glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." the norwegian nobel committee awarded this year's peace prize to a north african pro democracy group. it says the tunisian group has been key in preventing violence from spreading in the country. >> the nobel peace prize for 2015 is to be awarded to the tunisian national dialogue quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in tunisia in the wake of the revolution of 2011.
>> it is made up of four organizations, representing labor unions, lawyers, the business sector and human rights groups. the arab spring began in tunisia almost five years ago. the committee members say the quartet was formed in 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. they say the quartet helped support a peaceful political process. >> the prize is intended as an encouragement to the tunisian people who despite major challenges have laid the groundwork for a national fraternity which the committee hopes will serve as an example to be followed by other countries. >> the committee noted the struggle for self-government has suffered setbacks in many countries where the uprisings occurred but says tunisia has seen a transition to democracy thanks to a vibrant civil
society. >> a spokesperson said he hopes the peace prize will help their work. it honors people who have kept up their efforts and it's a sign of respect for people who have given their lives to realize a democratic society that values people's rights and liberty. >> the leader of the tunisian labor union says they're proud to be part of the win. abassi says it's a great joy and pride for tunisia. he says it gives hope to the arab world and says dialogue can lead people in the region on the right path. abassi added, the prize is a message for people to put down their arms and sit and talk at the negotiation table. the tunisian president has celebrated the prize. he said in a video on his facebook page the path chosen by tunisians to seek solutions through agreement has been
acknowledged. he added there's no solution other than dialogue to overcome differences in opinion. syrian president bashar al assad is trying to regain lost ground. his forces have launched a vast offensive against insurgents with the backing of russia. >> translator: today the syrian armed forces began a wide ranging attack with the aim of wiping out terrorist groups and liberating the areas and towns which have suffered from their crimes. >> syrian state run television aired this video. it shows government forces using tanks and anti-tank weapons in the central province in the northwestern province. the al qaeda-linked nusra front and other insurgent groups control most of the provinces. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is expressing his concern over russia's role in syria. he spoke to his counterpart sergei lavrov over the phone. kerry said many of the targets
russia is striking are not against the islamic state militant group. the russian military launched its campaign last month. officials said their war ships in the caspian sea launched 26 cruise missiles on wednesday into syria. but american media outlets quoted u.s. government sources as saying at least four missiles landed in iran. iran's state-run television have not confirmed the account but did quote a russian defense ministry spokesperson as saying the attacks against militant positions were successful. this year's winner of the nobel prize in literature has criticized russia for supporting pro-russian separatists in eastern ukraine. svetlana alexievich was born in ukraine and later moved with her family to belarus. her books portray the harshness of life under the former communist regime in the soviet union. at a news conference, alexievich referred to last year's violent clashes between demonstrators
and security forces in ukraine following the collapse of the pro-moscow government. the more than 100 people who were killed are being honored in the country as the heavenly hundred. >> translator: i love ukraine very much. when i visited the maiden square and saw the photos of the heavenly hundred, i stood and cried. >> she denounced russia's suspected backing of separatists in eastern ukraine as an occupation and a foreign invasion. russia's presidential spokesperson said alexievich does not possess the information to make a positive evaluation of what is happening in ukraine. people in north korea are preparing for a celebration. they will commemorate the 70th
anniversary of the founding of the country's ruling workers party on saturday. an all-out effort is being made to ensure it's a memorable occasion. the festivities will include a military parade in pyongyang as well as a concert on a stage set up over a river. sign boards celebrating the anniversary have been hung throughout the city. citizens have been gathering in a square to practice marching in formation. observers say it will be the first major parade in more than two years and north korean leaders are hoping to use it to publicize the country's military strength. they believe the event is specifically aimed at the united states which has suspended dialogue with pyongyang. >> translator: south korea and the u.s. are trying to trick us into destroying our country. we will defeat their plans and fulfill our political goals while maintaining our high ideals.
>> north korea has suggested it may mark the anniversary by launching a satellite carrying a rocket although that's widely believed to be a cover for a ballistic missile test. there have been no specific signs of preparations. a top u.s. military official warns north korea may have the capability of hitting the u.s. homeland with a nuclear weapon. admiral bill gortney who leads the u.s. northern command spoke at a symposium on wednesday. >> we assess that they have the ability, they have the weapons, they have the ability to miniaturize the weapons and the ability to put them on a rocket that can reach the homeland. >> gortney said u.s. forces are preparing to respond if north korea were to use a nuclear weapon. >> the united states officially in a ballistic missile defense, i think the american people expect me to take the threat seriously so that's what we do. >> in may, north korea issued a statement saying its development of nuclear weapons had entered a new phase of miniaturization and diversity. japanese prime minister
shinzo abe is trying to build closer ties to south korea. he said again that he's eager to meet president park geun-hye. abe got a briefing on latest overture. he sent a message to park with the leader of japan's junior ruling party. yamaguchi said park told him she's looking forward to seeing abe at the summit in china. they are arranging for the summit in seoul in october or november. yamaguchi said park was keen to resolve the issue of those referred to as comfort women. he said he believes park wants to discuss the issue with abe. prime minister abe said he hopes to hold his first talks on the sidelines of the tri-lateral summit. abe also handed yamaguchi a personal letter to chinese president xi jinping. he is sending yamaguchi to china next week. the japanese government has held a briefing to explain details of the trans-pacific
partnership. the free trade pact would abolish tariffs on about half of more than 800 imported farm items. the duties will be lifted over time, or in some cases, immediately. such as a tax on grapes and certain marine products. officials from the agricultural ministry spoke with concerned groups in tokyo b. 400 people from farming and food manufacturing associations attended. vice foreign minister honkawa had admitted government negotiators had concealed elements of the agreement during sensitive talks. he said he understands people must have worries and concerns. a dairy farmer expressed fears for his business in the fears of competition. but a tofu maker said he welcomes cheaper soybeans. some consumers in tokyo were concerned over the stability of domestic industries, as well as the prospects of cheaper prices. >> translator: tariff
elimination is good consumers but will be tough for food producers. >> translator: cutting tariffs will help consumers but i'm a little worried about food safety. >> japanese prime minister shinzo abe has promised to revitalize the economy by optimizing the benefits of the tpp. abe made the pledge at the first meeting of a task force of his cabinet ministers. >> translator: the tpp is a key element of my government's strategy to make japan's economy more open and vigorous. we will compile comprehensive measures to use the deal to revitalize the economy. >> abe instructed ministers to come up with ways to enhance the farming sector's competitiveness. in other news, australian leaders have a new plan to resettle asylum seekers on remote pacific islands.
they say they are in talks to move the detainees. pachari raksawong at our bureau in bangkok has details. >> australia has a hard-line immigration policy. it sends all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to centers on small, impoverished islands. last year australia drew international criticism when it signed a pact with cambodia to take some of the detainees for millions of dollars in aid. >> we'll continue to negotiations because there is good faith on both sides. if we can strike an agreement that's in the best interest of our country and from the philippines' perspective, their country, we'll arrive at that point. >> many asylum seekers from asian countries have attempted to reach australia by sea. invariably they're trying to escape conflict, political strife or poverty in 2013, more than 20,000 made the perilous journey by boat. australia sends them to
detention centers on naru and another island in papau, new guinea. it says this approach it necessary so stop human traffickers from destroying at sea. human rights activists have lashed out at can bara's efforts to move asylum seekers to the developing country. in june the australian government transferred four detainees from its facility on na 'aru to cambodia. >> we've got a bilateral arrangement with cambodia. if we can strike other arrangements with other countries, we will do that. >> prime minister malcolm turnbull who took office in september expressed concern about conditions in the detention centers. but he gave no sign that he would consider shifting position on australia's controversial immigration policy. authorities in the philippines said on friday a fire that swept through a maximum security prison killed at least nine people. the country's jails are notoriously overcrowded and vulnerable to disasters.
the blaze at the 42-year-old building in the central province was reportedly the second in two years. the latest fire waged for eight hours before firefighters brought it under control. >> translator: the whole maximum security compound was engulfed by the fire. so everyone who was in the cells was caught in the blaze. >> a.p. news agency reported the prison was holding almost 1,900 inmates, more than three times its capacity. an official from the corrections bureau says faulty wiring may be to blame for the fire. philippine and u.s. forces have teamed up for military drills at a time of increasing friction with china. members of japan's self-defense forces have joined as observers. the exercises took place along the philippine coastline facing out towards disputed islands in the south china sea. the philippines appears to be trying to check its powerful
neighbor by forging closer ties with the u.s. and japan. nhk world reports from southern luzon island. >> combined elements of philippines and u.s. will simulate operations in a literal environment to exercise their ability in amphibious boat raids. the joint military drills began this month in the philippines. along the south china sea. about 2,000 marines from the two countries are taking part in a variety of training exercises. including one simulating the retaking of an island from enemy forces. the philippines is now hurriedly stepping up its military cooperation with the united states and boosting its naval power. behind this move, is a sense of crisis.
over china's increasing presence in the south china sea. china has been conducting a series of landfill projects in the disputed spratly island and building facilities on the claimed land. an analysis by a british research institute announced last month shows that china has completed a 3,000-meter air strip in the islands. that's long enough for military aircraft. once the runway goes into operation, china will have a base for military activities very close to the philippines. >> is this a cause for alarm or concern. not only for the philippines, but also for the all other countries that are benefitting in the south china sea. the presence of the united states in the region gives us the confidence, that they would help us small countries in the region. >> the philippine government is taking measures to counter china's increasing activity.
this is oyster bay on the western philippine island off pilawan. just 100 kilometers from an area where china has reclaimed land on reefs. the philippine government plans to build on existing facilities there and create a large vessel port and a heli port. a road to the new base is being hastily built. the philippine military is considering sharing the base with the u.s. military to monitor china's maritime activities. the philippines is also strengthening its ties with japan. philippine president aquino visited japan in june and agreed to start talks on the transfer of defense equipment and technology. shortly after words japan's self-defense force and the philippine navy conducted their first full-scale joint drill in the south china sea.
japan deployed patrol aircraft. the two countries confirmed coordination between their units. this time, the jsdf has dispatched a team to observe the joint exercise by u.s. and philippine forces. the philippines hopes to work with japan for security in the south china sea. >> japan is one of those like-minded nations. now the terms security is a broad term. but what we see in japan is cooperation or collaboration in coming up with a better capability. >> the south china sea is now called asia's biggest potential flashpoint. it is crucial that both japan and the united states insure the safety of the south china sea. as it is home to several important sea lanes.
with china looming over it the philippines is aiming to step up ties with japan and the united states based on their shared values and interests. charmaine deogracis, nhk world. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. u.s. media reports say president barack obama may send militaryessels to the disputed area in the south china sea. and a senior chinese official has warned against any intrusions. >> china will not allow any country to violate its territorial waters or the air space around the islands under the pretext of freedom of navigation and flight. we urge those concerned not to take any provocative action. >> hua says china has always respected freedom of flight and navigation based on international law.
american officials say the artificial islands cannot constitute the basis for 12 nautical mile territorial waters. some u.s. media outlets report obama is poised to send navy ships inside the zone. obama and chinese president xi jinping had discussions over the south china sea in september. xi said his country has the right to uphold its territorial sovereignty and its legitimate maritime rights and interests. senior officials in japan and russia are looking for a break in a territorial issue. they agreed to keep the lines of communication open. nhk world has more. it was the first time in about 20 minutes the officials sat down to discuss a peace treaty. tokyo and moscow never signed such a pact after world war ii,
mainly because of four islands known in japan as the northern territories. russia controls them and japan claims them. >> translator: i strongly claim japan's basic position but at the same time, russia also claims their position. this is a tough situation. >> reporter: japan's basic position is the islands are an inherent part of its territory and were illegally occupied after the war. russia maintains they became its territory as a result of the war. leaders of the two countries agreed to start peace treaty talks in 2013 and try to find a mutually acceptable solution. japan's deputy foreign minister was in moscow trying to lay the foundation for more senior talks. he's hoping russian president vladimir putin will fly to japan later this year. but the meeting came at a time when russia is boosting its military presence in syria in
support of president bashar al assad. and relations with western nations that were already frosty over the ukraine crisis are worsening. >> it's not time for business as usual with russia. >> reporter: japanese leaders are faced with a balancing act as they try to resolve the territorial issue while western countries become increasingly wary of tokyo's dialogue with moscow. serious cyclists in japan have traditionally cast a no-nonsense image. most have been ultrafit, lycra-loving men. but now a different breed of road warrior is breaking down that stereotype. nhk world ishikawa explains. >> more than 1,000 people have gathered east of tokyo for an unusual sporting event.
mock competitors, a term for people who attempt to spend their time indoors watching anime cartoons and reading manga comics. people here are decked out in all kinds of colorful outfits. but take a look. you see many of them have something in common -- they are yuamushipadal. the main characters are members of a high school cycling club. the hero is a self-identifying character who loves anime, but goes on to defy all odds to win a national championship. fans of the regional manga have snapped up more than 14 million copies. >> i really love to see the characters working so hard to achieve their goal s i didn't get the most out of my
own high school years, so it's really fun for me to read about their experiences. >> this woman is one of many people who took up road cycling after getting into the media. >> i read the comics through the night. they're very moving. i can't stop crying. i used over a box of tissues. >> miyazaki used to spend most of her time reading comics and dressing up as her favorite characters, a hobby known as cosplay. but her routine changed last year when she brought a road bike of the same brand as in the comics. now most weekdays after finishing work she spends two hours in the saddle. on weekends she gets together
with friends and slugs it out over 100 kilometers or more. >> i go wherever i can by bicycle. my priority now is riding somewhere to enjoy a really good meal. >> miyazaki joined an amateur cycling club. the crew includes people from a range of backgrounds and age groups. one weekend morning the cyclists plan a long-haul ride to check out a seafood festival in a coastal town. miyazaki is one of the newest members, but the other cyclists say she already holds her own. >> she's amazing, she's always breaking away, it's only at the
end that i'm able to catch her, she has a heart of steel. >> the cyclists have climbed littles and powered through city streets and finally, made it to the beach. >> translator: i've changed a lot as a person. my relationships with people, my whole world have expanded. i'm just so glad i discovered cycling. >> miyazaki sets her next goal is the grand tour that three top european professional races. her enthusiasm as a bicycle-loving otaku is accelerating day by day, nhk world. >> there's more to come here on "newsline" but first here's a
three-day outlook on the world's weather. before we wrap up, rugby fans in london are getting a glimpse of the future. they have had the world cup on their doorstep for the past few weeks and now they are checking out an exhibition about the next tournament in japan. the japan pavilion was built in front of westminster abbey. rugby dignitaries got together for an opening ceremony. they heard from the head of the japanese organizing committee, akira shimazu.
>> translator: we welcome everyone with the traditional japanese spirit of hospitality. we hope to get lots of visitors, not just from britain, but the whole world. >> visitors can find out about the 12 cities hosting the matches and pick up tips on japanese culture. james fitzgerald is media manager for rugby's international governing body. he said more japanese are getting interested in the sport because of their team's performance this year. >> it will be really, really exciting and we are looking forward to japan hosting 2019. >> the teams who come to japan will play 48 matches across the country in the fall of 2019. that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. from all of us at nhk world, thanks for joining us. have a good day wherever you are.
zulfikar: hello and welcome to global 3000. back in the year 2000, the united nations held an historic millennium summit. the member states and other international organizations joined to committ to help achieve eight millennium development goals by 2015. so, we're asking where are we at with the mdgs? and here's what else we've got coming up. saving the scavengers. africa fights for the lives of its vultures. university boom. ethiopia sets itself ambitious goals. and,a