♪ welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we'rfollowing at this hour. a day of remembrance. people in japan honor the victims of a disaster two and a half years ago and reflect on the impact the tsunami still has on lives. a personal appeal. u.s. president barack obama addresses the american people, promising to pursue a diplomatic solution on syria.
>> and continuing tension a year after japan nationalizes the senkaku islands, china says it will continue to send vessels to patrol near them. >> many people in japan have marked the day that changed their lives. it's been two and a half years since the march 2011 disaster. the magnitude 9 earthquake and the following tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people. more than 2,600 people are still missing. the disaster triggered the crisis the fukushima daiichi plant. about 290,000 people are still living in temporary housing. many survivors stopped on wednesday to pay tribute to those they lost. they observed a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m., the moment the earthquake struck. people in the city of natori gathered in front of a monument for those who died.
the tsunami washed away many houses in their community. construction workers in the city also offered prayers. they are preparing land on higher ground for about 350 new homes. the first batch of land will be ready for construction at the end of the year. survivors are reflecting on what happened and what's changed. some have performed the rituals they've been practicing every month since the disaster. people living in temporary housing in the coastal city of ofunato held a memorial service for those who died. more than 150 people live in this complex. some gathered to pray for family members who died. >> translator: i saw houses and people washed away in a whirling tsunami right in front of me. at night i still have flashbacks. >> coast guard crews conducted a
search off the city of iwate for people still missing after the disaster. about 90 personnel scanned the shore. the people who run the fish market in ishinomaki did what they do many mornings. they are making sure that none of the fish that go on the market are affected by radioactive substances from the nuclear plant. this morning, they auctioned off about 200 tons of sari and squid. >> translator: i'm glad. we've been able to take concrete and clear measures that could reduce negative rumors about the radiation. >> fishermen are now bringing back about 65% of what they did before the disaster. >> people's lives in the disaster zone are still at the
mercy of changeable conditions at fukushima daiichi. problems, merged one after another in a situation that's far from under control. japanese leaders and the executives of the plant operator tokyo electric power company face many challenges in decommissioning the crippled reactors. nhk's noriko okada reports. >> reporter: nine months after the accident the japanese government announced that the situation at the nuclear plant was under control. government leaders and executives unveiled together a road map for decommissioning the reactors within three to four decades, but progress at the plant has been hampered by several serious problems. one of the most challenging one so far has been the leakage of contaminated water. tepco officials admitted in july that some of the toxic water is leaking into the pacific ocean.
>> translator: we sincerely apologize for causing concern to so many people particularly those who live in fukushima. >> reporter: tepco officials estimate that every day 800 tons of groundwater coming from nearby mountains land under the nuclear complex. some of it becomes contaminated and reaches the sea. a portion of the groundwater flows into the basements of the damaged buildings. there, it mixes with water used to cool the reactor cores. workers have to pump out 400 pounds of highly toxic liquid every day and store it on site. tepco workers have so far built 1,000 tanks to store the excess water, but some of the containers have been leaking. in august, 300 tons of highly contaminated water escaped from the tank.
workers have identified several other leaks since then. the scale of the problem led prime minister shinzo abe to decide on government intervention. >> translator: the government will work in a coordinated way as the world is closely watching whether japan can successfully solve the problems at the plant and decommission the reactors. >> reporter: the government wants to isolate the plant behind an underground wall of ice. the first step will be to bury a network of pipes around the buildings. coolant at the temperature of minus 40 degrees celsius will be passed through the pipes. this will freeze the soil, preventing groundwater from seeping into and out of the complex. but experts say it's unclear whether this method will succeed.
it has yet to be tested yet for this specific purpose and never within used on such a large scale. the governments of china and south korea have expressed serious concern about the impact of the leakage on the ocean. and now government officials in japan fear that this problem could delay the entire decommissioning process. noriko okada. >> reporter: hk world. tuesday marks the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in the united states. memorial ceremonies are under way. ♪ o, say can you see on this day in 2001 terrorists hijacked four planes and flew two of them into the twin towers of the world trade center. another plane crashed into the pentagon. the hijackers crashed the other plane in a field in pennsylvania. about 3,000 people were killed in the attacks.
[ bells tolling ] >> people observed a minute of silence from 8:46 a.m. local time. the exact time when the first plane hit one of the towers. representatives of the victims read out the names of their lost loved ones. the names of the victims are inscribed around the monument. ceremonies will also be held at the defense department and memorial park in pennsylvania. u.s. president barack obama has addressed americans about his plans for syria. he laid out the rationale for a strike against the regime of president bashar al assad, but he opened the door for a diplomatic solution and he asked congress to delay a vote on whether to approve military action. >> i determined that it is in the national security interest of the united states to respond to the assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. the purpose of this strike would be to deter assad from using chemical weapons.
to degrade his regime's ability to use them. >> obama ordered military commanders to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on assad. at the same time he said he and his aides are exploring alternatives. >> i have therefore asked the leaders of congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. >> senators were set for the first vote on syria on wednesday. but before his address, obama urged lawmakers to give him more room to pursue a diplomatic option. the vote could be delayed for a week or longer. representatives of the u.s., britain, and france are preparing a resolution at the united nations. they want them to back possible force in syria. members of the delegation are proposing a milder statement. they want to avoid military action. they requested an emergency council meeting on tuesday and then abruptly canceled it.
it's been a year since japan nationalized the senkaku islands in the east china sea. the country's leaders maintain their stance that the islands are an inherent part of japanese territory, and they're hoping they can smooth things over with their chinese counterparts who also claim the islands. defense minister says that authorities are conducting close surveillance around the islands. he says there have been an increasing number of chinese patrol boats and military aircraft in the area. >> translator: china seems to be trying to give the impression that there's some kind of territorial issues. but our stance is that no issue of territorial sovereignty concerning the senkaku islands exists. we will duly protect our land and waters. >> yosh hihida segu.
he says they have a responsible toy are preserve peace and prosperity. >> translator: even though there may be individual disputed between the two countries, the window for strategic dialogue will be open. we will always keep the door open for china. >> the government bought the islands in okinawa prefecture from a private japanese owner last year. >> translator: the change in the government's administrative role from leasehold toer to owner wi bring peace and stability to the islands. >> chinese people reacted with anger. protesters across the country staged anti-japan rallies. over the past year chinese commanders have sent more than 200 ships into japanese waters off the senkakus. eight ships were spotted in the area for several hours on tuesday. on sunday, two chinese bomber aircraft flew in the air space between japan's main island. a chinese military drone was spotted on monday.
japanese leaders are holding out hope for dialogue. prime minister shinzo abe had a brief meeting with jinping in friday's g-20 summit. it was the first time they had talked one-on-one since each took office. a chinese ministry spokesman says beijing will continue to send ships and planes to the area. >> translator: japan has been irresponsibly criticizing chinese activities. we express strong dissatisfaction. >> he says that japan illegally purchased the islands and that china will continue to take effective action to defend its sovereignty over them. despite the tensions between their government, some japanese and chinese people are trying to strengthen relations and they're holding a trade fair in shanghai to promote ties. more than 600 japanese companies operating in china as well as local companies are taking part in the two-day fair. japanese organizers say the chinese authorities have been
cooperative. . >> translator: chinese people know that japanese products are of high quality. they are keen to do business with us. i hope to work with them to make my company globally competitive. >> translator: i don't see the soured diplomatic relations as having much of an impact on our business. japanese products have already become part of the daily lives of chinese people. >> the organizers expect to draw 7,000 people from japan and china. engineers are trying to generate electricity from an unlikely source. they're hoping to harness the temperature difference between the ocean's warm surface and its cooler deep waters. a group of japanese research are developing the world's first under sea power generatoring using this technology. they call it ocean thermal ener energy. japan marine united and osaka university are collaborating on
the initiative. they hope to commercialize the system in seven years. the technology uses warm water on the surface of the sea to heat liquid ammonia. the resulting steam rotates a turbine which generates electricity and the steam then condenses to liquid when cold, deep ocean water is introduced. this method is being touted as a new way to produce renewable energy. its functioning isn't affected by the weather. >> officials at the the shipbuilding firm say the team has conducted above-ground test, but that this will be the first under sea experiment of its kind in the world. >> japan has a lot to do to prepare for the 2020 tokyo olympics and it is not just about building sports stadiums and sports facilities. it will also build a museum and park to honor the indigenous ainu people. chief cabinet secretary chaired a meeting to discuss ways to support the ainu. the facility will be built in
the town of shiraoi in the southern part of hokkaido island. they havived together in shiraoi since the 1800s. suga says the facility will symbolize co-existence with the ainu and that the tokyo games will be a good opportunity to show how japan protects its ethnic minorities. >> translator: the museum will help foreign visitors understand how wonderful ainu culture is. >> the ainu once inhabited a wide area of northern japan, but over the past century or more many have left for other parts of the country. pakistan will release a dominant figure of the taliban. the move has implications for neighboring afghanistan. dhra dhirakaosal has details. >> they are welcoming the decision to free the highest
ranking imprisoned taliban member. they have hopes that the release will set in motion long-awaited peace talks with the taliban. nhk world reports from islamabad. >> he is the foremost second in command for the taliban. he is also one of the founders of the group. pakistan supported the taliban when it took control of afghanistan in 1996. it is widely believed that pakistan has strong links with the group. last month president hamid karzai urged pakistani prime minister sharif to chair his talks between his country and the taliban. since last year, pakistan has released more than 30 taliban members, but none of them have been high-profile members like the brother.
the taliban criticizes him as a puppet of the u.s. and its official stance is not to negotiate with officers. the pakistani man pledged to continue to get his efforts to save the the table for peace. >> they could have too much influence, but since some people have had good relationships with them we persuade them in their own interest and if they agree with it then they account upon it. >> it resumed guided talks in taliban in qatar in june and they put the flame of the ousted regime in the office which angered karzai and his administration. it is a nickname believed to be given to him by mullah omar, the
taliban supreme leader. international combat forces are said to end their mission in afghanistan by the end of 2014 and they are under pressure to take full security. attention is focused on whether the brothers' release could become the heart of the effort to jump-start the peace process. nhk world, islamabad. the afghan government is eager to step up talks with the taliban because peace with the group is key to restoring security in the country. the militant group is regaining strength in areas where foreign troops are leaving. nhk world, masaki suppose oshuda reports. taliban influence is on the rise again.
we had the rare opportunity to film a taliban unit in the kunduwhere, province and they are tasked with streeps against both international and african forces. on this dai we are planning another attack. >> translator: the forces have been defeated and they're trying to flee afghanistan. our victory is near. >> german troops are responsible for security around here, but they are getting ready to go home. by the end of 2014, only a few will stay behind to carry on training their afghan colleagues.
>> translator: we will be responsible for local security until the date of withdraw. >> reporter: many afghans feel like international forces are abandoning them. 23-year-old interpreter from the german military. but the people he once worked for are being sent home. and last december he lost his job. >> still the taliban is not removed. not vanished. they have to work on security parts. this is the warning letter. >> reporter: he received a letter in april. it contained a threat from the taliban. >> translator: we know you are a spy for the german military. if you don't share what you saw and heard, we will kill you.
>> reporter: last month two of his former colleagues, an interpreter and a guard, were killed. >> we are getting warnings from every site and they know us, that's why we are really concerned about our life. >> reporter: the taliban's reach extn extn extndzs deep into the capital of kabul. in june it launched a massive attack against the office of the president. the united states wanted to weaken the taliban before the troops leave at the end of next year. but instead, the militant group remains a powerful and deadly enemy. more than 2200 u.s. troops have died in afghanistan over the past 12 years. >> the heroes we honor today will not have died in vain. >> reporter: amid poor security,
economic progress has ground to a halt. kabul used to be a thriving city thanks to huge amounts of aid pumped in by the international community, but that's no longer the case. as you can see here this building in central kabul is under construction, but work has been suspended half way. the city is dotted with unfinished construction projects. people and money are draining out of afghanistan amid fears of a return to civil war. >> translator: everybody worries their investments may go down the drain because of the return of the taliban. >> reporter: 12 years have passed since reconstruction began in afghanistan. following the military campaign to oust the taliban after the
september 11th terror attacks. the country remains unstable, facing a constant threat of violence that makes its citizens feel disappointed and increasingly nervous. nhk world, kabul. >> and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm dhra dhirakaosal in bangkok. a hurricane is hovering over the atlantic ocean. it's the first for this year. meteorologist robert speta joins us to tell us how serious it is. >> we have hurricane humberto and the first of 2013 and we've had two tropical storms over the atlantic ocean and this one finally making it to the 120 kilometer-per-hour mark. these are the five latest-forming hurricanes in the atlantic since the beginning of the satellite era. before that you couldn't get eyes on the ocean here to see if the storm was developing up
without a ship being out there, but humberto, it formed here on september 11, 2013, at 9 utc. the other one was gustav in 2002 and just three hours later. a very quiet season thus far and this storm system as far as impacting any land areas, it really isn't going to be doing very much of that. some rain toward the azores and then toward the west moving into cooler sea surface temperatures and unfavorable conditions and expect it to slowly weaken going out to the weekend. across much of the main lann, we are seeing showers down to the southwest and monsoon almost you are continue to flow in around the four corners region and you have flash flood watches and advisories and the cold front there toward the east and severe weather expected into the great lakes, moving into the northeast. out ahead of that, though, we are seeing that very warm air continuing to surge in from the south.
also gabrielle just off the coast and that's expected to remain and bringing in light rain across much of bermuda, but this is the big topic out here. you have the warm air and the cold front will come pushing through and right now it feels like summer and temperatures into the mid-30s there for you and toronto, 31 on wednesday and take a look out toward friday and it doesn't feel like that very much until longer and by friday, just diving down in toronto. here over toward eastern asia and the first one to talk about the tropics and right near the mariana islands and this is expected to become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours and by friday, a severe tropical storm. after that, conditions are right. it could be a typhoon and very well could impact anywhere from the southern japanese islands. i want to keep a very, very close eye on that. for now we do have the rain showers across much of central, eastern china and that will push off to the east impacting south
korea and it's expected through the yangtze river basin. we are seeing a front move through hokkaido and northern hons honshu. it is rather warm down here and beijing at 27. ulan bator, and you're the big changer out here. 17 here on thursday and we'll see another cold front coming out of siberia, one of the cold surges of the season. by saturday morning you will be below the freezing mark as far as temperatures. so it will cool off quite considerably out there. also looking at snow in the alpine regions and upper level low is bringing unstable weather from germany toward the northern balkans. much of italy, you are under thunderstorm watches or heavy rain advisories throughout the day on tuesday into wednesday. farther toward the west, if you're in the uk, take a look at dublin and right now it's 17 going into 13 and london staying in the high teens throughout the