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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  January 3, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PST

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from our studios here in tokyo, this is "newsline," i'm james tengan. japan's nuclear crisis minister says he wants to make fukushima prefecture an international center to promote nuclear safety. goshi hosono said he wants to set up a studio where advanced radiological medicine would be studied. >> translator: fukushima prefecture will be a relevant venue for the world to learn about the basic principles of
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nuclear safety. in an interview with nhk, hosono said the institute would help people learn about the long process of scrapping reactors a the fukushima daiichi plant. the work is expected to take 30 to 40 years. >> translator: we will conduct advanced work in areas such as radiological medicine and decontamination. lessons learned must be available to the rest of the world. >> hosono said his ministry will work to develop robots that will be used to remove spent fuel rods and dispose of the damaged reactors. the need to find steady work has taken on an added urgency for survivors of last year's disaster in northeastern japan. more than 2500 people in the three hardest-hit prefectures will see their unemployment benefits expire within the next two months.
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the labor ministry says more than 64,000 people had received unemployment benefits in iwate, miyagi and fukushima prefectures. as of november, the figure is nearly double what it was in 2010. the ministry says of the total, up to 1300 people will lose their benefits by the end of this month. 1400 others will join their ranks in february. many disaster survivors have had trouble finding stable employment. the majority of jobs in the hardest-hit parts of the northeast are temporary. for example, construction. the labor ministry says it will do more to help the unemployed, such as setting up a new subsidy program for companies that hire survivors. for a little girl who lost her mother in the march tsunami, it was like being in touch with mom again. the youngster received a letter if her mother. who wrote it about three years ago after buying her daughter a school bag for first grade.
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the letter was part of a special campaign by the bag's manufacturer. it was to be delivered when her daughter was in third grade. >> reporter: the town of watari, miyagi prefecture, was hit hard by the disaster. nozomi ono, a third grader, lost her mother to the tsunami. nozomi is the youngest of three children. her mother, yumiko, took loving care of her daughter. three years ago, yumiko bought her daughter a school bag. these days, nozomi carries around a good luck charm. it's a hair tie that yumiko always wore. it was found in the wreckage of their home.
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>> translator: it was in my mom's pencil box. it makes me feel as if she's holding me. so i always have it with me, even when i take a bath. >> reporter: nozomi lives with her four family members, in a home they rent from relatives. her sister, konomi is a third-year junior high school student. she does all the cooking and cleaning now. >> reporter: just after her mother died, nozomi couldn't stop crying. she cries less now, because she doesn't want to worry her mother up in heaven. she's also started to help her sister. nozomi's father says sometimes he thinks his daughter tries too hard to be strong.
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>> translator: she tries so hard to be tough with that tiny body. but when it becomes too much, she cries quietly. >> reporter: nozomi heard through the school bag manufacturer that her mother had written her a letter. >> translator: i circled this day, because that's when the letter will come, it's like mom will be coming back. when the company heard that nozomi's mother had died, they decided to deliver the letter in person. as it happened, yumiko had written to all three children, not just nozomi.
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>> translator: i wonder what you will be like when you receive this letter. you came home from school so tired that you skipped dinner. you hated waking up in the morning. but i was so happy you liked school. do you help with the chores now? i will try to be the best mother i can. love, mom. >> translator: i wonder what you'll be doing when this letter arrives. though you complain about helping with the chores, you always work hard and do your best. i'm so grateful for all your help. >> translator: these are such a treasure for us all. >> translator: when i feel lost or sad, i will just look at this letter. it feels like she's here with me. >> reporter: that night, nozomi wrote a letter to her mother in heaven. >> translator: dear mom, i am
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doing all right. but sometimes thinking of you i feel like crying. i hope you are happy in heaven. i promise to study hard and help my sister with the chores. please keep watching over us from heaven. love, nozomi. the u.s. government will send a top diplomat to asia this week to coordinate responses to the transition of power in north korea. assistant secretary of state, kurt campbell, will be the first senior american to visit since the death of kim jong il. campbell will meet with counterparts in china, south korea and japan. he's in charge of u.s./east asian and pacific affairs. and he's expected to urge china to use its influence with north korea to prevent possible confusion under new leader, kim jong un. campbell will then head to south
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korea and japan to discuss a range of issues with senior officials. he will meet with senior japanese officials on friday, to discuss north korea's nuclear program. and its abductions of japanese nationals. north korean agents abducted japanese citizens more than 30 years ago. the whereabouts of at least 12 people remain unknown. their families hoped the transfer of power following kim jong il's death would bring about a resolution. but a new report by the korean central news agency says the north no longer recognizes the issue. it's the first time state-run media have commented on japan since kim jong il's son, kim jong un, took charge of the reclusive nation. the report also says japan's government has darkened prospects for bilateral ties by not officially offering condolences after the late leader's death. it notes that instead, authorities put the nation on a higher security alert. the korean central news agency also criticizes the japanese
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government for not allowing a top official from the general association of korean residents in japan to attend kim jong il's funeral. politicians are trying to inspire voters in elections in a could change taiwan's relationship with china. campaigning for the parliamentary election on january 14th, has just begun. parliamentary and presidential elections willing held simultaneously for the first time. most of the 113 seats are chosen by a plurality of the vote. others are chosen through proportional representation. the results will be critical to taiwan's relationship with china, the governing nationalist party seeks warmer ties across the taiwan strait. the democratic progressive party opposes that policy. the nationalists won more than 70% of the seats in the 2008 election. but the democrats have won nine of 13 bi-elections since then. in the presidential race,
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incumbent ma ying-jeou of the national party is neck and neck with taiwan's first female presidential candidate, tsai ing-wen of the democratic progressive party. campaign workers have spread across iowa for an american political ritual, the iowa caucuses are the first nominating contest in the u.s. presidential campaign. former massachusetts governor, mitt romney leads republican candidates, hoping to face president barack obama. he's a moderate. one-time house of representatives speaker, newt gingrich is among romney's main rivals. former u.s. senator, rick santorum is gaining momentum. many analysts viewed him as a minor candidate. but the latest polls by local newspapers suggest he is surging into contention. the conservative republican has run a grassroots campaign based on christian values. santorum gained momentum by barnstorming across the midwestern state.
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>> i said, a week ago, two weeks ago, your reporter was asking me if i'm getting out of the race. and now all of a sudden you're going to say, i've got to finish first. >> voters in iowa are traditionally the first in the u.s. to participate in a straw poll. the results suggest how a candidate might do nationwide come november. afghanistan's taliban insurgents have enlisted their counterparts in pakistan for their battle against u.s. forces. a spoerksperson for pakistani taliban, the country's largest extremist group told nhk that representatives from the taliban in afghanistan, visited pakistan in november and december. they asked the pakistani taliban to shift its target from the pakistani military and police to the u.s. troops in afghanistan. the spokesperson said his group accepted the request and plans to send fighters to afghanistan in march. the groups also agreed to set up a five-member council to
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coordinate their work. the u.s. government is trying to promote dialogue with the taliban, via behind-the-scenes contacts. meanwhile, people in pakistan are voicing their anger and concern over a growing energy crisis. a shortage of compressed natural gas or cng is paralyzing parts of the country's public transportation system. keeping cars off the roads and homes chilly. it's also prompting people to take to the streets. thousands protested monday in the capital islamabad. they criticized the government saying they cannot survive the winter without cng. some demonstrators set cars on fire and fought with police. a day earlier pakistan's government raised the price of compressed natural gas in response to a serious shortage. it also banned the use of cng for some public transportation. bus service is suspended in the capital. the compressed natural gas shortage means some people can't heat their homes.
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it's also creating long lineups in front of cng stations. >> translator: i have been waiting here for half a day. i can't go to work. >> pakistan has faced power shortages recently, so the government recommended people to rely on compressed natural gas to keep their cars and heating systems running, but demand quickly outpaced supply. pakistan plans to develop more cng, but the country's worsening security situation is delaying the work. the number of foreign tourists visiting japan is falling as the nuclear crisis continues and the value of the currency rises. but some innovate i have been people are coming up with new kinds of tour packages that are
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attracting foreign tourists. >> reporter: three americans visit japan for a one-week tokyo vacation. they take in popular tourist sites in and around the city and travel to mount fuji. but unlike most tourists, they don't stay in a hotel. they stay in a japanese house ogiri, a fourth--year university student lives here with friends. he invited the three americans to stay, free of charge. kampai! >> reporter: his guests enjoy a chance to see and experience how japanese live. >> sho teaches us how. this would never happen in a hotel room. and it's so much fun. so i, it's i'm definitely doing
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it again. >> we really wanted to be able to just meet people, you know, meet japanese. and learn, learn about the culture. >> reporter: ogiri met the three americans online through a social networking site run by an american npo. ogiri is one of its two million members. the site helps travelers and hosts from around the world meet. if they agree, the traveler can stay at the host's house for free. staying with or sharing your home with a total stranger can be unsettling. so the website has an evaluation system. members can rate the service of their hosts and write a review. and the hosts can rate how their guests behaved. ogiri has hosted more than 50 people. he constantly receives requests from foreign members. terp tep it's a good chance to speak to foreigners in enlish.
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it can broading my world. that's why i love this system. >> reporter: here's another service looking to broaden the spernts of japanese culture. takahashi started this online business in august. through it, foreigners can get to see a side of japan that many foreigners don't know. the website offers over 20 different tours, and making reservations is easy. jeff used the website to find an authentic dojo for karate training. he trained for an hour. a portion of the money that jeff paid to the karate school went to takahashi's company. >> it was very fun. it was nice to experience something more japanese than
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just walking around and taking pictures of everything. >> reporter: takahashi's business receive as government subs ci subsidy, he's now trying to expand his service. on this day he visits a cafe where the patrons can hang out and fondle rabbits. takahashi thinks this concept is uniquely japanese. and the shop appreciates his service. >> translator: before i couldn't advertise to foreigners. this system helps me. >> reporter: takahashi's customers post their reviews on his website. he hopes marketing like this boosts tourism still suffering from the march disaster. >> translator: we live in an age in which people can just go online and share their tour experiences with the world. i want to make use of that platform for my business. >> a traditional japanese product that's on the ropes is going modern to survive.
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two innovators, a businessman and an artisan in fukui prefecture have brought their new-look product to the show room of a tokyo department store and as we see in this report, the customers are dazzled. >> reporter: a huge tapestry adorns a tokyo department store. it's made of traditional paper known as echizen washi. this work was designed to help people see its high-quality craftsmanship. the project was organized by suing hariri, a washi paper wholesaler. >> translator: the use of washi paper is gradually declining. so we want people to look at this work and rediscover the value of this kind of paper. >> reporter: for the last 1500 years, echizen city has been a hub for traditional washi
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craftsmanship. the city even has a shrine devoted to the god who legend has it passed on the divine skill of paper-making. because the quality of echizen washi is so high, it is widely used for formal or traditional products, like sliding doors and official documents. sugihara's company has been in business in the region for 19 generations, going back more than 500 years. sugihara now works on interior furnishings for international customers. these items have become popular in places like europe and the u.s. >> translator: we're offering suggestions for using the traditional method to make new interior furnishings have that washi paper. >> reporter: sugihara visits the
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artisan he commissioned to make the tapestry for the department store in tokyo. osada specializes in making paper for sliding doors. he doesn't need a drawn pattern. he uses methods passed down through many generations. osada says months can go by with no orders for traditional paper, his main source of income. as dpand has been falling, he accepted the commission to make tapestries. >> translator: honestly, i'd rather make sliding door paper. i want to pass on what i make to future generations. we have a responsibility to teach them the techniques. >> reporter: on this day the department store is in the midst of changing its decorations to herald new products.
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after the store closes, the craftsmen spend the whole night setting up the tapestry display. >> reporter: osada spent two weeks making this tapestry. it symbolizes the true spirit of autumn. >> translator: good. i like natural products. >> it's fantastic, a lot of work gone into it the sky up above there. maybe the stars and that sort of thing. >> translator: we've been around for 1,500 years, because we have adapted to the changing times. it might be an exaggeration for me to say it, but we're doing it on behalf of japan.
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i want to do all that i can. >> reporter: sewer sewer's innovation and sound business sense insure that a centuries-old craft has a place in these modern times. together with professional designers in tokyo, sugihara is developing new washi paper products for interior design. up next, is the lovely rachel ferguson with world weather. >> hi there, yes, it's time to get you a look at the world's weather conditions, let's take a look first at japan. now the wintry weather pattern is continuing. that means more heavy snow for northwestern parts of the country. however, there is also going to be a chance of snow for central locations, that includes kanto region and also includes the capital, tokyo. so maybe tomorrow we'll be seeing a couple of snowflakes making their way in towards the capital. this is the low pressure that's
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going to be bringing it accompanied by the cold wind coming in from the northwest. now the cold wind is also moving across the yellow sea, picking up the moisture there and delivering some significant snowfall to the western half of the korean peninsula. that is also going to continue into wednesday. about noon time and then it should start to clear up. things are still looking high and dry across much of the northern continent and down to the south we have widespread showers, turning to snow in the elevations and maybe some significant snowfall certainly. but fairly light in lower-lying areas of the southwest of china. all right, as for the philippines, i want to bring you down here and tell you about what's happening in the southern half of the archipelago is seeing some very significant rain. low pressure system is helping to enhance that northeast monsoon. so lots of scattered storms, but it is going to be particularly heavy down here towards the south. and as that continues into the next few days, there will be an increased risk of landslides and flooding to occur. let's talk about temperatures,
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15 in hong kong, that's definitely a little bit chillier than you were seeing today. that's your wednesday forecast. all the cool air starting to reach right down into southern china. just 4 for the high in shanghai, minus 3 for the seoul there. 1 in beijing and minus 15 in ulan bator. not too bad, just into double digits in tokyo at 10 degrees. let's talk now about north america. the pacific northwest, still seeing that system moving across bc particularly. down into washington state as well. it's very windy, gusts up to about 100 kilometers per hour. and some places in bc are going to be seeing about 100 to 200 inches of rain. coastal flooding is also potential because of the high waves there at the coast. that's going to be washington as well as bc. high and dry, lots of nice, clear, calm conditions across much of the u.s. central canada and down into mexico. but we will still see some lake-effect snows continuing for places like southern ontario. you've just had about 20 centimeters of snow, you'll probably have about another 20 to 25 in the next 24 hours.
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parts of western new york state as well. you could see about 18 centimeters, too. let's talk about temperatures, because this is going to be a really dividing the continent. you can see all of this, just pushing all the way down into northern parts of florida. temperatures are sinking here. just 14 in miami, 3 in atlanta, we've got minus 12 in d.c. as well as new york city. 2 in winnipeg, you might think that's cool, but actually it's about 13 above what it should be for this time of year, your january average because of warm winds coming into the southwest. lots of major cities seeing temperatures above the 25-degree mark. denver at 14. about six above average for you there. all right. europe, the british isles being battered once again at the moment by a very windy system. gale-force winds taking down trees and power lines. causing all sorts of damage. this is going to be moving into scandinavia. but actually right along the front, you can see it's going to be a very wet and windy affair. also quite unstable for the central mediterranean into the next couple of days. here are your temperatures,
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double digits in paris, but very, very wet. and then not too bad in berlin at 8. 9 in vienna and just about the freezing mark in moscow. here's your extended forecast. before we wrap up this edition of "newsline," we bring you this story of a unique new year's tradition in a
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tsunami-hit town in northern japan. ♪ ♪ >> dancers in the watano district of ishinomaki city, perform a traditional new year dance to remember the victims and pray for reconstruction. the dance has been performed in the district for more than 400 years. traditionally performers go from house to house, on new year's day to pray for the safety and prosperity of families. but this year, the performance was more solemn, to commemorate the disaster victims. the local dance troupe lost its costumes to the tsunami, so dancers from other districts came to perform on sites where homes once stood. after the performance, the lion nipped at the heads of locals, a ritual for good luck. a local community leader said he hopes the performance helped restore the community's bonds. as it recovers from last year's disaster.
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and that concludes this edition "newsline." i's tengan in tokyo. thanks for watching. and that concludes this
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