hello there and welcome to "newsline" it's friday may 15th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has moved closer to setting a new direction for japan's security policy. his cabinet has approved bills that would expand the role of the self-defense forces and allow the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense. the legislation would allow the sdf to use force to help countries that have close relationships with japan. this would apply only in situations that meet the government's three criteria for the use of force. these include when a closely related country comes under an
armed attack that threatens japan's survival and poses a clear danger to the rights of its citizens. prime minister abe stated his case on the policy shift. >> translator: if the u.s. military is attacked in waters around japan, that situation could pose a danger to us. it is our own crisis, not somebody else's problem. we set three strict criterions on the use of the right to collective self-defense in the legislation. of course, the diet needs to approve it. we decided to allow our country to exercise the right in a very limited way. >> abe rejected concerns that japan could be dragged into a war. >> translator: some people may be anxious, vaguely, about the
possibility that japan could be involved in an american war. for those people, i would like to clearly state here that will never happen. >> the legislation clearly states that there would be no geographical constraints on japanese logistical support for foreign troops in situations that have an important influence on japan's peace and security. one of the bills, if enacted, would become a permanent law on logistical support for foreign militaries working for international peace. up to now, japan has enacted a special law each time such support was needed. the bill sets a condition that the diet would have to give prior approval, without exception, to plans to dispatch self-defense forces overseas. >> translator: we will work with the international community in
the fields we are good at, such as conflict prevention, humanitarian and rehabilitation aid and the supply of fuel and food. japan will contribute more proactively, not only in situations that have an important influence on the peace and safety of japan, but also for the peace and stability of the world. >> the cabinet will submit the bills to the diet on friday for deliberation. now opposition parties are already promising a fight. >> translator: i question whether the bills will protect japanese lives and livelihoods. the bills are extremely problematic. so my party is going to take a tough stance. >> translator: the abe administration is showing contempt for the public and diet.
my party will present counterproposals and engage in thorough debate. >> translator: this is the biggest attempt to destroy the constitution since the end of world war ii. my party will try to get the bills scrapped. japan's neighbors also chimed in with mixed reactions. the philippines gave the japanese cabinet decision its seal of approval. >> this new policy will promote peace, security and stability in the south china sea. >> south korea repeated its opposition. >> translator: we cannot accept anything that affects the korean peninsula and south korea's national interests unless we request it or agree to it. >> the spokesperson was referring to the new japan-u.s. guidelines on defense cooperation. he said tokyo and washington
agreed to respect the sovereignty of third countries, implying south korea. analysts suggest south korea has become more receptive due to pressure from the u.s. china sounded a note of caution. >> translator: japan's neighbors and the international community are paying close attention to trends in the country's national security. we hope japan will learn lessons from history and stick to the path of peaceful development. government officials in washington have endorsed the cabinet's approval. >> we certainly welcome japan's ongoing efforts to strengthen the alliance and to play a more active role in regional and international security activities. >> wrath ki noted the security legislation is a domestic matter but he stressed that japan's
move reflects the bilateral defense cooperation guidelines. he also emphasized that it's also consistent with discussions held during abe's visit to the u.s. and talks between top foreign and defense officials from both nations. in other news, chinese officials are objecting to the possible listing of some of japan's modern industrial areas as unesco world heritage sites. they say many koreans were forced to work there. therefore, they feel the sites don't live up to world heritage principles. china's foreign ministry spokesperson, hua chunying, touched on the issue at a regular news conference. >> translator: china shares south korea's concerns when it comes to the request to register the areas as world heritage sites. china opposes such a move. >> hua said many of the 23
industrial sites witnessed the use of forced labor from china, the korean peninsula and other asian countries during world war ii. the international council on monuments and sites recently recommended the 23 sites receive world cultural heritage status. they date back to japan's industrial revolution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. the world heritage committee will screen the recommendations and make formal decisions at its july meeting in germany. japanese food products are facing stricter regulations in taiwan. safety concerns following the fukushima nuclear accident are affecting distribution and sales. and now, taiwanese officials have renewed their call for closer inspections. food imports from fukushima and four other prefectures were banned following the nuclear accident in 2011. in march the sale of food from the prefectures was discovered in taiwan. the news prompted consumer groups to call for tighter restriction.
taiwan will now require certificates of origin for all japanese food imports. some items must also be inspected for radiation. supermarket operators and distributors are concerned about tougher customs inspections. they worry the volume of japanese food they sell may decline. >> translator: as a retailer of japanese food products in taiwan, i am very concerned about the ongoing effects of tighter government restriction. >> taiwan's health officials say they will be flexible about the new rules. they note the information written on quarantine and other mandated documents can be used as certificates of origin. but officials from taiwan and japan haven't agreed yet on specific ways to implement the new regulations. japanese officials are asking for the measures to be withdrawn, citing a lack of scientific justification.
japanese manufacturers are reaping the benefits of a weaker yen. one electronics giant has reported record profits. ai uchida has more. what are you hearing? >> we have been seeing mostly upbeat earnings reports over the last few weeks. that is certainly the case with the electronics giant hitachi. the company booked a record profit for the business year ending in march. the hitachi officials say operating profit set a record for the second straight year coming in at around $5 billion. that's up 11.6% in yen terms from the previous year. group sales stood at $82 billion. that's about 2% higher. officials cited the overseas infrastructure businesses such as providing elevators in china. they also say the weaker yen inflated their business results. as for the current business year
that ends next march they predict more record profits. they expect their overseas businesses to remain strong and that includes new train cars to britain's high-speed rail network but they point to a risk of slow down in petroleum producing countries. officials at japanese automakers will drastically expand a global recall involving potentially faulty takata air bags. they will call in about 8 million extra vehicles outside japan. executives at honda say they took a closer look at some of their models and found components they believe cause could the air bags to rupture. they will recall nearly 3.2 vehicles overseas. officials at toyota will recall 3.6 million extra vehicles and
nissan 1.3 million vehicles. it increases the number of vehicles recalled to more than 30 million. let's check in on markets. stocks over on wall street rebounded on news of an improvement in the u.s. labor market and the weaker dollar pushed up the key indices too. the dow jones industrial average rose 1%. the tech heavy nasdaq regained the 5,000 mark and the s&p 500 shot up more than 1% and posted an all time record high for the first time in three weeks. so let's see how markets here are starting the day. for that we are joined by ramin mellegard. he's at the tokyo stock exchange. what are you seeing so far? >> good morning, ai. the drop in u.s. jobless claims or unemployment benefits boosted shares on wall street as you mentioned. and it's reflected in the price
action here as well for the nikkei and the topix. both indexes in the positive and we'll see how that continues throughout the day. yesterday the nikkei closed down almost 1%. but a lot of earnings results have boosted sentiment for corporate japan. konica minolta rose just shy of 12% yesterday after saying it would raise its dividend and buy back a lot of shares. shares in sharp may continue to be a focus here after it announced it will receive 1.7 billion bailout from his lenders and planning to reduce its domestic work force by 3,500. nikon's profits were down 31% from last year. i'll continue to watch the shares for all those companies as well.
>> and in currencies the dollar is weaker against the yen and the euro. how are the key pairs trading now? >> you mentioned the weaker dollar earlier. and the ppi, producer price index in the u.s. fell for april. many say that the federal reserve will not be raising rates any time soon. the dollar is trading in the lower 119 yen levels. now the euro also gained against the dollar to the highest in almost three months at one stage but some of the gains were wiped out on long-term bond yields. and the european central bank president indicated the bank would fully implement its 60 billion euro monthly asset purchases until september of 2016. asian shares may provide direction. we saw the shanghai composite resume its upward trend. last week it had massive losses.
that continues higher. we'll watch the hang seng as well. a lot of investors hoping that china will take further monetary easing measures to boost growth in the world's second-biggest economy. looking at the nikkei and the topix both are trading well in the positive. we'll see if we can end the week on a positive note. >> we'll check in with you in a few hour's time. a samurai movie theme park in kyoto once grew big crowds and now park managers are bringing back visitors after making their attractions more modern and interactive. ♪ >> reporter: this film set theme park in kyoto opened in 1975. the theme park boasts an outdoor
set that looks like a period street. a major film company uses the set to film samurai dramas. people once flocked here to watch the dramas being filmed. at its peak the park attracted more than 2 million visitors a year. but fewer samurai dramas are made now and the number of visitors hasattendance bottomed out at under 700,000. there was even talk of closing the park down. but the operator decided to try something new. to make the park a place for experiencing, not just observing. the actors who put on a sword fight show now also teach visitors how to handle a sword and move like a real sword fighter.
[ speaking foreign language ] this man is not an actor. but these tourists are transformed by makeup and costume. the park gives people the chance to feel like a film star. >> i feel like a star. what should i do if i'm asked for my autograph? >> reporter: the park is also throwing the spotlight on ninja. the idea is to attract foreigners who are fans of the stealthy spies. [ speaking foreign language ].
>> ninja. i watch the ninja show it's beautiful. i really want to watch it again if i can. >> reporter: park officials made another chance to appeal to visitors. they began to allow picture taking in areas where photography was once forbidden. [ speaking foreign language ]. visitors are encouraged to take lots of photos and post them on the internet. the goal is to spread the word about the park. the changes are working. park attendance is actually starting to go up. >> translator: things are definitely different from the way they were ten years ago. we have to recognize the changes. and keep ahead of the curve.
>> reporter: the park found success by recognizing the need to change and introducing bold reforms. it's a model that other struggling tourist attractions might be wise to follow. that's all for now in business, i'll leave you with a check on markets. buddhist monks in western japan are looking back centuries to the founding of their town as they plan for the future. they are celebrating the 1200th
anniversary of koyasan and as they modify their way of life to welcome a flood of visitors, they're also trying to preserve tradition. nhk world's kimberly gail reports. [ chanting ] >> reporter: it's a ritual that's been carried out in koyasan for centuries. monks gather by the light of temple lanterns to recite sutras and chant mantras. it's how swiss-born monk curt gensa spends part of his day. thank you so much for taking time for me today. >> oh, you're welcome. >> reporter: he is also an ambassador for the town, where buddhist tradition lives on. so for the past few week, he has been busier than usual, welcoming an influx of people celebrating koyasan's 1200th anniversary. >> why tourists come here?
because they want to have an experience like the other people so they come for the spiritual adventure, if you want. and koyasan is known the land, something faith, it is true. >> reporter: monks and pilgrims are honoring revered monk kukai, called kobodaiishi after his death. the area houses the headquarters of the sect and is considered one of the most sacred places in japan. during this 50-day celebration, people can catch a glimpse of rarely seen relics. crowds snake through a temple to see a statue of a healing buddha that's been kept hidden since it was made in 1932. foreign tourists have always visited koyasan, drawn to the dozens of monasteries, tucked inside dense, cedar forests. more started visiting after 2004 when unesco recognized the area
as a world heritage site and the town has been adapting to welcome even more. there's a slick website in various languages, english signs and wi-fi. the number of foreign tourists has risen five-fold to nearly 55,000 annually over the past decade. >> it has been very relaxing, calming and just felt pretty good while we have been here. just the overall place also been incredible. >> feels like magic. feels like i'm in one of those miyazaki movies. especially yesterday when we visited the tombs. it was amazing, really amazing. >> reporter: they come to mingle with the monks and do what they do, sleep inside temple lodgings or shukubo. eat traditional fare, strictly vegetarian meals. take time to focus by practicing
meditation guided by a master. [ bell dings ] [ chanting ] and participate in fire ceremonies held each morning for morning prayers. [ cymbals clang ] >> this place really engages the senses from sort of the smell of the temple incense to the sound of the monks chanting to the mountain air. >> reporter: genso says welcoming the world with those experiences helps preserve the sanctity of koyasan. >> i often say you came as a tourist but you go home like a pilgrim, because it touches your heart, touches your heart. you change. you become peaceful.
>> reporter: and that change and peace are things he hopes will continue to be shared here for centuries to come. kimberly gale, nhk world, koyasan, wakayama. it is time for a check of of the weather. people in many areas of germany are trying to recover after a powerful storm caused widespread damage. mai shoji has the latest. >> yes, catherine, we have been talking about the ongoing storm systems that are sweeping across central parts of germany and central parts of europe, especially in germany and we have some images coming out from here because there was a tornado that touched down through here. it was a large tornado that swept through germany on thursday leaving several people injured and many homes damaged. no casualties are reported. two of the injuries reported
were due to late thing strikes and not directly associated with the tornado. after conditions cleared, many residents were seen accompanied by emergency personnel patching up the holes left in their homes. a separate tornado f 3 intensity hit germany injuring nine people and leaving over 100 homes damaged. now, the system will be lingering further toward the east and affecting much of italy and in toward these areas and the balkans, but looks like the system will still be providing many severe weather across germany, switzerland and parts of even spain, too. we are actually looking at some snowfall across switzerland in the alps, 40 centimeters. and then in spain, 110 kilometer per hour gusts is likely. slovenia, 70 millimeters of rainfall will just fall in a short span. so, these are the things that we must still be taking monitor of. rome at 27 degrees temperature-wise. ankara, 25. these are the areas where the heat is persistent, the high pressure system predominant. ankara, that 25 degrees will actually be up to about 30
degrees for your sunday. out here, it's still hot in the pacific and we do see this spiral of clouds. that is the typhoon we have been tracking moving into the marianna islands and so people are preparing, have some pictures coming out from here, there's some thick clouds out here and the winds are kicking up. you see that there's actually no one out in the beach. well it is a perfect beach resort here. but this is a good idea that people are not venturing out in those waters. you don't see any boats there as well. we do have that typhoon warning in place in both saipan and guam and rota. and that's going to be pulling into the north as it intensifies into a very strong typhoon. it is not going to be affecting much of japan into the mid next week, but rain will be falling, which could cause some coastal flooding because it's going to be up to about 250 millimeters, flash flooding in inland areas, especially around the river banks, going to be possible and that combined with the storm
surge will certainly be very dangerous in the coastal areas. gusts will be reaching up to 240 kilometers per hour, damage to homes are going to be a certain threat. out here in southeastern china, we are seeing about 150 millimeters of rainfall that will fall in just 24 hours and the same amounts will be here in 12 hours, so, 150 millimeters, possibly in kagoshima and 56 millimeters that fell in one hour in parts of kyushu. by saturday that's engulfing much of japan and cooling the temperatures down with some precipitation so the weekend plans could be hindered but this is the fanning effect that is bringing dry and hot temperatures across the kanto region and still very dry today. in fact, yesterday, the temperatures soared into the 30s. now, tokyo, again, will see another round of 30s. i will leave you now for extended forecast.
on this edition of "native report," we visit harvard university and learn about the archaeology and history of the indian college at colonial harvard. we meet robert anderson, visiting professor at harvard law school. and from the "native report" archives we take a look back at a story about the federal recognition process. we also learned something new about indian country and hear from our elders on this native report. announcer: production for "native report"