♪ welcome back to "newsline." i'm yuko aotani from tokyo. first the headlines for this hour. the japan coast guard is on alert as chinese fishing boats are gathered in the pacific. the crews are suspected of illegally harvesting coral. the ministerial conference of the asia pacific economic cooperation forum is about to begin in beijing. officials from japan and china are trying to arrange a bilateral summit on the sidelines of the meeting. and ahead of the apec summit
an american expert shows his insight into the situation in east asia and japan's foreign policy. japan coast guard authorities are increasing their presence near islands in the pacific. they've spotted as many as 100 chinese vessels in the area, and they suspect the crews are illegally hunting for coral. jewelry made from red coral fetches high prices in china. coast guard authorities have seen a dramatic rise in the number of chinese vessels off the ogasawara and izu islands. they suspect more than 200 crews have been illegally poaching coral since september. as a typhoon approached this week, they moved outside japan's territorial waters. but many started sailing back after the storm passed. coast guard officials now say they're on a 24-hour watch for more boats. japanese coral gatherers are complaining about the damage caused by suspected chinese
poachers. a representative of a fishery cooperative reported his findings to the tokyo metropolitan government. yukimi sasaki has been gathering coral for decades. >> translator: poachers root out the coral, leaving nothing behind in the traditional local be beds. i don't know when we can start gathering coral like before. >> he said coral beds are being destroyed by crews dragging large trawl nets. he said no japanese use such nets for gathering coral. well, leaders are gathering in beijing for the asia pacific economic cooperation forum. ministerial talks begin friday and there is a lot on the agenda. leaders from 21 countries and territories will attend the two-day meeting. they will look into the possibility of creating a pacific-wide free trade zone.
they're expected to discuss whether to set a time frame for establishing the free trade area of the asia pacific. officials from tokyo and beijing are trying to set up a summit on the sidelines of the apec forum. japanese prime minister shinzo abe wants to hold his first meeting with chinese president xi jinping. japan's foreign minister fumio kishida will attend the apec ministerial talks. he will also attempt to arrange a meeting with china's foreign wirns wan yi. officials are discussing the summit. japanese government sources say the chinese side is starting to show positive signs toward holding a dialogue. abe is among the world leaders heading to beijing for the apec summit. watching whether he'll hold face-to-face talks with south korean leaders. richardhaus is the president of the think tank the council on foreign relations. he shared his analysis of foreign policy with nhk world's
aiko dodo. >> thank you very much for make time. >> good to see you again. >> how would you evaluate the prime minister abe implementing those policies since he took office? >> what is being talked about in terms of japan's role is simply bigger and broader than it ever was before. things you couldn't say ten years ago you can say and i think the prime minister is laying the foundation. >> reporter: japan's relations with china and south korea have chilled because of differing views of history and other issues. haass suggests united states expects abe to work to improve relations for the sake of east asian security. >> i would love to see some things japan just do by itself, which is improve its relations in particular with the republic of korea, to improve its relations with china to the extent possible. i understand it takes both sides. but japan can meet everybody halfway. we need to plan for all sorts of contingencies on the korean peninsula. i see what goes on at pyongyang,
north korea, obviously is a source of more than a little concern. >> and the key countries, key states in the region, namely japan, china and south korea. the leaders aren't meeting each other. >> i very much hope the japanese prime minister and president xi jinping can meet. i very much hope they can agree to set in motion a set of follow up meetings with various ministers and others. but there should be agreements that if there's a crisis there would be certain types of hotlines where people would talk. in some ways as i see it the relationship between japan and south korea is even more complicated right now. but these are two countries that share alliances with the united states. >> reporter: the rise of the islamic state militant group has further destabilized the middle east. the outbreak of the ebola virus is a threat not only to african countries but also to countries in the west.
haass says japan should play a broader role in a world facing so many challenges. >> if we're in a world where as we said, a whole range of problems, the united states can't deal with most of these things alone. we need partners. so japan, australia, korea, philippines and others, these are all potential partners. japan has more capacity than anyone else in the part of the world, so very much i would think the united states will welcome the idea of a more active japan. that's again willing to help bear a larger role and share some responsibilities regionally and globally. so now we're seeing with ebola or other diseases, the threat that health poses. we have three places in africa, that could if things get worse become failed states. >> yes. >> so again, so-called human security issues are linked to
old-fashioned security issues. so that's sort of work by japan and others is important. but it's not a question of that or something else. it has to be and. i think the challenge for japan is to become more of a complete country. to do what it's doing in the realm of human security, but to gradually take on other responsibilities as well. >> and that was nhk world's aiko doden, interviewing richard haass, president of the council on foreign relations. after the 2011 fugue fukushima disaster japan's government imposed tough everyrequirements on nuclear power plants. now a power plant at kagoshima prefecture is at a critical juncture. it's the first to meet the requirements and has gained the approval of the prefectural assembly to restart operations. kishu power company operates the
nuclear power plant. sendai gave its support to the restart last month. all of japan's 48 nuclear power plants are currently offline. a citizens group submitted a petition to the kagoshima prefectural assembly, calling for the plant to be reactivated. the assembly voted to support the petition and gave its approval for the restart. kagoshima governor yuichiro ito is expected to bring the plant back online. he said he'll make up his mind after considering the decisions by the host city and the prefectural assembly. a japanese mayor is speaking out against a government plan for his town to store radioactive waste. shibuya, north of tokyo was named as a possible site for waste from fukushima. the government plans to build five permanent facilities in eastern and northeastern japan. this is one of them. it's next to fukushima. the waste includes radioactive waste exceeding the government's set limit from the nuclear
accident. residents claim a natural source of drinking water near the planned construction site will be confiscated. the mayor -- it calls for all radioactive waste to be stored at an intermediate facility in a no entry zone near the plant. it adds the final disposal site should be built in the area where the crippled plant sits. >> translator: the government should study ways to ensure that final disposal sites are not scattered across mutomltiple prefectures. i am sorry to say this, but i believe the waste should be buried at the nuclear plant. >> government officials plan to hold a meeting in tochigi on sunday to explain the standards used to select candidate sites. and another issue that's dividing people in japan is the consumption tax. japan's finance minister taro aso has weighed in on the debate, and ai uchida joins us
from the business desk with this story. >> as you foe, officials raised the consumption tax back in april from 5% to what is now 8%. since then household spending has plunged. still, officials are talking about raising the tax again next year to 10%. prime minister abe's due to make a final call next month. but taro aso is already saying abe needs to go ahead with it. >> translator: there isn't a single person who expects the economy to get worse next fiscal year. and that includes academics and business managers. >> aso admitted the economic recovery slowed this summer, but he blamed the weather, and he said economic conditions have gotten better since then. let's check on markets. tokyo stocks ended the morning higher, tracking the record gains on wall street. ramin mellegard is standing by with a full wrap-up for us.
hi there, ramin. looks like another positive week for japanese shares. >> yes indeed, ai. although we didn't touch 17,000, but investors do remain supportive of jbz stocks. and for now it looks like the nikkei's going to end the week on a positive note. little bit of hesitancy, though, ahead of the u.s. jobs numbers. but let's see how the morning session wrapped up for the nikkei and the topix. the nikkei at 16,865, up 0.44%. and the broader topix up just over half a percent gaining on the morning session. sma some shares in the utility sector were outperforming as oil and energy-related products really helped boost sentiment for power companies, kansai electric power and tokyo electric power among some of the heavyweight gainers. of course as the dollar is extending its gains against the yen some of the blue chip exporters were rising as well today. specifically sony and mazda, as you can see there.
in earnings-related movers we were following textile maker toray. but suzuki motor on the flip side fell after operating profit came in a little bit below analysts' expectations. quick look at dollar/yen as well. seeing a lot of volatility in that pair. 115.20-25. u.s. currency has gained three yen this week against the dollar and could rise even more if u.s. jobs data beats estimates. let's have a look at asian markets as well. hong kong's extending its losing streak for i afifth day but as i mentioned the nikkei looks set to rise for a third week so we'll keep track of that. seoul, shanghai, and australian indexes also trading higher. that's all for me. back to you. >> thanks a lot for that update. ramin mellegard there reporting on the morning's market moves. some japanese business people are thrilled at the direction the yen is taking.
they see good times ahead. but others are wringing their hands. >> translator: the weaker yen is definitely good for machinery makers like us who rely on exports. >> translator: this is terrible for our business. we haven't even recovered from the impact of the consumption tax hike yet. >> some executives are worried the weaker yen will also discourage people from spending. >> consumers have to be wary because prices are rising fast and the weaker yen is a factor. >> indeed, japanese consumers are being hit with rising prices of everyday food items, including coffee. international market prices for coffee beans are soaring, and the weaker yen has increased the
burden on japanese importers. nhk world's namo yamada reports on the measures companies and cafes are taking to serve an affordable cup. >> reporter: on november 1st two major coffee distributors in japan raised prices to consumers on all of its products. prices increased by up to 25%. >> translator: i might have to cut down on coffee. >> translator: it's a problem. higher prices are putting the pinch on our family budget. >> reporter: consumers are not the only ones worried about higher prices. coffee shop operators are also struggling. monthly expenses at this cafe have increased by more than $260. a cup of coffee here sells for about 3 1/2 dollars. the owner has maintained that price and is trying to reduce costs elsewhere.
>> translator: we had 60-watt bulbs here, but we replaced them with energy-efficient models. >> reporter: now customers can get a second cup for half the price. it's part of a strategy to increase each visitor's spending. >> translator: costs have gone up a lot. so we need to do everything we can. >> what's behind the soaring prices? one reason is poor harvests. two years ago a pest infestation wiped out crops in central america. last year brazil experienced a drought that gave rise to speculation of low output. another reason is soaring
international demand. major importing countries are buying more and coffee is becoming more popular among people in china and southeast asia. the rising price of coffee beans is prompting coffee shop operators in japan to change their strategy. this chain is shifting its focus on marketing its tea drinks. executives worried profits would fall if they continued to depend on coffee alone. staff from locations across the country came together to learn the proper way to serve tea. >> infuse tea for two to three minutes before pouring. >> the training program covers the history of tea and where it's produced. >> translator: we are increasing our tea offerings to develop a
new customer base. we want to measure up to their expectations. >> reporter: analysts don't expect prices to fall anytime soon. everyone from the owners of small cafes to major distributors will have to work hard to maintain customers and profits. nana yamada, nhk world, tokyo. well, people at japanese companies are in the thick of earnings season. those at some firms that sell their products overseas are smiling. suzuki motor executives say for the april to september period they made a record operating profit. the executives say they brought in about $12.4 billion in sales. up 4.4% in yen terms from last year. their operating profit edged up to more than $785 million. they saw an increase in sales in countries such as india and pakistan. and the weaker yen helped lift their profits. but chairman osamu suzuki says
ever since government officials raised the consumption tax domestic auto sales have lagged and he doesn't see that changing anytime soon. people at another japanese firm are reaping the reward of strong sales around the world. executives at textile maker toray industries posted big annual increases in revenue and profits over the same six month period. the executives said their sales shot up 11% in yen terms to more than $8 million. that's their biggest taking for the april to september period. their operating profit was up more than 15% to $445 million. the executives said they benefited from a rise in sales of carbon fiber composite used in the body of planes. that's the latest in business. i'll leave you with a check of markets. ♪
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here on "newsline." an increasing number of people want their personal information and images removed from internet search results. it's known as the right to be forgotten. and yahoo! japan is poised to set new rules to allow that. sources say the firm will review its current standards for erasing search results. it now shows all results except references linking someone to a crime and other limited indications. company executive will meet with legal experts next week. they plan to form new criteria by march on what sort of information can be deleted. officials from yahoo! japan claim their effort is the first of its kind by any japanese search engine. experts are interested to see how the company will balance online freedom of expression with privacy protection. u.s. ambassador to japan caroline kennedy has expressed hope for stronger bilateral cooperation in the space industry.
kennedy spoke at a reception at the ambassador's residence in tokyo. about 100 people including officials from nasa and the japan aerospace exploration agency attended. >> for over 40 years the united states and japan have worked together in space. our joint research and development have increased understanding of the universe. >> japanese astronaut koichi wakata also offered thoughts on their research alliance. >> our bilateral cooperation is not limited in the human space exploration. in our effort to protect the precious environment of our home planet, the field of earth science is a major part of our comprehensive task list. >> the two countries are cooperating on space debris like defunct satellites as well as joint defense. it's sunny and dry here in tokyo, but over in rome people there are dealing with severe weather conditions. let's get the latest of that and more from mai shoji.
>> we reported that thousands of people have had to be forced to evacuate across tuscany on wednesday. now the system has descended down towards the south and affecting rome as we speak. we have pictures to show you from there. it has happened in the capital of italy with torrential rain hitting the area. schools were closed and residents were urged to stay indoors. workers kept clearing manholes throughout the city for most of the day. near black skies covered tourist sites such as this coliseum as motorists tried to avoid waterlocked sections of major roads. unfortunately, more rain will be pounding similar locations. this is the system responsible for this torrential rainfall. buckets full of rainfall have been occurring since i recall from the beginning of this week. it's the same system. it's pulling a lot of that moisty air from the south. pulling a lot of that cold air
from the north. clashing it here, making for nasty conditions. that's less likely to prevail. we have two waterspouts reported in italy on thursday and we might even see more or even a touchdown of tornados. excessive rainfall will be about 60 millimeters on top of the flooded situation, which is going to just certainly worsen the situation. large hail. we have a report of five-centimeter hail in italy, and that's likely to continue with strong gusts reaching up to about 65 kilometers per hour. so nothing really good to talk about in the southern areas hitting towards the southern balkans. towards the west, wet and windy conditions will be dominating. as for now, partly sunny skies, 13 degrees. a lot of double digits you see across these areas. and warsaw and kiev even hitting the double digits. but rain will be coming in through saturday and sunday on your weekend. out here across the u.s., the pacific northwest, the british columbia especially and western washington is dealing with the torrents of rainfall. and a lot of that white stuff
pieg piling up in the high elevations. gusts reaching about 65 kilometers per hour. and then out toward more northeastern states, likely to see more snowfall which is going to add up to about 35 centimeters in the high elevations. so watch out for that. but meanwhile, the predominant thing is the high pressure system dominating much of the central loexz. denver hitting 18 degrees. oklahoma city reaching 20 degrees. rheal real warmth. do enjoy these autumnal beautiful daze. here across japan, though, we are still tracking this system. this system was a severe tropical storm but now downgraded to -- or actually changed the form to a low pressure system. so the effects will be similar. anywhere along the pacific side of japan will possibly see waves reaching up to four meters high. but then after the storm system pulls out high pressure system will be dominating much for the continent. this is also spnl for the subtle
moisture from the ridge of the system in the next 72 hours. for the weekend we're likely to see on and off showers continue to linger in tokyo on saturday as well as sunday. here as you can see sapporo will be seeing some snow and the temperatures winter-like out there but it believproves it's beginning of winter on our lunar calendar today. i leave you now with our extended forecast. ♪ ♪ ♪
our main story at this hour once again, after their 2011 fukushima disaster japan's government imposed tougher requirements on nuclear power plants. now a plant in kagoshima prefecture is at a critical juncture. it's the first to meet the new requirements and has gained the approval of the prefectural assembly to restart operations. kishu electric power company operates the sendai nuclear power plant. the host city of satsuma sendai gave its support to the restart last month. all of japan's 48 nuclear power plants are currently offline. a citizens group submitted a petition to the kagoshima prefectural assembly calling for the plan to be reactivated. the assembly voted to support the pet sxigs gave its approval for the restart. kagoshima governor ito is expected to bring the plant online. he said he'll make up his mind