out of a forest with a baby. the rescue girl said many other abductees remain in the forest under the strict watch of the militants. in the past they have threatened to sell the girls as slaves. the more than 200 girls were taken in 2014. it received international attention and triggered a campaign called bring back our girls. u.s. presidential hopeful, donald trump, says he's open to talks with north korean leader, kim jong-un, on closing down pyongyang's nuclear program. he said he'd put a will the of
lot of pressure on china at the same time. trump's remark grew criticism from hillary clinton. an aids same trump's approach to foreign policy makes no sense. the obama administration remains cautious about direct talks with the north. it says it will refuse all proposals for dialogue unless pyongyang takes concrete steps toward the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. u.s. president barack obama will use his visit to hiroshima western japan to promote his campaign for a world without nuclear weapons. obama will travel to the city next week after attending the g-7 summit in the ise-shima region. a senior director of the national security council said obama is committed to the message that disarmament is essential for global security. >> the president hopes by visiting hiroshima he will be
able to revalidate that message to reaffirm that message as one that will not only mark his administration, but will also continue to be a strong american message for many years to come. >> he called on russia to join international efforts to abolish nuclear arms. he also said the u.s. will keep working with other countries to stop north korea's nuclear program. another official of the national security council told nhk obama won't apologize for the u.s. atomic bombings in japan. but he will pay his respects to all victims of world war ii. an association of atomic bomb survivors from hiroshima and nagasaki have sent an open letter to obama. the members wish to meet with him when he visits hiroshima. the association sent the letter on wednesday to the u.s. embassy in tokyo and the white house. the message says the survivors known as hibaksha respect obama for deciding to visit hiroshima
and ask the president to look at materials related to the bombings and listen to their experiences of the indescribable hell on earth. the letter urges obama to take the lead and act to achieve a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons. it also calls for the president to pursue u.s. ratification of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. the federal reserve has released its interest rates. what are policymakers saying? >> they say the economy is expanding at a moderate pace. they sicite immovprovements in . they are ready to raise the interest rate next month if conditions continue to get better. the meeting was held after the
u.s. posted annualized growth of 0.5% in the january to march quarter. many saw this weakness as te temporary. several members were concerned that upcoming data may not be enough to justice a rate increase by the next meeting. let's see what happened with markets and what's happening here in tokyo. it did come as a surprise to market players. u.s. stock prices ended mixed. the dow jones falling just a touch. flat on the day. 17,526 on the dow. let's see what's happening here in tokyo. for that we'll go to ramin.
he's at tokyo stock exchange. tell us what you see here in tokyo. >> thank you very much. very good morning to you. focus on the fed minutes there and a pause in the rise in crude oil prices led to hesitancy. let's have a look at how the nikkei and topix kicked off. both indexes well into the positive. we have seen a rally of close to around 80% since oil prices bottomed. a stronger dollar led to pause in crude prices. that's after we saw supply disruptions. a drop in shale oil production
in the u.s. and a lot of questions on whether saudi arabia will raise output. >> we saw that rise after the fed minutes. tell us about the key pairs now. it remains to be seen what the fed may do. it looks like many policymakers were tilting, shall we say, towards the june rate hike if economic data warranted. so far labor market, housing and inflation data been heading in the right direction as far as the fed is concerned. that adds to the argument for a
rate hike. i want to highlight bond yields. u.s. treasury yields closest barometer that think about where rates are headed. let's get a quick look at how some of the other indexes are trading. kospi is trading in the negative. china markets open in an hour and a half. continued concerns over the auto industry here in japan. we'll keep track of that and a will the of other sectors. back to you.
>> we'll touch base with you in a few hours. government officials have just released data the cabinet office spisofficialy it was a 5.5% rise from february. manufacturers increased numbers by 19%. officials also released the outlook for the april to june quarter. it's down 3.5% from the previous period.
trees crash to the ground on the out skirts of tokyo. the average age of the people cutting them down is 33. that's unusually young in an industry where the typical worker is 52. ten years ago he set up the company they work for. when he was 24, he decided to work out doors. he quit his office job and jumped into a completely different world. he quickly discovered his new industry was a tough place to build a career. the work was unstable. most foresters were hired by the day. if bad weather kept them at home, their income plunged. >> forestry is considered a dying industry. people doubted they would make a living doing this kind of work.
he decided to streamline his entire operation. he asked for daily reports on the number howevers it took to cut the trees and the amount of fuel consumed. he said that made everyone on his staff much more cost conscious. >> you have to know how much you're spending if you're running a company. the entire work force must share that awareness so they can operate as efficiently as possible. >> reporter: the firm also adopted a unique approach to training. forestry workers usually learn their trade by working along side more senior employees. instead, he took videos of his employees at work. after watching them, every one discussed ways to improve. many say this helped them quickly gain skills. it's about to pay workers more.
their annual income is 20 to 30% higher than the industry average. he also offers them incentives such as regular monthly salaries, family and housing allowances and parental leave. and he's literally planting the seeds for an entirely new source of income. individually owned cedar trees. people can buy seedling, plant them and wait for them to mature. fakage of three seedlings cost about $460. after 25 years, customers can use the lumber to build a house or make furniture. >> translator: it was fun. >> reporter: in 2015, his firm prepared 100 packages and sold them all. so far this year, they've sold 35. >> we're about to have our
second child. it's fun to think about our child and our tree when they're both grown. >> reporter: the project is part of his efforts to build a brand and add value to his products. >> translator: we are facing a lot of challenges. we have to move quickly. >> all right. that's the latest in business. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
he's sticking with the hike the consumption tax. >> you promised the boost the economy so the government can raise the consumption tax in three years. if you fail to keep your pledge, your cabinet should resign. >> but the prime minister argued his economic initiatives are taking effect, as the real growth rate for the past three years was 2.5%. >> translator: the current situation is no longer a deflationary spiral. i believe my initiatives were an important first step to help japan escape 20 years of deflation. >> translator: the nation's
economy remains weak and consumption power is hovering at low levels. the government should postpone the tax hike. >> translator: i will raise the tax as planned, barring economic crisis, like the lehman brothers failure or a great disaster. i will ask a panel of experts to discuss the issue before making a final decision in a timely and appropriate manner. >> abe acknowledged that personal spending has been weaker than expected since a tax raise two years ago. and he said he'll look into it. one week after he was accused of using public funds, more information is coming to light. an nhk investigation has found evidence that he may have used political funds to buy art for his personal collection. the allegations of financial impropriety were first made by one of japan's week his magazines.
>> i draw a clear line between my hobby collections and instrument of international cultural exchanges. >> it was revealed he bought this her written by keith herring through an internet auction. nhk tracked down the man who says he sold the letter to the mayor. we found out the letter was bought with funds from a bank account in masuzoe's name. the date of the deal and price both match an expense listed in his political funds report. he was a member of the upper house at the time. nhk's investigation also found that the receipt for the sale of the her was maid out to masuzoe's group. he said the purpose was for reference materials for modern
american at the society. >> translator: i thought masuzoe bought the piece for his hobby or for private research material. so i was surprised the payment was made from political funds. >> nhk managed to track down another art dealer who has sold art to masuzoe. he sold a painting to him. the art dealer told nhk he doesn't think the painting he bought would make a suitable gift for a foreigner. masuzoe will hold a press conference on friday. he will declare whether the use of public funds was appropriate.
the third highest ranking official made the comments at a banquet. >> translator: a small number of people are resisting the chinese government and pursuing independence for hong kong. >> he said the activists are seeking to violate the country. in 2014, protesters led by students staged massive demonstrations in central hong kong. before the speech, he met for pro-democracy members of the hong kong assembly. analysts say beijing may be showing readiness for dialogue with moderate pro-democracy leaders to isolate more radical
activists. as victims seek justice, there's no shortage of blame to spread arrange. we have this story of how this all began. >> reporter: 13-year-old has been suffering from a lung disease since he was 1 years old. after he was born, his born bought disinfectant to clean the humidifier. >> translator: i just bought the product without thinking if it was safe. >> reporter: at the time she had no idea the product would give her son serious health problems. it was made by british form, a company she was familiar with. the package carried a labor
stating the product was safe for children. >> i fully trusted the product was safe and that it went through proper safety tests approved by the government. >> reporter: after one year he was hospitalized. he needed oxygen and feeding tubes to survive. doctors had no idea what the cause was. but his mother was to learn the severe reality of the situation. in 2011, several pregnant women died in hospital after using the same disinfectant. a doctor told his mother had the same kind of illness. >> at first i never told anybody about his illness. after finding out the truth, i felt outraged. >> the government investigated the incident and concluded the product was likely the cause of death.
>> translator: we found that people who used the humidifier disinfectant were 47 times more likely to get lung damage that is those who didn't. >> in 2012, she decided to sue the company. >> translator: now it's too late to turn the clock back. as a mother,al i can do is make sure my son can be at ease for the rest of his life. >> reporter: prosecutors started the investigation in january. the government says 221 people suffered injuries, and 95 of them died. >> i would like to offer a heartfelt and sincere apology. >> reporter: five years after the product was discovered to be the cause, the head of oxy officially apologized.
>> i'm very sorry. >> it's too late. >> reporter: prosecutors have arrested four people, including the former ceo of oxy korea. they say they made the disinfectant without making thorough tests. consumers are now intensifies a nationwide campaign to boycott all of the company's products. major retailers are also beginning to take them off their shelves. >> translator: the apology was not sincere. this kind of company shouldn't do business in our country. >> the government is currently gathering information to help the victims. >> the humidifier scandal came as a shock to south koreans. the company is questions why the harmful product was sold for so long. now they call for the government to find out the whole story
behind what happened and how to find out how to prevent it from happening again. nkh world, seoul. rescue crews are working to find survivors mudslides in central sri lanka. robert, what's the latest? >> it's drifted off to the north. really it did track over sri lanka here, and some areas up to about 7 to 800 millimeters fell over the course of a week. absolutely devastating imaging coming out of this region. you request see an entire mountainside gave way in central areas of the island where more than 350 people were believed tore buried.
many rescuers trying to recover those people. the same storm also damaged hundreds of homes, forced over 220,000 people to evacuation across here. this is definitely a very serious situation, and you still could be seeing more precipitation, so a lot of rescuers out there because of some of these rainbands wrapping in, but the worst of the rain at the very least is over with. it's now pulling off towards the north with our storm system. now a deep depression, but expected to become a named storm, a severe cyclonic storm by thursday evening, really just skirting the coastline, so flooding will be a big sure here. cyclone alerts have already been issued, and some video from the coastal areas, you can see the waves being kicked up as this storm does track off into that
direction. this is still a very slow-moving storm, so the flooding will be the main threat out here. also fishermen are being asked not to venture out, you can see rather dangerous surf. now the same area of india back in 2015 also suffered severe flooding from cyclonic storms. it comes as a good thing, but also the flood can just devastate life. they need the -- take a look into the low 30s out there. where you still have these heat advisories. some rural areas are pushing into the 50s here through the rest of the week. so it really is quite a dangerous situation. depending on where you were, or that cyclonic storm. let's look over here towards northeastern asia. high pressure dominating most of japan today.
and it would be makes for some sunny skies. and stretching down toward the south, could be developing around the japanese islands, another area of low pressure off towards southeastern china. that will be bringing some rainfall out there for those of you, actually at hong kong, a high of 27. showers in your forecast, but look at thursday here in seoul and tokyo. 32 and 26. well above the average. all right. here into europe, well, eastern europe, you're still looking at severe thunderstorms. several tornadoes reported. a waterspout off the coastline of turkey there, continuing to sweep across the area, but back toward the west. some showers expected out there for those of you into paris, you could have an high of 18, rain howard on your thursday. here's our extended outlook.
let's welcome to in good shape. learning about focus. an implant that is improving a migraine sufferers life. and, why regular health checkups can save lives. >> welcome to in good shape. if you are sick, you should see a doctor. you should go see a doctor on a regular basis. medicine will be the topic of today's show. i am meeting to experts.