♪ welcome to "newsline." it's friday march 20th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. tunisian authorities have detained nine men on suspicion of involvement in the deadly museum attack in the capital tunis. gunmen opened fire on foreign tourists at the national bardo museum on wednesday. then they barged into the building and took hostages. the siege ended when security forces stormed the facility and shot dead two of the assailants. people gathered at the museum on thursday to lay flowers and light candles. government officials earlier said 23 people were killed.
but they later revised the number to 21 to exclude the gunman. authorities said 47 people were wounded. european union leaders observed a minute of silence at the beginning of their meeting in brussels. >> we need to be absolutely clear about what we face. this is the latest example of extremist terror. and we have to fight it with everything we have. >> a statement purportedly issued by the islamic state group appeared online thursday claiming responsibility for the attack. it described the gunmen as the group's fighters. it also suggested the possibility of more attacks. tunisia's president told a french tv station that the dead gunmen are linked to an islamic extremist group called ansar al sharia in tunisia. the organization is said to be associated with al qaeda. the president has not mentioned any connection between the gunmen and the islamic state group.
authorities beefed up the security in tunisia's capital a day after the worst attack the country has seen in more than a decade. officials say they are deploying soldiers on the streets to guard against another assault. japanese police have sent specially trained officers to tunis. the terror response team will look into the deaths of the japanese tourists in the museum attack. >> translator: i strongly condemn such unforgivable violence. i feel anger over the unjust despicable terror attack. >> members of the police unit will work with officials from the foreign ministry. the national police agency set up the team in 1998 following the hostage crisis at the japanese ambassador's residence in peru. the team was sent to jordan in january when two japanese citizens were taken hostage and believed to be killed by islamic state militants. people in japan are looking
back and remembering a painful day in their history. friday marks the 20th anniversary of the sarin gas attack on the tokyo subway system. 13 people were killed and about 6,300 others were hurt. members of the aum shinrikyo religious cult carried out at salt on march 20th, 1995. their target was the government district in tokyo. two days later police searched the group's main compound in yamanashi prefecture. japan's national police agency or mpa mentioned the lessons learned from investigating the attack in a report issued the following year. it pointed out police had not thought about the use of highly toxic sarin gas in crimes and lacked expertise. afterward chemical terrorism units were formed in nine prefectures. the mpa also set up a forensic section on chemical warfare
agents at its national research institute of police science. one month after the attack the nation's first law was enacted to ban possession of the raw materials used to manufacture sarin. a japanese counterterrorism expert noted police have made great strides in anti-terrorism measures. >> translator: young people don't know anything about the assault. i think they need to understand what really happened. we should explain what the chemical terror attack was like. >> itabashi says a full review of the subway attack is needed to help educate future generations. engineers decommissioning japan's fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have been given a clue to help solve a big mystery. they need to remove melted fuel from inside the crippled reactors but so far they haven't been able to find it. new x-ray-like photos of one of
the reactors confirmed the nuclear fuel has melted through the core. highlighting the seriousness of the sish. three of the plant's six reactors suffered meltdowns in the march 2011 accident. extremely high radiation levels have prevented experts from going inside to find the molten fuel. since february, they have been observing a type of elementary particle called a muon to get a peek inside the reactor. muons are created when cosmic rays hit the earth's atmosphere. experts viewed the particles passing through the building to create images of the fuel in the same way an x-ray works. and they've released this image. the white part in the center is the containment vessel. when compared with the diagram of the structure, it appears there's no fuel inside the nuclear core. on the right, a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel looks black, indicating the existence of fuel.
>> translator: i hope the result can be helpful to decommission the reactors. >> experts say it's harder to remove molten fuel which is no longer in the core. some japanese government officials are calling on their country to join a development bank proposed by china. they say it would help promote infrastructure exports. but leaders in tokyo remain cautious about how the new institution would be managed. officials with china's finance ministry say the asian infrastructure investment bank or aiib will help developing countries in asia, and they say on thursday luxembourg applied to be the 32nd country to sign on. french, german, and italian leaders announced two days prior their intentions to join. japan's chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga says it's unclear how the aiib will share its role with the nations development bank which is currently used by his nation and the u.s. leaders in tokyo will exchange
information with their counterparts in washington before making a decision. it is time now for the alatest in business news with ai uchida. ai, good morning. what's the latest? >> good morning, catherine. i want to start with currencies and stocks, catherine. it is the last day of the week, and it's been a pretty up and down week for both those stocks stocks and currencies. overnight u.s. stock prices were mostly down, and that is after we saw gains on wednesday. and that followed the federal reserve statement that it's in no rush to raise its key interest rate. the dow jones industrial average ending at 17,959. that's down 2/3 percent. but the dollar bounced back. to see how markets here are reacting let's go to ramin mellegard. he's standing by at the tokyo stock exchange. ramin, good morning. how are tokyo markets opening? >> very good morning to you, a. ai. looks like investors pulled back a little bit after fully digesting the fed's announcement during this week. let's have a look at how the
nikkei and the topix are kicking off here. they're both in the positive right now. they actually started in the negative. so we're seeing a little bit of a rebound here. and the nikkei on thursday actually retreated from 15-year highs as investors booked profit on recent gains. the dollar as we've been talking about, it tumbled against major currencies but later did regain some of that ground. as i reported yesterday, our analysts say the u.s. currency will maintain its bullish trend for the time being. so exporters here can still expect really a weaker yen or a stronger dollar, if you will to help their bottom lines. ai? >> and ramin, we did see the dollar fluctuate quite a bit on concerns, and that was on the fed's outlook for the u.s. economy. where do some of the key pairs stand now? >> definitely. we did see a lot of volatility. traders taking on some big bets on currency moves before the fed announcement and the fed said it was in no rush to raise rates. and that really caused the dollar to plummet on wednesday.
looking at the euro-dollar right now, 1.0668. but before the fed meeting the euro-dollar was around 1.005. it then swung to 1.10 against the dollar. but the dollar posting its biggest one-day fall against a single currency since december 2008. of course it's now back on track toward parity against the euro according to analysts. now, against the yen the u.s. currency didn't come back so strongly. we did see it flip around from the mid-121 yen levels before the fed meeting to upper 119-yen levels. now, as you can see, it's at the upper 120 level. a lot of volatility there. and exporters will definitely be watching dollar-yen movements. ai. >> and ramin, in the euro zone spotlight once again on greece in its meeting with creditors. how are markets reacting? >> the greek question keeps coming up. a lot of concern for investors. looking at the weaker euro and also some of the bond yields it looks like investors are still
very much concerned about that area. you're looking at german ten-year government bond yields which hit record lows. investors really on alert for a possible exit of greece from the eurozone. traders also selling off the euro. so a lot of concerns here. back here in japan we're going to keep an eye on the cabinet office assessment of japan's economy. as we're seeing improvements in production and corporate earnings and all of those will be considered for the march report next monday. also perhaps the effect of shares on smaller companies. we've been talking about wage increases and prime minister shinzo abe of course also pushing smaller companies to raise wages. as he's already done with some of the big major companies is up as toyota. so we'll watch out for that sector as well. but for now that's all for me. i'll have another update in a few hours. back to you, ai. >> sounds-g ramin. we will talk to you then. well auto industry officials in japan expect a bit of a bumpy road ahead. they say domestic car sales in
the coming fiscal year will dip below the 5 million mark for the first time in four years. those at the japan automobile manufacturers association say they predict domestic sales of 4.9 million vehicles in fiscal 2015. that would be down 5.4% from the projection for the current fiscal year. that runs until the end of this month. officials say a hike in the tax on mini vehicles will likely put a dent in sales. mini vehicles have engines no bigger than 660 ccs. their low costs have made them hot sellers, helping bolster the market. the association says a moderate recovery in japan's economy won't be enough to blunt the impact of the tax hike. that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with another check on markets. ♪
♪ ♪ japanese and chinese officials in charge of diplomacy and defense are trying to build trust. they didn't hold security talks in four years because of differences over islands and perceptions of history. now they've gathered in tokyo and discussed their concerns. >> translator: relations between japan and china are gradually improving. thanks partly to a bilateral summit. but each side still has concerns about the other's security policies. the best way to address those
concerns is to meet face to face and hold discussions. >> translator: we hope both sides will be able to nurture trust and cooperation here through frank and constructive discussions. >> chinese delegates said they're worried leaders in tokyo are designing security legislation to counter china. the japanese said their new laws will help build world peace and don't target any particular country. they said their concern is china's growing defense budget. they called on leaders in beijing to be more transparent in the way they allocate money. the chinese said they're pursuing purely defensive policies for the sake of peaceful national development. the delegations touched on plans for communications to prevent incidents at sea and in the air. they agreed to put those plans into action soon. they also promised to gather for dialogue more often.
chinese leaders are reviving an ancient trade route that linked the orient with europe. they're building a railway along the silk road. and they're hoping the new transportation links will boost their economy. people in a city at one end of the line are already feeling the benefits. nhk world's kunihiro yamamoto has more. >> reporter: many people come to chengdu to see one of china's best-known animals. the government turned this research institute into a tourist attraction. local authorities have appointed 11 special tour guides since last year. they've been transferred from other jobs at the institute. xiu jing is a former police officer. she has studied pandas intensively. she can answer almost any question a tourist might ask her.
>> translator: how can a mother distinguish her own child? >> translator: pandas locate their babies through their extremely sensitive sense of smell. but what really makes them special is how they will take care of babies that are not even their own. >> reporter: the guides play an additional role. they promote other attractions of chengdu. >> translator: not only do we teach what we know about pandas we also recommend chengdu's special serb juans juan cuisine restaurants and other tourist attractions. >> reporter: chengdu is one of the city in the government's plan. the plan is to develop areas along the ancient route and boost tourism. chengdu is famous as the starting point for the silk road. this mall opened in january. its wide public spaces offer shoppers an escape from their
hectic lives. the facades of old buildings convey a historic atmosphere. >> translator: it's fun to shop here because there's a good range of stuff and i like the building's old look. >> reporter: another attraction is set to open this june. it will showcase the history of the silk road. before the redevelopment this farming village was one of the poorest parts of chengdu. the silk museum will include displays on the history of silk and offer silk products for sale. all the employees are former residents of the village. as well as giving them jobs the project has built new homes for them.
this man is a model of the new employee. he works at the silk museum as a security guard. government leaders are pouring money into this project. they want to turn it into a showcase for the silk road development plans. they took his farmland and gave him a three-bedroom apartment and 20,000 u.s. dollars. he says his life has changed completely. >> regional development is a huge blessing for us. >> reporter: a city official says tourism is an essential part of the future. >> translator: chengdu has a rich variety of tourist attractions. if we make the most of all our resources, we can turn this into an attractive city for tourists.
>> reporter: in ancient times the silk road was at the center of china's economic development. now it's changing the country's inland regions again. kunihiro yamamoto, nhk world, chengdu. a falling boulder struck tourists at a scenic river in southern china, killing seven and injuring at least 19. china's state-run xinhua news agency says a huge rock fell from the mountainside along the li river. the river runs through guilin city in an autonomous region. local media say the falling rock measured roughly three meters in diameter. the boulder struck tourists waiting at a boat pier. the rocky hillsides along the river provide a scenic cruise that's popular with visitors. the incident occurred in the dietsai mountain area which is prone to falling rocks. >> populous. prosperous. pushing ahead.
china's rise brought it wealth power, and problems. an income gap divides its people. pollution threatens their health. and differences and strained relations with its neighbors. find out the challenges china faces. on "newsline." a team of japanese-canadian baseball players have visited japan on a double mission. they came to discover their heritage and pay tribute to the team that helped their ancestors settle into a new home an ocean away. nhk world's yuji osawa has more. >> one, two, three! >> reporter: a teenage baseball team has arrived from vancouver. all of its members are japanese canadians. [ cheers ] >> go! >> reporter: the squad was created last year to mark the centenary of a team that played a very special role for the japanese community in canada.
the vancouver asahi was formed in 1914 by second-generation immigrants. at the time foreign workers faced different types of discrimination. wages were low and employment prospects limited. 94-year-old koichi kamishi is the only surviving member of the baseball team. >> translator: the team traveled to many places for friendly games as we wanted people to understand japanese immigrants. we wanted to become friends with white canadians. >> reporter: the squad's success became a source of pride for the community and it was famous for its spirit of fair play. from 1937 the vancouver asahi won the pacific northwest championship five consecutive times.
an achievement that contributed to their induction in the canadian baseball hall of fame. japan's attack on pearl harbor marked the end of an era. canadian authorities interned all people of japanese descent and the team was forced to disband. the 100th anniversary of the vancouver asahi gave the japanese-canadian community an opportunity to reconnect with its roots. it formed the canadian nikkei youth baseball club and revived the asahi logo. >> it's very important they understand where they came from and the traditions associated with it. >> i think i just want to open their horizons to see just a different way of life a different culture and expectations, and mannerisms and things like that.
>> reporter: during their recent japan tour the players did their best to live up to the vancouver asahi's reputation and showed proper respect towards the other team. >> it's an honor to me to play for the asahi. to grow more and expand and so more people know about like the significance of the team and what we're about. >> reporter: more than a century after their ancestors left japan these teenagers are rediscovering their heritage and building new bridges between canada and japan. yuji osawa, nhk world. it is time now for a check of the weather. people in northeastern australia are dealing with the effects of a powerful storm.
cyclone nathan hit the coastline, delivering strong gusts. mai shoji joins us with more in world weather. >> yes, we have been keeping an eye, very close eye on tropical cyclone nathan because it is a powerful system as we have been reporting. it has made landfall approximately friday morninging local time in the queensland coast of australia. it's still spinning over land masses as a category 3, still bringing very stormy conditions out here. the good news i can give you is that this area is not significantly populated and the system is going to be quickly moving over land picking up its pace. which means it's not going to be accumulating a lot of that rainfall. still throughout friday we've probably seen about 300 millimeters of rainfall just north of cooktown. people here in cooktown, more than 500 residents are lost without power. that's going to pull it into the gulf intensify a little bit further, again before it hits the top end. again, it's not a significantly populated area. still the stormy conditions will
all be affecting these areas. so please watch out for that and take precautions immediately. now, across california we've only been seeing about 25% of rainfall accumulation for the month, and we're likely to see the exceptional drought conditions continue across the southern areas. we have some images coming up to show you the situation out here. action is being taken to combat one of the most potent droughts in recorded history for the state of california. lawmakers in the state announced thursday a $1 billion package to deal with looming concern of water running low in many reservoirs and canals. this comes days after new rules were put in place to conserve water supplies. for example, irrigation of yards is not to be done during rainstorms and several days after. obviously, if you have that rain, significant amounts of rainfall, you don'trail need to have that water running. but looks like we're actually
going to get that rain a little bit down toward the east and the south in the lower four corners region. could be an amount as much as 130 millimeters. that's not going to be welcomed in the area where it's prone to flooding, especially low-lying areas here in southern texas. up to about 130 millimeters could be adding up into the next 24. and out toward the southern rockies that's going to be precipitation in the form of snowfall up to about 25 centimeters likely. but where we want that precipitation really not getting any for the foreseeable future. so the drought conditions will be persisting. out here across the new england states the big cities such as new york washington, d.c. boston could get as much as 20 centimeters of snowfall. so you've got snow in the forecast for new york just 2 degrees for your high. out in winnipeg minus 5 degrees. but looking really nice in denver at 20. now, here across eastern continental asia the big news is the yellow sand coming from the deserts. it is going to be pulling into
the korean peninsula by saturday, and by sunday it will be reaching japan, covering much of central areas as well. so if you have any respiratory problems, we highly advise you to wear your mask if you are going to be out and about. down here in southern china 30 millimeters of additional rainfall will be found along the yangtze river. shanghai 14 degrees with rain in the forecast. tokyo 17 for the high today. we're likely to see? gray conditions partly sunny skies all throughout our weekend. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast. ♪ ♪
>> garrison keillor: maxine kumin lives on a farm in new hampshire where she breeds arabian and quarter horses writing poetry, four novels, more than 20 children's books. she says, "i don't want to write poems that aren't necessary. i want to write poems that matter." >> this is a little one called after love. afterward, the compromise. bodies resume their boundaries. these legs, for instance, mine. your arms take you back in. spoons of our fingers, lips admit their ownership. the bedding yawns, a door blows aimlessly ajar and overhead, a plane singsongs coming down. nothing is changed, except there