welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here is a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. >> the operator of japan's damaged nuclear facility plans to pump up radiation-contaminated ground water to stop it from seeping into the ocean. japan's prime minister has the latest measure of how the economy is doing and it could
influence his decision to raise the consumption tax. the operator of the damaged nuclear facility says it will start pumping up underground water at the site. 300 tons of radiation contaminated water there is leaking into the ocean every day. tokyo electric power company proposed the plan on monday to a panel of the nuclear regulation authority. workers at the plant created an underground wall to stop tainted ground water from leaking into the sea. but the water level continues to rise. the firm says it will start pumping out 60 tons of ground water per day near an embankment between the plant's number one and two reactors and 80 more tons per day at another site in september.
the authority told the company to step it up as it changes due to rain. it warned of possible effects of the approaching typhoon season. >> many people in japan are slowing down at the start of a traditional holiday period. some may have noted that the economy is slowing but growing steadily. gdp grew 0.6% in real terms. the preliminary figure translates to 2.6% growth. exports grew 3%. government stimulus measures and its investment in reconstruction helped, too. public works projects surged 0.8%. investment in housing decreased, too. government stimulus measures and its investment in reconstructing northeastern japan helped too. public works projects surged 1.8%. but many business leaders have been reluctant to invest in their own companies. corporate capital investment has been negative for six quarters. this time down 0.1%. investment in housing decreased too by 0.2%. prime minister shinzo abe will be studying today's april to june gdp figures very closely.
the figures are among the key economic indicators abe needs before deciding to go ahead on a consumption tax hike in april 2014. he will make a final decision at an extraordinary diet session in the autumn. legislation already passed says the tax rate will be raised to 8% in april 2014 and 10% in october 2015, but the law allows for the hike to be postponed depending on economic conditions. the government is being careful. later this month, it will start discussions with about 50 experts on the impact of the tax hike and on possible delays. japanese officials say they need to reduce government debt to restore fiscal health. they believe raising the consumption tax could help, but the question is whether the economy is strong enough. more from nhk world's daisuke azuma. >> reporter: shoppers in tokyo
are crowding the store run by a large electronics retailer, many looking for a robot vacuum cleaner. they are not deterred by the average price tag of about $600. store managers say sales are strong. rice cookers are also popular. they're a staple item in japanese homes, and its high-end models are doing brisk business. >> translator: i'm interested in products even if they cost more. i think they're worth it. >> translator: i think the market is improving. people are starting to loosen their purse strings. >> reporter: home and electronic stores are not the only ones that are benefiting. this auto dealer says luxury cars that cost as much as $50,000 are getting traction and
the dealer plans to expand its showroom. >> translator: more customers now want to drive a car that stands out and that's why sales are booming. >> reporter: but corporate capital spending remains sluggish compared to increasing personal consumption. some 300 workers at the factory outside osaka are making window sashes. the company president says demand in april to june quarter was up about 20% more than he expected. his plant is operating at full capacity as new houses and attachments go up. >> translator: these are the new machines that we invested in. >> reporter: he says limiting
annual capital investment in recent years. this year, his company spent $300,000 on the machines, more than three times he spent last year. but the factory has several machines that are more than 20 years old, and sakai says he can't afford to replace them for the time being. he says orders are increasing, but profits are not. and there's no way to know how long demand will continue to grow at this pace. >> translator: i think it's too soon to decide to invest more in the company just because the economy has improved. you can't take that step until you can be certain that orders will continue to increase. >> reporter: experts say the government should introduce policies to encourage companies
to spend more. they say this is essential to sustaining japan's boding budding economic recovery. >> firms are burdened with excess facilities and have no reason to build more if the government does not introduce incentives such as tax breaks, firms may invest abroad rather than in japan. >> reporter: the economy is starting to pick up, but the outlook remains unclear. this will weigh heavily on the mind of prime minister abe as he is set to decide whether to raise the consumption tax as planned. daisuke azuma, nhk world, tokyo. time to check on stocks across the asia-pacific region. many markets ended higher on the first trading day of the week. investors seem a little more optimistic about the chinese economy, trade and industrial
production figures. therefore, july showed some signs of stability. mainland chinese shares led the gains, shanghai rose 2.39% at 2,101. in hong kong, shares extended their advance to three days, the benchmark hang seng finished 2.13% higher at 22,271. investors bought major issues including financial, real estate and resources sectors. australian shares rebounded 1.06% to 5,108. a rise in metal prices helped to boost mining shares, the country's major business sector. in tokyo, unexpectedly low gdp numbers weighed on investor sentiment the nikkei, 0.70% to 13,519 after a volatile session. trading volume was the lowest for the year as many were on holiday. creating more demand, first
year-on-year rise in years. the institute of energy economics forecast japan's energy consumption for fiscal 2013 will be up 0.7% from the year before. this is a reversal of two years declines following the march 2011 disaster. the reason is the rise in power usage by retailers and hotels on the back of an economic recovery. steel and cement plants are also using more energy as they ramp up production. meanwhile, household energy use continues to drop due to power-saving efforts. officials at the institute say japan's energy consumption may rise further in 2014 if the global economy continues to improve. japanese wholesale prices rose in july as a weaker yen pushed up the cost of raw materials. bank of japan officials say the corporate goods index climbed 0.5% in june, a month-on-month
increase since december 2012 except for may this year. by category, utility rates surged over 5% month on month as the price of electricity rose. gasoline and other oil products increased more than 2%. food prices edged up 0.2% due to the rising cost of wheat and bread. japan is jockeying for more positions in myanmar but they lost out on a bid to build a new airport and expand an existing one near yangon, myanmar's biggest city. the contract will go to other companies from other asian countries. the airports will handle the rising number of businesspeople. myanmar officials said sunday they selected a consortium of south korean firms to build the new airport. the airport will eventually handle 12 million travelers a year. the contract for expanding the old airport went to a consortium from china, singapore, and malaysia. they will work with local firms on the deal. but airport projects will likely be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
in may, prime minister shinzo abe visited myanmar to open up a trail for businesses. he was trailed by executives bidding for the contracts, including airport operators and construction firms. israeli leaders have approved the construction of about 1,200 new homes for jewish settlers in occupied palestinian territories. it comes after the two sides decided to meet after three years. under u.s. mediation, israeli and palestinian negotiators agreed to try to reach a peace agreement within nine months. the talks had been stalled, mainly due to disagreement over israel's construction of jewish settlements on occupied land. the israeli government said sunday that tenders were being issued to build new homes in part of the west bank and east jerusalem. >> and why? who does these things?
determined to undermine the peace negotiations, determined to force people like us to leave the negotiations. >> analysts say the latest decision by israel is designed to appease settlers who are concerned about the peace talks. the settlements are considered illegal under international law. torrential rain has triggered flash flooding near the capital of afghanistan, kabul. at least 22 people have died. the downpour flooded a rural area over the weekend. many victims were found inside vehicles and six children were among the dead. rescue teams are searching for those reported missing. video of the area shows a large stretch of hillside that collapsed, destroying the foundation of several homes. many people were visiting relatives in the area to celebrate the end of ramadan
when the downpour started. >> translator: it was dreadful flooding. i wanted to evacuate the children from the house. but in less than ten minutes, it was destroyed. >> government officials in afghanistan have been on alert since last week when flash floods killed more than 60 people near the border with pakistan. u.s. marines have resumed their transfer of a controversial aircraft to a base in southern japan. people in okinawa have long been concerned about the safety record of the osprey and the crash of a u.s. military helicopter last week hasn't helped. nine ospreys arrived at futenma from a base in iwakuni, in southwestern japan on monday. they're part of a group of 12 tilt-rotor aircraft.
two of them had flown to futenma at the start of the month. the base is to have a fleet of 24 ospreys including four last october. the helicopter crash took place during a training mission last week. one airman was killed. u.s. military suspended the osprey transfer following the accident. and as the osppreys arrived at futenma, more than 100 people gathered outside the base to vent their anger. protesters held up the signs opposing the osprey deployment. some staged sit-ins, blocking the u.s. military vehicles from entering the base. >> translator: we've seen too many accidents involving used military planes. i've even seen ospreys fly over schools. i really can't take this anymore. >> some protesters became involved in scuffles with the police.
prime minister shinzo abe says the japanese government will continue pushing forward with the deployment of ospreys. >> translator: my administration will continue working closely with the united states to properly implement our bilateral agreement. i'm determined to do all i can to reduce the burden of american military bases on the people of okinawa. >> families of the victims of japan's deadliest air accident are returning to the site on the 28th anniversary of the disaster. they're climbing a mountain to the spot where the plane went down. japan airlines flight 123 took off from tokyo's haneda airport on this date in 1985. the plane suffered a mechanical failure and crashed into a ridge. 520 people on board were killed. families of the victims and airline officials began scaling the mountain early monday. many of them head up every year. some believe they can communicate with the souls of those they lost. >> translator: time flies.
i feel the accident happened just last year. but i reported to my sister that all of us have spent another year safely. >> many offer their prayers in front of the cenotaph offered at the crash site. they all participate at a memorial service at 6:56 p.m., the time the plane crashed. 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 15. china has a diverse food
culture including edible insects. the benefits are now being endorsed by the u.n.'s food and agriculture organization. a recent fao report suggests that edible insects could be a way of tackling food shortages. as the global population increases. nhk world reports from china. >> reporter: kumig, the capital of a province in southwest china. this area is home to a number of minority ethnic groups. this restaurant serves the traditional food of the local minorities. some of the most popular are the insect dishes. >> translator: this meal tastes nice. >> translator: eati ining insec
makes men stronger and women prettier. >> this is a different box. i will try this. they are crispy, salty, they taste just like regular snacks. in this region, insects have long been part of people's diets. usually thein se insects are de fried over a wok in extra heat. this drives out bad tastes and gives them extra flavor. >> translator: the most important thing for deep frying insects is oil temperature and the strength of the flame. if the flame is too high, they lose their flavor. if it's too low, they lose their aroma. >> reporter: situated high above
sea level and has a mild climate that seems to suit many kinds of insects. this is where the locals are raised. this one is about ten days. old. it will grow to full size in just 35 days. the farm is run by this woman. she first began raising locusts seven years ago. she feeds them with grass that grows wild around the park. because no chemicals are needed. locust farming is eco-friendly as well as low cost. when the locusts are fully grown, they are packed in cages for shipment. it's not hard work. that's another benefit of locust farming. >> translator: for insect
farming, you don't need large capital investment. you don't even need to work so hard, but nonetheless it can still bring you high benefits. >> translator: l >> reporter: locust farming is catching up in this area. she has linked up with 20 other local farmers to expand their business. they have rented a refrigerator and began shipping to other parts of china. last year their total sales came to $245,000. besides locusts, pan has more than ten other kinds of bugs. on the f.a.o.says insects are highly nutritious. this has encouraged her to look for further expansion in other markets. >> translator: as the u.n. report becomes known, i hope to
expand my business. i want more people around the world to eat insects. >> reporter: scientists say edible insects as a key food source for the future. people who already have a long tradition of eating insects are hoping this means a new buzz for their business. nhk world, china. people in japan are used to dealing with scorching summer days, but residents of one city are feeling the heat like never before. the temperature has hit an all-time record, 41 degrees celsius. forecasters with the meteorological agency say strong sunshine drove up the daytime temperature of shimanto,
climbing above 40 degrees three days in a row. it hit 41 monday afternoon, the highest temperature since 1875. the previous record of 49 degrees was set in the central city in tajimi in 2007. robert speta has more on the heat wave hitting japan. robert? >> yeah, this intense heat really is record breaking out here. not just down there towards the southwest, even in tokyo we saw temperatures climbing into the high 30s approaching that 40-degree mark. what this has done is not just bring this unbearable heat along with the humidity, but it's making the atmosphere very unstable. if we look at the satellite picture, we can see there's clear skies, but in the evening hours in japan you see this popcorn-type white clouds popping up here. these are actually some rather strong and severe thunderstorms. i'll show you video out of tohoku here earlier on today. this is in southern tokyo where,
well, this heavy rainfall and gusty winds came through across much of the city. we saw one report about 50 millimeters in an hour causing some flash flooding. winds gusting up to 61 kilometers per hour. in return this has caused power outages to about 12,000 homes during the afternoon hours here in tokyo. that doesn't happen all too often. shows how strong these storms were just in response to the extreme heat out here. and still going into tuesday we could see some more heavy thunderstorms popping up here because the heat's still in place. that unstable weather is still here. and these temperatures are going to continue to climb up. now, we are talking about that record breaking heat down here towards the southwest. 41 degrees. typically you don't see temperatures that high here in japan. the ocean often modifies it. so very rare it gets above 40. i know if you're elsewhere in the world you're probably thinking that's relatively mild, but it is record breaking here in japan. elsewhere 36, almost 36 there in the tokyo, sendai up to 35, still expecting storms going through the day here on tuesday.
but let's pull back the picture. more high pressure not just dominating japan but even out there towards the west we've been seeing dry and hot conditions across china. and south of that this is the big story out here towards the tropics. this is typhoon utor. made landfall in the early hours here in northeastern luzon, gusting up to 250 kilometers per hour wind left damage in its wake. this is out of northeastern luzon and really around that same area here. earlier on today where typhoon utor made landfall, the strongest typhoon to hit the philippines this year. and really the only typhoon thus far. landslides and floods cut off power and communications to this entire area. according to officials, one person has been killed, 14 others still missing. most fishermen. this was the hardest hit and landslides cut off access to get into that town here.
really the only access road in and several houses were also flattened, just devastated by the strong winds out here. seas near the coast when this made landfall up to ten to 12 meters high. now it's moving towards the west out there into the south china sea. winds at 126, up to 180 kilometers per hour. but it's still expected to make a second landfall into guandong province and hanon. taiwan, something shooting off towards the knot, possibility of another storm system later in the week. let's quickly look towards europe. what is going on? well, we have a large low pressure area anchored over the scandinavian peninsula and bringing thunderstorms over the baltic states. we have thunderstorm warnings in effect. extending down towards portions of germany a cold front into france, about 65 kilometer per hour winds, 30 millimeters an hour could be possible out of this. that's going to push off towards the east. and then behind it some cooler temperatures are working their way in.
from southwestern japan and an annual dance festival. the festival takes place every year in the city of kochi on the island. participants strike a beat with small wooden clappers. their costumes also an important part of the festival. the event was first held in 1953. this year the thermometer shot up above 35 degrees celsius. >> translator: the dancing is hot and so is the temperature. the heat is on. >> translator: the audience is great. the moment we hit the spotlight is incredible. i love dancing.
♪ david killick, a new zealand journalist who writes about architecture and lifestyles visits an area stricken by the 3/11 disaster. on february the 22nd of 2011, less than three weeks before the great east japan earthquake, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit new zealand destroying many buildings around christchurch. over 20,000 houses were effected by liquefaction and some parts of communities were devastated.