experts used data from previous launches to make their estimate. they say a missile launched in 2009 had a range of almost 7,000 kilometers. north korean officials tried again in april. that one exploded shortly after takeoff, but the first booster burned 18 seconds longer than those used in previous attempts. the experts believe engineers may have succeeded in reducing the size of a nuclear warhead. south korean officials say workers have completed the assembly of the three-stage missile. they say once the crew injects the fuel, it will be ready to go. authorities in pyongyang say they'll launch between the 10th and 22nd of this month. they say they're sending a satellite into orbit, but leaders of japan and other countries believe the north koreans are carrying out a test of a long-range ballistic missile. the senior u.s. diplomat on north korea has warned the leadership there. he said the u.s. will refer the
matter to the u.n. security council if they go ahead with the launch. >> we will be prepared to work with our partners, including the united nations security council, to respond in a swift, effective, and credible manner. >> davies said the u.s. could strengthen sanctions. he said existing penalties have already hampered north korea's nuclear program. davies has been holding discussions with his counterparts from china as well as japan and south korea. he said he hopes the chinese can use their influence with their allies in pyongyang. south korean foreign minister kim sung hwan has criticized north korea for spending more than $500 million on missile development. kim told a parliamentary committee that north korea is believed to have spent $400 million to build the tongchang-ri launch site and another $150 million for a missile plant outside pyongyang. unification minister yu woo-ik
said the north has scheduled its next launch around the anniversary of the death of kim jong-il to enhance the authority of his son and successor, kim jong-un. yu said the north is also working to improve the reliability of its missile technology. a highway operator in tokyo area has discovered a potential maintenance problem in one of its road tunnels near haneda airport. inspections by the metropolitan expressway company found one of the large rods used to hold up the tunnel's ceiling was broken. the emergency check comes three days after an expressway tunnel ceiling collapsed in yamanashi prefecture near tokyo, killing nine people. the company said the suspended ceilings are used at two locations on both the inbound
and outbound lanes of the 300-meter tunnel. the company says the rod had not been changed since it was installed in 1964, adding that no problems were found during previous inspections conducted every five years. it says it has now fixed the ceiling where the broken rod had been found using wires. it plans to get rid of the ceilings entirely by the end of this year. the new leader of the chinese communist party is sending out mixed signals. xi jinping says he wants to pursue a peaceful foreign policy. at the same time, china is locked in territorial disputes with japan and several southeast asian nations over islands in the east and south china seas. xi told a group of foreign academics in beijing that china poses neither a challenge nor a threat. >> translator: looking at china's history, cultural traditions and current conditions, china will never adopt a policy of dominance or expansionism. our prosperity will bring peace and will benefit the rest of the world.
>> analysts say xi hopes to ease concerns that china's new leadership intends to adopt a more hardline stance on diplomacy. however, on the same day, he told a senior military commander to strengthen missile units for possible conflict. xi has pledged to tackle corruption among party officials. he and the rest of the new leadership are reportedly planning to overhaul the structure of government. government sources say the leaders plan to cut one in three ministries from 27 to 18. they're planning to do away with the railway ministry and transfer its function to the communications ministry. critics say poor oversight led to the crash last year of a high-speed train. 40 people were killed. and the former head of the railways ministry was dismissed in a bribery scandal. officials in the agriculture ministry will take over the responsibilities of the water resources ministry, and those in the culture ministry will take
on the duties of three other departments. analysts say xi could be trying to reduce the powers of senior civil servants to diffuse public frustration, but history suggests it may not be easy. premier wen jiabao had a similar plan five years ago, but conservatives prevented him from carrying it out. as the governments of japan and china feud over the senkaku islands, some japanese are caught in the middle. they were raised by chinese on the mainland after their japanese parents fled at the end of world war ii. with strong ties to the peoples of both countries, they have a lot at stake if the two nations go to war. nhk world's tomoko yamaguchi has the report. >> reporter: people in the city of nara mark the 40th anniversary of normalizing diplomatic ties between japan and china. haru watanabe moved to china with his parents many years
before the normalization, but at the end of world war ii, they became separated, so he remained here where he lived for about 50 years. a chinese couple adopted and raised the japanese youngster. as an adult, he worked for a railway company and, eventually, he became station master. >> translator: i couldn't have survived after the war if my foster parents hadn't taken me in and given me such good care. they were so kind. >> reporter: but watanabe never forgot japan. looking at the picture of mt. fuji always pulled at his heartstrings. before he moved to china, he could see it from his house. so, pictures of mountain always stirred memories of home. finally, he was able to set foot on the land of his birth.
in 1988, watanabe visited japan with orphans displaced by the war. he hoped to reunite with his family, but with so little information about his parents, watanabe couldn't find them. even so, he chose to return to japan for good. he and his chinese wife decided to live in nara prefecture. watanabe was 53 at the time. but settling into japan was not easy. watanabe couldn't get a job. employers found him too old, so he and his wife lived frugally on welfare. learning japanese has been
another struggle. even today he will struggle retaining the language. >> translator: i find it difficult to remember what i've learned. there is still so many words that i still have a hard time understanding. >> reporter: but if life gets him down, he can turn to someone for help. shigiaki nou makes it his job to help orphans displaced by the war. 24 years ago, he became watanabe's guarantor, and to this day, he's still there for watanabe. >> translator: i call him father. >> translator: i want to help him. he's like a son to me. >> reporter: inouye drops in with the watanabes for a meal. inouye used to live in northeastern china, so he
empathizes with people like watanabe. >> translator: he always stood by us and he never stopped supporting us. i feel so grateful to him. ♪ >> reporter: throughout watanabe's life, caring people have watched out for him, in both china and japan. >> translator: i am a victim of war. i became an orphan in china because of it, so i despise wars. as feelings harden between japan and china over the senkaku islands, i'm afraid the two countries will go to war, but nothing is more important than maintaining peace. >> reporter: watanabe has two homelands, japan and china, so desperately, he hopes no blood will be spilled between the two
peoples. tomoko yamaguchi, nhk world, nara. the global economic slowdown is even downshifting the boom in china. ron madison is here with the details on that. ron. >> yeah, we are seeing a bit of a slowdown, gene, but still pretty enviable numbers out of china. chinese government economists there say they do expect their economy will grow this year by less than 8%, though. it would be the first time in 13 years that it's dropped below that mark. the government targeted growth of 7.5%. a representative of the chinese academy of social sciences said the economy would grow 7.7%. >> translator: china's exports are slowing because of the european debt crisis and the global economic slowdown. >> he said the economy bottomed out in the july-to-september quarter, but consumption as well as industrial output improved in september and october. he's predicting growth will
rebound next year to about 8.2%. he said increased public investment and more monetary easing would spur the economy. but li called for flexible government policies if the situation in europe gets any worse. a report sponsored by the u.s. government says that shipping surplus shale gas overseas will benefit the country's economy. this could pave the way for getting government permission to export the commodity. the u.s. energy department released the report on wednesday. it says the export of shale gas and other natural gas products would raise energy prices, but it would help the economy overall. the government is now ready to examine whether to give the go-ahead to export projects. a number of energy firms hope to export natural gas as the surge in shale gas output pushes domestic gas prices sharply lower. now, the export plans include business with japan's electric and gas utilities, japanese energy firms have had to increase their use of thermal power plants since the nuclear accident, and they are pretty
keen now to buy cheaper u.s. gas. let's get a check of the markets now, starting in europe, where stocks are trading higher. this is on fresh hopes that u.s. politicians will be able to clinch a deal to avoid that fiscal cliff. london's ftse 100 is up right now by 0.2%. we see the frankfurt market moving ahead, up about a percent. paris's cac 40 seeing gains of 0.3%. earlier in asian trading, share prices were largely mixed. there was some profit-taking from yesterday's gains. had more optimistic views about the u.s. economy keeping stocks from falling any further, though. the nikkei ended above that key 9,500 level for the first time since april. the shanghai composite edged down just over 0.1% after a pretty sharp rebound yesterday. south korea's kospi also managing gains. it closed higher by more than 0.1%. that put it at a seven-week high. let's move on to currencies now. dollar/yen right now is a little higher, seeing it at 82.35. market observers say investors
are buying the dollar on optimism about the u.s. budget talks, but its advance has been capped today as many traders do remain on the sidelines ahead of u.s. jobs data, which is due out on friday. now, in terms of the euro, it's still holding pretty strong against the yen, right now at 107.70. officials at japan's transport ministry have ordered airlines to inspect boeing passenger jets. they say state-of-the-art 787 dreamliners have had problems with their fuel lines. the emergency order followed a fuel leak in october involving a 787. that's flown by all nippon airways. they found that fuel line connectors designed to prevent leaks were not installed on that plane. officials at all nippon airways and japan airlines say they were notified of the problem by boeing last month. they say they have already conducted inspections and found the defect on seven other dreamliners. the defects have all since been repaired. the 787 made its international debut on regular routes in japan in november of last year.
officials over at nissan motors say they're recalling nearly 500,000 cars. the vehicles may have a problem with their brake lights. the recall covers more than 490,000 nissan marches that were made here in japan between the years 2002 and 2009. also about 1,500 of the micra c plus cs manufactured in britain in 2007 are being recalled. all these cars were sold here in japan. officials with the transport ministry say a wiring problem may cause the brake lights and reverse lights to fail. executives at kansai electric power company are at work on a restructuring plan. they've made a proposal for bonus and salary cuts to the union that represents the company's workers. the restructuring plan would put in place after kepco executives sought government approval to charge higher electricity rates. they say the suspension of nuclear power plants is forcing them to raise prices. officials have proposed to cut workers' salaries by an average
of 16%. they want to cut the base wages by about 5%, and they also want to cancel summer bonuses next year. the proposal would also require the company to shut down some of its vacation facilities as well as corporate gymnasiums. kepco officials are looking to slash $1.9 billion in costs annually for three years starting next april. the government panel assessing the request for the rate increases is going to be checking the progress of the restructuring efforts. all right, that is going to do it for biz tonight. let's check in now and see what's going on with the markets.
in south korea, many employers are losing the services and skills of women who quit work to have children. now the government and some companies are taking steps to help keep these women stay on the job. nhk world's anna jung has the story. >> reporter: yong gyung stays home to watch after her children, ages 6 and 3, while her husband is at work. after graduating from college, she worked as a magazine reporter for ten years, but she quit to raise her first child. now the 34-year-old mother would like to work again. this would mean putting her youngsters in child care, but she worries how to balance work
and family. >> translator: my husband works late at night. my parents live far away, so it's tough for my mother to baby sit. i could leave them in child care until late, but i would feel bad. i think it will be tough finding work that fits my schedule. >> translator: on this day, a member of an organization that supports working mothers visits lee. sponsored by the government, the group carries out support projects for working mothers. it also visits mothers' homes to providing counseling. >> reporter: the organization also offers seminars for mothers
who have concerns. here, working couples receive advice. rather than walking your partner to comfort you, you should comfort each other. >> translator: i am on maternity leave, but now i'm a little hopeful i can balance working and raising my children. >> reporter: in south korea, the number of households in which both the husband and wife work is growing, but almost two out of every ten married women quit their job to raise children. >> translator: if women don't work, they can't afford to have children, and if they quit, we lose talented female workers. >> reporter: however, a major food company is taking steps to keep their married women on the job. this company provides a child care center for mothers who work in the building. children are looked after here
until their mothers finish work. the center has seven classrooms and can look after as many as 140 children. the staff takes care of youngsters from 6 months old up to the age when they enter elementary school. the center emphasizes learning to address the educational demands of the mothers. these children are taking english classes. ♪ wednesday, thursday, friday >> reporter: both the government and the company pay for the center. employees can enroll their children for free. >> translator: because the child care center is in the building, i can look in o
>> translator: we really value our female employees. we think that this child care system is the best way to support the parents and allow them to work without worrying about their kids. >> reporter: people will be watching to see whether this kind of support makes it easier for mothers to keep working. anna jung, nhk world, seoul. famed brazilian architect oscar niemeyer, who designed his country's capital city as well as some of the world's most distinctive buildings is dead at 104. niemeyer was born in brazil in 1907. he began his career in the 1930s after graduating from a local university. he was one of the architects that designed the u.n. headquarters in new york, a project that began in 1947. in 1956, niemeyer created a series of landmark structures for brazil's new capital city of
brasilia. these include the national congress, the presidential palace, the cathedral and the neteroy contemporary art museum. the country of brasilia was later designated a unesco world heritage site. niemeyer was noted for inventive curving designs. the architect continued working until his 100th birthday. he succumbed to a lung infection at a hospital in his home of rio de janeiro on wednesday. a large cargo ship has sunk off the netherlands after colliding with a container vessel. four crew members have been confirmed dead and seven others are missing. the accident occurred in the waters off rotterdam on wednesday night. the cargo ship had 24 crew members and was carrying a consignment of cars. dutch coast guard say 13 of the crew have been rescued. they say visibility was low at the time of the accident due to a blizzard in high waves. rescue teams are struggling to reach isolated communities in
the southern philippines. officials say a powerful typhoon that struck the region killed more than 300 people. typhoon bopha barreled through the island of mind national on tuesday. the storm unleashed heavy rains that triggered heavy rains and mud slides in the east. authorities say nearly 380 people are missing, 180,000 people have evacuated their homes. government officials mobilized military troops and police officers to look for survivors, but blocked roads and severed bridges are slowing down their work. that typhoon is now moving off the philippines. meteorologist robert speta has been following this storm. robert, tell us the latest. >> well, right now the storm is moving away from the philippines, it's over waters in the south china sea, but still, you're seeing some in-flow moisture come across luzon here, still bringing the risk of some flooding off there towards the north, because really, at this time, over the next several days, this storm system will just be continuing to linger
here. now, the good news is that farther down towards the south in t in, you can see how it's north of this trap where you're seeing the widespread devastation. several towns here, includiing nubeton completely decimated. so, the good news at least at this time is the rainfall has ceased, allowing for rescue workers to really get in there and help people out. so, we're definitely going to continue to watch this storm system, and even to the north of that continued rainfall. but let's switch gears and look into the north, because across northern japan, we had a very rapidly intensifying storm system move across hokkaido and still moving off into friday, already bringing some very gusty winds, heavy snowfall, even seeing winds gust over 100 kilometers an hour here off towards the north in tom gawa. i want to show you a video coming out of here just showing what this wind damage has caused. winds were recorded in sakata city at 122 kilometers an hour,
causing damage to structures here such as farm houses, store houses, even electrical equipment and even some downed power lines with electrical outages being reported across this area. so, definitely a very devastating storm, and it is continuing to bring these rough conditions for you. you still could be seeing winds sustained over 100 kilometers an hour. where you see all these lines very close together off towards the north, not to mention snowfall. over 60 centimeters expected here into friday. farther down towards the south, you're seeing a rain-snow mix on the western portions of honshu, but we have cold air coming out of siberia. this is going to change straight into snow across this area, so very hazardous for travel conditions. if you're a skier, you're welcoming the snow, but everybody else, this is going to be a very messy scenario. as far as temperatures, things remaining cool here in seoul. only zero for your high, beijing just below the freezing mark at minus 1. and as we look towards tokyo, nice and mild 10 degrees here starting off your weekend on your friday. now into europe. several low pressure systems here in the west.
we have one moving over the british isles bringing some frozen precipitation for you, even down there towards the iberian peninsula. a separate system's continuing to move across, interacting with all this cold air we have been seeing across europe, so flurries are definitely going to continue to fall here. you're going to be seeing about 10 or 15 centimeters in some of the higher elevations, right around 5 centimeters into the valleys here. also, we're watching a storm system into turkey. yesterday you saw all those reports across the black sea of several ships sinking out here into the sea due to the treacherous conditions from these waves. well, it does look like the system is going to continue to linger, still bringing high winds, high waves and even the risk of some flash flooding going through the next several days as this just continues to hit your area. as far as temperatures, though, things remain rather cold here off towards the east. warsaw with minus 2 here for your high, kiev only at 1. and also, across much of the north, actually below-freezing temperatures are going to be expected here, accompanied by those snow showers. now, all that is pushing towards the south, some severe weather even off there towards athens.