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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 17, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT

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"newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. new concerns about north korea. sources tell nhk the country has tested a ballistic missile engine. the company in charge at fukushima daiichi says it's safely disposed of rainwater that built up at the nuclear
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plant during the severe tropical storm. and as tensions between their governments persist, many japanese are staying away from china, but more chinese are choosing to come to japan. diplomatic sources have told nhk that north korea has tested an engine for a new intercontinental ballistic missile. they say the test happened last month at a launch site in the country's northwest. the sources say the engine tested could be used in this type of missile, which was recently on display at a military parade. similar tests were carried out at the same launch site in february. this comes amid suspicion that pyongyang has restarted a nuclear reactor capable of making weapons grade plutonium. north korean leaders in the meantime have been calling for international dialogue. officials are expected to attend the symposium on their nuclear program in china on wednesday. analysts said they're using the
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tests to pressure the u.s. into negotiating. north korea has been under international sanctions for nearly a decade and it's taken a toll on the country's economy. but the government's decision in 2003 to allow limited free enterprise has injected much-needed investment into its capital pyongyang. tall, modern buildings are beginning to dot the city's skyline, and its people can be seen in fashionable clothes and even buying tablet computers. importing is still highly restricted in north korea. as our correspondent reports, although wealth seems to be reaching parts of the capital, it's a different scene once you go outside. >> reporter: this is becoming an increasingly popular way to get around pyongyang. just a few years ago, the number of taxis were few and far between.
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but this driver tells me they are now on the rise. >> translator: our supreme leader says he wants to increase the number of taxis in pyongyang to #,000. there are already 500 on the streets. >> reporter: a 6 kilometer ride costs just $3. it may not sound too expensive, but for the average citizen here, it's about one-tenth their monthly wage. it's still very much reserved for the rich. but the government said more and more people are becoming members of the upper class. this residential area of pyongyang is covered with high-rise buildings where only the most upper class live. and many more towers are under construction. the city plans to build enough
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condominiums to house 100,000 citizens. people who have made fortunes after the central government started allowing small-scale private businesses. most have capitalized on foreign investment, mainly from china. they can be seen buying imported goods by the bag fulls. and even buying tablet computers. even though one unit costs five times the average monthly salary. >> translator: pyongyang has changed a great deal. or comrade kim jung un is producing results. >> reporter: but then there is the area the government doesn't want you to see. driving out of the capital is like going back in time.
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the road turns from paved to bumpy. instead of cars, there are carts and vehicles. most people still rely on bicycles to travel around. but most officials don't talk about these issues. they'd rather focus on what they say is a country's rising wage, and government policies that have stimulated economic growth. about this area three hours from pyongyang, currently being built by 10,000 soldiers and students. officials say it's expected to be completed this year. it will boast 11 ski slopes, and
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a hotel. >> translator: this resort aims to be profitable. but it's also a place where north koreans, including the young, can enjoy skiing. >> reporter: and there's this project, already complete. a suite with an ocean view at this beach resort costs $262 for a night. >> translator: we came from pyongyang. >> translator: i feel very good. people can enjoy themselves at resorts like this, thanks to the profound love of our leader kim jong-un. >> reporter: these are north koreans lucky enough to benefit. officials want to give the impression the entire country is booming.
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but the contrast between the capital and countryside suggests a different story. nhk world, pyongyang. a people tested by history, artists who capture the imaginations of audiences everywhere. these are the faces of south korea. nhk world updates you on what's happening across the peninsula, wednesday and thursday, here on "newsline." the company in charge of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant says it's safely disposed of 7 million tons of rainwater accumulated over the past two days. severe tropical storm man-yi lashed the area with heavy rains on sunday and monday. officials at tokyo electric power company said the rain accumulated inside barriers around storage tanks for radioactive wastewater. they released the water onto the
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nearby soil. >> translator: the workers didn't release the water directly into drainage ditches that lead to the sea. we've determined that it's rainwater and are dealing with it accordingly. >> tepco officials say the levels of radioactive substances in the water were below the government set limit of 30 becquerels per liter. they say they will look at ways to keep rainwater from accumulating during future storms. meanwhile, more and more groundwater that flows into the plant's compound is becoming contaminated. and government officials have held a briefing for potential bidders on projects to deal with that massive buildup. officials explained a plan to create a wall of frozen soil around the reactors to block groundwater from getting in or out. it will measure about 1.4 kilometers around, and about 30 meters deep. the officials say the structure must withstand any rapid flow of groundwater and still be
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effective in places where there is plumbing. they also outlined a project to reduce radioactive substances in the tainted water. they told the firms they need equipment that can treat 500 tons of water a day. it has to drastically cut levels of 62 types of radioactive materials in the water. it will also need to reduce the amount of radioactive waste to one-fifth, compared to current amounts. the government is earmarking about $210 million in reserve funds from this year's budget to deal with the problem. japan's industry minister says people should stop focusing on isolated problems at the plant and look at the overall picture. they say the leaks at fukushima daiichi do not pose a threat to the environment outside the compound. he was responding to criticism of comments by prime minister shinzo abe. abe assured members of the international olympic committee that the situation at fukushima daiichi is under control. but a tepco official
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contradicted that view. they said the radioactive water is affecting only a limited area inside the plant's port. >> translator: the government is taking the initiative in tackling the problem. it's pushing preventive and multi-layered measures to ensure the sea is not affected. >> he said offshore radioactive levels are well within safety standards. some japanese writers are proposing a plan to tighten security around national secrets. they could restrict the public's right to know. senior members of the japan pen club are calling on the government to abandon the bill. it proposes jail terms of up to ten years for people who divulge state secrets. the writers say this could
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intimidate reporters and whistle blowers and violate the freedom of the press. they say the bill is unclear about what types of information would be covered. >> translator: if the current laws are properly applied, they are sufficient to protect secrets related to national security. a new law would invite abuse. >> the writers say secrecy laws in most other countries are balanced out with freedom of information legislation, but they say japan is lagging behind in this respect. u.s. consumer prices rose in august for a fourth straight month. the increase was mainly due to medical care costs. the u.s. labor department says the consumer price index grew on a seasonally adjusted basis of 0.1% last month from july. the pace of increase was slower
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than in july, when it edged up 0.2%. in august the cpi increased 1.5% from a year earlier. in july it advanced 2%. some market analysts speculate the fed could take the latest data into consideration in reviewing its stimulus program at its policy meeting on tuesday. the japanese government is considering tax cuts for corporate capital investment as one of its growth strategies. but economy minister hinted on a cut in corporate tax if that's not enough to boost the economy. motegi made a speech to investors on tuesday. he expressed hopes of increasing capital investment to over $700 billion in the next three years. that's the level prior to the collapse of the u.s. investment bank lehman brothers five years ago. the government has said it will compile tax reform ideas by the end of this year. cabinet adviser said finance ministry officials should become
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more positive about lowering the corporate tax. other-wise he says investors will take their money out of japan and put it in caribbean countries, singapore, britain and south korea. internet firm yahoo! japan has produced a solid plastic object with a 3-d printer, when a computer search is made. this is how the technology works. if the word horse is spoken into the machine, for instance, it searches for a drawing of the animal on the internet. in about 15 minutes it produces a three-dimensional object of the object that can fit in the palm of the hand. japan dubbed this process hands-on search. it plans to install the equipment at a school in tokyo for people with special needs. the company will study how visually impaired children make internet searches. it plans to establish a special website that will provide a list of objects children are
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particularly curious about. currently only about 100 three-d data models are on the internet and they plan to ask companies and other organizations to provide more. japanese firms are starting to use 3-d printers as an easy means to produce pilot versions of their new products. yahoo! will study how to apply the technology to educational purposes. here are the latest market figures.
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united nations inspectors have handed in a long-awaited report op the use of the chemical weapons in syria. they found what they called clear and convincing evidence that such weapons were used to attack civilians. secretary ban ki-moon said the report makes for chilling reading. >> chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale. this was a grave crime. and those responsible must be brought to justice as soon as possible. >> syrian opposition leaders say last month government forces used poisoned gas to attack their neighborhoods, in the suburbs of damascus. hundreds of people were killed. the investigators interviewed survivors. they collected blood and urine samples. and they checked the soil for chemicals. they reported that almost all samples tested positive for the nerve gas sarin. they concluded that
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surface-to-surface rockets were used in the attack. they did not say which side used them. but u.s., british and french envoys say the report left no doubt that the government of syrian president bashar al assad was responsible. >> we have associated one type of munition c in the u.n. report, 122 millimeter rockets with previous regime attacks. >> u.s. and russian officials brokered a deal over the weekend that could invoke military strikes on syria. they must eliminate them by next year. u.s. and china are preparing to put their heads together on two ongoing issues. secretary of state john kerry will host foreign minister wan gi to discuss the situations in syria and also north korea. they will meet in washington on thursday. they'll reportedly talk about how to deal with syria's
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chemical weapons, and north korea's nuclear program. the u.s. says it could still launch strikes against syria if the government doesn't give up its chemical stockpile. china hasn't made its position clear. kerry and wang will also discuss north korea's nuclear ambition. china has been trying to revive the six-party talks on the north's nuclear program at the urging of pyongyang, but the u.s., japan and south korea say the north has to take concrete steps toward denuclearization before they'll negotiate. iranian leaders have given another sign that they're trying to ease tensions with the global community. a senior official has pledged greater cooperation with the international atomic energy agency. the head of iran's nuclear body spoke in vienna at the iaea's annual meeting. >> i've come here with the message of my newly elected president to further enhance and
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expand our ongoing cooperation with the agency. and with the aim to put an end to the so-called iranian nuclear firm. >> iran's president has pledged to smooth ties with world powers. officials hope to ease sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program. but said iran would never compromise its right to peaceful nuclear development. u.s. energy secretary said words have to be followed by concrete action. representatives from iran and the iaea are scheduled to hold talks on friday next week. populous, prosperous, pushing ahead. china's rise, wealth, power and problems. an income gap divides its people. pollution threatens their health and disputed seas strain relations with its neighbors. find out about the challenges china faces. on "newsline."
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the dispute over the senkaku islands has brought relations between china and japan to the lowest points since 1972. the political tensions have had an impact on the number of japanese tourists visiting china. but it hasn't deterred chinese citizens from coming to japan. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the centuries-old forbidden city is a popular sight in beijing. but take a look, and you don't see any japanese visitors. they said it's been this way for almost a year. >> translator: it's so bad, business is down 80% to 90%. i'm making no money at all. my business is almost in the red. >> reporter: they want to bring
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japanese groups to china. but as relations remain tense between the countries, fewer japanese are choosing to come. on the other hand, chinese businesses a businesses for tours in japan are seeing a rebound in business. in the past two months, japan's embassy in beijing has issued a 10% more tourism business compared to the same time last year. >> translator: political relations between china and japan are not so good. but that has no impact at the grass roots level. >> reporter: it's not just for holidays. japan is still attracting many young chinese wanting to stay for an extended time.
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last month, this boy began studies at this school. it's part of an exchange program set up by the japanese government to promote mutual understanding between the countries. he said he wants to learn more about japanese culture. >> translator: we have japanese an eime in china. >> translator: yes, we do. >> reporter: he wants to put his previous four years of japanese language studies to good use. his dream is to make a contribution to china-japan relations. >> translator: i am sure that i can become a bridge that links the people of japan and china.
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>> translator: i was expecting him to be anti-japanese, but he's eager to learn all he can about japan. and his japanese is good. this experience has taught me not to be misled by what others say. >> reporter: this expert says people like liu are just what japan and china need. >> translator: the scale of misunderstanding may grow as time goes by. but exchanges are taking place between people from the two countries on a daily basis. those people deserve our attention. i think they should have more prominence. >> reporter: so why the governments of japan and china continue to seek ways to mend ties. some people are already forging ahead. improving relations and
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understanding, to mend some ties. nhk world. fair skies in japan after a storm. for more we turn to meteorologist robert speta. robert? >> let's first start talking about the dry air that moved in across the area over the weekend. it made landfall monday morning, towards the southwest of tokyo. you see on the satellite picture, quickly rushing off to the northeast. still kicking up waves if you're around camp chaka in far eastern russia. it does look like waves up there about eight meters high, gusty winds. this high pressure is just swoopg right in. this is ushering in dry air. humidity below 30% expected going into wednesday out here. that's the lowest since the beginning of june. so just starting to show a little bit more fall-like. does look like drier advisories in place for western japan. farther off to the west, we'll be seeing warm air come in along
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the tropics with this high pressure. it's also going to be kicking up rain showers from northeastern china to southwestern china as well. flood threat here. the bigger picture, at least the bigger story is in the tropics. tropical storm usagi, actually strengthened over the past seral hours. track starting to shift a little bit, farther to the northwest as well. earlier i was mentioning that cone of air. well, it does look like it's starting to switch a little off to the north, into southern taiwan. very well could see a landfall. but the air is still there. if you're still here in northern luzon, keep a close eye on this. it's still going to be a big rain maker out here. philippines, you have the enhanced monsoonal flow. also, tropical depression expected to become a tropical storm moving to vietnam and indochina peninsula you'll be seeing heavy rain showers through the coming days. over towards the americas, remember last week, we had the
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severe flooding throughout much of colorado. good news, fair weather is working in. clear skies popping up overhead. but that heavy rain has shifted farther towards the east across the central plains. we'll be seeing rain showers out here. what's pushing it farther to the east is the strong southwesterly winds that are very dry across much of the desert southwest. we have fire weather warnings in place across much of utah, nevada, southern california, even portions of arizona. that really dry air pushing through here, sometimes gusting up to 80 kilometers per hour, will bring the risk of wildfires. if they do develop, they could spread rapidly. farther to the northeast, if you want cooler weather, these are the lows on tuesday. take a look at this, buffalo with a high of 4. toronto with a 4. new york, just getting down to 9. it's feeling very fall, almost winter-like out here. frost and freeze advisories in place. if you want to go somewhere warm through the overnight hours, miami is the place to be. unfortunately all of florida, the florida peninsula is going
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to be seeing rain showers and thunderstorms throughout the next several days. now, as we take a look over towards europe, the big topic here is the strong low pressure area continuing to kick up the winds across the scandinavian peninsula, down to the low country. you'll be expecting between 70 to 100 kilometer per hour winds out here. wind advisories extending all the way down towards the northern portions of the balkan peninsula. that's going to continue to remain here. rain showers expected around this low. it is ushering in cooler temperatures, though. take a look at london's high, just at 15. paris at 16. the warm spot on the map is in the iberian peninsula, with a high of 30. that's a look at your world weather. here's your extended forecast.
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that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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though it's autumn according to the calendar, the summer heat still persists in ohara, kyoto. but autumn's colors have already started to paint the fields and mountains.

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