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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  September 28, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." communist party officials in china have answered questions that have been swirling for weeks by making two key announcements. they've set a date for when their transition of power will begin. it's november 8th. and they've also decided on their punishment for a once-rising political star.
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they stripped bo xilai of his party membership. his case exposed the darker side of china's power structure. the state-run xinhua news agency is reporting the communist party will transfer bo's case to judicial authorities. he's accused of taking large bribes and abusing his power. bo was the highest ranking communist party official of the inland city of chongqing. he was expected to join the party's top brass this year, but a series of incidents led to his downfall. his former aid etemporarily pled to the u.s. consulate in february. officials cited bo for violating party discipline. they suspended him from the post he held in the political bureau. then in july, police charged bo's wife and her aide with murdering british businessman neil haywood. a chinese court handed her a suspended death sentence in august. bo's abuse of power allegation is tied to the role he played in the haywood case.
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making a decision on bo's future frees up chinese leaders to focus on their transition of power. delegates from across the country will convene in beijing to attend november's congress. the meeting happens every five years. delegates to the 18th congress of the chinese communist party are expected to approve new policies. they will also appoint the next generation of party leaders. vice president xi jinping is slated to succeed hu jintao and assume top post of the communist party. analysts are focusing on the appointments and policy decisions that are made under the new leadership. people in northern japan watched work come to a halt on a nuclear plant there following lasts year's accident at fukushima daiichi. but they could soon see construction crews get back to it. it would be the first time since march 2011 this kind of work has resumed. crews with electric power development company or j-power started building the plant in 2008.
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it's located in the town of ohma in aomori prefecture. engineers expected to start operating the facility in november 2014. but no work has gone on for the past year and a half. j-power executives decided earlier this month to resume construction after government leaders approved japan's new energy policy. the policy allows work to continue on plants already under construction while at the same time encourages japanese to end their reliance on nuclear power by the 2030s. the industry minister visited aomori prefecture two weeks ago. he told the governor that the ohma plan could be completed. j-power managers plan to inform residents of local municipalities of the decision next week. two other nuclear plants were under construction before last year's disaster. no decision has been made on resuming those projects. once these facilities are built, they must pass stricter safety standards before they can start generating power. members of the newly formed
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nuclear regulation authority will draft the rules. the government created the nra after the fukushima accident exposed the shortcomings of the former watchdog. we're looking at what's expected of this new authority on today's "nuclear watch." the nra replaced the nuclear and industrial safety agency. it also took over the responsibilities of the nuclear safety commission and other bodies. >> translator: the nra's most important task is to rebuild from scratch the public's trust in our ability to ensure nuclear safety. >> investigations into the fukushima accident place the blame on nisa for its cozy relationship with the nuclear power industry. a diet panel concluded the agency lacked expertise and was dependent on utilities. it also said nisa essentially took orders from power companies instead of properly regulating the industry and fulfilling its
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primary objective of ensuring safety. investigators attributed the agency's lack of independence to its position within the industry ministry of economy, tray, and industry, which was promoting atomic energy. the japanese government has given the nra a mandate to create an organization that will regulate power companies effectively and independently. for more on this story i spoke earlier to nhk world's hajime okada. what's different about the nuclear regulation authority? >> the nra is designed to be independent from the government, a stage that's defined by law. its members were appointed by the prime minister. also, some members include a former ambassador to the united nations and a seismologist as well as experts in the field of nuclear energy and radiation. >> will this be enough to guarantee the nra's independence? >> not really.
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the nra is now under the umbrella of the environment ministry. this means politicians and bureaucrats will still have influence because they control the agency's budget. and that issue is a composition of the nra's task. more than 80% of its employees come from previous regulatory bodies. to prevent conflicts of interest, the government says nra employees will be prohibited from moving or returning to the ministry of industry. the government unit that promoted nuclear energy that critics are already finding loopholes in this. >> what challenges will the nra be facing over the coming months? >> there's a long list. without doubt, the most important and immediate challenge is redefining nuclear safety regulations.
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new standards will have to take into account the latest findings and technological advances to make sure nuclear plants can withstand natural disasters and major accidents. once the nra sets its standards, it will conduct a case-by-case review of all of japan's nuclear reactors to determine which can be brought back online. the nra plans to come up with new criteria by july of next year. one concern experts must address is the issue of seismic fault lines below some of the plants. the nra will conduct its own inspections to assess any risks of the faults to nuclear safety. >> is the strengthening of human resource also a priority for the agency? >> the diet panel investigating
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the nuclear accident said that the level of knowledge was insufficient. the nra will have to intensify trade programs to bring its staff up to speed. and in the long term, as the nra chairman said himself the biggest challenge for the agency will be regaining the public's trust. >> nhk world's hajime okada. japanese and chinese dip low a mats are trading fierce accusations before the u.n. general assembly, and there's no sign of them finding common ground in their dispute over a group of islands in the east china sea. >> translator: the islands are inherently chinese territory, and there is indisputable historical evidence to demonstrate this fact. japan stole them in 1895 near the end of the sino-japanese war. >> chinese foreign minister yang jiechi called the japanese
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government's purchase of the islands earlier this month a unilateral action that grossly violates china's sovereignty. he said japan's action constitutes a grave challenge to the post-world war ii international order and to the u.n. charter. japan's deputy ambassador to the u.n. exercised his right of reply to refute china's claim. >> from 1885, surveys of the senkaku islands have been thoroughly conducted by japan. through these surveys it was confirmed that the senkaku islands had not been only uninhabited but had shown no trace of having been under the control of china. >> china's ambassador then presented his own rebuttal. he accused japan of blatantly distorting history. a warning from a top japanese business leader. japan business federation chairman hiromasa yonekura says japan and china have got to settle their dispute promptly or else both economies will suffer.
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yonekura spoke to nhk in beijing. he referred to yoshihiko noda's statement that no territorial dispute exists over the senkaku islands. >> translator: the stance could be taken to mean that japan has no intention of settling the issue. the japanese government must adopt a more flexible attitude. >> you know, cure ra also said the longer the friction remains the less investment will flow from japan to china. he said continued tensions will only hurt economic ties. japanese and chinese were to have spent this week celebrating the anniversary of the establ h established diplomatic relations in 1972. but organizers in beijing canceled the main ceremony. nhk world's michitaka yamaka has
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more. >> reporter: violent anti-china demonstrations this month. many support their government in the stance against japan. but some are calling for restraint from both parties. >> translator: the islands are definitely china's no matter what japan says. we chinese have a mission and responsibility to defend our territorial integrity. >> translator: i have high expectations for friendly china-japan ties because we're neighbors. while you can choose your friends, you cannot choose your neighbors. so neighbors are like your relatives. >> reporter: how do chinese people who have been involved in bilateral exchanges see the deteriorating relationship? this is sue xiawan.
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her father was former chairman of the china-japan friendship association when the two countries normalized relations in 1972. he witnessed the signing of the historic joint statement. for the past 40 years, sun has been engaged in various exchange programs with japan in a private capacity. she has also translated numerous japanese books into chinese. >> translator: i can't tell you how sorry i feel. i am even saddened to see years and years of hard work to nurture ties by my father, his colleagues, and by us crumble to easily. >> reporter: sun says even though official relations are strained, it is important for friends in both countries to keep visiting each other and
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continue to build ties at the private level. >> translator: people from both countries did manage to overcome the difficulties. they built trust and finally achieved normalization. both sides should recall the period that led to normalization. then they could share their wisdom and advanced talks aimed at resolving the current problems. >> reporter: it's ironic that bilateral ties have plunged to their lowest level in this landmark year. people in china who have ability to foster ties with japan are pinning their hopes on the ability of private citizens to maintain friendly relations. michitaka yamaka, nhk world, beijing. another private citizen is making similar efforts on the other side of the east china sea. a japanese woman started working to improve relations even before the countries established diplomatic ties.
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nhk world's junio sumoto has their story. >> reporter: she's a 79-year-old volunteer with the japan-china friendship association. she started to learn mandarin in her late 30s during a strong interest in chinese history. at that time, very few studied mandarin. she still treasurers her collection of autograph boards from her chinese friends. >> translator: my chinese was not good, so we communicated in writing. it was really fun. >> reporter: her studi chinese history and language led to grassroots exchanges. as an association member, she supported young chinese people studying in japan. she would invite them home for dinner, become their guarantor or even open her home to them. she also taught japanese at a
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small school in china. >> translator: i was impressed by the students avidly studying in dim light in a freezing school room. >> reporter: shima is also a member of a group that studies a legendary historical national field. five members planned to go to china this month to participate in the forum. but the forum was canceled amid the violent demonstrations occurring across china. the members decided to go to shanghai anyway to see what it was really like. >> translator: the ordinary chinese people were helpful to us, correcting our chinese pronunciation. we felt no hostility and enjoyed a friendly atmosphere. >> reporter: the members also met their counterparts who have taken part in the forum.
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this woman says the leader of the group apologized to them and cried about being helpless to prevent the cancellation. >> translator: the chinese people we met said that when the political situation gets bad it's always the people who suffer. so i want politics to be stable. >> reporter: shima and the other members now hope to travel to china at every opportunity to expand the friendship network. >> translator: no matter what the political situation is, we're determined to continue bridging the gap with japan-china exchanges. i'd like more chinese people to come to japan to communicate with ordinary japanese. >> reporter: shima is now researching the historical relationship between her local community and china. she will soon publish a guidebook in both japanese and chinese. she hopes it will help to deepen
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understanding between china and japan. jun matsumoto, nhk world, kamakura. u.s. authorities have detained the man behind the anti-islamic film that recently sparked protests throughout the muslim world. the man faces charges of violating terms of his probation. the u.s. federal judge ordered the 55-year-old california resident to be jailed without bond. the man allegedly violated his probation for bank fraud by using a computer to access the internet without approval. the man was involved in a production of the controversial film that mocks the prophet mohammed. it triggered widespread protest after it circulated online. a pakistani minister last week offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who kills the filmmaker. japan, china, and south korea have wound up preliminary working-level talks for a free-trade agreement.
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official prs the three nations met in seoul on thursday for a third round of talks. originally, they had planned to continue the meeting on friday, but japanese delegates say all parties agreed to end the talks without meeting on friday. they confirm that they would try to start official talks by the end of the year. cash-strapped japanese optical equipment maker olympus has announced it has concluded a broad business alliance with sony. olympus has been struggling after it was found to have covered up huge losses over years. under the deal, it will receive about $650 million in investment from sony by the end of next february. sony will become olympus' leading shareholder with a stake of about 11%. it will send an executive to the board of olympus. the two firms will also set up a joint company for developing state-of-the-art medical equipment. sony will invest 51%, and olympus 49%. the new company plans to develop
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advanced medical products like endoscopes. it will bring together olympus' top-class endoscope technology and sony's sophisticated 3d image technology. now here are the latest market figures.
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japan is among the world's fastest aging countries and its economy is under deflation. now some companies are going one step further. nhk world's tomo coca mata explains. >> reporter: having your portrait taken for your own funeral might be frightening to some, but in japan, it's part of a range of services targeting the growing population of retirees. >> translator: i want to leave behind an enhanced picture of myself, my own favorite shot. >> reporter: people over the age of 65 have increased by more than 1 million over the past year. they make up almost one-quarter of the japanese population, a proportion that's steady on the rise.
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this wave of retirees was born during japan's postwar baby boom between 1947 and 1949. funeral homes, attorney, and health care companies are co-sponsoring an exhibition in kawasaki. experts provide advice on the costs of funerals, graves, and related services. this is a comic book handed out for free for all visitors, and it describes how much money you need to conduct a funeral. visitors have the opportunity of lying down in a coffin. they learn about the variety of models offered by funeral homes. >> translator: i think it would
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be nicer if it were a bit longer. >> reporter: a funeral coordinator is also on hand to teach how to properly convey one's wishes in a will. but what's prompting all this apparently cheerful retirees to attend this kind of event? >> translator: if i can clarify now how i want my funeral to be conducted, i think i will live more positively for the rest of my life. and it's also good for my family. >> translator: baby boomers have a strong tendency to express their originality. that's why we're trying to offer a whole range of products that meet their demands.
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>> reporter: the popularity of this type of event shows the eagerness of retirees to arrange their funeral according to their own taste. and this new demand is opening a whole range of business opportunities. tomoka kamata, nhk world, kawasaki. a powerful typhoon is bearing down on okinawa, bringing strong wind and rain. meteorologist robert speta has more. robert? yes. this is typhoon jelawat. it is one very strong and poe tenlt storm system. starting to move towards the northeast and just brushing along the southern japanese islands here all the way from ishigaki over. i want to show you some footage of this very strong and gusty wind. here to 122 kilometer-per-hour sustained winds will be reported at the airport there. wind gusts in ishigaki have been
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up to 182 kilometers per hour. a result of that you can see here, loose debris flying around, very dangerous to be venturing out there through the overnight hours here. winds continue to kick up. you do want to be staying in throughout the remainder of your friday and even going into saturday morning as the storm system continues to blow overhead. and then it's going to start to work its way up towards the northeast. okinawa, all that rough weather will be heading towards your area, typhoon-strength winds, also seas kicking up to about 12 meters high in some coastal areas. you have to remember sunday is high tide and the full moon. it will be one of worst of the year. so coastal flooding across this area very well could be high at risk. then even going into about sunday afternoon, expecting landfall in honshu around the key peninsula, eventually towards hokkaido as the storm system continues to rush off into that direction. flooding rains could potentially be occurring out here. also rough waves. you want to be staying away from coastal areas, as well, honshu
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and plus those gus i winds. now, also talking act those heavy rains, it does look like even flooding could be occurring across the key peninsula here. and elineer moving off towards the north, the main threat is it should just be kicking up waves across the eastern portions of honshu. we're continuing to watch low pressure over korea. that's moving off towards the east. behind it, there's high pressure from mongolia. that's going to bring in fair and stable weather. very good news out across portions of eastern china and korea. temperatures going to be cooling down as well, though. ulaanbaatar, 17 for your high on saturday, but the low only 0. you do want to bundle up through your overnight hours. across beijing, 25 expected. now over towards tokyo, the problem with that storm system coming up, that's going to be pulling warm air out of the south ahead of it, 30 on your sunday. so very warm and humid here going through your weekend. now over towards europe, we're also watching some clearing skies across the british isles as a low-pressure area starts to weaken up overhead.
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it will be decent through your friday, but then going into sunday and monday, just on the side of your screen here, some blue working its way, and that's indicating some heavy rain showers. that's going to be bringing in all that precipitation overhead. very windy conditions, as well. also seeing similar conditions across the iberian peninsula. low-pressure area is slowly meandering down here off towards the east. you need the rain across portions of spain and portugal, which has been under severe drought, but report in the last 24 hours of 28 milliliters in just one location. that could bring the risk of some flooding out across portions of spain. you'll need the rain towards italy. wildfires have also been reported here. rome, a high of 29. berlin, autumn-like with 18 for your high, and the same in london. you want your jacket when you go outside on your saturday. 15 expected going through your weekend. here's your extended forecast. ♪
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we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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