hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, october 6, 9:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. this just in to us. apple reported that its former top executive steve jobs has died. he resigned from the post at the end of august. jobs was a world renowned charismatic manager who was responsible for the success of best-selling products like the iphone and the ipad. once again, apple has confirmed its former stop executive steve jobs has passed away. he resigned from the post in august. he was a world renowned charismatic manager who was responsible for the success of best-selling products like the iphone and the ipad. one of the most powerful politicians in japan is going on trial in an hr. former democratic party leader
ichiro ozawa is facing criminal charges in connection with a political funding scandal. it's extremely rare for a powerful politician in japan to face criminal charges in court. security is tight in and around the tokyo district court. in a park next to the building, many people gathered for the chance to win seats for the public gallery. ozawa is accused of falsifying financial reports. the charges are in connection with a $5.2 million land purchase made by his political funding organization. three of his former secretaries includiing tomorrow o hiro ishikawa were also caught up in the scandal. a lower court found them guilty last month. the case is focused on whether ozawa conspired with and gave instructions to his former aides. he's consistently deny nid involvement. it's expected he will again profess his innocence in court. japan's government plans to decide whether to join u.s.-led negotiations on the transpacific
partnership agreement. it will set up a panel next week to begin debate on the matter. last month prime minister yoshihiko noda told u.s. president barack obama in new york that his government would reach a conclusions as soon as possible. noda's democratic party also plans to begin its own discussions on a possible japanese participation in the agreement. japanese business organizations want the government to join the partnership. agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister michihiko kano has expressed reservations about japan taking part believing it would harm the industries overseas. the cabinet secretary told reporters on wednesday that a forum should be set up for public debate on the matter. >> translator: the japanese government has been examining the possibility of joining discussions on the tpp pact. we hope to reach a conclusion as
soon as possible. we recognize the need for people to develop a deeper understanding of the issue. >> the government plans to announce its decision at the asia pacific economic forum in honolulu early next month. time to check in with our business team now. ai ucher a joins me. today the world lost a creative genius. how are tokyo markets reacting to the news. >> really surprising news just before tokyo markets opened. ra min mel lagarde is at the tokyo stock exchange. european markets surged overnight. we had this news of steve jobs passing. what are tokyo markets reacting to? >> that's significant news for the market. we'll be poring over that for the session. just looking at the opening levels now for the nikkei and the topix. both trading higher in the first few minutes of trading.
we're definitely goinging to be keeping track of apple-related products and the stocks here such as kddi, softbank, a lot of the makers of components that go into the iphone and the ipad. we'll be keeping track of that. on a positive note, though, and following on from the gains that we saw in the dow in the european markets here, the main talking point also continues to be the progress for euro zone economy and the debt issues there. and also further words from eu officials about re-examining their recapitalization of key major european banks to be able to deal with any fallout from possible defaults from weaker eurozone economies. that's been driving the markets. a little bit of positive sentiment there and words coming from german officials as well. the idea of such a plan helped boost sentiment in the sense that there was no bad news, which was good news. and that same philosophy really
applied for the private sector jobs data that we had in the u.s., the adp number which tracks private job growth. we saw marginal growth for september compared to august. although a very small move still positive nevertheless. it does set up the jobs numbers, the main one on friday very well indeed. the currencies not a major move really. we're seeing the dollar/yen keeping stubbornly to that 76 yen level and the euro/yen currently around the mid102 levels there. domestically, the bank of japan starts its two-day policy meeting today. but following on from the apple news here, we will keep track of related stocks here as the day goes on. back to you in the studio. >> ramin, thanks a lot for that. that was ramin mellegard live from the tokyo stock exchange. in other news, protests continue in the u.s. many young people are taking to the streets and voicing their
dissatisfaction at the high number of people out of work. in new york city, a park near wall street is serving as a stronghold for the protesters. on wednesday, more than 1500 people including labor union members, held a rally holding signs such as "occupy wall street." they included construction workers and teachers. >> it's not just young people. i'm in my 40s. i worked for years in journalism, actually. and was barely able to afford to pay for housing and food. >> demonstrators have been gathering at the park for over two weeks. more and more people are coming to the area, getting information from facebook and twitter. china's higher interest rates are reportedly causing smaller businesses in the country to collapse. the chinese government says it will consider how to help aling firms. premier wen jiabao made the pledge early this week when he
was visiting a city in the eastern province of zhejiang. that's where many small and midsized firms are struggling. the xinhua news agency reported that 26 firms went bankrupt in that city last month. they've raised key interest rates five times since last october to curb inflation and avoid a real estate bubble. as a result firms experiencing cash shortages are finding it very difficult to borrow from banks. smaller enterprises in china have supported the economy by investing in real estate. but there are concerns now that the chinese economy may stall if credit worries spread across the country. india will launch a tablet computer for as little as $46 in a bid to provide students with access to the latest i.t. advancements. the indian government held a ceremony in new delhi on wednesday to announce the device. it was jointly put together by the ministry of human resources development and the indian
institute of technology rajasthan. the computer is a touchscreen tablet with a wifi internet connection. the product will be assembled using parts made in south korea and china. the indian government will offer students a half-price subsidy for purchasing the tablet. it also plans to make the cheap computer available to general consumers in november. >> this is a midsize between a laptop and a cell phone. so it is quite po portable as well. >> if you compare it with the market, it would be around one-tenth of the price. >> despite india's sharp economic growth, personal computers are not widely used in many local universities. the government hopes the promotion of the low priced device will help improve the country's education system. time to get you a recap of the latest market figures.
that is all for now in business news. now it is back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ai. a japanese power company has begun constructing a sea wall around its nuclear plant in central japan. the barrier will stand at least 15 meters above sea level following an order from the japanese government. that's the same height as the tsunami that slammed into and disabled the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant in march.
workers from the nuclear power company on wednesday began building a reinforced sea wall at its nuclear facility in shika. it is on the sea of japan coast. a wall is being built on top of land that is 11 meters above sea level. workers are also preparing in case a tsunami surges over the wall. they'll install a new drainage gate to minimize damage at the plate. power companies across japan are making preparations to better protect their facilities. workers will raise embankment ors build new ones at 45 plants in all. that's 90% of the total. crews at the nuclear plant in western japan were the first to begin construction. they started building an embankment in july. it will be 15 meters above sea level when it's finished. workers at the hamaoka nuclear power plant will begin building a sea wall next month. it will be 18 meters above sea
level. it is expected to be finished by december 2012. all of this new sea wall construction is expected to be completed within the next three years at the latest. three people in belgium, including an inspector from the international atomic energy agency, are undergoing checks for radiation exposure. the u.n. nuclear watchdog says this comes after a mishap at a nuclear waste processing facility in northern belgium. the iaea says the incident occurred during a routine inspection of the belgo process nuclear waste facility. the operator of the facility says the three men were checking a container of radioactive material when it fell on to the floor and cracked. the iaea says the three have undergone external decontamination procedures and medical check. it says belgian authorities have sealed off the area and no radiation has been released into the environment.
it's been a tough six months for tens of thousands of people in japan. they lost their jobs after the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. they can't find work, and their benefits are running out. nhk world tells us why landing a job is proving so difficult. >> reporter: the remains of sendai's industrial complex at the city's port. a constant reminder of the damage caused by the march 11 tsunami. it strdestroyed over 100 busines here. among them, a cardboard factory.
44-year-old hir o nori suzuki worked here on a contract for transportation company. he operated the forklift and moved around rolls of paper. the factory shut down after the tsunami hit. the transportation company was forced to lay off workers. suzuki lost the job he'd held for 22 years. >> translator: at first i thought we would work again, but after six months, the factory hasn't evenstarted its repairs. my former colleagues and i are anxious to work there again. that would be the best option for us. >> reporter: the plant intends to reopen for business. the tsunami damage forced it to scale down its operations. the factory manager hopes to protect his own workforce but
workers like suzuki could stay laid off. >> translator: building a new factory from scratch would cost about $92 million. without support from the government, it will be tough to rehire workers. >> reporter: suzuki cannot afford to wait. he and his wife along with their two daughters live with his parents. they receive $2,100 per month in unemployment benefits, which is about half of his former salary. that has to cover school fees and the mortgage on the family home. a six-month moratorium on the monthly payments just ended. from now on, he will have to
hand more than half of his benefits payment straight to the bank. to make matters worse, suzuki will stop receiving his unemployment assistance at the end of march, 2012. >> translator: the home loan payments will make it difficult for us to afford food, lighting, heating or school tuition. >> reporter: finding work is suzuki's top priority. he attended a job fair in the city of ishinomaki in miyagi prefecture. 43 companies mainly from the tohoku region was there. but most came from the sectors, companies in manufacturing and marine processing industries were largely offset. they are the mainstays of
tohoku's economy. >> translator: no plant or manufacturer is taking part in the fair. >> reporter: about half of the jobs available are temporary. suzuki tried to find a position as a long-term regular factory employee, but he couldn't. >> translator: once my unemployment benefits run out, i'll have to look for work outside miyagi prefecture. but i heard that factories here are recovering little by little. so maybe jobs will come up. at least that's my hope for now. >> nhk world gave us some more insight on the you have employment situation in northeastern japan.
here's her conversation with our michio kijima. >> how are others faring? >> many survivors can't yet find work. someeople lost not only their jobs but also their homes and family members. they have no clue how to get on with their lives. in iwate, miyagi and fukushima prefectures, nearly 70,000 survivors registered at local job placement centers as of the end of august, just like hidenori suzuki did. the labor ministry confirms that nearly 25% of them have been placed on payrolls so far. >> what kind of measures are being taken to help people who are out of work? >> the government has extended the unemployment benefit payment period to up to 120 days for people throughout japan. those in the worst-hit coastal areas are eligible for a longer extension, an extra 90 days.
>> you just suggested that temporary unemployment benefits are just a temporary solution. what are other measures that could help people gain a stable source of income? >> restoring damaged businesses is an essential part of creating more jobs in devastated parts of the northeast. smaller companies that have grouped together to support the recovery efforts are eligible for a state subsidy to partially recover their repair costs. but given the vast number of companies affected by the disaster, the nand fdemand for assistance has already outpaced the available government funding. to speed up the recovery, more initiatives are necessary to help survivors find jobs and support companies as they try to rebuild. >> chie, thanks. in other news, a group of japanese university researchers
has made a breakthrough that could offer help to people suffering from muscular dystrophy. the group from the kobe university school of medicine led by professor tatsushi toda has been studying fukuyama type muscular dystrophy. this disease is found almost exclusively in japan. a gene mutation causes muscles to stop producing a protein called fukutin. the disorder develops when a second gene enters the mutant gene. it found that a material called anti-sense nucleic acid helps produce it naturally. it confirmed it through tests on mice and human cells in test tubes. they say the findings may lead to the development of a cure for the disease including the restoration of muscles. professor toda says he hopes to conduct clinical experiments within a few years.
japanese researchers have developed a two-legged carrier that greatly helps a human to carry heavy loads. a group of researchers, led by akihito sano, developed the machine. it's equipped with two legs, baskets and handles. this new carrier walks easily on its own when gently pushed by a person. >> translator: the machine can move with just a slight push. so it's environmentally friendly. i want to continue to improve it for practical use on farms. >> the researchers say the machine can carry loads as heavy as 20 kilograms and that it can climb steps as high as ten centimeters. it can easily transport goods on sloping ground and uneven surfaces. now, let's take a look at
the global weather forecast with saki ochi. welcome back to your weather update. now for asia, southeast asia is finally seeing the tropical storm system dissipate. and we do have much calmer wind conditions at least for areas across the indochina peninsula. however there's a lot of remnant moisture around. we're still looking at rain that hangs on in the peninsula, hainan island as well as the southeast corner of china again today. in the philippines a tropical low that's bringing in rain. so really a wide area of southeast asia again looking at more rain. to the north, a much drier picture for the rest of china. the korean peninsula is drying out. for japan, southern areas enjoy sunshine, it will still stay wet in the north and some areas may experience heavy downpours throughout the day. watch out for that.
for highs on thursday. tokyo getting up to 25 during the day. 22 meanwhile in seoul, then 24 degrees in shanghai. quite pleasant here. as for the americas, lots of clouds continue to stream in off of the pacific. lots of activity for the west. the mountain west coast and canada will look at more rain. snow also for plains states here right into the east of this low. winds are picking up. and we do see very dry conditions, windy weather will continue to up the risk of wildfires in the area. there have been some reported already and risks will remain high throughout the night. the rest of the eastern half of the united states, canada are relatively dry. a little bit more rain hanging on to the canadian maritimes, but that is starting to head out. highs on thursday will shape up to be 24 degrees in chicago. quite warm here. 32 in houston. we get a lot of warmth here for
the midsection eastern half of the united states, but definitely a much cooler picture for the west coast. l.a. only at 19, 16 for seattle, then 14 degrees in vancouver. taking a look at europe here. clouds are starting to move into continental europe. that dry weather is about to change. we are looking at windy weather right now for the british isles as well as the scandinavian peninsula. strong gusts have been reported across ireland and windier weather will spread to the rest of the uk as well today. this frontal system will head on in, start bringing a rond of rain into continental europe. rain band will stretch from the northern end of the iberian peninsula up to the baltic states. so weather conditions for a change, it's been dry for the past few days definitely here. as that frontal system comes on in, a lot more cooler air will also start to invade europe. we're looking at only 15 for your high in london. really starting to drop here. paris, too, comes in in the
charismatic manager who was responsible for the success of best selling products like the iphone and the ipad. for those of you just joining us, apple has confirmed its former stop executive steve jobs has passed away. he resigned from the post in august. he was a world renowned charismatic manager who was responsible for the success of many best selling products such as the iphone and the ipad. one of the most powerful politicians in japan is going on trial in an hour. former democratic party leader itch iro ozawa is facing criminal charges in connection with a political funding scandal. it's extremely rare for a powerful politician in jan on the face criminal charges in court. security is tight in and around the tokyo district court. in a park next to the building, many people gathered for the chance to win seats for the public gallery. ozawa is accused of falsifying financial reports. the charges are in connection with a $5.2 million land
purchase made by his political funding organization. three of his former secretaries including house of representatives member tom o hiro ishikawa were also caught up in the scandal. a lower court found them guilty last month. the case is focused on whether ozawa conspired with and gave instructions to his former aide. he has consistently denied any involvement. it's expected he will again profess his innocence in court. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.