it's a tuesday evening here in japan. this is nhk world "newsline." starting off with a quick look at the hour's top stories. tokyo stocks failed to rebound after a volatile session as concerns over china lingered. and the key nikkei index closed below 18,000 for the first time in six months. negotiators from north and south korea have reached a deal to ease tensions. the two sides had been locked in a military standoff along their border region.
a cargo vessel has successfully docked with the international space station using a maneuver developed by japanese engineers. and it is exactly five years until japan welcomes the world at the opening of the tokyo paralympic games. concerns over a slowdown in the chinese and global economies have been causing upheaval on asian stock exchanges. gene otani from the business desk has more. >> james, thanks. the global selloff has been stoking investor fears. the key fell more than 700 points after a very volatile day. it closed below the 18,000 mark for the first time since february. the index extended its losing streak to a sixth day. the nikkei average plunged nearly 4% closing at 17,806. that was the second steepest fall this year. the steepest was the day before. analysts say investors remain cautious as chinese stocks continue to fall and stronger yen weighed on export-related
issues. chinese investors were also in a selling mood. the shanghai composite ended below the key 3,000 mark for the first time in eight months. the shanghai composite tumbled 7%, ending at 2,964. chinese authorities bought up shares in an attempt to bring some stability. hong kong finally recovered from seven days of losses. the hang seng was up 0.7% after a choppy session. some investors went hunting for bargains after the index hit its 1 1/2-year low. most other markets in the region rebounded. indonesia gained 1.5%, recovering from a nearly two-year low. the cospi snapped its six-day losing streak. sydney gained 2.7%, led by
banking shares. and i'll have more business news later in the program. officials from north and south korea have reached agreement to end a standoff that saw firing across their common border. the agreement came after 43 hour of talks. nhk world's tomoko kamata reports. >> reporter: the representative of south korea announced his country had reached an agreement with north korea. >> translator: it's very meaningful that north korea apologized for the land mine provocation and promised to work together to prevent the recurrence of such events and ease tensions. >> reporter: under the agreement, the north expressed regret over the wounding of two south korean soldiers in land mine explosions earlier this month in the demilitarized zone. the north listed the declaration
of a semi state of war. in return, south korea agreed to stop loud speaker propaganda broadcasts. the talks between the two koreas started on saturday in panmunjom. the wounding of the south korea soldiers sparked the latest tensions. south korean officials insisted the north korean military planted the land mines, but the north denied any involvement. in retaliation, the south korean military resumed its loud speaker broadcast at the border, denouncing the northern regime for the first time in 11 years. the duocountries exchanged fire across the border on thursday. north korean leader kim jong-un on friday ordered troops along the dmz to go into a semi-war state. the north's military reportedly put up forces along the border.
tensions rose and thousands of south korean residents left their home, but they have since been running. the outcome of the talks appears to be beneficial to both sides. south korean president park geun-hye said what's important is to carry forward the agreement. she calls for talks to ease tensions between the two countries and make it a turning point for piece in the korean peninsula. tomoko kamata, nhk world. >> thanks, tomoko, for the update. japan's prime minister has offered his view on the situation. shinzo abe says the alliance between japan and the u.s. would be effective in deterring provocations by north korea. abe was speaking in the upper house at japanese diet during a special committee meeting on national security legislation. he was responding to a comment by a fellow liberal democratic party legislator. he referred to recent events on the korean peninsula. he said the situation may settle
down this time, but should tensions escalate, japanese nationals in south korea might need to be evacuated. he stressed that legislation must be in place for such a contingency. abe said that dozens of north korean submarines had left their ports. he said the situation could be very dangerous. >> translator: no one knows what could happen in such a situation. we have to make preparations in advance in order to protect the lives and livelihoods of japanese people. a well-functioning alliance between japan and the united states would be very effective in deterring unexpected or risky action by north korea. >> the prime minister said japan and the u.s. could cooperate to intercept north korean missiles. astronauts on the international space station have just received a fresh batch of
supplies from the cargo ship. the delivery was a success thanks to a docking maneuver developed by japanese engineers. nhk world's naoki makata reporting. >> reporter: the vessel was tasked with bringing more than five tons of food, equipment, and other surprises. japanese astronaut kimiya yui is on board the iss. >> thank you very much for your support. we successfully received htv and captured htv that looks very golden -- like a treasure box. >> reporter: the docking required cooperation among people in three different locations, a team at the japan air space agency, or jaxa, was responsible for guiding it to within ten meters of the iss.
then japanese astronaut koichi wakata worked with yui to capture the ship. this is the first time japanese teams on the ground and in space have cooperated on the maneuver. >> you have a go for htv capture sequence. step four in robotics procedure. >> reporter: yui extends the robotic arm and successfully completes the docking procedure. >> capture confirmed. 5:28 a.m. central time, 6:28 eastern. >> kimiya, you're the man. the stork has successfully delivered the package. the entire crew did a fantastic job. all happy faces down here. congratulations.
>> reporter: japanese engineers developed the docking method out of safety concerns. cargo vessels previously approached space stations using the thrust in their engines. but in 1997, a ship collided with the russian space station during a practice land. the accident damaged part of the station. engineers began looking into a different method, and the team from jaxa found the solution. this uses a laser beam to gauge its distance from the iss. it approaches at an extremely low speed. when it's ten meters away, the engines cut out. that's when the crew of the iss take over. they capture the vessel with a robotic arm that's 70 meters long and weighs nearly two tons.
the maneuver requires a great degree of precision. the iss is hurtling through space at about 28,000 kilometers per hour. jaxa engineers spent ten years perfecting the technology. the first docking operation six years ago surprised the iss crew. the astronaut who operates the robotic arm says the cargo ship seemed to be standing still in space. >> translator: i'm proud that the konotouri is now indispensable for docking. this shows japan is making contributions to the world in terms of space technology. >> reporter: experts say the success of the docking procedure may give a boost to jaxa. they say it could increase their presence in global space development. naoki makita, nhk world.
>> thanks, naoki. gene otani joins us again for more on the tokyo market movement. gene? >> tokyo's benchmark nikkei average moved as much as 1,000 points in an extremely volatile trading day. many investors were rattled by another big selloff in china. the nikkei 225 finally closed by low the 18,000 level. with details on what happened here in japan, we have our business reporter at the tokyo stock exchange. >> volatility was the keyword in the japanese market for most of the afternoon. major indices were in positive territory, but the nikkei finished a day down almost 4% at 17,806, sinking below the psychologically important mark of 18,000 for the first time since february. the broader topix index fell more than 3.2% with all but one sector ending down.
one of the few bright spots was the high-tech sector. murata and alps rose. the two company supply parts to apple and have posted solid earnings. the nikkei fell for six consecutive trading sessions, but at least we did see some appetite for buying. all in all, investors in japan are still cautious as china's woes continue. >> thanks. japanese finance minister says the government will keep a close watch on what he calls rough movements in financial markets. aso said tokyo has not taken any coordinated action so far with any other g-7 members. he said japanese officials are
in close contact with their counterparts overseas. >> translator: the government has no immediate plans to compile new stimulus measures or an extra budget. >> aso said the japanese economy is in good shape due to record-high corporate earnings as well as improved employment and personal income. and for more insight into the drop in tokyo stocks, rem reme mellegard spoke with the chief economist of daiwa securities. >> what impact is this going to have on the japanese economy short term and long term? >> for the short term, the wealth effect is the stock price decline, consumer spending, and also higher yen would hurt the corporate earnings. on the other hand, over the long term, or the medium term, i
think that will have a negative effect on the political activiti activities. the weakness of the stock prices and the weakness continue, that will the show weakness in the political stability to act on the growth strategy. >> right. some political implications obviously there as well. investors also concerned about the risk the feds' decision to raise interest rates may be affected by the recent turmoil in china. what would the consequences be for japan? >> in my feeling, the feds will not raise rates.
if that's the case, we have to see the employment number in the u.s. i think the yen will be higher against the u.s. dollar and will not really have the impact on the corporate earnings. the chinese economy itself is somehow recovering in the asset prices and housing prices. the exports to china is not actually dropping right now. so i think the feds -- or the decision will depend more upon the asset price levels. >> as you mentioned, the jobs numbers coming out in september will be closely watched. again, looking at some of these levels, how far do you think this selloff in japanese stocks will go? what levels do you see? >> we will have to see the
fluctuations in the stock market in the usa and japan, but i think from the view point of the valuation of the fundamental or earnings growth prospects, i think the nikkei average will likely recover. but we'll have to see some concerted actions from the major countries, especially from china on the economic policy or more public spending or their monetary easing, i think. today we bring you the first in a two-part series on japanese firms that employ people with disabilities to boost their business. many bosses assign their disabled workers minor jobs that don't get the most out of their talents, but managers at one factory in western japan are taking a different approach. their disabled workers are involved in the entire production process, and they're reaping big rewards.
nhk world has more. >> reporter: this facility is in shiga prefecture. here a worker takes an air shower to clean off impurities before entering the work space. another employee operates a machine that pumps out cookie dough. staff will transfer them to an oven that bakes batches of 6,000 cookies. workers churn out more than a ton of these sweet treats every day. they look like they're running a regular biscuit factory. but there's a difference. managers at the factory employ 50 people and divide them up into operations based on their type of disability. this woman says she's not so good at multitasking.
instead, she focuses on transferring freshly baked cookies to trays. and this man is good at heavy lifting. he carries heavy ingredients and makes dough. >> translator: work isn't easy here, and i can't always remember they thi remember things, but people are kind and supportive, so i'm doing my best. >> reporter: the people in charge haven't always enjoyed such a smooth environment. this woman came on board from a private company and started to shake things up. she felt the center needed to overhaul its approach to survive
and flourish. she knew the more they earned, the more they could hire. she made a crucial decision to produce cookies on site, and that pumped up the profit margin. she decided a center should use locally grown vegetables to make the cookies taste as good as the big-name brands. she also asked a professional designer to create new packaging. and finally, she made changes to the website to provide more online services. they employ more than four times
as many people and they pay them three times as much per hour. >> translator: we never thought sales would sit $800,000. we were thrilled. >> reporter: managers worked hard to turn the company around. they're getting the best out of their workers, and they're making a product that's competing with bigger rivals. nhk world, shiga. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. tokyo crude oil futures fell for the eighth trading day in a row on tuesday. the benchmark fell more than 5% at one point, the lowest level in six years and three months. the selloff came amid speculation that a global economic slowdown will weigh on oil demand. japanese electronics makers say domestic shipments of air conditioners and other home
appliances in july rose more than 7%. temperatures helped to boost sales. the industry people expect the upward trend will continue through august. sales at japan's major restaurant and fast food chains were up nearly 2% in july from a year earlier. industry officials attribute the 1.9% rise to the weather. they say japan's sunny spell encouraged more diners to eat out. there's concern over whether the gains will continue as the stock market plunge may affect consumer sentiment. and that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
officials with the japanese paralympic committee are seeing an important date on the calendar. tuesday marks exactly five years before the opening of the tokyo games. they're now trying to find more support and opportunities for young athletes. some of the top wheelchair basketball players took to the courts, had an event to raise awareness and understanding of the paralympic games. participants will compete in 22 events in 2020, including the newly introduced sports of badminton and taekwondo. japan's team won just five gold medals in london in 2012. that number was down compared to 2004 when they earned 17 in athens. officials plan to introduce more coaches for training. they're aiming to win more medals at the tokyo games.
they also want more young athletes to participate, so they're promoting various sports around the nation, such as soccer for the blind. the tokyo paralympics start on august 25th, 2020. china has announced that leaders from 30 countries will attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of what it calls its victory over japan. a military parade will be held at tiananmen square in beijing on september 3rd. the vice foreign minister announced the names of dignitaries that will be attending. they include russian president vladimir putin, south korean president park geun-hye, and north korea's worker's party secretary. representatives from 19 countries are also expected to attend. among them will be the foreign ministers of france and italy. countries including the u.s., germany, and canada will have their ambassadors in china attend. japanese government officials
announced on monday that prime minister shinzo abe will not attend. the country's ambassador to china will also be absent. >> translator: the ceremony does not target present-day japan or the japanese people. >> he says china will work to improve and develop ties between the two countries. now for weather. cloudy later, some rain in the forecast for us here in tokyo, where things have cooled down considerably. it's currently 73 degrees fahrenheit. sayaka mori joins us with world weather, starting off with the wildfires still blazing in the western u.s. sayaka? >> yes, dozens of fires are scorching the ground over the western u.s. this area has been dealing with a lack of precipitation and warmer weather over the past few years. now, take a look at this
picture. one of the big fires is occurring in inland washington. you can see a very serious situation and smokey conditions out there. fortuna unfortunately, significant rain is not in the forecast throughout this week, so more wildfiresi could happen in the western united states. a slow-moving low-pressure system is still lingering over eastern portions of canada, and the cold front is creating a risk of thundershowers across the eastern edge of the united states. temperatures are going to be in the 20s in the u.s. capital. mean while, quite warm in houston at 36 degrees on tuesday. now, across europe, very slow moving and significant low-pressure system is over the black sea region, causing heavy rainfall in the north of turkey. about 250 millimeters of rain fell in just one day, causing severe floods out there. at least eight people were killed due to the system.
unfortunately, the system is still sitting here, so more rain will likely cause more damage across the north of turkey. now, out west, a new system is moving into the british isles. so things are turning wet once again for london. 18 degrees for the high on tuesday. warmer than average conditions across eastern europe. 26 degrees for the high in warsaw on tuesday. finally over asia, typhoon koni made landfall in the south ofkey you shoe this morning. the center has moved away. it's now located over the sea of japan, but it's still a strong typhoon. it's still bringing lots of rain and also strong winds across many parts of japan as well as south korea. the system will likely weaken as a low-pressure system and reach southeastern russia or northeastern china by thursday. so stormy weather is in the forecast for southeastern russia on both wednesday and thursday. here's your extended forecast.
to print 24. we are broadcasting live from paris. terrorism, climate change, and the world economy. these are some of the key issues that the president has addressed during a conference to fresh ambassadors -- french ambassadors. the two careers find a diplomatic solution to these military tensions. hasaul, korea