glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's wednesday, june 24th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the united states is to deploy tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central europe. u.s. defense secretary ash carter says the move is necessary to counter threats posed by russia. countries in the region are concerned about possible russian intervention after it unilaterally annexed crimea from ukraine last year. carter met with his counterparts from the baltic states in estone yo on tuesday. he said the u.s. will spread about 250 tanks as well as armored vehicles and other equipment across the former soviet states of estonia,
lithuania and lat tia, as well as bulgaria germany, poland and romania. >> american rotational forces need to be quickly and easily to participate in training and exercises here. >> carter traveled on monday to germany. he said the united states will provide weapons to nato's new rapid reaction force to help bolster european security. he said that u.s. support would include intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets. russian president vladimir putin said this month his country will add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its arsenal. american and chinese leaders are stressing the need to settle their disagreements through better communication. they're meeting face-to-face at the annual u.s./china strategic and economic dialogue in washington. u.s. vice president joe biden alluded to china's reclamation work on some reefs on the disputed spratly islands in the
south china sea. >> the notion of sea lanes being open and protected is even more crucial today than any time in human history. nations that use intimidation to settle disputes or turn a blind eye to the aggression of others only invite instability. >> chinese state counselor says the freedom of navigation around the world is necessary for the two nations. he says it's needed to develop their economies and trade, and he says china will ensure that freedom. yang did not directly mention the south china sea but reiterated his country's position that the reclamation work is legitimate. the u.s. delegation is co-chaired by u.s. sekts john kerry and treasury secretary jack lew. the chinese side is headed by yang and vice premier wang yang. they will discuss a wide range of topics during their two-day meeting. the philippines navy has been holding joint drills in the south china sea with its
long-term ally the united states. they've also held a separate training exercise with the maritime self-defense force of japan. both were staged near disputed islands where china has been increasingly assertive. nhk world reports. >> reporter: this is the philippine navy's i-lander aircraft and japan's p3c orion. they flew over the south china sea for training. aircraft from the two countries took off from a philippine base of the western island of palawan. they conducted search and rescue operations to coordinate in the event of a disaster. >> translator: the southeast asia region including the fail la peens is frequently affected by typhoons. holding these exercises in the
region is very important. >> reporter: both governments stressed that the training exercise is for disaster response and not directed at any one country. but it takes place near the spratly islands claimed by both china and the philippines among others. china has been reclaiming land and building military facilities at several locations in the islands. earlier this month the leaders of japan and the philippines issued a joint statement in tokyo expressing shared concern over developments in the south china sea and committing to expand security cooperation. on tuesday, china's foreign ministry responded quickly to the philippine/japan exercise. >> translator: we hope the relevant parties do not hype up or even create so-called tensions in the region and that
parties concerned to contribute to peace and stability rather than the opposite. >> reporter: a separate drill involving the philippines and the united states began on monday. also near the spratly islands. two sets of joint exercises taking place concurrently can be seen as symbolic. the philippines navy can't compete with china when it comes to military spending. instead it hopes that strengthening ties with japan and his longtime ally the united states can help rebalance security in the region. reporting for nhk world from palawan island. health officials in pakistan say the death toll from an intense heat wave is rising. they say about 700 people are dead and many in the country are calling for the government to deal with the frequent blackouts. temperatures in the southern city of karachi have stayed over
40 degrees celsius since late last week. emergency meblgddical camps are being set up. they're fasting from sun up to sun down during the holly month of ramadan. authorities say around 5,000 people have been hospitalized. >> translator: my relative's blood pressure shot up in the intense heat causing a stroke that affected her hand and leg. >> ice vendors are struggling to cope with demand from residents. >> translator: i'm very worried because i have no water and no power at home. i've been wandering around the area looking for ice. finally i was able to get a little. >> translator: the government is responsible for this crisis. homes lack power and there's no ice to be found. the heat is unbearable. elderly people are dying.
>> power shortages often cause blackouts disrupting the water supply and air conditioning. a growing number of pakistanis say the government isn't doing enough. and some opposition parties say they're planning to organize a rally to show the public's anger. investors are feeling less nervous about the greek debt crisis and they're more willing to take their chances on stock. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. fill us in. tell us more about this. >> investors are breathing a sigh of relief after eurozone leaders indicate that they may be able to find a possible agreement on greece's debts. and stocks which are considered more of the riskier assets out there, are looking pretty good. and that includes stocks here in tokyo. the benchmark nikkei index this morning has hit its highest level in 18 years. just to give you a bit of perspective into just how long ago that was, let's thing back to 1997. hong kong has returned from british rule to the chinese. princess diana dies in paris. and tiger woods wins the masters
at just 21 years old. let's get more details on the markets this morning from ramin mellegard. he's at the tokyo stock exchange. good morning. what are you seeing? >> quite a lot of significant events that you just mentioned there but the nikkei hitting 18-year highs. a lot of bullish sentiment rippling through global stock markets and definitely here for the nikkei. let's look at the exact levels first few minutes of trading 20842, 20833 was that level that we broke above. so 18-year highs, as you mentioned. greek leaders also attempting to push through their economic reforms which so far have been welcomed by eurozone leaders. they expect a better performance of japanese companies with the continued yen weakness against the dollar. i'll monitor those as well. let's check those currency levels. 123.81 right now. the dollar rose against the yen
following remarks from jerome powell saying there was a 50% chance of a september rate hike. stronger housing sales boosted the dollar the euro trading lower. that was despite data that showed the index hitting a four-year high. now, analysts also point out to the disparity between the direction of u.s. interest rates and those of europe as a reason behind a weaker euro. now is definitely evident in yields at the german ten-year bund yield. but the treasury note yield rising around three basis points and the yield on japanese government bonds also falling in line with those of the eurozone. the bank of japan is continuing with its quantitative easing measures just as the european central bank is. >> and going back to stocks the ones here in tokyo do remain resilient, are there any possible headwinds we should be watching out for?
>> definitely. one of the biggest ones to bear in mind is regarding china. we had the flash manufacturing data yesterday, and that contracted in june. yet another contraction for the world's second biggest economy. that caused a great deal of volatility in the key indexes. have a look at the shanghai composite index. it went down nearly 5% at one stage, then rebounded to finish up more than 2%. 7% swing. that's quite volatile. and that index, that we've witnessed that in the last week as well. corporate news will always dominate here in japan. a lot of major firms holding annual general meetings. transparency is for investors is top of the agenda for many japanese companies. we've seat copper and iron ore prices dipping. we'll keep track of those as well. >> thanks a lot. we'll touch base with you later on in the day. the u.s. senate has moved a step closer toward voting on a bill that would give the
president fast track authority on trade deals. barack obama is aiming to clinch the transpacific partnership free trade pact. senators have passed a motion to put the trade promotion authority bill to a vote. the measure won 60 votes, the bare minimum needed for its passage. fast track authority means congress can approve or reject international trade agreements but it cannot amend or filibuster them. >> we just had a really important victory for the american people on a bipartisan basis when we achieve 60 votes on closure on tpa. that will clear the senate tomorrow and go to the president for signature. >> the legislation is likely to be put to a vote on wednesday. it's expected to be approved because it only needs a simple majority in the 100-member chamber. the chief u.s. negotiator in the tpp talks has welcomed the passage. michael froman said that congress made clear the u.s.
intends to take the lead on trade. he said washington will be able to speak with one voice as it negotiates the trade deal. japanese airbag maker takata has agree to double the scale of the recall in the u.s. but u.s. senators want the company to expand the move even wider. members of the senate commerce -- members of the senate commerce committee said that takata still has pinpointed the cause behind the defect behind its faulty air bags. it said its safety measures fall short. they urge the company to recall current models of air bags now being installed in automobiles. takata executive for north america, kevin kennedy, apologized for his company's delayed response. he said the markker will decide whether to extend the recall after a joint probe with the transportation department. it charged that katakata failed to
carry out safety for financial reasons from 2009. the southern island prefecture of okinawa has yet to catch up. its unemployment rate is the nation's highest and average income the lowest. many people say doing business in okinawa would be costly due to the long distances between the prefecture and japan's big cities. but lately okinawa's location is creating new business opportunities and its main airport is playing a key role. nhk world reports. >> reporter: it's the middle of the night at the naha airport. cargo planes are landing one after the other. around the clock operations give the airport an advantage as a distribution hub for asia. cargo planes fly from here to four cities in japan and eight in asia. the destinations include singapore and bangkok.
they plan to addnew routes to manila this year. some of asia's biggest cities can be reached from okinawa in no more than four to five hours by plane. 2 billion people live within that distance. this means food can be sent to consumers very quickly. naha airport handled the total cargo volume of nearly 180,000 tons last year. that's up 30% from two years earlier. japanese delivery firm yamato transport used refrigerated containers. the cargo carriers fly overnight so that fresh food items can be delivered the following day. the services are creating business opportunities for people in okinawa.
this man runs a food retailer specializing in local fruit and vegetables. he started to use yamato's refrigerated delivery service to transport mangoes and melons. it allows his produce to be on tables in asia within a day. >> translator: this is bound for hong kong. >> translator: with this service, the delivery times from here to tokyo and to hong kong are almost the same. i hope i can expand my business in asia. >> reporter: a major electronics maker is also gaining a competitive edge at the airport. toshiba gives its customers clearance at nighttime to avoid long waiting periods. its warehouse near the airport stores more than 3,000 kinds of
replacement parts for bank note processing machines and currency sorters. toshiba exports these parts to central banks in asia. the parts can be delivered anywhere in the world within 24 hours. >> translator: our customers, including foreign central banks often need spare parts immediately. we can meet their demand with nighttime delivery. we believe having a speedy response gives us a competitive edge. >> reporter: manufacturers are also interested in okinawa as a production base. this metal molding company in northern japan built a plant in a special economic zone two years ago. company executives say using nighttime cargo services to engs port the molded products is highly cost effective. they say they need to hire many
young workers. the training is extensive and the molding processes must be done by hand. young people who are receiving job training welcome the company's plans. >> translator: the whole process can be completed here from design onward. that's a plus for my career. >> reporter: now, the company is trying to develop a new product called carbon tube. they're hoping to establish a business base in okinawa to expand their business overseas. >> translator: we want to add value making a high precision sophisticated product manufactured here in okinawa. a product hike this cannot be made abroad. >> reporter: okinawa is leveraging its geographical advantage and continuing to build infrastructure.
now the island is finding new opportunities by turning its attention toward asia. reporting for nhk world. and that's the latest in business. intense fighting at the end of world war ii devastated the islands of okinawa. more than 120,000 people there lost their lives. many women and children were recruited to join the war effort. they included a group of teenaged students and their instructors who were sent to the frontlines. now surviving members are working to pass on their stories and hopes for peace. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the peace museum is on a mission of remembrance. it's dedicated to telling the story of a young nursing unit.
this is the museum's director. she was one of the 240 people drafted into the student corps as nurses. more than half of them lost their lives. southern okinawa was the scene of the fiercest fighting between japanese and u.s. troops. the japanese military set up hospitals in this kind of caves during the battle of okinawa. many female students were sent here to take care of the injured. eventually this too, became a battlefield. this woman saw many of her friends killed. some chose to commit suicide with hand grenades provided by japanese troops. >> translator: i'll never be able to forget that we had to leave our friends or couldn't help them in the flames of the
battlefield. for 40 years many of us couldn't bring ourselves to admit that we had been part of the student corps. >> reporter: now many surviving members in their late 80s. to prepare for the day when none of them are left they renovated the museum's exhibition. but they felt they needed to do more. the turning point was a visit to the auschwitz concentration camp 12 years ago. it's estimated the nazis killed around 1 million victims there, mostly jewish people during world war ii. the guide who led the group had no direct experience of the war. museum officials have been training younger people to pass on the camp's history. since then the peace museum has
followed suit. this woman is one of the young people brought on as a successor successor. >> translator: the surviving members of the hhimeyuri student corps says we should avoid war at all costs. i want to pass the message on to as many people as possible. >> reporter: she has been helping to run the museum and to record the testimony of survivors. now she's begun putting what she's seen and heard into her own words. she sometimes struggles with how to convey experiences that are not her own. >> translator: i feel the audience tends to pay poremore attention when i describe a tragic episode. >> translator: you wouldn't talk it about before because you
hadn't been there. >> translator: i think it's important to talk about these things even if it's hard. >> reporter: today onabe is giving a lecture to high school students from tokyo. she spoke about the experiences of former corps members including one who passed away last year. >> translator: the war kept on escalating. every day students treated dozens of soldiers hundreds even, with major injuries. they were missing limbs and parts of their faces. and their insides were hanging out. >> reporter: the students seem to gain a new appreciation of the reality of war. >> translator: at first i was worried about whether younger people could pass down our experiences and message of
peace. but i see how serious and determined they are to do that work. >> reporter: efforts are under way to preserve the museum as a bastion of peace and to keep the experiences of himeyuri student corps alive. reporting for nhk world from okinawa. the surviving members of the unit are still at the museum. they say they want to continue their storytelling as long as they can. it's time for a check of the weather. people in a town in the u.s. state of illinois are picking up the pieces after a tornado ripped through their community. mai shoji joins us with the latest. >> catherine, better to see the pictures than to speak about it. we do have some images coming up from there. i do want to show you from coal city. this is illinois. residents near chicago woke tuesday morning to a swath of destruction in the rural
community. a tornado rolled through the town late monday. local officials are reporting at least five injuries but none are life threatening, fortunately. some 20,000 homes also lost power, though, in the area due to downed power lines. tornadoes were also reported in other parts of illinois and also iowa and michigan due to the severe weather outbreak. the town of coal city was hit by a tornado in november of 2013 resulting in significant damage and so it's only a couple of years since then and people are digging out after this mess. right now high pressure system is predominant, so things are a little bit clearer and the weather's cooperating with the recovery process. however, we still have that system that pulled into parts of canada in new england states. this is actually bringing some threats of tornadoes. we still have the tornado watches in place in parts of new england states just north of new york. new york and washington, d.c. is still under the enhanced severe weather outlet for strong
gusts. large hailstorms and again tornadoes, as i mentioned, as well as flash flooding. and that is pulling out towards the florida panhandle as well as toward s towards carrying it towards the west. as for illinois, we're looking for another chance of thunderstorm eruption due to the great instability popping up. so this is another area where we're likely to see that happen once again on wednesday evening. but towards the west we're looking at some clearer skies. and the temperatures will be soaring in the 30s and even 40s in las vegas. so please watch out for heat stroke there. a typical event we have that all the way towards the north so it's carrying a lot of the heat. denver is up to 32 oklahoma 34. a rare sight here though. we have 30 degrees that's continuing here in washington, d.c., and new york is looking at the 30s, too. as for the game that's coming up pretty soon at 7:00 local time
11:00 here at japan time japan is playing against the netherlands. weather looks nice 21. stay hydrated if you are spectating. out here we are whale watching. i call this whale watching because the name of the storm system is kujira. it is making its way towards vietnam. already authorities are advising residents to stay away from the area and head to higher grounds. gusts are reaching 110 kilometers an hour. the stormy conditions are happening across hanoi already. but 200 millimeters of rainfall could cause flooding especially people living in huts and the coastal area. out towards the bigger picture, we still have that rainy season boundary. and this system is exasperating this situation. another round of 180 millimeters especially in and around sichuan. and that's around the islands of japan. in fact, we're looking at these kind of digits in june. june is not over yet, so the
numbers will be increaseing yet. but that's more than three times what we usually see. not welcome at all with the precipitation. tokyo will escape that at 28 degrees. i'll leave you now for an extended forecast. that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us.