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tv   Newsline  NHK World  June 12, 2014 3:00am-3:31am JST

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hello. welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara from tokyo. a chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to two japanese self-defense force airplanes. japanese government officials have lodged a protest against their chinese counterparts over the incident above the east china sea. defense ministry officials say the chinese su-27 came as close as 30 meters to one of the japanese reconnaissance aircraft and 45 meters to the other. a photograph of the chinese jet shows a white missile-like object beneath its left wing.
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no damage to the japanese aircraft was reported. the sdf planes were patrolling the area where the two countries' air defense identification zones overlap. japan's defense minister criticized china's action. >> it was an extremely dangerous act for the chinese jet. we've protested through diplomatic channels. >> chinese fighter jets approached sdf aircraft on two separate occasions last month. the incidents prompted the japanese government to protest what it called extremely dangerous acts. china's recent expansion of maritime activities in the east and south china seas has a lot of people in the region worried. now top japanese and australian officials have confirmed the importance of observing the rule of law and have agreed to oppose any attempt to change the status
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quo by force. the foreign and defense ministers from both countries met in tokyo. it was their fifth round of talks. they agreed to conclude a pact for promoting joint development of defense equipment and technological cooperation. they also agreed to increase joint drills. austral australia's defense minister said his government wants assistance from japan for its planned construction of new submersibles. >> in terms of a non-nuclear diesel electric submarine, the japanese submarine is very, very good indeed. >> japan's defense minister said his government will make further efforts to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation. in the meeting the japanese officials referred to recent discussions between ruling coalition parties with an eye to changing the interpretation of the constitution. they said this would allow japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense. the australian side expressed
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its support of the effort. people in vietnam are angry after news that a chinese ship collided with a vietnamese fishing boat. they say it was a deliberate attack. the latest of many. most have occurred in disputed waters in the south china sea. this one happened in the gulf of tonkin, more than 500 kilometers from the islands claimed by both nations. nhk world's mayuko ambe has more. >> reporter: vietnamese newspapers quote the captain of the boat as saying the chinese ship charged without warning. he said the chinese sprayed his crew members from a water canon. three of them were hurt. tensions between china and vietnam have been simmering since the chinese state-run company put an oil rig in the south china sea just over a month ago. they placed it in waters near the paracel islands which are claimed by both china and vietnam. ships from the two countries
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have been involved in several collisions and confrontations around the islands. the gulf of tonkin, the area of the latest incident, lies off the coast of china and vietnam. the two nations agreed 14 years ago how to demarcate territorial waters in the gulf. vietnamese media say there's no dispute about who controls the waters where the collision took place. vietnam. officials from both countries have been trying to drum up support at the united nations. chinese delegates wrote what's called a position paper outlining their stance. they accuse the vietnamese of illegally and forcefully disrupting the oil rig operation. they've asked u.n. security general ban ki moon to circulate the paper to all member states. delegates from vietnam submitted documents defending their position three times last month. a u.n. spokesperson says ban is
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ready to mediate if the two sides ask him to. officials in other countries have begun voicing concern. japanese foreign minister is arranging a meeting with his vietnamese counterpart. kishida says he wants to convey japan's support for vietnam's policy to resolve the dispute through dialogue. mayuke ambe, nhk world. diplomats from japan and the united states say they'll coordinate with south korea over pyongyang's nuclear program. asian and oceana affairs bureau chief met in washington with his counterpart glen davies. ihada briefed davies on his three-day talks in stockholm with north korean officials. he relayed pyongyang's promise to conduct a full investigation into the fate of japanese abductees and japan's agreement
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to ease some sanctions when the probe begins. ihara also said the u.s. and japan will be forging communication ties. >> translator: japan and the u.s. have reaffirmed the importance of coordinating policies with south korea concerning north korea's nuclear and missile programs. japan and the u.s. will continue working together. >> he noted that japan remains firm on pushing for a comprehensive resolution of the abduction issue and pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. leaders in pyongyang have described the stockholm talks as meaningful, but they accuse their south korean counterparts of trying to sabotage the dialogue. north korean state website published a commentary. it says the talks were to settle issues and normalize relations with japan. the deals made in the talks have significance for the korean peninsula as well as northeast
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asia. the commentary criticizes south crowe yan -- korean president park geun-hye. it says she had better be quiet or she will disgrace herself in the eyes of the world. an al qaeda linked organization is threatening iraq's oil-rich north. the islamist group already has control of the second largest city mosul. security has deteriorated since u.s. troops withdrew in late 2011. the militants increased their offensive in the provinces of kirkuk. the area is the center of iraq's oil production. on tuesday the islamist group occupied government buildings and seized control of mosul forcing regional security forces to withdraw. government officials say they are preparing a military campaign to take back the city. an international organization says fierce fighting has forced half a million people to flee
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from the area. the u.s. government is condemning the attacks and urging prime minister nuri al maliki to deal with the situation. human trafficking is a dark and brutal trade. human networks are almost impossible to monitor, but nhk has obtained rare access with the help of investigators in thailand. patchari raksawong in bangkok has more details. >> southern thailand is gaining an unwelcome reputation as a highway for human traffickers. every year countless desperate individuals pay criminal gangs for passage. they dream of a better life but the reality can be harsh and brutal. nhk world's soichiro tanizawa has the report.
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>> reporter: after an hour by boat through a swamp near thailand's remote border with malaysia, and an hour trekking through the mountains, finally we reached a hidden camp. discarded belongings and documents written in a vietnamese language were on the ground. the thai authorities say this is a makeshift jail where human traffickers kept hundreds of refugees captive. the investigation team was guided by a man who fled prosecution in miramar. he says he paid a trafficker and boarded the boat bound for malaysia. he believed he would be safer in the country which shared his islamic beliefs, but things didn't turn out that way. he says he and other refugees were forced to stay at the hidden camp in the thai mountains for two weeks. they were beaten and held back from crossing the border into malaysia until their families sent more money, about $2,000, a huge sum for them.
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>> translator: only half of us made it. we had already paid once, but we had to pay again. they beat us hard so our families could hear us suffer. >> reporter: the thai authorities have closed the hidden camps and arrested key figures from the trafficking networks, but the flow of people being trafficked has continued and even become more diverse. including more than 400 people believed to be ethnic uyghurs from china. the authorities say traffickers guided them across uncontrolled borders between thailand, laos, myanmar and cambodia. more and more of them passed through southern thailand en route to malaysia. >> translator: human traffickers find this location is ideal because they can quickly flee to malaysia by land or by sea. the illegal network traffics all sorts of people and it's not
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easy to clamp down on it because the network extends across borders. >> reporter: the thai authorities say combating the human traffickers is made harder by the fact that some local people appear to be helping them, providing them with food, water or transportation. this man from a village near the coast told nhk that helping traffickers is good business. he says the money he receives each time he moves refugees by boat to malaysia is the same as six months' income from selling fish. >> reporter: sources say the thai authorities are worried
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about the united states and u.n. trafficking in persons report due to be released this month. there's a risk thailand will be downgraded to a tier 3, the lowest rank. that wouldn't just be embarrassing, it might expose the country to sanctions. even that would be unlikely to change the fact on the ground in southern thailand. the harsh reality of human trafficking is that there are plenty of refugees willing to pay and plenty of others ready and waiting to take their money even if it means breaking the law. soichiro tanizawa, nhk world, southern taiwan. an islamic militant on the u.s. government's most wanted list was detained on wednesday in the philippines. khair mundos is believed to be a senior member of the abu sayyaf extremist group. washington was offering a $500,000 reward for his capture. mundos is suspected of carrying
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out bomb attacks and kidnappings. he was detained in manila international airport. abu sayyaf is said to have links to al qaeda. the united states has been supporting the military philippine campaign to stamp out the group. the operation appears to be working with only several hundred core members thought to remain. mundos is said to be a spiritual leader of abu sayyaf. he is also a known bomb making expert. police say his arrest will deal a severe blow to the militant group. a court battle over fifa world cup viewing rights in thailand has ended in disappointment for poor soccer fans who don't have access to cable television. the biggest sporting event of the year kicks off in brazil on thursday, but a thai court has dismissed a demand that all world cup games should be available to watch for free. the national broadcasting and telecommunications commission petitioned the court in april. it wanted to make sure as many people as possible have the
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chance to watch the tournament but the court on wednesday ruled in favor of the company that owns the tv rights for thailand. rs, international broadcasting and sport management. the court said it had no obligation to air all of the games on terrestrial channels. they are currently planning to air only 22 of 64 matches on terrestrial channels. the rest will be available on cable. many thai people are crazy about soccer. during the last world cup in 2010, anyone who owned a television set could watch every game free of charge. that's going to wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. government officials and policymakers at the bank of japan have been working to pull the country out of deflation. new figures from the central
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bank show prices of goods traded among companies rose faster than at any time in the last five and a half years. bank of japan officials say the corporate goods price index rose 4.4% in may compared to a year ago. they say the consumption tax hike in april pushed up the prices of a wide range of products. even without counting the effect of the tax hike, prices rose 1.6%. officials say one reason was rising for steel frames used in the construction sector. they also point to higher prices for electricity, gas, and water. japanese people haven't had a house when it comes to buying the electricity they use in their homes. a new law gives them the power to choose where they purchased power. big utility companies have controlled real estate tail electricity sales for 60 years. now lawmakers have approved a bill that liberalizes the nation's electricity sector. it's worth billions of dollars. the revised electricity business
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law allows companies and households to choose power suppliers from 2016. lawmakers did include a provision that will let the government continue to set the rates. major utilities charge households. they're worried excessive competition could cause a supply of electricity to become unreliable. the revised law requires utilities to maintain supply capacity. government officials say the retail electricity sector is worth about $73 billion with more than 84 million users. analysts expect competition as communications companies and trading firms try to enter the market. the people who make computer and video games see virtual reality as a game changer for their industry. fans attending the biggest show for video games are getting a firsthand look at the latest gadgets and software that take them to virtual worlds. about 200 firms from around the world are taking part in an electronic entertainment expo in los angeles.
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gamers were eager to check out virtual reality goggles at u.s. venture firm occulus vr has developed. users feel like they're in a completely different world when they put on headsets and play video games. the goggles aren't on the market yet, but many firms are already developing software for them. many game makers say virtual reality is the ultimate goal of computer and video games, and the technology is certain to become the mainstream in the industry. other companies are showing off their latest products. sony computer entertainment presented software for its playstation 4 game console, and microsoft introduced new games for its xbox one. tokyo's public and private sectors are aiming to turn the city into an internationally competitive capital. it will also host the olympics in 2020, sparking a boom in urban redevelopment projects.
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nhk world's kurando tago reports. >> hello -- >> reporter: developers in central tokyo have opened what is now the second tallest building in the city. the skyscraper stands 247 meters high. the building has space for offices and conference facilities. developers hope it will become a gateway for global business. for people who want to live there, they can rent a high-end condominium for about $60,000 u.s. a month. anyone planning a brief stay in the tower's hotel will spend about $600 a night to sleep in a room this size. >> translator: it looks beautiful. i've heard it's got a japanese motif because of the olympics. it would be great if these areas become more vital.
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-- vibrant. >> translator: as the road running under the building leads to the olympic district, i think this region will become more of a center of culture and business. >> reporter: the tokyo metropolitan government designated the toranomon district a special economic zone. officials hope to attract foreign firms by offering tax breaks, relaxed regulations, and financial support. one of the characteristics of toranomon hills is this road. it leads underneath the complex and will be extended to the tokyo bay area by 2020. it's just one of many projects under way ahead of the olympics. officials are supporting developments like this one. >> reporter: tokyo will host the summer olympics in six years. the athletes' village and training facilities will be
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built in the bay area. many of the venues hosting the games will be close by. but all of the development comes with challenges. the government plans to rebuild the national stadium. the cost of the project is estimated at $3 billion. officials have scaled back initial plans to cut costs in half. vast amounts of public taxes will be spent on the facilities. government leaders are having a hard time meeting needs for skilled labor. communities rebuilding from the march 2011 disaster have added pressure on the labor pool. the government recently decided to ease restrictions on foreign workers. 70,000 construction workers will be allowed into the country to solve the shortage. the public and private sectors face many challenges in making tokyo a major player on the
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global stage. with the olympic games coming in six years, they will have to tackle the challenges head on. kurando tago, nhk world, tokyo. engineers decommissioning the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are facing challenges. they need to figure out how to remove fuel debris from the damaged reactors. engineers in the united states may be able to offer some insight. 35 years ago a reactor at three mile island melted down in an accident. nhk obtained special permission from the u.s. government to access 1,000 videotapes that recorded engineers removing fuel debris from the plant. this edition of "nuclear watch" takes a look at what the footage tells us. >> three years after the accident, the decontamination
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had reduced radiation levels enough to allow engineers to work inside the plant. >> today is july 21. the tmi 2 inspection team is now on top of the tmi 2 reactor vessel and about to attempt to make the first inspection into the tmi 2 reactor vessel proper. >> they insert a camera into the reactor for the first time since the accident. >> we're now approaching three feet. we are approaching four feet. we are approaching five feet. we're now five -- >> that's something. >> we are now five feet into the core. boy, a lot of debris. >> something that looks like rocks becomes visible. it's debris that has melted beyond recognition. the debris is solidified molten
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fuel. when water is pumped into a reactor after a meltdown, melted fuel cools down and solidifies. experts later found more than 100 tons of fuel debris. engineers began removing debris six years after the accident. they set up a platform above the reactor. from there workers remotely controlled a robot arm and tried to grab the debris on the bottom of the reactor 12 meters below. to avoid radiation leaks, the reactor had to be filled with water. the footage shows the many challenges the workers faced. >> got it. let me take it out of here. >> okay. it's out of the can. >> no, it fell back in.
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>> engineers were in for some surprises. >> there's tons of bugs. >> heat inside the reactor caused microorganisms to grow there. that reduced visibility and slowed down the work. engineers prodded the debris with iron bars several times but nothing happened. they found the debris to be extremely hard. they had to scrape the debris off with a special drill before taking it out little by little. five years later they removed almost all the debris. william austin was in charge of the work. he thinks the situation at fukushima is a lot more
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challenging than three mile island. the fuel at fukushima daiichi has melted through the reactor cores and has dropped to the bottom of containment vessels. >> it's a magnitude worse. it's -- i mean, i can't conceive of how much difficulty you've got. >> the operator at fukushima daiichi wants to start removing fuel debris in 2020, but engineers at the plant are still looking for a way to do that. engineers have to fill the reactor containment vessels with water, but the vessels have many leaks. on top of that, engineers at fukushima have to deal with three reactors, not just one like at three mile island. police in tokyo have arrested a saudi arabian man after he was caught vandalizing several buddhist statues.
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the incident took place in one of tokyo's most famous temples and has shocked nearby residents. the 31-year-old man is a graduate student at kao university. police say they received a telephone call at around midnight on wednesday. the caller said a foreigner was behaving violently at the temple. officers rushed to the scene. they found four buddhist statues lying broken on the ground. three of the statues were made of stone. the fourth was a 200 centimeter bronze that dates back about 300 years. officials had designated it a significant cultural property. police say the man has admitted to the crime. he told them that he also carried out a similar attack at another temple. police are investigating. here is the three-day weather forecast.
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that's all this hour on "newsline." i'm ross mihara from tokyo. thanks for joining us on nhk world.
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