hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, august 23rd. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. two japanese women are on a trip to turkey they'd rather not have to take. their sister was killed while reporting on the civil war in syria. mika yamamoto was shot on monday in aleppo. authorities moved her body across the border to turkey. >> translator: she told me she was in a safe place just two days ago. i still cannot believe things turned out this way. >> the japan press released
video yamamoto recorded just before she died. yamamoto said fighter jets were bombing residents and she couldn't believe people were still living there. yamamoto and her colleague were accompanying opposition fighters when shots rang out. her video ends there. and it doesn't let up for the residents of aleppo. government troops are hitting back at rebel forces there and around the country. government jets are flying sorti after sorti. rebels say government forces bombed a makeshift hospital in aleppo. at least 35 people were killed, including civilians. the planes seem to be targeting residential neighborhoods too.
smoke blankets the area. tanks rolled into a suburb of the capital damascus where free syrian army soldiers were hiding, triggering a firefight. the renewed offensive follows the end on sunday of the u.n. monitoring mission. japanese government researchers have gone to citizens to find out how they feel about nuclear energy. their poll suggests nearly half say nuclear power generation should stop by the year 2030. the researchers randomly chose about 280 people for talks on energy issues. they asked participants how much of the power supply should be nuclear in 2030. almost half said the nation's reactors should be scrapped. 15% said nuclear energy should make up about 1/7 of electricity needs. 13% would accept reactors producing a quarter of the country's power. that would put japan almost back to where it was before the fukushima disaster.
researchers also asked participants what they thought was the most important factor authorities should consider in a new energy policy. three-quarters of respondents said safety. 40% cited a stable power supply. 16% said cost was the most important factor. for a more in-depth look into the issue. our gene otani. >> we've seen a lot of polls in the past about nuclear power in japan. how's this one different? >> yes, they chose participants randomly and asked questions before and after the debate. it's designed to show how discussions can change people's opinions. it's allowed participants to address a issue more different than other polls, which require people express their views on
insufficient information. the japanese government has introduced the method with a view to deflecting what the so-called silent authority thinks about the nuclear energy. >> what kind of changes did researchers see before and after the debates? >> well, as you mentioned, almost half of respondents were 46.7% ended up saying japan should completely get rid of nuclear power. before the debates, that number was 32.6%. that's a difference of 14 percentage points. on the other hand, the percentages of people who supported the two other options for reliance on nuclear power didn't change that much. in short, the poll suggests the number of people who put priority on safety increase after the debate.
>> the government solicited public opinions in two other ways. hearings in 11 locations nationwide, including fukushima to ask people about the three options for nuclear supply. the government also invited citizens to send in their views by a fax and the internet. it collected more than 80,000 comments. it's a signing of a panel of experts to analyze all opinions. the government plans to finalize the energy policy by the end of this month based on the panel's analysis. but business leaders are voicing skepticism. they say the government didn't give much thought to the impact the three options could have on the economy. on top of that, prime minister yoshihiko noda's cabinet remains divided on how to reflect public opinions on this issue. some ministers say working out the details of the energy policy could drag on into september.
>> prime minister noda isn't just listening to ministers, experts, and opinion poll data. he's also meeting face-to-face with opponents. noda sat down with ten representatives of citizen groups against nuclear power energy. they say leaders did not learn from the accident at fukushima daiichi and did not listen to citizens' opinions. they urged the prime minister to halt the reactors and scrap all of the country's nuclear plants. noda replied he approved the restart of the ohi facility after confirming its safety. he argued he made the decision for the sake of people's lives, not to benefit certain business groups. >> translator: our basic policy is to reduce our dependence on nuclear energy. in the medium to long term, we're aiming to shift the nation's structure which relies
on nuclear power. >> the citizens groups have been organizing anti-nuclear rallies near the prime minister's office every friday. former prime minister naoto kan helped them arrange their meeting with noda. high-profile people against nuclear power are taking a new approach. nobel prize-winning author kenzaburo oe and composer ryuichi sakamoto are looking at legal ways to shut down nuclear plants. others in the 21-member association include the mayor of minamisoma city in fukushima prefecture. the national network for legislation to abolish nuclear power unveiled their proposals in tokyo. they're calling for restricting existing nuclear plants to 40 years of operation. they also want to ban the construction of new plants. the measures say all plants should be scrapped between fiscal 2020 and 2025 at the latest.
>> translator: we must not disrupt the lives of people in the next world, the next century, and the next era. these are our ethics as people of today. >> group members will lobby lawmakers and political parties to submit their proposals as a bill during the current diet session. south korea has decided to send back a letter to japan -- they are sending back to japan a ledder from the prime minister yoshihiko noda calling for a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute between the two countries. sending back such a letter is an unusual step in terms of diplomatic protocol. noda sent the letter to south korean president lee myung-bak last friday. it expresses regret over lee's recent visit to the islets in the sea of japan and over his remarks on bilateral ties. south korea controls the islets
which are claimed by japan. they're called takeshima in japan and dokdkdo inouth korea. in the letter noda says japan proposes that the two countries resolve the matter peacefully according to international law. he urged south korea to act cautiously with a broad view of bilateral relations. a south korean government official told nhk that the letter has got the facts wrong. south korean media have reported that the government is not happy with japan calling the territory by its japanese name. asked about south korea's decision to return his letter, noda only said he learned about it in the news and didn't have further knowledge of the matter. japanese foreign minister koichiro gemba called lee myung-bak's recent visit to the islets an illegal landing. >> translator: the visit was extremely regrettable. i would say it was an illegal landing. >> gemba also used the word "illegal" to describe south
korea's occupation of the islets. the reference is the strongest expression ever used by the democrat-led government. he said no matter what expression the government uses, its legal position remains unchanged. a controversial u.s. military transport aircraft could arrive in okinawa soon. the top commander of the u.s. marine corps in japan has indicated that the osprey could be sent to okinawa by the middle of next month. the aircrafts are currently at the iwakuni base in yamaguchi prefecture, western japan. >> it all depends on when we get the approval of the japanese government. i would like to say it would be by the middle of september that we would have the ospreys here at futenma. >> marine corps lieutenant general kenneth glueck was speaking with nhk in okinawa. the marine corps plan to start deploying the tilt-rotor mv-22 osprey at its futenma air
station in japan's southern-most prefecture in october. public protest over the deployment of the military aircraft is mounting in japan following crashes in morocco and florida. aviation experts point out the possibility that the aircraft could temporarily become less stable in the transition mode. >> for our training purposes, it would be within the confines of the airport at futenma or it's going to be up in the northern training areas where we do have confined area landing sites. and it will transition into the helicopter mode as it comes into landing area sites. >> analysts say the u.s. military is apparently trying to satisfy the japanese public by limiting the areas where the osprey changes its flying modes. experts studying the lessons of last year's disaster say firefighters must save themselves first during tsunamis. the march 11th earthquake and tsunami in eastern japan left
254 firefighters dead or missing. many were trying to shut floodgates and evacuate people when they died. a panel of experts is compiling its final report on the lessons learned. firefighters are key to rescue and evacuation activities during disasters in japan. their draft report says firemen must put top priority on evacuation during tsunamis so that those who survive can rescue others. >> translator: we have to protect the lives of both firefighters and people. we are working on revising disaster manuals for our firefighters. >> the report also recommends that municipalities draw up plans for residents to take the initiative in evacuation. that would help take some of the strain off the firefighters. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster,
but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." armed men have set fire to an auto show room in thailand's southern province that experiences frequent terrorist attacks involving islamic militants. police say the attackers intended to cause harm to the local economy. the attack in patane province targeted a showroom for vehicles made by japan's honda motor. police say ten armed men wearing masks entered the showroom early wednesday and threatened three security guards. they spread a liquid resembling gasoline, set fire to it, and ran away. none of the guards was injured. 15 new cars were burned out. southern thailand has been racked by violence for several
years, amid demands by islamic extremists for peace. next, india, pressure on social media websites, including facebook and twitter to remove content it accuses of inflaming communal violence. thousands of them fled urban areas fearing they'd be attacked. the government announced on tuesday that it blocked access to 245 web pages it says contained doctored videos and images. it said international social networks sites indicated much of the content was uploaded from pakistan. >> translator: i don't want to block anyone, because it's not the government's job to do censorship. we want the internet to be free and fair, but to spread terror, to spread rumors, to threaten people, and to do this by creating fake accounts, to put up doctored photos on the internet, that is to mess with normalcy in the country.
>> thousands of students and workers fled mumbai, bank lore, and other cities next week. the exodus was prompted by a series of threatening online images and text messages. they suggested they'd be targeted for violence against muslims. reuters says clashes between the community and muslim settlers from bangladesh have killed nearly 80 people and displaced some 300,000 since july. the government earlier placed limits on the use of text messages. the crackdown will likely rekindle the debate on freedom of speech and censorship in the internet in the world's largest democracy. now let's take a look at the market figures.
in the united states, a significant new immigration program has just kicked off. it could offer a way for over 800,000 young illegal or undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and work legally. nhk has the story. >> reporter: new york city, home to a diverse population of immigrants. at this church in lower manhattan, over 1,000 youth
gathered last week. these young people were brought here to the united states as children of illegal immigrant parents. they lined up for free legal advice and guidance. they are preparing to apply under the differed action for childhood arrivals initiative, which could grant them a two-year reprieve from deportation. >> i feel like this is definitely made my dream and my reality come true that i wanted to pursue a field in energy in the united states. >> i do support the president, by all means. this is not the whole package, but at least it's something. >> reporter: eligible applicants must now be 30 years of age or younger. they must have been 16 or younger upon arrival in the u.s. and have lived here for at least five years. they must also be enrolled in high school or possess a graduate diploma. those with a criminal record are not eligible. applicants who win approval will be allowed to stay in the u.s. for a renewable period of two
years. they can also obtain a work permit, apply for a driver's license, and receive financial aid for college. this past june, president obama announced the ambitious differed action policy. an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants reside in the united states. over 70% of them come from mexico and central and south american countries. four years ago, obama promised to create a pathway for undocumented youth to secure permanent residency in america. since elected president, he has pushed for a bipartisan bill called the dream act, which would enable him to do just that. first introduced in 2001 and then repeatedly in the years following, the dream act again failed to pass in congress in 2011. republicans opposed it on grounds it would encourage more illegal immigration to the country. today, the dream act still
remains a dream for many undocumented youth. in a bid to keep elements of the dream act alive, obama announced the differed action policy in a sweeping exercise of executive order, bypassing the congress. yesica martinez, 19, is a differed action applicant. >> hi, jessica! >> reporter: today, she's come to consult with a lawyer about her application requirements. yessica was brought to america illegally ten years ago. her parents decided to leave their home in columbia, which was rife with gang violence and ongoing civil conflict. they wanted to provide a better future for their children. immediately after arriving in new york, yessica enrolled in the public school system and began studying english for the first time. this fall, she will begin her second year at a prestigious ivy league university, yet yessica
remains undocumented in america and could be deported at any time. this has been one of her biggest fears, despite all that she's accomplished here. >> in terms of being able to access jobs that i never thought i could access. i think it also gives you a sense of security, too, just because there's always that threat of deportation kind of lingering behind. >> reporter: obama's new policy has renewed hope among young, undocumented immigrants for eventual permanent residency, but immigration is likely to be a focal point in the run up to the presidential elections. corrinne snyder, nhk world, new york. a group of about 90 japanese athletes and officials are on their way to the paralympic games in london. medal hopefuls in wheelchair
tennis and other sports left tokyo on wednesday. a total squad of 135 japanese athletes will take part in 17 events in london. they'll try to top the nation's haul of 27 medals won at the beijing games four years ago. a wheelchair tennis player is gunning for his second straight gold in the men's singles event. >> translator: i want people to know how well we can play tennis in a wheelchair. as a representative of japan, i will do my best to bring back another gold medal. >> the 12-day paralympic games are scheduled to open next wednesday. rachel ferguson joins is now with the world weather forecast. rachel, people in taiwan and southern japan are feeling the effects of two powerful storms. what's the latest? >> all right, we certainly have. we're starting to see those
effects in the sakushima islands and also in eastern taiwan. let me give you the latest statistics on tambian. it is just about stationary now, which could cause a little bit of an issue in terms of the prolonged stormy conditions for these areas. we were expecting landfall in taiwan today, thursday, it doesn't look like it's going to happen now until friday. and the winds are at 126 kilometers an hour with gusts at 180 kilometers an hour, so that means as well as structural damage, very rough seas, waves up to about seven meters, and then we have the rainfall to contend with as well, with the stationery system, could up the risk of flooding and landslides. in the next 24 hours, could see about 250 millimeters of rain from this system, and right behind it, we have yet another very powerful system pretty much coming in the same direction.
this one is bolovon. typhoon bolovon is a strong typhoon moving quickly, 15 kilometers an hour in a westerly direction. speeds are sustained at 144 with gusts over 198 kilometers an hour, so a very strong system, and it's heading in towards southern japan as well. looks like it's going to be coming towards okinawa by friday, at which point it should be a very strong typhoon, so this one is intensifying, heading in pretty much the same direction and is also about twice the size of the proceeding storm tambian. so we have a very difficult situation through the end of the workweek and weekend. the added danger also with bolovan is it looks like it might swerve up towards the northwest here, if it does so, it will be affecting the korean peninsula. the peninsula has been dealing with widespread flooding with a few different systems coming through. the last days, sagged down to
south korea and up into japan, bringing thunderstorms and heavy rain here as well. so plenty going on here in the western pacific. all right, let's go to our other tropical storm now. this is isaac, which is just passing the leeward islands at the moment, going through the leeward islands. it will then go on to just south of puerto rico and the virgin islands, then it looks like it's going to graduate to hurricane status. we do have hurricane warnings in effect for the dominican republic republic. looks like it's going to be crossing over hispanolia. right now moving west at 35 kilometers an hour. wind speeds sustained at 75 kilometers an hour. this is a strengthening system, so we're talking about the potential of storm surge, dangerous rip tides, as well as heavy rain. totals could reach between 300
and 400 millimeters. landslides, flash flooding, high risk. flooding also high risk in the southwest of the u.s. at the moment. we have a low and some monsoonal flow coming up into the four corners, southern nevada as well, southern california. that could cause some problems with flooding today. temperature-wise, it's going to be hot and dry in the central plains, so fire warnings have been posted here. as we head on into europe, it is going to be hot as well down towards the south with numb thunderstorms moving through finland. talking about the temperatures then, still seeing 37 in madrid, we're also in the upper 30s in athens and mid 30s in budapest. all right, i'll leave you now with your extended forecast.
our lead story this hour, syrian government forces are hitting back at opposition fighters. the renewed offensive follows the end on sunday of the u.n. monitoring mission. fighter jets are dropping bombs across the northern city of aleppo. rebels say some hit a makeshift hospital treating rebel troops. at least 35 people were killed, including civilians. and the planes have attacked residential districts too. smoke covers the area. government tanks stormed a suburb of the capital damascus, where fighters with the free syrian army were hiding. that triggered a firefight between the two sides. the rebels are reported to be recruiting local men to join them in their fight. and that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us.