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. people across japan are gathering to observe the 68th anniversary of the end of world war ii and share their hopes for peace. supporters of egypt's ousted islamist president are calling for more demonstrations, a day after a government crackdown that killed hundreds of protesters.
and india's prime minister wants pakistan to put words into action to stop terrorists making attacks across the disputed cashmere border. people across japan paused to reflect on their history and their future. they mark 68 years since the end of world war ii. they're holding ceremonies and symposiums across the country to mourn those who died in the war and talk about peace. about 6,000 people attended a memorial service in tokyo. among them, those who lost family members during the war. >> translator: japan's peace and prosperity today are founded on the sacrifices of those who gave their precious lives in the war. we will humbly face that history, learn lessons from it, and bring the nation to a future
off saipan in the pacific. people throughout the country are marking the anniversary in their own way. some are commemorating the event by visiting a shrine in tokyo that's surrounded by controversy. nhk world reports. >> reporter: many japanese observe this rite year after year. they head to yasukuni shrine, which honors the war dead. they stop and pray for those who died for japan. >> translator: i would like to come here as long as i live and to pray that my father's soul is at peace. >> translator: my father died in the war. i come here to feel close to him even at my age. >> reporter: this shinto shrine
was constructed in the late 1800s to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the process of building japan. the shrine commemorates 2.5 million people. in the 1970s, officials here decided to enshrine wartime military and political leaders. some have been convicted of war crimes, but an international military tribunal after world war ii. a number of japanese lawmakers visit every year on this day. but 100 came today, including members of the cabinet. >> translator: i came here today to pay my respects to those who devoted themselves to protect the country and their loved ones. >> reporter: chinese and south korean leaders have criticized their japanese counterparts for
going to the shrine. four south korean lawmakers tried to get in to protest in person. the police blocked them to prevent trouble. japanese prime minister shinzo abe said other members of his cabinet were free to visit on the anniversary. he chose not to go. he says he will not disclose whether he will visit the shrine in the future noting that it could cause diplomatic difficulties. noriko okada,nhk world, tokyo. chinese leaders aren't pleased the cabinet ministers went to yasukuni. a foreign ministry spokesperson say the visits deny past militarism and aggression and challenge the post-war international order. vice minister of foreign affairs
liu zhenmin challenged a launch of a strong protest. officials with the japanese embassy in beijing say they contributed to global peace and stability. they say he suggested the two nations should try to prevent individual problems from affecting their overall relationship. the state-run china central television covered the war anniversary in news programs. it reported japan is turning to the right, and it noted prime minister abe did not use the occasion to refer to his country's responsibility for the war. thursday also marked the end of japan's colonial rule on the korean peninsula. south korean president park geun-hye said relations between citizens of her country and the people of japan are progressing and suggested japanese politicians follow their lead. >> translator: there will be no future if politicians adhere to the past and do not stand
alongside the public in spirit now is the time for japanese politicians to demonstrate courageous leadership and heal the wounds of history. >> park said she hopes japan will take responsibility and make sincere efforts to ease the pain of those who still bear the scars of the colonial era. these flags belong to japanese soldiers in world war ii. families, relatives and friends wrote messages wishing them luck. american soldiers took some to the u.s. as memorabilia. 68 years after the war, one flag made it home. 85-year-old tadashi yamada holds his brother's flag. it came from america. his brother died in what is now myanmar. his remains were never recovered. >> translator: when i touch this
flag, all the memories of my brother come flooding back. it makes me feel so sad. >> a former american soldier knows how special these flags are to people who lost relatives. 87-year-old martin conner of new york collects hinomaru and other items to send them back to where he thinks they belong. nhk world's miki matsumoto reports. >> reporter: a woman holds her dead son's hinomaru. her other son sent conner a photo with a thank you note. >> translator: my mother stares at the flag with tears every day. that makes me painfully aware of the horrors of war. i really hope more belongings can be returned to the families. >> reporter: conner has dedicated his life to searching
america for the belongings of japanese soldiers. he has sent more than 100 items back to families over the last 40 years. >> i think it's the right thing to do. i know how i would feel if one of my youngsters, which i thought was gone 60, 70 years ago. >> reporter: at 18 connor joined the u.s. marine corps. he was sent to the island of iwo jima or in japanese, ioto. it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the pacific. more than 20,000 japanese and 6,000 american soldiers died. many japanese flags were taken from the dead and brought to
america. in 1970, connor returned to the island for u.s.-japan memorial service. the family receiving an item that belonged to their son and was greatly moved. since then, connor has made it his mission to return the possessions of the soldiers. he attends monthly meetings of u.s. veterans urging them to join his cause. connor feels that time is running out. world war ii veterans are aging and dying. connor says more and more memorabilia is appearing in collector's markets. >> i hope they have trouble selling them. they should be sending them
back. >> reporter: connor receives news of a discovery. >> this is emily. this is martin connor. >> nice to meet you. >> reporter: emily's father died last year. when she was cleaning up his house, she found a flag. >> it's been folded up. this looks like the reverse side. this looks clearer. >> we wanted to return it to japan, hopefully to a family who may have closure for the loss of a son. >> reporter: she also found a cloth called senninbari. it literally means 1,000 stitches. each stitch symbolizes a prayer for safety. >> it's not a dead issue. no, no, it's still alive. and this is proof of it.
and this is maybe something that we should, you know -- maybe it was -- maybe it was a message to us, don't give up. go after them. >> reporter: connor said that for as long as he's able, he will continue his mission. miki matsumoto, nhk world, new york. supporters of ousted egyptian president mohamed morsi are calling for more protests one day after troops stormed sit-in camps in cairo. the interim government says more than 500 people died in the crackdown and about 3,700 were injured.
demonstrations were held overnight, despite a nighttime curfew. some protesters attacked government buildings. security forces began clearing up tents in cairo on thursday morning. the tents were still smoldering and the smell of tear gas remained in the air. footage taken by egypt's state-run television shows buildings and vehicles on fire. >> translator: if the government wanted to remove the demonstrators, they could have used other methods. >> translator: the troops tried various ways, but in the end the only solution was military force. >> morsi's support base is calling for massive protests ton thursday. leaders from the u.s., the european union, and the united nations had been calling on the egyptian military to find a peaceful solution. they condemned the crackdown. for a look at why the military took the step, despite the warnings, we spoke with nhk's former cairo bureau chief.
>> the egyptian military leaders have held power for so long and consider their service as serving the foundation of modern egypt. they decided not to be anymore with the muslim brotherhood they see as a threat to themselves. you have to understand the history of the relationship between the brotherhood and the military. muslim brotherhood is an islamist, religious political movement that was founded back in the 1920s. it became increasingly influential among the poor and the former president hosni mubarak. mubarak was in power for almost 30 years. during his era the west, especially the u.s., gave financial aid to the military, which was the core of mubarak's
power. thanks to the aid, the egyptian economy, as a whole, developed. but the gap between the rich and the poor widened. the brotherhood support base was the poor, and they were always the target of suppression by the military. they were forbidden to run for the office until 2011 when mubarak was finally ousted. but even since mubarak was ousted, neither the brotherhood nor the generals showed the willingness to show power. the arab spring. after morsi was ousted in july, brotherhood supporters continued sit-ins. the military decided to crack down. i'm afraid the turmoil and the situation will be there for the long haul. the recent bloodshed has damaged the confidence among people in their democratic process.
when i was there two years ago, the people were so hopeful. i'm not sure now how long it would take to recover the hope. ind nan prime minister says pakistan must prevent terrorists from crossing the disputed cashmere border. cross border violence has increased since early august. five soldiers and two civilians have died in indian administered cashmere. he criticized the government saying it should take measures to stop the attacks. >> translator: in order to improve bilateral ties, pakistan must take steps from its sphere of influence for being used for the purpose of anti-indian activities. >> on wednesday, pakistani prime
minister nawaz sharif called for self restraint by india to ease the tensions. sharif is trying to hold talks with singh next month. police in afghanistan are investigating the kidnapping of a female member of parliament. they suspect taliban insurgents kidnapped the lawmaker. the kidnappers took fariba and her three daughters from a car at gunpoint last saturday in the southeastern province of gazdi. they also seizedhe driver and bodygua bodyguard. government officials say the group later released the children, as well as the driver and body guard. local media reports say the attackers are demanding the release of taliban prisoners in exchange. female workers in afghanistan are regular targets of threats and attacks by opponents of women's rights. workers at japan's crippled nuclear power plant are ramping up their latest effort to contain contamination.
they are pumping tainted water out of the ground to try to stop it from flowing into the ocean. government officials say 300 tons of tainted water from the site may be running into the ground every day. engineers with tokyo electric power company created an underground wall to stop the leak. they used chemicals to harden the soil near the most heavily contaminated reactors number one and number two. the engineers apparently didn't plan for what happened next, blocking the ground water with the wall caused it to keep rising. and the water continues to flow over the top. crews began pumping up water near a well near the wall last friday as a makeshift countermeasure. the groundwater level has fallen about 50 sent meters. the engineers are now driving about 30 pipes into the ground. the pipes are roughly five meters long. company officials say the installation will be finished this sunday.
they say engineers will try to pump up 60 tons of water a day and store it at the plant. still, they warn these measures are not a complete solution. they say contaminated water will still get past the underground wall and flow into the ocean every day. all nuclear reactors in japan will be offline next month. and people across the country will be without nuclear power for the first time in more than a year. the operator of the two units still online plans to halt them for regular inspections. the people at kansai electric power company have already applied to stop one reactor at their ohi plant at the beginning of the month. they want to shut another in mid-september. one by one japan took all nuclear reactors offline for checks after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. the government allowed the ohi reactors to restart last year after they passed new safety guidelines. operators of five other plants have applied to put their reactors back online.
the japanese government has kept its assessment of the economy unchanged while noting japan is approaching the end of deflation. the cabinet office says the economy is steadily picking up and there are signs of sustainable recovery. the government maintained its assessment of industrial production saying it's increasing at a moderate pace. they revised upward the employment situation for the first time in two months saying it is improving. on price trends, the officials say japan is moving out of deflation. the previous reports stated deflation was easing. the government reached this conclusion because the consumer price index for june turned to positive territory. the cabinet office says continuous price increases are needed to ensure there is no going back to deflation. a record number of japanese companies and organizations are taking part in the hong kong food show.
expanding japanese food exports as one of prime minister shinzo abe's strategies for growing the economy. the 2013 food expo opened on thursday. the event is asia's largest food show. it draws about 400,000 visitors every year. more than 230 japanese exhibitors are there. at the booth for j.a. an agricultural cooperative, buyers sampled peaches from central japan. they also got a taste of melons from the northern island of hokkaido. more than 20% of japan's food exports end up there. >> translator: i really value japanese foods. their high quality and beauty makes them very attractive. >> japan's foreign ministry has been urging hong kong to lift its import ban on foods from five japanese prefectures.
hong kong officials posed the ban after the nuclear accident triggered by the 2011 earthquake. now let's check on the markets. japanese stocks underperformed other forces in asia pacific. earnings reports were a focus across the region especially in hong kong. starting in tokyo the nikkei fell 2.12% to end at 13,752 after a rise of almost 4% for the index in the previous two sessions. the stronger yen weighed on the market. the japanese currency gained ground after government officials countered media reports saying they might cut the corporate tax rate. in china, the shanghai composite shed 0.87% closing it 2,081 and extending its decline from wednesday. shares of drug makers declined following reports that regulators will beef up their investigation of antitrust violations. over in hong kong, the hang seng index finished little changed at
22,539 after mixed corporate earnings reports. among them clothing supplier with a strong performance. chinese internet giant holdings closed down after the firm reported profits below market expectations. a tropical storm is causing havoc in china. meteorologist robert speta has more on that. robert? >> utor is the storm we have been watching all week. it didn't make landfall here on wednesday as a typhoon there west of hong kong. now it has been downgraded to a tropical storm. winds about 65, gusting up to 90 kilometers at this hour. the winds have dramatically decreased in intensity. the main problem over the next several days is going to be the heavy rainfall. even though the storm has weakened, it's still going to be dropping a copious amount of rain out here, and i'm talking about in eastern portions of the province, still going to be seeing about 250 millimeters of
rain in some areas, up to 260 millimeters seen in the past 24 hours. one area saw 75 in just a one-hour period, very intense stuff going on. you would think with all this rain here it would help with the drought farther to the north, but looks like most is going to be reserved farther to the south. if any showers do get triggered into porgs of southern hunon province, it's going to be doing more harm possibly than good. less to the drought relief and more to the risk of flash flooding. we want to continue to watch this very serious situation, even though the storm is already over land and continuing to weaken. also take a look farther off towards the east. we have the accumulation picking up on heavy rainfall east of last place you need more rain showers is here, but it does look like you're going to be seeing more on top of what you saw with utor here. plus, the possibility of some heavy rainfall by the weekend and the next week across the southern japanese islands due to a slew of tropical lows.
friday, low pressure area just east of taiwan. still talking about utor, but take a look at this, new tropical depression is starting to pop up. does look like all these will continue to bring heavy rainfall across most of the tropics. farther towards the north, high pressure, which is dominating across much of eastern china, south korea, and most of japan. that's keeping things on the hot side. unfortunately, farther towards the north into northeastern china, southeastern russia and hokkaido, heavy showers there, 80 to 100 millimeters, even the risk of damaging winds and large hail. as far as temperatures, though, into the 30s, unless in ulan bator, 16 for your friday. the americas, main topic here is this frontal area stretching across the southeastern u.s., off twl towards the east. it is going to be bringing some heavy rainfall, but there's another factor coming into play here. it's this low right here. that, well, the national hurricane center is giving this a 70% chance of upgrading to a named tropical system. what that means, it's going to be bringing heavy rain and
serious risk of flooding across the florida peninsula, gulf states, even the carolinas through the coming days. keeps temperatures cooler, but if you have flights in and out of atlanta, that could cause delays, even towards new york, toronto, chicago, as well. mid 20s, sunny skies on thursday. by next week, though, do expect a warming trend to work its way in, pushing the temperatures back into the 30s for you. over towards europe, well, really high pressure is dominating for the most part. we have this clear skies in play here. down towards the south, some moisture off the mediterranean is triggering thunderstorms for the northern balkans, also italy here and over towards eastern spain, as well. a few could be producing storms, about 65 kilometer per hour winds out of them. then to the north the main topic is this low coming in across the british isles. it's bringing rain showers with it. also we have the cold front. and the cold front is doing what its name implies, making things cooler. london, just 21 here on your friday. that's the look at the world weather.