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. bank of japan policymakers have sent tokyo shares soaring by announcing they'll ramp up their monetary easing program. japanese and north korean officials have wrapped up two days of meetings over the abduction issue. the government officials say a new probe into their fate offers a fresh perspective. and more and more people in japan are putting on costumes and carving pumpkins as the
spirit of halloween takes hold. bank of japan policymakers announced they're going to crank up their monetary stimulus program in a bid to hit their inflation target of 2%. it's the first time boj officials have expanded their stimulus since they launched in the april of last year. they say they're worried they won't be able to reverse japan's deflationary mind-set unless they take action. the policymakers voted in favor of the move 5-4 at a board meeting. they say they'll ramp up their purchase of japanese government bonds. they want to expand the monetary base at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen, roughly $730 billion. that's an increase of 10 to 20 trillion yen on the previous level they targeted. they also plan to triple the purchase of exchange-traded funds in japanese real estate
investment trusts. the policymakers also released their latest outlook for the economy and commodity prices. they lowered their growth forecast for this fiscal year by 0.5%. they said a decline in personal spending was to blame and they revised down their inflation forecast for this fiscal year by 0.1% and next fiscal year by 0.2%. boj governor kuroda held a news conference after the policy meeting. >> translator: on the price front, somewhat weak developments in demand following the increase in the consumption tax rate in april and a substantial decline in crude oil prices have recently been exerting downward pressure. if that downward pressure on prices continues, even in just the short term, there is a risk
that the move away from a deflationary mind-set which has so far been progressing steadily might stall. to avoid this risk, the bank thought it would be appropriate to expand both quantitative and qualitative monetary easing. the japanese economy has reached a critical moment in the process of emerging from deflation. the bank of japan will do everything in its power to achieve the target of 2% inflation as early as possible. >> officials at some of japan's biggest firms had mixed reactions to the central bank's decision. the president of mazda motor was positive. he said he's hopeful the extra stimulus can help the economy and boost domestic demand for
cars. but sonny's sheaf official was less up beat. he said a weaker yen would hurt sales. he said when the currency depreciates by one yen against the dollar, sonny cuts its operating profit by $20 million. >> for some insight on this surprise decision, ron madison spoke earlier with teizo taya. he's a former policy member of the boj and is a professor at rikkyo university. >> i was surprised for two reasons, one the timing. the other is that monetary easing was expanded so most people expected this kind of further easing either in december or january of next year. it was surprise and not many people expected this kind of increase in the monetary base
as well as the amount. >> so why did they do this at this time? >> well, i think as he pointed out, the recent rate in change in the inflation rate has come down, and if the boj does not move, this change in deflationary mind set may become in doubt, so this is the reason. >> okay. so you say that they want to change this deflationary mind-set. is putting this increase of about $180 billion to $190 billion go far enough, do you think? >> well, it's a big increase. i think as you indicated in the text, the amount of increase in the monetary base is 80 trillion yen which is about 16% of gdp. gdp in japan is about 500 trillion yen. so 80 trillion yen is about 16% of gdp. it's a huge number. a huge figure.
>> the boj governor kuroda is sticking to his view that he can achieve 2% inflation in two years, despite indications it won't hit that. do you think he's being a bit too optimistic? >> well, as you pointed out at the outset, the expected rate of inflation for fiscal year 2015 was revised downwards from 1.9% to 1.7% which may suggest that -- the achievement of the target in fiscal year 2015 is very difficult. many economists, including myself, think this achievement of the target in two years is very difficult, if not impossible. >> really quickly, the prime minister has, of course, a big decision to make coming up about the next consumption tax increase. does this give him any more justification for that?
>> i think in effect today's action by the boj will push mr. abe to make necessary decisions with regard to the tax hike. so i think mr. kuroda denied any intention whatsoever with regard to the tax hike but in effect this will push mr. abe to the corner, to make such a difficult decision. japan's top government spokesperson says north korea has promised to carry out a more thorough probe into the abductions of japanese. his statement follows delegations' visit to pyongyang tasked with getting an update on the investigation. the chief delegate held two days of talks with the chairman of north korea's special investigation committee.
so tae ha heads four panels of the committee. the japanese government maintains 17 nationals were abducted by north korean agents in the 1970s and '80s. five of them returned in 2002. what happened to the others is still unknown. pyongyang says its investigations show that eight are dead and the other four never entered north korea. japan's chief cabinet secretary says the meetings were meaningful. suga said they were able to speak directly with members of the committee. >> translator: the north korean officials said they were again investigating whether japanese people entered the country, how and why they entered, and their living environment. they explained that they're looking into former invitation centers were abductees lived. they say they're also conducting a parallel investigation on new material evidence and testimonies. they explained in detail about the methods and the actual state of their investigation. >> suga says the committee will
look into the fate of the missing japanese regardless of what previous investigations found. he says pyongyang needs time to do that. >> translator: north korean officials explained that they are in the stage of deepening their investigation and want to avoid explanation that will lead to speculation. and they said they haven't found any objective and clear evidence at this point. >> he says japanese delegates told committee members that resolving the abduction issue is japan's top priority. suga also says japan hopes to receive an initial report by the end of december. families of the abductees have heard what happened during the meeting in pyongyang. they say they're disappointed.
chief japanese delegate junito ihara and the abduction minister have briefed the families. yamatani says the delegation told north korean officials that resolving the abduction issue is japan's top priority. she says the visit was meaningful, but a representative of the families disagrees. >> translator: many of us pointed out that the visit to the north could be risky. in the end, pyongyang didn't give us any new information about the abductees. i feel really disappointed with results, even though it's what we'd expected before the delegation went there. >> the parents of one of the abductees say they're ageing and cannot wait much longer. >> translator: the officials said that the delegation conveyed to the north koreans that resolving the abduction issue is a top priority. i didn't expect any other words. >> translator: we've been enduring this for 17 years. we just want our daughter to
return home. who specializes in north korea, he shared his analysis about the meetings in pyongyang. he says north korean officials are trying to show they are following through on an agreement they made with japan earlier this year and he says they may urge tokyo to take the next step. we have this explanation. >> reporter: he says the meetings were meaningful as japan had the opportunity to stress the abduction issue as a top priority for abe's administration. >> translator: in addition to diplomatic talks, the meetings in pyongyang allowed japan to stress its stance to the members of the special investigation committee. they can talk directly with the country's supreme leader kim
jong-un. the japanese officials gained another route to dialogue. i think it's a big gain. >> reporter: japanese leaders say north korean committee members promised to carry out a thorough investigation. they agreed to look at the issue from new angles regardless of the outcome of previous probes. professor izumi says pyongyang could conduct an investigation tokyo would accept. >> translator: japanese officials didn't trust the results of two probes conducted by pyongyang in the past. north korea conveyed the results to japan from the investigation but they were considered fake. north korean officials are well aware that japan would never accept such results. so it's quite natural to think that they would take another totally different approach this time. we do not know at this moment if this approach will bring a different outcome from the past reports.
>> reporter: the framework for the talks on the abduction issue was agreed on in stockholm in may. the agreement states that investigations into the four issues surrounding missing and abducted japanese are carried out simultaneously. both countries carried out part of the agreement in july. north korea set up a special investigation committee which had the power to probe any organization in the country. japan responded by lifting three sanctions on north korea, including restrictions on travel, money transfers, and port calls by ships. izumi says both countries agreed to cooperate on seven give-and-take steps. as one side completes a step, the other side will reciprocate. >> translator: the officials in pyongyang must now be thinking that they showed they are moving
forward, providing updates on the investigation to the japanese side is one of the commitments they agreed to in may, so they believe that they are implementing the commitment. they now expect to see their japanese counterparts carry out their commitments. if japan does not implement some of those commitments and urge the north to take the next step, north korean officials may stop any action. >> reporter: he says the japanese government can move the abduction issue forward by abiding by the stockholm agreement. but that agreement identified three other main issues that require japan's attention. nhk world.
the military in burkino has seized power. >> reporter: the national assembly is dissolved. the government is dissolved. >> the military spokesperson said a transitional body will be set up. he said constitutional order will be restored within a year. the president proposed a vote on a constitutional amendment that would have allowed him to remain president for three more turns. thousands of protesters have taken to streets in the capital. some stormed the parliament building and clashed with security forces. media reported deaths and injuries. the president restored power in
a coup. he has since been elected four times. toward the end of world war ii, leaders of the former japanese imperial army ordered suicide missions against allied forces. an estimated 6,000 japanese servicemen, most of them young, died in these so-called kamikaze attacks. some of the first airborne missions took off from an airfield in the philippines. 70 years later, local residents are trying to keep the tragic story from fading into history. we have this story. >> reporter: this town on the island of luzon in the philippines is an area in the northern part of town known among locals as the kamikaze airport. it was an airfield for the now defunct japanese imperial army. the first kamikaze mission from the site was 70 years ago. their orders were to smash their explosive-laden planes into u.s. aircraft carrier and other warships.
fernando santos witnessed the final days of some of those men. the japanese military seized his home and turned it into a command center. santos was 12 years old. through a window, he saw japanese pilots prepare for their suicide missions. he says they studied photos of u.s. warships while quietly listening to their superiors. >> it is a kind of ceremony that is so solemn, so dedicated, you know? they cried. and then at the last part of the lecture they say "bonzai!"
>> reporter: the next morning the pilots took off and never came back. some of the island's older residents have been sharing their memories with younger generations. this man is one of them, he has drawn pictures of what he witnessed during the war. he depicted his impressions of the violence that filipinos suffered at the hands of japanese soldiers. the islanders grew increasingly hostile toward the japanese military, but he said kamikaze pilots behaved differently than other japanese soldiers. in the beginning, they often smiled and talked when he approached. but that didn't last long. he says the men changed after they received their orders for a suicide mission. he says they became distant.
>> this look, i remember, this look, he's always looking very far away. that's what i noticed. the change. but that is only a very short period because after this he died. >> reporter: after the war ended, dizon set up a museum at his home. he asked the u.s. military and former kamikaze pilots to donate personal effects and other materials left behind by men who died. dizon's hope is that the museum will help others learn about the tragedy of the war, which took the lives of so many young people. dizon is now 84 and in poor health. he's preparing his son to take over the museum.
>> the reasons why i put up this museum is those young men should have been saved. we must consider that there should be no more wars. >> reporter: older residents of this island are keeping the memory of kamikaze pilots alive and telling young people to never again wage war. kathleen ocampo, nhk world, philippines. ghosts and goblins are an increasingly common sight in japan this time of year. that's because more japanese are celebrating halloween. >> happy halloween! >> reporter: school children in a suburb of tokyo dress up as
vampires, frankenstein, and traditional japanese monsters. halloween in japan is slightly different than elsewhere. here it's adults who seem to enjoy it more than children. they dress up and have some light hearted fun. clerks at this major variety store in tokyo have set aside a special section for halloween costumes. they say there are more than 600 items on sale. >> translator: people used to just dress up in witches' capes and hats. now we're selling a wider range of costumes. here's this year's best seller. a snow queen costume. >> reporter: the store's managers say sales of costumes are up 30% over last year. >> translator: i'm going to
dress up and meet my friends and we'll go out for dinner and karaoke. >> translator: i really enjoy costumes that make me look different, like women's clothes. >> reporter: a marketing expert explains why japanese adults have taken such a liking to halloween. >> translator: in japan, many people want to dress up in costume, but there are few occasions to do so. if you want to walk around in costume, people think you're strange. halloween is an excuse to get together with friends in costume and enjoy yourselves. >> reporter: japanese folklore is full of homegrown ghouls and monsters. now the magic of halloween is becoming part of that rich tradition. happy halloween! sunny weather is expected for most of europe this weekend. our meteorologist jonathan oh
joins us with the details. >> high pressure is starting to make its influence known over the continent and that is producing relatively sunny conditions and most of europe will enjoy dry conditions except for a couple of spots, really into the scandinavian peninsula. and also into the british isles because of an oncoming set of fronts, but in the process, the western side of the main portions of the continent is actually going to see warm air and that means sunny skies on top of that. we'll see temperatures getting close to 20 degrees in some parts. we are even seeing some maybe some snow into the northern portions of the scandinavian peninsula. look at this. madrid, you'll see a high coming up on saturday of 20 degrees. 19 in lisbon. london, you will be wet because of the cold front, though a high of 16 xt the rest of the continent, relatively dry. you have to go all the way over into russia before you still see these single digit readings, down toward athens finally
seeing some sunny skies as well. as well as this low pressure departs from the balkan peninsula. we're also talking about some very sunny skies in north america as high pressure controls the central portion of the united states and extending its influence down toward the south and east. we do have a low that's slipping out of chicago and the great lakes not without it leaving its imprint of snow. the windy city expected to see some more snow and the high river valley as we go into saturday, that snow extends as far south as the piedmont of south carolina. we're going to see temperatures dipping down. by the time we get to saturday, creeping down. the deep south is going to be single digit temperatures. 7 in chicago, 1 below in winnipeg. we're expecting teens for friday. as we go into saturday, look at this, in pumpkintown, south carolina, saturday, looking for snow.
8 degrees for the high. even into pennsylvania, single digit readings. flip side, casper, wyoming, seeing dry conditions but temperatures are going to be cooling down. 13 degrees for the high on sunday. speaking of halloween, we were talking about the sights and sounds of how people in japan are celebrating the holiday and i wanted to show you some video coming out of an area in tokyo where people are dressing up, getting into the spirit and some interesting characters out here. i see mario out there as well and people in stilts. we're talking more and more people are participating in the day of halloween. getting a chance to dress and do something different. good thing that they did it today, where halloween landed on friday where it's cloudy. as we go into the weekend, we're expecting some moisture. latter part of the weekend, we're looking at a chance for some snow. definitely seeing more precipitation there. we are keeping an eye down toward the philippines. tropical storm nuri is
continuing to intensify and expected to turn quickly and sharply to the north and east as we go into sunday. thankfully, not causing any problems for the philippines, but it is expected to become a typhoon as we go into monday. definitely gathering strength over the pacific ocean. wet all the way from chongqing, tokyo and d sesel. it is a three-day holiday weekend for japan. we are expecting clouds and rain going all the way into monday. we hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
>> good evening from los angeles. tonight was the most expensive midterm election in the his e history of this country. nearly $4 billion and counting with president of public sit zep about the long overdue need for campaign finance reform who actually led the charge for a constitutional amendment to get unrestricted money out of politics, an amendment just last month was backed by the majority of senators, however, that was still two-thirds short of needing to pass. the latest movie, kill the messenger,but e put the spotlight on the media. the details by gary web back in 1995 which laid out a connection between the cia contra in nicaragua and the explosion of crack cocaine in our inner