hello, there. welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, september 18th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. people across china are raising banners and their voices against japan. the demonstrators have been protesting against the japanese government's purchase of the senkaku islands in the east china sea. messages online are calling for rallies in 58 cities on tuesday.
they'll mark the anniversary of the incident in 1931 that led to japan's invasion of manchuria. around 200 people gathered monday in front of the japanese embassy in beijing. it was the seventh straight day of protests there. rallies took place in dozens of chinese cities over the weekend. some turned violent. police in beijing posted a statement online saying that destroying property is not patriotic. they called on protesters to observe law and order. police detained suspects accused of attacking a japanese-affiliated supermarket and destroying japanese vehicles. a spokesperson called on protesters to exercise restraint. but he stopped short of telling them to end their demonstrations. the japanese embassy is warning japanese nationals in china to be cautious. all japanese schools in mainland
china plan to close on tuesday. japan's foreign minister and the u.s. defense secretary have been discussing how to diffuse the tension between japan and china. gemba and panetta met. >> translator: we agreed that japan and the u.s. will work together to prevent japan/china relations from worsening. >> panetta met later in the day with japan's defense minister. panetta told reporters that tokyo and washington agreed the disputed islands are covered by the security treaty. but the u.s. will not take sides and urged both countries to act with restraint. >> the united states as a matter of policy does not take a position with regards to competing sovereignty claims.
it is extremely important that diplomatic needs on both sides be used to try to constructively resolve these issues. >> the threat of more protests is prompting japanese firms in china to temporarily close factories and stores. panasonic has suspended operations at three factories until tuesday after protesters damaged buildings and equipment. electronics maker canon will halt operations at its factories for a day. mitsubishi chemical holdings will close operations at its beijing office. consumer goods company lion has decided to temporarily shut down a factory on monday and tuesday. supermarket kahne ion closed five of its outlets on monday.
demonstrators caused serious damage in shindau on friday. the demonstrations have also forced a delegation of japanese business leaders to cancel part of a china tour later this month. the japan/china economic association plans to send the largest ever group of business leaders to china. about 170 people will arrive saturday for a week-long tour. the delegates plan to visit beijing, shanghai province as part of an exchange program. but say the government asked them to postpone the visit saying it's difficult to ensure the business people's safety. they'll study events in china before deciding whether to proceed with the visit to beijing and shanghai. meanwhile the chinese state run radio says chinese fishing boats are red for waters around the disputed islands. they're part of a fleet of
thousands that have left the provinces. the radio warns that chinese fisheries authorities are ready to protect the boats. that suggests government patrol ships are escorting them. china's government ended a three-month fishing moratorium in the east china sea near the islands on sunday. diplomatic sources on both sides say high tides caused by a tropical storm will make navigating the waters off the islands difficult. a japanese minister has presented the country's new energy policy to the international atomic energy agency. senior vice foreign minister told a conference in vienna about the goal to reach zero reliance on nuclear energy by the 2030s.
>> yamane hinted at flexibility over the schedule saying the road to zero reliance may not be a straight one. japanese officials told about a new commission. it will be independent from the ministry. the new body will be launched on wednesday. foreign and defense officials from japan and the u.s. are discussing flight restrictions for the osprey military plane. okinawans have expressed concerns about it being deployed in their prefecture. it has been involved in accidents overseas. sources say the officials are debating how much to limit midnight and early morning flights. they're reportedly close to an agreement. they say the pilots will use simulators to train for night flights as much as possible. the delegates may also ban
flights below an altitude of 150 meters. they're expected to agree that the osprey will only fly in close formation over u.s. training sites. the sources say both governments hope to finalize the issue by the end of this week. japan's maritime personnel are planning to join a military drill in the persian gulf. they'll practice mine sweeping as part of u.s.-led exercises. the drills began sunday. they aim to secure transport routes for crude oil. japanese mine sweepers arrived monday at bahrain's capital. it is the base for the u.s. navy's fifth fleet. u.s. and british troops visited the japanese ships to plan the drill. crew members checked the cannon designed to detonate mines on the sea surface. >> translator: the persian gulf is a very important area for japan. we believe the drills will help
improve our mine sweeping units, strategic skills, and enhance relationships with other countries. >> iran has repeatedly threatened to blockade the strait of hormuz at the mouth of the gulf as part of its battle with western countries over its nuclear program. the civil war in syria is starting to affect people in the golan heights. israel has occupied the region since 1967. syrian residents of the golan heights were united in their support for the government of president bashar al assad, but divisions have begun to emerge. >> reporter: arabs living in golan heights are determined to keep their identity as syrians. under the israeli occupation. they refuse to adopt israeli nationality. many hope that assad's government will win back control of golan heights from israel.
eddin is a firm supporter of assad. he blames other countries for the fighting in syria. >> translator: what's happening in syria is the result of maneuvering by the united states written in gulf nations. syria was a united nation before they planned the split. >> reporter: a massive rally was held to express solidarity with the assad government. eddin was one of the organizers. he repeated his support for a strong government. >> translator: so many people are gathered here today. all of you are rallying behind assad.
>> reporter: but a rift is emerging among the residents of golan heights. a silent protest was held against president assad. the participants are holding up blank signs. the message is stop the bloodshed. as the civil war intensifies, more people are saying publicly that they can no longer support assad. they drew the arabic word freedom by arranging candles. yamasha used to support assad. now he thinks the government is disgracing his homeland with blood. >> translator: we must topple the assad regime. as crimes by the regime have come to light, the anti-assad movement is becoming unstoppable in the golan heights as well. >> reporter: but expressing
opposition can create friction. assad supporters began harassing amasha. stones were thrown at his house. he was hit by a car and has serious lower back injuries. the driver was an assad supporter. he insists it was just an accident, but amasha thinks it was retaliation for his opposition to assad. >> translator: we must do whatever we can to avoid killing each other. the israeli occupation alone is more than enough suffering to endure. >> reporter: the syrian conflict is gradually spilling over to the golan heights. civil war is beginning to erode unity that developed under the israeli occupation. nhk world, golan heights. ang san suu kyi didn't
travel for nearly 25 years. now she's on another trip abroad. she's visiting the united states to meet government and business leaders. she left an airport on sunday and headed to washington, the first leg of her two-week visit. members of the u.s. congress will give her the congressional gold medal. they decided in 2008 to present it to her. it's the country's highest civilian honor. aung san suu kyi won a seat in parliament in april. she's cooperating with the government's democratic reforms. president barack obama's administration eased economic sanctions against myanmar in july in response to those changes. she didn't leave her country previously. she feared the military wouldn't allow her to return home. she resumed overseas trips this year as a member of parliament. she visited thailand in may and
europe in june. myanmar's president will be if had the united states at the same time as aung san suu kyi. he'll be attending a general assembly in new york. businesses in thailand are gradually recovering after floods. but still struggling to return to pre-disaster levels of production. farmers are trying to bring back the fruit that was once the pride of central thailand. >> reporter: the durian has a unique appearance with hundreds of thorns covering its husk. it is one of the largest fruits in the world and famous for its strong odor which leaves people divided. now, despite what some might describe as an uchbsive smell, it actually has a pretty sweet and creamy texture. that's why it's popular amongst
millions of consumers. that's why it's the king of fruits in southeast asia. thailand is one of the biggest producers of durian. vendors are common and the prices they charge vary greatly depending on the type. a single fruit can fetch up to 1,600 u.s. dollars. but floods devastated the region in 2011. about 98% of durian orchards were inundated. the rich soil along the river that helps produce rich fruit was damaged. farmers were left without their cash crop. one of them is basoud. he could only watch by and watch as his field went below the water line. the orchard has been in his
family for six generations. it only took a short time for the flood waters to kill all his durian trees. >> translator: it's sad because the durian were the pride of our family. i have gotten everything from durian. but today we don't have that pride anymore. it's discouraging. >> reporter: thai authorities have stepped in to help farmers through the crisis. on this day, hundreds of durian farmers gathered at an event in an effort to revive the durian orchards. academics are teaching farmers how to restore nutrients to the soil so it will grow faster. >> translator: durian is the staple crop of the province. it is also original and the pride of the province. so that's why providing more knowledge such as how to
properly grow durians and soil amendment is important. >> reporter: as most of the farmers shown in the event lost all their trees to the disaster, the highlight was receiving free durian saplings. authorities rescued these saplings from orchards last year and preserved them at a conservation center. pasert has been able to use 150 free saplings to start growing trees again. but it's not enough, he says, because it will take at least five years before they yield fruit. the future is uncertain. >> translator: we must start from zero. i don't know when it will happen, but i hope the orchard will bear fruit again. >> reporter: although their battle to rebuild from the
floods, they have not given up hope that one day the king of fruits will reign again. nhk world, central thailand. japan's bullet trains are famous for being fast and punctual. the average delay last year was 36 seconds on the line between tokyo and osaka. that kind of time keeping requires more than just the latest technology. here's a look at what's going on in the driver's cabin. >> reporter: for some people, punctuality is a virtue. for osui, it's a driving passion. >> translator: my goal for today is to be within one second of the schedule when passing stations. and five seconds for station stops. >> reporter: he has been driving bullet trains for ten years.
today he is departing from osaka station. his destination is tokyo. a journey of two hours, 36 minutes. the automatic control system sets a speed depending on the spacing between trains. but the computer can't determine the optimum speed to stay on schedule. but that is still in the hands of the driver. >> translator: 54 minutes, 54 seconds. on time. in order to be on schedule, i calculate the speed by subtracting the distance to the next station from the distance to tokyo station. >> reporter: that number, 163, is the distance in kilometers to tokyo station. usui fuses this number to figur the exact speed needed to arrive on time.
no computers for this calculation. it's all done in his head. nagoya station. they have stopped at two stations, and passed two others. on time to the second. but then -- >> translator: nagoya station departing 15 seconds late. >> reporter: it took time getting the passengers on and off. usui accelerates. he wants to make up for the delay, but he has to be careful. if he goes too fast, they'll trigger the automatic brakes. he keeps just inside the speed limit. time check. >> translator: mikawa passing three seconds late. >> reporter: usui makes up then lost time over the next two
stations. by the third station, he's got train and timetable synchronized again. >> translator: hamamatsu, passing on time. >> reporter: with the exception of the two through stations, usui has kept precisely to the schedule all the way to tokyo. >> translator: i was getting worried, but in the end i was able to keep my schedule. >> reporter: his two and a half hour journey is recorded on the card. it's all there. speed, acceleration, even brake usage. second by second. on a good day, usui's card is a record of driving perfection. one his passengers will never see. that's fine with usui. his eyes stay fixed on the clock.
well, the berlin harmonic orchestra has played a charity concert for children far away. they raised money to buy musical instruments for a city in northeastern japan. ♪ >> the musicians played to a packed house in berlin. it was for youth orchestra in soma city. soma has a history of supporting music. they hope it will help children recover from the tsunami. it ended with playing a piece by japanese composer taki. ♪
our lead stories this hour, people in china have been protesting against the japanese government's purchase of the senkaku islands in the east china sea. messages online are calling for rallies in 58 cities on tuesday. they'll mark the anniversary of the incident in 1931 that led to japan's invasion of manchuria.
around 200 people gathered monday in front of the japanese embassy in beijing. it was the seventh straight day of protests there. rallies took place in dozens of chinese cities over the weekend. some turned violent. police in beijing posted a statement online saying that destroying property is not patriotic. they called on protesters to observe law and order. police in guangzou destroyed japanese vehicles a spokesperson called on protesters to exercise restraint. but he stopped short of telling them to end their demonstrations. the japanese embassy is warning japanese nationals in china to be cautious. all japanese schools in mainland china plan to close on tuesday. japan's foreign minister and the u.s. defense secretary have been discussing how to diffuse
the tension between japan and china. gemba and leon panetta met in tokyo on monday. gemba said his government plans to resolve the problems calmly based on a broad perspective. >> translator: we agreed that japan and the u.s. will work together to prevent japan/china relations from worsening. >> panetta met later in the day with japan's defense ministers morimoto. panetta told washington agreed the disputes islands were covered by the security treaty. but he says the u.s. will not take sides and urged both countries to act with restraint. >> the united states as a matter of policy does not take a position with regards to competicompete ing sovereignty claims. it is extremely important that
democratic means on both sides be used to try to constructively resolve these issues. a japanese minister has presented the country's new energy policy to the international atomic energy agency. senior vice foreign minister told a conference in vienna about the goal to reach zero reliance on nuclear energy by the 2030s. >> but yamane hinted at flexibility on the schedule saying the road to zero reliance may not be a straight one. in a separate meeting, told the officials of the iaea about a new regulatory body. they will be independent from the industry ministry which oversees the current regulator. the new body will be launched on wednesday. and that's all for this edition of "newsline."