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tv   Newsline  PBS  May 28, 2016 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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glad you could join us for nhk "newsline". i'm ross mihara in tokyo. barack obama has become the first sitting president to visit hiroshima. the historic visit came almost 71 years after the city was devastated by an atomic bomb. the first of two dropped on japan by the u.s. at the end of world war ii. obama headed to hiroshima after the conclusion of the group of 7 summit in ise-shima. he travelled to the peace memorial park and laid flowers at a cenotaph dedicated to the victims. survivors were among those who attended the event. obama then gave the speech that so many had been waiting to hear. >> why do we come to this place?
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to hiroshima. we come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not so distant past. we stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. we force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. we listen to a silent cry. we remember all the innocents killed across the arch of that terrible war. but among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.
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we may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. we can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. we can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics. the children of this city will go through their day in peace. what a precious thing that is. it is worth protecting. that is a future we can choose. a future in which hiroshima and nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening. >> translator: the u.s.
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president has seen the consequences a nuclear bomb can bring. he renewed his resolve to work continuously for a world without nuclear weapons. with his statement he has given great hope to all people in the world. we are determined to realize a world without nuclear weapons. no matter how long and arduous that journey may be. it's our duty to make strenuous efforts to make that happen. >> obama greeted the survivors known as hibakusha. >> translator: i was excited to hear the president's speech.
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i told him in person to help us focus on the future and bring about a world without nuclear weapons. >> for many years, the hibakusha have been calling on u.s. presidents to visit their city to see for themselves the devastation that the bomb caused. it's estimated the attacks killed more than 210,000 people by the end of 1945. the atomic bombings impacted the lives of many people throughout generations, including two young men in our next story. both of their families have close connections with the bombings. the two were awaiting the president's visit in hiroshima. nhk's world chie yamagishi has their stories. >> reporter: 27-year-old yuichi volunteers to guide foreign visitors around the peace park in his hometown of hiroshima. >> this is away from the epicenter about 116 meters.
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>> not far, is it? >> not far. actually -- >> not far at all. >> it's very close. >> reporter: yuichi's grandmother kiyoko is a survivor who now lives in a nursing home. 71 years ago, she saw the city after it had been completely destroyed. >> translator: i still remember that time. it makes me feel so lonely. >> reporter: the memory haunts her. but now, she has a message to share with future generations. >> translator: as a grandmother, is there anything you would like to pass on to me? what sort of hope do you have for peace? >> translator: no war, no wars should ever happen again. >> reporter: yuichi's family history inspired him to study war conflicts and peace building.
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he earned a master's degree in the u.s. and he chose middle east as a place to do his field research. 28-year-old american ari beser also has a personal connection to the bombings. beser's grandfather jacob was the only crew member who flew on both planes that dropped the atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki. beser said that his grandfather had no remorse, but he did say people must eradicate the causes of war. it left a strong impression on beser. he wanted to know what happened in the mushroom clouds so he started visiting japan five years ago. >> i came to meet people and listen to their story. >> reporter: since then, beser has been interviewing survivors. >> many people were bleeding, and looked like red people.
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their hair was ashes and burned, and skin was burned and clothes. many people were almost naked. >> i just -- i feel very lucky that i can hear her story and, you know, it is just so important that we never forget someone like her story. >> reporter: beser compiled testimonies along with his family's own story into a book. it brings together the perspectives of both sides. jonathan oh was in peace memorial park with the two young men who appeared in the report. >> we are thankful for the opportunity to talk to both men so i'd like to introduce them to you and thank you so much for joining us. you had the opportunity to be able to listen to both president obama and also prime minister shinzo abe. and i'd like to start with you first, yuichi, and ask you what were your thoughts about
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president obama as he spoke? >> i think he pointed out that the -- in order to think about hiroshima, we need to think about humanity. i think it is a very good point because in order to think about what happened in hiroshima is deeply related to the nature of humanity. that's what i thought. >> now as you listen to president obama, what do you want to tell your grandmother that we saw during the story? >> i want to tell my mother that he delivered a very good speech and he gave me opportunity to talk with her so i'm very grateful that you talked to me triggered by president obama's visit to hiroshima. that's what i want to tell my grandmother. >> all right. ari, i would like to ask your opinion about president obama as he visited here. what were your thoughts and how did you feel about it? >> it brought to mind the albert einstein quote that everything changed except our way of thinking and he said it caused a
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scientific revolution that requires a moral one, as well. i think he couldn't have said it any better. he's had a lot of time to think about what exactly he wanted to say and i was very, very proud of him for including nagasaki. and it was great to see and it was really important, very important moment that we were all allowed to witness. >> can you hear me, ari? ari, can you hear me? >> yes. >> this is miki from tokyo studio. thanks for joining us. i was wondering. your grandfather was a member of the crew that dropped the bomb on both cities. hiroshima and nagasaki. >> yes. >> but now you have made many, many friends among survivors in japan. what was it like to share this moment with them? >> i'm so happy they could live to see the day. that's -- a lot of what i have heard expressed was that they were just happy that they would be alive to see this and a lot
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of them never thought that they would see the u.s. president come to hiroshima. they survived the bomb. they witnessed what happened hiroshima and nagasaki so it was so incredible that they could actually live to see that day. >> back in hiroshima, i would like to ask one final question to both of you. i'll start with you, yuichi. what message do you want to send to the world? >> what i want to say is that many people in hiroshima are thinking about peace based on their experience. so i really want all of the people in the world to reflect on what peace is and what peace can be based on the experience and i want them to share their message of peace. and my personal message of peace is may nuclear weapons rest in peace. >> ari, your final thoughts? >> i think we have to think deeply about why nuclear weapons exist today and it's because relations between countries are not so great between the power that have the nuclear weapons.
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i think it requires deep introspective thinking about what we can do in our own societies to get rid of the hatred toward the other that creates the sense of perpetual conflict and once we create the world we don't need nuclear weapons, we will be able to get rid of them. >> ari, yuichi, thank you so much for joining us. back to you in tokyo. nhk "newsline's" editor in chief whom you saw earlier in the report, talked about the prospect of nuclear disarmament and whether the visit will have an effect on it. >> there are an estimated more than 15,000 nuclear warheads on earth. that is about 20% of the peak period of the cold war which was in 1986. but considering the impact that one bomb had, one bomb had in hiroshima, 15,000 is still many. 93% are owned by russia and the u.s. and not only five nuclear weapon
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state, but others like india, pakistan own them. israel is believed to own them though they don't admit it. and then north korea's pursuing to develop them. but as i covered nuclear disarmament issues at the united nations during obama's terms, it is also true that when a super power is serious about reducing nuclear weapons and push other major powers, that has a certain impact on the world. negotiations at the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons treaty or npt, that would often run aground produced some results during obama's time and it gave momentum for global movement and banning nuclear weapons altogether. the ukraine crisis and crimea takeover by russia and the strained relations between the u.s. and west and russia became a huge obstacle for that. that seems to have debilitated global discussions on nuclear disarmament.
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but many people who push for nuclear abolishment or nuclear elimination hope that this historic visit of president obama will regenerate world attention and actions on nuclear disarmament. people in south korea and china were paying close attention to obama's visit. an estimated 30,000 people from the korean peninsula died in the bombing. some south korean media covered the story as it broke. south korea's public broadcaster kbs reported that obama mentioned korean victims in his speech but they said obama did not stop at the cenotaph for the korean dead at the peace memorial park in hiroshima. china's foreign minister wong yi referred to the incident. the chinese government says the former japanese army committed atrocities after entering in 1937. >> translator: hiroshima is worthy of attention but this is even more so. and should not be forgotten.
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the victims deserve sympathy but the victimizers should never evade their responsibility. >> wang was apparently saying that japan should assume responsibility for its actions in world war ii. the japanese government says it's undeniable that the killing of a large number of non-combatants occurred in the incident, but it is difficult to accurately determine the number of victims. before they left for hiroshima, abe and obama wrapped up the summit with the rest of the g7 leaders. abe said they reaffirmed the commitment to work together to sustain global growth to avoid an economic crisis. >> translator: we agreed at our meeting that the g7 will cooperate in taking the three-pronged approach. advancing monetary, fiscal and structural policies.
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>> abe said the g7 countries will work to expand free and fair trade and investment zones using agreements like the transpacific partnership and a proposed pact between japan and the eu. he said the g7 will also promote quality infrastructure investment to support the growth of emerging economies. abe called that the g7 economic ise-shima initiative. on foreign policy, abe said the leaders agreed to work together to fight terrorism, secure freedom of navigation and seek solutions to conflicts in ukraine and syria. we've had a special team in place this week at the g7 for the past few days. they have worked around the clock to bring you the latest news from the summit. miki yamamoto has the analysis of the event from the media center. >> naoki, because this summit was the first in asia in years, there was a special focus on the region's issues. what specifically did the
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japanese government want to discuss? >> you're right. generally, g7 meetings center around european and north american concerns but this time prime minister shinzo abe succeeded in talking about asian security issues. one of those issues was north korea and its nuclear and missile programs. it's crucial for nearby japan. in the joint declaration, the leaders condemned north korea's pursuit of them. the leaders demand pyongyang comply fully with u.n. security council resolutions. and they are also urging it to address human rights concerns including past abductions of foreign nationals. >> and maritime security in asia has also been a big concern. how did leaders address that? >> well, in the joint declaration, the g7 leaders expressed concern about the situation in the south china
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sea. the statement doesn't mention china, but the country has territorial disputes in those waters. there's also concern about the east china sea where china and taiwan claim the senkaku islands. they're controlled by japan. and the government maintains they are an inherent part of japan's territory. the leaders stress countries should not take unilateral actions that they say could increase tensions. >> so, they're trying to limit china's growing maritime activity. what about beijing's influence with many countries in the region? >> japan invited countries outside of the g7 to join so-called outreach sessions, including vietnam, laos and the indonesia. those asian nations have strong economic ties with china so this was perhaps a sign of japan's efforts to try to increase its own sway. the leaders discussed how asian
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countries can prosper and drive global economic growth, and in his closing press conference, abe stressed the need to promote high quality infrastructure in emerging economies. >> thank you. now let's go back to the economy. our reporter daisuke azuma has analysis on that. is the japanese government satisfied with the summit declaration? >> prime minister shinzo abe wanted the g7 leaders to share a sense of crisis for the global economy. during the session that dealt with that topic, abe stressed that the world economy is at a turning point. he said there's a risk that the world will face a crisis like that of 2008 if countries fail to take appropriate measures. but world leaders urges that using the word crisis is going too far. the leaders finally agreed to mention in the declaration that
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they will take all appropriate steps to avoid falling in another crisis. g7 leaders also agreed to implement fiscal strategy and they said they'll decisive advance structural reforms. japan agreed of german's point of view and cautious about the idea of additional public spending. but they decided to leave the timing and the scale of that spending up to each country. so the future cost of the global economy depends on whether they craft effective measures. >> now, what will prime minister abe's economic policy be going forward? >> he said he will speed up the abenomics policy to promote sustained growth. the biggest focus now is increase in the consumption tax scheduled for next april. the problem is that there is a contradiction between raising
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tax on one hand and political affairs of boosting demand on the other. abe said he will consider putting off the increase. he said he will make a final decision by midsummer. that's when the upper house election will be held. >> thank you. nhk world's daisuke azuma. that's all for me from the g7 media center in ise-shima. >> leaders from japan and indonesia met on the sidelines of the g7 summit. they agreed to cooperate on a newport near jakarta. indonesian officials estimate the project will cost $3 billion.
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the area is home to industrial parks where japanese automobile and electronics makers are operating. newport where large ships can dock raises hopes it will become a distribution hub. last year indonesia awarded a high-speed railway project to china. japan had competed intensely for the development rights. indonesia's latest decision is believed to be aimed at striking a balance between the two countries. the u.s. government has revised upward the country's economic growth from january to march to a rate of 0.8%. the revised gross domestic product was released by the commerce department on friday. the preliminary estimate announced in april had gdp
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growing 0.5%. the building of new homes helped to push up gdp growth. its increase was revised to 17.1%. exports were not as bad as originally announced. they were revised from minus 2.6 to minus 2%. but personal consumption remained weak at 1.9% and corporate capital investment contracted 6.2%. some analysts are predicted u.s. gdp will grow more than 2% in the april to june quarter as crude oil prices and stock markets stabilize. analysts say stronger economic data may encourage the federal reserve to raise its key interest rate at its meeting in june. a korean air jet liner at haneda airport was evacuated after a fire started in one of its engines during take off. police say they found no suspicious objects. smoke and flames were seen coming from the left engine of
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the boeing 777 as it was moving along the runway shortly after noon on friday. the flight was bound for seoul. all 319 passengers and crew were evacuated safely. officials say at least 12 were taken to the hospital with injuries. many were injured while evacuating down the inflatable slides. firefighters put out the flames in about 90 minutes. officials with the japan transport safety board have begun investigating the incident. the u.s. military has imposed a curfew and other restrictions on its personnel in okinawa. the move is in response to anger over the recent death of a young woman. a civilian who works at a u.s. base in the prefecture has been arrested in connection with the crime. the measures were imposed by the head of u.s. forces in okinawa, general lawrence nicholson. he says he wants to convey the u.s. military's regret. the suspect has already admitted to assaulting the woman and
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dumping her body. personnel now have to return to base by midnight and also not allowed to drink, buy alcohol or hold parties off base. the restrictions apply to all armed forces members and civilian base workers in okinawa who are subject to the japan-u.s. status of forces agreement. they'll remain in place for 30 days. u.s. military personnel in okinawa are now under greater scrutiny. still, a member of the navy was arrested on sunday on suspicion of drunk driving. japanese officials are demanding tougher measures to ensure no more crimes are committed. a group monitoring the civil war in syria says 280,000 people have been killed since the conflict began just over five years ago. the british based syrian observatory for human rights says roughly 81,000 of the casualties were civilians. that includes more than 9,000 women and at least 14,000 people under the age of 18.
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the u.n. has been trying to resume peace talks, but they're being hampered between disagreements between the syrian government as well as opposition groups as well as the countries that support them. u.n. special envoy for syria said in a statement on thursday, there are no talks scheduled for the coming two or three weeks. one of japan's most beloved animals has died peacefully at a zoo in tokyo. hanako was a 2-year-old kickoff when she arrived from thailand in 1949. she was the first elephants in japan after the war. she turned 69 on january 1st.
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in march, she began showing signs of abdominal pain. >> translator: she died peacefully. she was surrounded by her care givers. >> crowds of people are visiting the zoo to lay flowers and remember the gentle giant.nslatr everything. and i told her to rest well. >> translator: she was a source of comfort to everyone. she lifted our spirits. now that she's gone, i wonder what to do. >> zoo officials will pay tribute to hanako by putting together a record of her life. >> up now the weekend weather forecast.
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that's all we have this hour on nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. thank you for watching and have a good day.
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>> welcome to global 3000. this week, we head to nepal. it has been a year since the earthquake, and timber is in short supply. the big question is how to protect the forest. we go to ghana. with prices at rock bottom, the mood is one of disillusionment. but first, we go to south korea, where demonstrations often have grievous consequences. in many countries around the world, freedom of assembly is a fundamental right. article 20 of the u.n.

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