hello there and welcome to "newsline." it's friday, october 30th, i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. chinese leaders have decided to end the decades old policy that has dictated family planning. they scrapped the controversial one-child rule and they say the move is to maintain stable economic growth. nhk reports. >> reporter: the announcement of the change came at the close of a key communist party meeting. it says china will allow all couples to have two children instead of limiting them to one. officials say the namgs --
nation's population hit a record high of nearly 1.3 billion people at the end of the year. by age bracket, roughly 225 million people were zero to 14 years old. around 930 million were 15 to 59 and some 212 million were 60 or older. an estimate shows that by around the middle of this century, one in every three chinese is forecast to be over 60. the population aged between 15 and 59 has been shrinking while that of the elderly has been expanding. this is raising fears that an asian population may impact the economy and some aspects of society.population may impact t economy and some aspects of societpopulation may impact the economy and some aspects of societpopulation may impact the economy and some aspects of societpopulation may impact the economy and some aspects of societpopulation may impact the economy and some aspects of societgpopulation may impact th economy and some aspects of societipopulation may impact th
economy and some aspects of societngpopulation may impact t economy and some aspects of societ population may impact th economy and some aspects of society. a senior official released a comment stressing that the new measure would contribute to correcting the population structure, increasing the supply of labor, and supporting economic development. people in beijing have mixed reactions. >> translator: i'm very happy. i fell it was unfair that we don't have the freedom to have a second child. >> translator: i wouldn't have a second child. the financial pressure is enormous. raising kids costs a lot. >> reporter: china already had a partial two-child policy. couples could have a second child if the husband or wife was an only child, but few couples took advantage of that provision. an expert at fudan university says the new policy would provide a short-term benefit but he's still not sure about the long-term effect. >> translator: a country like china has problems in dealing with expanding aging population before it becomes rich. everyone has limits on economic power and can't adequately cope with aging.
>> reporter: various reactions are being heard about the move. officials with amnesty international say it's insufficient. they say women will remain at risk of intrusive forms of contraception or forced abortions. the white house has welcomed the move. >> while this recent policy change does represent a positive step, we also look forward to the day when birth limits are abandoned altogether. >> reporter: chinese leaders see personal consumption as a new engine to drive the economy, but some analysts say unless they get the kind of growth they want in the working population, stable economic growth in the future may not be a realistic expectation. shunsuke ide, nhk world. china's communist leaders have agreed to target medium to
high economic growing in the five years starting in 2016. they released a communique after ending the plenary session. the new plan will replace the current one that targets stable and relatively rapid growth. observers say the wording of the communique also indicates that the leaders lowered their growth target from the current one of an average of 7% per year. the xi leadership is seeking to shift the export-led investment economy to one led by personal consumption. the government is also seeking to double the 2010 levels of gross domestic product and per capita income of residents by 2020. the leaders also agreed to eradicate poverty in farming villages and improve environmental issues. a senior vietnamese official said the country respects freedom of navigation in the south china sea. the remark comes after a u.s. navy destroyer traveled near an island china built in the spratly archipelago. foreign ministry spokesperson le hai binh talked with nhk on thursday. he said vietnam has sovereignty over islands in the south china sea but supports freedom of
navigation in the region. he called on relevant governments to proactively contribute to peace, stability and safe navigation in the sea while following international law. binh refrained from directly commenting on the u.s. military ship's movement near the spratly islands earlier this week. vietnam claims sovereignty over the spratly islands. an nhk correspondent said officials there may have been trying to avoid upsetting china ahead of a visit next week by president xi jinping. japan's top government spokesperson u.s. help to reduce the burden on okinawan communities hosting u.s. military facilities. the two governments had agreed to transfer 9,000 u.s. marines stationed in okinawa outside japan. about 4,000 of them will relocate to guam. chief cabinet secretary
yoshihide suga traveled to guam and met with u.s. house armed services committee member madeleine bordallo. they agreed to transfer 9,000 u.s. marines stationed in okinawa. about 4,000 of them will relocate to guam. >> it's encouraging that they will -- the u.s. military is building facilities in guam to accommodate 4,000 u.s. marines from okinawa. >> suga told bordallo that the japanese government had resumed preparatory work to relocate the futenma air station. bordallo says she will continue to work with japan to ensure that the transfer of u.s. marines remains on track. the plan is a burden too much. japan's defense ministry has dropped plans to use a civilian airport in the southwestern prefecture of saga for u.s. military training involving osprey transport aircraft. defense minister gen nakatani
defense minister nakatani visited the prefect turl office on thursday for talks with the governor yamaguchi. nakatani told yamaguchi they are withdrawing their request for the use of the airport for training involving osprey stationed at the u.s. futenma base. the defense minister said the scale of u.s. military training will depend on the burden to be accepted by each prefecture across japan. governor yamaguchi said it's significant the ministry decided to drop the plan, adding that he fully understands the importance of national defense but wants to handle the matter carefully as it could have a large impact on the prefecture in the future. >> translator: the central government is trying to relieve okinawa of the burden of hosting the bases. and i've told the governor of saga that the central government is not considering saga as the first possible location for the transfer of u.s. military training programs. >> the defense ministry does, however, have plans to deploy
japan's self-defense force aircraft to saga in 2019. japanese officials released a handful of economic indicators this morning, the data gives us a snapshot of how the economy is doing. ramin mellegard joins us. >> quite a slew of data for investors to take in. at the end of the month, we get a sense of cost of goods, job situations and a lot of other items. the leading gauge of inflation was down for the second month in a row. officials at the internal affairs ministry say the consumer price index fell from 0.1% from the same month last year. the figure had been on the rise for 25 consecutive months until june. the index doesn't factor in fresh food because the price of
this commodity tends to be volatile. the gauge posted an increase of zeer -- 0.9% year on year. japanese shoppers were watching their wallets last month. household spending figures for september was down 0.4% in yen terms from a year ago. now, households with two or more members spend an average of about 274,000 yen or around $2,300. the ministry officials say the unemployment rate in september was 3.4% unchange from the previous month. officials at the labor ministry say the ratio of job offers for people looking for work was up from august 1.24. there were 124 job opening for every 100 job seekers. that's the highest level since january 1992. let's see how the markets are responding to all the economic indicators. now, over in the u.s., stocks
closed lower on thursday. markets lost steam as investors remain worried whether the federal reserve would raise rates over year end. now, for trading in asia, let's go to the stock exchange. the bank of japan is schedule to hold a policy meeting today. tell us more about that. >> well, central bankers in china, the eurozone and the u.s. have all been coming out with policy announcements. now, all eyes will be on whether the boj will take additional stimulus measures and what the governor will say at the news conference at the meeting. let's check the opening levels here in tokyo. it's friday, october 30th here. after that slew of economic data that mostly match estimates. the nikkei is down slight .18%. topix is down .10%.
nikkei is headed to a second week of gains. it's up nearly 9% for october. it was a pretty good month. and the boj, many analysts i spoke to, are not expecting any moves today. kuroda will take a wait and see stance until december. if no changes are announced, stocks may fall. slight hopes for further easing are supporting the markets. a senior dealer i spoke to said last year when kuroda surprised the markets on halloween with additional eedsing measures, no one was expecting, although the consensus is no change, we should watch out for boj announcements later today. let's shift from central bankers. any specific companies on your radar?
>> i'm actually -- i'm thinking of keeping track of two tech terms, panasonic and sony. and final,ly rereturn to the black after a five-year slump. analysts say stocks at sony may fall today because it slightly missed estimates. he said share prices may rise because it went above estimates. let's move on to currencies to see whether or not the dollar -- where the dollar-yen is trading right now. dollar-yen is now 120.98. we are seeing the dollar edge down before the boj announcement. meanwhile, the euro is recovering from its six-month low against the yen. now, it's around 132.9 against the euro. a quick check on the broader asia pacific region. opening almost flat. australia asx is opening down.9%
of a year. that's it for me now. i'll be back with an update in a few hours. >> we'll see what the boj has to say. thank you very much. now, auto makers are still ahe issing the fall out from the volkswagen emission scandal. many expect new regulations in the year ahead. >> the woekeds wagon -- the volkswagen scandal is having major repercussions, starting with the test methods for car emissions xing this is not what happens now. inspectors put the car in a laboratory test rig. gas emissions are measured in controlled conditions, this way all cars can be tested and compared using the same driving patterns. voek -- volkswagen abused this method. it could sense when their cars
are being tested on a rig. when this was activated, the software controlled the car. out on the road, it was a different story. when it was running normally, the software switched to driving mode. in this state, emotion controls were -- emission controls were relaxed. they were emitting up to 40 times more particles than legally permitted. one reason the volkswagen cheating surfaced was because of improvements in testing technology. the new systems enable inspectors to check cars on the road. researchers from the international council on clean transportation or icct exposed the volkswagen fraud. this professor says car emission testing needs a thorough overhaul. >> translator: in addition to continued testing in laboratories, we need to measure the amount of gas emitted from the car when it actually runs on
the road. we ned to do this to make sure car emissions don't significantly exceed legal limits. i hope the introduction of this new type of testing method will contribute to rules for cleaner air. >> reporter: but volkswagen may not be the only auto maker that needs to clean up its act. icct researchers in the u.s. did an on road test of 15 vehicles. all of these cars had passed laboratory tests for emission standards, but running under normal conditions, only one car came in below the legal limit. transport authorities have been studying the feasibility of unroad tests. some of these plans are now on the fast track. >> i'm not saying all car makers are suspect because of the volkswagen scandal. but i think it's a good idea that we revise our gas emission
tests in light of the scandal. >> translator: we're looking at whether it is appropriate to test gas emissions only in the laboratory. we would like to study the feasibility of also conducting sampling tests for emissions on the road. >> reporter: but car analyst sees problems ahead. most car makers have been focused on cutting down on car emissions, the gases blamed for global warming. now they face another expense to protect the environment. >> if emission problem has been solved. they have to solve emission and also global warming issue at the same time, so that's really a technology very difficult and it also costs a lot of money to solve them. >> he says the push for tighter environmental regulations has put car makers under the gun. they will have to speed up
work to meet new standards. >> that's it for business news for this hour. let's get another check on the markets. ♪ ♪ each year, thousands of pilgrims embark on a trip around japan shikuko islands. momentum is growing to bring the sight to the attention of even more people through nomination as part of the world's heritage
more people through nomination as part of the world's heritat more people through nomination as part of the world's heritae more people through nomination as part of the world's heritage. >> a growing number of tourists from overseas take part in what is called the ohindro pilgrimage. the experience draws them deep into japanese culture and religion and close to some of the country's most beautiful scenery. >> i thought it should be broadcast around the world. >> reporter: taking part in the journey also allows them to meet residents along the way. locals serve meals to the walkers and even offer lodging. >> we're all here supporting each other, even if we can't have a full conversation. it taught me a lot about the human spirit and true kindness. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the popularity with people from overseas has led to renewed goals for its recognition as a world cultural heritage site. >> translator: it is among the traditions we're most proud of. i want the world to know more
about it. >> reporter: this man is one of the main advocates. he works for a prefecture where part of the route runs. >> translator: this is an important project. it's the sort of thing that can really revitalize a community. >> reporter: in order to be considered for designation, a site must be selected for the national nomination list. ohendro has been left off twice. one of the problems the national panel cited is the lack of a management plan. for example, after a landslide, some sections would take longer to clear than others. they cross private land that is not maintained by the government. another issue is a shortage of foreigner friendly lodging and road signs in multiple languages.
he decided to visit a pilgrimage route that's been registered to figure out what else ohendro needs. in september, he traveled to the path leading to one of christianity's holiest sites in spain. the 800 kilometer route begins in france. it was added to the world heritage list in 1993. he and his team stopped at one of the 70 public lodging facilities along the way. an overnight stay costs just six euro, about $7 u.s. >> translator: how do you cover renovation costs? >> translator: the regional
government pays for everything. >> reporter: the facilities are operated and manage by an organization. it's part of the tourist bureau. the organization also manages and repairs the roads along the route. the system assures they are cleared right away if something happens to block them. the annual budget is around $6 million. the money helps protect the route as part of the region's cultural heritage. >> translator: this priceless pilgrim route is part of galicia's identity so we need to do our best to keep it in good condition. maintaining it well boosts our international profile. >> reporter: the number of visitors has jumped to 200,000 a year since the route achieved world cultural heritage status.
>> translator: finding about the government's contribution was useful. before we present our proposal again, i plan to incorporate the things i've learned. >> reporter: he would like to create a system for managing the route and improving accommodations, he expects to discuss the idea with local governments. the team understands the need for perseverance. the pilgrimage is staying on the path and continuing to move forward. moving forward is what people in naples italy are doing. they are per is he veering as they experience severe weather conditions and flooding. >> we have been talking about this like a broken record in southern parts of italy. we do have that low pressure system still sitting over this country. yesterday, it caused this
fixture across naples. it's the severe weather resultant from the low pressure area that we expect to roll over italy this weekend. heavy rain spilling into roadways and buildings. most of thursday morning, many highways became impassable like you see here. worse, it was in a town outside of naples, the emergency room of the hospital. the situation improv by noon. friday, they were still eang .stiloccurring. we se the thundersto res welasxces precipitation which could add to that misery for the flooding conditions and the severe wind gusts. large hail storms will be in store. it will probably be waterspout
conditions across the area. to the west, we're looking at another system pulling in. that's going to be staying over the water for now. it's going to pull into the u.k. and ireland, but london is escaping from that weather it's partly sunny with 16 degrees for the high. gorgeous in paris. 17 officer the high. staying in the warm side in the iberian peninsula as well. do enjoy the warm weather before the weather crawls this. out here over the arabian sea, this is actually one of the rare storm systems over here. it's a very severe cyclonic storm that could hit yemen. if it does, it may even drop as much as one year worth of rainfall in just one day. the gusts, wind sustained is going to be backing -- packing about 120 kilometers per hour as it maintains its intensity where it makes landfall possibly around yemen by saturday. stormy conditions will start by friday. now here across eastern continental asia, we're looking at a stationary front across china.
it will drop 60 millimeters of rainfall in the next 24 hours. it's going top dropping rain on top of the 15 or 16 we've seen in the past 24. another low will bring mixed precipitation across northern japan. it will be affected by the stationary boundary. this is the area where precipitation is going to be concentrated, but tokyo will be escaping from that at 22 degrees with partly sunny skies. chillier here. staying in the 30s across parts of the tropics. i do want to take you to chile because this is where we don't see a lot of rainfall, and this is what happened. beautiful flowers out here, but chile's desert turned into a wonderland of purple, but this comes after the heaviest rain in 20 years which hit the area, killing at least 28 people.
the purple flours -- flowers are blooming in the area and they are spreading unusual scents. this phenomenon takes place every five to seven years, but this is the most spectacular scene in the past 18 years. it's incredible that these flowers never bloomed in the past almost 20 years. for the next two days, we're not going to be seeing a lot of precipitation. this is actually what it's supposed to look like. i'll leave you now for an extended forecast. ♪ ♪
>> on this edition of "native report," we meet author and illustrator michael lyons... >> and that's used for making cornbread. market, a unique natural health store, and we go to the university of tulsa and learn about the indian law program. >> core courses in indian law. >> we also learn something new about indian country and hear from our elders on this "native report." >> production of "native report" is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community and the blandin foundation. >> of your life up there in that big city.