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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  April 2, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." the employment situation in the eurozone continues to worsen due to austerity measures adopted by debt ridden countries. the region's jobless rate marked an eighth consecutive monthly rise and a record high since the launch of the euro in 1999. the european union's statistics office says unemployment in the nations in february rose to 10.8%, up 0.1 from the previous
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month. spain had the highest unemployment at 23.6% with the jobless rate for those under the age of 25 at 50.5%. unemployment rose in portugal to 15% and in italy to 9.3%. the union is urging its member nations to promote measures to create jobs for young people. and also plans to accelerate moves toward free trade agreements with japan and other countries outside the region. pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi hopes myanmar is beginning a new era. her national league for democracy says it won a landslide victory in the country's historic bi-elections earning aung san suu kyi and a number of other nld members seats in parliament. our bureau in southeast asia is covering this for us. the national league for
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democracy says it won almost all the seats it contested in sunday's vote. the bi-elections were a watershed moment in a country for decades ruled by a brutal military regime. nld leader aung san suu kyi now faces a difficult journey to establish a solid democracy in myanmar. nhk world's chikashi takaoka has the story from yangon. >> it is not so much our time but the time of the people who decided they must be involved in the political process of the country. we hope this will be the beginning of the new era where there will be more emphasis on the rule of the people, the everyday politics of our country. >> reporter: sunday's bi-elections filled 45 vacant seats in myanmar's 664-member national parliament and local assemblies. aung san suu kyi won her seat in a consistency in southern yangon. in total, the national league for democracy claimed to have
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won 43 of the 44 seats contested. but even with the nld's gains the party will hold less than 10% of the seats in parliament. the governing party retains a commanding position. aung san suu kyi called on its leadership to cooperate for further democratization. >> we would welcome all parties who would wish to join us in the process of bringing peace and prosperity to our country. >> reporter: the government is likely to tout the election result as another step toward democracy. it may also urge western countries to lift economic sanctions. aung san suu kyi knows how the government intends to use the result, but she has bigger goals, aiming to win general elections, scheduled in 2015.
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the latest vote marks only the beginning of expected political maneuvering between aung san suu kyi and the government. chikashi takaoka, nhk world, yangon. >> the international community has shown strong interest in the bi-elections in myanmar. western countries will likely use the vote as an opportunity to review economic sanctions against the country. the european union sent five election observers on the invitation of the government of myanmar. eu officials are expected to start discussing whether to ease sanctions later this month. >> we want to try and continue to support and encourage this tremendous momentum for change in myanmar. and that's what the european union wants to do, and that's why we were here. >> u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton congratulated the people under the government of myanmar but she pointed out that more needs to be done.
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>> we are committed to supporting these reform efforts. going forward, it will be critical for authorities to continue working toward an electoral system that meets international standards, that includes transparency, and expeditiously addresses concerns about intimidation and irregularities. >> the japanese government welcomed the election result and suggested it would consider increasing aid to myanmar. >> translator: in regard to resuming full supportive measures to myanmar, we're looking into the current state of our support. we will consider this election result as an important factor. >> asean foreign ministers said they hope the bi-election would encourage myanmar to further integrate for the global community. >> myanmar and asean will be able to work on other issues that would be more meaningful
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and contributing to the well-being of the people of myanmar, rather than being stuck on the issue of instability and lack of political reconciliation inside myanmar. >> myanmar's president thein sein will attend an asean summit in cambodia tuesday. he's expected to ask his southeast asian neighbors for support to achieve an end to economic sanctions against his country. turning now to the situation in afghanistan, the government of president hamid karzai dispatched its foreign minister to qatar, as part of efforts to advance peace talks with the taliban. qatar is the location of the taliban's liaison office, giving the nation certain influence over the militant group. nhk world's hideki yui reports. >> reporter: foreign minister
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zalmay rasool will meet tuesday with his counterpart and ask for cooperation in resuming negotiations with the taliban. a spokesperson on sunday stressed that the views of the afghan government must be reflected in negotiations. >> translator: the process of talks with the taliban in qatar must be one that is approved by the afghan government. >> reporter: the taliban have refused to hold talks with the karzai government, calling it a puppet of the americans. that makes it hard to get peace talks off the ground. the united states had said it's desirable for the afghan government to take the lead in talks with the taliban. the obama administration held talks with the taliban to try to pass with the group to stop terrorist activities and fighting in afghanistan, but in march the taliban announced it
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was suspending the discussions, accusing the u.s. of making unfair demands. the afghan government had said the move was a bargaining strategy by the taliban. it believes negotiations may be resumed. if so, it wants to be part of those talks and is asking for the cooperation of qatar to try and make that happen. hideki yui, nhk world. >> and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm dhra dhirakaosal in bangkok. the mayor of a village that was emptied of its residents following the accident at japan's fukushima daiichi nuclear plant is ready to start again. yuko endo is the leader of kawauchi, which is located in the evacuation zone near the damaged facility, and is telling his citizens to get ready to come home. japan's central government lifted the entry ban restrictions on three municipalities within the 20 kilometer evacuation zone
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affective this month, part of kawauchi village is outside the no-go area. still, almost all of its approximately 3,000 villagers fled after the fukushima accident. about 2,700 or 90% haven't returned. they are worried about radiation contamination and getting work. mayor endo and others are trying to show they are ready to welcome citizens back. they held a ceremony monday in the old village office. the mayor formally appointed employees to their new positions. the village government has had to operate outside evacuation zone until recently. >> translator: everything we do is for our citizens. we can move forward, step by step, to rebuild our village so that it returns to what it was. >> mayor endo plans to build homes in parts of kawauchi that have been determined safe. the village is pressing ahead with decontamination work and job creation to be ready for residents to return. the japanese government has
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set stricter standards for permissible levels of radioactive cesium in food products. the authorities want to further emphasize safety. local governments have begun checking food products based on the new standards. screenings started on monday throughout the country after the new rules came into effect on the previous day. the government is calling on 17 of japan's 47 prefectures, including fukushima, to conduct periodic checks of radiation levels in food products. other local governments are carrying out safety checks on their own initiative. the health ministry says four prefectures reported the results of their inspections. none of the products tested exceeded the new limits. under the stricter rules common food products such as rice and vegetables containing up to 100 becquerels of cesium per kilogram can be sold. baby food up to 50 becquerels can be offered to the public. and drinking water must not show readings above 10 becquerels. the central and local governments will not allow foods
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exceeding the permissible levels to go on the market. an nhk survey shows screening measures have been stepped up to meet the tighter standards. they are doing so by such means as introducing additional checking devices. japan's prime minister says worries about power shortages should not come ahead of safety. yoshihiko noda is deciding whether to restart two idle nuclear reactors in the western part of the country. he's promised to seek local approval by host communities because of concerns following last year's accident at fukushima daiichi. the two reactors at the ohi nuclear plant in fukui prefecture. the units are currently offline for a scheduled inspection. under new government guidelines reactors that have gone offline before or after the fukushima accident must pass stricter safety checks. these stress tests are designed to make sure the units can withstand powerful earthquakes and towering tsunami. only one of japan's 54 reactors
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is online right now. some people are concerned there will be power shortages this summer. noda addressed those worries before the upper house committee but he made his position clear. >> translator: priority one for restarting the reactors is checking their safety. >> the two reactors at ohi have passed the stress tests. noda is now consulting with local government officials in fukui to get their opinion on restarting the units. business sentiment among major japanese manufacturers remain negative at the end of march, for the second consecutive quarter. the bank of japan released the results of its tankan quarterly survey on monday, roughly 11,000 companies were covered by the poll. the headline index for large manufacturers stood at minus 4, unchanged from the previous survey in december. a negative reading means that those with a pessimistic view outnumber those with an optimistic one.
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exporters and other manufacturers remain under pressure from a strong yen, even though the currency has weakened somewhat from historical highs. the effects of the european credit crisis also linger. and a recent rise in the price of crude oil is squeezing profit at steel and chemical firms. looking ahea major manufacturers also expect business conditions to inch up. hopes are rising for a moderate economic recovery on rising demand for post-disaster reconstruction. in may, egypt is due to hold a landmark presidential election, the first since the ouster of the hosni mubarak regime last year. egyptians are watching intensely as the election approaches. the country has never had a free and fair presidential poll. young people, who played a key pole in ousting the mubarak regime are at the forefront of efforts to spread the word about democracy. nhk world's satoro aoyama has the story.
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>> reporter: every day, 25-year-old lawyer mostafa sharara tells people about the elections and the candidates who will be running. >> translator: which candidate is most suited for the position of president? why do you back him? >> translator: i value his campaign pledges. >> reporter: demonstrations against the regime of president hosni mubarak erupted in january of last year. over the following month there were fierce clashes with security forces, and many casualties. every day, sharara joined in demonstrations in tahrir square in the heart of cairo. now he works to support the
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victims of the harsh government crackdown during the upheaval. over a year after the mubarak regime was ousted, bereaved families are still contacting sharara to find out how they can claim compensation. >> translator: so you can see the wound in the back of his body where he was shot by the security forces. >> reporter: one of sharara's own friends was shot as they were taking part in the demonstrations. each time he goes to the site he prays for the victims. >> translator: i will never forgive mubarak for the crackdown. for firing at the people of egypt. >> reporter: recently he visited
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the office of one potential candidate to find out his position on democracy. and to hear his election pledges. >> translator: what will you do to help egypt please with the despotic politics of the mubarak regime? >> translator: i will forge ahead with democratization and respect the opinions of the young people who helped achieve the revolution. >> reporter: every weekend sharara goes to tahrir square to screen interviews. he wants people to be aware of the candidates' views. >> translator: i used to have no interest in politics, but now i found out a bit about the candidates. i'm going to think about who to support and who i'm going to
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vote for. >> reporter: sharara and his associates intend to continue working right up to the election day. they want people to think hard about who they want to become their next president. >> translator: i want the candidates to never forget they must work for egypt and the egyptian people. i will do my utmost so that people choose a president who will put the people first. >> with us in the studio is nhk world's satoro aoyama who has just returned from cairo. now that the move toward democracy has finally begun in egypt, tell us how important is this upcoming election? >> after the mubarak regime was ousted, the first step in egypt was to hold a general election for new parliament. work is now under way on a new constitution and it's supposed to be drawn up ahead of the
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presidential election. the presidential election itself has great significance because the candidate who wins will be expected to carry through the country's transition to democracy. >> we want to know the players, who are the candidates in this election? >> so far more than ten people have filed applications to run. of those current front-runners are amr moussa, the former secretary general of the arab league, and aboul fotouh, a former senior official of the muslim brotherhood. the brotherhood's political arm announced on saturday that its deputy leader khairat al shater will run in the election. the group is the largest bloc in parliament with nearly half of the seats. >> in the run-up to the elections for parliament, there were protests against the military for prolonging its interim role.
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are there likely to be similar disturbances ahead of the presidential election? >> the interim military rulers have stressed that they will step down immediately after a new president is elected. ordinary egyptians are now waiting to see how things unfold ahead of the election. until very recently, there were rallies almost daily against the military government, but if the people see any sign of the military interfering in the election, that could trigger massive disturbances once again. >> all right, thank you for that, satoro. that was satoro aoyama in the studio. north korean officials say their ruling party will hold a conference next week.
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analysts expect party members to complete the transfer of power to kim jong-un by making him their general secretary. north korean state media say the workers party will gather next wednesday. >> translator: the fourth conference of the workers party of korea will take place in pyongyang on april the 11th. >> members will meet for the first time since kim made his public debut in 2010. state media have described him as the successor to his late father, but he holds only one of his father's posts. the party conference comes just before another closely watched event in north korea. officials in pyongyang say the country will launch a rocket carrying a satellite. officials of other governments say they suspect the launch is a cover for a missile test.
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the north korean supreme peoples assembly is also due to meet next week. analysts say they expect delegates to make kim jong-un chairman of the country's national defense commission. leaders in pyongyang are just following up on things set in motion by kim jong-il. >> north korea is holding a series of events before the birthday of kim il-sung on april 15th. this is viewed as the best timing of the country to show its people and the international community that the kim jong-un era has started. establishing kim jong-un's footing looks relatively smooth. but they're just completing tasks kim jong-il prepared before his death.
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north korea launched missiles in 2006 and 2009. it is natural to think about the possibility of nuclear tests. north korea's launch of a satellite rocket will heighten international tensions and give kim jong-un his first real test of strength. let's look now at the latest market figures. it was an ideal day for the start of a new fiscal year here
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in japan. almost perfect weather. but that all changes tomorrow according to mai shoji that is. she joins us with the weather for here and elsewhere. mai? >> yes, in tokyo we had a perfect day with lots of plenty of sunshine, but tomorrow is going to be a whole different story overall. we have low pressure system as we speak moving over the korean peninsula and this is an intense spring storm that is going to be intensifying over the sea of japan as it reaches the country. and we're talking about lots of very gusty conditions and it will be moving rapidly off of this landmass in the next 48 hours. in the northern japan region, actually, winter pattern will be remaining so the wind will be strong and snow could be making appearance there. so after this storm system leaves, things will be very clear in the region.
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but we're speaking about 150 millimeters into tuesday. staggering amounts of rainfall accumulation and this could definitely rise river levels and also maximum wind speeds. that's going to be about 90 kilometers per hour. this could damage power lines, pull trees and, well, the best is to stay inside tomorrow because this is a very strong system. it is almost typhoon-like. however, if you are going to be out, you would rather not bring your most expensive umbrella. it could really break. winds are very strong. and picking up waves as much as 8 meters high in most coastal areas. it is a rapid moving system. and high pressure will be chasing after this. so looking very clear in much of china, mongolia and the korean peninsula should be looking at dry and calmer weather. taking a look at your temperatures here in tokyo, we're looking at 17 degrees. seoul dipping down to 5 degrees. look at shanghai and chongqing,
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reaching in the mid-20s in chongqing, 25. shanghai, even 21 degrees. so do enjoy your spring weather there in china. all right, taking a look at the americas. it is a wet start to this spring season here in the pacific northwest. we already have reports of 359 millimeters, just in the whole of march. the average -- normal average here is 189 millimeters, so most of these places are looking at double or even more rainfall accumulation already in the entire month of march. now, what's happening here in vancouver region, up in the north, is another winter storm coming here with the gusty conditions which could reach as much as 110 kilometers per hour and coastal heavy rain target in the similar areas. but as for oregon, where we had these accumulations, aforementioned areas, high pressure will be cresting
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overhead, so things will be looking fine for now. but in the lower plains here, we're going to have a low pressure system developing. severe thunderstorms could be erupting with all the moisture surging from the gulf. as for denver, things are looking very cold. in and around colorado mountains, we may see some snow accumulation, as much as 10 to 15 centimeters. even in the hills, even, maybe about 10 centimeters could be making appearance there. but oklahoma city and houston as you can see, in the south here, really hot there. and well above average. staying in normal territories in the eastern coast. here's your extended forecast.
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we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us on nhk world.
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