hello and welcome to "newsline." i'm raja pradhan with the news from tokyo. the leadsers of japan and russia have made some progress in their ongoing talks. japanese prime minister shinzo abe says he's agreed with russian president vladimir putin on adopting a new approach for negotiations on a peace treaty and the future of four russian-held islands claimed by japan. abe held talks with putin on friday, in the southern russian resort of sochi. their meeting at the president's official residence in the city's suburbs lasted about three hours and included a dinner. abe later told reporters he got a sense that he'll be able to break the impasse on peace treaty negotiations, including the issue of the northern territories.
he added he believes president putin shares the same perspective. the countries didn't sign a peace treaty after world war ii. the northern territories are four russian-controlled islands, japan's government maintains they're a part of its territory. it says the islands were illegally occupied after world war ii. >> translator: i think i have to advance the negotiations based on new ideas. i told president putin that we need to take new approaches to resolve the issue. and the president agreed with that basic stance. abe said they agreed to hold another summit in september, in russia's far east. abe said he'll try to arrange a visit by putin to japan at an appropriate time. china says it will reject any ruling from an international
court in the hague. chinese foreign ministry official has said beijing will not accept any judgment of the permanent court of arbitration that counters their claims in the south china sea. the country claims sovereignty over most of the waters in the region. but philippine officials have filed an appeal with the court over the issue. they say china's claims are unacceptable under international law. on friday, the chinese official accused the philippines of plotting to deny china's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights. >> translator: any court decision can alter the historical fact and present-day reality that china has sovereignty over the waters. china's resolve to defend its rights and sovereignty will never be shaken. >> the official also referred to the upcoming g7 summit that opens this month in japan. g7 leaders are expected to discuss the south china sea issue. a u.s. navy commander says
the u.s. will challenge what it considers to be excessive maritime claims in the south china sea. the u.s. navy's seventh fleet flagship, "uss blue ridge" made a port call in shanghai on friday for military exchange. fleet commander joseph aucoin spoke to the navy about operations in the south china sea. >> we will sail and operate wherever international law allows. we do challenge excessive maritime claims. >> his comments were apparently in response to china's increased maritime activity in the region. beijing officials last month rejected a u.s. aircraft carrier's request to make a port call in hong kong. the commander said the navys of both countries will not let that minor disagreement damage their relationship. aucoin stressed the importance of deepening u.s./china military exchange. the chinese navy plans to
participate in a massive u.s.-led multinational drill this year. china took part in the exercise two years ago. myanmar's defacto leader, aung san suu kyi, has visited neighboring laos. it's her first trip abroad since the democratic icon assumed the post of state counselor. laotian state-run tv showed aung san suu kyi and her close ally, the president, being greeted by laos's president. observers say her visit to the capital was carefully planned as countries such as china, the u.s., india and japan are seeking to cement ties with myanm myanmar. laos is a choice acceptable to all as it chairs the association of southeast asian nations. aung san suu kyi is barred from becoming president by the military drafted constitution. the nobel laureate was sworn in as foreign minister in march and has take an firm grip on the government as state counselor, a newly created position akin to that of prime minister.
north korea's ruling party has held an important and rare event, its first congress in decades. kim jong-un is expected to use the occasion to solidify his power base. ♪ north korea's state run. tv aired kim jong un's opening address on friday. the it's the first such gathering by the ruling party in 36 years. kim stressed his country has made achievements this year, including the launch of long range rockets.
kim is also expected to emphasize his policy of simultaneously carrying out nuclear development and economic reforms. nhk world is in pyongyang to cover the congress. he's watched north korea for years and explains what kim jong un aims to accomplish with the event. >> reporter: kim jong-un is believed to have under scored his own achievement to date, such as nuclear and missile development. kim assumed the country's top force four years ago after his father's sudden death. he hadn't prepared beforehand. nor does he have any significant achievement under his belt. his immediate challenge was to solidify the support of those around him. so kim adopted a hard-line policy.
he ordered the launch of two long-range ballistic missiles under the guise of satellite launches and the carrying out of two nuclear tests. the leader is also believed to have promised to rebuild the economy and raise the standard of living. kim apparently has no choice but to further introduce economic assistance following the opening of general public markets, but it's a double-edged sword. it could loosen the state's control. kim plans to use the party congress to show that he has cemented his power in the country's leadership, not just in name, but in reality. even his father, kim jong-il, never held a congress during his rule. kim will likely continue his hard line policy to keep a tight rein over his regime. we will need to carefully
examine his speech to see in what direction he's leading the country. >> rafael wober is senior video journalist with the associated press. he's been covering north korea for the past decade and is also gave us details on the atmosphere of the opening day and what we can expect during the congress. >> reporter: the day started early, about 8:00 in the hotel. everybody gathering together, and then finally we got in a motorcade of buses, vans and cars, which drove through the city. the streets were quieter than usual for a friday morning. and the venue itself, the april 25th house of culture, a large building, not far from the center of the city, is the same place that the last congress was held in. not far from the center of the city, is the same place that the last congress was held in. all around the outside of the congress venue there were guards. we couldn't see if they had guns or not. they were standing with umbrellas at about 20 meters apart distance, all around the
outside of the venue, looking out into the streets. sometimes in these celebration or big event times in north korea, people have to put on their best clothes. women will wear traditional korean dresses and men wear suits and ties. but the people we saw this morning on the streets outside the congress venue were dressed for a normal working day. so, actually, normal life is going on all around this congress. but when you stop people on the streets and talk to them about it, of course they have to speak very carefully and in very reverential and respectful ways about anything to do with the party, the government, and all their leader, as well. over the coming days there should be large celebration events. that's something that we have been able to see people practicing for in the streets over the past few days. of course, thousands of people for these kinds of events, are practicing for weeks and months in advance in open spaces around the city. there's still an atmosphere of
great expectation here amongst the foreign media and i think amongst the north korean officials that we are dealing with every day. >> south korea has in the past tried to promote reunification. president park geun-hye made it a priority at one point, but with the north's recent actions and a strained relationship between the countries, that goal seems as far away as ever. we have more from seoul. >> reporter: in the first half of her time in office, park instructed officials to begin a range of nationwide preparations to pave the way toward unification. >> translator: in a nutshell, unification is a huge opportunity to significantly grow our economy. >> reporter: she saw unification as an opportunity to expand the
country's economic arena. but she also had uncertainty over the direction north korea's regime would take. her remarks came following the purge and execution of the once powerful uncle of the country's leader, kim jong un. as part of the push, park focused on education. she roughly doubled the time spent teaching elementary school pupils about unification. park also used instructors well versed in the policy. they included north korean defectors who led special classes. the government also launched a a program to mold north korean defectors into leaders of a
future unified nation. the initiative involved about 20 young defectors. kim fled the north with his family nine years ago. he hopes to serve as a bridge between the two koreas after acquiring experience from the program. >> translator: my dream is to become a teacher for children in the north and the south. >> reporter: but his plan had some all too familiar set backs. last august, two south korean soldiers were severely wounded by land mines allegedly planted by the north. more recently, the north has launched ballistic missiles and conducted a nuclear test. the climate caused by provocation has all but drowned out the call for unification. south korea's former unification minister agreed to give nhk his
first tv interview since leaving his post. he said the preparation program was stalled as the government can't predict where the north is heading. >> translator: the results may have been different if we could take enough time. but the government of kim jong un was very provocative in it early days. it was tough to predict what action the north would take. >> reporter: the consequences have affected attitude. public interest in unification is a low point, for young people in particular reacting sharply to the provocations. kim hopes to play a leading role in a future unified nation, but says he now has little chance to discuss north korea with his southern friends. >> translator: my friends are not interested in unification at all. they avoid the issue and think talking about it would be boring.
to be frank, i don't know when we can achieve unification. we can't even discuss the subject. >> reporter: south korean officials are closely watching north korea to see what pyongyang does next after the ruling workers party congress. some experts suggest the north may call for dialogue if only to confuse the south and toy with expectations. but one thing is clear. president park faces a critical stage in seeking an answer to questions of whether or not she can turn around the relationship between the two koreas. minwu kim, nhk world, seoul. people in southwestern japan remain on edge three weeks after two powerful quakes struck the area. tremors continue to volt the
region arnold kumamoto prefecture as people struggle to resume their normal lives. the quake destroyed or severely damaged about 29,000 homes. a number of people have begun moving into public housing but space remains in short supply. this woman has been sleeping in a vehicle with her two children. she'll soon move into public housing. the foundation of the apartment building where they were living cracked in the quakes. the building is now tilting. her children's elementary school is set to reopen soon. their new home will be further away from the school than before, but they'll live in a place where they hope to resume a normal life. >> translator: i want to see my friends again. i haven't seen them since the quake. >> translator: i hope my children's concerns will be somewhat eased and they will be able to smile again as they get on with their lives. >> the local government has provided 250 public housing units, but more than 15 times that number of people applied.
officials plan to build 800 temporary housing units and rent out private sector homes that are available. the quakes left many people out of work. officials at the kumamoto prefectural labor bureau says a growing number of unemployed have been visiting job placement offices. visitors have to wait about two hours in line before they reach the reception counter. many inquiring as to whether they're eligible for unemployment insurance. others say their employers have told them to stay home. the earthquakes have dealt a heavy blow to agriculture. this man has been farming dairy cattle for 48 years near the foot of mt. aso. the quakes almost completely destroyed his barn. the area has no running water or electricity, making it impossible to work the milking machines. the cows must be milked every day or they'll become sick. he has had to sell his cows. >> translator: i still hope to make a new start by repairing my
farm, but the damage is awful. i'm not sure if it's possible. >> the agriculture minister visited kumamoto on friday. he said once you quit dairy farming, it takes an enormous amount of money to restart. he says the government intends to take various measures so dairy farmers can survive in the aftermath of the earthquakes. toyota motor is back in full production for the first time since last month's quakes in the country's southwest. the company has restarted its assembly lines at all domestic plants forced to halt operations. a factory in fukuoka went back online friday along with another one in aichi, central japan. toyota stopped production lines after the quakes hit a major parts factory in the region. the company began resuming operation in stages on april 25th after sourcing parts elsewhere. officials say the plants will be running until may 14th, but they will have to see if they can then secure a stable supply of
parts. the officials say the entire stoppage has cost production of 80,000 autos. they say workers may be put on overtime to make up for the shortfall. the top executive of struggling japanese electronics manufacturer toshiba will step down. company officials made the announcement on friday. president and ceo masashi muromachi has been in office for less than a year. he took on the job last july after an accounting scandal at the company. >> translator: i've always felt responsibility as a top executive for emergency measures like cutting jobs and unloading unprofitable divisions, as well as slashing employee bonuses and managers' salaries. >> muromachi's replacement will be satoshi tsunakawa, the company's senior executive vice president. he has been in charge of business planning since last
year. his appointment is expected to be approved by shareholders in late june. >> translator: we will concentrate on core businesses and improve our financial base as the first priority. i want to overcome this difficulty together with employees, managers, and stakeholders. >> the executives say the decision to replace the ceo is based on advice from a panel of outside directors. japan's foreign minister fumio kishida pledged continued support to improve vietnam's infrastructure and human resources. kishida co-chaired the annual meeting of the bilateral cooperation committee with his vietnamese counterpart fam binmin in hanoi. the committee members confirmed they will do their best to improve the environment for japanese investment in vietnam. >> translator: japan will continue to make sufficient infrastructure investment in
vietnam, both in quality, and value. >> min said ties with japan are vital and the nation is vietnam's important long-term partner. prominent u.s. republicans are planning to skip the party's july national convention. the boycott reflects internal division over the choice of donald trump as presidential nominee. the real estate mogul is expected to be officially nominated at the convention in ohio state. 2012 republican presidential nominee, mitt romney, has announced he will not be attending. he's a leading member of the gop establishment.
former president, george h.w. bush and george w. bush as well as former florida governor, jeb bush, also plan to skip the event. jeb bush battled with trump in the republican contest this year. 2008 presidential nominee, john mccain, is among other big names expected the sit out. house speaker and 2012 republican vice presidential nominee, paul ryan, is serving as chairman of the national convention. he told cnn this week he isn't quite ready to endorse trump. a monitoring group says an air strike in northwestern syria has hit a refugee camp. 28 people have been killed. the syrian observatory for human rights says the victims include women and children. the camp houses people who fled fighting in the nearby city of aleppo and other areas. fighting between government and opposition forces around aleppo has increased. killing over 250 civilians since late april. the u.s. and russia finished arranging a cease fire for aleppo on wednesday.
the air strike on the refugee camp came on thursday. the syrian military announced it would stop attacks there for 48 hours starting at 1:00 a.m. thursday local time. antigovernment activists in the city told nhk no major clashes had occurred. syrian state run tv carried a statement by president assad saying he would not accept anything less than final victory in aleppo and elsewhere. the assad government claims it's fighting terrorist organizations across syria, making it difficult to implement a nationwide truce. japanese pop culture has a lot of fans in indonesia. japanese style idol groups who have fans with a unique way of showing their support. nhk has their story.
>> in indonesia, a band was sister group of a famous all-girl pop group in japan. they took the country by storm. sparking a boom for idol. >> they were super-cute and i liked how they acted on stage. >> along with this boom, another form of japanese pop culture has established itself. known as a particular style of dancing and cheering performed by the fans. eye-catching pen lights are an essential element. dedicated otagi teams have sprung up across the country.
in the evening, they gather at a park. they practice hard and hone their skills in the darkness. it seems like it is not -- that easy to play watagi. but if i continue doing this, i might lose some weight. ♪ >> reporter: some of the otagi fans have formed units in the hope of appearing on stage themselves. this is the leader of his team. he's a 19-year-old student. his team takes part in dance competition and other events. he got into the idol scene two years ago.
he took up otagi, hoping that his energy and enthusiasm would lead to his favorite idols noticing him. but recently, he has been focusing more on doing otagi than cheering the performers on stage. >> translator: the way the lights move is incredible. otagi is the only thing that can produce such a wonderful atmosphere. >> reporter: this was the day when he and his friends got to perform. the event organizer let them perform on a small stage. away from the main stage. he went all-out in front of 100-strong crowd which contained some wannabe idols. >> translator: i am 1,000% sure that one day we can have a show that consists only of otegi.
anchor: "global 3000" this week goes to colombia, where people are feeling the effects of climate change. how can they tackle this? we head to ghana to meet some activists who want to deter their rural compatriots from heading for europe. and in afghanistan we find artists who are processing the everyday terror in public through painting. after the attacks in paris and brussels, artists around the world responded with a message of defiance -- we are against terrorism and all the terrorists in the world will not silence us. graffiti is stronger than violence. that's a belief shared by