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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  December 21, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PST

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♪ public sorrow. the north korean public and diplomats mourn the loss of the country's leader. people are taking part in public displays of grief in a nation known for its secrecy. north korea had gathered in city squares and town halls to cry, even wail, for kim jong-il. high ranking officials are busy orchestrating the transition of power.
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mourners filed past kim's body at the couple seussen memorial palace in pyongyang. they include diplomats stationed in the north korean capital. kim jong-un leads the official mourning. state media praised him as a great successor to the north korean leadership. ♪ video show north korean officials bowing toward the coffin with solemn music playing in the background. north korea's founder kim il-sung died in 1994. kim jong-il took part in a memorial ceremony held just after his father's death. the ceremony to mourn his death was held at the same venue with the same music. this may indicate that the nation's leadership has been handed down to kim jong-un, the third generation, of the kim family. north koreans promoting kim jong-un as its next leader by using a poem to influence public sentiment.
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korean central television on wednesday aired a five-minute long poem entitled "december in korea." >> the piece describes people overcome with grief on kim jong-il's death. and calls on the public to follow the guidance of kim jong-un. it is the first time his name has been mentioned in a poem. >> december is usually a commemorative month in north korea, because kim jong-il became the country's commander 20 years ago in december. his mother was also born in december. poems and paintings have been used to idolize kim jong-il and
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his father, the late president kim il-sung. the latest poem may be intended to stress that kim jong-un is a direct descendant of kim il-sung. this is a first report of the younger kim taking on diplomatic duties. the sudden death of the north korean leader is leaving many people wondering what happens next? nhk interviewed a former chef to kim jong-il and a south korean expert on north korean affairs. the former chef is kanzi fujumoto and told nhk that king kim jong-un has leadership ability and has shown charisma since he was a child. he said he worked as a chef for kim jong-il for 13 years until 2001. he said he was in close contact with his son between the ages of 7 and 18. he's sad the younger kim admitted that the north korean economy was lagging behind.
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>> translator: kim jong-un said, north korea has to follow the example of its neighbor china. he said china is promoting reform and open-door policy under the communist party leadership. >> fujimoto said kim jong-un was only 17 when he made these remarks. he said he thinks the son is capable of promoting such a policy. professor yamujin of the studies in south korea says kim will need time to consolidate power. >> translator: kim jong-un will need collective support from his elder relatives and the military for the time being. i think it will take a year before he fully assumes leadership. >> the professor says north korea's founder kim il-sung managed to make progress in resolving the food cry crisis
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before his death, but says his son, kim jong-il, failed to revive the economy. he says the biggest obstacle will be rebuilding the country's economy because he lacks experience. he said the new leader may follow the example of china, north korea's main ally, by gradually promoting reform and an open-door policy. wen jiabao and other top communist party officials expressed their condolences on wednesday on kim jong-il's death. observers say their appearance at the north korean embassy in beijing one day after a visit by president hu jintao evidences china's endorsement of kim jong-un. president hu referred to him as comrade. he said he believes north korea based on the wish of kim jong-il will make steadfast efforts under the new leadership to realize permanent peace on the korean peninsula. hu stressed the importance of a smooth power transition. he also noted the need for the country to avoid falling into uncertainty. the chinese leader quickly showed their support for the
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transition. they sent a telegram of condolence after the report of the death. south korea says it will allow private organizations and civilians to send coal don s tso north korea. a unification spokesperson says that the government has received a request from private groups. >> translator: to send condolences via fax or letter to north korea, once you make a request for the unification ministry for the contract. the ministry needs to process the request. the ministry will approve the application, unless there are extraordinary issues. >> chai said the ministry will handle the request. he added it has received applications from four
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organizations so far, including one involving inter-korean exchanges and another related to the late south korean president. south korea did not permit official visits or expressions of condolences when kim's father, kim il-sung died 17 years ago. they've reaffirmed the decision not to send a delegation to the north, although some officials feel they should do so. meanwhile, the u.s. state department says it is continuing to discuss a possible resumption of food aid to north korea. it says officials from both countries met on monday after the announcement of kim jong-il's death. state department spokesperson victoria newland says the u.s. officials met with north korean representatives to the united nations in new york. the u.s. has suspended its food aid to north korea since 2009.
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newland says the talks on monday followed up on a similar meeting last week in beijing. she said a number of issues need to be resolved before the u.s. resumes aid. adding kim's death will likely delay the decision until after the new year. observers say the u.s. is trying to establish what north korea's policies will be in the wake of kim's death. a former u.s. envoy to north korea has given a scathing appraisal of the late kim jong-il's rule. stephen bosworth told nhk that he achieved hardly anything in regards to relations with the united states. he said north korea and its people are worse off now than when he took power in the 1990s. he also said kim hindered the six-party talks and he says he does not know how the death will affect the nuclear talks. bosworth also said that the power structure shifted during kim jong-il's rule. he said the next leader will inherit a kind of collective leadership. >> it's almost certain that he will not have the same
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unilateral authority that his father did and he'll be much more constrained by the opinions of senior military and party people. >> bosworth predicted that the next leader won't choose complete isolation. he said north korea will need the outside world and the u.s. to press for a resumption of the six-party talks. more than 20,000 people have fled north korea to live in the south since the 1990s. the number of defectors has drastically increased over the past decade. the reason they left is simple -- they have opposed kim jong-il's regime. the death of the leader has given many defectors another reason it speak out and in some cases be hopeful. nhk world susumu kojreports. >> reporter: the border that runs north and south runs more than 200 kilometers long. north koreans who have defected here to send a message to their countrymen. they say kim was not a hero but a traitor.
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>> reporter: more than 30 groups of defectors from north korea got together near imjingak, several kilometers away from the demilitarized zone that divides the koreas. they floated balloons carrying thousands of notes to the north. the papers criticize north korea's transfer of power from kim il-sung to kim jong-il to kim jong-un. >> translator: north koreans need to realize the reality and help them rise in revolt. we hope unification will come soon. >> reporter: among the defectors, there are people who believe that kim's death is a turning point for their course.
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this man left north korea when he was 14 years old. he lost his parents when he was young. he and his sister risked their lives to escape food shortages and poverty. he went on to study in japan and now works for a group in seoul that monitors and supports people in his homeland. >> translator: i am deeply attached to my home country. i would like to contribute to developing north korea and the korean peninsula as a whole. >> reporter: while the defectors are hopeful that the death of kim jong-il could bring about change, they also know that change won't come easy. they are going to try to play their part in shaping the future of north korea. susumo kojima, nhk world, seoul.
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now back here in japan, the olympus loss of more than a billion dollar betting on the market in the mid1990s and spent years trying to cover it all up. that's what we know so far about the case and here's what we don't know, exactly how much debt was hidden and who is to blame. tokyo prosecutors and police are trying to answer those questions. they raided the company's headquarters and the offices of some subsidiaries and seized documents. the investigators also searched the homes of former company executives. executives admit they used corporate purchases to hide investment losses. the investigators say company leaders concealed more than $1 billion through illegal accounting from the 1990s through 2008. one method, for example, was to transfer the money to overseas funds. investigators suspect managers papered over those losses violating japan's financial instruments and exchange law.
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sources close to the matter say former olympus vice president hisashi mori and former auditor hideomada admitted they played apart. they say former president ysuyoshi kikukawa didn't know what they were doing. they admitted false securities without reporting the losses. olympus spokespersons say they realize the gravity of the situation and have offered full cooperation in the investigation. nhk world's kaori nagao joins us now. where is this investigation expected to go to from here? >> the focus has shifted to following the money. they allegedly divested funds overseas as it tried to hide the losses. sources say the evidence showing the cash flow has already been discarded. a former accounting employee put the losses at 118 million yen as of 2003. that's more than $1 million at
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today's exchange rate. however, the final study might never be known. official or unofficial documents obtaining the losses have been disposed of. >> what else are investigators focusing on? >> they're trying to find out whether anybody made money out of this scheme. prosecutors are likely to speak to people outside olympus. three former investment firm employees are accused of instructing former olympus auditor hideo yamada how to hide the losses. they allegedly suggested setting up the overseas funds to hide the debt. in addition, these individuals are accused of proposing olympus to acquire three domestic companies to further offset the losses, and inflate the broker fee for the buyout of the british firm. the independent panel said
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olympus paid them 15 billion yen for their help. >> there is no doubt that the olympus investigation is the biggest business story here in japan. what kind of impact is it having? >> the case has sparked serious doubt from foreign investors about japanese corporate governance, and we spoke to ex-prosecutor who has investigated many cases of corporate fraud. >> translator: the scandal has put not just olympus but other japanese companies under international scrutiny over their transparency and fairness of their accounts. what's more, foreign investors are also moving to launch a probe. this means confidence in japanese companies will be undermined unless the investigators in japan conduct a rigorous examination to uncover what was behind the scandal. >> but that will take months. stake holders will have to wait for answers. in the meantime, japanese business reputation will remain under scrutiny.
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>> nhk world kaori nagao reporting for us tonight. kaori, thanks. appreciate it. the japanese government and tokyo electric power company are considering using $13 billion in public money to secure compensation funds for the nuclear accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant. now, this means the utility could effectively come under state control. tepco is facing financial difficulties and is uncertain whether operations of the nuclear reactor will resume. thermal power plants are being used instead and this is pushing up fuel costs. under the proposed plan, tepco will apply to the state to raise electricity charges next april. the government and utility are working to compile a new business plan by next spring. a leading japanese credit rating agency has downgraded japan's government debt for the first time. rating and investment information or r&i on wednesday
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downgraded japan's sovereign debt by one notch to aa plus. that's down from a top aaa rating. the agency said this is due to the country's fiscal instability. r&i cites possibility there may be no review of expenditures for fiscal 2012 including social security expenses. it also says the consumption tax may not be raised as planned. japanese government bonds have already been downgraded this year by u.s. rating agency standard & poor's and moodys. on the downgrade, bank of japan governor stressed the importance of restoring fiscal health. japan's fiscal situation is one of the worst among industrialized countries. >> translator: achieving a sound fiscal condition is vital. because of the loss of confidence in government bonds would pose a shock to the economy.
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next, we go to patchari raksawong in bangkok to find out what's going on in the region. >> one of the most senior members of the chinese government has pledged to bolster bilateral economic cooperation during a visit to myanmar. the move comes just weeks after u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton made her own historic visit to the once isolated nation. chinese state counselor made the promise at the summit in the capital on tuesday. six asian nations along the river took part. in his opening statement, the president of myanmar commented on his government's new policies.
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china offered $20 million to build roads, railways and industrial parks along the mekong river. it hopes to scrap tariffs on 95% of trade with myanmar within the next two years. earlier this month, clinton visited myanmar in an apparent bid to improve relations. it was the first time an american official of her seniority had traveled to the country in 56 years. she said the united states would consider lifting economic sanctions if myanmar moves ahead with democratization. the country has economic potential, thanks to its rich resources and cheap labor. china's latest move indicates it's ready to compete with the united states to build stronger relations with myanmar. vietnam's prolonged economic boom is giving its growing middle class more money in their pockets. and the way they spend their hard-earned cash is also changing with increasing numbers
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of vietnamese choosing to pay by plastic. nhk world gwenn mai reports from hanoi. >> reporter: vietnam and its 86 million people are enjoying the fruits of the country's rapid economic growth. more families, many in urban areas, are joining the growing middle class, which now makes up more than 30% of the population. the vietnamese people endured decades of war and turmoil. during that time of chaos, they sought the nation's financial system frequently change and many banks go bankrupt. many people lost faith in the banks. instead of depositing their savings, they converted them into gold or u.s. dollars. many people chose to keep their
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money at home. as the economy expands, confidence in the banks is being restored. more vietnamese are opening bank accounts and the number of atms is growing. as more people open bank accounts, credit cards are also becoming must-have items. this woman works for a state-run company. she got her first-ever credit card last year. she lives with her husband and two sons and takes care of the family budget. she used her credit card to buy food and other daily necessities at the supermarket. >> translator: credit cards are easier than cash. and the statement they send me makes it easier to manage my budget. >> reporter: the spread of the internet is another reason
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credit cards are gaining attraction. consumers need credit cards to buy things online. internet shopping is especially popular among working housewives because it saves them time and money. she uses her credit card to buy clothes and cosmetics as well as airline tickets and hotel rooms for family trips. >> translator: to avoid overspending, i set a rule, limiting what we purchase to one-third of our family's total income. >> reporter: about 23% of vietnamese people now own a credit card according to one survey. but that's still far less than nearby countries like thailand and malaysia, where card holders make up about 80%. financial institutions in vietnam think the market still
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has a lot of potential. they tried to expand their credit card business. this bank chairman says credit cards will continue to spread. >> it is easier to get in touch with the bank, so all of these will make the business develop faster. >> reporter: vietnam middle class have embraced credit cards as disposable income rises. and with the economy set to keep on expanding, the boom may be sustained for years to come. nhk world, hanoi. >> that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. >> thanks, patchari. mei shoji is up next with weather.
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>> hi there. let's take a look at your weather conditions, starting off with asia. are we going to be having a white christmas here in japan? northern japan will be having white christmas. this low pressure system will be disturbing much of the northern half, the sea of japan side and blowing snow could be possible, which could be very dangerous for driving conditions. we will see fresh snowfall in sapporo area, around hokkaido, close to about 50 centimeters in some areas. we're also talking about high waves of 3 to 5 meters in the western seaboards. but the pacific side, looking very clear and dry. we'll see some sunny spells in tokyo as well in the next 48 hours. tokyo staying in double digit at 12 degrees for our thursday high. minus 5 for the high in seoul on thursday. a cold wave will be hitting there as well as beijing and shanghai at 7 degrees for the thursday. on friday, it looks like it will be dropping a little bit even
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more. manila and bangkok staying very warm in the tropics in the low 30s. let's head over to the americas and talk about this storm that is going to be passing through new england and in towards canadian maritimes. we're talking about warm air that will be seeping in towards this system. ahead of it will be rain. most of the area and the southern areas. but north where we see snow. severe activity will be just around eastern texas. and the lower mississippi valley areas. we're not going to be even ruling out isolated tornadoes. one has touched down in louisiana yesterday that can't be ruled out yet. now, we talk about snow, that will be descending from northern rockies and in towards central rockies, talking about 5 to 15 centimeters of white stuff piling up in the higher elevations there. denver, two degrees tellwi s temperaturewise. atlanta, 20 degrees. that's well above average. let's head over to europe and
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talk about if you're going to be having a white christmas. we have images coming out from finland. white christmas is days away in santa's homeland here. snow is piling up in lapland, santa's official home, we're talking about. a few lucky ones got to meet the real santa and take photos with him in santa's workshop. he fed rudolph to prepare. looks like finland, you all are having lots of snow to be piling up, especially in and around lapland, in the northern area. so in the northern scandinavian peninsula, snow. but southern parts, rain and sleet for your holiday weekend. let's talk about our weather outlook for our thursday. severe activity is where this is going to be in the mediterranean sea area, talking about damaging gusts and rain, which could be very dangerous in coastal areas, especially coastal flooding and also mud slides. these are all going to be very
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concerned here. and also on the other side of the jet stream, though, very warm, iberian peninsula will stay warm and very dry. talking about temperatures, london and paris at 11 degrees. lisbon, same at 17 degrees. on the other side of the jet stream, minus 2 in warsaw and moscow. kiev, minus 1 degree. here is your extended forecast.
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>> that's our broadcast for this hour on "newsline." i'm michio kajima in tokyo. thank you for watching. bye-bye.
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