hello there. welcome to nhk "newsline." it's thursday, july 14th, 9:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. nhk has learned an unprecedented change in modern japan could take place in the near future. sourc sources tell us japan's emperor akihito intends to step down in the coming years. he's been informing close aides he'll hand over the throne to his eldest son, the crown prince naruhito. the emperor is 82. he has reigned for 28 years since succeeding his father heir hee hirohito. sources say he wants to step down before he's too frail to
carry out his duties. and they say he has already informed his family. sources tell nhk arrangements are under way to announce his wishes to the public. one of the sources says that in the event of such an announcement, the emperor may avoid direct expressions, given his role as a national figurehead. the source says the announcement woulden veigh his feelings. there are no legal provisions for abd indication under the japanese law governing the status of the emperor. it would have to be revised to allow the monarch to step down. dozens of foreign workers have been evacuated from the cap of south sudan, including a number of japanese nationals. recent fighting has killed more than 270 people in the country. the situation remains tense after a moncrief ended days of fighting. forces loyal to the president were battling supporters of the vice president in t the capital wednesday afternoon by chartered plane and arrived in neighboring kenya.
the evacuees include employees of the japan international cooperation agency or jaica. they were providing support for south sudan and had been stranded since the violence erupted. >> translator: it is very regrettable that we had to evacuate the country, because aid from japan was just about to bear fruit. five years following south sudan's independence from sudan. >> japan's embassy says about 20 japanese civilians, including embassy officials and u.n. representatives, are still in south sudan. about 350 members of japan's self-defense forces are also in the country. they've been taking part in u.n. peacekeeping operations. britain's new prime minister is starting her role by naming members of her cabinet. theresa may appointed boris johnson to be foreign secretary,
he and others will steer the country's exit from the eu. >> as we leave the european union we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world. and we will make britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us. >> queen elizabeth asked may to form a new administration on wednesday, following former prime minister david cameron's resignation. may is 59 and is the second woman to lead the country after margaret thatcher. she's held key posts in the conservative party including serving as home secretary for six years. in that role, she grappled with terrorism and the flow of european immigrants. people have mixed opinions on her. >> i definitely think she's quite experienced. i think she was the best candidate. >> i think if we deal with the eu, maybe we need to reach a compromise but i don't think a compromise is going to suit
anyone completely. >> david cameron made a short speech before stepping down, with his family standing beside him. he looked back on his six years in office. >> it's not been an easy journey and of course, we've not got every decision right, but i do believe that today, our country is much stronger. >> cameron's austerity measures were blamed for slowing down regional economies and expanding the gap between the rich and the poor. public frustration with his government's economic policies is believed to have been a key factor in britain's vote to leave the eu. one of the main challenges for may will be how to heal the divisions in british society following the referendum. thursday marks one year since iran and six world powers reached a final deal on tehran's nuclear program, but frustration in the country is mounting. its economic relations with the west have not improved as much as it had hoped. last year, iran agreed to
substantially curb its nuclear development. in return the western powers later lifted economic sanctions related to the program. tehran had hoped that would normally restricted financial transactions, prompt a return of frozen overseas assets and improve economic ties with other countries. however, transactions between iranian and foreign firms haven't expanded as much as tehran had wanted. it's partly because the country is still under sanctions for non-nuclear issues like tehran's missile development and suspected support for terrorists. iran's supreme leader expressed frustration with the west, saying that if the united states tears up the nuclear agreement, iran will light it on fire. now let's take a look at latest in business news. bank of japan officials have been hoping to stimulate the economy. to do that, they introduced a negative interest rate policy nearly seven months.
let's find out how successful their efforts have been. we're joined by ai uchida from our business desk. what kind of impact have you seen? >> good question, catherine. the intended goal was to get people in households to buy things to increase lending so that people in households for example buy cars and houses, or that businesspeople upgrade their facilities, but we have yet to see that take shape in a substantial way. but on the flipside, get this, officials at commercial banks are saying because of the negative yields, they're not making enough money trading government bonds. well, this week officials at japan's largest bank, that's the bank of tokyo-mitsubishi ufj, will be getting their way. they will no longer be a primary dealer of japanese government bonds. the finance ministry has announced it will revoke the bank's privileges as a primary dealer of jbgs. the move came after the bank informed the ministry it would give up its status. the cancellation will become effective friday.
leading banks and brokerages with primary dealer status have special access to ministry officials. in return, though, they must bid on at least 4% of all bond issues. tokyo-mitsubishi u if, j will become the first domestic bank to quit since the system was introduced 12 years ago leaving 21 financial institutions holding the status. tokyo-mitsubishi ufj official said that in principle, the bank will not invest in jgbs with negative interest rates unless they are necessary as collateral. and officials at the u.s. central bank say economic activity continues to expand at a modest pace, thanks to strong employment. the federal reserve on wednesday released the latest report on the country's economy for the period between mid-may to the end of june. the beige book is based on responses from businesses and other sources in the central bank's 12 districts. the report says overall consumption spending was positive, but there are signs of weakening, such as slower auto
sales. it says employment continue to grow modestly and wages for skilled workers were on the rise, but the report also referred to britain's decision to leave the european union as a downside risk. feld officials are scheduled to discuss policies based on the report at a meeting in late july. growing number of market players believe the fed will postpone another rate hike as it's assessing the impact of britain's exit from the eu. all right, and now let's check on markets. u.s. stock prices ended higher overall. the dow jones industrial average set a record high closing up just by 0.10% at 18,37. the s&p 500 also set a record high ending slightly higher at 2,152. actually marking an all-time high for a third straight session. we'll get more on how tokyo markets are reacting this thursday morning from ramin mellegard. he's at the tokyo stock
exchange. ramin, good morning. it looks like stocks on solid footing still. what are you seeing over there? >> exactly. we did see the dow and the s&p as you mentioned ending on a positive but they definitely came off their highs and we're seeing a little bit of a mixed open here. definitely the momentum of the past three days gains has slowed a touch. the drop in crude oil prices is damping energy related shares. look at the nikkei and the topix there in the positive but it dipped into the negative briefly and then bounced back into the positive. so we're seeing a bit of a mixed reaction. now the nikkei closed higher for a third day in a row on wednesday, hitting a one-month high intraday. up so far 7.4% this week. still the rally that we've seen may slow as i mentioned on that sudden drop in crude oil prices, after key benchmarks ended down 4%, pretty much wiping out gains from the previous day, largely on the back of u.s. government data showing larger than
expected crude oil inventories, energy sector shares in the u.s. led the slowdown, so we'll check related shares here as well. now the ruling conservative party in the uk has chosen its new leader, and prime minister theresa may, and this has calmed markets somewhat. let's not forget the bank of england meets today and many will be waiting to see if a rate card -- a rate cut may be on the cards. that's obviously a lot of analysts looking at that. many had feared that the brexit vote would push the bank of england into responding to the risks brought about by a shock to the economy but analysts also suggest that a weaker currency and the lower rates that we've seen already may have already done the job, so the boe, bank of england may not need to pull the trigger to cut rates just yet. also, there's continued uncertainty as to whether the auto str i in the uk can compete. japanese automakers such as nissan have a major plan in northeast england and they're afraid of losing free trade
access to the single market. big focus for the auto sector. the bank of japan also remains in focus, ai, as many investors expect further stimulus measures by prime minister shinzo abe's government after the win in the upper house elections last weekend. so that is also a feature for market players. ai? >> ramin, tell us about currencies, because the dollar/yen we've seen it gain 4% since monday. we have looks like we're seeing a bit of profit-taking coming in, so tell us about the current levels. >> exactly. we're definitely off those highs that you mentioned from that 4% gain. looking at it 104.20, so fed officials have been making statements during the week, the dallas fed chief made a cautionary comment on the prospect of a u.s. rate hike. investors forefocused on second quarter earnings. let's look at asian markets as well. seoul's kospi trading in the
negative, sydney is trading higher. china markets open in an hour and a half. we'll have more then. back to you, ai. >> sounds good, ramin, thanks a lot for that update, ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. discarded automobiles generate huge amounts of waste. it's a worldwide problem and one businesses in japan are working to solve. new program is helping to share advanced japanese technology with the places that need it most. >> reporter: these cars have reached the end of the road but their components will be reborn as new products. this recycling plant in kunazawa uses highly detailed efforts. group of researchers from brazil came to see how it works. they were invited by the japan international cooperation agency. the group included engineers and environmentalists. they're planning to set up a program back home where people can learn how to recycle cars. professor daniel castro helped organize the visit.
we have >> we have now this process for recycling cars. brazilian people are interested because we have a lot of use of cars that need to be recycled. >> reporter: brazil is one of the world's largest markets for automobiles. but when they reach the end of their useful life, most are dumped. castro says they often leak oil and lead, contaminating groundwater and soil. he and his team want to use what they learn in japan to turn things around. they are hoping their trainees will go on to set up recycling businesses throughout latin america. the japanese company process about 14,000 vehicles a year. recycled parts are sold in japan and 80 other countries. the brazilian team learned how to dismantle cars and sort the parts.
>> translator: please remove all the bolts that you can see. then separate them into steel, aluminum and copper. >> reporter: parts are separated into 420 categories. >> our training was very interesting. we dismantle up to the limit. >> reporter: the team visited a small island in the seto inland sea for an environmental history lesson. they learned japan wasn't always the leader in the field of auto recycling. for around 12 years until 1990, teshima was a ground for dumping industrial waste. some 900,000 tons of waste was discarded here. cleaning it up will take another seven years. the total estimated cost about $500 million.
much of the debris is residue from cars that have been shredded into small pieces. it contains hazardous materials. a museum on the island tells the story. visitors can see layers of waste that accumulated over the years. shozo aki has been leading the fight to clean up the island. >> translator: there should never be another teshima. i hope you tell people back home what you saw here. >> this training was very important. new generations receive this knowledge in order to change the future. >> reporter: professor castro and his team want to spread auto recycling far and wide and give more people the tools needed to create a healthier planet. all right that's the latest in business for this hour. i'm now going to hand it back to catherine. >> let's stay in japan.
officials have been struggling with way to safely decommission will fukushima plant. experts are suggesting the possibility of sealing the facility like chernobyl. the government released their latest report. one method to remove molten fuel depends on the condition of the reactors. it involves flooding the reactors to shield workers from high radiation. the review also introduced the option of being a sarcophagus over the reaction, the method was used after the chernobyl 1986 accident. the report still favors removing the fuel because of long-term safety issues. it says further study of the reactors is needed and urges flexibility of all available options. the heads of municipalities that host the plant are not happy with the new report. >> translator: the sarcophagus is not an option for us.
we want the government to expedite the current plan of removing all the fuel and put an end to the problem. >> translator: this is all new to me. i need to examine the plan. >> the government and the plant operator tepco say they'll finalize the plan by summer of next year. a trial over prolonging the life span of two nuclear reactors in central japan has opened. plaintiffs fighting to stop the extension say it is the first case of its kind. about 80 people from across japan are demanding a decision by the nuclear regulation authority be struck down by the court. last month nra okayed a request by the operator of the takahama plant that allows the utility to run the reactors for 20 more years. they had already reached a 40-year limit that was brought in following the fukushima accident in 2011. at the trial, one plaintiff argued aging reactors need to be
decommissioned quickly so the disaster will not be repeated. the nuclear regulators say there no merit to that assertion. they have pointed out they've already given go the ahead. the utility applied for the extension of a third reactor. power companies have decided not to apply for extensions and will scrap six. over the next ten years, 14 reactors across the country will reach their age limit. japan's government has released the details of its latest population survey, and the results show a country that's aging fast. the number of elderly people hit a record high, while the overall population fell for the seventh year in a row. the internal affairs ministry looked at the number of japanese nationals living in the country at the start of this year. the population stood at 125,890,000, down more than 270,000 from a year earlier. officials say that's the biggest drop since they started keeping records 50
years ago. the population peaked in 2009 and has been dropping ever since. this year, less than 13% of the population was under 15 years old. just over 60% fell in the 15 to 64 bracket, both have been shrinking since 1994. but the 65 or older category was bigger than ever, topping 26%. the in imjin river that flows through the two koreas can be a danger. making things worse is a north korean dam that rarely gives notice before it opens its floodgates. nhk world kim chanju has the details. >> reporter: yujei makes his
living fishing along the imjin rivers. for the past seven years he's fished for eel. since the end of june his nets have been empty. >> translator: if i can't go fishing for ten days, i lose at least $1,000. this is a huge blow when fishing is prohibited for such a long time. >> reporter: yu was forced to remove his nets from the river because of the flood warning. last week, south korean authorities noticed a significant rise in the river's water near the border. there were no injuries or damage this time.
but in 2009, six south koreans were killed when floodwater went downriver which is popular for fishing and camping. the disaster was caused because a dam in the north opened its floodgates. to counter the threat, south korea built its own dam along the river a year later. but it's not big enough to stop a large discharge of water. so alerts are still issued to warn people of flood risks. the operation of the dam watches the water level 24 hours a day. >> translator: we hope we can share information on the dam operation by improving the relationship with the north. if the north discharges water at night, or on a weekend, we may have trouble dealing with the situation.
>> reporter: following the disaster in 2009, north korea agreed to give the south advance notice of the discharge. but after the release since then, it's only given notice three times out of a dozen. for the moment, government officials don't see north korea's water release as an attack, but that doesn't mean there is no danger. there's still time before the end of the rainy season on the korean peninsula, and another unexpected water release could cause massive flooding. kim chan-ju, nhk world. yeoncheon. let's take you to the philippines. boxing fans are excited about the possibility of manny pacquiao returning to the ring. the former eight-division world champion announced his retirement before his last fight in april. he was elected to the philippine senate the following month. on tuesday his promoter said
pacquiao had received permission to take a break from his new duties as a senator to fight again. bob aram said the bout would have around november against a yet-to-be determined opponent. but the boxing star said in a statement that his legislative work is his priority and his next fight has not yet been discussed. pacquiao fought his way out of poverty to become a world boxing champion. it's time for a check of the weather. residents need weather conditions to improve. meteorologist robert speta joins us with the latest. >> not anytime soon, actually. we are still looking at this persistent moisture coming in from the southwest. really dominating the entire area as part of that rainy season front, combined with an upper-level low over the sea of japan, which will trigger up strong to severe thunderstorms across the northern areas. even in the greater tokyo area just north of downtown tokyo.
you could see the storms flare up during the daytime heating here as we go through the afternoon hours. what i really want to draw your attention to is down here in kyushu. over 600 millimeters of total rainfall in the past ten days out here. that is quite incredible. and of course, these rain totals are going to lead to a threat of flooding. but also landslides. the ground is saturated, unstable, extreme risk of landslide. maenl of these areas, kumamoto and kagoshima and fukuoka as well, and also a train derailed this morning on thursday. hiroshima just off to the north. a wide swath of area being impacted by this. and the threat is still there. if you have any travel plans around, you do want to be prepared for the possibility of delays, especially in the steeper elevations where the landslide threat is at its highest. the forecast, more rain expected out here across western areas of the country. upwards of about 180 millimeters
in southern kyushu could be possible out there. 70, 80 millimeters in a one-hour span in the stronger cells. back toward the north, got the scattered thunderstorms during the afternoon i was talking about. if we follow that front back to the west, much of eastern china, you'll be looking at more rainfall, especially in the shanghai. scattered showers throughout the day on your thursday. high of 32. seoul, hot there, 31, partly cloudy skies. you're staying north of that front. if we look further back here towards the west, still got showers there into the bangkok area, northwest monsoon continuing to dominate. that's really the big topic across much of india as well. scattered showers out here. it's really been concentrated in central india. you have to remember, the past several years, it's been exceptionally dry out here. the monsoon not nearly strong as normal. so farmers overall are happy
about this. but too much concentrated, i'll show you video coming out of the smack middle of this heaviest precipitation here in central india where we have been seeing severe flooding. 22 casualties have been reported in this area. 70,000 people have been left homeless. so it is definitely catastrophic. flooding not only damaging homes, but wide swaths of crop, you can see the dams overflowing these rivers, continuing to burst their banks. this is definitely a serious situation. and more rain is in the forecast. much of it is shifting toward the north. still going to be scattered showers. all of india, though, officially under the southwest monsoon, rainy season. it will continue to move off towards pakistan. let's talk about europe. strong thunderstorms dominating much of central and eastern europe. 10 centimeters in hail reported out there. quite incredible. severe weather threat as we go ahead through your wednesday afternoon, into thursday. and one of the big topics, i think, is behind this.
cooler air spilling into the alps. heavy snowfall, believe it or not. yeah, in the middle of july here. temperatures dropping behind it. look at paris, 20. berlin, 18 here on thursday. all right. here's the extended outlook. 12k3w4r50ir he that wraps up this edition. >> reporter: that wraps up this edition
♪ >> welcome to "in good shape." coming up, what to do about unsightly spider veins? ways to help get your digestion back on track. and yoga -- the right and wrong way to go about it. here's your host, dr. carsten lekutat. dr. lekutat: berlin is the european city with the longest history of teaching yoga. there were yoga rooms even in the 1920s. but yoga has come a long way, as you can see in modern yoga studios. is yoga good for you, or can it even be dangerous to your health? this is what i'll be talking