. japan's prime minister is the leader of the main opposition party have sparred over the constitutionality of the government proposed security bills. the legislation would allow the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense under certain conditions. shinzo ebay and democratic party leader debated on the diet. ocata asked about japan's collective self-defense. >> translator: a fundamental
change in the security vimt around japan as a reason for the policy shift and you mention the strait of hormuz in the scenario but what fundamental changes in the security situation took place there? >> abe replied theinary is scenario is not a typical example. he said it would be an exceptional case to send self-defense forces abroad. >> translator: in principle, it is forbidden to dispatch personnel abroad for fighting. that's the basic rule. when we tried to get rid of them, that would be a passive limited action. so could meet the conditions for the use of force. >> ocada argued the bills are unconstitutional. >> translator: the proposed legislation would allow the administration of the day to
decide whether to use force or to decide whether it violates the constitution. it's the same as carte blanche. >> translator: we must always judge what actions constitute the necessary measures for self-defense in conjunction with developments in the world. we should not ignore the global situation and neglect our responsibility to protect the lives of people. >> abe said he's fully confident about the legitimacy and legality of the proposal. policy makers at the u.s. central bank have raised their assessment of economic activity. ai uchida joins us now. what are you hearing in. >> federal reserve officials are still thinking about a rate hike. they say they're still on course for one, but are keeping a lid on their intentions. offering vague intentions on when it might happen. fed policy makers released their statement at the end of a two-day meeting. they said economic activity has been expanding moderately.
on the interest rate, they signalled they'll maintain the near zero rate keeping the federal funds rate unchanged. >> the committee continues to judge that the first increase from the federal funds rate will be appropriate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term. >> the fed also released paramedics for the time and level of a rate hike based on the individual assessments of all the meeting participants, that includes chair janet yellen. it shows that 15 of 17 policy makers expect the first rate hike within the year. the fed had projects that the ucht u.s. economy would grow 2.3% to 2.upon7%, but downgraded it to 1.8, to 2%. they say they took a winter
slowdown into consideration. but they are sticking to their view that the economy will stay on a moderate recovery track of over 2% from 2016 onward. stock prices on wall street edged higher. investors took the fed's statement as suggesting it is in no rush to raise interest rates. the dow jones industrials and the tech heavy nasdaq both inches up .2%. let's see how markets are reacting. ramin mellegard joins us. what are you seeing? >> very good morning to you. investors relieved somewhat that the fed's statement suggesting that the pace of a rate hike would be gentle and that basically boosted stocks in the u.s. let's have a look at the reaction for the nikkei and the topix, and we're seeing a negative reaction in the first couple of minutes here. we'll see how that progresses. the nikkei fell to a one-week low on wednesday with large cap stocks weighing on the index.
it may introduce a little bit of caution among market players. we're seeing that in tokyo. the yen was a touch stronger against the dollar after the fed's announcement that may weigh on japanese exporters. i'll keep track of some of the major sectors this morning. >> ramin, and currencies where are we trading now? >> the dollar/yen saw slight fluctuation. looking at it now, 123.50. the dollar sliding after the fed meeting. traders expecting a stronger commitment by the fed for rate hike. instead it came out with a little bit more dovish stance. the imf has already stated that it would be prudent for the feds to wait until next year to meakakes and moves on rates. the u.s. economy is expanding moderately and investors stepping in to buy u.s. treasury
bonds pushing yields a touch lower. and concerns over greece's ability to meet its debt repayment schedule also of paramount importance to a lot of investors as they're mulling the pros and cons of a greek exit and that's really playing into the markets as well in the background. and that's also weighing on shares of japanese companies with heavy exposure to european markets such as mazda motor, for instance, which makes about a fifth of its sales in the european block community. also companies such as nikon and min on thea. we'll continue to monitor indexes such as the shanghai composite. it rose on wednesday after dropping 5.4% up until tuesday. a lot of ipo has led investors to renew some optimism after
recent worries a clampdown on what's known has margin trading. where investors borrow a lot of money to buy stocks. we'll so if that continues. back to you. >> sounds good ramin. we'll talk to you in a few hours' time. taiwan's health authorities have indicated that stronger import regulations on japanese food will continue for the time being. taiwan has banned food imports from fukushima and four nearby prefectures following the 2011 nuclear accident. the officials held a news conference on wednesday. one month after taiwan imposed tighter restrictions. they said the stricter controls over the last month have been effective at keeping out banned foot imports from the five prefectures. tougher regulations were put in place after it came to light in march this year that some of those food products were being sold in taiwan. they now require all foot imported from japan to carry certificates proving the prefecture of origin.
authorities say they've received import applications for 4200 tons of japanese food since the new requirements came in. they said there were no problems with nearly 99% of it. people who run independent electronic shops in japan are looking for an edge. they've seen consumers flock to big chain stores and to retailers who operate online. so they're taking fresh approaches to keep pace with the changing industry and to keep customers. >> reporter: one neighborhood shop owner has come up with a strategy to stand from his bigger rivals. he's focusing on customer service. he runs an electrical appliance store in osaka prefecture. on this day, he's visiting an elderly customer who bought a new blu-ray recorder.
he's offered to hook it up to her tv set. he takes the time to chat and sip a grass of tea, and then he's off to his next mission. he offers a follow-up checks on all the items he sells, for free. that's helping him attract customers. >> translator: he offers to take care of the products even after they're sold. i like that. chain retailers don't offer that kind of service. >> reporter: neighborhood stores are also trying to become more price competitive. managers of small shops have long face the difficulty of making their products cheaper. now 870 independent retailers, mainly in western japan have
teamed up to solve the problem. each store used to buy goods from suppliers on its own. but the new collective allows them to make lump sum purchases from manufacturers. that helps them cut prices. >> translator: neighborhood shops provide excellent service, but their prices are high. chain retailers have low prices but services lacking. no electronics retailer in japan had ever been able to offer both. we like to think of our collective as a 21st century electrical appliance store. >> his shop is taking part in the initiative. he's hoping to cater to the needs of elderly people who find it difficult to visit chain stores or use the internet. >> translator: most houses in this area are about 40 years old. many of the people who live here are senior citizens. we're trying to listen to their needs and help satisfy them.
they've seen revenues in the world's biggest casino hub tumble. they're working on a plan to diversify. julian look explains. >> one, two, three! >> reporter: asia's largest gaming trade show was held in makao last month. 180 companies from around the world showcased their latest gambling products, like slot machines and relate tables. their main target is casinos, but that's not all, they're also hoping to advance into fast-growing companies in southeast asia. >> we know that philippines and vietnam are quite booming right now. we know much more about asia culture and what asian people would like. that's why the new ideas can be integrated into the asian market as well. >> reporter: behind this trend to move away from makao is
chinese president's promise to crackdown on corruption. this is on his visit to makao last year. >> translator: we will be tightening control over the casino industry with a greater courage and wisdom. >> reporter: some high-ranking fines government officials are said to come to makao to receive bribe money. so he's come up with a policy to keep a closer eye on senior party officials visiting makao and also on the flow of money into and out of the city. his campaign has prompted regular customers like chinese bureaucrats to stay away from makao. as a result, gaming revenue fell for the first time in june after ten straight years of growth. city officials haven't yet been able to put a stop to the down
trend. macau's chief secretary has called for a change in the city's casino-dependent economy. >> translator: we want to bring stability to the casino industry and also promote the development of a variety of other businesses. >> reporter: casino operators have been quick to cash in on the new policy. one of them released this tv commercial in february. former british soccer star david beckham arrived at a casino in macau that resembles the italian city of venice. he enjoys a drink at a bar and watches a boxing match. but nowhere in the two-minute-long video is beckham shown gambling. the company is pitching the attraction of non-casino facilities. another ferm has opened a hotel
and resort facilities alongside its casino. a majority of the investment in this project doesn't go to the casino. >> reporter: the casino operators are targeting couples and families. thaur trying to promote macau not only as a major gambling city but also as a glitzy tourist port. >> translator: i'm not going to casinos. i'm just enjoying meals together with my children. >> reporter: the facilities also include a broadway-style musical theater, and a giant swimming pool. the kind we often see in theme parks. >> translator: custom and needs have changed.
but we can maintain our competitiveness if we adapt to them. >> reporter: macau authorities are hoping that the new strategy will breathe new life into their economy. julian luk, nhk world, macau. craftsmanship is never out of style. japanese artisans of the current generation continue to look to tradition for inspiration. nhk world's meeko suzuki took in an exhibition that shows how they're reconsidering the old and rendering it new. >> reporter: the flatness of paper takes on three dimensions thanks to the skill of an artist with a knife. precise incisions make a delicate yet bold impression. a kimono stands as big as life.
surprisingly, it's made of beads. the beads replace the role of fabric. but thread is essential. it forms the spine for the million and a half beads that make up the design. the work took three years to complete. >> wow, it's really beautiful. >> it's just amazing. i can't imagine any other country having such patience for such incredible detail. >> reporter: six artists from different genres all over japan gathered for an exhibition in tokyo. what they share is a desire to add a delicate and modern touch to a traditional art form. >> here you'll find a grocery store and a traditional house. it's actually a miniature version of old japanese
buildings small enough for me to pick up and plenty of attention is given to every detail. if you look inside, there's even a clock on the wall. what you see is what you get as a matter of perspective. the room is shaped like a trapezoid. the sealing also gets lower and the floor rises towards the back. these techniques give a sengs of depth. this is a roller coaster made out of paper. the attention to detail makes the 3d creation so elaborate and few people even notice it's a pop-up work. hidoko created this. >> translator: i put a lot of emphasis on the beauty of delicate architecture and how it creates a beautiful contrast of light and shadows.
>> reporter: hir oako let us peek at a notebook containing the secrets her work pages and pages of mathematical formulas. her structural calculations are precise to the level of less than .001 of a millimeter. she even considers sunlight through branches. the light is visible from any angle, adding to the impression of the work. as both a piece of modern art and architecture. hiroko said she gets inspiration if the other artists at the exhibition and their explorations of different genres. >> translator: when you're in one particular field, you live in a small world. seeing works by those blessed with such divine talent allows me to learn from their
techniques their materials and their creations. >> reporter: tech neerks materials, and the creative spirit. japanese artists have been drawing on those resources for thousands of years and still do today. mikiko suzuki nhk world. it is time now for a check of the weather. people in the u.s. state of texas are dealing with widespread travel delays at the airport and on highways due to stormy weather. robert speta joins us now with the latest. >> it does look like at least over the next several days we'll see this area of low pressure, which was tropical storm bill, start to drift away. but it's still lingering overhead and gaining moisture over texas. just a few weeks ago saw some rainfall and the reservoirs are flooded and that's resulting in the threat of more flooding.
we have video out of texas here right around houston you're still seeing the rain come down. as you see in this image, pooling up on the roadways causing travel delays. also at the airports in houston and dallas about a two-hour on average travel delay and also cancellations. over a hundred flights have been canceled in houston. so this storm is having some impacts. the storm is pulling north and interacting with another area of low pressure, a cold front pulling in from the northern rockies, bringing severe weather in itself tornadoes and hail and damaging winds with this. all of that will be turning to the northeast, some areas, up to 150 millimeters still could be seen. if you're in the southeast or southwest, i want to mention, it's hot out here.
atlanta to 34. washington, d.c. at 31. m of you in these areas are pushing into the 40s. on the west coast, i know we have los angeles marked here. 28 degrees there for your high. some foggy conditions. main reason for that you're awe little closer to the coast. you have the coltd current. farther inland in the desert las vegas up to 44. yuma look at that, 47 degrees there for your high on thursday. death valley in southern california actually pushing into the 50s. and we're looking at the highest level for heat advisory. you want to stay indoors and hydrated if at all possible across this area. definitely very dangerous. let's look at the other side of the world. not the heat snowfall actually in new zealand. some resorts are closed blizzard conditions are coming down. this will taper off to rain outside of the higher
elevations. in wan aka, snow in the forecast on thursday. auckland missing out on the storm system but it will drift farther north by friday and saturday. so you'll see more showers there in your forecast. back to the north, we are continuing to talk about the rainy season here across japan. some parts of western japan, mitionmy goodness, look at the rainfall totals over the past month. thus far into june 2015, double the amount you typically see out here in the month of june for some of these areas in kagoshima. the rain has been coming down day in and day out. still more in the forecast. some areas as much as 150, to 200 millimeters could be seen. if you're in northern japan, at least the thunderstorms will be tapering off. we're seeing the stability levels kind of improve here. still thunderstorms in northeastern china, though. temperatures up into the mid 30s. shanghai at 25 there.