hello, and thank you for joining us on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradham in tokyo. engineers at the crippled nuclear plant in northeastern japan are using some advanced decommissioning technology. they want to see inside the reactors at fukushima daiichi but it's too dangerous for humans. so for first time they've sent a robot into one of the containment vessels. three of the reactors suffered a meltdown after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. they haven't determined the extent of damage or located the melted fuel. high levels of radiation are hampering efforts.
a remote controlled robot was inserted into the number one reactor containment vessel through a pipe. the snake-like machine is designed to move around obstacles. they were unable to move the robot after it traveled ten meters. they suspect the remote control cable is stuck or the drive belts are not functioning properly. but they say they were able to conduct checks on 14 of 18 areas inside the reactors and the engineers say they've been able to receive images and radiation data gathered by the robot. until now they have used computer simulations of what is going on inside of the reactor. they've collected date that that indicates the melted fuel has fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel. people have flocked to a beach northeast of tokyo to take part in a wildlife rescue. they're trying to save 160 stranded dolphins. the animals are called melon-headed whales. they're two to three meters long.
reports say they are injured and getting weaker. people living near the beach spotted them and alerted the coast guard. residents and surfers tried to get the animals back to the ocean and did their best to keep them comfortable. >> translator: i'm throwing water on them, trying to encourage them. that's all i can do. >> translator: i want to get them back in the ocean as soon as possible. >> some dolphins got a boat ride from police and coast guard officers. they went back in the ocean ten kilometers off shore. some of the others died on the beach. locals buried them. experts say a mass stranding in this area is unusual. >> translator: melon-headed whales usually live in warm water. i suspect they somehow turned away from a warm ocean current and were panicked by a threat. they ended up on a shallow beach. that's a place where their ultrasound doesn't work well.
>> rescuers are taking a rest during night and they plan to continue their operation in the morning. japanese authorities say a growing number of temples and shrines have been vandalized. they say an oily liquid has been found on many world renowned cultural assets and they promise to tighten security at several locations. officials at todaiji temple in nara prefecture western japan say they found stains on the pedestal of the great buddha. it's a registered unesco world heritage site and a major tourist attraction. similar oily stains were found on the fence in front of a statue at the gate. they are attribute to two master sculptors. it's listed as a national treasure. >> translator: i don't understand why people have to destroy or maim beautiful things. it's just no reason to do that.
>> nhk has learned 24 temples and shrines in at least six prefectures have been targeted. similar stains were found in february in the hallway of nijo castle in kyoto. they used a solvent to remove the oil and they say the work took more than ten days to complete. security has been increased at a number of sites. at a temple also in keyyoto official joined officials to patrol the grounds and vicinity. bullish investors sent japan's stock market past the key milestone. the benchmark nikkei index touched the 20,000 level for first time in 15 years. they're buying up shares on expectations that companies will be posting stronger earnings. the nikkei has been inching steadily closer to the 20,000
mark in recent weeks and it finally crossed over on friday soon after the markets opened. it didn't stay there for long show. book profits and that caused it to close down 0.15% at 19907 ending three days of gains. we asked market analysts for their views on the stock rally. >> translator: share prices are rising on improvements in corporate performance and the economy. i think investors are optimistic. they believe companies can create a virtuous economic cycle. better performance will lead to more capital investment and rising wages. these will again expand their earnings. >> buko says he expects the nikkei to keep climbing creating more investment and benefiting the real economy. others are less optimistic and warning the market may be
overheating. >> translator: based on recent economic data i don't see any factors that explain such a strong nikkei advance. once investors look at the lackluster reality of the state of the economy, share prices will enter a correction phase. >> he sites vent data showing sales at convenience stores and supermarkets are declining. people in britain are looking forward to an oil bonanza. they're said to have found billions of barrels of reserves near london and they say the discovery is the biggest in the country in 30 years. staff at u.k. oil and gas investments say they hit pay dirt near gatwick airport. they claim the reserves are double what the north sea has produced over the past 40 years. and they say up to 15% can be
recovered. they believe that's enough to meet 10 to 30% of britain's demand by 2030. experts predict oil production in the north sea will decline. british media are describing the site of the discovery as a new dallas. people in thailand have been remembering victims of political violence. they gathered on the fifth anniversary of a military crackdown on anti-government protesters and they honored 90 people who got killed. a japanese diplomat joined locals to lay flowers. he was remembering hiroyuki muramoto, a photographer who lost his life in the violence. he pointed out thai authorities have not determined who's responsible for the killings. >> we are waiting for the conclusion of the inquiry made by the court. so we are waiting for the conclusion.
>> translator: a sad event took place because of conflicts of opinion in thailand. i think this should be resolved. >> soldiers cracked down on protesters in 2010 on orders from the government of then prime minister ab hiss it vejjajiva. the group that launched the demonstrations are still at odds. officials in tokyo are trying to arrange a meeting between the defense ministers of japan and south korea. they're hoping to set a date for next month. the last time defense chiefs from the countries met was about four years ago. defense minister gen nakatani said he hopes to meet with han min-koo in may in singapore. >> translator: the north korean missile program poses a serious threat. we want to enhance cooperation
with south korea in dealing with such issues. >> nakatani says he hopes to discuss signing a pact on sharing security intelligence. he says he also wants to explain the government's plan to revise japan's security laws. nakatani noted senior defense and foreign affairs officials from the countries are to meet next week. he said arrangements are also being made for a meeting of defense officials in japan, the u.s. and south korea. north korean authorities are condemning what they see as an airborne propaganda attack. people in the south sent balloons carrying dvds of a movie about a fictional plot to kill kim jong-un. officials in pyongyang posted a statement online. they say sending the balloons was equivalent of proclamation of war and they said they'll respond with a powerful blow. people in the south also used balloons last october to send
pamphlets criticizing the government. and they fired bullets across the border and warned south koreans living near the border to evacuate when they learned of the plan to launch dvd balloons. a japanese think tank says china is pushing forward with military reforms with a view to enhance its actual combat capabilities. the national institute for defense studies has released the annual report on the security situation in east asia. the report claims chinese president xi jinping's emphasis on the pursuit of active foreign policy is driving the government's unilateral hardline stance abroad. it said this can be seen through china's establishment of a zone over the east china sea. it cites the deployment of an oil rig in waters off the south china sea that are also claimed by vietnam. the report also indicates the chinese military under xi's leadership is pushing forward with reforms aimed at enhancing
its combat capabilities. it says chinese troops have taken part in multiple exercises that envision actual warfare. that's in contrast with past drills which were based on a hypothetical scenario. the makers of a popular japanese school bag are seeing sales of their product soar outside the country. they're cashing in on the popularity of the bags with children in china. and they're hoping it will help improve their bottom line for years to come. nhk reports. >> reporter: the international terminal at tokyo's haneda airport. many tourists like to visit the duty-free shops here before they fly home. in this shop, a section is devoted to japanese school bags. more and more people are buying them as souvenirs on their visit to japan. the bags are especially popular
with children from china who have seen them in james manga and anime programs. >> translator: i love red color. i'm so happy to have it. >> reporter: in the past few years, japanese school bags have also been available in china. at this department store in shanghai they sell for $160 to $500 where in china they sell for $30 or less. this boy lives about one hour's drive from shanghai. he's in second grade now. he has used the japanese school bag since he entered elementary school.
>> translator: it's really easy to use. >> reporter: his family has an average income. so the school bag was a big purchase for them. but his mother decided to get one for her son after hearing that they can stand up to wear and tear for years. >> translator: it was a bit expensive, but it's a once in a lifetime purchase. so i decided to get it. >> reporter: for the makers of these japanese school bags the potential of the chinese popularity is of greater interest to them. because of japan's dwindling birth rate they can't expect much interest in domestic sales. one long-stabbed bagmaker is planning to expand its sales in china by starting production there.
this man is in charge of marketing. >> translator: we're hoping to cut our prices to around half the current level. >> reporter: in february kita took part in an international trade show in shanghai to expand his sales network. it was his assessment that the customer base in china is much bigger than in japan. many young people visited the booth to look at the school bags. one chinese buyer asked him if the bags could be decorated with embroidery to increase the appeal to young people. recently the popular u.s. actress zooey deschanel started wearing one of the school bags. this has boosted their popularity among young people.
>> translator: girls really like this bag. this is for my younger sister, a university student. >> translator: i'm going to propose a new line of school bags that will meet the demands of customers in china. >> reporter: school bags like this have been used by children in japan for more than a century. now they are starting to find a new customer base abroad. reporting for nhk world. 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 over territory strain relations with its neighbors. finds out the challenges china faces on "newsline." u.s. president barack obama expressed concern about chinese officials pushing ahead with a
massive relak clamation project in the south china sea. he referred to china as using its size and muscle to push around smaller nations. patchari raksawong in bangkok has the details. >> president obama made the statement on the heels of a report saying china is rushing to reclaim territory in the spratly islands. it's claimed by both china and the philippines. >> where we get concerned with china is where it is not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions. >> he made this statement on thursday at a town hall meeting in jamaica ahead of a caribbean summit in panama. >> we think this can be solved
diplomatically, but just because philippines or vietnam are not as large as china doesn't mean that they can just be elbowed aside. >> the washington-based center for strategic and international studies has posted online photo images of mischief reef. they were taken on may 16th. they think artificial land formations and structures can be seen and new sea walls have appeared. the china foreign ministry strongly opposed the comment. they claim that the construction work force are within the scope of china's sovereignty. >> translator: you've said the u.s. leader said china is showing its size and muscle. i think everyone can see very clearly who in the world has the biggest size in muscle. but we've explained china's position on the south china sea many times.
i think you would agree with me that china has always been a resolute maintainer and advocate of peace and stability in the south china sea. >> china is scaling up its reclamation project around the spratly islands. they've already expanded to seven reefs. china claims almost all areas in the rich south china sea. $5 trillions in ship born trade passes through the south china sea every year. a 22-year-old pakistani rape victim accompanied malala when she received the nobel peace prize last year. she is campaigning to protect women's lives with the help of the nobel laureate. nhk world's masaki suda reports. >> reporter: karachi is pakistan's largest city. this girl fled there eight years
ago. she was forced to leave her home town when she was 13. she said she had been kidnapped on her way home from school and raped by her attackers. >> translator: the attackers used many weapons to threaten to kill me. i was taken to a strange place and raped. it was like the end of the world. >> reporter: she says traditional gathering of landlords and leaders sentenced her to death for having sex without being married. in the pakistani countryside, custom dictates that women cannot have sex outside of marriage or marry men who are not chosen by their families. women who break these taboos are killed by their relatives for tarnishing their family's reputations. their bodies are often buried in
wasteland. the practice is known as honor killing. >> translator: unclean women are buried here. they are not considered to have existed in this world. >> reporter: about 900 such killings were recognized last year. kaino's freedom is restricted. police escort her wherever she goes. she had to protect herself after she was attacked outdoors and in her apartment. five years ago her brother was abducted and shot dead. a major turning point came in november.
malala invited kaino to attend the peace prize ceremony. the ceremony was held in oslo a month later. kaino was one of the women who accompanied malala. >> this award is not just for me. kaino soomro who went through severe abuse and extreme violence, even her brother was killed but she did not succumb. i'm here to stand up for their rights, to lift their voice. >> reporter: kaino was moved by malala's courage and how she risked her life to campaign for girls' education. malala helped her to resume her studies for the first time in
eight years. in february kaino spoke at the rally on human rights. >> translator: unless everyone stands up and raises their voices, nothing will change. my courage is your courage and it will be pakistan's courage. >> reporter: kainat is determined to continue the fight against abusive traditions and put an end to honor killings. reporting for nhk world. >> that wraps up our bulletin, i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok.
♪ japan's emperor and empress have attended a memorial service on the pacific island nation of palau. they offered prayers to the thousands of japanese soldiers who died in fierce fighting against american troops during world war ii and among those at service was a man who survived the fighting. nhk world has his story. >> reporter: yoji kurata was still only a teenager when he found himself fighting in one of the fiercest battles of world war ii. now 88 years old, he's drawn up a list of names of his former comrades. he made the list on his own on the occasion of the emperor's visit. he was working for a marine research institute in palau when the war broke out in 1941. when u.s. troops landed on palau
in september 1944, he had been conscripted into the army. he was stationed on ongawa, an island in southern palau. there he was assigned to an artillery battalion. there were only about 1200 japanese soldiers on the island against 20,000 u.s. troops. many of his comrades died. >> translator: bullets rained down on us. it was like a scene from hell. soldiers all around me were pleading to be killed, begging for water. >> reporter: the japanese military launched its final attack about one month after the u.s. landing. but kurata had been severely wounded and could not take part. >> translator: they set out on a mission to die honorably. everyone who could move was ordered to take part.
i was left behind because i couldn't move. i wish they had dragged me along, but i couldn't go. >> reporter: for four months after the battle he wandered around the island often on the verge of starvation before he was taken prisoner. he was one of about only 50 japanese soldiers who survived. when he retired, he moved back to palau. he wanted to be near his fellow soldiers to console their spirits. in the years after the war, more than 20 monuments were erected by bereaved relatives and other groups, but 70 years on visitors from japan are now scarce. many of the memorials have been neglected. kurata has contacted the families and received their consent to move the monuments to a single location. he solicits donations for the
project but also pays out of his own pocket. >> translator: i want to set up a final resting place for all of my comrades who died on the island. that's all it is. i think that's the responsibility of the survivors. >> reporter: after the memorial ceremony on thursday the imperial couple took time to talk to kurata. >> translator: thank you for coming today. i would like to extend my deepest gratitude on behalf of my fellow friends. >> reporter: kurata says he will continue consoling his friends' spirits for as long as his strength allows. reporting for nhk world. next here's the three-day outlook on the weather around the globe.
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