welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm gene otani in tokyo, here's a look at some stories we're following this hour. workers at fukushima daiichi are trying to find out how highly radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the nuclear plant and possibly made it into the ocean. a disgraced communist party leader is on trial for corruption in one of the most closely watched cases in years. and japanese player ichiro
suzuki has reached a milestone in baseball history. 4,000 hits in his career. workers at japan's damaged nuclear plant are hurrying to make sure a leak of highly radioactive water is under control. the contaminated water escaped from a storage tank at fukushima daiichi. inspectors are checking for leaks from other tanks of the same design. they detected spots of high radiation on the surfaces of two. crews with plant operator tokyo electric power company found more than 300 tons of tainted water had already escaped from one tank. they fear it may be making its way into the pacific ocean through a drainage system. >> translator: we cannot deny the possibility of contaminated water leaking into the trenches around the tanks. therefore, we cannot deny that contaminated water is reaching
the ocean. >> workers have transferred the remaining 700 tons to another container. they will have to decontaminate the inside of the empty tank before conducting a full inspection. that could take several days. the tank is made of steel plates bolted together rather than welded. about 300 tanks of the same design contain highly radioactive water at the site. tepco workers are inspecting those tanks visually and measuring their radiation. they found spots of high radiation on the seams of two tanks. the surfaces are dry and the water levels inside the tanks are normal. workers are investigating whether their investigation shows water leaked in the past. crews at the plant have been struggling to deal with contaminated water elsewhere on site. they are trying to stop hundreds of tons of tainted groundwater from flowing directly into the ocean every day.
they say radioactive strontium and cesium may have been leaking into the ocean since may 2011. tepco officials say 30 trillion becquerels of radioactive materials may have flown down to the shore in that time, well beyond the in-house annual emission limit of 220 billion becquerels. cesium and strontium are easily absorbed into soil, so the officials say it's hard to determine the exact amount that got out. radioactive water has been building up every day at the plant since the accident. the short-term solution is storage. there's no long-term solution. nhk world walks us through the issue. >> reporter: workers pour 100 tons of cooling water every day into the three reactors where the meltdown took place. the water comes into direct contact with molten fuel and becomes highly contaminated. company officials initially
thought they would be able to reuse the contaminated water to cool the reactors. but then they discovered groundwater was seeping into the reactor buildings. they have to adapt their plan to address the 400 tons of contaminated water being pumped out every day. the company installs devices that were supposed to filter out the majority of the radioactive substances from the water. but so far cesium is the only substance they've been able to remove. the stored water remains highly contaminated without the materials. company officials say they are now storing some 340,000 tons of contaminated water in 1,000 tanks. they plan to add more tanks to increase capacity to 700,000 tons. but the tanks have been hastily built.
experts have often pointed out how vulnerable they are to damage. and this isn't the first time leaks have been found. company officials have reported another grim figure. 30 trillion becquerels of radionuclearized substances have been discharged into the ocean since may 2011. they say 950 trillion becquerels of cesium have leaked into the ocean before that date. that means about 1 quadrillion becquerels have been charged into the pacific. one expert says stopping the flow of contaminated water isn't enough. he's calling for more research into its effects. >> translator: radioactive substances are accumulating in the seabed and are being consumed by fish. high levels of radiation have been detected in some of the fish.
we don't know the mechanism or how it's happening. this is something we haven't fully investigated. >> reporter: kanda says information about the contamination must be fully disclosed. he says that's the only way to allay growing fear and distrust in japan and around the world. noriko okada, nhk world. thousands of residents are still waiting to go home. vast tracts of land are still waiting to be restored. and more than half a fishing ports on the pacific coast must be rebuilt. people in northeastern japan still face challenges following the 2011 disaster, but step by step they're moving forward. see their stories every wednesday on "the road ahead" right here on "newsline." a former star in the chinese communist party is fighting for his future.
the trial of bo xilai is under way. the disgraced politician was once tipped for top leadership. now he's facing charges of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power. day one of the trial unfolded on thursday. media access is limited, but court officials showed video images online, something experts say is an unusual move. the court spokesperson read out the indictment. bo took $3.5 million in bribes from multiple companies. he denies that. bo is also charged with using his power to obstruct investigation into a murder committed by his wife. last year a court found his wife guilty of conspiring with an aide to poison a british businessman and sent her to jail. bo is one of china's so called princelings or children of senior party officials.
he was mayor and party secretary in the megacity of chongqing. party leaders expelled bo last september after the scandals involving him and his wife came to light. ichiro suzuki has earned countless accolades for his exploits in baseball parks in japan and the u.s. all-star batting champion, most valuable player. now the new york yankee has another moment for his highlight reel 4,000 hits in his career. suzuki set the mark playing at home against toronto blue jays. he hit a single in the first inning of the game. he became the first japanese player to reach the milestone. his teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him. then suzuki acknowledged cheers from the fans with a smile. suzuki started his professional career in japan. he joined the orix bluewave in 1992 and racked up more than
1,200 hits during nine years with the team. then in 2001 he moved to the major leagues. he's cranked out more than 2,700 hits for the seattle mariners and the yankees. suzuki said he was moved by his teammates' reactions. he said to get his 4,000 hits, he had to overcome 8,000 regrets. he said he was proud of what he's achieved, but he said he's not about to rest on his laurels. yankees' fans were excited to witness a rare moment in baseball history. >> wonderful. he's exciting. and he was so vibrant tonight. he was perfect. >> awesome. yankees win. ichiro, 4,000. go yankees. >> ichiro! ichiro! ichiro! >> suzuki spent part of his youth in nagoya, japan. many people there watched his big hit live on tv.
only two other players in major league history have amassed 4,000 hits. pete rose and ty cobb. a court in thailand has convicted two iranian men in connection with a failed bomb plot. we're in bangkok with the story. >> officials from thailand and israel say the iranian men intended to attack israeli diplomats. their alleged plot was exposed in february last year after an accidental explosion inside a villa in bangkok. iran has denied the accusations. a thai court on thursday sentenced the 39-year-old to life in prison. he was charged with attempting to murder a police officer and possess the explosives which damaged property and injured several civilians. the court sentenced 43-year-old to 15 years. the men were detained shortly after a cache of homemade
explosives blew apart the villa. the men deny they knew there were explosives in the house. another iranian lost a leg in the blast that was detonated in the street. the explosives were similar to sticky bombs used in failed attacks just one day earlier. thai security authorities have been investigating when the incidents are connected. >> a u.n. envoy to myanmar says the government needs to do more to tackle sectarian violence. he commented after his car was attacked during a visit to a troubled area in the country. the human rights envoy spent ten days in myanmar. he told reporters the government must protect minorities. >> there are legitimate concerns which the police and army are
addressing, i must highlight the obligation of the government of myanmar to act immediately to control violence running wild in communities and protect all people regardless of their religion or ethnicity. >> quintana visited a refugee camp last week to investigate clashes between muslims and buddhists. it's displaced 140,000 mostly rohingya muslims. he also visited the site of more violence. he says his car was surrounded by an angry mob of around 200 people banging and kicking the vehicle. he says security forces failed to step in. adding him understand the violence. the government on thursday rejected the envoy's allegations saying he was well protected. thailand's prime minister will mark two years in office on
friday. the anniversary comes as tensions are once again rising over her brother. also served as prime minister after he was deposed in a military coup. now deep divisions are emerging about whether he should be allowed to come home. nhk world reports. >> reporter: earlier this month a crowd of more than 3,000 supporters of the former prime minist minister. >> translator: i want thaksin to come back. >> translator: prime minister yingluk is doing a great job. >> reporter: exposed again when yingluk made a controversial
speech in mongolia in april. >> which my was overthrown in 2006 -- projects -- the people wishes were removed. >> reporter: a ruling party lawmaker has proposed a controversial new bill. it would grant amnesty to people indicted or convicted for antigovernment activities since the coup that ousted thaksin in 2006. the proposed law has governized. at this event. they say the bill is preparation
for thaksin's pardon and return to thailand. >> translator: we suspect prime minister yingluck will use this bill to help thaksin to come back. >> reporter: tension in bangkok is once again running high. the government has boosted security around the parliament. while inside lower house lawmakers debate the bill. the prime minister went on television to call for calm. she said the government wants dialogue between pro and an anti thaksin groups. >> translator: i'm not saying we should forget our past confrontations, but for our country to break this impasse, we must learn the lessons of history.
>> reporter: five years ago fierce demonstrations caused a shutdown of bangkok's international airport. in 2010 facilities in the capital were also forced to close. thaksin's return would likely see turmoil at a time when the economy is weakening. thais on both sides are watching whether prime minister yingluck chooses stablts or her brother's return. nhk world,>> and that's it from. top officials from the 12 nations ended their first day of talks at the transpacific partnership ministerial meeting
in brunei. japan's economic revitalization minister says political dialogue is needed to see a conclusion to the free trade pact by the end of this year. amari was among the 12 nations chaired by u.s. trade representative michael froman. the focus of this round is whether the governments involved can agree to speed up negotiations so that the pact can be concluded by the end of this year. that would require accelerated negotiations in areas which participating nations interests are likely to clash, such as tariff elimination on agricultural products. after thursday's meeting amari said all delegates share the goal of making -- despite their domestic efforts and proceeding with accordance with this schedu schedule. >> translator: at the level of the negotiators, every country will only be repeating their
clai claims. i think we will need to have more political initiatives in the talks at the ministerial level. >> the talks will continue on friday. applications for home loans in the u.s. have fallen to their lowest level in two years and four months. the mortgage bankers association said its index of applications slipped 4.6% last week compared to the week before. the drop was particularly steep in requests for mortgage refinancing. the fall comes amid rising interest rates that's being fueled by speculation that the fed will move to scale down its quantitative easing program. wells fargo, the biggest home lender in the u.s. announced a plan to lay off 2,300 workers in its mortgage division. analysts say the sharp rise in interest rates could continue to take a toll on the u.s. housing market. the industry has been the driving force of the country's economic recovery. delivery of japan's domestic-made small passenger jet is being delayed by four
years. mitsubishi aircraft has announced that the first delivery of the mitsubishi regional jet will be postponed to at least april of 2017. >> translator: i regret we're not able to meet the expectations of those who support us. >> that's four years behind the company's initial plan. and it's the third time that the schedule is being postponed. the first test flight has also been put off by more than one year to april 2015. company executives say there was a misunderstanding about a procedure to certify the safety of the engine and other parts. they say the company needs more time to take the right procedure. the mrj is the first passenger aircraft being developed and assembled in japan and half a century. the project is partially funded by the government. mitsubishi aircraft has received
orders for 325 mrjs from all nippon airways and some u.s. carriers, but the delay in the schedule may hurt the company's ability to win more orders. here are the latest market figures. police in japan say they detected more than 200 virus-infected e-mails sent to private firms over the past six months. the targets are mainly in the defense, aerospace and nuclear power industries. national police agency officials are working with 5,000 firms to share information on cyber
attacks. they say the companies received 201 infected e-mails between january and june from hackers trying to steal data. some of the messages were disguised as job applications or complaints about products. the viruses were hidden in attached files with titles such as personal history or inquiry. police say the hackers used free e-mail services. law enforcement personnel are trying to get inside the minds of their cyber enemies so they can improve their defenses. they took part in a hacking contest for the first time. a nonprofit group held a regional qualifying round in yokohama near tokyo. the contest is designed to help government offices and private companies train experts to counter cyber attacks. six members of the national police agency took part. yasuki competed in an event where participants tried to find security vulnerability in a website and extract personal information. hackers use the technique to
steal ids and passwords from a company site. he could solve only one of four problems. he failed to advance to the final. >> translator: i want to use what i experienced here to help my colleagues improve their skills. >> national police agency officials say they want to increase their cooperation with the private sector in the fight against cyber crimes. a large storm is slamming china with strong winds and rain. rachel ferguson from the weather team is here with the details on that. rachel? >> all right. landfall this morning, thursday morning. well, now it is tracking inland in china. it's still packing winds of 65 kilometers an how and gusts of 90 kilometers an hour. it is starting to wind down. it's moving quickly, which is good news.
means we're not going to have the rain hitting one place for a prolonged period. that said it is still going to be giving us totals of 150 to 200 mill peters of rain for the next couple of days. now, in the last three days we have seen some tremendous totals across portions of the northern philippines and also taiwan. taiwan here some places getting more than 700 millimeters of rain in three days. these totals you're seeing here represent what we usually see in about a month. and this just fell in the last three days. that's why we have the extensive flooding situation here and also in the northern philippines. this system has been really helping to enhance the southwest monsoon across these areas, which is why we've been getting just so much rain from it. and looks like into the next 72 hours more heavy rain to come. not just where the system is now in mainland china, but also
across taiwan. and also continuing to see heavy rain across the philippines. swrels that's been getting battered by heavy rain today has been japan. we have some video actually from earlier on in the day. and this was in tottori prefecture, 110 millimeters of rain fell in just one hour. that is a lot for just one hour. the jma, the japan meteorological agency has issued warnings in response for landslides and the possibility of flash flooding in western japan. into the weekend it is going to be quite wet. we've got another front which is extending across the korean peninsula and into central and southern japan. that's going to be bringing daily totals of about 150 millimeters of rain. so it is going to be wet for friday and saturday. but down towards the south where we haven't seen so much rain in the last little while, we've got drought conditions here, that
will help to ease that situation. another small low heading into hokkaido is going to bring some storms, could be a little bit on the severe side. temperaturewise then on friday looks like another hot day in chongqing, 37 degrees and staying dry. picking up the showers in shanghai, continuing rain in taipei there as well. seoul going to be see some showers, 30 degrees for the high. tokyo should be staying mostly dry with a high of 34. on then into the americas. what we're seeing here is some increased monsoonal flow across the southwest. you can be seeing showers and gusty winds, maybe hail up in the mountains. and then we have showers and thunderstorms moving along here south of the great lakes and up into new england. it's not going to be anything particularly severe. might help to clear the air. it's been rather muggy up here in the northeast. and then down towards the south still seeing these showers through much of the southeast. the gulf states there. the rain is not going to be particularly heavy, but it has been very constant for the last few days. so there will be the potential
lives little easier. thman appears at this station every morning from monday through saturday. he looks like a character from a popular tv series. the man volunteers to help overburdened mothers by carrying their strollers down the stairs. >> translator: there is n elevator at this station. he is really helpful. >> the man works as a nearby grocery store. he heard mothers complaining about the station being inconvenient. he decided to take action to improve the situation. >> translator: i believe there's no limit to what people can achieve if they sincerely try to help each other. weul try to think if there's anything we can do to help others. >>he gen superhero says peop lood at him suspiciously at first. he's now become a real hero for mothers who appreciate his help.