tokyo. officials here are arranging a meeting of foreign ministers from japan, china and south korea next week with an eye on flash points in the region. foreign ministry officials are planning to hold the meeting in tokyo on tuesday and wednesday. toings of discussion are expected to include north korea's ballistic missile launches. officials say the meeting would lay the trilateral summit they hope to schedule in japan by the end of this year. some government officials say the timing is inappropriate because chinese patrol boats have repeatedly entered japan's territorial waters around the
senkaku islands in the south china sea. japan controls the islands. the government maintains that they are an inherent part of japan's territory. china and taiwan claim them. officials in seoul have announced one of the highest profile defections in years from north korea. they say a senior diplomat in london has fled to south korea with his family. thae yong ho had been serving as deputy ambassador at the north korean embassy in london. a south korean spokesperson said on wednesday that thae and his family are already in the country and under government protection. the official declined to provide details on the timing of thae's arrival. the incident is the latest in a string of defections from the isolated country. earlier this year, over a dozen waitresses at pyongyang-run restaurants in china also fled to the south. indonesia is stepping up its crackdown on illegal fishing in the south china sea as chinese
ships are operating in its exclusive economic zone. the indonesian government installed a new monitoring facility with a radar system at a navy base on the natuna islands on wednesday, the country's independence day. indonesian authorities have seized a number of chinese boats on suspicion of illegal fishing in the eez off the island since march. the authorities said they have sunk 58 foreign fishing boats they seized. they did not disclose which countries they are from. >> translator: waters around the islands are rich in fishery resources and natural gas. and are part of indonesia. the government will protect the country's sovereignty and interests. >> china claims most of the south china sea. it has been accelerating maritime activities while building artificial islands
there. turkey says it will free tens of thousands of prisoners jailed before last month's failed coup attempt. local media report the release may be aimed at making space for people detained in connection with the revolt. justice minister announced that 38,000 inmates sentenced before july 1st will be released on certain conditions. he said those convicted of murder, terrorism and sexual crimes will be excluded from the scheme claiming that the release will not endanger public safety. >> translator: i was supposed to be released on sunday, but it happened today. >> the government says the coup attempt was plotted by members of a movement led by u.s.-based islamic cleric fetullah gulen. he is denying any role. they've arrested or detained more than 20,000 military personnel and others over the failed uprising.
authorities in nagasaki say a school event meant to teach students about the plight of the atomic bomb survivors had been canceled due to a bomb threat. authorities say the nagasaki prefectural government last month received an e-mail threatening the elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture would be bombed on august 10th. an elementary school located near ground zero was to hold the event on that day and the previous day, the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing. but following an instruction from prefectural officials, the school called off all activities on the two days. students from a neighboring prefecture were scheduled to attend the survivors lecture and talk. >> translator: it's regrettable that we lost the chance to talk about the importance of peace and life.
>> nagasaki prefectural officials said searches of the prefecture's schools turned up nothing suspicious. nagasaki mayor tomihisa taue denounced the threat as an unforgivable act. he said the students missed out on an important opportunity to learn about the history of the atomic bombings. health authorities in the u.s. state of hawaii have ordered a sushi chain to close its restaurants following an outbreak of hepatitis a. genke sushi has been ordered to shut 11 of its 14 restaurants in the state. the chain served sushi delivered to customers on a conveyor belt. at least 168 cases of hepatitis a have been confirmed in hawaii since june. officials at the state department of health say the outbreak is likely due to frozen scallops served at the chain. they've told nhk the number of patients could rise. a spokesperson for genki sushi's
parent company in japan says it takes the order seriously and pledged to look into the cause of the outbreak. researchers at major electronicsmaker nec say they have created a plant-based plastic that looks like traditional japanese lacquerware. the bioplastic is environmentally friendly and can be mass produced in various shapes. university scientists and a lacquerware artist collaborated on the project. conventional plastics use petro chemicals, the new material used nonedible plants such as rice straw. nec says it could help combat global warming. nec says it developed a special technique to achieve the shiny black luster and other optical properties that approximate those of high grade lacquer made from tree resin. the firm says the plastic can be used for vehicle interiors, home appliances and other products. the invention comes at a time
lacquerware is enjoying international popularity. nec officials say they hope the plastic will find commercial use by 2020. brazilian police have arrested a member of the international olympic committee's executive board. they're investigating irishman patrick hickey in connection with ticket scalping at the rio olympics. hickey is suspected of illegally reselling the tickets at prices well above their original value. the 71-year-old is also the head of the european olympic committee. hickey reportedly became ill and was taken to hospital after his arrest. investors are keeping a close eye on the timing of hikes in u.s. interest rates, minutes from the central bank's policy meeting in july show a split between policymakers. some called for an early hike while others wanted to wait
longer. the federal reserve released the minutes on wednesday. the officials at the meeting opted to refrain from a rate rise. they judge short-term risks in the economy have receded due to such things as an improved labor market, but some members noted the uk's vote to leave the eu raised uncertainty about the outlook for overseas economies. many policymakers stressed the need to further confirm economic data, but others judged that another rate increase was or would soon be warranted. with opinions divided among policymakers, market players are now waiting for comments from the fed chair. janet yellen is scheduled to give a speech in jackson hole, wyoming, later this month. many investors were upbeat on the fed's minutes. they now assume the authorities won't be rushing to raise the key interest rates. and share prices on wall street edged higher. the dow jones industrial average ended the session up 0.1% to end at 18,573.
the tech-heavy nasdaq also gained just a touch. the s&p 500 was up. energy related shares rose on higher oil prices. but the upward momentum was capped by some profit-taking. and on to currency markets, the dollar trading lower against the yen. analysts say they are selling the u.s. currency believing a rate rise in september is less likely. japanese government officials have just announced the latest trade data. the trade balance was in the black for the second straight month in july. officials at the finance ministry say the surplus was 513.5 billion yen, or about $5.1 billion last month. exports shrank about 14% from a year earlier. a stronger yen made the country's exports less competitive on the global market squeezing companies profits. meanwhile, imports also fell, off 24.7% from a year ago. japanese direct investment
in china is continuing to fall due to the country's rising labor costs and concern over its slowing economy. china's commerce ministry says direct investment from japan was $1.91 billion from january through july. that's down 10.9% from the figure for the same period last year. the amount hit its peek in 2012 and then fell for three straight years. officials at an association of japanese companies in china say investment is especially weak among firms that seek to export products from china to japan and other countries. the number of foreign visitors to japan in july hit a new record for a single month. an increase in port calls for cruise ships from china helped push up the figure. officials at the japan national tourism organization say nearly 2.3 million foreign travelers came to japan last month. that's up almost 20% from a year
earlier. visitors from mainland china topped the list. their number was up about 27%. south koreans came in second, up 30%. total numbers for the first seven months of this year rose almost 27% to slightly more than $14 million. the highest ever for the period. something is cooking in the barbecue business. an increasing number of japanese families are gathering on city rooftops this summer. nhk world's john la due explains why. >> reporter: easy access. that's one reason city barbecues are on fire. this building sits above a train station. i'm on the rooftop of this large shopping complex in the middle of the city. there's this lip-licking aroma of grilled meet that's driving me crazy. that's because people here come to barbecue. customers bring their own food and drink. staff prepare the grill. and afterwards, they tidy
everything up. users pay about $15 per adult. weekends have been fully booked all summer. >> it's fun and easy at a place like this. we just bring the ingredients. >> reporter: so the roof barbecue doesn't just benefit the owner of the building but all the tenants down below. there's a grocery store in the basement. the barbecue site offers a 20% discount to customers who buy their ingredients here. >> translator: sales have risen about 4% to 6%. we expect more growth during the summer vacation. >> reporter: the whole operation is run out of this office. yoshibo is company president. takahashi says the secret sauce to his business is accommodating as many people as possible. rooftop space is limited and conventional grills need extra space to do the cooking.
takahashi decided to place the grill in the middle of the table allowing diners to stay seated. this simple trick doubles the number of customers. here's another one. a retractable roof keeps the business rain-proof. the company now operates about 60 barbecue sites in and around tokyo. >> translator: i often hear people say they want to have a barbecue. i have added many improvements so that it becomes more accessible and convenient. >> reporter: another company is targeting the high end market. this office building is in the heart of tokyo. with the japanese gardens, the rooftop is a place to relax. the barbecue operator rents the space on weekends. the pitch here is privacy. single group bookings only. it's run by a two-year-old venture business. unlike other cooking spots, this one provides food. and not just any food.
the menu draws on recipes from around the world. >> translator: the ingredients are top notch. my taste buds are tingling. >> reporter: the quality and taste of the food can make or break the business. the company researches exotic flavors and condiments like this coriander-based sauce. they test different amounts of salt to get just the right taste. the ingredients are not just for the barbecue sites. the company also sells them online. >> translator: selling online has no borders. we can target barbecue businesses and ordinary customers around japan. which enables us to maximize our profit for our eight-month season. >> reporter: rooftop cooking is taking off. and with an estimated $24 million japanese joining in barbecue every yeerk it's a
business with plenty of room to grow. john ladue, nhk world. women are finding a new kind of freedom in indonesia which has the world's largest muslim population. islamic teaching there requires women to cover their hair and skin in public but there's now a way they can enjoy new fashion while continuing to respect their traditions. nhk world's fransiska renatta reports. >> reporter: colorful and religious. these models are wearing dresses made of kimono fabric. they are wearing hijabs to cover their hair but with western style hats added. the style allows young women to look smart without going against
their religion's teachings. indonesia is relatively lenient when it comes to islamic discipline. now many women are becoming interested in a more stylish muslim look. after an attractive actress embraced the new look, it became even more popular. >> translator: we now have a lot of options to choose from. i see many women in cool hijabs and i've thought about wearing one myself. >> reporter: for the latest muslim fashions add to the interest. a 32-year-old model is posting her pictures online. she creates new looks using items made by local designers.
her instagram account has about 30,000 followers. sales surge after a dress appears on it. so much so the shops are willing to pay her to visit. >> translator: people come and buy the clothes she features online. i think it's a more effective way to advertise than radio, tv or newspapers. >> reporter: on this day, she chooses a dress that doesn't pick up the body line. she had pictures taken and posts them right on the spot. responses begin coming in immediately. >> translator: clothing comes in more colors and designs these days. so we can choose from among them as we like. i think indonesia might become
the center of muslim fashion. >> reporter: muslim fashion for women is all the rage in indonesia. it's attracting attention from japanese manufacturers, too. a clothing maker came to a show featuring dresses made from kimono fabrics. were these fabrics made in japan? >> translator: yes. all these fabrics were made from kimono. >> reporter: kimono are a perfect fit for muslim fashion because they don't show the body line or expose much skin. >> translator: we have a hard time selling kimono in japan. so, we're eager to compensate this new market. >> reporter: experiencing rapid economic growth and the nation refuses to merely copycat western styles. and so it nurtures its own
fashions. and many people outside the country are watching the trend as well. fransiska renatta, nhk world, jakarta. japan has started harnessing renewable energy in a new way. the country's first floating wind turbine went into service in april. there are high hopes it will do more than just generate electricity. >> reporter: the turbine is floating near the goto islands, western japan. normally offshore wind turbines are fixed to the ocean floor. but this pillar, 170 meters long, is held in place by chains in deeper waters. the government holds high hopes for offshore wind power. three plants have already opened on a temp basis, and 11 more are planned around the country.
but some fishermen oppose these plans. they worry the sound and vibrations will drive fish away. they are also concerned the structures will obstruct their boats. >> powergenerateors could scare off our fish. that's what we all worry about. >> reporter: this turbine was set up almost three years ago. underwater operations expert masano is keeping a check on the marine ecosystem at the request of authorities. the submerged portion of the pillar is about 70 meters long. from about ten meters below the surface, a rich ecosystem has formed around the pillar. this includes a mass of soft coral. shibuya spots a school of fish
which fetch high prices on the market. further down, groupers, another commercial prospect. in all, the surveys have identified some 100 species of marine life around the wind turbine. and it's no accident. the pillar is covered with a special paint that ocean organisms can easily cling to. the aim is to create a floating reef. shibuya has been involved in the project since the beginning. a veteran of many undersea construction projects, he says he's surprised by the amount of sea creatures they found here. >> translator: it's a big deal. fish are gathering and living here. i think it's quite possible they will spread out into the surrounding ocean. >> reporter: shibuya visited the local fisherman's association to report his findings.
>> translator: the pillar acts as a big reef. it's the fishermen who will be happiest about this. >> translator: it will be a big step forward. i hope this kind of renewable energy project will help both the fisheries and the ocean itself. >> reporter: supporters of the project say offshore wind power is bringing positive results. they now hope to convince the fishermen and open a new horizon for wind power. it is time to get a check of the weather with meteorologist robert speta. good morning. it's a hot and muggy one out there. i really felt the humidity coming into work. what can we expect up ahead? >> it looks like the heat and humidity is going to stay in
place as we head through the rest of thursday into friday. but another big thing is that you do have quite an unsettled weather setup out across much of japan. and the main reason for this is because we have your tropical system blow through here on wednesday. and left in its wake that very unstable atmosphere. it hasn't moved through hokkaido. bringing rough weather out here. we have wind gusts in eastern hokkaido. 156 kilometers per hour. also some reports of flooding across much of this area. numerous trains were delayed and cancelled. about 200 meters of total precipitation. as i mentioned, this is moving off towards the north. with that you have the hot, humid air coming in. back to the west, cooler air starting to spill into the upper level. you get that combination. we're looking at the strong thunderstorm threat. even in the tokyo area here on thursday morning. a few thunderstorms did pop up. that's going to be the case through the rest of the day heading into friday.
especially central and northern areas of the country. back toward the west, still looking at this heat bubble in place. temperatures on the hot side if you're in the korean peninsula. extending back towards eastern china. shanghai, for example, 35. seoul at 34. tokyo, 31, warm. but do expect those passing showers. also talk about the tropics. how about here in the southeastern china. we have a tropical depression right here. this is continuing to stir up. very likely is going to be names a tropical storm as we go ahead through the evening hours here on thursday. but the mixing with it is going to be the rainfall. it's already going to bring in torrential precipitation. parts of hanan have seen nearly 500 mill meterses of total accumulation and more is in the way. 200 to 250 millimeters in total extending into northern vietnam. so definitely ongoing there. also this is enhancing the monsoon, by the way. still more rain expected in
western areas of the philippines. let's talk about the americas over here. i specifically want to key in on the gulf states, across louisiana. take a look at the total rainfall over the past seven days. and overall you can see there hasn't been much back toward the east and northwest. just a hot spot right there in southern louisiana. i'll show you some video coming out of here. you have seen really 800 millimeters of total precipitation. 11 confirmed deaths have occurred due to this rainfall. 40,000 homes have been damaged along the gulf coast. being considered a 1 in 1,000-year flood out here. and just thousands of people have been rescued and evacuated. president obama actually has declared a state of disaster across the region allowing for federal assistance because more rain is in the forecast. and it's going to be an ongoing recovery as we continue to look ahead. back towards the north. if you aren't escaping the severe weather either. across the plains, severe
thunderstorm threat. even a tornado recorded in ohio. and in the west, fire weather continuing. actually wildfires still burning in some of those areas. los angeles very dry for you. high of 29. do want to mention rio de janeiro. nice weather the next few days. sunday into monday, maybe for the closing ceremony, may see some showers. at least heading into the weekend, it does look rather decent. all right. here's your extended outlook.
coming up, a sty in the eye. how to get rid of those painful lumps. water-shiatsu, why it makes for long-lasting relaxation. and the healing power of exercise. how getting physical helps combat disease. and here's your host dr. carsten lekutat. dr. lekutat: hello and welcome to "in good shape." you are three ways to get in good shape. exercise, exercise and exercise. some people believe it can heal disease. one of those experts is a sports physician, dr.