hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, september 5th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama has called on the international community to support military action against syria. obama made the request in a meeting with swedish prime minister fredrik reinfeldt in stockholm. the u.s. president is to attend the g-20 summit in russi >> the prime minister and i are
in agreement that in the face of such barbarism, the international community cannot be silent and that failing to respond to this attack would only increase the risk of more attacks. and the possibility other countries would use these weapons as well. >> sweden believes that syria's matters concerning international peace and security should be handled by the united nations, but i also understand the potential consequences of letting a violation like this go unanswered. >> obama says he believes the u.s. congress will approve military action. he said that with such congressional support, his administration will be able to send a stronger message to syria. members of the u.s. senate foreign relations committee have passed a resolution approving a military strike. >> the resolution is agreed to and is ordered favorably reported by the committee. >> members agreed that the
action should exclude ground troops and not exceed 90 days. the resolution now goes on to the full senate. members are expected to vote on the measure next week. members of the house of representatives are debating the merits of a strike, too. secretary of state john kerry testified before the house foreign affairs committee, which is dominated by republicans. >> if we don't take a stand here today, i guarantee you we are more likely to face far greater risks to our security and a far greater likelihood of conflict that demands our action in the future. >> kerry said u.s. inaction would allow iran to use new chemical agents and develop nuclear weapons. he said u.s. forces would not act on their own. he said the leaders of at least ten countries have indicated their personnel would take part in a strike. syria's deputy foreign
minister says his government will not change its position even if there is world war iii. faisal mekdad spoke with the france press news agency in damascus. he said the administration of president bashar al assad has taken every measure to retaliate against an aggression. the state-run news ministry says wael al halki met with the rulirule ing baath party. russian president vladimir putin says his country may resume selling anti-aircraft missiles to syria if western countries attack without u.n. approval. in an interview with the associated press, putin said russia could restart shipments of s-300 anti-aircraft missiles to syria. he added accusations about the use of chemical weapons in syria should be based on solid evidence and not rumors -- not on rumors, intelligence from
eavesdropping or chatter. putin said if there's proof that chemical weapons were used by the syrian government, he would not rule out supporting military action, but it would need to be sanctioned by the u.n. security council. syria's government is under fire for allegedly using chemical weapons. now there are fresh claims that it also deployed banned cluster bombs. an ngo says it has firsthand information from syria that the bombs killed or injured 165 civilians last year. the organization has released a report detailing the claims. it says 190 people were killed or injured worldwide by cluster bombs last year. a record since an international treaty banning the munitions took effect in 2010. most of those casualties were in syria. the group says the army killed at least 78 civilians with the weapons last year, including women and children. 87 others were wounded. the report cites a case in
november in which at least ten children were killed by cluster bombs while playing in a square near the capital damascus. it blames government forces. united nations officials say the civil war in syria may be encouraging extremists in iraq. militants have carried out coordinated attacks in the capital baghdad. they killed more than 20 people. car bombs and roadside explosives shook the city. there were ten explosions over a period of two hours. most of the devices blew up in districts populated by shia muslims. residents have seen more and more attacks of late. much of the violence appears to be the work of sunni militants. sunnis have become increasingly frustrated with the shia-led government of prime minister nuri al maliki. united nations officials say about 800 people were killed last month alone. ariel cast rorks the ohio man who kidnapped and held three young women captive for nearly a
decade at his house, has been found dead in his prison cell. castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus an additional 1,000 years in august for abduction, rape, torture and other charges. local media say prison officials found him hanged in his cell on tuesday night. the 53-year-old was transferred to a hospital and soon pronounced dead. castro's crimes shocked americans. his victims were chained, beaten and repeatedly raped. castro's house in cleveland, ohio, was a short distance from where the three women disappeared. a member of japan's nuclear power regulator says he stands firm in his belief that faults underneath a nuclear power plant in northeastern japan are active. the nuclear regulation authority has just completed a second survey at the higashidori plant
in aomori prefecture. commissioner kuhny hiko shimazaki was speaking to reporters after a two-day survey at the plant. they investigated a cross-section of the trench dug by the plant's operator tohoku power company. nra officials compiled a draft report in february. it was based upon their first survey made two months anteriorlyier. in it they said the faults appear to be active. tohoku electric maintains the faults are not active. the utility has been conducting its own additional survey. south korea's ruling party is pushing the government to consider an import ban on japanese farm and marine products. it comes amid concerns over radioactive water in the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant leaking into the pacific ocean. the head of the saenuri party, hwang woo-yea, requested the government to take further measures to protect food imports from japan. he said government officials
should consider banning imports of japanese products until their safety is confirmed. south korean officials have asked japan to provide information about contaminated water leaks. fish dealers in south korea are testing imports for radioactive contamination. territorial tensions between the philippines and china are heating up. philippine officials have accused china of building structures on the disputed scarborough shoal in the south china sea. but china's foreign ministry spokesperson said on wednesday that there's nothing to be sorry about. >> translator: china has a legitimate right to operate its vessels in the waters to protect its sovereignty and order. china has done nothing that warrants blame. t scarborough shoal is located about 200 kilometer west of the philippine island of luzon.
philippine officials said they found evidence of building work on the shoal. they showed photos of what they say are a concrete foundation and 30 concrete blocks. the defense secretary said he has raised the issue with other levels of government. >> i got the report. we had this sent to the department of foreign affairs. we also informed the president about this. it will now be the move of the foreign affairs secretary to lodge a complaint. >> china has been increasing patrols and sending surveillance vessels to the scarborough shoal which the philippines also claims as its territory. the japanese defense minister indicates that the country will closely work with other nations to cope with chinese naval activity in the east and south china seas. itsunori onodera referred to china's building on the scarborough shoal. >> translator: defense chiefs of
asian countries including china agreed at a meeting in brunei last week that territorial disputes should be settled through international loss and dialogue. what does that agreement mean if china is in fact building a structure? >> onodera added that japan will deal with activities by exchanging ideas with the philippine, vietnam and other countries. he apparently made the remarks with the senkaku islands in the east china sea in mind. japan controls the islands but china claims them. meanwhile, the philippines is strengthening its military relationship with its longtime ally, the u.s. they're talking about sharing facilities at subic bay, once the largest u.s. naval base in asia. nhk has learned the countries are also discussing possible u.s. surveillance operations in the south china sea as well as joint use of other bases on philippine territory. nhk world's charmaine
denagrasias has more. >> subic bay, northwest of manila. this is part of an economic zone. new shopping malls and hotels make it a popular tourist destination. but during the cold war subic was the navy's largest facility in asia. the base played an important support role in conflicts including the vietnam and gulf wars. it was returned to the philippines in 1992 amid a rising sense of nationalism. today, once again, u.s. war ships are using the base. a carrier, a rescue boat and a marine research vessel. port officials say 89 american
warships used the facility last year, double the number from a year earlier. the united states has been lobbying hard asking officials to support its joint use of subic. the mayor received a visit from the u.s. ambassador. >> when i talked to him june 26. he just asked me what is your stand. what was my stand as the incoming mayor in case the americans will be coming back. >> reporter: the philippine navy has been involved in repeated standoffs with china. it supports the return of the americans. this former vice commander says china started stepping up its activities soon after the u.s. forces gave up the base. he says china builds structures on tiny islands to bolster its claims.
>> there's some small markers. then if you do not mine them, there will be a bigger float, then they start coming up with steel something, then what they will do is pour cement underneath for the structures. >> reporter: the first incident was in 19 t 5 when china built a structure at mischief reef then controlled by the philippines. last year chinese vessels occupied another reef, and this year chinese boats came close to the philippines only military post in the spratly islands. local people are caught up in the standoff. masinoko is a fishing village in luzon. the waters are now controlled by china.
>> translator: we still couldn't go there because their rubber boats blocked us. they also had guns. they pointed them at us and told us to leave. they said the area belongs to them. >> reporter: some fishermen have given up and taken work as cycle drivers. people are becoming angry. >> translator: we must not let this issue remain unresolved for our grandchildren's generation. >> reporter: public opinion is starting to change. this man campaigned against the u.s. military base at subic when he was a senator 21 years ago. >> i would be open, i would be open to reconsidering my position in '91.
we may need the u.s., we may need japan to be able to deal better with china. >> reporter: the philippines needs to face china on crucial issues such as defending contested territories and waters. this country once was firmly a posed to the presence of u.s. forces on its soil, but the spreading influence its large and powerful neighbor is causing the philippines to rethink and rebuild military ties with the united states. charmaine deogracias, nhk world, manila. corporate executives from russia and norway are encouraging japanese firms to utilize a new shipping lane in the arctic ocean. ships traveling between asia and europe usually pass through the suez canal, but they have another option, the arctic ocean. climate change has created the
waterway. the melting ice in the arctic has opened up a much shorter lane, the northern sea route. the new waterway, however, is only available during the summer when the ice volume declines. but the russian and norwegian executives are explaining to japanese executives that such hurdles can be tackled. the head of russia's atomic ice breakers operator says if a new type of ice breaker is developed, it will enable ships to navigate the route year-round. the top executive of a norwegian shipping firm also highlights the potential of the arctic passage for japanese trade. >> japan has geographically the best position because you have -- you are placed farthest north of the asian countries. so and also being a great importer of raw materials and exporters of ready-made or
equipment. >> japanese firms are showcasing their technological skills to expand business opportunities in asia. they're holding an exhibition in vietnam where the economy is showing rapid growth. officials from some 40 japanese firms took part in the event held in the capital hanoi. among the displays was a robot which performed a dance and rode a bicycle. eco-friendly cars and motorcycles also drew visitors. many women flocked to a section where they can try out hair dryers and other beauty appliances. >> translator: i realized that japanese products are sophisticated and are made with preciseness to the smallest detail. >> reporter: the middle class earners in vietnam are spending more and foreign companies are keen to capitalize on the growing demand. time now for the latest in the market.
in colonial times a large japanese population lived on the korean peninsula. but when japan lost control of the area after world war ii, the remains of some 20,000 japanese who died in the aftermath of the war were left in what is known today as north korea. and more than 70 years on, japanese and north korean researchers ha remains still doa proper resting place.
nhk world reports from pyongyang. >> reporter: the japanese delegation led by the university professor visited several locations that japanese citizens are believed to have been buried. he suggests there could be more than 70 areas across north korea that contain japanese remains. this is the northern part. after world war ii about 1,600 japanese died of illness or hunger. north korean researchers say that they found remains of japanese victims two years ago. >> translator: i found many human bones here.
>> reporter: they've gathered bones that have been unearthed and buried them. but the majority of the remains are still abandoned and laced through these fields. this man is the head of north korea's team of investigators. he told nhk he was a north korean resident in japan but moved back to his home country after 40 years ago. he found the documents indicated the whereabouts of japanese remains in 2008, and his experiences in japan urged him to study to find the remains. the team visited the northeastern town. it's a remote village about 900 kilometers northeast of the capital pyongyang. >> translator: a witness account says there's a depressed area here and that's where remains
are buried. >> translator: a flood in the 1960s washed away many hillsides and unearthed a lot of human remains, but we didn't know whose they were. >> translator: do you think we can dig up remains even now? >> translator: sure. >> reporter: 600 japanese soldiers are confirmed to have died and are buried in this area. they have also confirmed, by cross-checking japanese documents, that 3,300 japanese were possibly buried on the left-hand side of this railroad tra track. he has proposed finding all those remains, consolidating them in one resting place and building a memorial. >> translator: it's not normal for farmers to be finding human bones in their fields.
we need to address this problem quickly. >> translator: this is the responsibility of the japanese government as well as the entire japanese society. we should give serious consideration to it. >> reporter: although the researchers have been able to identify areas believed to contain the remains of japanese citizens, they still face difficulties in retrieving and properly interning them. that's because north korea's government has kept the team from some areas and has yet to allow it to do an investigation. reporting for nhk world. a citizens group in japan is planning to send about a dozen surviving family members to north korea in late september to pay respect to their deceased
loved ones. the group is making arrangements to send another delegation in october. time for a check on the weather with mai shoji. good morning. tokyo residents are getting to work under dark skies today. what can we expect up ahead? >> catherine, good morning. i hope you didn't catch that thunderstorms this morning. but a lot of people are under the cats and dogs conditions especially here in the metropolitan tokyo region as well as a wide range of the area in the region. this is due to the front that sends a lot of moisture and pounded western japan yesterday. now it's moving towards eastern japan. let me show you pictures coming up from shibuya just near our studio this morning. take a look at that. cloud bursts and many lightning strikes were observed. it brought torrential rain to western japan is now battering eastern japan. this is a scene from shibuya near our studio. railway services have been
disrupted and there are warnings of possible landslides as well as swollen rivers. you can see the cloud coverage move pg all the way up towards the north. we do have that low pressure system sitting south of the region. this was tropical storm toragy that we've been monitoring. now a low pressure system but still feeding low pressure to the area. we do have another system over hokkaido which is pulling the cold front. lots of thunderstorms are happening across the area. and due to the combination of the upper cold air and the surface temperature still summer-like, this is the typical picture. and that's going to be found throughout the day today. about 50 millimeters of rainfall will be found just in an hour, sudden downburst of showers as well as sudden flooding, hail, thunderstorms, even tornadic activity cannot be ruled out again today especially across the kanto region.
but the western areas of japan are looking fine. especially these areas of china. here across southern china, a different store we the low pressure system still lingering in similar areas. guangdong province saw 200 millimeters of rain. it could top 100 that could easily cause flooding and landslides. hong kong at 28, taipei 29. ulan bator is cooling down with partly sunny skies. now let's move over to the americas. it's september, early september, i should say, but we have frost advisories and freeze warnings due to a cold front that is swinging by across the great lakes region. take a look at the morning lows, especially on your friday. that will be dipg doping down i your single digits. take a look at boston, from 17
degrees down to 9. those are your ploeps do bundle up in the morning and overnight hours. down to 3 here in caribou. toronto is only looking at 11 degrees also. so bundle up. here across the southeastern corner, damaging right nilightnl and thunderstorms are possible. widely spread here is the monsoonal showersp. it will be a sporadic event especially in the pacific northwest as well as british columbia and canada. this is due to ex-tropical storm moisture from kiko. that will be widely spread. additional amounts could be up to 100 millimeters. take a look at the interior with the soaring temperatures in denver at 35 degrees and los angeles well above the average range as well. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
>> good evening. as president of the american bar association, it's my pleasure to welcome you today to this special law day program entitled constitutional equality for women in the united states. i'm especially pleased to be here because i have a vested interest in the topic. this is our 12th annual public program to commemorate law day and our fourth year connecting us here at the woodrow wilson