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. u.s. president barack obama said he's deploying a team of up to 300 military advisers to iraq. ukraine's president has called on his russian counterpart to support his peace plan to end the fighting in eastern ukraine. and has tourism officials in japan work to welcome 20 million tourists by 2020, we look at whether the target is possible or even desirable.
the u.s. president has laid out his plan to help leaders in iraq fight a well-armed insurgency. barack obama says he's sending up to 300 military advisers to the country, but not combat forces. iraqi soldiers have been trying to stop the advance of islamist militants who are surging toward the capital. nhk world's sachiko takeda has more. >> reporter: the iraqi government is using state-run tv to show its soldiers are keeping up the fight against islamic extremists, but the reality is, they need help. so after days of deliberation, u.s. president barack obama announced he's sending up to 300 military advisers to the country, but that's as far as he's willing to go for now. >> american forces will not be returning to combat in iraq. but we will help iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the iraqi people, the
region and american interests as well. >> reporter: governments with islamic state of iraq and the levant, or isil, have taken over towns and cities with lightning speed. they're sunni muslims, and they're opposed to the administration of iraq's shia muslim prime minister nuri al maliki. they've killed civilians and soldiers in their push toward the capital, baghdad. the iraqi military has been using air strikes to try to stop the insurgency. and both sides have been battling for control of the country's largest oil refinery in baiji. hundreds of shia men have been streaming into recruitment centers to volunteer to join the military, but iraqi leaders know they can't fight this insurgency alone. and while obama has been ruled out ground forces, he admits
other options are on the table. >> we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it. >> reporter: the president is among many leaders who are calling on prim minister maliki to also respond to this crisis politically. many have said his government is too dominated by shia muslims and excludes sunnis and kurds. >> there is no doubt that the government of iraq has not given enough attention to healing sectarian divides, including sunni and kurds in the government to bringing the country together. is, the country's future remains uncertain. sachiko takeda, nhk world. the president of ukraine is seeking russia's help to end the fighting in the eastern part of his country. petro poroshenko outlined his peace plan in a telephone conversation with russian
president vladimir putin. officials in the ukrainian presidential office say poroshenko told putin that hostages need to be freed at a border jointly managed by both countries. putin's aides say the russian president put the responsibility on ukrainian officials to ease tensions. he called for immediate halt to ukrainian military operations in the region. they also say putin expressed hope that a ukrainian government will address the demands of ethnic russian residents. analysts say it is unclear how far putin is willing to cooperate with poroshenko's peace plan. pro-russian militants have continued fighting even after the plan was announced. nato secretary general anders fogh rasmussen said russia deployed several more thousand troops along the border. he called it very regrettable. ukrainian officials also confirmed russian forces are establishing new positions along the border.
the south korean navy has conducted a live-fire drill near islands in the sea of japan. officials in tokyo had demanded that the exercise be canceled. the navy conducted the drill on the high seas more than 12 nautical miles from the takeshima islands. south korea claims the territory. part of the northern edge of the drills overlaps with japanese territorial waters. a south korean spokesperson said the country will not prevent interference with exercise. japan's top government spokesperson criticized the drill. >> translator: the drill is totally unacceptable in light of japan's position on the
sovereignty of the takeshima islands, we have been urging the south korean government to cancel the drill. it is extremely regrettable. >> south korea's army, navy and air force last october conducted a drill on the islands, they rehearsed measures to counter a civilian landing. the japanese government maintains the islands are part of its territory. they say south korea is occupying them illegally. japan's ambitious entrepreneur is not stopping with just buying u.s. mobile carriers. his next business is in clean energy and ron madison from the biz team has more. >> we have been seeing quite an ambitious push by son for acquisitions, they're heading in another direction for the company, japanese mobile phone provider softbank will be starting to sell electricity to individual homes when the power retail business is deregulated two years. president son made the announcement at the annual shareholders meeting. he said the company will begin
selling solar and wind-powered-generated electricity to factories and businesses in northeastern and eastern japan on july 1. then son unveiled his plan to expand the business to include individual homes. he says his firm is hoping to sell a combined package that provides electricity and offer mobile phone services together. softbank has been building solar and wind-powered facilities in the country since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. executives at japanese beer maker sapporo holdings have volunteered to pay additional liquor taxes. the company put an inexpensive beer-flavored drink, sapporo goku zero on the market in june last year. the tax rate for this category of drinks is lower than those for regular beer or low-malt beer. but tax authorities told the beer maker that the product may not fall under that category. they also asked sapporo to submit information on how the drink is made. the firm stopped producing
sapporo zero last month and now its officials have decided on their own to pay an additional liquor tax of 11.6 billion yen, roughly $114 billion. the amount is more than double the net profit the entire sapporo group expects for the year. the conflict in iraq is pushing up oil and gold prices. oil traders are worried about possible supply disruptions. they have kept wti and crude futures at nine-month highs. gold is considered a safe investment. and its price jumped to levels not seen since april. analysts say investors are buying gold because they are rattled by the situation in iraq. and a weaker dollar. the dollar is being sold against major currencies. analysts say strong economic growth in the uk may force the bank of england to hike its rates sooner than the fed. the british currency is now close to a five and a half-year high against the dollar. and european stocks appear to be on track to extend recent gains.
shares in the region have been on a nine-week rally. their longest winning streak in two years. here in saysia, investors were unable to maintain the buying momentum. but for the week, tokyo and sydney stocks ended in the positive. japan's industry minister has announced that the government will soon start a drilling survey on methane hydrate resources in two offshore areas in the sea of japan. the country is the first in the world to succeed in extracting gas from methane hydrate deposits in the pacific ocean. industry minister, motegi sees the natural gas as a promising energy source. >> translator: i believe methane hydrate will be a very important source of energy for japan. we pledge efforts to develop it as a next-generation energy source. something comparable to shale gas. >> government officials say the survey is aimed at collecting geological samples to assess the amount of shallow deposits. one target area is located off
differences over territorial and hist cal issues are straining relations between japan and china. a chinese businessman has taken it upon himself to try to narrow the gap. he is bypassing diplomats and relying on tomorrow's future leaders, nhk world's maka inn nakaksui has more. >> at a university dormitory in beijing, two students make a meal together. one is chinese, the other is from japan.
at universities in china, local and foreign students usually live in separate dormitories. so it is rare for japanese and chinese students to share a room like this. about 60 students from the two countries live in this dorm at peking university. it was built to promote exchange between japanese and chinese. the founder is chou ki yang. he is a 75-year-old businessman born in shanghai. now he run as textile company in hong kong. chou has contributed about $3
million to build this dormitory. from 1958, chao studied at the university of tokyo in japan at his own expense for four years. he stayed in a dormitory for japanese and foreign students. sometimes he felt homesick, but his japan these friends supported chao, treating him like family. >> translator: living and studying together is an experience you remember all your life. i believe chinese and japanese students sharing living quarters is the best way for people to get along. >> reporter: 20-year-old and this 21-year-old has been
sharing rooms for a year. watanabe is from japan. at first, both were a little worried about living with a foreigner. but soon, they became close as they were in the same year and shared a passion for soccer. in the hunan new year holidays, they went to sichuan province. he wanted to introduce him to his family and they liked him. >> translator: my impression of japanese changed, now i think they are friendly, there is no difference in our cultures. >> at first i felt a bit reluctant to share a room with a chinese person. but i soon find ue is really considerate. >> reporter: now ue is thinking about going to japan to study.
this is the sort of outcome that chao, the founder of the dorm, is aiming for. >> translator: i believe china and japan are good neighbors and friends. and the current situation is an exception. if young people can understand each other better, it's bound to have a good effect on china/japan relations. >> reporter: chao is building dormitories at four more universities. he wants friendly ties between young chinese and japanese to spread. building these dormitories is how he's going about it. nhk world. japanese leaders released a new action plan this week, for how they plan to attract more tourists, they want to double
the number of foreign visitors to 20 million by the year 2020. some of the industries say it's possible. but others worry about the impact on the overall experience. nhk world's craig dale has the story. >> this couple from california are among the millions of tourists who flock to japan every year. in fact they're repeat visitors. >> we were here two years ago and stayed about a week. and it wasn't nearly enough time just to see kyoto. >> reporter: japanese leaders want many more foreigners to follow in their footsteps. in jan, prime minister shinzo abe set a target of 20 million visitors by 2020. it's a goal mamuru kobari of the japan national tourism association calls very realistic. >> because again, growth of population and income in china
and southeast asia and india and russia is far exceeding our expectations. >> reporter: the recovery of the tourism industry from the 2011 disaster and nuclear accident also exceeded expectations. more than 10 million foreign visitors came to japan last year, thanks in part to the weaker yen. it's a record, but still far behind the top two destinations, 83 million travelled to france in 2013 and 67 million to the u.s. and so government leaders have released a new action plan in an effort to catch up. they're further relaxing visa regulations for travelers from southeast asia. and they're planning to offer wealthy tourists special visas, allowing them to stay for up to one year, instead of just 90 days and are expanding the network of duty-free shops. still, historically it's taken japan 10-15 years to double foreign visits. so is 20 million by 2020
possible? or does it just sound good? hiroki fukanaga who heads a group hosting traditional japanese inns says the target is within reach but it must focus on luring tourists away from the so-called golden route. >> only 20% of the whole country is discovered. but we have to look at 80% of the things that we have in this country already. which the people, foreign people doesn't know. >> reporter: but some the in the industry question the government's approach. the push to focus on figures, they say doubling the number of tourists could end up ruining aspects of japan visitors have come to cherish. this canadian has spent years organizing exclusive tailored tours in japan. he worries famous places will become overwhelmed and the
less-famous spots will lose their atmosphere. >> if there are 20 million tourists coming to japan, will it change? and if it changes, what will be the reaction of the tourists? will it feel that they're just doing the same thing that everyone else has done and feel a little less special. >> reporter: one of his clients, american james west admits there's a possible down side. >> obviously if you bring in more tourists, you potentially bring in more bad tourists. >> reporter: good or bad, more tourists will be making their way to japan if government leaders get their way. there are already looking beyond the 20 million target for 2020. their goal for 2030 -- 30 million foreign visitors. craig dale, nhk world, kyoto. the tokyo metropolitan assembly has found itself under an unwelcome spotlight, an assembly member was jeered this
week, while making a speech about women's rights. so she's decided to take a stand and she's getting a lot of support from the public. nhk world's ai hamashima has more. >> reporter: this woman is a member of yo party. this week while questioning the metropolitan government's measures, she found herself the target of sexist comments. >> reporter: other comments shouted out questioned whether she was even capable of having a baby. the incident left this woman angry. she posted a message on twitter the next day. her words have touched a nerve. they've been retweeted more than
10,000 times and staff at the metropolitan assembly say they've received hundreds of phone calls and emails. of the assembly. she called the remark insulting. she said whoever made the comments must be punished and that measures need to be taken to prevent a recurrence. >> translator: whoever made the comment should step forward and face up to the remarks so that i can feel better. >> reporter: tokyo governor could decide the comments. he said they lacked dignity. >> translator: such jeers are completely offensive to women's dignity and should never be repeated again. >> reporter: the politician who is made the comments still haven't stepped forward.
aya hamashima, nhk world. soccer's world governing body has launched an investigation into the behavior of mexico supporters at the world cup. fifa officials are looking into claims that the fans chanted anti-gay slurs. >> disciplinary proceedings opened against mexico for improper conduct of spectators during the match mexico/cameroon. >> fifa says it received complaints of discriminatory chant directed at cameroon's goalkeeper. the organization last year decided to take a firmer stance against racism and other forms of discrimination. teams whose fans violate the rules face fines, games without spectators or disqualification from competitions. bulgarians are picking up
after severe floods swept through their country thursday. robert speta is here with details and the weather for the rest of the world. robert? >> yes, gene. we have been seeing out here across much of the balkan peninsula, is this heavy rainfall all this week. and most recently, you can see on the satellite picture, the areas of the bright cloud tops is where the rainfall has been coming down especially right near the western seaboards of the black sea. some areas up to 200 to 300 millimeters in the past 24 hours. the next 48 hours up to 72 hours, you're still going to be seeing showers along the northern coastlines over towards parts of ukraine as well. so the rain is still coming down. now the good news is that over the weekend, i do expect this to taper off back here towards the west. so expecting some clean-up efforts really to be put in place. we're going to continue to talk about this over the next several days. now as that pushes off there towards the east, it is clearing up back towards the north. partly cloudy skies expected across much of the low
countries, even towards the british isils, we are seeing showers into the iberian peninsula. especially into spain, madrid, you're going to be seeing a high of 32 on your friday. but still seeing the wet weather in your forecast. meanwhile lisbon, sunny skies, but cooler there starting off your weekend. let's move over towards eastern asia now and talking about flooding rains, that's what we have been seeing across southeastern china. it started earlier this week. we had hagiba making landfall on sunday, it kicked off the rainy season front out here. that's been bringing the downpours. basically starting from monday all the way out through friday. this is your past seven days of rainfall accumulation. based on satellite imagery and you can see right in here, some locations upwards of 500 to 700 millimeters of rainfall. needless to say this has been causing some problems, we have video coming out of southern china here. straight off the bat, you have the rainfall and the flooding there.
people in south china saw this big, large flood, almost 100 years, caused by the rainstorms. the region has suffered extensive damage. agriculture, transportation and property have been damaged. the surging river as you've seen there definitely taking the bulk of the impact. we're still seeing the rainfall. the flood threat is still there. and the landslide threat is still there. as we go through the next 24 hours. the rainy season brought continuing to linger. it's also developing a new low off of it. and you can see it pushes off there towards the east. will not be as persistent as southeastern china and western japan. but you are still expected to see some 200 millimeters of rainfall. so the flood threat is going to be there a low is expected to track south of tokyo, though. so i think the islands, you're going to get blasted with high winds and rainfall. but as far as the tokyo area into saturday and sunday, passing showers with breezy conditions out there for you. as far as the south, the tropics, you're looking at
afternoon thunderstorms, monsoon is continuing to dominate. the temperatures into the low 30s. let's move over towards the americas. i want to show you the severe weather threat across the ohio river valley, extending over to the carolinas this weekend. there's a storm system, already brought rough weather out here. that's going to track off there towards the east. and really bring the threat of some high winds and even hail as we go into sunday. south of that, staying hot and muggy if you're in houston. atlanta, up into the low 30s on your friday. here's your extended outlook.
comes to you from singapore. south china sea has been at the center of territorial disputes between china and southeast asian countries such as vietnam and the philippines. since their releases have been worsening rapidly, the world is increasingly concerned about security in the region. chinese and vietnamese vessels