happened. the suit will seek over a quarter of a million dollars in damages. earlier this year a fukushima court ruled the nuclear accident was to blame for another person's suicide. thousands are suing the government and tepco for damages. thousands of evacuees from the village of iitate want more compensation from tepco. nearly 3,000 people who account for almost half of the villages population have filed for state arbitration. they say prolonged evacuation is breaking apart families and threatening a local history that goes back generations. the evacuees want a lump sum of around $170,000 per person. they also want monthly compensation per person to increase to around $3,000. that is over three times the
current amount. they're also seeking a formal apology from tepco. >> translator: we must raise our voices against tepco and let them know the villages of iitate are angry. >> tepco released a statement saying it has yet to get the details of the filing but pledges a sincere response in line with settlement procedures. a major japanese newspaper says its president is set to resign. editors of the asahi shimbun have been under fire since august. they retracted articles on the fukushima nuclear accident and those who are referred to as comfort women after admitting that the reports contained errors. the asahi reports its board of directors agreed on the resignation in connection with the erroneous reports. tad kazoo kimura and other executives will step down on december 5th. in may the asahi ran an exclusive report based on testimony from the former
fukushima daiichi plant chief mass a owe yoshida. the report said 45% of the workers defied orders as the crisis was unfolding an fled to a plant ten miles away. the full transcript says yoshida believed going to the other plant was the right thing to do. the editors retracted the story. an external investigative panel concluded this week the report had serious errors. in august the newspaper retracted a series of articles published in the 1980s and '90s. the editors say they came to find out the articles were based on fabricated accounts of a man who said he had forcibly taken korean women to work at comfort stations during world war ii. the islamic state militant group has released a recorded message from a man it describes as its leader. the message is apparently intended to counter reports that he was wounded in a u.s.-led air strike.
the group released the 17-minute audio recording online. it says the speaker's abu bakr al baghdadi. the message criticizes the campaign in iraq and syria by the u.s. and its allies. the speaker says they're terrified of islamic state, and powerless. he urges islamic state fighters to, in his words, erupt the volcanoes of jihad everywhere. the message caused followers to join hands of extremists in saudi arabia, egypt, libya and elsewhere and step up the offensive against the u.s.-led coalition. iraq's state-run television reported last saturday that baghdadi had been wounded in an airstrike by the u.s.-led coalition. it is not known when a message was recorded, but it refers to incidents shortly before and after baghdad's reported -- baghdadi's reported injury. the top u.s. military officer says he's considering expanding the role of american
troops in the fight against islamic state. army general martin dempsey says efforts by iraqi forces to move into the northern city of mosul, and areas near the syrian border, require more complex operations. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff made the comments before the house armed services committee. he attended a hearing with defense secretary chuck hagel. >> i'm not predicting at this point that i would recommend that those forces in mosul and along the border would need 20 be accompanied by u.s. forces but we're certainly considering it. >> dempsey says he does not foresee sending a large military contingent. the u.s. military is seeking congressional approval for funding to send an additional 1500 troops to iraq as advisers. president barack obama has ruled out sending in ground combat troops. committee chairman howard mckeon, a republican, has said that the president is not listening to the military's proposal. mckeon says he does not think the president's plan will be
effective because the troops' role would be limited. the number of refugees and people in desperate need of a worldwide is at its highest point since world war ii. and officials at the united nations are working to tackle the growing problem. >> reporter: the united nations high commission for refugees reports that more than 51 million people have been forced to flee their countries, become internally displaced, or are seeking asylum. the u.n. also says more than 100 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. the highest number in the nearly 70-year history of the organization. fis nine some none has been mainly driven by the conflicts in syria and iraq but waves of displacements are also occurring in many african nations, including the central african republic, south sudan, mali and the democratic republic of the congo. unhcr officials warn that displaced people will face even tougher conditions as winter approaches.
>> earlier nhk world's miki yamamoto spoke with the u.n. high commissioner for refugees antonio gutierrez on the current refugee crisis. >> first of all, the number we just heard, more than 50 million people forced to abandon their homes. this is a very, very shocking number. why is this happening? >> i think the main reason is because international community has lost much of its capacity to prevent conflicts, and to timely solve them. we have a combination of three factors. the syria crisis, more than 12 million people displaced in the context of this conflict. and then we have the multiplication of other crisis. last year we have south african republic, south sudan, now ukraine, we have libya, that's started again recently.
so crisis erupt everywhere in an unpredictable way, an then finally, all crisis seem never to die. afghanistan has been there for decades, somalia has been there for decades with millions of refugee. the democratic republic of congo has been there for decades. so the combination of these three factors, that is only possible because, as i said, international community is unable to prevent the conflict, and to solve them is making more and more people forced to flee their homes to be safe. >> all right. meaning that the weakest people are always affected by these situations. you said the international committee must apply more. how is your agency approaching this daunting tass nk and how should the international community respond to it? >> as you can emergency we are overwhelmed by the situation. 14,000 people fled their homes per day because of conflict.
in 2012, 23,000. in 2013, 32,000. i believe it will be worse in 2014, because of the iraq crisis. and so as you can imagine, there's an exponential growth of the needs, and the capacity to respond is really difficult because budgets are tight everywhere and so we struggle to be able to protect and to support these people in very, very desperate situations. and so obviously, we need much more help from the international community in order to be able to do our job properly. in order to be able to provide these people what they need, and what they deserve. because they've suffered so much. >> right. especially when winter is slipping in, and you have to protect them from the cold. you're probably saying that there are more refugees, and not enough assistance. >> we have a robust program. last year produced good results for the refugees around syria, more difficult inside syria for obvious reasons because of insecurity.
now also in iraq. our program is being implemen d implemented, but we do not have enough resources, we do not have enough money to do everything that needs to be done. and this is a desperate situation as you can imagine. >> this is where the international community can respond, if they can, right? >> i think that the international community has done a lot. japan for instance has been a very generous donor of unhcr, and one of the reasons i came was to thank for the generosity. but the fact is that the needs are growing so quickly that the resources available are not enough, and as i said we are in a desperate situation to help the people in need. and we feel we should be doing more and we can't. >> we need to catch up with the assistance. and we're talking about a huge number of people in need of help. right. and unhcr is also addressing the issue of stateless people, briefly the people, who are they
and why are you tackling this problem now? >> 10 million people without nationality in the world. they have no country to call theirs. imagine you wake up tomorrow and you have no driver's license. you have health insurance, you go to the school to -- with your children, they are not accepted. you go to a hospital, they don't treat you. you want to work, you have no legal jobs. if you die your family doesn't even get a death certificate. there are 10 million people like that in the world. we have been in the last three years we have been conducting a very, very strong campaign to make states understand that this needs to be stopped. that these people need to have their rights recognized, and if possible, to give them a nationality. and i have to say that the two conditions are being rectified by more and more countries and countries are changing their nationality laws so there is a momentum, a positive momentum in the world. and that's why we launched now
the campaign to ask governments, to ask civil society to do everything possible to eradicate in ten years. that's why we launched now the campaign to ask governments to ask civil society to do everything possible to eradicate in ten years statelessness in the world. i hope in ten years' time everybody will have a country they can call theirs. >> and that was antonio gutierrez, u.n. high commissioner for refugees. european union officials say the pace of growth in the eurozone is rising slightly, but they say inflation is still below their target level. officials at the eu statistics office say gdp rose 0.2% in the july to september period from the previous three months. the economy of the 18-nation ire row zone grew 0.1% in the previous quarter.
germany's gdp rose 0.1%. the french economy grew 0.3%. eu officials also released inflation data for october. the index rose 0.4% from a year earlier. the figure is far below the european central bank's inflation target of just under 2%. trading on markets in europe is moving in a narrow range after the release of the gdp data. london's ftse down by 0.2%. the dax in frankfurt declining by a third of 1%. paris' cac 40 little changed at this time. some traders say they are relieved by the gdp data from germany and france. but others are still cautious about the pace of growth in the eurozone. over in asia, tokyo's nikkei posted new high of more than seven years. investor sentiment was lifted by the pobtibility of a delay in the country's sales tax hike. the shanghai composite index fell on profit taking. investors remain hopeful for a trading link program between the
shanghai and hong kong markets. it will be launched next monday. moving on to currencies. the dollar moving higher against the yen. it's right now at 116.40-43. the highest level in seven years. analysts say some market players are selling the yen due to growing expectations that the government will push back the sales tax hike. meanwhile the euro/yen currently trading at 144.98-04. japanese bankers have been lending more money overseas. they're seeing the cost of settling bad debts decline. three major banks have reported higher profits for the first half of the fiscal year. two others say their profits fell, but they're well into the black. executives at mitsubishi usj financial group say net profit for the april through september period climbed about 9% in yen terms year-on-year. but officials at sumitomo and mizuho report profits fell.
profits gained more than 8%, and executives at sumitomo report a rise of just over 20%. more and more people around the world are developing a taste for japanese cuisine or washoku. unesco last year put it on its intangible cultural heritage list. executives at a major brewery are helping to spread the word about washoku. asai breweries has announced plans to buy a majority take in naman. it operates seven restaurants overseas. they include outlets in hong kong and singapore. executives say the deal is designed to strengthen the chain's business base, boost its name value and increase its profit under the asahi banner. executives say the company wants to provide advice and know-how to japanese restaurants planning to expand into overseas markets.
here are the latest market figures. north korea's state-run media says leader kim jong-un will soon send his special envoy to russia. analysts say it's a sign pyongyang is seeking stronger ties with moscow. the korean central news agency made the announcement on their radio service friday. it said kim will send workers party secretary to russia in the
near future. it did not reveal the purpose of the visit or when it will take place. analysts say the north could be planning to have the envoy meet russian president vladimir putin. this would be his second overseas trip as kim's envoy. he visited china in may last year for talks with president xi jinping. north korea's foreign minister visited moscow last month for talks with sergey lavrov and the defense minister met president putin last saturday. analysts view the meetings as a sign north korea is reaching out to russia amid cooling of political ties with china. japanese foreign minister fumio kishida has expressed his hope for the realization of meetings between the leaders of japan, china, and south korea. >> translator: the current chair of the three-way talks is south korea. so i hope south korea will take an initiative to realize the
meeting of leaders and foreign ministers among japan, south korea, and china. >> kishida spoke on friday with reporters. prime minister shinzo abe said on thursday that he hopes the foreign ministers will meet soon and he hopes their discussions will lead to summit talks. kishida said he's heard that south korean president park geun-hye respond positively to abe's call. according to the south korean government on thursday park said she hopes a meeting will take place in the near future. and that she hopes leaders will also hold summit talks. kishida also referred to abe's meeting with china's president and his exchange of views with south korea's leader on the sidelines of the asia pacific economic cooperation forum in beijing. he said the dialogue should be welcomed, especially because difficult issues exist between japan and the two countries. officials at japan's health and welfare ministry have released the results of a survey that are cause for concern. the study shows that the
whereabouts of 141 children under the age of 18 remain unknown. some of them are thought to have been taken out of the country by their parents while others have met a more sinister fate. >> reporter: the officials say they suspect that 72 of the missing children may have been taken out of the country, and that their parents failed to notify authorities. a number of the missing were also found to have been abused, and died. in april last year, the body of a 6-year-old girl was found in a forest in yokohama. the girl had moved from place to place with her mother. she had never attended school. in may this year the skeletal remains of a young boy were found in an apartment in kanagawa prefecture. the boy had not undergone a health check for 3-year-olds as required by the local government. nor had he ever attended school. but the city and the board of education failed to share this information.
no one inquired about him for nearly ten years. by then, it was too late. a woman who went missing for four years as a child says she was constantly on the move. >> translator: my mother and i secretly ran away together repeatedly. every day was a struggle to survive. i always felt like i might die the next day. >> reporter: she says her childhood on the run began just after she started elementary school. her mother was fleeing an abusive relationship with a man who had debts. she says she was unable to return to school for four years, she and her mother moved from place to place for about one year. they lived in scheep hotels. she was eventually placed on the protective custody with the child welfare center. >> translator: in my case, my mother's friend noticed that i was missing, and says she searched long and hard for me. i may never have been found if
it hadn't been for her. >> reporter: some municipalities have begun to keep track of children. the officials want to reduce the number of children who go missing. tokyo's ward offers health checks for babies free of charge. if parents fail to bring in their children for their regular checkup, officials call or send a notice. if the parents still fail to bring in their children, the officials make a house call. if they are unable to see the children personally, officials begin investigating for possible child abuse. the ward has created a system to share data about the children being tracked. personal information on health checkups, receipts of child benefits, and administrative
services were previously filed separately. under the new system ward officials are able to confirm the whereabouts of all of the children who have not come in for their checkups. one expert says that to find missing children, adults must not overlook even the smallest of unusual incidents. >> translator: authorities should be aware that the disappearance of a child puts a child at risk. officials at various government organizations should share information to locate these children. a winter storm is affecting residents in both northern japan, and northeast china. our meteorologist jonathan oh is here to tell us how long the system is expected to affect these areas. jonathan? >> hello, gene. i think that the system will start to depart from the area for the entire region from northeast china to northern japan as we go through the weekend. we have a low pressure system
located north of japan. and it brought enough cold air and brought enough moisture onshore to both locations to produce snow fall. and a lot of that, too. let me show you what it looked like on the ground in northeast china where residents of northeast china dealt with prolonged snow for 4 hours since tuesday night. a blizzard reduced visibility down to one kilometer. all flights and buses were suspended thursday. hundreds of passengers were stranded. now the skies became near friday but temperatures remain below freezing throughout the time period from morning to evening. so because of that, any of the snow that was left over ended up freezing, and so it's caused a little bit of a problem. hopefully the temperatures will start to recover as we go through the weekend because the high pressure system that's going to be controlling the weather for the next few days should push toward the east, and bring in a southerly flow. that should help to moderate temperatures. now the story is a little bit different for northern japan where the low pressure system is still controlling the weather in hokkaido. we saw up to 45 centimeters of
snowfall in some locations. and more snow is expected going in to saturday morning. then, as we go throughout saturday, the low should start to lift toward the north and east, and snow should taper off. in the process the winds, which are expected to gust up to 100 kilometers per hour also back off and the waves should no longer be reaching up to 7 meters in terms of height. temperatures anywhere from 17 degrees for the high in tokyo on saturday. rain from beijing to chongqing scattered in nature as we have a disturbance moving through those areas. down towards south, rain for manila and also into bangkok. in seoul, sunny skies with a high of 10 degrees. and just to let you know, the meteorological agency released this kimchi front forecast, the ideal temperature from the ground, november 20th, the central portions of south korea followed by a slow descent toward the southern tip of the korean peninsula by the time we
end up at the end of december. now we're already talking about cold weather in north america. very cold temperatures continuing to dominate. the eastern side of the united states, as northerly winds continue to move down into the deep south. this is going to be one of the coldest couple of days that this region will see as we see this front passing off toward the east. the snow should start tapering off for southeastern canada and i think that the western side of the united states, including the rocky mountains, should start to moderate temperature. negative 8 was the expected high on thursday. 3 degrees in denver coming up for friday. so a little bit warmer. but again, still seeing some chilly temperatures in the deep south. columbia, south carolina, 18 on thursday, down to 10 on friday. mid 20s for savannah georgia and jacksonville, florida, you'll be down into the mid teens on friday and saturday. now, wrapping things up with a look at your honor. we do have a couple of areas of heavy rainfall taking place down toward the southern regions of the balkan peninsula we have a low pressure system.
another cold front off the north atlantic bringing a lot of moisture onshore from the british isles into france and the iberia peninsula. it's dg to be wet as we go through friday. lots of rain icons indicating the western southern portions of europe. a little bit dry so high pressure controls the northeastern portions of the continent. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
>> the headlines, barack obama meets with burma's opposition leader, the two call for the country to complete its democratic transition, this despite recent setbacks. world leaders gather in australia to discuss the world economy and tax evasion. this has the g 20 summit gets underway. and could u.s. immigration reform be on the horizon according to a u.s. media report. president obama could be planning to push through legislation by executive order. we have analysis.