welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm shery ahn. the japanese government is telling people that left their homes because of fukushima daiichi that it is safe to return. it lifted an evacuation advisory affecting five municipalities. it is outside the 20 kilometer no entry zone around the damaged nuclear facility. the municipalities are all in fukushima prefecture, mainly located between 20 and 30 kilometers from the plant. the government's nuclear
accident task force made the decision to lift the evacuation advisory on friday. all cabinet ministers attended the meeting. the at that timing force noted the situation of fukushima daiichi has improved. it also pointed out that the five municipalities have drawn up plans to remove radioactive substances from local schools and hospitals, andinfrastructur. >> translator: the government will do everything that it can in order to dispel concerns among residents who want to return home. >> this is the first time since the crisis began at fukushima daiichi that the central government has lifted an evacuation related designation. the government designated three types of evacuation zones after the accident at fukushima daiichi. the zone whose advisory was lived on friday covers five municipalities colored here in yellow. residents were advised to
evacuate voluntarily or remain indoors in the event of another emergency. as a result about half of the population or around 28,500 people decided to leave. two other areas remain out of bounds because of high levels of radiation. the no entry zone covers a 20 kilometer radius around the plant and five municipalities outside that 20 kilometer perimeter colored here in blue where cumulative radiation is projected to top 20 millisieverts per year. the government hasn't determined when people in these two areas will be able to return home.
new york's key stock index fell more than 240 points on friday on news that the film and camera gianteseman kodak may file for bankruptcy. the dow jones industrial average closed at 10,913, down 240 points from thursday. sell orders prevailed from the opening bell on concerns over the global economic outlook, including worries about emerging economies. share prices fell even further in the afternoon on reports thatteseman kodak is considering filing for bankruptcy protection. a market source said investors got cold feet when the news abouteseman kodak came on top of the worries about the european credit situation. chinese premier wen jiabao says his government will strive to improve people's standard of
living. wen spoke on friday, the eve of the 62nd anniversary of the people's republic of china. he told communist party leaders and foreign ambassadors that he's extremely proud of the chinese government's achievements. he said the government needs to put top priority on improving the chinese people's quality of life. he said it will tackle the rising cost of living and provide affordable housing. >> translator: we must solve the practical problems that people are most concerned about. >> he also said development needs to take place at a speed that allows both quality and efficiency. he was apparently referring to the high speed railway accident in july and the subway accident in shanghai this week. the chinese community party will choose a new leadership at its convention next year. the party is facing an increasingly dissatisfied public
as the gap widens between the rich and the poor. achieving stability is at the top of its agenda. tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in the egyptian capital of cairo to call for changes to the new election law. ♪ demonstrators took to the streets in cairo's tahrir square after friday prayers. they claim the military council's new electoral system fails to exclude former backers of hosni mubarak's regime. the demonstrators also criticized the law for favoring wealthy mubarak supporters. the military council, which provisionally governs the country, announced that parliamentary elections will begin on november 28th. this will be the first vote since the fall of president mubarak. under the new system, two-thirds of the seats in parliament will be decided through proportional representation of political parties.
the remainder will be contested by individual candidates in electoral districts. the demonstrators urged changes to the system and said they want a smooth transition to democracy. political groups, including the muslim brotherhood's freedom and equality party have threatened to boycott the vote unless the law is changed. russian president dmitry medvedev says he decided not to run for a second term because prime minister vladimir putin is more popular than he is. medvedev explained his views in an interview on russian tv friday. >> translator: putin is the most authoritative politician in russia and has a higher approval rating. the approval rating is an important factor for politicians in deciding their action. >> medvedev said the plan for putin to return to the presidency and for himself to be
and before we wrap up, students from a design school in fukushima prefecture have held a fashion show in taiwan as a way to thank the taiwanese people for their help after the earthquake and tsunami in march. ♪ the japanese students are training to be hairstylists and fashion designers. they wanted to thank the
taiwanese for sending $230 million in donations after the disaster in march. they showed more than 20 outfits. one of the highlights was a dress made of traditional japanese paper with a bright red rising sun to symbolize the japanese flag. taiwanese youngsters took part as models. they said it was great to wear such lovely outfits. the school in fukushima had to close for six weeks because of damage from the earthquake. when doors open again, the students spent three months getting ready for the show. >> translator: we've had a lot of fun. the earthquake made life really hard, but mixing with people here has been a great experience. and that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm shery ahn. thank you for watching.
this only gentleman is dressed entirely in red. but why? so many offbeat characters live in the area. word got around about the funky characters and the comic sold a total of 100,000 copies. >> the author sees things that you normally wouldn't. he's very observant. >> akabane has a lot of weird people. >> he obviously depicts people that others try to ignore. that's what i like about the comics. >> the cartoonist toru seino lives in akabane. he introduces the unusual charms of the district. >> the residents are unpredictable and fascinating.
i'm amazed every time i meet these unique people. i still have tales that i haven't told, which i will reveal in comics to come. >> i'm getting really curious. i love people watching. >> our director went along with seino to get the whole story. let's go behind the scenes to find out what's happening in this wacky town. i can't wait to find out. seino meet it is characters in his stories while walking the streets. he tries to find out what people are really like so he aims to stay anonymous. that's why we can't show you his
face. but please enjoy his self portrait. seino is choosy about where he walks. >> i go through back alleys that i've never been to. that's where i find strange things. >> he's never been here before. >> this stone pillar must have a history, don't you think? >> the mysterious stone pillar is over two meters high but who placed it here and why? looks kind of difficult to enter the house. there's also the monster park. spooky, i suppose. what kind of a name is that for a sushi shop?
seino will never run out of stories but what's on his mind right now is this. ufos were sighted in the area last october. it's hard to believe but there are eyewitnesses. seino is going to interview one of them. >> he saw the ufo. did you take a video? >> yes, i did. >> can we see it? >> sure. >> he has the video. the image isn't so clear but the thing was blinking and many colors. how did it move? >> up and down. >> this is amazing and so colorful. >> look at how it moves. that is not an airplane. it's a real unidentified flying object.
>> hundreds of people were here. they were all over the place. >> around here? >> yes. all over. the thing was over there, above the billboard. >> over there. >> people were all stirred up, crying out. it's a ufo! we were all excited. >> that was the sighting? >> he said the mysterious light was in the air for about an hour. and the people who had gathered around akabane railway station were in a state of chaos. it's getting interesting. seino goes looking for other witnesses to learn more. >> hello. may i come in?
>> this pub is close to the station. he asks about the sighting. >> we saw it over there. >> no. it was more over there. >> there? was it high up? >> well, not that high. >> it was about 10 meters from the fence. >> that's pretty far. >> well, it was. some were dumbfounded and just couldn't move. an elderly woman was praying to it. >> she was putting her hands together? >> i thought the ufo might take us. it was there for so long and seemed like it was eyeing us. >> the incident gave us something to talk about for days. we had fun. >> well, you're all so easy going. >> well, nothing happens around here. >> it was stimulating, really. >> it was exciting.
>> seino immediately jots down his thoughts about whatever draws his curiosity. >> it doesn't matter if the information adds up to a story or not. i just write down everything that interests me. and the word stimulating was impressive. it will be a key word. >> he starts drawing comics right after coming home. he uses the notes to build a story that recounts his experience. to make the story more convincing, he combines photos with his drawings. >> people won't believe the stories if i use only drawings. a single photo will make the story credible. photos are an important element. >> it's like this.
the doll is said to move every night. but the drawing isn't that scary but the photo, oh, it looks like something from a nightmare. >> this man loves to show off his strength and never lost a match. what's the big deal? hey, mister! bikes are for riding. >> the people in akabane do funny things, way beyond my imagination. they're so fascinating. i first learned from this place that reality is much, much more captivating than fiction. >> seino decided to become a comic manga artist when he was in junior high school. he decided to make it his life work.
he made his debut when he was in high school. it seemed like smooth sailing ahead when he won a serial in a major cartoon magazine as an undergraduate. >> back then, i thought that if you had a serial going, you would be able to make a living as a cartoonist for the rest of your life. but i learned the hard way that having a serial only means that you're on the starting line. i had a tough time after that. ♪ >> he found out that life isn't that easy. the serial lasted only six months. and he was suddenly out of work. it was around this time that he moved to akabane. here, small taverns line the back alleys. he likes the motley, vulgar air of the place. he felt at home.
there, he met his destiny. he describes how it happens in his comic book. a sign board is crucial in attracting customers but this one is cracked in half. he was taken in by the sign on the door. guess what this is. there was not one customer. and the owner was fast asleep. it was obvious that the place was in trouble. um, i was just wondering what the sign meant. >> ah, i just put it there because there's always some nerd that comes in and asks what it is. like you. >> well, it was a hard day.
this couple own this odd ball tavern. nobuhito and his wife help seino through his hardest times. the couple inspired seino and gave him hints on subjects for his cartoons. they showed him that real life is much more interesting than made-up stories. >> back then, my life as a manga artist was the pits. so was their business. they had no customers. and the store could go under any time. but they looked like they were enjoying themselves. i was struggling. and was baffled by their attitude. and i wanted to know how they could be like that. >> humorous things happened every time he went to the tavern.
the menu was always incomprehensible. there was even a bloody mishap. seino blogged these offbeat stories and caught the attention of an editor. first, it was a cell phone comic. users paid 50 cents to download one story. the residents who lead happy lives even though they're actually at rock bottom attracted many internet followers. unfortunately, they have now closed their pub but the two are still precious to seino. >> he's a treasured son to me.
he didn't quit no matter how hard it got. and even when the comics didn't sell or when he couldn't find anything to write about. that's why he succeeded. i want to always be there for him. while chasing unusual stories, seino met people who are now dear to him. the most visible person in akabane is this gentleman in red. pullover, jacket, muffler, everything he wears is red. fumio is known as a red grandpa around here. akabane means red feathers, hence, the red, i guess. he lives alone and some days he doesn't speak to a single person.
and then, one day he appeared dressed all in green. seino couldn't hold back his curiosity and stopped him to talk. he said, you want to come to my house? huh? he invited seino to his home and their odd relationship began. ♪ they're good buddies now. the two enjoy karaoke together. >> somewhere hidden in a person's heart is the desire to be appreciated. i think everybody's like that.
people try hard to be recognized as a person. i thought seino would understand me and like me. for what i am. he considers seino a dear friend even though he's much younger. he showed off his prized collection of red clothes. >> when i go to a chinese restaurant wearing this, the restaurant fills up with customers. a lucky cat. >> and this is his favorite item. oh dear! you're on the wrong program. on this day, he had something special he wanted to give seino.
>> here. >> to mr. seino. >> just open it. >> it's pretty heavy. >> well, sure it is. >> your keys? >> yes. to this room. you can come any time. >> no. i'll call when i come. it's kind of heavy. >> i mean it. you can use the room. >> the signs toru seino's support office. he wants seino to use the spare room as his workshop and gave him the keys. >> i can't give it back so i'll keep it and when he misplaces his keys i'll tell him that i have the spare.
>> they came to know each other as a cartoonist and as a subject for the stories but now it seems that they were destined to meet. >> i can't just write about them and leave. a part of their lives and even their photos are made public. they just smile and let me do that. people like that are saviors to a manga artist like me. >> one night when we were nearly at the end of our research -- >> look. that must be it. >> look. where? >> see it flickering over there? >> no. couldn't be. >> look. it's shining over there. over there. just above the pole between the cables. >> seino points to the mysterious object shining in the sky. >> yes. it must be it!
it's that ufo! we climbed up an embankment to get a closer look. what? what's he doing? hey, sir! do you see the ufo? what are you doing? huh? a kite? is that what it was? the mysterious ufo was actually an electric kite? >> the man flying the kite lives in the neighborhood. >> this just-published episode about the ufo incident goes like this. >> oh, what's that? look!
>> oh, that. it's my kite. >> huh? >> the ufo was a kite? why are you doing this? >> well, i wanted to. no special reason. >> akabane is a very wacky but human place. although the people may seem -- if you can muster the courage to talk to them, i'm sure a new world will open for you to explore. >> unimaginable and funny things happen in akabane. i want to bring a messenger who brings those stories for readers to enjoy.