you're watching "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama says he's willing to help negotiate a cease-fire between israeli leaders and palestinian militants in gaza. israeli forces have been targeting members of hamas in retaliation for rocket attacks. dozens of palestinians have died, and there are fears the violence could worsen if israel launches a ground offensive. more from nhk world's craig dale. >> reporter: palestinian
militants in gaza are firing off rockets day and night. israelis have been rushing to bomb shelters. and while some of the rockets hit their marks, most end up as white puffs in the sky, blown up by israel's sophisticated aerial defense system known as the iron dome. the israeli air offensive in gaza has been much more punishing. buildings reduced to rubble or engulfed in flames, residents rushed out on stretchers, and cars turned into piles of mangled metal. israeli leaders say they're targeting members of hamas, the islamist militant group that controls gaza, but civilians are dying, too. >> we face the risk of an all-out escalation. >> reporter: members of the u.n. security council met to discuss
the conflict. >> it is now more urgent than ever to try to find common ground for a return to calm. >> reporter: both sides made emotional appeals. >> 15 seconds, that's how much time you have to run for your life. >> reporter: israel's ambassador says no country would tolerate rocket attacks. the palestinian representative urged the security council to act. >> failing to do so, it will further diminish its own credibility and be complicit in allowing innocent children, women and men to die. >> reporter: the seeds of this latest conflict were sewn last month. three israeli teens disappeared in the west bank. authorities in israel blamed hamas and launched a crackdown. hamas responded with rockets. then, after the teens turned up dead, a group of israelis allegedly kidnapped and killed a palestinian teenager out of revenge.
the cycle of violence and lingering tension is familiar. the israelis sent ground troops into gaza in 2009, and they last went to war there in 2012. at this point, prime minister benjamin netanyahu is only saying expect more, but palestinian president mahmoud abbas argues a ground operation could start within hours. u.s. officials are offering to broker a cease-fire. >> de-escalation ultimately is in the interests of all parties. >> reporter: it's unclear if statements such as that will stop the violence. hamas leaders accuse israel of carrying out war crimes by killing civilians, but the israelis say they're going after terrorists and that they have long days of fighting ahead of them. craig dale, nhk world. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is trying to help resolve a dispute over the afghan presidential election. he's urging the two candidates
to cooperate with an investigation into allegations of vote fraud. kerry arrived in the afghan capital kabul to look for a way forward. he met former finance minister ashraf ghani. the preliminary results of a run-off last month put ghani in the lead by more than ten points. then kerry spoke with former foreign minister abdullah abdullah. abdullah rejected last month's election results. he said there had been widespread vote rigging and threatened to set up a parallel government. the united nations proposed an investigation. officials will look at around 3.5 million suspicious ballots, more than 40% of the total. ghani gave that proposal his support. abdullah said the audit should be more expansive and he demanded the head of the investigative panel resign. most of the u.s.-led international forces in afghanistan are scheduled to withdraw by the end of this year. u.s. officials are concerned the political crisis could lead to ethnic violence and force them
to change their plans. chief negotiators in the transatlantic trade talks are meeting in canada. japanese delegates are hoping to make progress in bilateral tariff negotiations. officials from 12 countries began working-level discussions in ottawa last saturday. japan's deputy chief negotiator held talks separately with the chief negotiators from mexico, chile, and new zealand. he sounded out new zealand on the idea of imposing low tariffs on a certain volume of dairy products that japan imports from the country. new zealand officials are demanding that japan eliminate all tariffs on these products. japanese and u.s. negotiators have been working to set up a similar system on some dairy products. japanese delegates are hoping to obtain concessions from the u.s. and new zealand.
japan's top government spokesperson has suggested an opportunity for talks with china. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga addressed journalists in tokyo. he said the asia pacific economic cooperation summit in november would be a natural environment for leaders to meet. suga said the world's second and third largest economies must act responsibly. he said china and japan must help maintain peace and prosperity in the asia-pacific region and the rest of the world. and he added the leaders should talk especially when they have issues to address. >> translator: world leaders will gather for the apec summit. i think it would be natural for the japanese and chinese leaders to make use of such an opportunity to hold talks. >> relations have soured since japan nationalized the senkaku islands in the east china sea in
2012. japan controls the islands. china and taiwan claim them. prime minister shinzo abe has not held direct talks with chinese leaders since taking office in december of that year. a chinese foreign ministry spokesperson rejected the call. qin gang says he won't agree to hold talks unless tokyo works to resolve bilateral issues and he made reference to japan's decision to nationalize the senkakus. >> translator: the action is aimed at forcing us to eat bitter fruit that hurts china's sovereignty and chinese people's feelings. we will never accept it. >> qin said officials of the two countries cannot discuss ways to improve ties unless japan takes -- corrects its attitude and takes action. an overloaded school mini bus crashed into a pond in china. it killed all 11 people onboard, including eight kindergarten children.
state-run xinhua news agency says the accident occurred on thursday in hunan province. the children were being taken home. xinhua reports that the driver had been hired only several days before and was not familiar with the route. the father of one of the children said the vehicle was carrying even more students when it left the school, but some had already been dropped off. >> translator: the van has only has seven seats, but it was carrying 14 or 15 passengers. >> overloaded vehicles are often involved in accidents in china. chinese officials have announced that more than a quarter of a million couples have applied to have another baby. the government eased its one-child policy because of its aging society. it's also paving the way for new business ventures. daisuke azuma reports from beijing.
>> reporter: newborn babies at this facility in the suburb of beijing, where mothers and their babies enjoy around-the-clock care. doctors give health checks, baths, and anything else the newborns may need. the mothers can relax here. they have no worries about care for their babies. the service is not cheap. it costs about $5,000. but the demand for this kind of center is growing. >> translator: this place provides healthy food and other support so i can recover my strength. it's very comfortable for new mothers like me. >> reporter: thanks to the easing of the one-child policy this year, china's annual birthrate is expected to rise by
10% to 18 million. this increase in new babies on the back of economic growth means more opportunities for business. for the rich, there is an even higher level of care. inside this hotel, one business has converted some guest rooms into a high end care facility. the nurses offer one-on-one attention. the meals feature organic vegetables. massage chairs help mothers get back in shape. this costs mothers $10,000. >> translator: there's been a sharp increase in business opportunities.
since the easing of the one-child policy. >> reporter: with this business on the rise, this children's swimming school opened last month. it's been attracting higher sales as many people believe swimming promotes brain and muscle development in the newborn child. >> translator: i was worried since my daughter can't swim, but i'm happy to see her just having fun. >> reporter: marina is a swim school operator. she hopes to win the trust of wealthy parents, who want to give their children a head start. in a country plagued by health ca care -- operation equipment.
the training of instructors is also a priority. >> translator: it reduces the risk of drowning if the babies are put on their back like this. >> reporter: the school also add added golf and yoga. they hope they can maintain steady enrollments as they grow up. >> translator: competition is tough, and the only way we'll survive is if we offer better childhood education. >> reporter: chinese parents are famous for doing whatever they can to get their children the best possible education. a growing number of businesses are responding to such ambition. daisuke azuma, nhk world, beijing.
>> a chinese think tank says the market for goods and services for children under 12 was worth $200 billion last year. it predicts that figure will grow 25% per year. >> populous. prosperous. pushing ahead. china's rise brought it wealth, power, and problems. an income gap divides its people. pollution threatens their health. and differences over territory strain relations with its neighbors. find out the challenges china faces, on "newsline." a japanese politician whose sobbing put him under an international spotlight has resigned after being accused of misusing public funds. ryutaro nonomura resigned from the assembly. he is accused of receiving
allowances for political activities by providing false reports. nonomura claimed he spent $30,000 to make 195 day trips in fiscal 2013. he didn't submit receipts. at the news conference, he denied any wrong doing, but did not explain what the trips were for. assembly officials say they have filed a criminal complaint against nonomura. the world health organization has shed light on a chemical thought to have killed japanese printing workers. they've classified it as carcinogenic to humans. they studied the chemical dichloropropane. it was used in the japanese city of osaka. nhk learned in 2012 that seven workers there died of bile duct cancer. they found dichlropropane was to
blame. it was not then classified as carcinogenic. this professor took part in the who study. he said the kind of tragedy that happened in osaka must never be repeated. government officials in japan are taking steps to make the country more attractive before the tokyo olympics. they are preparing to get an ultra high speed communication system up and running in 2020. a government panel of experts drafted a plan for a next generation communications policy. the panel members expect foreign visitors to descend on japan in large numbers in 2020 and use smart phones and other devices. so, they are calling on the communications ministry to team up with industry and academic researchers and develop the fifth generation mobile system. this system is expected to have a speed that is about 100 times faster than at present.
pakistanis drink milk to stay healthy like millions of people across the world, but milk there increasingly comes from camels. nhk world's masaki suda reports from islamabad. >> reporter: this man walking his camel is a nomad. he's one of many who migrate with their livestock from one place to another depending on the season. when they stop by the side of a road in the suburbs of islamabad, local people flock to buy camel milk. >> translator: i come here almost every day and buy 1 to 1 1/2 liters. >> reporter: this is fresh camel milk. it's a bit frothy, but i'll have a sip. it's a bit salty, but it's very
smooth and easy to drink. very tasty. camel milk is an increasingly popular drink. behind the surge in popularity is growing awareness of its health qualities. the u.n. food and agriculture organization says camel milk has three times as much vitamin c as cow milk, and it's rich in iron and vitamin b. camel milk has long been drank by nomads across a huge area spanning from africa to asia. it has been valued for centuries as a cure for tiredness and other ailments. haji zafar is a regular customer, visiting the nomads for a supply of milk has become a daily routine. >> translator: i'll come back at the same time tomorrow.
>> translator: please, have your son drink it every day. >> reporter: he brings the milk to his son. he's felt sick lately and has been forced to stay indoors. but as soon as he started drinking camel milk on the advice of his doctor, he began to improve. >> translator: i feel better since i started drinking this milk. i feel stronger than before. >> translator: i tell everyone to drink camel milk. >> reporter: the nutritional value of camel milk has become better known over the past few years. retailers are trying to cash in by marketing it in cities.
in pakistan's largest city and business hub, karachi, a specialist store has opened. the milk sold here is four times more expensive than the product offered by nomad vendors, but that hasn't stopped scores of customers from coming for their daily supply. >> translator: camel milk is my source of energy. it's a true natural energy drink. >> translator: our sales have surged tenfold. we sell 300 to 400 liters every day. >> reporter: camel milk is no longer merely a traditional beverage for nomads. it's a power drink full of nutrients and it is increasingly being embraced by pakistanis. masaki suda, nhk world,
islamabad. managers of a hotel in seoul have abruptly canceled the japanese embassy's reservation for a reception on the eve of the event. it would have marked the anniversary of the establishment of japan's self-defense forces. the embassy had invited south korean government officials and lawmakers as well as foreign diplomats stationed in south korea. the lotte hotel cited anti-japanese feelings as the reason for the cancellation. the hotel said it was unaware of the purpose of the reception at the time the reservation was made, but the embassy said it made its intention clear from the beginning. a major south korean newspaper, the "dong-a ilbo," earlier ran a front-page article criticizing the event for ignoring public sentiment. the hotel says it received many calls protesting the event, including from groups that said
it would hold rallies in front of the hotel. >> translator: regardless of the reason, it's highly regrettable that the hotel unilaterally canceled the reservation on the eve of the scheduled event. >> kishida said his government launched a strong protest with the hotel through the embassy. curators at a war museum in seoul have canceled another japan-related event just before it was scheduled to open. they called off an exhibition of japanese characters from a comic called "one peace." the exhibit was supposed to run until september at the war memorial of korea. the organizer had finished all preparations, but the curators say they received complaints, some claimed images similar to the rising sun flag appear in the comic's original series. the flag was used by the defunct defunct imperial japanese military. in south korea it's considering a symbol of japan's colonial rule of the peninsula. curators say they decided not to
hold the exhibit because it is against the spirit of the museum. experts and policymakers around the world are marking world population day. they're thinking about how to sustain the human race, expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. u.n. secretary-general has called on them to focus on young people who account for a quarter of the world's inhabitants. a director of the u.n.'s population fund told a tokyo audience that girls are the most at-risk. mitsiko nishikawa reports. >> reporter: an 11-year-old girl sits before her wedding in afghanistan. she's getting married to a 40-year-old man. two 8-year-old yemeni girls stand next to their much older husbands. these are the type of people who
urged a seminar on how to prevent child marriage. the u.n. population fund's deputy executive director came to speak about the situation in developing countries. she said many girls are pushed into marriage before they reach 18, and that's a threat to their education and health. >> it impacts girls in much, much greater numbers and constitutes a great threat to a girl's childhood, ending her education, exposing her to violence, disease, and can put an end to her life at a very early age.
>> translator: i never knew about the realities facing girls in developing countries. >> translator: i think it's a deep-rooted problem, tied to things like poverty, religion, and local customs. >> reporter: the director said the population fund has changed its approach. instead of just counting people, they are now focused on making every person count. >> what that means is that there was so much evidence, that if you gave the man and the woman the right to choose, if they wanted a baby, when to have a baby, and the spacing of the baby by having access to family planning, information on sexuality and various other things, if you gave them that choice, that, in fact, would impact the number of children that they have. >> reporter: the u.n. says there are 600 million girls aged between 10 and 19. 500 million of them live in
developing countries. she says if the population keeps growing and attitudes don't change, the problem of child marriage will only get worse. and she says that's a threat to the global economy. >> if just 10% more girls got a secondary education, global gdp would grow by 3%. that would have an enormous economic benefit and it would accelerate change in societies in a way that -- in the way that we need it to reach the most vulnerable in developing countries today. >> reporter: albrectsen says the world needs stronger laws against child marriage and better ways to identify the problem areas. she says it's time to move beyond general advocacy and start investing in programs on
the ground. and she called on people in japan to get behind the push. >> just get engaged, stay engaged, use your voice, your wealth, your education to keep a focus on these issues. >> reporter: albrectsen says society can't afford the waste of talent and opportunity caused by child marriage. u.n. officials say the only way to achieve genuine prosperity is to protect the rights of every individual. mitsiko nishikawa, nhk world, tokyo. >> here is the weekend weather forecast.