. hello there and welcome to "nhk newsline." nhk learned that shinzo abe has created a new ministerial post for promoting economic cooperation with russia. the news comes one day before abe is scheduled to travel to the russian city of vladivostok. it will be given to hiroshige seko. in a spring meeting in sochi, abe and russian president vladimir putin agreed on a number of points for
cooperation. one of the points was for energy development in the russian far east. abe and putin will again meet for discussions this friday. abe is expected to try to pave the way for putin's planned visit to japan in december. the trip would be the first to buy a russian president in six years. also on the agenda, the sensitive issue of how to proceed with negotiations for a bilateral peace treaty. the countries have yet to sign a peace treaty over the end of world war ii. the stumbling block has been because of a dispute over the northern territories. russia controls the four islands, japan claims them. the japanese government maintains their an inherent part of the nation's territory, it says the islands were illegally occupied after world war ii. now, japanese leaders want to resolve the long-standing territorial dispute with russia. and they have embarked on industrial cooperation with the far eastern region to help
foster closer relations. nhk world reports. >> reporter: these soybean plants may not look like anything special, but they're a symbol of increasing cooperation. >> this is a co-project of japan's ningata university and a local university. the aim is to find a way how to make better crops. japanese experts frequently visit, only a few hours fly from japan. >> we want to improve the quality of soybeans in russia. we want to try to make each bean bigger than it currently is. >> reporter: agricultural cooperation projects with japan have been sprouting around the region. these greenhouses were built by a joint venture of a japanese
construction firm and a private russian company. officials say they can harvest three terms of produce every day including tomatoes and cucumbers, even during winter. it was unthinkable before as the outside temperature could drop as low as minus 20 degrees celsius. the produce costs 1.5 times more than average. but locals seem to like them. >> translator: these products taste good. i always buy them. >> translator: we are fully taking advantage of japanese technology. all vegetables are of high yield and high quality. >> reporter: russia had to produce more foods since it bans european imports. it was retaliation for the west economic sanctions over the crisis in ukraine.
japanese leaders are using that opportunity to try to improve relations. they hope to ultimately solve a territorial dispute. in may, japan proposed a cooperation plan that included industrial development in the region. the soybeans have grown well and officials hope political ties will too to help them win concessions from moscow. nhk world, in russia's far east. rescue efforts continue in parts of northern japan that were hit by a powerful storm. 11 people are dead and three others are still missing after typhoon lionrock devastated the area earlier this week. many people are stranded because roads have been cut off. officials in the town are making arrangements to provide food for people who are stranded.
japan's self-defense forces are starting relief operations as well. nine elderly parent patients i facility died after the building was flooded. authorities had not issued an evacuation order for the area. >> translator: the water level surged in just ten minutes. and they were trapped. one of our staff was holding a resident, but couldn't save the pers person. we're awfully sorry. >> this man living near the care home narrowly escaped the disaster. his whole house was swept away. >> i thought i was going to die. so i tied myself to a pillar, so that rescuers could easily identify my body. and an hour late, i got washed away. >> elsewhere in the same prefecture, an elderly woman was found dead in a house hit by water from a flooded river. an elderly man was found dead
near another river. the storm also battered shelter homes for the survivors of the 2011 quake and tsunami. >> translator: it is a total mess. we can no longer sleep here. >> on the northern island of hokkaido, three people went missing after their cars were swept away when bridges collapsed. rescue efforts resume at okay break. time for the latest in business news. indian government officials have come out with gdp numbers for the april to june quarter. ai joins us from the business desk with more on this. india has been seeing high economic growth and china, what do the latest figures tell us? >> a private research firm has been forecasting a growth just around, like, 7.6%, but the latest figures, they do fall short of that, the officials say gross domestic product for the april to june quarter expanded
7.1% from the same period of last year. manufacturing sector was brisk. agriculture, forestry and fisheries, that was up only 1.8%. and the construction industry 1.5%. many market players say abundant rain could soon lead to a recovery in the farm sector. they're expecting india's gdp to expand by at least 7.5% in the second half of the year. citing a boost in personal spending by farmers and other people. >> home builders are busier than before on the back of super low interest rates. housing starts for july rose for first time in two months. land ministry officials say they started on 85,000 units nationwide, that's up nearly 9% from a year earlier. the figure for rental units rose more than 11%, this underscores a trend among land owners to
build rental homes for tax purposes. built for sale houses were up about 9%, built to order ones 6%. the officials say they will monitor the effect of a government decision to delay a consumption tax hike originally scheduled for april next year. now a check on markets. overnight, stock prices declined, that was on the back of lower oil prices, the dow jones industrial average fell almost .3%, the nasdaq lost .2%. let's see what's happening with tokyo and how stocks are opening. we'll go to ramin for that. >> as you said, u.s. and european markets didn't fare too well. energy stocks will be a focus here. let's get a check on how the markets are kicking off september. the nikkei just in the negative,
broader topix just in the positive. we'll see how that fares later in the day. the weaker yen helped exporter shares and for the month of august, it rose actually almost 2% marking two straight months of gains. the major u.s. indexes ended august slightly lower, but, of course, anticipation of higher rates in the u.s. has helped boost banking shares. however, falling oil prices are weighing on sentiment. overnight, the benchmark crude futures fell more than 3% and that's after government data showed a large weekly buildup in u.s. oil stockpiles. talking about commodities, the tokyo commodity exchange is teaming up with a major chinese futures brokerage in an effort to attract investors from china. u.s. economic indicators will
also take center stage this week ahead of the main jobs data on friday. adp national employment report showed on wednesday the u.s. added 177,000 private sector jobs in august, slightly more than market expectations. investors will be looking for clues for how the federal reserve will react this month. the fed and the bank of japan will have policy meetings on december month. let's look at the dollar yen, 103.20 to 23. let's get an idea of asian
markets across the ones that are open now. kospi trading lower and the asx 200 down 0.35%. lower markets overall, but looking ahead this month, the central banks here and in the u.s. is will be likely the key drivers of investor sentiment. i'll have more for you in a couple of hours. back to you. >> thanks for that update. this week we're bringing you a special feature on beating the heat, focusing on three traditions that highlight how people work and play at this time of the year. the japanese like to enjoy ghost stories when it is hot out because it gets people's goosebumps that cool them down. business leaders are capitalizing on that by setting up horror attractions around the country. jenny lynn has the details. >> reporter: the undead roam the
mountains. a two-day event puts these people face to face with zombies. those who face up for the camp are given tasks to compete during their stay. they have just five minutes to locate food hidden in the woods. but on their way back, they must avoid being tagged by a paint stained zombie hand. this man foraged enough food for a barbecue dinner. >> i managed to survive. >> a small video production company started the camp two years ago after noticing the rising popularity of zombie films and halloween in japan. the company combines horror with the outdoors in a bid to their customers. >> plan it like a film scenario with the participants as the
characters. people can enjoy the horror and in an environment shut off from the outside world. that's something you can't get in a normal haunted house. >> overnight stay at the camp is a pricey $270 per person. still, the organizers say hundreds of people apply for the 80 places available in each event. it is not only zombies. ghosts are also keeping a tight grip on people's imaginations. and in the arcade in central japan where people are cueing up to go into this haunted house. inside we're greeted by a masked woman. legend she has it she comes from the area. the organizers use the home grown ghosts to draw people to the arcade.
this area was once the heart of the local shopping experience. but newer shopping malls outside town have pulled customers away in the past few decades. four years ago, business leaders came up with the idea of using local resources to create this haunted house. >> we want to use nostalgia to restore the livelihood of this area. >> the interiors are inspired by past scenes of the town. the props include items collected from around the arcade. the actors are local residents selected from auditions. in an unusual feature, they come out into the streets to greet their fans. this locally produced attraction pulls in around 20,000 more visitors to the arcade every summer. >> the kids really love it.
we want to keep it open and until they become adults. until it becomes an established summer tradition here. >> the horror business remains a much loved form of summer entertainment in japan. judging from the number of people who are spending their time and money on it, it is clear that there is plenty of room for new and creative takes on spooky tradition. jennie lynn, nhk world. >> i've got goosebumps there. that's the latest in business. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
two fatal accidents involving elevators in japan prompted a consumer safety panel to investigate. and those findings have just been released. as nhk world reports, they're taking a tough stance on manufacturers and building owners. >> reporter: it is a report leaders are making, a consumer safety panel looked into the fatal elevator accidents in japan. and their recommendations are simple, maintenance and communication are key. >> translator: we think that improving maintenance procedures and developing guidelines for
keeping a consistent level of maintenance are effective. >> reporter: the report is related to the deaths of a 16-year-old. in 2006, he was trying to get off an elevator inside a tokyo kondo. but it suddenly went up as he was stepping off and he was crushed. investigation focused on the swiss based elevator manufacturer. and the government enforced stricter safety measures for all elevator manufacturers. but they only apply to new elevators. then in 2012, there was a similar accident involving another elevator in which a woman was killed. it prompted his mother to ask safety commission officials to
open their own investigation. >> i believe making full use of the report will be the key. i want firms to make their elevators safer based on the lessons from the accident, so my son did not die for nothing. >> reporter: tuesday's report notes that the brakes on the elevator were worn out. it also says they didn't provide enough information to the company that took over inspection work. and it recommends that infrastructure ministry ensure manufacturers the elevators that they're easier to maintain. since 2013, an agency has been trying to boost the safety of all elevators. but the process is slow. >> translator: we need to remodel 6,000 elevator as a safety measure. we're trying to carry out the
work steadily. >> reporter: the workweek says the elevator will be out of service for a long period of time. it impacts the residents, particularly those living with physical disabilities. another factor is the high cost of the work. tens of thousands of dollars per unit. but infrastructure ministry officials say the work is urgent as only about 20% of japan's elevators meet current safety standards. and commission officials say that means the risk of singular accidents remain. >> we will monitor the progress of the work to install safety devices. if promotional measures fail to produce enough results, we will take new steps. >> reporter: nhk world, tokyo.
hospital food is usually a bitter pill to swallow. but not the meals in our next story where a former french chef is injecting a dash of panache to help patients reclaim the joy of eating. >> reporter: he trained and worked as a french chef. now advises cooks and dietitians working at hospitals and nursing homes around japan. >> translator: french cuisine is said to melt in your mouth with a smooth texture. >> reporter: he recommends using french culinary techniques for those who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. food for people with special dietary needs is frequently pureed, minced or mashed together and often looks and tastes bland. >> translator: he cares about
presentation. i was amazed. >> reporter: she's trained as a chef in paris and then in japan and it has helped him create these delights. but he was particularly inspired by an experience he had 20 years ago. as an adviser for a kitchen appliancemaker, he often went to hospitals to introduce the firm's products. one day, a terminal cancer patient said he really craved a paech. tada came up with this peach jelly recipe. >> that was the first time i made someone truly happy with my cooking. i decided to use my skills for people with special dietary needs. >> reporter: he went on to create over a thousand recipes. last year he began working as an independent consultant to this hospital. his aim is to provide patients with good food so they get their
energy back. >> translator: it is an essential part of our hospital care. >> reporter: right now, tada is working on menus for patients who need to restrict their salt intake. he's developed a new recipe using a device often found in french restaurants. a vacuum packed machine. >> when the meat stops boil i boiling -- >> reporter: with this technique, the food is tasty, just with light seasoning. this woman is being treated for heart disease and is on a strict low salt diet. >> i've come up with a new test menu. i'd love to hear your feedback. >> i feel like this was made
especially for me. it is so delicious. >> food is the one thing that patients look forward to. i want to make sure the food at this hospital has a good reputation. >> reporter: tasty food gives us the energy to live. tada hopes to create more recipes that will allow people with food restrictions to enjoy every delicious bite. time for a check of the weather. it is warm, humid here in tokyo. now what we can expect up ahead. >> it is going to be a beautiful day in tokyo. going to stay sunny. september has just started, but temperatures are going to be summer-like. the high is going to be 32 in tokyo and 33 degrees in osaka today. so the risk of heat stroke remains quite high. stay hydrated. kagoshima, it will get rain on friday and that will continue
into the weekend. there is a tropical depression to the south of japan, that will intensify to a tropical storm within the next several hours. the system will likely cause ample moisture to the north so we expect some heavy rainfall for western portions of kyushu as we go into the weekend. now, let's go to the central pacific, we have a couple of systems that are heading towards hawaii. one here is madalyn and the other is hurricane. it is now downgraded to a tropical storm. it is packing winds of 120 clom pers per hour. center is located about 150 kilometers to the southeast of helio. the system will get very close to the big island tonight. we're expecting tropical system force winds and very heavy rainfall, probably up to 400 millimeters. which could lead to dangerous flooding as well as landslides. the system will pass the south of hawaii and it is going to the weekend, lester will get close
to hawaii, we expect -- we're expecting heavy rainfall and strong winds for the northern portions of hawaii. the system will likely give very close to honolulu as a hurricane on saturday. honolulu will see some very heavy rainfall and powerful winds on saturday. and helio will see another round of stormy conditions during the weekend. big island was battered by tropical system darby in july. it has been pretty wet in the area. across mainland u.s., there is a tropical storm over the gulf of mexico. this system has been upgraded to a tropical storm, it is packing winds of 75 kilometers per hour. it is expected to move through the northwest coast of the florida peninsula on thursday afternoon, local time. we're expecting very powerful winds. and the system may become the hurricane. that's why we're -- we have hurricane watch in effect for the coast. hurricane force winds are expected, plus up to 500
millimeters expected for florida, which could lead to dangerous flooding as well as mudslides and the combination of storm surge and high tide could lead to significant coastal inundation and tornadoes may occur in florida on thursday. so very dangerous conditions are expected. after making landfall in florida, the system will likely move towards the carolina into the weekend while weakening. a lot of heavy rain on the menu for the southeast. across the west, looking at dry conditions across the west, but rainy weather is expected for the northern areas. pacific system is moving into british columbia and that will affect seattle as well. temperatures are going to be cooling down to the teens in vancouver and rainy weather will likely continue at least into saturday. seattle will see rainy weather on thursday with high of 20 degrees. and quite hot once again in houston, 36 degrees for the high with a chance for thunderstorms on your thursday. that's it for now. up next is your three-day forecast around the globe.