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tv   Newsline  LINKTV  March 31, 2015 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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hello and welcome to "newsline." we begin with a quick look at the hour's top stories. authorities in tokyo have decided to extend sanctions against north korea. after pyongyang failed to report on the fate of missing japanese citizens. japan's prime minister wants party officials to study how a new chinese bank will work so he can decide whether to join. and a ward in tokyo has
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passed a landmark bylaw recognizing same-sex partnerships as the equivalent of marriage. families of japanese citizens abducted to north korea in the 1970s and '80s are still hoping to learn about the fates of their loved ones. officials in pyongyang pledged last may to launch a new investigation into what happened to them. but they failed to deliver reports on their progress. so japanese leaders have decided to extend economic sanctions for two more years. cabinet ministers approved the extension on tuesday. the sanctions had been set to expire in two weeks. >> translator: japan will use pressure and dialogue to resolve the abduction issue, and other pending issues related to north korea. >> reporter: japanese officials have named 17 people who were abducted by north korean agents. but the victims' families and police say the real number may reach into the hundred.
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officials in tokyo first imposed the sanctions in 2006. they prohibit north korea from engaging in trade with japan. this isn't the first time japanese officials have been frustrated in their efforts to find out what happened to the abductees. nhk world's tomoko kamata explains. >> reporter: japanese delegates sat down a year ago with their north korean counterparts. it was the first face-to-face meeting in nearly a year and a half. japanese officials urged the north koreans to launch a fresh investigation into the fate of the abductees. but the delegation from pyongyang insisted the issue has already been resolved in 2002 when they returned five abductees. then in may, the two sides met again, and this time the talks seemed to reach a turning point. officials from the north
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promised a new, comprehensive investigation into the fate of hundreds of missing japanese. >> translator: we've managed to reach an agreement. it's important to resolve this issue in a more positive way by deepening mutual trust. >> reporter: in july north korean authorities presented an outline. they said they would form a special investigation committee made up of four separate independent panels. in return japanese officials removed three items from the list of sanctions against pyongyang. that included allowing north korean ships to enter japanese ports for humanitarian reasons. authorities in the north have promised to release an initial report on the probe last fall. but, they let the deadline pass
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without relating any information. in october a delegation from tokyo made a trip to pyongyang. they wanted to press the north koreans to make progress on the investigation. >> translator: north korean officials explained they are at the stage of deepening the probe and want to avoid any explanation that will lead to speculation. they said that at this point they haven't found any objective and clear evidence about the abductees. >> reporter: prime minister shinzo abe plans to meet this week with relatives of the abductees. he'll explain the government's efforts to resolve the issue. decades have passed since these families last saw their loved ones. they want them to come home before time runs out. >> translator: this terrible issue is being put off year
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after year. it makes me wonder what kind of country this is. >> reporter: officials in tokyo now say they expect their counterparts in pyongyang to deliver a report this summer. but they're waiting to see if the north koreans come through. tomoko kamata, nhk world. tokyo shibuya ward has made a landmark decision to recognize same-sex partnerships. assembly members voted to pass a bill becoming the first local government in japan to have such legislation. the new rule was passed with 21 votes in favor and 10 against. assembly members who voted no argued that such matters should be resolved by a state law. ward officials plan to issue partnership certificates in a few months to same-sex couples living to the. local institutions and businesses will be asked to treat couples with certificates
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in the same way as married couples. shibuya, a youth culture hub, is one of central tokyo's 23 wards, and is home to more than 210,000 people. japanese officials are late in submitting a key part of an international climate agreement. they missed a u.n.-set deadline of march 31st to announce targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. >> translator: it is regrettable that we failed to present our emissions reduction plan by the end of the month. >> he said japan feels responsible to set an acceptable target, since it is a key emitter, and has environmental technology. he said he hopes to come up with a goal as soon as possible so as not to hamper global climate talks. japan's greenhouse gas emissions will depend on how much it plans to rely on nuclear power and renewable energy sources. a government appointed panel of experts is studying the optimal
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energy mix. world leaders want to agree on a new framework to fight global warming at a u.n. climate change conference later this year. the proposed framework is due to replace the kyoto protocol in 2020. chinese leaders are seeing support grow around the world for their new asian bank. gene otani joins us with more on the story. gene? >> james this is becoming quite a popular institution. 44 nations to be founding members or gave their pledges ahead of tuesday's deadline. and the japanese government is holding off on joining at this stage, but it's keeping the possibility open. prime minister shinzo abe met with senior officials of his liberal democratic party in tokyo. he has instructed them to study how to respond to china's move to set up the new development bank. abe said there is no need to rush a decision now. he said he wants party members to discuss the matter fully. the bank will fund projects in
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developing economies around the region. southeast asian and middle eastern countries were among the first to join the initiative. recently, more have joined including major european countries, and south korea. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said japan is concerned about whether the institution can establish fair governance. >> translator: leaders in beijing haven't provided a clear explanation. it's impossible for japan to announce joining the aiib at this stage. >> suga says japan will continue to work with china and the rest of the international community. finance minister taro aso says the government can't help but take a cautious approach. he says he heard little about the policies of the new financial institution. economic and fiscal policy minister akira amari says it's possible the aiib could work with the asian development bank in the future. the adb is backed by japan and
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the u.s. amari says it's not a bad thing to have a new global financial institution to help developing countries. ldp officials and the ruling coalition will meet to confirm how far china has progressed in preparations to form the bank. they will also debate whether japan should participate. officials in beijing are aiming to have the bank up and running by the end of the year. u.s. treasury secretary jack lew is calling on his chinese counterparts to ensure fair governance at the aiib. he told chinese premier li keqiang the bank must work with existing international organizations and banks. lew said he hopes his country can work with the aiib through the u.s./china strategic dialogue or the world bank to develop asian infrastructure. chinese authorities say founding members of the bank will have a say in its lending practices and other policies analysts say countries are joining the aiib
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hoping to improve ties with the world's second largest economy. they say some may also be trying to keep china's influence in check. demand for new homes in japan is falling compared to last year. but government officials say the downtrend is weakening. land ministry officials say housing starts in february fell to about 67,500 units. that's down about 3% from a year earlier. housing starts have declined for 12 straight months. however, the pace of the decline has slowed. the officials say the number of houses and condos built by people planning to live in them was down nearly 9%. rental housing dropped by 7.5%. residential units built for sale rose more than 11%. this is due to construction of large-scale condominium projects in the greater tokyo area. the officials say the effect of the consumption tax rise last year is settling. they say government subsidies for eco-friendly hope purchases
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will encourage people to buy. japan's aviation authorities are not taking any chances. transport and tourism minister akihiro ohta spoke to his thai counterpart on the safety of air travel between their countries. officials with the international civil aviation organization have expressed concerns about air safety standards in thailand. ohta says the ministry has put on hold plans by thailand-based airlines to expand routes to japan. the minister said thai officials have reported that their government is already taking -- or already talking to the international aviation authorities. he said japanese and thai aviation officials have also begun discussing how to proceed. >> translator: the two sides will look for ways to cooperate on safety. we would like to make sure that as many tourists as possible can
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travel between japan and thailand. >> ohta also said the government wants to hold a conference on tourism with china in south korea. it would be the first meeting of the countries -- the country's relevant ministers in four years. >> translator: japan china, and south korea will hold intensive talks on measures to expand exchanges. we will also discuss how to increase the number of visitors from outside east asia. >> visitors to japan from china and south korea are increasing sharply. but japanese are traveling less to those two countries. the meeting is being planned for april 11th and 12th in tokyo. checking the markets. tokyo stocks fell to a three-week low. the bench mark nikkei average was down 1.05% ending at 19,206.
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many investors sold shares to profit from recent gains. today's the last day of fiscal 2014, and japan the nikkei average gained about 30% during the year. stocks soared after the bank of japan surprised markets at the end of october with easing measures. moving on to chinese markets, the shanghai composite had a volatile session, declining more than 1% early in the day investors were cheered by the central bank's announcement that it will ease lending for real estate. but profit taking then kicked in. in the philippines, the pse index set a record high and ended the day up 0.52% at 7,940. analysts say foreign investors bought shares an expectations of steady economic growth in the country. other markets in the region sydney rebounded from yesterday's loss to climb 0.78%. seoul's kospi finished the day 0.54% higher.
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and indonesia ended like this extending its winning streak in three days up 1.5%. people at some of the world's top rail companies are looking around and seeing lucrative opportunities. they're competing to build high speed networks in countries everywhere. officials at a leading japanese firm have locked up a deal to provide hundreds of high tech train cars to britain. >> reporter: a massive crane gently lifts a japanese state-of-the-art rail car. the new train shipments to britain began earlier this year from western japan's yamaguchi prefecture. hitachi builds the trains. they will soon be found on a new express line connecting london to scotland and other areas. the british government has ordered 866 of the cars.
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the massive deal totals more than $8 billion. hitachi has made full use of its technology and experience in the new train. it can reach a top speed of 201 kilometers per hour. it features a first class cabin designed for comfort on long journeys. the seats are spacious and large windows provide panoramic views. there is even a kitchen for meal services. the high end of the train's technology is its dual power source engine. it's a feature necessary in britain, where some stretches of rail lack electricity. the train's system enables it to switch between electric and diesel power.
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but this also created the project's largest technical challenge. dealing with the diesel engine's vibration and noise. >> translator: a powerful engine is located on one of the passenger cars. it took a lot of work to balance engine output with comfort for passengers. >> reporter: to solve the problem, engineers used technology created for japanese bullet trains which must meet strict vibration and noise standards. placing microphones and sensors throughout the train provided engineers with precease measurements. as a result they discovered that the car's floor failed to fully conceal the sound of the engine. so they tried something new. they inserted two special plates under the floor, with a sponge-like cushion sandwiched between them.
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the design worked. >> translator: japanese rail companies have significant experience. this has allowed us to successfully build trains for britain. now we just need to see whether the passengers will be satisfied. >> reporter: on march 12th the first hitachi trains arrived in britain. they will undergo testing soon. full-scale operation is planned for 2017. in the global race for new high-speed rail customers, japan's bullet train know-how is powering it ahead. >> that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
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passport numbers and other personal data of group of 20 leaders were leaked in an e-mail. an employee of australia's immigration department disclosed the information by mistake. the british newspaper "the guardian" first reported the breach. it found the employee released information about 31 individuals, including world leaders. they include japanese prime minister shinzo abe, u.s. president barack obama, russian president vladimir putin, and british prime minister david cameron. an immigration department official accidentally e-mailed the data to organizers of the asian cup soccer tournament.
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the report quotes an immigration officer as saying it's unlikely the information is in the public domain. the officer says the recipient of the e-mail deleted it. the immigration department says officials have reviewed e-mail protocol to prevent a similar incident from happening. one week has passed since a germanwings passenger plane crashed into the french alps. investigators believe the co-pilot andreas lubitz deliberately downed the jet. but german prosecutors say they have no toll id evidence that could explain why. >> translator: the co-pilot had been in therapy for an extended period before he got a pilot's license. and his medical records say he had suicidal tendencies. >> prosecutors added that lubitz had continued seeking medical help but his recent records did not indicate suicidal impulses or anti-social behavior. a german newspaper has highlighted comments lubitz made
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last year to an ex-girlfriend. the pilot was quoted as saying he would do something that would change the system and that everyone would remember his name. search teams are still trying to locate the remains of the 150 people killed in the crash, as well as the aircraft's flight data recorder. french authorities have identified dna from about 80 of the dead. workers are building a road to the crash site to make it ease yers to search the area by land instead of relying on aerial search by helicopter. >> translator: we will support the families of the victims, and make sure rescue workers at the site can work safely. >> nearly 1,000 local firefighters have been dispatched to recover the remains. aid workers say an air strike has killed dozens of people at refugee camp in northern yemen. fighter jets from saudi arabia and other sunni arab nations have been carrying out raids against shia rebels.
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officials at doctors without borders said the attack killed at least 29 people. they said they treated 34 people for injuries, including women and children. staff at the international organization for migration said the toll was even higher. they said 40 people died at about 200 were wounded. the refugee camp is near the border with saudi arabia a stronghold of houthi rebels. a spokesperson for the saudi military said the pilots may have been responding to enemy fire. he said they haven't been able to confirm whether a refugee camp was struck. thousands of people in yemen have fled fighting between government forces and insurgents over the past five years. saudi leaders have previously said they would target militants who gathered near the border.
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here on "newsline" it's time now for a check on world weather. a typhoon is already rolling through the western pacific and it's headed for the philippines. jonathan oh has more. >> hello, we are keeping a track on this very strong typhoon that is continuing to move toward the west and setting its sights on what looks like the philippines. take a look at this storm. in the past 24 hours this gained a lot of strength in the process. look at that eye really becoming clearly defined. whenever you have a system a tropical system and it becomes very efficient in terms of air pumping, you will see the eye becoming very clear and that's when it becomes a particularly strong storm. or it indicates that it is a strong storm. right now moving to the west/northwest at 20 kilometers per hour. wind speeds up to 180, gusts at 252. notice the pressure down to 925. this is potentially one of the strongest storms we've had before april. it is the last day of march. and now we are seeing that pressure really really low down. i do need to point out, though
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that as we go throughout the next 24 hours or so this storm is expected to become a violent typhoon. a particularly strong system and so we need to look out as we go through this time period because there are islands out here including yap, you're going to be getting slammed really hard with the rainfall and the wind. as it continues to move towards the north and west i think it's going to still be strong before it starts encountering a little bit of weakness potentially. but, we will be keeping an eye on the system because as we head toward the weekend, again, we're going to be watching out for what could be affecting the philippines. so we want to make sure that you're prepared ahead of time as the system progresses toward the north and west. meanwhile a beautiful day in tokyo with high pressure pumping in that warm air. now we have a cold front swinging through the north and we'll have some moisture coming out of china already affecting the korean peninsula and affecting the western portions of japan. that's going to spread toward the east increasing the cloud cover, and yes, potentially seeing some wet weather, as well. so, look out for that.
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17 in tokyo with clouds and some potential showers. rain into beijing, 20s and even 30s for the southern portions of china as we go into wednesday. i want to take you over into africa where we have this disturbance that's really causing some major problems on the ground level. i want to take you over by looking at some video to show you what's happening here. it's pretty serious in burundi where heavy rains have caused headaches for residents there. at least ten people reportedly killed after drenching rains triggered mudslides on a lake shore. they destroyed homes and roads and are hampering rescue operations. and unfortunately, looks like this is going to be something that continues officials saying there may be an increase in the death toll because of this. and we see here this consistent and persistent rainfall so that will continue to hit the central and southern portions of the continent as you go throughout the next 24 hours. now, speaking of active weather, in europe we're also seeing that
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happen. we have a low pressure system that's swinging through with a cold front. some particularly powerful storms are rolling through. potentially severe weather from the united kingdom down into places like germany and poland. so look out for that. and then another wet weather scenario for the eastern side of the continent. so look at this wet weather from warsaw into kiev. vienna berlin and also to paris, so you'll need your umbrellas as we go through tuesday. wrapping things up with a look at north america. a cold front sweeping through the continent. we have a stationary front down toward the south. this will be the point for the potential of severe weather as we go throughout the day tuesday. thunderstorms in atlanta, and also into oklahoma city with highs in the 20s. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
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officials from myanmar's national railway are looking to
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japan for help in modernizing the rail network in the country's largest city. a delegation from yangon is in western japan where they're studying the maintenance and operation of electric street cars. the myanmar team joined a former official of japan railway for a visit to hiroshima electric railway company. yangon is undergoing rapid development, but its public transportation system remains antiquated. the hiroshima electric railway company operates over long distances. its mechanics are well versed about maintaining and operating various types of street cars. >> translator: i think people in myanmar want to introduce electric street cars in their city. >> he also says he hopes japan's street cars will be exported to myanmar in the future. and with that we wrap up this hour's "newsline." i'm james tengan in tokyo. thanks for watching.
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ign is underway in nigeria's election that is still too close to call. results from just over half the states are in now. x military ruler x military ruler -- ex-military ruler muhammadu buhari has a slight lead over the blood jonathan. and until midnight for an historic deal with iran, but


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