♪ hello and welcome back to "newsline." i'm yuko aotani in tokyo. first the headlines for this hour. pro-democracy demonstrators in hong kong are debating how to move forward two months after they first took to the streets. officials at opec have decided not to cut crude oil production, oil production, despite the recent plunge in the price of crude. and japan's golf industries facing a crisis.
greens owners are developing new strategies. pro-democracy demonstrators in hong kong are debating how to move their protests forward. friday marks exactly two months since they first started occupying parts of the territory's busy districts. the hong kong government has shown no signs of giving in to their demands by wednesday. authorities had cleared barktds from one of the three main protest sites following a court order. some point out that support for the protesters among hong kong residents appears to have dwindled as the standoff dragged on. a student leader says a new course of action will be worked out in a few days. he was released on bail after being detained while the barricades were being removed. some of the protesters say they intend to keep up the fight, but others including a university associate professor and a christian minister say they will surrender themselves to police as early as next week. north korea's state-run media has for the first time used a specific title when referring to leader kim jong un's sister.
this suggests she's become a more important presence in the country's leadership. the state leader report that the leader visit a cartoon film studio in pyongyang accompanied by his younger sister. their report identified her as a vice department director of the north korean party's central committee. it's not known what kind of work the position involves. kim yo jon first appeared on state-run tv in september 2011 after the death of her father, former leader kim jong il. but there was no mention of her official title at that time. in march this year the state media introduced her as a senior official of the central committee. since then her activities have often been reported in the news. now, people from countries that supplied oil to the world have seen the price of their product sink, and they have been debating what to do about it. ai uchida from the business desk
has more on this. >> for a decade oil producers from a bloc of countries have controlled oil prices, deciding what you and i pay at the gas stand. well, that is starting to change. they are facing more and more competition from people who produce shale oil, and that's causing crude oil prices to fall. so the producers got together and debated whether she should cut production to drive prices back up. delegates from the organization of petroleum exporting countries met in vienna. they've seen prices drop more than 30% in the past six months. some said they want to cut back on their output. but those from the largest oil producer, saudi arabia, oppose the move. they said recent price fluctuations are short term. other delegates said prices will eventually rebound as the global economic recovery drives up demand. ultimately the group decided to keep its target of 30 million barrels a day. in new york futures prices fell below $70 a barrel for the
first time in 4 1/2 years. many people think there will be more supply than demand. traders in tokyo have responded to the opec decision. they've pushed crude oil futures to their lowest level in nearly two years. traders flooded the tokyo commodity exchange with sell orders. that caused the price toly hit 53,130 yen, or about $450 per killoliter. that's down $255 from the previous day and the lowest level since december 2012. japanese economic revitalization minister akira amari welcomed the slide in crude oil prices. >> translator: there are concerns about the weakening trend in the yen, as it is pushing up the prices of imported goods. but if oil prices go lower, this will offset the impact, and that is a positive factor for the
japanese economy. >> a japanese analyst says excess oil supplies could keep prices low into the first half of next year but prices may start to pick up in the second half. >> translator: if the glut in crude oil remains, it will have a negative impact on the development of new oil sources such as shale. so we have to bear in mind that prices could rise gradually in the second half of next year. >> okoshi said until now opec countries have effectively controlled prices, but he said that's set to change as u.s. oil production has a bigger influence on market prices. stock prices rose this friday morning. investors are excited by the decline in crude oil prices. now, for more details on individual shares, let's go to ramin mellegard. he has a full wrap-up for us. hi there, ramin. what can you tell us? >> thank you very much, ai.
u.s. markets may have been closed for thanksgiving holiday but investors here still had a lot to take in, especially the outcome of that opec meeting in vienna. let's have a look at how the morning session wrapped up for this friday. the nikkei, 17,406, up 0.9%. and the broader topix, 1,404. as you said, ai, crude oil prices fell to 4 1/2-year lows after opec decided to leave crude oil production levels unchanged. and i did see buying in shares related to the energy sector, specifically airlines and shipping companies, japan airlines, all nippon airways holdings, and shipping company mitzi osk, all gaining in the morning. however, there's always a negative side and oil field and gas field developing companies were decliners today. specifically, inpex as well as japan petroleum exporting company also. let's have a look at currencies. the dollar/yen playing a big part in how exporters trade here as well. right now pretty supportive.
118.21-23. the traders are hoping they're buying the dollar on hopes lower oil prices are going to give a boost to the u.s. economy. however, analysts also suggesting the dollar's rise may be capped simply because of a shortened session today on wall street. now, next week's manufacturing and main jobs data for november will be a big guide for the greenback. let's have a look at some of the asian indexes as well. the shanghai composite index does remain on course for a seventh day of gains. look at that. it's still in the positive. however, commodity-heavy indexes such as sydney's s&p sx 200 is down not only on crude oil prices but also metals and other commodities. in fact, it's the underperformer today. that's all for me. back to you. >> all right, ramin, thanks a lot for that update. ramin mellegard reporting on the morning market moves. well, many people in japan are poring over new economic data. earlier this month they saw figures that showed the economy
slip backward in the last two quarters. so they're wondering what the latest indicators show, and they are seeing a mixed picture. internal ministry officials say prices rose by 2.9% compared with the same month last year. they've been going up for 17 months. officials don't factor in the cost of fresh food because it moves around a lot and skews the result. but the officials say household spending fell. they say consumers spent less than they did last year for seven months in a row. the officials say households of two or more people spent an average of about $2,400. that's a year on-year decline of 4% in real terms. economy ministry officials say industrial production in october was up 0.2% from the previous month. that follows a revised 2.9% increase in september. officials expect output to rise by 2.3% in november and then 0.4% in december. and people looking for work,
they also had a slightly better month. internal ministry officials say the jobless rate fell to 3.5%, down 0.1 percentage point from september. the number of people with jobs was up by 240,000 from a year earlier to almost 64 million. the number without fell by 300,000 to about 2.3 million. labor ministry officials say the ratio of job offers to seekers was up slightly to 1.10. that means there were 110 positions available for every 100 people looking for work. policy makers at south korea's central bank have released the latest data for the current account. it's the broadest way to measure trade in goods, services, tourism, and investment. they say in october the account was in surplus again. it's ban in the black for 32 months in a row. economists study these figures to get a clearer picture of the country's relationship with the
rest of the world. he with asked ei yonsup for his insight. he's a research fellow for the korean institute of finance in seoul. >> well, basically, the current trend in the current account surplus is a typical example of what we call a so-called recessionary-type surplus. and what we mean by a recessionary-type surplus, we mean that it's basically due to not surge in exports but a drop in imports. and this is due to the fact that basically the korean economy is not, you know, a country where it's completely separated from the rest of the world, and we're seeing many countries struggling in their economy, and that's why the big drop in imports are contributing to this type of so-called recessionary type
current account surpluses. >> and tell us about how the stronger currency is affecting all this. a stronger currency, the exports are the ones who are strong, yet exports are doing pretty well too. what is going on here? >> the most sort of favorite interpretation for me is that maybe some of the products are no longer based on price competitiveness. so even though the won is strengthening, the export products, some of the export products will be exported no matter, you know, what the price of the currency is. so for example, if you see ship-building companies here in korea, they have the largest market share in the world. they also built very high-quality type ships.
so buyers from overseas countries, they will buy these ships, oil rig ships and cargo ships, no matter what the -- how the currency performs. so we can say that, you know, these environment changes in the currencies will not affect those types of export products. >> that said, leaders do want to see a stronger domestic market, but imports have been slow to pick up. and some people predict the value of exports next year will be bigger than this year. what needs to change to spur domestic demand? >> well, in order to spur domestic demand, you have to basically sort of try to transform your economy into a much more, you know, service sector-driven economy. and basically, what that means is trying to transform the total structure of the economy. we've -- advanced countries have
experienced these types of changes, but it's going to be a very huge task. it's going to take time. so i think both the government and the private sectors r sector have to work closely in order to achieve this goal. >> and that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets. ♪ ♪
♪ britain's prince william will visit japan and china next year. this will be his first trip to both nations, and he will be traveling without the duchess of cambridge, who is expecting their second child. kensington palace officials said on thursday that the prince will spend about three days in japan. diplomatic sources say the visit is being arranged for february the 27th to march the 1st. the prince will appear at events in tokyo and other cities centering on bilateral exchanges in culture and commerce. he will also attend function that's support his own personal interest in combating illegal wildlife trade. queen elizabeth ii and prince philip visited japan in 1975.
and the prince of wales has traveled to the country twice -- first with former wife princess diana in 1986 and then with the duchess of cornwall in 2008. prince william will head to china after his stay in japan and shanghai. he will open an event promoting bilateral exchanges in tourism. he will also visit beijing. japan will accelerate their transport of medical protective gear to combat the ebola outbreak in west africa. the defense minister will issue an order to supply about 20,000 sets of protective clothing to the region by using air self-defense force aircraft. the aid is part of roughly half a million sets of protective gear prime minister shinzo abe promised to provide in september. japan has already sent 20,000 sets on commercial aircraft to liberia and sierra leone. two of the missions hit hard by ebola.
the sayer self-defense force plans to fly the latest batch of assistance on transport aircraft early next month to ghana, which is near those countries. japan will ask the u.n. and other agencies to transport the aid from ghana to the affected countries out of safety concerns. this will be the first time for self-defense force personnel to be dispatched to west africa on a mission to support the fight against ebola. government officials and the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant say cleaning up the heavily contaminated reactor buildings will be much harder than they had previously believed. they say additional decontamination work will be necessary before beginning their decommissioning process. workers have been scrapping off flooring material in the number 3 reactor building to remove r5id yavth substances.
tokyo electric power company had expected the work to lower the radiation level to one millisievert per hour but the operator now estimates radiation would still range between 10 and 60 millisieverts per hour in some levels. the government and tepco decided to introduce more measures to reduce exposure. they include laying down steel sheets on floors to block radiation as well as removing more layers of flooring material. the operator was planning to remove nuclear fuel from the storage pool of the number 3 reactor in the next fiscal year. but it's not yet known how the additional decontamination work will affect their schedule. removal of nuclear fuel from reactor storage pools is a significant part of the decommission's process. for reactor number 1 tepco plans to delay the schedule by two years to fiscal 2019. for reactor number 2 officials say they will compile a plan in two years. the operator of a nuclear power plant in southwestern
japan is preparing to restart its two reactors. but the sendai plant will not likely be back online before february, due to a document revision. in september the reactors became the first to clear new government requirements set up after the 2011 fukushima cabinet. the host city's mayor, the prefecture's governor and local assemblies, have all approved the restart plan. kyushu electric power must now obtain approval for two types of documents from the nuclear regulation authority. one is a construction plan that explains the facility's design in detail. the other is a set of rules for operation and emergency responses. officials of the company told regulators on thursday that they will revise these documents and submit them by the end of the year. kyushu electric wants to restart the number one reactor first. but that would take at least until february. after gang the regulator's approval of the construction plan and inspections of its new
safety measures. all commercial reactors in japan are currently offline. country club owners in japan are changing the way they do business. they are seeing a decline in the number of golf players. so they're tailoring their courses to appeal to any clientele. >> reporter: japan's golfing industry is facing a crisis. the generation that discovered this sport is aging. and the number of players is in decline. the owners of japan's 2,000-plus courses know that competition will intensify and that those who fail to attract more customers will be forced to close. this country club is focusing its efforts on developing a new clientele. one strategy to achieve this is to listen to the players' needs. two years ago the course launched a monthly all-women
event. many female golfers said they wanted to play at a more leisurely pace on weekdays, when the course is less crowded. all-women events are popular because players can join on their own. whatever their level. and improving one's handicap is not the only objective. the impact has been noticeable. the proportion of female members has doubled to 20% over the last five years. >> translator: i really enjoy this opportunity of making friends while you're playing rounds with other women. >> translator: it's great to have so much fun with people i've met for the first time. >> reporter: this other business has decided to part with the conventional image of the country club.
the facility is now open to non-golfers in the hope that watching people swing golf clubs will spike their interest. the star attraction is the club's rooftop barbecue. on weekends it's crowded with young people and families, eager to spend the day outdoors. the club provides everything they need, from the barbecue set to the food and even a helpful cook. the owners set up a second barbecue area right next to the course. >> translator: i am not really a golfer, but i heard it's possible to play here. so i want to give it a try. >> translator: the restrooms make it easy to bring our children, and there's also a place to replax. so it's great. >> translator: the idea is to send out the message that this club has a casual atmosphere
where everyone is welcome. i think every golf course will eventually have to adapt in its own way. >> reporter: as in many other industries finding new ways of attracting customers has become a matter of survival. diversification is set to increase as golf courses sing into the future. now, people in brisbane, australia have been dealing with large hailstones and windy weather. for all the details of that and more here's mai shoji at the weather desk. >> residents of brisbane saw one of the most intense storm systems. and people are cleaning up right now. take a look at a picture coming out from this area. the storm that hit brisbane on thursday is being called the strongest in a decade to slam australia's third largest city, golf ball size hail and winds up to 60 kilometers per hour
reported at the storm's peak. 90,000 residents lost power. and one injury was reported due to falling tree. due to the high winds many residents may have thought they were in a cyclone instead of an intense super cell. a number of roads were blocked by falling trees leading to serious traffic disruptions. the army deployed 1 huf00 perso to the city to help clean up the damage. that's what's taking place. quite some hailstorm. while this is due to a cold front and the tail end of that hitting in and around brisbane. the low pressure system connected to that is actually down toward new zealand now, bringing some rainfall. not so intense, but it's going to be an ongoing event with some heavy patches of rainfall across new zealand. wellington you'll see rain and then it's going to get very gusty on your sunday. considering brisbane, still the rain will be tapering off but not completely dissipated yet. and then on saturday and sunday you're looking at some high temperatures. sydney reaching 30 on your
sunday. all right. here across northern locations we're looking at some quite intense shower maker. it's officially in and around okinawa we have fallen about 365 millimeters in one day. of which 97 millimeters fell over the course of just one hour, and that's certainly a november record. well, that's spreading all the way across the southern islands of japan and into western locations as well. so kyushu will perhaps see about 100 millimeters into the next 24 hours. and another system provides precipitation across the korean peninsula. some snow in the upper levels. and then that's pulling in again. much of japan will be provided with very wet weather. maybe tokyo may see some on and off showers as well. but generally speaking, cloudy. down toward the south another area where things are very wet. in the philippines these are the conditions we've been falling in the past 24 hours. rainfall totals. on top of that it's going to be accumulating. this is due to a tropical storm
that just became a named system, which is pulling into vietnam, and that's actually surging a lot of that moisture piling up on the eastern side of the country, and that's likely to continue into the next 72 hours. so flooding will certainly be a huge issue. minus 5 for your high. tokyo will see some warm conditions at 17 degrees on our friday. across the americas we have found numerous reports of daily maximum snowfall totals. about 26 centimeters in and around portland. in albany, new york 24 centimeters. another record. and not just the snow but also rainfall. accumulation of 137 millimeters in newfoundland. but we're likely to see 10 centimeters of snowfall and more rain to cover those locations. and that goes the same with the lake effect in and around the great lakes. on the flip side of the continent i'll talk about this more later on but we're looking