glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's thursday september 15th, 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. japan's prime minister, yoshihiko noda, and u.s. president barack obama will hold their first talks next wednesday in new york. noda will be in new york from tuesday to attend the u.n. general assembly session and the summit meeting on nuclear
security and safety of atomic power generation. the two leaders will confirm the importance of the japan-u.s. alliance. they're also expected to discuss ways to deepen relations in various fields. as to the relocation of the u.s. marines' futenma air station in okinawa, they're expected to confirm that an existing agreement between the two nations on the issue should be achieved. the agreement reached in may last year stipulates that the functions of the futenma base should be transferred to a new air field to be constructed on the coast of nago city, also in okinawa. a survey has found that japan's march 11th tsunami triggered at least 130 fires, destroying over 5 million square meters of the northeastern three prefectures. that's the worst case on record in japan. fires were sparked when fuel from tanks and ships drifting after the tsunami were ignited by vehicle batteries or other sources. once lit, flames spread quickly
as tsunami debris hinders firefighters. firefighters from iwate, miyagi, and fukushima prefectures told nhk that 131 fires had been reported at a total area of around 5.65 million square meters have burnt in four cities and towns. similar fires occurred when major earthquakes hit japan in 1964 and 1993. but damage in each incident was about 1/100 that of the march 11th disaster. the figure is likely to rise as the fire departments continue to survey the northeast. the japan society of civil engineers has revised down the height of the highest tsunami of march 11th, which it says was 39.7 meters in miyako city, iwate prefecture. the finding was reported to a society meeting on wednesday. its committees and working groups are examining the disaster and considering how to
deal with future tsunamis. the highest waves on land were thought to have been 40 meters or more. but after six months of research, the society revised the figure after factoring the height of the tide on march 11th. the society advises making breakwaters stronger to minimize future damage. the operator of the disabled fukushima daiichi nuclear plant has begun injecting water directly onto the spot in the number 2 reactor where its felted mule is believed to be located. tokyo electric power company has been spraying water continuously into the three reactors. as of 11:00 a.m. on wednesday, the bottom of the number 2 reactor was 114 degrees celsius, compared to 85 degrees in reactor 1 and 101 degrees in reactor 3. engineers believe the injected water is not cooling the spot
where the melted fuel has fallen. tepco is using pipes above the likely location of the fuel to spray water. this method was used successfully in the number 3 reactor. the utility hopes to achieve a cold shutdown by january, with the temperatures in the three reactors kept stable and below 100 degrees. people from around the world have been helping japan since the march 11th disaster. most send money or supplies. but some are offering something a little different. music and laughter. that's what a group from the netherlands brought when it toured this country's northeast recently. one of their members is japanese, and she decided tsunami survivors didn't just need food and shelter, they needed to be cheered up. nhk world's jun yotsimoto has the story. >> reporter: an emotional reunion, complete with tears of
joy. kumi kondo has been waiting for months to see her close relative, komi muchira. kumi is a 37-year-old cellist who lives in the netherlands. she plays with symphonyia lotter damm, a chamber orchestra that travels the world. she came to do her part to help the survivors of the march 11th disaster. >> despite the long flight, the long car ride, we're very tired, but we have a lot of energy because we are ready to roll. yeah. >> kolmei asked kumi to make the trip home. he works for a ferry company in the town of onagawa in the miyagi prefecture. kolmi survived the tsunami but lost his home, his car, everything. when he and his wife were living in a shelter, he realized people who had turned their lives upside down needed something to
cheer them up. >> translator: it's about casting a lifeline to people's hearts. you need something nutritious in your mind like music to live. that's why i asked kumi to bring her music. >> reporter: kumi brought more than just music. she encouraged these guys to come along with her. >> and we are high and low. ♪ >> reporter: high and low is a unique group from the netherlands. its members blend opera, acrobatics, and comedy into one zany mix. perfect for people in japan's northeast, who are in need of a laugh or two. ♪ around the clock tonight in between rehearsals for their string of shows, kumi and high and low had a chance to survey the damage in onagawa.
komei showed them where his house used to stand. >> translator: my house with my wife still in it was swept away but then hit that building and stopped. >> reporter: komei's story moved his visitors. >> like 10,000 people that used to live in onagawa. i thought they almost all died, i thought. >> reporter: and it reaffirmed their desire to help japan's tsunami survivors. >> i can give music. and i hope that music can go past the boundaries of language, of anything. people have suffered a lot, and it's very difficult emotionally. i don't want them to start crying again. i want them to be able to feel good, to get positive, good energy, to smile again because they still have a very long way to go.
>> reporter: many concerts have been held here in the disaster area, but one of the most unique ones is about to begin. ♪ ♪ all the things i could do ♪ if i had a little money ♪ in the rich man's world ♪ money, money, money ♪ one, two, three o'clock, four o'clock rock ♪ ♪ five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock rock ♪ ♪ nine, ten, 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock rock ♪ ♪ we're going to rock around the clock tonight ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ [ singing in japanese ] ♪ >> reporter: kumi's plan to cheer up some of japan's disaster survivors worked. the show was a big hit. >> translator: they made me forget about all the hardships and sorrow. >> they had humor. they entertained me a great deal. >> we saw the smiles on them during the show. we heard them talk and comment. and we heard them laugh. and so for us that's very important. and we think that we have reached our goal. >> high and low also brought 1,000 dutch tulip bulbs to japan. its members gave them to the survivors they met on their tour. the idea is the tulips will bloom next spring, one year after the disaster.
kumi said she wants the area to be full of colorful flowers to bring people hope. in other news, in a message to the world economic forum, prime minister yoshihiko noda has stressed japan will continue 20 contribute to the international community despite the march 11th disaster. the prime minister sent a video message to the annual forum meeting in china's northeastern city of dalian on wednesday. noda at first expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the international community. he said clear signs of reconstruction are appearing in disaster-stricken northeastern japan.
noda also said his cabinet is doing everything possible to resolve the fukushima daiichi accident. he said the situation is improving in line with the schedule with help from other countries. noda said that he wants to cooperate with experts from around the world to rebuild the disaster-hit area. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on "newsline." a week after tropical storm talas ripped through midwestern japan, life has still not returned to normal for some. residents in a stranded village have finally begun receiving supplies thanks to a makeshift ropeway.
11 people in hongu, wakayama prefecture, have been ma roond since rain from tropical storm talas washed away part of the road to the remote mountain village. the ropeway is made of industrial-strength wire strung across a 100-meter-wide valley. the delivery of goods began on wednesday and included toilet paper, canned food, gasoline and other necessities. >> translator: the ropeway means we can deliver more compared with moving supplies manually. i hope it keeps the residents satisfied until the road reopens. >> talas left 66 people dead and 30 others unaccounted for. mostly in wakayama prefecture. japanese government officials have examined damage caused by the tropical storm to a shinto shrine in central japan earlier this month. the kumononachi shrine is a
unesco world heritage site. massive amounts of mud swept into the shrine complex when the storm triggered a landslide nearby. six officials from the cultural affairs agency toured the site on wednesday, led by the chief priest. workers had not been able to remove the mud for fear of damaging the shrine's buildings. but the officials explained to them how it can be done. >> translator: the damage is more serious than we expected. it will take more time to restore the shrine. people are concerned the shrine might be removed from the world heritage list. but i strongly believe this won't happen. next we take you to our bureau in bangkok. what's making headlines in the region. a series of deadly assaults by taliban fighters in the afghan capital kabul targeting the u.s. embassy and other facilities have finally ended.
the attacks have raised concerns about the taliban's ability to penetrate even the most heavily protected districts in the capital. nhk world's hideki ui has more. >> rpg. get down! >> reporter: armed insurgents seized a building under construction on tuesday from where they fired rockets at the u.s. embassy. they also fired on the headquarters of the nato-led international security assistance force. the attacks soon developed into gunfights between the fighters and afghan security troops. at least nine people were killed and 23 injured in the attacks. a taliban spokesperson told nhk that the group was responsible for the assaults. the attacks ended after 20
hours, when afghan security forces killed the last of the six insurgents in their stronghold. >> translator: we've killed six fighters who launched attacks from this high-rise, where they'd been holed up. as you can see, this was a good location for them to launch the attack. >> reporter: president hamid karzai has released a statement condemning the attacks. he said this will not stop the transition of security from international to afghan forces. with the u.s. and nato planning to withdraw from afghanistan, the reappearance of the taliban in kabul has raised questions about whether afghan troops are prepared to protect the capital. hideki yui, nhk world, islamabad. gunmen in pakistan have ambushed a school bus filled with children. three students, the bus driver, and a teacher died in the
attacks on tuesday. the shooting occurred outside the northwestern city of peshawar. the group opened fire on the bus using guns and a rocket launcher. police say the boys and girls on the bus were between the ages of 8 and 15. >> translator: the bus was taking the children home after classes at the khyber model school. the terrorists opened fire as the bus was passing. >> reporter: he said at least 17 others were injured and that some are in critical condition. a spokesperson for the pakistani taliban, the largest islamic fundamentalist group in pakistan, told nhk that it attacked the school bus in retaliation for hostile actions taken by local residents. the pakistani taliban has been targeting government forces over the past several years. the group has also staged a series of attacks on schoolchildren and civilians. the u.s. special envoy to myanmar has called on the government to take further
concrete steps toward democratization. derek mitchell was speaking at a news conference in myanmar's largest city, yangon, at the end of his latest visit to the country. >> i responded that the united states recognized and welcomed recent gestures such as president than zane's meeting with aung san suu kyi, dialogue with ethnic groups in the interest of national reconciliation. >> during his visit mitchell met pro democracy leader aung san suu kyi and government officials. he said myanmar should take concrete action including the unconditional release of all political prisoners and engaging in meaningful dialogue with aung san suu kyi. his visit shows that u.s. government intends to maintain economic sanctions in order to pressure myanmar to take further steps toward democratization. finally, before we end today's update, two landscape
artists in the philippines have devised an art form using natural materials that brings together focus and balance. leandro inocencio and el defonso vista both have a profound love of nature. the duo has created rock balancing that blends skurlt and performance art. using stones found in rivers and forests, they arrange seemingly gravity-defying composition without the need of any tools. some of them reach as high as 1 1/2 meters. their incredible natural art has sparked interest among students, which has allowed them to travel around the country. they couple their performance art with a message about style and attitude in the course of life. >> translator: we want people to know that even a rock, as impossible as it seems, can be balanc balanced. we can do it because of focus,
we'll get ross mihara now to give us the latest on sumo action. just like on the previous days, the fourth day of the september grand sumo tournament was an upsetting experience. ozeki harumafuji is barely in the hunt for yolk zoouma promotion with one loss. he's against a man he's beaten six straight times, homasho. the mongolian knows he can't afford to drop another loss, so he looks a little uptight, and homasho uses that to his advantage. he pops the ozeki with a straight arm and moves him straight back. it's a push down. that second defeat may have ruined harumafuji's hopes as well. among the three ozekis the most disappoint k has been kotooshu.
yoshikaze is fresh off an upset of barretto but kotooshu looks better. let's hope the bulgarian continues to show that kind of fire for the rest of this basho. this is the second time in sumo history that there are no homegrown japanese rikishi ranked at oak zuna or ozeki. he wants to change that. he's off to a great start, undefeated so far. he's facing takekaze. coat shog queue is the superior. but he does a decent job ad-libbing going with an arm
lock throw to swing down takekaze. kotoshogiku with a perfect record after four days. while the other big names take the headlines, hakuho has been rock solid as usual facing wack that s.a.t. wakanosato who has been surprisingly strong given he's 35 years old. but the man doesn't have what it takes anymore to knock off the king of the ring. it's another easy day at the office for hakuho. he notches his fourth victory in a row as he moves a step closer to his 20th career championship. the top match on day 5 may be between undefeated kotoshogiku and three-win, one-loss homasho. we'll have that and more here on nhk "newsline." and welcome back to your weather update. now, we've been keeping an eye on our tropical storm system in
the pacific. here it is, tropical storm roki slowly growing in size. and gradually intensifying as well. looking like it's going to be slowing down once it gets close to the southern islands of japan, okinawa islands. and once it does so it looks like it's just going to stall out over the area, really slow down till we are going to be talking about that stormy weather persisting for an extended amount of time. it is likely going to attain a severe tropical storm status by the time it gets there. we will be talking about rain really starting to impact the area. the islands already starting to look pretty wet today, and it will only intensify in the coming days. showers are also going to be impacting parts of the pacific side of southern japan. over toward china still dealing with the seasonal rain front and it is in place looking like it's going toinsify at times over toward north korea-chinese border border. gradually heading out as it does
so. but still remains pretty unsettled for a lot of central sections of china. as for highs on thursday, 32 again in tokyo. so it's going to be another hot day. it gets up to 30 degrees in seoul as well. shanghai will hit 33. taipei also the same at 33 degrees. and as for the americas, we're keeping an eye on tropical storm maria in the atlantic as well. here too slowly pulling away from the caribbean islands, picking up its pace a little more. looks like it's just going to continue on a course that moves it right west of bermuda. it will likely miss the islands, at least not a direct impact, but still you will feel the winds, the rain as well as the rough sea conditions. you do want to watch out for that. as it heads out to sea. looks like it's going to continue to weaken, becoming a low by friday. as for north america, dealing with this cold front that's been pretty active today, tonight it's going to bring a round of showers right through the eastern end of the united
states, producing some scattered thundershowers along the way. out west pretty unsettled across this area, the rockies as well as parts of the plain states picking up on precipitation, and for the upper elevations here, especially in parts of colorado, we are going to be talking about snow falling here. as for highs on thursday, it is going to be on the cool side for a lot of areas. only 15 in winnipeg. chicago, too, remains at 16 degrees. but an even bigger dip is going to be at oklahoma city for 17. 30 degrees on wednesday. you can see just how big a dip we're going to see in those temperatures here. and finally, a look at europe. still pretty unsettled up toward the scandinavian region. but it is its own way out. this system is weakening and pulling out and away toward the east. it will slowly clear out as we head through the course of thursday. you can see it looks a lot dryer for the southern end of the scandinavian peninsula at least. the british isles, too, is enjoying a dry night. but there will be more rain headed your way later on. thursday coming in from the west
♪ japan's prime minister, yoshihiko noda, and u.s. president barack obama will hold their first talks next wednesday in new york. noda will be in new york from tuesday to attend the u.n. general assembly session and the summit meeting on nuclear security and safety of atomic power generation. the two leaders will confirm the importance of the japan-u.s. alliance. they're also expected to discuss ways to deepen relations in various fields. as to the relocation of the u.s. marines' futenma air station in okinawa, they're expected to confirm that an existing agreement between the two nations on the issue should be achieved. the agreement reached in may last year stipulates that the functions of the futenma base should be transferred to a new air field to be constructed on the coast of nago city, also in
okinawa. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. hello. i'm tomoko kimura with nhk world tv. our three picks of the week start off with a science documentary. there are three areas that are known to generate major earthquakes. if all three ruptured together, what kind of megaquake should the country expect? we'll look into the predictable outcomes of the tsunami and the countermeasures that can be taken.
next we'll highlight a community in the to hocho disaster zone that was devastated by the historic quake. every summer traditional festivals are held throughout japan to console the spirits of people's ancestors. in rikuzentakata, a city that was wiped out by the huge tsunami, survivors gather for this festival once again to honor their lost loved ones. and last, kampai, a guide to great drink, in which we introduce traditional japanese drinks to foreign visitors. we'll learn about shochu, a distilled spirit that's made from tubers, wheat, rice, or other grains. our reporters visit kagoshima, the home of shochu in southern japan. we'll find out how the