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tv   Journal  KCSMMHZ  February 28, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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advice ignored. a new report on the accident at fukushima daiichi says the japanese government failed to heed u.s. safety guidelines. members of an independent panel spent months studying the response to the disaster last march in northeast japan. they interviewed 300 people, including senior japanese and u.s. officials. the report says the japanese government ignored the advice of
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u.s. authorities. panel members say the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission established guidelines after 9/11 for restoring reactors disabled by a terrorist attack. they say the u.s. commission explained the guidelines to japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency on at least two occasions. and the commission asked japanese officials to improve the anti-terrorism measures at their nuclear facilities. but the independent panel says the agency did not adopt the u.s. recommendations. panel members say that if the guidelines had been followed, the damage at fukushima daiichi would have been less severe. the japanese government says it will examine the report's findings in detail. the main opposition liberal democratic party wants a parliamentary committee to question the prime minister, kan. they say kan should provide greater detail on how the
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government responded. a working group at japan's nuclear overseer has come out with recommendations on the disaster. members propose setting up two separate facilities to help communities respond to possible crises. an off site emergency response center failed to function properly during the meltdown at fukushima. rising levels of radiation and the impact of the earthquake and tsunami prevented local officials from gathering at the center five kilometers from the fukushima plant. a working group of the nuclear safety commission submitted its list of recommendations on tuesday. it proposed reinforcing the emergency response system by creating two separate facilities. one would serve as a nerve center to give local residents information and evacuation instructions. it would be set up in a preif he can tour office building away from the plant to avoid risk of
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radiation. the second center would serve as a front base to monitor radiation levels and conduct evacuations. the government will set new national guidelines following the panel's final recommendations due out early march. japan's agriculture ministry decided to financially allow rice planting in some areas where unsafe levels of radiation were detected last year. local governments are to make sure that crops will not be distributed if such high levels are found again. the ministry drew up new standards tuesday for rice planting after the government tightened the safety standards for food to 100 becquerels per kilogram starting in april. the ministry says farmers will be prohibited from planting in areas where more than 500 bq/kilogram where radiation were detected last year.
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those levels were detected in last year's rice, and banning will also be in principle. but those farmers can plant rice if they agree to the condition that municipalities monitor production in each field and all harvested right is checked for radiation before each shipment. radiation before each shipmenc radiation before each shipmene radiation before each shipment. the plan calls comes from response from farmers saying that more people would give up farming at a time when the farming industry is aging. >> translator: rice with more than 100 becquerels will not be distributed. to enforce such a system, we need to work closely
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with other governments. >> the ministry aims to hear from local governments by march whether they will opt for a total ban or follow the conditional permission scheme. the european union will continue in restrictions until the end of october on food from 11 prefectures, including fukushima and tokyo. to inspect their food for radioactive materials. the requirement has been extended every three months since last march. the eu announced on tuesday that the inspections will be extended by seven months. eu officials say they will need to assess food harvested this autumn. they say the number of spot checks will be halved as japan has been conducting strict tests. many aren't buying locally produced food because of fears of radiation. a store owner in fukushima city refuses to give into the fear. here is her story. this cake was made from rice
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flour grown in the area. it is denser than wheat flour and naturally sweet. this shop opened in fukushima six months before the nuclear disaster. the eggs and rice flour used to make the cake are grown in the region. this man owns the shop. he says his business has been on life support since the nuclear disaster. the farm where he bought his eggs closed down. and the rice grown in the area exceeded the government's radiation safety level. >> translator: we had always eaten local rice, then it got contaminated. i was so shocked. >> at the same time a lot of customers cancelled orders. as well, the shop began
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receiving calls from people asking about safety. he worried he might have to close shop. but he felt he couldn't turn his back on the local rice and vegetables. >> i grew strong and healthy eating local foods. fukushima is my home. there's no way i could just walk away from it and move on. i want to do everything i can to help local farmers. >> he decided to keep using ingredients from fukushima. he found a new chicken farmer in the area to supply eggs. but getting safe rice flour was a problem. he asked the local co-op how it inspects rice for radiation. he also wanted to learn its radiation levels, which are stricter than the government's.
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on this day, he and his staff prepare to bake the first made with local rice that meets the co-op's safety standards. they adjust the temperature and start baking. the new rice makes the cake delicious, soft, and chewy. he sends the cake to the lab. the staff will see if the cake contains radiation. he wants to be certain his customers will be safe. two days later the report comes back. the lab did not detect any radiation in the cake. >> now i can use rice harvested
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in 2011. trnds we thoroughly test our rice floor from 2011, so please have confidence in us. >> he reassures the customers>> translator: fukushima will keep moving forward. the rice is safe and we want to revitalize the city with our cakes. >> he believes fukushima's food industry and business will pull through. to be sure, he adds an extra ingredient. his love for his hometown.
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a tsunami that swallowed a coastline, a nuclear plant that spired out of control. japan marks the first anniversary of the march 11th disaster. what lessons have been learned? find out on "newsline" starting monday, march 5th, then sunday join us at 2:00 p.m. japan time for "lessons of march 11" one year on. g 20 ministers want leaders of the european union to expand their bailout fund on their own. let's go to ai uchida for more. good morning. >> good morning. a lot of focus with g 20 wrapping up sunday. the eu summit starts thursday. but the european union is not expected to increase the amount of the bailout fund, at least not at a summit this week. the group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs called on sunday for the eu to strengthen support for the most debt ridden eurozone countries. eurozone leaders are debating whether to raise the lending ceiling of the bailout fund from the current 500 billion euros. but germany, the largest
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contributor, is throwing cold water on the plan. chancellor angela merck he will said they see no need to crease the capacity of bailout fund. the banks are delaying any decisions on the fund and have yet to complete debt reduction procedures needed to support greece. over in the united states, consumer sentiment soared. u.s. research firm the conference board says its index of consumer confidence surged nearly 10 points in february. that's the first time the index has topped 70 in a year, and that's against a base value of 100 set for 1985. upbeat data in jobs and housing is boosting u.s. consumer confidence. the index has been rising since bottoming out a little over 40 in october. but concerns mount about rising
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prices of crude oil, due to heighten tensions over iran. overnight in new york, the dow-jones industrial average topped 13,000 for the first time since may, 2008. that's on improving u.s. consumer confidence. for more on how stocks here are reacting, let's go to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. so ramin, is the positive market momentum continuing after yesterday's gains? >> very good morning to you, ai. apart from the dow closing above 13,000 level, we also saw the nasdaq coming to a few points close to the 3,000 level as well, so that's positive momentum for markets here, and let's just have a look at the opening levels and see there for the nikkei and topix, both indexes trading higher in the first few minutes of trading. nikkei up around 10% this february. continues to see strong gains across the board in many sectors. exporters are the biggest
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winners as the weakening trend in the yen continues. rising tensions in the middle east and oil embargo against iran caused volatility in the brent and wti crude oil contracts. in fact, wti crude price is down 2%, and that's the second straight day of falls after gains of around 3% in previous sessions, highlighting the volatility we are seeing in oil prices. japanese shipping and trading companies will be in focus as insurance costs are also skyrocketing, following eu and u.s. sanctions against trading oil from iran. so we'll be watching the key trading companies. shifting to currencies, having a look at the yen against the dollar and the euro, we've seen that continue really throughout the last couple of weeks and the focus really for the currency
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markets is the second refinancing operation by the european central bank later today, and that's going to be the second one after the one it made in december continuing to ease credit to the region's banks and liquidity. let's look at some of the levels for the dollar yen and euro yen. currently at the mid 80 yen levels against the dollar, 108.46 against the euro. >> how has economic data played into markets this week? >> bit of a mixed picture. i'll go through that. we had durable goods orders falling 4%, then consumer confidence at 12 month high. a bit of a mixed picture, a lot of focus on ben bernanke. he is giving his testimony to congress about monetary policy later today. >> and the state of the economy and jobs playing heavily into the upcoming u.s. elections, too, i'm sure. >> definitely. you have politicians, economists and investors looking at every
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single economic data coming out of the u.s. a lot of focus on that. back to you. >> ramin, thanks for that update. ra memin mellegard from the tok stock exchange. and a positive economic cater, industrial output rose 2%. they released a preliminary report this morning, said the increase is mainly due to rising auto and digital camera production. they forecast it will rise 1.7% in february and another 1.7% in march. a recap now of the latest market figures.
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more business for you next hour. researchers around the globe are working on a vaccine against the most deadly type of bird flu, h 5 n 1. the u.s. government halted the publication of some of the latest research saying the information could be used by terrorists. alex kurs has the story. >> reporter: they attended a symposium on h1n1 in new york.
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the debate was heated. >> you could have benefits ten years down the line. that's why it is important to share the information with everyone. never know who is going to do the right experiment. >> if we are wrong, the consequences will be so catastrophic, we will all go back and ask ourselves why did we let it happen. >> the debate was triggered on a study how bird flu is transmitted. researchers have never observed a natural mutation of the h5n1. this professor from a medical center in the netherlands demonstrated a pandemic could occur, depending how it mutates. they infect one ferret with a modified strain. it then spread to other ferrets that weren't in direct physical
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contact. >> whether it is transmiscible was on all the research agenda. the entire influenza field agreed there's work to be done. >> they pushed counter measures. it was to be published in journal of science november of 2011. publication was suspended after the u.s. government claimed the report could benefit terrorists. he has criticized the intervention. he says sharing information on how the gene mutates is essential. >> with this airborne virus, we can better evaluate existing vaccines and also perhaps develop new ones. >> an expert on anthrax at northern arizona university disagrees. he chairs the government advisory committee that recommended withholding the data.
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he says a mutant strain of bird flu that spreads among mammals would pose a greater threat than anthrax. >> this new virus we're looking at is very dangerous, and it would commit not only murder but mass murder. >> how should society balance the need to share information with the risk of that information being misused? the debate continues. alex kerst, nhk world. 8 gunman stopped a bus, they checked names and shot male passengers. police say all casualties were shiite muslims, a minority sect. they are on high alert for sectarian violence.
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tensions have been rising since last month with a sunni muslim was killed. japan plans to resume development aid to myanmar as they take steps towards democracy. the yen loans have been suspended since the 1980s. >> translator: building infrastructure is essential to accelerate myanmar's democratic reform. resuming yen loans will help the move. >> japanese foreign minister koichiro gemba says adjustments are being made to restart yen loans in april. when myanmar's president thein sein visits. he added the government will grant 5 billion yen or $62 million in march. the humanitarian aid is intended to help myanmar's recovery from floods last year and provide food to ethnic minorities. gemba says he believes myanmar's efforts toward democratization
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and national reconciliation are real. a japanese equipment maker plans to test cell sheets to restore weakened heart muscles. cells are taken from the patient's thigh and cultured to create thin, round 5 centimeter membranes. when they are placed on a patient's heart, they emit over 20 substances that help repair heart muscles. 13 patients at the osaka university hospital had the procedure. one patient is no longer bedridden, after undergoing the treatment. the pharmaceuticals and medical devices agency has approved the clinical trials. the company hopes to commercialize the product in five years. >> translator: the patient's age is not a problem. their condition will improve if the treatment is started while they are still resilient.
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i made my way to work through sleet and snow this morning. it is quite cold out there today. just how much more of this winter weather can we expect? rachel ferguson joins us with the world weather forecast. >> the good news is it won't be too much. certainly today many commuters are waking up to some sleety and snowy conditions. instead we have some video showing you the scene outside. now, we're going to go to hachioji to show you. people are trying to make their way to work just with a couple centimeters of snow there on the ground, but, you know, here in tokyo, we don't get so much snow, so even a couple centimeters can cause delays and potential for traffic accidents. incident mountains, about 20 sint meters is likely to
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accumulate before the afternoon hours when any snow should be turning over to rain. i'll take you to our weather map and show you what's going on. here's the low right along the pacific edge. it's going to be heading out and we'll have warmer, clearer conditions. as we head into thursday. now, back in towards southeastern china, we've been seeing showers popping up for the last couple days. and snow coming in from southwestern china. and heavy rain, and also northeastern india. you'll see hong kong seeing an improvement today in the temperatures being chilly for the last couple days, but up to about 18 degrees today. up to the north, beijing, unseasonable warmth at 18 degrees. doesn't last into thursday, back down to about 4 degrees. seoul, 11 degrees. you will see spring like temperatures through the end of
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the week. tokyo today, yes, a frigid day at just 4. we will see it rise by a staggering 10 degrees into thursday. we will have a couple days of warm, spring-like weather before temperatures moderate again. the main story here will be that well-developed low in the center of the united states, a big band of snow, blizzarding conditions in fact toward the north. at it heads toward the east, we'll still see this band of severe weather reaching down in towards eastern texas. now out to the west, another storm is making its way into central and southern california. we'll see snow in the mountains, very strong winds here as well. reduced visibility, especially in the mountain passes. that could make for dangerous driving conditions today as well. here are the temperatures. you'll notice we have all of this flood of warmth, coming all the way to the west. chicago, 12 degrees for the high. 21 in oklahoma city. now, this is going to mean some very dry and warm conditions for
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parts of say eastern new mexico and towards kansas and parts of western texas. that will amount to the potential for fire weather. it is high, dry and warm, a weakening ninds into the balkan peninsula. snow continues in turkey. temperatures dropping to minus 3 in the capital. it will be snow today rather than rain. sub zero in moscow and kiev. you can see clearly where the warm air starts. even poland up to 6 degrees, then double digits. rome at 15, 12 in vienna, 14 in london, and a warm and spring like 20 degrees in madrid. do enjoy that. i'll be back a bit later on.
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a giant set of olympic rings have been floated down the river thames in london to mark 150 days until the start of the summer games. the barge with the five rings travelled toward the olympic park tuesday. the rings 11 meters high, 25 meters wide. one of the city's landmarks, tower bridge, was opened for the tug boat pulling the rings. a musical band performed in front of city hall as children waved british flags. >> this is the thing that's going to happen, happening once in my lifetime. i think we would be absolutely crazy to miss the opportunity to sell london around the world. >> the london olympic games open on july 27th.
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looking forward to that. that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. -- captions by vitac --
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