hello there, and welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, april 16th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. transport ministry officials say they're learning more about what caused an accident at an airport in western japan. they say thes ian that airlines plane was flying at a normal altitude until one minute before landing in hiroshima. they are trying to figure out what caused an aircraft to drop suddenly. the aircraft, the accident occurred on tuesday evening local time. the airbus a320 hit a communications structure as it was coming in. when it finally touched down, the jet veered off the runway before coming to a stop.
the aircraft's wing and left side engine were severely damaged and 25 people were injured. authorities say the plane was at an altitude of 900 meters, two minutes before landing, at around 600 meters one minute before landing but then suddenly dropped to six meters. japan transport safety board officials have taken the flight and voice recorders from the plane as part of their investigation. they'll analyze data to find out why the south korean jet descended rapidly right before it touched down. people in south korea are preparing for a painful day of remembrance. thursday marks one year since a deadly ferry disaster. the families of victims visited the site of the accident ahead of the anniversary to mourn their lost loved ones. the sewol sank off the southern island of chindo. many of the victims were high school students on a class trip. 295 people died. nine are still listed as missing.
families of victims paid their respects on chindo. some boarded ships to visit the area where the ferry lies beneath the sea. parents tearfully called out the names of their children and threw flowers into the water. >> translator: i can't think of anything else when i think that my daughter is still inside the ferry. ♪ >> memorial ceremonies are scheduled to be held nationwide. the foreign ministers of a group of seven nations ended talks in germany. they've been discussing a range of issues over the past two days including china's increased maritime activities in the east and south china seas. the talks were held in the city of lubec. german foreign minister stein
mire results the results of the committee meeting. in a declaration on maritime security the ministers expressed concern about unilateral actions which could threaten the status we could and lead to increased intentions. the ministers are also opposed to any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through use of intimidation, coercion or force. in their joint communique, the ministers called on all sides involved in the ukraine crisis to implement their commitments under the minsk agreements. the document again called on russia to work toward a solution to the situation. the communique strongly condemned the islamic state group. it pointed to the need for comprehensive measures including economic and educational policies to prevent violent extremism from spreading. the foreign ministers also welcomed the framework agreement reached earlier this month by iran and six world powers on tehran's nuclear program. the document said they support the continuation of efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution by the end of june.
american authorities are trying to determine how a small open-air helicopter was able to land on the grounds of the u.s. congress building in washington. police say the one-man helicopter landed on wednesday afternoon on the west lawn. haider al abadi and many lawmakers were inside at the time. streets nearby were temporarily closed. a hazardous materials team were deployed to search for possible explosives but found none. the pilot did not have a special certificate to fly near the building and is now being held for questioning. chinese authorities announced the asian into structure investment bank will have 57 founding members. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. the bank is off to a good start? >> a lot of countries have come
on board but a few heavyweights have decided not to apply to join the aiib. japan and the u.s. declined the offer. they say the bank's governance lacks transparency. the u.s. treasury department will seek cooperation with the aiib. a senior department official told the media that treasury secretary jack lew will make the country's stance clear at a series of meetings in washington. the group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors opens thursday. the officials said it's clear that advancements in infrastructure are necessary in asia. and they want to work closely through joint financing. the u.s. is set to monitor the bank's management from the outside. analysts at standard and poor's have cut their rating on greece's government bond by one notch.
s&p analysts downgraded the rating from single b minus to triple c plus which means debt payments could fall behind. analysts say they expect greece's debt and other financial commitments could be unstainable. that's unless the country implements deep economic reforms or receives release. the government and financial institutions in greece could become tighter if support from other eurozone members become prolonged. in february greek officials agreed on a four-month extension of greece's bailout. but talks on the country's reform plan are facing difficulties. eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to immediate on friday next week to continue their discussions.
besides the downgrade on greek's sorn debt policies at the central bank agreed to keep their bond buying in place. the dax in germany was slightly higher. those all fuelled positive momentum on wall street. thedown jones central average and the nasdaq ended higher. so let's see how markets here are starting. ramin mellegard joins us from the tokyo stock exchange. what are you seeing at the open? >> even bad news is good news at in the markets following the weaker than expected production numbers from the u.s. analysts hoping that the fed may hold off on raising rates. let's look at the nikkei and the
topix. a mixed picture. the nikkei lower, the topix just a little bit in the positive. the nikkei ended on wednesday lower for a second time this week. but the losses have welcome been negligible. and because of the weaker yen and a lot of structural changes made by japanese companies in the last quarter and fiscal year. we should also watch out for a few speed bumps and that's really relating to earnings in the u.s. bank of america came out with less than spectacular -- let's call it that way -- earnings and in the chip circuit ersandisk dropped in after hour tradings. >> and the ecb, they left rates unchanged wednesday but we saw volatility in the currency markets.
what can you tell us about that? >> ups and down theres. the euro gained against the dollar after the weaker numbers in the u.s. but traders resold the euro on continued quantitative easing measures set by the ecb. it is now trading higher after the ecb president mario draghi's comments on the european economy. and the dollar is trading lower against the yen after the weak u.s. economic figures we just touched on obviously including industrial output and manufacturing activity in new york state. >> and back to the asia pacific there is a focus on australia this morning. >> a big focus on the jobs numbers. that's going to be the highlight for the morning. and that also follows a survey of consumer sentiment that showed sentiment falling below last year's average.
australian resource related shares have been hurt by a slowing demand in china or slowing growth in china and falling prices of a lot of industrial raw materials of which australia is one of the biggest producers. but right now a bit of a mixed opening for the nikkei and the topix. we'll see how that progresses back to you. >> thanks for that update. officials at japanese automaker toyota have announced their first major expansion overseas in years. they will build new plants in motion co and china, an investment worth more than $1.4 billion. the plant in mexico will be located in the state and workers will assemble 200,000 cars a year for the north american market. it will start operating in 2019. in china toyota will build a new facility and work will begin by the end of 2017. officials say the factory will eventually produce 100,000 new models small cars a year. the company's production
capacity in mexico will rise to 3.2 times the current level. in china, it will increase by about 10%. toyota froze building new plants after the 2008 global financial crisis. it instead improved productivity at existing facilities. but company officials say they decided to boost output on an expected increase in demand for cars in the u.s. and chinese markets. chinese tourists are on a global shopping spree and one of their favorite destinations is japan. retailers here are more than happy to see the influx, yet they're somewhat in the dark when it comes to the visitors' shopping habits. now they've started doing their homework. nhk world's kyoko fujita explains. >> reporter: chinese tourists are becoming a fixture on the streets of tokyo's shopping districts. they're snapping up a range of products from luxury watches to
rice cookers available only in japan. spending by mainland chinese tourists was on average 50% higher than by foreign visitors as a whole last year. the number coming to japan has grown nine-fold in the past decade including a 150% jump in 2014. a weaker yen and easing of visa requirements are giving a further boost. japanese company executives are eager to figure out the visitors' shopping behavior. people from about 50 firms attended a business seminar in tokyo. company managers are going to spend the next few hours trying to gain some insights into trends aamong chinese tourists. xu xiangdong is a managing
director of consultanc he said chinese travellers usually spend a lot because they get load up with requests by family and friends. >> translator: chinese tourists e ked buy things by friends who will evehand over japanese yen. tourists have a shopping list of items that must be purchased. >> reporter: xu explained that chinese travellers rely heavily on smartphones while shopping. in a typical case, a tourist arrives in japan, then gets on their phone toontact friends and family. they also check popularity rankings posted on the web to decide on their purchases. >> translator: this guy i know came to tokyo, he was asked by his wife in beijing on a smartphone to buy ten packages of cosmetics. >> reporter: xu advised managers to post information about their products on chinese social networking platforms.
he said people who buy the goods are likely to put reviews online, and that will help spread the word. >> translator: we still need to do a lot more to attract chinese tourists. the hard work begins now. >> translator: i'd like to take advantage of chinese social networking services to approach potential customers. >> translator: chinese puts a lot of weight on word-of-mouth rather than the mass media. japanese managers must understand chinese lifestyles and how people take in information. >> reporter: japanese managers see the chinese tourist as a bright spot in a shrinking domestic market. they believe that learning more about this rapidly growing group of consumers will give a big boost to their own business. kyoko fujita, nhk world. >> and that is the latest in business news for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
japanese authorities have revealed new data related to the 2011 fukushima disaster. officials with the radiation effects association gathered information from over 26,000 people who work in government-run decontamination and radioactive waste disposal projects. they say no one's exposure reached the total of 50 mill conceive earth a year. they say in 2014 more than 14%
of workers were exposed to 1 mill conceive earth. that is the aloubl number for the general public. they will ensure radiation exposure can be properly managed. an international treaty on sharing the cost of compensation in the event of a nuclear disaster has gone into effect. it aims to get relief to victims more quickly. ambassadors from six countries attending the ceremony to market the launch on compensation for nuclear damage. or csc. they include envoys from the united states and japan. the treaty requires each country to set aside at least $400 million for compensation in the event of a nuclear accident. if the cost of compensation exceeds that amount, contributions by other countries would be used. >> i am very pleased to do that the csc enters into this today on this day with japan's accept as of this convention. >> reporter: kit ano also says the launch represents a
significant step forward in strengthening a deployable nuclear liability regime. more participants are needed, canada is said to be the among countries considering joining. japanese defense ministers say they are intercepting more and more unidentified aircraft. there have been 150 intercepts annually in the last three decades but in the last fiscal year, japanese fighters scrambled 943 times. it's a more than 60% increase over the same period the previous year and just one scramble less than the dispatches in 1984. the majority of jets were scrambled to meet russian and chinese aircraft. half were sent from naha air base in the southern prefecture of okinawa. intercepts from this base have more than quadrupled over the past five years. some people in central japan are welcoming "n" more tourists with the launch of a new bullet
train line. owners of a dive shop look for tours to show off the fish not just on the plate. nhk world's -- has more. >> reporter: toyama bay is one of japan's richest fishing grounds. it has become known as nature's fish tank. water gushes up from the ocean floor. it's full of nutrients because it's fed by snow melt from the mountains surrounding the bay. the floor of the bay drops deeply to a depth of 1200 meters. that is another reason there are so many species of fish here. it's a great place for diving. akinoba kimura leads underground tours here and is keen to promote the toyama bay. >> translator: i think this is a perfect opportunity to promote the amazing ocean life here in
toyama. >> reporter: recently kimura arranged a special event for a group of dive shop owners in the tokyo region. >> translator: do many of you lead night dive tours? >> reporter: kimura is confident there is a potential for night dive here because of the sea creatures. >> translator: this one you can only see late at night. >> reporter: it's late at night when they arrive at the bare shore. [ speaking foreign language ]. they dive into the darkness using underwater lights to see their way. at 20 meters they spot a devils sea robin which greets them with its colorful pectoral fins. this little creature is just 5 centimeters long. in japanese it's called an ear squid probably because of its
shape. it's popular with divers for the way it burrows into the sand. this is a fire fly squid. they give off a color as they rise up to spawn. they are a speciality of toyama. when they get down to 30 meters. they see a creature that is rarely seen anywhere else but in toyama bay. this fish with a body like a tadpole is a species known as cubed snail fish. this fish live about 200 meters down and only come close to shore in the spring. it's another fish that can only be seen late at night. >> translator: i was so impressed. i'm glad i came here. >> translator: night diving here is such a great experience. and now we can get up to this spot really fast thanks to the new shinkansen. >> translator: we managed to see
many of the creatures unique to toyama bay and it seemed like everyone enjoyed the experience. i really hope that many divers start coming here. >> reporter: a new diving destination is opening up in japan. keisuke aishashi, nhk world. it's time for a check of the weather about mai shoji. mai, good morning. people in the russian region of hicasia in southern siberia are dealing with deadly wildfires. hundreds of homes have been destroyed. what is the latest? >> yes, you said it all. we want to show you a picture coming out from the area first of all to show you the condition that people are dealing with. what started out as a controlled burn in a farm field of russian, siberian russia quickly spread and became out of control this week. the fires have killed at least 29 people in the region and left hundreds injured. at least 500 homes have been destroyed, and the cost of
damages have mounted to over $11 million. at this time the fires have been contained but local officials warn they could start up again when high winds begin to return. the wildfires in this region of the world often start when farmers burn fields to clean up after the long winter, so it's not really a rare sight at all but looks like the high winds that swept through the area when this occurred has caused it to really widely spread. we're actually going to be seeing a little bit of that low pressure system pulling in, into the area, bringing some showers, which will be helpful to further contain, for the improvement of the firefighters out there, but we're looking at another high wind, so that could start up another fire again which will be dangerous. down towards the south of this, we have a high pressure system that's predominant, which is making for some very hazy conditions across beijing. we're looking at some unhealthy level of pm 2.5 and yellow sand engulfing much of northeastern china and the korean peninsula and into japan into our friday. low pressure system over the korean peninsula bringing some mixed precipitation and down towards the south the yanghtzee river basin will see another
round of showers. as for japan we have unstable condition across parts of kanto region yesterday. i want to show you the situation here in southern kanto, strong winds and gusts toppled trees and damaged houses and hail fell in several areas of the kanto region. tochigi prefecture in southern kanto saw hail up to one centimeter in diameter. this is because we had that daytime heating and the unbalance of the very cold upper level cold air dominating much of that brought that unstable at see. the instability will be back again i'm afraid to tell you, on friday, but as for thursday, we're looking at the some beautiful conditions. tokyo here is seeing some beautiful skies at 23 degrees for the high, that's going to be some early summer temperature out here, kyoto, utsunomiya, a great day to do laundry. friday a round of unstable conditions even in tokyo, symbol
of partly sunny skies, likely see chances of afternoon thunderstorms to be aware of but saturday and sunday looking perfect and clear. talking about the summer-like temperatures, people out across paris actually enjoyed and took advantage of the summer-like warmth. in paris, people around the parks in the eiffel tower to soak up the sun rays and the temperature hit 25 degrees celsius, about the average for mid-july and here in munich, a similar image out here, where people cooled off with some ice cream while temperatures reach summer-like numbers, that's likely to continue across the area for your thursday but a cold front will be sweeping that really cold air behind it, so do enjoy this weather while you can because it will be a drop on your friday. paris at 25. i'll leave you now your extended forecast.