hello, and thank you for joining us on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. the foreign ministers of the united states, russia, turkey, and saudi arabia are figuring out how to end the civil war in syria. the foreign ministers have gathered in vienna. the u.s., turkey and saudi arabia support anti-government forces in syria. ahead of the meeting, u.s. secretary of state john kerry spoke with russian foreign minister sergei lavrov. their agenda likely included the possibility of a transition of power in syria and russia's air strikes targeting what it claims are islamic state militants. the united states wants syrian president bashar al assad to step down while russia has been increasing military support for
the assad government. earlier this week, russian president vladimir putin met assad. some observers say russia wants to gain the initiative by talking to nations backing anti-government forces. a traffic accident in southwestern france has resulted in dozens of fatalities. a bus carrying elderly people on a day trip collided head-on with a truck. the crash occurred early friday morning about 50 kilometers east of bordeaux. both vehicles caught fire shortly after the collision. french media report at least 41 are conconfirmed on the bus. eight others were injured. a radio station quoted the mayor of a nearby town as saying the truck went out of control and crashed into the bus. the bus driver opened the doors to allow some passengers to escape. president francois hollande has called the accident an immense tragedy and sent prime minister
manuel vass to look into its cause. he says it was france's deadliest road accident in more than 30 years. japan's prime minister has met with the president of turkmenistan. shinzo abe and gurbanguly berdimuhamedov have agreed to encourage japanese firms to invest more in turkmenistan's energy sector. abe is on a tour of countries to promote economic ties with the region. >> translator: we are grateful to japan for the partnership between the two countries. as for investment, a number of very large projects in the oil, gas and chemical industries are under way in turkmenistan. with the funding of japanese investment. >> berdimuhamedov says the cooperation between the two countries offers great potential. abe hopes to promote dialogue between japan and the central asian nations to contribute a political -- to political and economic stability in the region. >> translator: the japanese delegation includes many
business leaders. i'm glad they'll have an opportunity to meet you in person. i'm certain this will lead to major progress in our economic relations. >> the leaders then signed a joint statement. it welcomed the participation of japanese firms in the construction of natural gas and thermal power plants. the leaders said their governments will help facilitate the projects worth $18 billion. the statement also said turkmenistan will introduce japanese-style educational methods to teach advanced engineering and technology. turkmenistan has the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas. engineers at japan's crippled nuclear plant have almost completed a wall they hope will protect the environment. they built a steel barrier along the sea frontage to contain radioactive water. nhk has learned they could add the final touches in the next couple of days.
about 400 tons of un water flows from the fukushima daiichi site into the ocean every day. some of that water is radioactive. engineers with tokyo electric power company began building the steel barrier in 2012. they drilled the sections 30 meters into the ground. now they're sealing gaps with cement. crews will pump up water trapped on the land-ward side. they'll decontaminate it and discharge it into the ocean. they'll monitor the level of the trapped water to figure out how well the barrier is working. tokyo electric power company said the barrier will cut the leakage into the ocean from 400 tons a day to 10. japanese government officials are taking new steps to help their country adapt to global warming. they have drawn up their first comprehensive plan for industries and communities. staff at a range of ministries came up with countermeasures. they want to see development of rice and vegetable varieties that can resist higher
temperatures, and they say fruit should be grown at higher elevations. officials also came up with measures to control floods and landslides. they aim to impose stricter control over levees and dams and improve evacuation plans. they will encourage communities to build in areas where the risk of a disaster is low. the officials also want to help people avoid heatstroke. they will step up public awareness campaigns and will encourage farmers to use robots and other technologies that save workers from getting too hot. they also aim to kill mosquitoes that carry diseases such as dengue fever and keep better track of outbreaks. officials will invite public opinions, then cabinet ministers will give the plans their approval. >> translator: we're going to make our plan known globally. we must ensure everyone in japan takes part in tackling the challenges.
>> government leaders hope to present the plan at the u.n.'s cop-21 climate conference in paris next month. china's central bank has cut interest rates for the sixth time since november last year. the government is trying to prop up the country's slowing economy. the people's bank of china says it will lower the one-year benchmark lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.35%. the deposit rate will also be lowered by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.5%. central bank officials said they will also cut the reserve requirement ratio for all financial institutions to boost lending. economic growth in the july-september period fell to a six-year low of 6.9%. capital investment and the real estate market are sluggish. prices are much lower than the goals set by the government reflecting weak domestic demand.
china's economy showed more signs this week of slowing down. it's the first time since 2009 that economic growth dropped to less than 7% during the third quarter. the chinese government has been striving to change the country's economic structure with a shift to manufacturing products with high added value, placing more weight on quality rather than the speed of growth. earlier, minori takao asked naoki makita about the state of the chinese economy. >> the economic slowdown in china comes on the heels of a drop in real estate investment. imports and exports have also taken a hit. until the third quarter, this year's total trade value decreased by 8.1% compared to last year. i visited one of the largest trade fairs in the country to try and find out more. the fair is held twice a year.
it's viewed as the bellwether of future trends in the chinese economy. about 24,000 companies are participating in the event. on display is everything from home appliances to the latest in game machines. foreign companies are attracted to the chinese market because of its size. but some of the exhibitors at the fair say the mood is less upbeat than in past years. >> even the chinese buyers are telling me everything is slowing down. i think they are a little bit receptive. they are not showing that positive mindset now. >> translator: our sales growth in china has been slower than projected. and total sales are not meeting our annual goals. >> reporter: the export
business, the driving force for economic growth up until now, is also starting to show signs of slowing. this chinese manufacturer exports construction machinery to africa and the middle east, but demand for its products has been especially slow this year, and business has plunged. >> translator: our total sales have fallen by about 20% to 30% compared to the same period last year. we are focusing our efforts on researching and developing new products. >> reporter: the promoters of the fair are concerned. they think fewer buyers will come this year, and they are worried about a drop in business opportunities. >> translator: new competitive industries are not being developed, and the overall costs are increasing. these factors are affecting the
growth of chinese trade. >> reporter: china's economic strength was largely built on exports, and those were based on low production costs, but the country is now losing its competitive edge. labor costs are going up and many companies are expressing anxiety about the future. >> president xi jinping's visit to london can be linked to a number of economic goals. what exactly did he hope to get out of that trip? >> reporter: xi was accompanied by about 150 chinese business leaders. together, they sealed contracts worth more than $60 billion. attention is focused on increased cooperation on infrastructure projects. china agreed to invest in the construction of three nuclear power plants. it apparently aims to use the investment to give a boost to the export of infrastructure technology.
expanding the export of high value added infrastructures is a pillar of china's policy to transform its economic structure. if the country can achieve results in britain, a member of the group of 7, it will give much momentum to the effort. >> translator: the latest developments show that britain has recognized china's capability in developing value-added products including nuclear power plants that require the latest technology. it will be proof of the development achieved by chinese businesses if their economic ties continue to expand. >> reporter: china is also working to create a new economic belt between asia and europe. it hopes to use it as a way to strengthen economic cooperation with countries in the area. since the uk expressed its intention to participate in the china-proposed asian infrastructure investment bank at an early stage, beijing thinks enhanced cooperation with
the uk can be used as a model case. >> translator: china welcomes the active involvement of british firms in the one belt, one road initiative. we want to further strengthen the win-win relationship with britain. >> reporter: the chinese economy is slowing down, but the country remains the world's second largest economic power with huge capital reserves and an attractive market. using that as an incentive, the xi jinping administration is trying to tighten cooperation with other major economies and gain a foothold to achieve steady growth. and in other news, the united states and pakistan have issued a joint appeal to the taliban to hold direct peace talks with the afghan government. patchari raksawong at our bureau in bangkok has been following the story.
>> u.s. president barack obama was hosting pakistan's prime minister nawaz sharif at the white house on thursday. pakistan is believed to have a certain level of influence over the taliban. the call for talks comes after the taliban's dramatic but temporary seizure of the city of kunduz last month. nhk world's fumio sugaya reports. >> reporter: u.s./pakistan relations have sometimes been characterized by mistrust. but on thursday, the country's leaders tried to show a friendly and united front. >> let me just say that it's wonderful to welcome back prime minister sharif and his delegation to the oval office. obviously the united states and pakistan have a long-standing relationship, work and cooperate on a whole host of issues. >> thank you, mr. president, for inviting me to washington once again, and also thank you for the generous hospitality you
extended to me and the members of my delegation. the pakistan/america relations spans over 70 years, and it is my endeavor to further strengthen and solidify this relationship. >> reporter: obama and sharif discussed security in afghanistan that has worsened since u.s.-led coalition forces ended combat missions last year. the joint statement calls on the taliban leaders to enter into direct talks with kabul and work toward a sustainable, peaceful settlement. the afghan government held its first officially recognized direct talks with the taliban in july at the resort in pakistan where the u.s. and chinese representatives attended. but the outlook turned uncertain after the taliban announced the death of its supreme leader mullah omar and with a report of
internal division. then last month, taliban fighters launched a major offensive on the strategic northern city of kunduz, capturing a major afghan city for the first time since they were toppled from power in 2001. backed by u.s. air strikes, afghan forces later recaptured kunduz, but the event was a powerful reminder of the militants' momentum. obama later decided to slow the pace of the withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan. but most experts doubt there can be a military solution. obama and sharif's appeal to the taliban appears to show the difficult choices the u.s. president is facing as peace in afghanistan remains an ever distant goal. fumio sugaya, nhk world, islamabad. a high-ranking philippine
official is calling for emergency action to make sure the country has enough rice in the aftermath of typhoon koppu. the economic planning secretary told reporters the government should import an additional 1 million tons of rice by the year's end. he added that even more rice could be needed once a full assessment of the typhoon damage is complete. the philippines is one of the world's biggest rice importers. typhoon koppu made landfall on luzon island on sunday leaving at least 41 people dead and 110,000 others displaced. the storm destroyed an estimated 5% of the nation's projected fourth quarter rice harvest. even before koppu, experts were predicting disruption to supplies from the el nino weather pattern lasting well into next year. filipinos saw rice prices skyrocket last year following agriculture damage caused by supertyphoon hayan in 2013.
low income households making up one-fifth of the population were severely affected. indonesia has the world's largest muslim population. it's legal to sell alcohol in the country, but the islamic religion bans its consumption. that's why not many indonesians drink. but the introduction of food cultures from other countries is bringing about a change. nhk world's fransiska renatta reports. >> reporter: with indonesia's economy expanding at least 5% a year, new restaurants and pubs have sprung up one after another. japanese and western food cultures are spreading rapidly. and an increasing number of muslims are beginning to take a more flexible attitude to consuming alcohol. >> thank you. >> reporter: indonesian people
have started to accepting alcohol as part of their lifestyle. cheers! >> reporter: 40-year-old dhani worked for an international ngo. about five years ago, she began going out to drink with female friends. >> a single mcallen with a bit of water, please. >> reporter: they get together twice a week. over drinks, they talk about their love lives and families. dhani says drinking brings people closer. >> translator: we have a lot of fun if we drink. we can also talk about things we usually don't mention. >> reporter: last year a major liquormaker in the country saw its sales rise more than 10% from the previous year.
but conservative forces are criticizing the trend. >> translator: alcohol destroys people. it only has a negative influence. it should be banned. >> reporter: lawmakers are debating proposed legislation that will ban drinks with alcohol content of 1% or more. muslim parties supporting the bill say the current situation is unsuitable. one lawmaker says that even though most indonesians are muslim, alcohol is almost totally unregulated. meanwhile, an increasing number of indonesians enjoy drinking. dhani has stocked up on liquor to entertain guests at home. as her life improves, she thinks
it's important for her to have the freedom to choose the things she likes. >> translator: 90% of indonesian are muslims, but people have different degrees of devotion to their faith and different lifestyles. whether to drink alcohol is up to each person not government regulation. >> reporter: as indonesia's economic growth continues, its middle class citizens increasingly want to enjoy their lives. their views on alcohol are changing. fransiska renatta, nhk world, jakarta. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. u.n. officials say
millions of people in south sudan are facing severe food shortages and millions are on the brink of famine. the warning came in a joint statement by the u.n. world food program. the statement says 3.9 million south sudanese face severe hunger. mostly in northern parts of the country. government officials and opposition forces agreed to a cease-fire in august, but ongoing fighting has seriously affected u.n. relief activities. south sudanese government officials say the delivery of food supplies has improved and they deny there's a risk of famine. the governor of japan's northern-most prefecture is pushing for deeper ties with the closest part of russia. she highlighted the technological help her region can give to russian farmers. business leaders from hokkaido are visiting the russian province of sakhalin, led by governor harumi takahashi. she told local officials, hokkaido has advanced technology for agriculture in lower
temperatures. she said russian farmers could use it to harvest fresh vegetables all year-round. she showed how a company in hokkaido helped a russian farmer grow cucumbers by donating a greenhouse. >> translator: we hope to make use of hokkaido's strong geographical and historical ties with sakhalin, to widen our areas of exchange. >> sakhalin's vice governor said his province's trade with japan has increased every year. he said he would like to import more farm products and export more liquefied natural gas. the civil war in syria shows no sign of ending. millions of people have fled for their lives. a syrian man living in japan has started a grassroots campaign to help them. nhk world's ryosaku sagishima has more.
>> reporter: it's prayer time in central japan. this mosque was founded last year by salim. his aim was to create a network for syrian refugees. salim came from syria ten years ago. he runs a training company. >> translator: it's hard living abroad because the culture is different, and we have no relatives here. so anyone who comes to us for help is a member of our family. >> reporter: salim says what's happening in syria breaks his heart. more than 4 million syrians, one-fifth of the population have fled the country to live as immigrants and refugees. salim is distressed about far-away friends and family. social media is often his only way to communicate. salim and other members of the mosque have launched a campaign
to help. they called for no monetary donations such as clothing and medical knmt to send to the refugees. >> this will cost big money, so please give us useful things. >> reporter: how much support will the campaign attract? salim understands there's some prejudice towards muslims. japanese were killed by islamic state militants. he set up a banner outside the mosque about the incident. the mosque also hosted a cultural event. organizers invited local residents, with the aim of spreading understanding. >> translator: our mosque is
just like a shrine in japan where people pray. this is the grand mosque in mecca. >> reporter: participants were offered a meal made by members of the mosque. it was the first time for many to eat halal food prepared in the islamic way. >> translator: it tastes unusual, but i like it. >> reporter: one man gave a talk. he described the refugees plight. >> translator: syrians are suffering a great deal now. they're like family or relatives to us. please support them. >> translator: i think i've been too influenced by what i've heard about the islamic state group. but today has helped me understand most syrians are ordinary people. just like us. >> translator: i hope i can be of help.
>> reporter: the effort paid off. in just six weeks, 20 tents of relief supplies were delivered. including food, clothing. the mosque sent the aid to turkey in late september. >> translator: i'm very thankful. we received goods from sources we never expected. people in syria will be grateful for the goodwill, as much as the supplies themselves. >> reporter: a long way from syria, the commitment has brought empathy and support. ryosaku shigoshima, nhk world, toyama. next, here's the three-day outlook on the world's weather.
this was the seat of ancient irish kings for seven centuries. st. patrick baptized king aengus here in about 450 a.d. in around 1100, an irish king gave cashel to the church, and it grew to become the ecclesiastical capital of all ireland. 800 years ago, this monastic community was just a chapel and a round tower standing high on this bluff. it looked out then, as it does today, over the plain of tipperary, called the golden vale because its rich soil makes it ireland's best farmland. on this historic rock, you stroll among these ruins in the footsteps of st. patrick, and wandering through my favorite celtic cross graveyard, i feel the soul of ireland.
>> hello. welcome to global 3000. life is full of challenges. sometimes we can change our circumstances. sometimes we can. but as success stories from around the world will show us today, the future belongs to those who embrace it. here's what's coming up. p>> dealing with climate change. new beginnings for farmers in kyrgyzstan. rethinking development aid. the poverty stoplight in paraguay. and lots of tourists means lots of trash will meet amsterdam's plastic fissures. p>> the refugee is