hello there, welcome to nhk "newsline." it is friday, april 8, i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. we begin with the business news. 17 month low against the yen. let's go to ai uchida. where is it now? >> the dollar/yen has recovered to the 108 mark. overnight in new york, it did dip below, and that's the level we haven't seen since october 2014. now, the greenback's latest slide began after policymakers are cautious about another rate
rise. this prompted many investors to sell the u.s. currency, and that has impacted global markets. now we're going to get all the current levels from our very own ramin mellegard. good morning. tell us what you're seeing. >> good morning, to you. evident in the currency markets from what we've seen investors really piling into what they consider safer assets. let's go over the levels right now as well. the dollar fell below 108. now trading at 108.50 to .55. it was trading at 111 in early february. you can see the huge difference there. let's check out u.s. shares played out as well. the dow jones industrial average ended at 17,541. almost 1%, tech heavy nasdaq, down just over 1.5%. as we've been covering the
soaring yen, causing a major head wind for japanese exporters and a bit of a headache at the bank of japan as well. policymakers there looking at the dollar/yen levels, that's going against directly against a lot of their policies. now, let's have a look at the opening levels for the nikkei on april 8th. ended both copying pretty much what happened on wall street there. the nikkei down almost 1%. however, a quick reminder, they did manage to snap losses on thursday, investors picking up heavily beaten down stocks. japanese officials, perhaps hinted at some form of action if necessary. a lot of annialysts watching th. interest rates obviously seen as methods to depressate the
currency. the federal reserve's current stance, as it has currently signaled no rush to raise rates. and of course, that doesn't really help with the dollar/yen as investors as we've seen start buying the yen and selling the dollar. another head wind, oil. crude oil prices and commodity prices also weaker, and that's hampering the 2% inflation target set by boj. with a stronger yen, it seems to be undermining exporter profits, and hence corporate japan. that's a bigger focus now into the earning season in japan. let's look at the indexes open right now. seoul's kospi trading down and australia down 0.5%. very quickly, follow-up on 7 and i holdings resigned on thursday. might have caught the markets by
surprise. i'll check that share and sector and much more. back to you. >> sounds good. thanks for keeping us up-to-date. we will talk to you in a few hours time. moving on, japan's current account balance stayed in the black for the 20th consecutive month. it measures how much money in and out of the country. finance ministry officials sure place $22.5 billion. the trade account was back in the positive. the surplus stood at $3.9 billion. the trade figure improved, as lower crude oil prices reduced energy imports in value terms. the surplus for the primary income account, which measures earnings from overseas investments was about $18.9 billion. well, japanese lawmakers have started to debate legislation on the transpacific partnership free trade deal. discussions have heated up over the issues of disclosing details.
japan's lower house special committee on tpp related bills kicked off on thursday. the main opposition democratic party is sharply criticizing how tech in most of the material submitted by the government is blacked out. the documents detail points of contention during the negotiations. >> translator: i have never seen materials as blacked out as this. without necessary information on the negotiation process, it is impossible to decide whether they were truly in japan's national interest. >> translator: diplomatic negotiations do not materialize if the process says leading to their conclusions are readily made public. >> the government and ruling parties claim confidentiality agreements limit the information they're able to disclose. they plan to detail the content of the free trade pact, and measures to support farmers.
ride sharing services have become a global phenomenon. no nonprofessional drivers use their own vehicles, but in japan, only drivers with special licenses are allowed to offer such services. the best ride sharing program is launching a trial program to meet the needs of rural communities. >> the population of this town has been declining and getting older for years. the town's only taxi hub went out of business eight years ago. buses are the only form of public transport. but the schedules and routes are extremely limited. >> translator: it is very inconvenient. and it's a pain. when i want to go out on short notice.
>> now, uber, whose name has become synonymous with ride sharing worldwide, is developing a solution in partnership with a local npo. >> translator: population decline is a major problem in japan. our companies operations should be very helpful in places like this. >> passengers use a computer application to enter their destination and request a ride. and soon, a registered driver arrives. the fare is about half what a taxi would cost. in japan, drivers who want to participate in the service must first undergo training. he has recently completed the course. he is a bud ddhaist priest who wants to help his community. >> translator: i'm healthy and
able to drive, so i wanted to support my neighbors. >> his training on this day included a practice run with a customer. >> translator: i got a request. off i >> his passenger wanted to go to the town office. if he called a taxi from a nearby town, the trip could have taken about an hour, including waiting time, and cost about $27. but the ride sharing journey took 20 minutes from booking to arrival. and it cost about $11. >> translator: it might take a while, but people will get
accustomed to the service over time. the software is easy to use, so it should be okay. >> ride sharing services will likely become more popular in japan if government plans to ease regulations go forward. despite the concerns of professional drivers. in the meantime, people in this town will have the chance to broaden their personal horizons. that's the latest in business for this hour. the nikkei is trading in the negative. i'll leave you with a check on the markets.
police officers have created a manual to educate tourism workers on terrorism risks. more than 1 million tourists visit the ancient capital every year, and even more expected as they plan to host the group of seven summits next week. they want to beef up their efforts with help from the private vector. the brochure says to always be aware of your surroundings, spaces under seats. the 30 page booklet what -- anything suspicious should be reported to authorities. they plan to distribute it to
about 200 locations popular with tourists. japan's top police officer is promising unprecedented levels of security for a series of meetings, including the one in hiroshima. japan face ace real threat of terror he says. >> translator: japanese police have a global responsibility to ensure safety at the summit, and all the meetings connected with it. >> around 4,300 police officers are mobilizing for the meeting of foreign ministers. they include 1,600 reenforcements from forces across the country. japanese athletes have once again become the subject of a gambling scandal. two badminton players admitted to visiting an illegal casino. one was a prospect for bringing medals in the games. nhk has more.
>> last year's world championships and is now ranked second in the world. >> translator: my goal is to win an olympic gold medal, but i also want to make badminton a bigger sport. >> drop placement close to the net is said to be a must. his flamboyant style brought a lot of attention to badminton. >> translator: i want to wear stylish clothes. live in a nice place, and drive a good car. i want to become a player that everybody >> he was also arising star at the 2012 olympics.
the company sponsoring the two players announced the results of an internal investigation. >> we've confirmed the fact that they both visited the illegal casino when gambling there. >> officials at a japan badminton association say they will not recommend for the upcoming games in rio. >> i was not aware the players lacked any regard for obeying the law. i'm sorry. i am very disappointed. >> officials say they said three years ago it was not appropriate for an athlete to visit a casino. they believe they invited him to participate in illegal gambling. japanese athletes have been llegal gambling recently four baseball players were suspended for at least one
year. in sumo, 27 people, including wresters admitted to betting on baseball games in 2010. a psychiatrist says athletes who spend most of the time practicing and competing tend to become addicted to gambling more often than people with ordinary occupations. >> translator: i feel that athletes who don't have a hobby or means to ease their stress tend to have a higher risk of becoming involved in gambling. >> the two badminton players are scheduled to hold a press conference on friday. they are expected to reveal how and when they became involved with illegal gambling. kengo okamoto, nhk world. it's time now for eye on asia. vietnam is demanding china move
an oil rig, which is in a disputed section of the south china sea. vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson announced on sunday that the chinese rig was transferred into waters near the gulf tonkan. jurisdiction remains unclear. china had also moved the same rig to waters clo se by in january. stating it wants plans for drilling to be stopped, and the rig to be removed immediately. the rig also caused tension in 2014, when china placed it near the disputed perisal in the south china sea. china claims virtually all of the resource rich china sea, also have rival claims to
certain areas. vietnam's new prime minister phuc who was sworn in on thursday, completing a national leadership change, the communist country goes through every five years. >> translator: before the flag of the mother land, before the assembly in front of the people of vietnam, i swear to give my utmost loyalty to the community, to the people, and the constitution of the socialist republic of vietnam. >> phuc is 61 years old and was former deputy prime minister. parliament approved him by an overwhelming majority. it is widely regarded as a rubber stamp by the 19 member elites. he takes the post at the time when the country is facing growing assertiveness in the south china sea. other challenges he faces are maintaining the momentum as one of asia's fastest growing
economies, as well as battling corruption. prosecutors in taiwan have indicted five people for professional negligence in the alleged shoddy construction of a condominium complex. it toppled with an earthquake hit southern taiwan in february. the 6.4 jolt claimed 117 lives. 115 died as a result of the 16-story building collapse in a suburb. those charged included the former president of the construction company that built the complex. they claim the company cut corners to save money. prosecutors pointed out structural problems, such as insufficient steel reenforcements to support columns and beams. they also said blueprint screening and construction supervision for the condominium was not in compliance with regulations. malaysian officials announced on thursday the name of a new baby panda. the name was decided through a
public competition that had been followed eagerly by people there. >> the name of the baby panda is nuan-nuan. >> the name was chosen from nearly 23,000 submissions from the malaysian public. the seven month old cub was born in captivity from parents loaned to malaysia by china in 2014. it means warm and friendly in chinese. china's state run news agency said the naming of the baby panda was a symbol of the warm relations between the two countries. china has long used diplomacy and expand its influence. it was delayed amid tensions of
mal la ma lash shan airline when it disappeared. that wraps up eye on asia. officials in beijing are trying to the panama papers, leaked from a law firm have cast lights on the powerful figures, including relatives of china's top leadership. a group of investigative journalists is looking into the papers. it says relatives of two of china's seven executives own shares and companies in the british virgin islands. it's known for being a tax haven. a similar allegation for president jinping. a spokesperson would only say
this. authorities pair to be censoring reports on the papers. words for pan that paper have been blocked. anticorruption campaign. a british newspaper has reported that the law firm in panama helped register an off shore finance company, and that it was allegedly used by north korea to fund its nuclear weapons program. the guardian says the company was registered in the british virgin islands in 2006. the law firm later learned it was an off shoot north korea foreign bank, used to hide hundreds of thousandsle dollars. the the bank was put under new sanctions last month. it is suspect today be involved in financial transactions related to the country's nuclear arms development. several countries have
started inquiries into possible crimes involving the leak. panama's president is vowing to increase transparency. he says the reputation of panama and its financial system is being tarnished. >> translator: the panama government via the foreign ministry will form an independent commission national and international experts to evaluate our practices and to propose measures that we will share with other countries of the world. >> prosecutors in the central american country have also launched a probe into criminal investigations found in the documents. a representative of the reporter's organization international consortium of investigative journalists has spoken to nhk about the group's work. >> i think what the panama papers project shows is that
there is a parallel universe in which if you have enough money or enough political power, you can almost decide to play by different rules to the rest of us. >> he says it's just the beginning of their project. fitzgibbons said they've obtained millions of documents and calls the leak several times larger than the wiki leaks of off shore data. >> even today, we had messages from partners in europe, saying they found new links to politicians or to people involved in potentially illegal acts. >> fitzgibbons said there will be a lot more to report over the coming months. and it is time now for a check of the weather. people in eastern canada and the u.s. are seeing a rare sight this time of year.
our meteorologist robert speta explains. >> i'm sure people out here are probably thinking when is spring going to be arriving? the official start was well over a week ago. almost two weeks now. and we are still looking at some heavy snowfall across a large swath of the great lakes region, towards towards quebec. look at this video in michigan. an incredible amount of snowfall. still have those bulldozers trying to clear up some 60 centimeters that has fallen in april. 30 centimeters alone on thursday. it's not just the white stuff, but the wind chill value combined with the wind and cold temperatures down to minus 11. a rough go and more snow in the forecast. in fact, an additional 20 centimeters expected out here in
michigan. not from this one. this one is moving away. that is going to bring some of that accumulation, extending toward the canadian maritimes, new england. but another clipper system coming in right behind that, and that's going to bring more accumulation. this combined with some cold air, expanding down through the appellations, pennsylvania, new york, you're going to be looking at more snowfall as well. spring, it is still holding off. eventually it will get there, hopefully in the next week or two. you'll finally see the temperatures warm back up. meanwhile, back towards the west, los angeles, you've been seeing above average temperatures this week, but now down to 21. in fact, across a large swath of southern california, new mexico and arizona, 20, 30 millimeters of rainfall. talking about some rain, though, let's move here towards the mediterranean. that's pulling off the north parts of the peninsula, southern
germany, already seeing gusty winds, the isobars in this region. plus the chance of the large hail, two to three centimeters in diameter. maybe the threat of tornadoes could linger in here. the separate low is coming in right behind it, there in southern italy, looking at heavy showers coming up with that, and extending in algeria, heading into the weekend. a rough one along that line. paris, showers, london, partly cloudy skies. windy conditions with a new low by friday into saturday. let's wrap things up here across eastern air sha. japan, looking for decent weather especially compared to thursday. wet one out there, including the tokyo area. sunny skies dominate. may like is expected friday into saturday. we do have the front continuing
back towards southeastern china. that will bring more rain showers, not much of a break out there, even towards the southern japanese island, northern areas of taiwan. taipei, 28, showers on friday. taper off by sunday, still going to remain rather warm there. tokyo, getting up to 22. little cool down by sunday. if we look towards seoul, above average, 21 heading to the weekend. here is the extended outlook.
rita aspinwall: on this edition of native report, we'll attend the world indoor lacrosse championship. ernie stevens: we'll meet alf jacques, a world-renowned traditional lacrosse stick maker. you can do a lot of things with it rita aspinwall: and we'll interview onondaga faith keeper, oren lyons. this is the oldest standing democratic government in the world. rita aspinwall: we also talk about leadership in indian country and here from our elders on this edition of native report. narrator: production of native report is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community, the blandin foundation, and the duluth superior area community foundation. [music playing]