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tv   Newsline  PBS  August 9, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. forecasters in japan have issued an extreme weather warning as unprecedented rainfall swamps northern areas, causing flooding and landslides. engineers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are struggling to reduce the amount of contaminated water flowing into the ocean.
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and documenting the remarkable story of a nagasaki survivor, a woman who stayed silent about her experience for nearly seven decades. the japan meteorological agency has issued an extreme warning to people living in northern parts of the country, telling them to watch out for flooding and landslides. the forecasters say two times the monthly average of rain fell in just 12 hours on friday in the city of kazuno. in the town of shizwiki, authorities say the water has flooded dozens of residences. landslides have blocked roads and damaged houses. one person is dead and at least three injured. rescue crews are searching for five missing people who may have been swept away.
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>> translator: so much rain was falling. the landslide occurred in an instant. >> translator: it's terrifying it's the first time we see this kind of thing. i don't know what else to say. i can never have imagined it. >> officials are urging thousands of residents to evacuate their homes in case rivers burst their banks or more land gives way. rachel ferguson from the weather team has more on this. rachel? >> hi, there. let's talk again about some of those totals we saw today. remember, these aren't daily totals but what rain fell, the amount of rain that fell in a three-hour period. kazuno, 220 millimeters of rain. in shiwa, 170 millimeters of rain. this is some really extreme rainfall. now why did it happen? well, we have a very strong pacific high here across the southern two-thirds of japan. and what's happening is the moisture is being forced up towards the north of japan, along the rim of the high
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pressure. so, it's really been concentrated and just focusing on quite a small area. that's why you're getting this very, very heavy rain. now, the good news is that the peak of the heavy rain will be over by this evening. into the next 24 hours, there will still be some showers, some although it's not going to be quite as heavy, any of that additional rainfall could add to river flooding and further landslides as well. back to you. >> rachel, thanks. engineers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are struggling to stop hundreds of tons of radioactive groundwater from seeping into the ocean every day. crews have started pumping some of the water from the ground as a temporary measure to contain the leak. government officials say about 1,000 tons of groundwater could be flowing from a hillside into the soil below the plant every day. of that, about a third filters through a contaminated area and is laced with radioactive substances.
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then it seeps into the sea. 400 tons of water is leaking into the basements of the buildings housing the reactors. that water is also contaminated and it's being pumped out and stored. crews at the plant have been injecting soil-hardening chemicals into the ground on the site to stop the water leaking into the ocean. but there are concerns this effort may be pushing water levels higher above the barrier. tepco workers are trying to counter this effect by pumping some of the water from a new well, also planning to sink about 30 five-meter-long pipes into the ground. they will pump out groundwater starting next week. they hope to drain 100 tons per day. long term, they're considering freezing the soil beneath the buildings. ewes -- crews would bury pipes and inside them, circulate coolant kept below freezing temperatures. the frozen soil will act as a dam to prevent ground water from
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reaching the contaminated area. it could take one to two years to complete the project. maintaining the cooling operations will be extremely costly. japanese leaders say they want to accelerate the clean up of communities affected by the nuclear accident. a large area remains contaminated with radiation. the government has yetd yet to solve the issue of where to store radioactive waste. environment ministry officials' plan will reinforce a team of 430 government employees assigned to the clean up. new additions have expertise in public works projects and land purchases. their mission will be to build provisional storage sites to hold contaminated soil and other waste. municipal authorities are reluctant to host such facilities because of fears about radiation. people in nagasaki are marking a day that's never far from their minds, the day an atomic bomb was dropped on their city. every year on this date, they gather together to remember with words, songs and prayers.
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this year, many of those who spoke at the nagasaki peace ceremony had words of criticism for the japanese government. nhk world's hiro morita has more from nagasaki. ♪ >> reporter: it's been 68 years since that day, but shohei tsuiki still remembers the things he did, the things he saw and how he felt. people charred black, a mother holding her dead child. >> translator: i've been lucky to have been able to live as long as i have. what i want most is the immediate removal of these genocidal weapons of mass destruction from the face of the earth.
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>> reporter: in the last days of world war ii, a u.s. warplane dropped an atomic bomb on nagasaki. the explosion killed almost everyone within one kilometer instantly. over 70,000 people died by the end of the year. people from nagasaki, from across japan and around the world gather together every year to remember. [ bell ringing ] at 11:02, the time the bomb was dropped, they pause for a moment of silence. [ bell tolling ] representatives of victims' families, survivors and the mayor presented a list of more than 3,400 names, the names of
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survivors who died this year and others newly recognized as victims. through the years, more than 162,000 people have been honored. many of those who spoke criticized the japanese government. in april, representatives of more than 70 countries reached an agreement at a conference for the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. their statement said nuclear weapons should never be used under any circumstances. japanese delegates refused to sign. >> translator: if the japanese government cannot support the remark that nuclear weapons should never be used under any circumstances, it implies that the government would approve of their use under some circumstances. >> reporter: japanese rely on the nuclear umbrella of their
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u.s. allies as part of their security. still, prime minister shinzo abe said they have a duty because of their history. >> translator: japanese are the only people in the world to have suffered an atomic bombing during wartime. as such, we have a responsibility to help bring about a world without nuclear weapons. >> reporter: the average survivor is more than 78 years old. many are working as hard as ever to tell their stories so that theirs will be the last city to suffer such horrors. hiro morita, nhk world, nagasaki. >> the stockholm international peace research institute reports 17,000 nuclear warheads are held in arsenals around the world. eight countries possess them. the u.s. and russia together account for over 90% of the stockpile. the outgoing u.s. ambassador to japan was among the guests at
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the nagasaki ceremony. john roos told nhk that he hopes president barack obama will one day visit hiroshima. he became the first to attend the annual memorials in hiroshima and nagasaki. >> president obama, as you know, has promoted an agenda of elimination of all nuclear weapons. i have no doubt that the president would support that decision to go, which he did. >> roos says it would be an honor for obama to visit hiroshima during his presidency. tens of thousands of people were killed when the atomic bomb exploded over nagasaki, but one little girl survived, even though she was very close to ground zero. for nearly seven decades, she has kept that experience to herself, but now she's shared the story of her miraculous
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survival. nhk world's nana yamada reports. >> reporter: the nagasaki peace park. it was right about this place that the atomic bomb exploded on august 9, 1945. just 120 meters away, this shelter was packed with people. all of them died except for one, 9-year-old sachiko kurikawa. sachiko was carrying her little sister on her back when she was knocked off her feet by the blast. she was found half-buried near the entrance. in july, the story of sachiko's survival was unveiled for the first time in the form of traditional picture boards. they are the work of shizuko mitamura. mitamura also lived through the atomic bomb attack. for over 30 years now, she has
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worked as a volunteer guide, explaining to the school children who visit nagasaki about what happened on that day. a sign at the peace park says that everyone in the area died, apart from one 9-year-old girl. mitamura had long wondered who that one person was who managed to survive so miraculously. >> translator: it's so close to the ground zero, it's amazing that she survived. eventually i decided i had to find out more about this story for myself. >> reporter: through another survivor, mitamura learned that sachiko, the girl who survived, was still alive. mitamura decided to contact her. up to now, sachiko had never talked with anyone else about what she had gone through. at first, she was reluctant to revisit those painful memories. but she was won over by
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mitamura's strong desire to record the experience of other atomic bomb survivors as a prayer for peace for future generations. >> reporter: to make the story more understandable for those who never experienced the bombing, mitamura decided to illustrate with picture boards. working and reworking each scene, it took her over a year to complete the text. >> translator: on her way to evacuate with her father,
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sachiko saw mounds of charred corpses and people walking around with their skin peeling off. >> reporter: the story ends with sachiko's prayer for peace. >> translator: it is us humans who start wars and it is also us who can forge peace. >> translator: the message was very clear. it was very good. >> translator: we have to do all we can to pass on this story to future generations. >> translator: i put all my heart into conveying sachiko's message so people could understand the horror of the atomic bomb. nuclear weapons are no good to us. no good at all. i'm set on continuing to spread that message out loud.
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>> reporter: mitamura is planning on visiting schools around nagasaki to share the story of the bomb and sachiko's survival for peace. nana yamada, nhk world, nagasaki. hiroshima, nagasaki. the atomic bombings killed thousands of people in an instant and left survivors suffering in the ruins. "newsline" is looking back on what happened then and what's happened since. don't miss our special coverage "war to peace: lessons of 1945" through thursday, august 15th. u.s. authorities are withdrawing nonessential staff from their consulate in lahore, eastern pakistan. they're also warning u.s. citizens to put off all unnecessary travel to the country.
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the state department says foreign and indigenous groups pose a danger to u.s. citizens throughout pakistan. embassy officials in islamabad say emergency personnel will remain stationed in lahore. they are calling the evacuation of part of their staff a precautionary measure. last week, the u.s. government shut down nearly two dozen consulates. embassy spokespersons in islamabad say they don't know if this latest evacuation is related. al qaeda is suspected of being involved in an attack in a prison in pakistan last month. it resulted in an escape of 200 prisoners, including islamic extremists. israeli leaders approved the construction of more homes for jewish settlers in the west bank
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for palestinians. the decision comes a week after both sides resumed peace negotiations for the first time in three years. the palestinians strongly oppose expansion into the occupied territory. israeli leaders gave their preliminary green light on thursday. the plan calls for the construction of more than 800 housing units. israel's settlement policy violates international law. analysts say the decision is both designed to appease some on the political right who are concerned the country will be forced to compromise in order to facilitate a peace deal. secretary of state john kerry hosted a meeting last week between palestinian and israeli officials. u.s. officials have spoken out about the new settlement plan. >> we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and oppose any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts. >> the state department's jen psaki says that they have relayed their concerns to the israelis.
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firefighters in the u.s. state of california are struggling to contain a massive inferno. the wildfire has destroyed more than 40 square kilometers of a forest in a mountain range. hundreds of people have evacuated. the fire started near the town of banning on wednesday. about 130 kilometers east of los angeles. firefighters say the flames have forced more than 500 households to evacuate. 1,000 firefighters have been mobilized to fight the blaze. massive fires occur regularly in the western united states at this time of the year because of the hot, dry weather. dozens of people have been infected by a virus that causes what's known as the middle east respiratory syndrome since the end of last year. researchers say one animal in particular may have played a role in the spread of it in the middle east and europe. they have published their
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findings in the journal "lancet." researchers tested blood samples from hundreds of cows, goats, sheep and camels from oman, spain, and other countries. they found traces of antibodies linked to the mers virus in all 50 camel samples from oman. the traces indicate the camels were once infected. scientists note it is too early to identify the camels of the source of human infections. they say they need to determine whether infected people ate camel meat or if they came in contact with the animals. the mers corona virus belongs to the same family of virus that caused the sars. mers first appeared in saudi arabia in september 2012. the world health organization has so far confirmed 94 cases, 46 of them were fatal. japan and the united states have failed to narrow their differences in the first round of their bilateral trade discussions. the two countries are holding
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talks while also taking part in the transpacific partnership free trade negotiations. the tpp involves ten other countries. japan and the united states wound up the three-day talks in tokyo. they discussed trade regulations and systems in a wide range of industries. the united states sought removal of the obligation for labeling genetically engineered food products, but the two countries in the end decided not to take up the issue. the u.s. also asked japan to standardize its safety rules for automobiles. this would make it easier for u.s. automakers to export to japan. japan believes that no change is necessary, facing unfair competition against government-owned japan post group. japan refuted the allegation. after the session, representatives from both sides spoke to reporters. >> translator: bilateral discussions with the u.s. and tpp negotiations involve issues
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that are mutually related. we'll try to protect japan's national interests while remaining close contact with our tpp negotiating team. >> i underscored the importance of concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement this year. and i was encouraged to learn about the efforts of japanese negotiators to come up to speed with the details of the negotiation so that they can contribute at the next tpp round in brunei. >> the outcome of the bilateral discussions will affect the two countries' bargaining positions in the tpp talks. the japanese government has been trying to cut back on its huge debt, but it appears to be making little progress. finance ministry officials say the total amount of debt has topped 1,000 trillion yen for the first time. that's more than double the nation's gross domestic product.
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ministry officials say japan's debt stood at more than $10 trillion at the end of june. outstanding government bonds and short-term borrowing increased by $175 billion between april and june. on thursday prime minister shinzo abe and his cabinet ministers approved a medium-term plan to restore fiscal health. the government said it will do its utmost to limit new bond offerings but postponed a final decision to raise the consumption tax now scheduled for next april. china's consumer prices in july increased at the same pace as in the previous month. data released by the national bureau of statistics show the consumer price index rose 2.7% from a year earlier, due to a 5% advance in food prices. this was after a significant rise in vegetable prices due to intense heat this summer. consumer prices have been rising at lower 2% level at march through may, but the rise gained
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pace in june to the upper 2% range. meanwhile, china's producer price index for july fell 2.3% from a year earlier. bureau officials say the rate of decline was slower than that of previous months, but the figure kept on sliding due to the country's economic slowdown. now time for the weather forecast. once again with rachel ferguson, rachel. >> hi there. going to start off showing you footage out of clie na and show you what's happening with floods here. this is gansu province, china's northwest province saw torrential rainfall which triggered landslides damaging buildings and destroying roads right across gansu. the intense rainfall accumulated to over 200 millimeters in a short time on wednesday. a total of 63 roads were closed by either flood waters and or mud. cars also became trapped in the mud.
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a few were completely buried by the landslides. today, crews continue to work to try to clear the streets of debris. officials estimate that the work will be completed in just about a week. so, the heavy rain does continue up towards the northeast. the south as well. heavy rain on its way to luzon. this is a tropical depression set to become our next named storm. in the west pacific. you're going to see heavy rain in the next 72 hours. anything up to about 200 millimeters is possible where you're seeing those oranges pop up. that will be another spot to watch. in between the rain is another problem altogether. we've got two strong high pressure systems, one coming across from china. another one a pacific high, dominating much of japan, the korean peninsula and inland china. in parts of china, we've had a minuscule amount of what we should have in terms of rainfall for july, including hunan
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province and temperatures are not expected to improve, unfortunately, into the weekend. tokyo hitting 37 on saturday. hangzhou up to 40, shanghi36 on monday, but still, very, very hot for the next few days. on we go into the americas. and here, we've got another flooding problem. the plains have been hit hard by rain this week. about three different bouts of rain moving through missouri as well as kansas and oklahoma. this is tennessee, also badly affected by the heavy rains and floods. people trying to drive here in nashville, the roads turned to rivers. a very serious situation and unfortunately, the rain is set to continue along this front, we've got so much moisture flowing into it from the gulf of mexico and that's really going to keep the rain coming. up towards the northeast, new
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england, as well as quebec, you're going to be seeing the potential for localized flooding here, too, but a majority of that rain is going to move off saturday into sunday and you'll have strong high pressure coming in here, cooling things down and keeping them dry into the beginning of the week. here are temperatures for you on friday. 20 degrees in winnipeg. 28 in chicago, so warming up a little bit here. 24 in toronto. rain in new york city and washington, d.c. thunderstorms for you in oklahoma city and then down to the south, it's really like soup here. so humid and so hot, those heat indices are going to be into the 40s for you in louisiana as well as along the gulf here. it will feel very, very hot. do take care. it's going to be affecting you. i'll leave you with your extended forecast.
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that's "newsline" for this hour.
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i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us. enjoy your day.
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