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tv   Satellite News From Taiwan  PBS  January 11, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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drawing near. welcome to nhk world "newsline." japan's current account surplus fell in november for the first time in three months. that came as imports surged due to higher prices of natural resources such as iron ore and liquefied natural gas. the finance ministry said in a preliminary report on wednesday november's trade surplus stood at just over $3 billion. that's down by nearly 47% from a year earlier in yen terms. imports of flat-panel televisions from china also
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soared. consumers rushed to take advantage of government subsidies for ecofriendly appliances before they were reduced in december. meanwhile, the income surplus came to just under $10 billion. that's up 13% compared with a year earlier. these figures result in a current account surplus of $11.2 billion, which means a 15.7% decrease year on year. the ministry says, wel while th effect of the government subsidies is temporary caution is needed over the strong yen's impact on trade balances. the united arab emirates plans to extend oil field rights for japanese firms beyond their expiration in 2012. the middle eastern gulf state accounts for about a quarter of japan's oil imports and 40% of its overseas oil mining rights. these privileges will be expanding in the next several years. the head of uae's national oil company, yusef omar ben yus oef
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met with japan's visiting industry minister akihiro o'hata on tuesday. yusef said he plans to renew the rights held by four japanese firms for 30 years after they expire next year. he said he will also expand the content of those rights. yusef added he's willing to meet japan's requests on other oil deals that will expire in 2018. >> translator: i think it is now the time to establish bilateral ties to enhance mutual trust and rights rather than just focusing on getting oil. >> ohata also stressed the importance of strengthening the bilateral ties to enhance mutual trust and added japan will consider providing assistance in education and other areas. japan airlines currently restructuring its business under court protection and its
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partner, american airlines, will boost their ties through joint flight services starting next month. the announcement came after the two carriers were granted antitrust immunity as a result of an open skies agreement reached by japan and the u.s. last year. the two airlines said on tuesday their fares for round-trip flights between tokyo and los angeles will be set at about $830 from february. the fares they are each charging now are about $10 to $20 more. the two carriers will also change schedules from march 27th to cut waiting time for transfers to domestic flights in japan and the u.s. >> translator: we expect to expand the joint business in order to increase competitiveness and steadily renew our strength. >> we also believe our joint business will benefit the u.s. and japanese economies as well as the people of both countries
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through increased cultural and commercial exchange. japan's largest mobile phone operator, ntt docomo, and major printing company dai nippon printing have started a joint e-book service on wednesday for users of smartphones and other tablet computers. the two had set up a giant company to provide the service. about 20,000 e-books including novels and comics will be available. they plan to boost the number to 100,000 titles by this spring. these e-books will be 10% to 20% cheaper than regular books. the joint company plans to tie up with a major bookstore chain affiliated with dai nippon printing maruzen as well as two other bookstore chains. they will sell regular books through the internet site by the end of the year. other mobile phone operators have already launched e-book distribution businesses and the inroad of ntt docomo is expected to intensify the competition. ntt docomo's vice president
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tsujimura says they aim to be different from other distributors by allowing users to purchase not only e-books but ordinary books as well. a u.s.-russia civilian nuclear pact has come into effect. it will allow the two countries to cooperate more closely in preventing nuclear proliferation. russian deputy foreign minister sergei ryabkov and u.s. ambassador john beyrle exchanged documents. under the agreement russia can supply uranium for nuclear reactors in the u.s. the treaty was agreed in fwat but the united states froze the procedures following russia's military incursion into georgia. u.s. president's barack obama's efforts to reset relations with russia helped the treaty get approved by the legislatures of both nations. french automaker renault says it will file a criminal complaint against three
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executives suspected of leaking company secrets. in a statement to the afp news agency renault said it will file the complaint on wednesday. it said the case will be in the court's hands from that date. the car giant has suspended the three executives for allegedly leaking details of electric car technology it developed with nissan, its japanese partner. the company questioned the men on tuesday at its paris headquarters. all have denied the charges. after the hearing one of the suspended executives, michel balthazard, told reporters he was innocent. >> translator: i consider this a grave attack on my dignity. so i only have one goal -- to prove to people that this affair has nothing to do with me. >> french media are reporting that a chinese firm was involved in the case. on tuesday the chinese government held a news conference and denied the allegation. tokyo stocks rebounded on wednesday morning following
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overnight rises in u.s. and european markets. the nikkei average ended the morning session at 10,563, up half of 1%, or 52 points. a weaker yen is prompting investors to buy export-related issues such as electronics and autos. the dollar is hovering within a narrow range in tokyo trading on wednesday. see if we can get that up. the greenback is now trading at 83.14-17. sources say market players are refraining from active trading amid lingering worries amid the euro zone debt problem. u.s. secretary of defense robert gates says north korea is becoming a direct threat to the united states. the u.s. official is on a four-day trip to china. gates was speaking to reporters in beijing on tuesday. he said north korea will develop an intercontinental ballistic missile within five years. this type of missile could reach the u.s. mainland. referring to north korea's lethal attack on south korea's
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yeonpyeong island in november, gates said another provocation would lead to pressure on the south korean government to react. asked about north korea's recent offers of interkorean dialogue, gates said there are several areas where the north could take concrete actions first. he suggested that north korea freeze its missile and nuclear testing. during the meeting with chinese president hu jintao on tuesday gates proposed the two countries should create a framework for strategic security dialogue. gates said a new framework should cover discussions on nuclear and missile defense, space development, and measures against cyber attacks. hu agreed to consider the proposal seriously. he said he hopes thaex panneded dialogue and exchanges by defense officials will boost mutual trust. china says the test flight of its new stealth fighter jet, meanwhile, was not timed to coincide with gates' visit to china. on tuesday a chinese news
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website reported the country's first test flight of a j-20 fighter jet. state-run xinhua news agency later confirmed the test flight, quoting a senior defense ministry official. the official said the test was not aimed at any other country or specific target and the timing was a matter of routine arrangements. gates made it clear to chinese president hu jintao earlier on tuesday the test flight would harm bilateral ties if it had been scheduled to take place during his trip to china. top chinese official dai bingguo says south korea should accept calls for dialogue by north korea. he says this will help ease tensions on the korean peninsula. china's -- he was speaking to koichi kato, the chairman of japan-china friendship association, on tuesday. the former liberal democratic party executive is heading a delegation of japanese lawmakers to beijing. dai said south korea should not doubt north korea's goodwill. the north has made several
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offers for dialogue with the south this month, including working-level intergovernmental talks. south korea remains cautious about the invitations. dai also told the japanese lawmakers that china has been asking north korea to take a calm and thoughtful approach to the current situation. china's state counselor traveled to north korea last month and met the country's leader, kim jong il. foreign capital has been pouring into china since the united states announced further monetary easing last fall. money is flowing into inland chi china as well as shanghai and other coastal cities. but the investment boom is raising concerns about inflation. >> reporter: subways, shopping malls, and other real estate projects are under construction in the city of xian in china's's inland province of xanxi.
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xan xiong owns a real estate company in xian. he launched his business eight years ago. the firm has grown rapidly thanks to china's property boom. last year the company posted $300 million in sales, a 30% increase from the previous year. >> reporter: chang is confident his business will keep expanding. >> translator: the real estate boom will continue for another decade. everybody in the sector will benefit from the rapid growth just by sticking around. >> reporter: however, the lives of chinese people are being hard hit by the influx of foreign capital. prices of daily goods are rising across the board.
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china's consumer price index for november rose 5.1% from a year earlier. the increase in food prices was especially sharp, with an 11.7% year on year increase. >> translator: eggs, rice, meat, and fish. daily necessities cost so much. >> translator: everything's expensive. but only salaries stay the same. >> reporter: high economic growth can cause inflation. in addition, offshore capital began flowing into china when the united states announced further monetary aeetary easing. this has increased inflationary concerns. >> translator: the people's bank of china has decided to raise interest rates by 25 basis points as of december 26th. >> reporter: china's central bank has raised interest rates twice since last fall to prevent inflation.
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however, chinese businesses are concerned about the government's shift to a tight money policy. oshu yong runs a clothing import-export business. he has applied to borrow about $600,000 to open five outlets to sell the company's products. he is worried the bank may reject his loan application because of the government's tight money policy. >> translator: if the bank doesn't lend us the money, we can only open two of the five outlets we're planning. >> reporter: the chinese government is trying to contain inflation with its mont r. tighttight enning measures. but the policy could have a negative impact on the country's economic growth in the coming months. wednesday marks a year since a massive earthquake in haiti killed more than 200,000 people. the united nations says about
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800,000 haitians are still homeless. the u.n. humanitarian coordinator for haiti, nigel fisher, spoke at a news conference in the capital, port-au-prince, on tuesday, a day before the anniversary. fisher said a large number of people are still living in camps and temporary shelters. he also said that 178,000 people have been infected with cholera. >> translator: i'm worried that cholera has been spreading among children, too. i want to live in a more sanitary environment. >> fisher also says delays in the payment of pledged aid have caused temporary housing construction to fall far behind schedule. >> and with the ongoing cholera epidemic, a significant humanitarian presence would still be needed in 2011. u.s. vice president joe biden says american forces will stay in afghanistan beyond 2014
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if requested by the afghan government. all u.s. combat troops are scheduled to be out of the country by then. biden spoke to reporters after meeting with afghan president hamid karzai on tuesday. he arrived in afghanistan unannounced the previous day. the vice president stressed the united states will ensure a smooth handover through the training of afghan security and police forces. >> the united states, if the afghan people want it, are prepared, and we are not leaving in 2014. hopefully, we will have totally turned over the ability of the -- to the afghan security forces to maintain the security of the country. but we will -- we are not leaving. if you don't want us to leave. >> the taliban is stepping up its offensive against government forces and multinational troops stationed in the country. last year about 500 u.s. soldiers were killed in afghanistan, the highest number since the u.s. invaded in 2001.
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a japanese electronics firm has developed a high-tech mirror that can quickly determine if someone has a fever, a key symptom of influenza. the thermo mirror was developed by a subsidiary of nec. it's equipped with an infrared sensor near its top edge. when a person looks into the mirror from about 30 centimeters away, the sensor measures the temperature of the face in a couple of seconds. if the body temperature is higher than 38 degrees celsius, the reading is shown in red as a warning. the company is offering the device for about $1,400, a tenth of the price of the infrared cameras used at schools and companies for influenza screening. >> translator: i hope people will use it to take their temperature on a daily basis.
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an increasing number of japanese are traveling abroad for sex change operations. gender identity disorder, or g.i.d., is defined as a mismatch between sexual identity and biological gender. 7,000 japanese have been diagnosed with the condition. the actual number is said to be significantly higher. nhk world's wanna sosrimb sosrimbo nampai has the story. >> reporter: a beauty pageant for transsexuals. this one takes place in thailand every year. thailand is the world leader in the number of sex change operations performed. many patients are foreigners. the thai government actively supports medical tourism. this hospital in bangkok has 20 doctors and assistants.
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services include vocal cord alteration and removal of sex organs. lately, hospitals like this one have been receiving more patients from japan. this 24-year-old kid was born as a female, but from a young age he felt uncomfortable with his sexual orientation. he was diagnosed with g.i.d. two years ago. the operation cost him about $7,200. he saved up money from newspaper deliveries and added jobs. >> translator: have you thought about uterus and ovary removal? >> translator: just breast removal for now. >> reporter: one day after arriving, he undergoes a
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two-hour operation. the surgery is deemed a success. he says he now feels more comfortable with his body. >> translator: now i don't have this insecurity. i think i can live my life more openly. >> reporter: on this day there were ten patients from japan. 200 japanese have had surgery here in the past year. >> if they go to the united states or europe for these procedures, you know, they would -- patients would pay maybe five, six, up to seven times the cost. >> reporter: one reason more japanese are having gender-altering operations is a new law introduced seven years ago. the gender identity disorder law
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allows individuals to change their gender on family registers. one condition is that they have a sex change operation. advocates are pushing for more operations to be done in japan. an expert says there is a risk that comes with having surgery in thailand. >> translator: thai hospitals guarantee to operate again if there are complications, but it isn't easy for japanese to go there. >> reporter: dr. masunakar, who suffered from g.i.d. herself, says her schedule is full with people waiting to have their condition confirmed. for many of them, however, the surgery will have to wait. very few hospitals in japan
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offer sex change services, and the cost is more than double that of thailand. >> translator: we need more medical facilities in japan that offer surgery and hormone treatments. in order to do that, changes have to be made so treatments can be covered by insurance to lessen the financial burden on patients. better infrastructure is needed. >> dr. matsunaga also points out some patients end up regretting having surgery. she stresses that care needs to be taken in diagnosing g.i.d. and also in deciding whether an operation is really necessary. here's the weather forecast with sum sumi zushi. hello there. well, time now for another update. in eastward asia generally looking at calm and settled conditions. we do have a high pressure system that continues to dominate much of china keeping things dry and lots of clear
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skies in place as well but rather cold as we head toward the northern tier of china and then across the korean peninsula. japan is going to get the brunt of the winter storms with the western flank of the country dealing with lots of heavy snow. we can expect as much as 70 centimeters to fall up 234 northern areas and all along the western coast, looking at quite heavy snow as well, even down towa toward. stays calm across much of china but down toward southeastern asia more showers to come for places like taiwan and especially the philippines, which has been contending with weeks of rain. we will continue to see some more showers, especially developing in central portions of the country here. 13 degrees in taipei, 9 in chongqing. rather chilly in shanghai again. 4 degrees on wednesday. 0 up in beijing and minus 4 in
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seoul. so very frigid for you. now, heading into the americas, cold air continues to dominate much of eastern areas, with widespread snow expected to develop. that low pressure system continues to make its way across the lower midwest. joining up with this other system. and that's going to be producing lots of heavy snow, especially up toward the northeastern corner here. and then travel conditions could be quite poor with all that blowing snow in place. out towards the west, the weather looks quite calm just now, but the rain is moving into the west coast. this is going to be rain as well as freezing rain. and then for further inland areas such as montana, as well as washington and british columbia, looking at significant to heavy snow. vancouver coming in at 7 degrees. 9 in seattle. still bitterly cold up in winnipeg. minus 14. minus 3 in chicago. and rather chilly again in places like houston. only 1 inatlanta. and then minus 6 up in toronto. finally, heading into europe,
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the mild air from the west continues to dominate much of the continent. so there will be more rain rather than snow here. we've got lots of rain and strong winds affecting the british isles. some snow to start off the day up in scotland. and then that rain moves into northern france. so another wet day for you here. and then across the low countries into germany. that could certainly worsen the flooding situation out here. now, for the central and the eastern mediterranean, dealing with lots of thundershowers, especially in and around greece and western turkey today. but over toward the north it's going to be snow for you. we shall russi western russia, the baltic states into the southern end of sweden and norway. berlin is going to be 4 degrees today. 6 in vienna. 6 down in rome and then very mild out toward the west today. paris is going to be 12 degrees. london coming in at 12 as well. all right. here's your extended forecast now. ♪
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♪ returning to the hour's headline news, japan's current account surplus fell in november for the first time in three months. that came as imports surged due to higher prices of natural resources such as iron ore and liquefied natural gas. the finance ministry said in a preliminary report on wednesday november's trade surplus stood at just over $3 billion.
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that's down by nearly 47% from a year earlier in yen terms. imports of flat-panel televisions from china also soared. consumers rushed to take advantage of government subsidies for ecofriendly appliances before they were reduced in december. meanwhile, the income surplus came to just under $10 billion. that's up 13% compared to a year earlier. these figures result in a current account surplus of $11.2 billion, which means a 15.7% decrease year on year. the ministry says while the effect of the government subsidies is temporary caution is needed over the strong yen's impact on trade balances. the united arab emirates plans to extend oil field rights for japanese firms beyond their expiration in 2012. the middle eastern gulf state accounts for about a quarter of japan's oil imports and about 40% of its overseas oil mining rights. these privileges will be expiring in the next several years. the head of uae's national oil
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company, yusef omar ben yusef, met with japan's visiting industry minister akihiro ohata on tuesday. yusef said he intends to renew the rights held by four japanese firms for 30 years after they expire next year. he said he will also expand the content of those rights. yusef added he's willing to meet japan's request on other oil deals that will expire in 2018. >> translator: i think it is now the time to establish birarlate ties to enhance mutual trust and rights rather than just focus on getting oil. >> ohata also stressed the importance of strengthening the bilateral ties to stress mutual trust and added japan will provide assistance in education and other areas. we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani.
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