on december 31st, a rocket force in charge of nuclear tipped missiles was established. as well as the strategic support force responsible for responding to cyber warfare. the country then disbanded the military's four headquarters responsible for staff, politics, logistics and armaments and replaced them with 15 new agencies. the general staff headquarters was also replaced with a new joint staff department, which commands integrated operations of ground naval and air forces. observers say that under the previous system, the four headquarters each held strong influence. so xi eliminated them along with his other recent moves to prent ctionalism and shore up power. the japanese government says one of the chinese ships that
entered japan's territorial waters in late december was a remodeled warship. tokyo has lodge a formal protest with beijing. one of the ships spotted on december 26th in the east china sea was equipped with what appeared to be four heavy machine guns. it's the first time an armed chinese government ship was confirmed to have entered japan's territorial waters. japanese government officials believe it's a remodeled frigate from the chinese navy. they say it carries the insignia of china's coast guard but might have been operated by the navy. japan's foreign minister officials say the intrusion of armed ship may have been in response to efforts by japan and the u.s. to restrict china's maritime activities in the south china sea. chinese patrol ships have repeatedly entered japan's territorial waters in the east china sea. japan controls the islands, the japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part
of japan's territory. china and taiwan claim them. last year, such intrusions took place nearly three times per month on average. it's just a little over a week into 2016, but already tensions are rising in several parts of the world. threatening global security. so for a look at what that could mean for this region in the year ahead, nhk senior political commentator sat down with a security expert. evan was a white house advisor on asia and senior director of the national security council. >> reporter: what do you think will be the biggest security risk in the world in 2016? how will it affect japan? >> security concerns that i'm worried about in 2016 are issues like cross relations following the upcoming election in taiwan. continued instability in the south china sea as many different players seek to position themselves to advance
their maritime claims. and their maritime rights. and then the issue of north korea. i think we should watch the korean peninsula very closely. all three of those issues touch directly on japanese security interest and the interest of the u.s.-japan alliance. >> reporter: china seems to be insisting that the china and the u.s. are the two great powers vying for control of the asia pacific region. what do you think about that? >> i spent six years in the white house. i know how president obama and his top foreign policy advisors think about the asia pacific. china's a big power in the u.s. but the u.s. does not buy into the concept that the u.s. and china will divide up asia. we believe in a more multipolar point of view that puts them at the center. the united states is a big country with a lot of very heavy responsibilities and what the
u.s. needs and wants is capable partners that importantly are also willing to work with the u.s. to deal with both traditional security challenges and non-traditional ones. major allies like japan play a critical role. u.s. policy toward china has always been a mix of competition and pushing back on areas where we disagree with china. and then cooperating with china on areas where our interests overlap. climate change is an obvious example. >> reporter: let's talk about the u.s. presidential election. how will the result of the election affect u.s. security policy? >> foreign policy is not a major issue to the extent it's a major issue. asia doesn't figure prominently as you know, isis and syria and the middle east figure more prominently. what i believe is that there's a strong bipartisan consensus on both sides that the u.s. should
remain deeply engaged in the asia pacific. that u.s. allies are an important priority. a top priority for the u.s. and the asia pacific. that the u.s. needs to continually modernize its military force posture in the region and that china represents a significant challenge. i do not anticipate any major change. of course, if trump is elected, who knows. in terms of the major main stream republican establishment, there is a strong belief in the importance of asia. gangs of men have attacked a group of pakistanis and syrians in colon, germany and are treating it as possible hate crimes after hundreds of men attacked a group of women on new year's eve.
some 20 assailants attacked six pakistani nationals on sunday. two were taken to hospital. shortly after the first attack, a syrian man was assaulted and injured by a group of five people. the incidents come after multiple women were robbed and sexually assaulted on december 31st. german authorities suspect north african migrants involved. police in colon say they have so far received more than 500 criminal complaints about the incident. germany's interior minister harshly criticized the assault on monday. local media reports that far right groups used facebook to plan retaliation. police are on alert for further violence against refugee s and migrants. labor negotiations at toyota are set to have a strong impact on other companies.
it's that time of year. what are you hearing? >> union leaders at toyota motor are getting ready. they are seeking a pay rise for a third straight year in annual wage talks this spring but do plan to ease their demands this year in a bid to achieve a groupwide raise. the union leaders will push for an increase of about $25 a month. that's half of what they requested last year. they kept the figure low enough to make it easier for smaller unions in the group to ask for a raise, too. the leaders say the lower amount reflects toyota's weak performance in japan where new car sales are sluggish. analysts project the automaker will post a record high operating profit in the year through march thanks to a weaker yen. union officials plan to announce the proposal to their members later this month. japanese officials have
released the latest current account data. the balance for november remained in the black for the 17th straight month. finance ministry officials say that the surplus in november totaled nearly $9.7 billion. the current account balance is the broadest measure of trade and investment with the rest of the world. meanwhile the trade account deficit, that stood at about $2.3 billion. the deficit narrowed from a year ago as lower crude oil prices reduced energy imports in value terms. as for overseas investment, the primary income account shows how much japan earn from its foreign investments. that account showed a surplus of $13.1 billion. that's up more than 21% in yen terms. let's check in on markets. tokyo share prices are playing catch-up after a holiday on monday. they did open lower. right now the nikkei is still down 1.25% just about. 17,470. most sectors are down following
a steep drop in oil prices overnight. on monday shanghai stock market saw another sharp decline of more than 5%. brent crude oil futures fell to the $31 level, dropping to its lowest level in nearly 11 years. u.s. crude wti fell to near 12-year lows. let's look at what's happening with currencies. the dollar did see a bounce monday after commodity prices declined. still near the multimonth lows reached last week. the dollar/yen trading at 117.87-91. dollar rose against the euro trading at 1.0847. looking at markets across the asia pacific region, we are seeing a mixed picture. tokyo is down but australian and south korean shares are trading higher. australia shares are up about 0.8%. the kospi is up more than 0.5%.
>>. >> japanese companies are trying to attract more big-spending tourists and plan to offer duty-free stores at airports and outside the country this year. stores exist where customers can purchase goods consumption-tax free, but in the new stores, alcohol and tobacco taxes will also be taken off. the japan airport terminal plans another store and the doors will open before the lunar new year in february. and south korea plans to open one in the same area in march. outside tokyo, another company will open a duty-free store in western japan in april. the mental health of workers has become a pressing issue for many japanese firms. a revision to a law now requires
managers to carry out regular stress checks of employees and address any problems they find. that is another chore for bosses, but it's also an opportunity for services that offer to eliminate tension in the workplace. >> reporter: one challenge is to identify who is at risk. workers at this nursing care facility soon know if they are feeling the strain. all they need to do is talk to their smart phone. [ speaking foreign language ] >> they are using a software app that measures stress levels. it's not what they say, it's how. the app analyzes the frequency in tone of voice to check the person's mental condition. personnel managers can read the results online. the app makers say this gives bosses an objective perspective of workers' well-being. >> reporter: these days many workers report to their bosses
by email and telecommuters work from home. and these can rob managers from checking on workers face to face. the smart phone app is the answer to such problems. >> reporter: nursing care providers are struggling to find enough personnel. services like this may be one way to keep their staff happy and on the payroll. >> translator: it's hard to read people's feelings, but if you can see the results like that, it's simple. ♪ >> hello. >> reporter: every morning, office workers at this home builder are greeted by calm music and birds. the company uses a background music service to ease stress in the work place. ♪ the soothing tunes continue throughout the day. managers introduce the piped music after staff complained of
stress. they say the office was too quiet. >> translator: i can now work in a relaxed mood. it used to be frighteningly quiet, with the tapping of keyboards the only sound you could hear. >> reporter: when the workday ends, a familiar fanfare is the cue for everyone to go home. ♪ many japanese still feel obliged to work overtime. the end of day music makes it easier for employees to say good-bye. the housing maker says overtime claims have fallen 15% since it introduced the office sound track. >> translator: healthy workers both in body and mind are the source of the company's vitality. it's very important for the company as a whole.
>> reporter: the service is streamed by an audio cable company. it offers 86 channels for business clients. the mellow themes include improving concentration, relaxation and refreshing workers' moods. the company says it has received inquiries from more than 5,000 businesses. >> translator: we thought the service would be just right for companies having problems with workplace stress. ♪ >> reporter: health officials say at least 60% of japan's workforce is facing heavy stress and anxiety, creating a more relaxed work environment could be an important step to bringing that figure down. >> that's the latest in business news. i'll leave you now with a check on the markets.
restaurants are particular about using fresh fish. >> i would suggest with sushi it may be more important the fresher the better. >> this is the head chef at a japanese restaurant that has won two michelin stars. >> we can control freshness. >> reporter: when ishii arrived in london, he was not impressed by the seafood on the market. so he tried to encourage local fishermen to adopt new ways of keeping their catch fresh. in europe, fish are often treated with little care as they are brought to port. sometimes they are not even kept on ice. they tend to flop around and get
damaged during transportation. this will affect their freshness and flavor. ishii wanted to introduce a japanese tradition that involves draining the blood and inserting a line into the spinal cord. this keeps the muscles from stiffening fast so the fish remain tastier for longer. >> to the spinal cord here. not this bone, this bone. >> reporter: he made numerous visits to a fishing port eight hours from london to convince the fishermen to use this method. he told them he would pay them double. gradually, he won some of them over. >> i can see how it will improve the quality of the fish.
i'm very happy to work with this idea. >> reporter: the next step was to get restaurants to start using these fish. he had to introduce the method to about 500 food professionals. now some restaurants use this kind of fish. >> we are all the time looking for the best quality of product. if there is a way to keep the fish and give us a better product, why not use it? >> reporter: ishii himself uses the fish to prepare his own japanese take on fish and chips. >> you can really taste the flavor of the fish whereas in the uk sometimes you don't know what fish is inside and this is beautiful. much better. >> reporter: he calls this campaign his fish and chips revolution.
>> translator: the idea is to change the fish we work with and gradually spreads to fish and chip shops. if it does, my revolution will have achieved its goal. >> reporter: the fresher the fish, the better it tastes. his passion for the finest seafood is starting to spread here in britain. nhk world, london. >> looks delicious. it's time for a check of the weather. travelers in the u.s. northeast are seeing delays at airports and on roads due to heavy snowfall. meteorologist robert us more. >> this has been bringing snowfall and causing a lot of delays. we have lake-effect snow bands setting up in the wake of it coming down. you also have this front down farther to the south. that pushed through much of
florida here. over 200 kilometer per hour winds were reported. even a tornado at cape coral, florida. you can see that right there. that's the type of damage that occurs in these storm systems and why you should be taking them very seriously. as far as the forecast is concerned, the big issue now is going to continue to be that snowfall. not only with this, but another low pushing through the western great lakes into the midwest in the wake of this storm, which also brought snowfall across this area. in toledo, ohio, severe delays at the airports back on sunday and many of the roadways. a mixed bag of weather here in the east coast. temperatures behind us are cooling off, as well. following record-breaking warmth back in december. in winnipeg, minus 20 only for your high. that cold air is continuing to dip down for those of you in houston. cool for you out here with a high of 16 on your tuesday.
we have a-point event storm system dominating here. you see a low pressure back to the west swirling on the satellite picture. we have another one moving farther east. this is the leading edge of that cold air mass interacting with some of that warmer air across the mediterranean bringing a chance of severe thunderstorms. we are going to see areas 70, 80 kilometer winds toward italy and the balkans of peninsula. thunderstorm warnings in effect. keep in mind there is that chance of tornados. right near the coastal areas where you get that wind shear kicking up. in the pyrenees, you'll see gusty winds. berlin with a high of only 4 there. warsaw at 1. moscow getting up to minus 6. the warm spot on the map is athens. by wednesday you are going to have rain showers working its way into your area. let's talk about japan. across the north we have that snowfall continues to move in
across parts of hokkaido. also this cooler air has been affecting parts of tokyo. you have a little bit of moisture. snowfall reported the first time this season this morning into the tokyo area. all this cold air is coming from somewhere. that's really across north eastern china over towards far eastern russia and much of mongolia. minus 37 for your morning low on tuesday. you.ze warning in effect for seoul, minus 9. tokyo just getting around the single digits around 2 but hovering near the freezing point the rest of the week. showers still lingering there in south eastern china. taipei with a high of 18. here is your extended outlook.
one more story to share before we go. young men and women across japan have celebrated coming of age day. the national holiday honors people who have turned 20, the legal age of adulthood in japan. the city welcomed over 35,000 new adults this year. that's more than any other municipality in the country. in north eastern japan, many of the new adults lost relatives in the march 2011 earthquake and tsunami. among them is misaki. her grandmother and younger sister died in the disaster. she read out a letter she wrote them to express her gratitude
for the past 20 years. >> translator: i want you to wa survivors. >> she wrote about her dream of becoming a childcare worker. yuki lost his father in the disaster. on the big day, he wore his father's wrist watch. he said he would not feel nervous at the ceremony because he'll feel his father with him. >> translator: those who went through the disaster will be able to overcome the difficulties lying ahead. >> he wished his father would be able to hear his speech from heaven. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for staying with us.
>> euromaxx highlights and here is your host.ighlights and here >> greetings from berlin and welcome to our highlights edition which this time around included the following topics. great adventure. three students and their journey in an electric rickshaw. time travel. an italian photographer recreates the styles of by-gone eras. winter wonderland. the swiss city of st. gallen is worth a visit especially at this time of the year. the long wait is over for winter sport fans as ski season in many european resorts has finally begun. and once upon a time, when people hit the slopes, it was just to go skiing or snowboarding. but that is changing as resorts try to outdo one another with a cuur