tv Newsline 30min KCSMMHZ June 22, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT
battle ready. south korean and u.s. forces hold their largest ever military exercises, preparing for threats from a reclusive rival. welcome to nhk world "newsline." north korea is an unpredictable nation. its leaders often threaten their neighbors to the south. sometimes they attack them. south korean forces want to be ready for anything so they've teamed up with members of the u.s. military to hold drills on land and sea. nhk world's fumi takasato
reports. >> reporter: i'm am 25 miles from the dmz. here the u.s. and rok carried out the biggest scale military exercise. the u.s. and south korean armies and air forces are putting on a coordinated show of force. they held exercises together at the drill site in northwestern south korea. they invited the media and even members of the public to look on. commanders set up a scenario they fear. in the drill, korean troops cross over the demilitarized zone and invade. south korean surveillance planes and f-16 fighters practice an aerial response. on the ground, crews of mobile
rocket launchers demonstrated their defenses. more than 2,000 personnel took part in the two-day drill. one of the largest ever exercises on south korean soil. just last month members of the u.s. and south korean air forces took part in their largest ever joint drills. both sides want to show they are committed to deterring any threat from north of the dmz. >> nhk world fumitaka sato reporting from south korea. fighting in syria. a human rights organization says at least 128 people were killed on thursday. violent conflicts have erupted in almost all areas of the country. the death toll in syria is now estimated at well over 10,000. government forces tight end their sooej of darra and duma.
tanks blasted away at rebel troops strongholds. in the central city of homs, government shelling is reported to have killed 13 people who took refuge in a school. a syrian air force pilot is seeking political asylum after crossing the border and landing in jordan with his mig-21 jet fighter. an increasing number of government forces have concededed their posts. they will resume patrols once their safety can be assured. one of two candidates vying to lead egypt is trying to raise his voice about the political noise. former prime minister ahmed shafiq has again said he's confident he will be the country's next president. egyptians are waiting to find out if he's right. election officials haven't released the result of last weekend's runoff vote. they say they need time to study complaints filed on behalf of the two candidates. shafiq is a well known political
figure. he was in office last year when demonstrations forced president hosni mubarak to step down. his rival is muhammad morsi of the muslim brotherhood. he was the first to declare himself a winner with an announcement on monday. shafiq is criticizing morsi's supporters. he says their continuing demonstrations to put pressure on the election commission. analysts say confrontations between the rival groups could escalate when the official election results are released. egyptians aren't the only ones waiting to find out who will be their next president. people in israel are also following this political drama. the neighboring countries went to war four times before signing a peace treaty in 1979. now the rise of the muslim brotherhood threatens to turn back the clock. nhk world's kohi suji reports from jerusalem. >> reporter: along the border with egypt, israel hurries to construct a barbed wire fence.
the 240-kilometer long barrier should be complete within a year. israel and egypt have maintained peace for more than 30 years, but israel is increasingly armed at events taking place across the border. anti-israel sentiment has been growing amongst egyptian public since the ouster of former president hosni mubarak. last september the israeli embassy was mobbed. in israel the soaring relationship with egypt is starting to affect people's daily lives. israel purchases low-priced natural gas from its neighbor for a power plant that used to meet 25% of israel's electricity needs. but the pipeline connecting the two countries has been attacked
14 times since last year disrupting supplies. on top of that, an egyptian state-owned energy company notified israel in april of plans to cancel the contract. >> israelis in an island concept. we don't have any from any other country in the world. we don't buy, we don't sell electricity. we depend on ourself. >> reporter: israel has to spend more and more on oil. the fuel costs ten times as much as natural gas. electricity bills have risen more than 20%, hitting ordinary people hard. >> you get the bill, the bill is a little high. much higher than it was, so you think twice. >> reporter: in egypt there are worrying signs that relations with israel could worsen still. a high-ranking member of the muslim brotherhood made alarming remarks during the presidential campaign.
>> reporter: israel said jerusalem is its capital, a claim never formally acknowledged by the international community. counterclaims by the muslim brotherhood could threaten israel's peace with egypt. this man served as israeli ambassador to egypt for three years. he's increasingly alarmed. >> worse scenario, the worse possibility is that egypt will take the radical line. they are replacing the dictators by democratic means.
>> reporter: hostility growing in its powerful arab neighbor, israel feels even more isolated. it's carefully watching the situation as a potential threat to its own security. kohei tsuji, nhk world, jerusalem. >> a spokesperson for the muslim brotherhood's presidential candidate mohamed morsi says the peace treaty with israel will be respected as long as it serves egypt's interests. analysts say the delicate relationship is critical to the stability of the entire middle east. united nations officials are criticizing an unseen threat from above. u.s. military personnel launched unmanned drones from their bases in afghanistan to carry out counterterrorism operations in neighboring pakistan. delegates at a u.n. conference have condemned u.s. military leaders for the unintended consequences of those attacks.
>> about 300 drone strikes took place in pakistan alone. and according to some sources, there is one civilian killed for each militant killed. >> he said u.s. government officials have not made public any information on their operations. he urged them to launch an investigation into the killings of civilians. a pakistani government official said the operations violate national sovereignty. he said authorities in pakistan have not approved any such operations. u.s. military personnel used the drones to attack members of al qaeda and other terrorists. they say the unmanned aircraft enable them to protect the public without losing troops. they insist the operations are legal and ethical. a u.s. credit rating agency has downgraded 15 gloel banks. analysts at moody's said the european debt crisis lowered
expectations of growth. their rating cutts affect final institutions based in the u.s., canada and europe. the analysts downgraded ten banks by two notches, including citigroup, goldman sachs, jpmorgan chase and morgan stanley. they lowered bank of america, hsbc holdings and two others by one notch. investors have been bracing for the changes since february when analysts placed the banks under review. the international monetary fund has called on eurozone members to swiftly establish a banking union among them. imf managing director christine legard made the announcement. such a system is needed to supervise the region's banks and provide liquid id and deposit guarantees when necessary. >> the imf believes that a determined and forceful move towards a complete european
monetary union should be reaffirmed in order to restore faith in the system. >> la garde also said a banking union would help head off contagion of the euro debt crise chis is threatening the very currency union. the european commission is expected to propose the centralization of banking control at an eu summit scheduled for next week. the japanese government is getting ready to cope with possible power shortages this summer. it has coming up with basic plans for saving electricity in the country. prime minister yoshihiko noda and other ministers have announced the plans. >> translator: we are sorry for this inconvenience but we'd like to ask users for their understanding and cooperation. >> the government decided last week to restart two idled nuclear power reactors at the ohi nuclear plant operated by
konsai electric power company. if one of the two reactors goes into full operation in early july, the government plans to ease power saving requirements in the region covered by konsei electric from 15% or more to 10% or more. it also decided to allow four major power companies, including konsei electric to impose rolling blackouts in case of power shortages in their regions. they'll go ahead with the blackout plans when they think power consuchtion would exceed 99% of their capacity. two longtime rivals are forging an alliance. japanese electronics firms panasonic and sony are close to collaborating on the next generation tv set. the new televisions will feature organic electroluminesen. l.e.o. tvs are thinner and show a sharper picture than conventional lcd units.
they hope the tie-up will cut costs and speed up the development. this alliance comes as companies struggle with their tv operations. they aim to catch up with the korean industry which is leading in oel tv production. panasonic and sony are also considering joint production of the tvs. here are the latest market figures. politicians in japan are debating a tax reform plan that would generate revenue to help pay for the country's aging
population. these seniors put a strain on the social security system. collecting pensions and requiring more health care. but they are also doing their part to fuel the economy. take a look. people older than 60 accounted for 44% of overall personal spending in 2011. adding up to about $1 trillion. that kind of figure grabs the attention of retailers. some are starting to tailor their services to seniors. nhk world's akiko akimoto takes us to a major supermarket that's caught on to this gray power trend. >> reporter: take a look at this lineup of healthy side dishes. the green soybeans, cucumber salads and other dishes have been placed in very small containers. they've been specially made for health conscious elderly people. most seniors live in small family units and don't need big portions of food.
even in the meat section, the packages of work contain only a few slices each. these products are being sold at this new type of supermarket that opened in the suburbs of tokyo in april. the store's designed to better serve the needs of elderly people here at this clothing section, retailers are trying to appeal to senior customers using special mannequins to display their product. take a look at this one. the mannequin has been modeled after physical features of a senior citizen. according to the store, seniors now have very sophisticated lifestyles and a discerning eye. to appeal to these tastes, the store's expanding its liquor section to include such treats at quality imported wines. even the speed of the escalator has been slowed down. >> my back and legs are weak, so
i felt reassured coming down on a slower escalator. the store wants to avoid accidents on the escalators involving the elderly or people with disabilities. in addition, the supermarket invited a general clinic to open next to the store. it's open all year round and has 13 different medical departments. >> translator: i came to see an optometrist today. i usually shop at this doctor's market after my doctor's appointment. it's very convenient. >> translator: since we started our special services for senior customers, we have been making better sales than we originally aimed for. it's important for all of our stores to expand such services. >> an executive chief economist
said they tend -- their spending can help boost japan. >> translator: the idea is that the money seniors spend will boost japanese firms where young people are employed. this will create more jobs and increase the earnings of young employees. all of this will strengthen the social security system and stimulate the economy. spending by seniors is expected to rise even more this year as those born in the post-war baby boom start receiving their full pensions. this generation helped turn japan into an economic powerhouse in the '70s and '80s. now it's poised to once again boost the nation's growth. akiko okimoto, nhk world, tokyo. japan has the highest proportion of elderly citizens in the world. but many countries face similar shifts in aging. experts with the world health
organization say nearly 1 out of every 4 people on the planet will be over 60 by the year 2050. japanese officials are taking action to deal with a problem an ocean away. 1.5 million tons of debris generated by last year's tsunami is making its way across the pacific. some of it has already washed ashore in north america. the japanese government is sending experts to the united states to gauge the situation. >> translator: japan has been receiving generous assistance from many countries since the disaster, and we've been working hard on the recovery. it's important that we address the issue of floating debris in the pacific ocean. >> experts from a tokyo-based ngo specializing in ocean waste will head to the u.s. next month. there are no international
conventions governing this type of issue, meaning japan isn't obliged to clean up the debris, but the leaders have said they are ready to help areas confronting this problem. japan's disaster and nuclear accident scared tourists away but they've been coming back, and tourism officials are excited about the numbers. the data suggests things are better than they've been and show the origin of the visitors is evolving. mittsuko nishikawa has more. >> reporter: one of tokyo's most popular destinations, atsakusa, is once again enjoying a continuous flow of tourists from across the world. >> translator: we see more and more foreign visitors every day. >> reporter: the government's tourism organization says 669,000 travelers visited japan in may. that's 87% up from last year, right after the march 11th
catastrophe and about 7% down from 2010. visitors from asian countries such as china contributed dramatically to this return to pre-march 11th figures. but tourists have yet to make a comeback. tourists from other countries are filling their places. tourism officials say more people from emerging economies in southeast asia are coming to japan. the number of visitors from thailand, indonesia and vietnam hit a record high for the month of may. >> i bring my kids. i bring to disney yesterday. and maybe tomorrow will be -- all ready for vacation. >> last year they don't want to come because of fukushima problem. but this year, i think that it
is popular and they want to return because of food and culture and people. >> that's what we -- >> that is what we know. but you have to have your chance when the time is right. can't wait more so -- >> the japanese government is aiming to attract more and more tourists from asian emerging economies. this month the foreign ministry launched a program to issue multiple entry visas for thai tourists. >> translator: the recovery of tourism isn't happening that fast. the government, the private sector, and municipalities have to roll up our sleeves and work closely together to attract more visitors. >> reporter: the strength of the yen means a trip to japan could be expensive, but many visitors
i've spoken to say cost isn't a concern. the japanese economy still has a long way to go before it fully recovers from last year's disaster. but with the help of visitors from emerging economies, it might get back on track faster. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world, tokyo. for an update on the weather forecast, here's mai shoji. >> hi. the low pressure system combined with the rainy season band swept across much of the southern half of japan. the torrential rain hit, about 180 millimeters in a very short time resulted in flooding situations. still, more than 120 houses are inundated and cars are stranded as we speak. people are trying to improve the situation. the good news is this low pressure system is already going to be offshore and tomorrow
we'll see some high pressure to be cresting overhead. let me show you how much rain it has accumulated in just the span of this day on friday. wakayam, 133 millimeters and also shumizu, 289 millimeters have been fallen in shikoku. southern kyushu, 247 millimeters. a short break and another round of this rain will be moving into the region about sunday local time. we may even see short time heavy rain and some showers could get really drenching. so really not good news. just upping the risk of further flooding situation here in japan. across the rest of the country, things will be clear and we'll be heading for a clear weekend. southeastern china also been seeing very bad flooding situation there. generally speaking, 100 to 150 millimeters of rainfall could be
on top of what we've been seeing. in guangdong, 230 millimeters have been reported in the past 24 hours. in addition to that, locally 250 millimeters could be possible in the gauuangdong region. just upping the risk of flooding and landslides. 31 degrees. also 31 in beijing. 32 in seoul. that's midsummer temperature there. and tokyo in the high 20s. probably keeping its sky clear for saturday and sunday here. moving over to the americas now. a pacific storm system will be moving in towards the northern rockies region bringing some gusty conditions as well as widespread scattered showers where we really want that shower is right around the four corners regions. critical fire weather still in place. and all that very great recipe. gusts could reach up to about 60 kilometers per hour. low humid id about 5% to 15%.
great recipe still in store for these areas. across the east, where we have seen that heat, that cold front will be swinging across those regions bringing a relief to that heat in the weekend. a low pressure system is very active over the gulf states bringing hefty amounts of rain in florida, western cuba as well as the yucatan peninsula. over the weekend, this system may develop into a tropical depression. temperaturewise, 31 in miami. new york, we're looking at still in the 30s with chances of thunderstorms. but as i mentioned, that will be tapering off in towards your weekend. but phoenix soaring in the 40s yet again. moving over to the european continent now. the british isles will be seeing very unstable conditions. the gusts could reach as much as 80 kilometers per hour. especially in uk. 30 to 40 millimeters per hour. short time heavy rain could occur upping the risk of flooding there. the associated cold front will
then be moving across the northern balkan regions and that could bring some isolated thunderstorms into ukraine. across the iberian peninsula, things are really hot. 34 in madrid. even hotter than the average of july temperatures there. london, though, on the cooler side at 19 degrees. here's your extended forecast. once again, our lead story -- fighting in syria has intensified since cease-fire monitors temporarily suspended all activities last week. a human rights organization says
at least 128 people were killed on thursday. conflicts have erupted in almost all areas of the country. the death toll is now estimated at well over 10,000. government forces tightened their siege of the city of darra in the south and duma in southern damascus. tanks blasted away at rebel troops strongholds. in homs, government shelling is reported to have killed 13 people took refuge in a school. a syrian air force pilot is seeking political asylum after crossing the border and landing in jordan with his mig-21 jet fighter. reports say an increasing number of government soldiers have deserted their positions. the u.n. security council has confirmed that observers will stay in the country and resume patrols once their safety can be assured. we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks very much for joining us.