. "newsline." it's thursday, april 23rd. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. leaders from asian and african nations are calling for better coordination in fighting terrorism and poverty. they're gathered in indonesia's capital for the asian african summit. japan's prime minister shinzo abe is among the attendants and he gave hints about a speech he plans to deliver to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. nhk world's mayaki ambe reports. >> reporter: in a speech, abe referred to the remorse for the country's actions during world war ii. abe says he upholds this recognition outlined by previous
administrations. but unlike his predecessor, junichiro koizumi who spoke at the same conference ten years ago, he did not express an apology. abe's speech focused on the future. >> translator: japan's resolve is to turn growth in asia and africa into an enduring and not ephemeral event. >> reporter: on the sidelines of the summit, abe met with chinese president xi jinping. he later told reporters that their talks were very substantial. he said he hoped to hold further such meetings in the future. >> translator: i believe we could agree on the importance of contributing to the stability and prosperity of the region and the world by boosting the strategic mutual beneficial ties.
>> reporter: japanese government officials say the talks took place in a more relaxed atmosphere than their previous talks in november. they say the two leaders appeared to be serious about mending ties. abe may say the meeting was another step forward but some government officials remain cautious. they say there is a need to fully analyze why china accepted japan's proposal for the talks. differences of views over territorial sovereignty remain, and recognition of history is still far from being fully discussed. mayuko ambe, nhk world, jakarta. a u.s. state department spokesperson has welcomed the talks between the leaders of japan and china. >> our relations between the two countries as we said many times affect the peace and prosperity of not just the region but the rest of the world. >> harf said she did not have any particular analysis of the speech abe delivered at the summit. she also said u.s. officials are
looking forward to prime minister abe's visit to the united states next week. abe will become the first japanese prime minister to address a joint session of the house and senate. chinese government authorities are going global with their fight against corruption. they named 100 former officials they say fled the country. the ruling communist party's anti-corruption watchdog posted the list on its website. the people lists are mostly former officials and company executives. they are accused of taking bribes embezzlement and other crimes. the website shows their photos and details their former jobs their alleged crimes and the countries they are suspected of fleeing too. 40 are suspected of fleeing to the united states and 30 to canada. president xi is cracking down on
bureaucrats. local media report the chinese government has provided a list of fugitives to the united states and is calling for cooperation. officials in hong kong have released a long-awaited electoral proposal for selecting the city's next leader. the plan set off a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations last year from people calling for a fully free vote. the revisions do not acknowledge those demands. the proposals are based on a decision made by beijing that candidates for the 2017 election will be screened. a two-thirds majority will be needed to enact the bills. government officials are hoping they can persuade four pro-democracy lawmakers to switch sides to give them that majority. hong kong's current leader leung chunying says the proposal is the best option. he says the reform plan is more democratic than the present indirect one and he says that it is unrealistic to try to
withdraw or modify the chinese government's decision. demonstrators blocked major roads in hong kong last year, the sit-ins lasted for months. authorities began working on the reform plan in january after they removed the protesters' barricades. the japanese prime minister and the chinese president spoke on the sidelines of the asian african conference. one of the things they spoke about is the aiib. let's get ai uchida in to join us from the business desk. give us more details on what they spoke about. >> we are getting information from diplomatic sources on both sides and the aiib the asian infrastructure investment bank is led by china. officials from 57 countries have said they want to join the aiib but that doesn't include japan. xi expressed hope that would change. the leaders talked for about half an hour. xi shares the view that financial systems should be strengthened to meet the growing demand for infrastructure in asia. but abe has concerns over the
aiib's management among other things. he expressed readiness to hold working-level talks. xi reports that the aiib has gained international support and he is convinced that japan will approve of the bank. ministers from japan and the u.s. wrapped up their latest round of the transpacific partnership free trade talks without reaching a deal. they have started negotiates to increase imports of rice with the u.s. and other members of the tpp. during the three-day talks that ended tuesday, the u.s. demanded japan import more american rice. japan urged the u.s. to remove tariffs on japanese cars and auto parts. japanese officials are considering setting a tariff free rice import quota. they said that would help gain
support for their plan to maintain tariffs on five farm products including rice, beef, and pork. now let's check on markets. on wall street share prices jumped on stellar earnings reports. the dow jones industrial average rising nearly half a percent. the nasdaq pushed up nearly half a percent. let's see how the market here are starting the day. what are you seeing this morning, ramin mellegard? >> investors are focusing on the earnings of visa and mastercard shares trading higher on the back of china saying it is going to open its credit market -- credit card markets to foreign firms. but let's see how the nikkei and topix are reacting for thursday and both are well into the
positive. the nikkei has pierced the 20,000 level and closed at its highest level in 15 years. bulls back in charge investors sentiment continues to improve. some say that abenomics is setting a solid foundation. investors are seeing reform and restructuring in a lot of japanese companies. we have seen gains in the pharmaceutical sector autos and a lot of the consumer electronic companies as well. so really across the board, some positive sentiment flowing through japanese shares. >> the weaker yen has fuelled the positive sentiment. we are seeing the dollar rise again. what can you tell us there? >> let's have a look at it. it is keeping very firm. we are at the 120 level. it's keeping firm against the yen. u.s. existing home sales beat expectations and weekly jobless
claims and new home sales may be a guide to the dollar. the euro rose on wednesday. germany raised its 2015 growth forecast but is it falling a little bit. i'll keep track of that. the specter of greece looming in the background. also individually for france and germany, a focus on the outcome of the eurozone meeting on friday. >> what can you tell us about investors continuing to rise into china's stocks. >> the bulls are in charge there, the china linked to indexes. it has doubled in the past the 12 months and up 30% this year on expectations that the monetary easing measures will continue as china tries to boost growth given signs of a
slowdown. and the cut to a reverse ratio in commercial banks was a big help to that sentiment. and the nikkei well above 20,000. back to you. >> thanks a lot for that update. japanese officials are trying to attract investment by chinese companies. they have held a seminar at japan's embassy in beijing. it's part of a growth strategy which foresees doubling the amount of foreign investment in japan by 2020. about 150 business people attended. they were briefed on government efforts to lower the effective corporate tax rate. other incentives include making it easier to land private jets at local airports in japan. >> translator: it's informative, because my company is looking for a partner in japan in the medical sector. >> translator: we want chinese executives to know that the japanese government welcomes their direct investment.
>> the amount of direct investment from china has been smaller than that from the united states or south korea. officials are hoping more chinese companies will look to the japanese market as their operations become increasingly global. the space travel business is rapidly growing in the united states and japanese companies are climbing on board. our reporter rosa sabrino has more. >> reporter: this is one of the world's largest space business trade fairs. 165 companies and organizations from across the planet took part when it opened in the united states. this two-passenger spacecraft developed by u.s. venture firm xcor attracted a lot of attention. this spacecraft will eventually be launched to an altitude of 100 kilometers. passengers will experience zero gravity for five minutes and return to earth. the space tours could start next
year. each ride costs $95,000 per person. despite the hefty price tag, the company says 300 people have already signed up. >> space flight is i think more exciting and more enjoyable and it's not nearly as physically demanding. >> reporter: but industry leaders say it could become much cheaper. this is a seven-passenger spacecraft. it's mounted on top of a rocket and launched into space. the operator says it's good for 25 journeys, which will cut down on costs. >> it's very much like when the computer age grew up in space. there will be more journeys and more vehicles and as that happens, there will be more science that gets done. >> liftoff. >> reporter: japanese companies
are not going to be left behind. last december japan launched the asteroid probe hayabusa ii. its predecessor was the first in the world to bring back dust samples from an asteroid. tosei electra beam helped develop hayabusa ii. the company helped create a device essential to the success of the probe's mission. the device is called an impacter. it fires metal projectiles into an asteroid to create a crater from which rock and dust samples are collected. the device is made of stainless steel and copper. the company successfully welded the two metals together. the company was at the trade fair showing off its products. >> translator: our company may have a chance to enter the space
market if we have technologies that u.s. companies do not. >> reporter: space travel from the u.s. is on the brink of becoming possible for many more people, and japanese companies have high expectations for the business. rosa sobrino, nhk world, colorado springs. >> and that's the latest for this hour in business. i'll leave you with a check on markets. japanese government officials are racing to tighten legislation on unmanned aircraft. they're concerned about a drone which landed on the roof of the
prime minister's office and tested positive for radioactivities. and as nhk world's masahiro masahiro sakay reports they are not the only ones raising issues about the safe use of drones. >> reporter: it's a booming industry that's been called a revolution in the skies. but drones have also caused problems. in january, a drone crashed into the grounds of the white house. it was an accident. but it caused a security alert and temporarily shut down the area. several drones were spotted over a series of paris landmarks over two nights in february. and on wednesday morning, a drone was discovered on the roof of the japanese prime minister's office. the device was carrying a container filled with liquid and
marked with a radioactive symbol. they say the level of radiation is not enough to have an immediate impact on humans. the drone is believed to be a model called the phantom. the same type that crashed into the white house lawn. police say it was painted blank and had a miniature camera attached. no one has claimed responsibility. a task force has been set up to investigate. japan currently has no clear laws on drones. a chemical weapons expert says the quantity of the radioactive materials was small enough to be loaded on the a drone. >> translator: the material was in liquid form so it couldn't have been dispersed. it's hard to determine whether someone was trying to commit an
act of terrorism. whoever is involved maybe just wanted to send a message that would have an impact on society. >> reporter: the top government spokesperson says security will be stepped up. >> translator: the drone came down in what is the administrative center of japan. so we want the police to investigate thoroughly. we'll do our best in terms of risk management for the prime minister's office. >> reporter: suga says the incident raises concerns about security for the tokyo olympic games in 2020. he says the government will examine ways to prevent similar cases. masahiko kakai, nhk world. a team of researchers is a step closer to discover a treatment for that common skin condition. the team is led by a man who
works for the u.s. national institutes of health and includes researchers from japan. they published their findings in the latest edition of the u.s. science journal "immunity." in areas of skin where symptoms appeared the researchers found two types of bacteria had reached abnormally high levels. if the relation between the bacteria and the skin condition is better understood a new treatment can be developed. the cherry blossom season has come and just about gone in most of japan this year. as always, they paved the way to spring. the blossoms have also become symbols of post-war reconciliation thanks in great part to the work after ma -- of a man who grows them and then sends them abroad. >> reporter: cherry blossoms make almost any place look more cheery. this variety is named yoko, sunshine, in hopes it will shine
on people like the sun. >> translator: the pink blossoms make a striking contrast with the blue sky. >> reporter: terumi takaoka sends yoko cherry trees around the world. his father created the strain to express his wish for peace. yoko trees have been delivered to more than ten countries and regions. many of them were the sites of fierce bat unless the mid 20th century. vietnam is one such place where people died as japanese troops moved in. about 7,000 yoko cherry trees have been planted along the main street of the capital hanoi. they can be found in front of the japanese embassy, at schoolyards and other locales. >> translator: people say that yoko have become symbols of peace, now that we've been promoting that message for many years. i'm very happy about that.
>> reporter: takaoka's father masaoki, died 14 years ago. masaoki taught agriculture during wartime. when his students left to go to battle he pointed to a cherry tree and told them to come back to that spot. many never did. the war situation grew worse for japan. masaoki received reports of the deaths of the young men he had known. >> translator: my father said he told them to come back to the cherry tree, but more than half of them died. he said he was very sorry.
>> reporter: masaoki got the idea of creating a new variety of the cherry tree that would bloom in any climate to mourn for his students. he collected more than 200 kinds and worked on cross-fertilizing them for 30 years. what worked was a combination of the taiwan cherry and the amagi-yoshino type. taiwan cherry withstands hot weather, its blossoms are bright pink. amagi-yoshino puts up with sea breezes and cold. its flowers are yellow and white. yoko was born of that parentage. masaoki sent more than 50 thousand trees to the countries where his students had died including china, south korea and the philippines. after his death, takaoka took over the project. he's been sending 3,000 seedlings around the world each year. this year the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, yoko is making its way to myanmar for the first time. temple in the japanese city of matsuyama is dedicated to
soldiers from the area who died in myanmar. 8,000 were sent to war from ehime prefecture. more than 5,500 never returned. a thousand trees will be sent to yangon where fierce battles were fought. >> translator: my father kept sending trees until he died. i want to continue what he started. it's a project that will last my entire life. >> reporter: yoko has been carrying prayers for peace around the world. each year as the flowers bloom, the prayers are heard loud and clear. it is time now for a check of the weather. people in and around sydney have been dealing with violent storms. they've been hit with severe flooding and damaging winds. meteorologist robert speta joins
us with the latest. >> yes, catherine. let's talk about what's going on here in new south wales. the good news is that we are going to see somewhat of improving conditions over the next several days but really the last week now, or at least the last four to five days it has been kicking up. take a look at the 72-hour satellite here and you can just see that swirl in the satellite imagery, it just continued to spin and the winds in the rainfall we've seen here in some areas were definitely record-breaking. as far as records go back you saw some of the heaviest rainfall and the highest winds but i think the reason why this storm is going to be remembered is because of the duration. this low did not go anywhere very fast. it just lingered here and it pushed all those winds. you can just see the cloud cover moving onshore into the sydney area. let's go to some video we have out of here and kind of give you a visual of what it looked like on the ground here. this is from wednesday. just look at those waves crashing onshore. this was the third day the storm was lashing the coastline. hundreds of homes were damaged, more than 200,000 residents were without power. millions of dollars in damage here in sydney.
gale force winds reported gusting over 100 kilometers per hour. unfortunately, there were three people found dead as water rose in their homes and surrounding areas. three people were also missing after their cars became washed away. so this was definitely very dangerous storm system. for people not only on the ground but several flights were diverted along coastal areas, many of the beaches were closed. this had a very significant impact, the forecast now. the storm moving slowly down here towards the south. we do have another low coming in from the west, just south here, that's going to move towards the east so by friday into saturday a few more passing showers, even some thunderstorms could kick up towards victoria and in new south wales but the severe weather i think that is over with at least for now. let's look back towards the north in the northern hemisphere we are still watching across japan high pressure is dominating some decent weather out here right now. we do have a little bit of a low
coming in across northeastern china. that's going to bring some passing showers into hokkaido and northern japan by friday night. but the temperatures will be on the rise for the most part across much of northeastern asia. this high pressure here will be dominating so if you are in tokyo, actually partly cloudy to sunny skies expected out here. temperatures into the 20s. actually right around average. let's look at ulan bator though, 26 there for the high on saturday. i actually had to double check this, i thought it was an error at first but yes, we're looking at temperatures at summer-like, your average this time of year is 9. temperatures are continuing to rise in beijing, 27, up to 31 there on your saturday, and looking over towards hong kong it's actually warmer in beijing than it is in hong kong, temperatures continuing to rise so you definitely want to enjoy the heat while it does last. we are looking at some yellow sand that, is something to watch out for. take a look at what's going on in the u.s. we have this low out there towards the great lakes, and this has just been pulling in that cold air from the north.
i want to show you some images. this is from my older sister. she sent me this photo here. and you can see the snow falling. poor lady she already set up her swimming pool and it is starting to snow here as we start to head over towards may. this is from bradford, pennsylvania, just south of there, and you're continuing to see the snow pile up, and as far as the forecast, temperatures staying on the cool side but a gradual warming trend heading into the week in there, at least some good news. meanwhile back toward the west we are seeing some severe weather out there, if you are in oklahoma towards texas and eventually that will shift northeast. here is the extended outlook.