glad to have you with us on this edition of nhk "newsline." it is friday, september 9th, 9:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. tensions in the south china sea dominated talks of the meeting of the association of southeast asian nations. asia pacific leaders met in laos over a range of issues of mutual concern, but they didn't find common ground on all of them. the leaders of ten asean member states and china agreed on two points. first, they'll speed up negotiations on the outline of a legally binding code of conduct in the waters. they'll also employ international rules to avoid accidental collisions between ships. leaders of the 18-nation east
asia summit discussed a july ruling by an arbitration tribunal in the hague. beijing has refused to recognize the decision that rejects its claims to most of the south china sea. japan and the u.s. reiterated their stance. >> the landmark arbitration ruling in july, which is binding, helped clarify maritime rights in the region. i recognize this raises tensions, but i also look forward to discussing how we can constructively move forward together to lower tensions and promote diplomacy and regional stability. >> but the leaders failed to hold in depth discussions on the ruling. countries including the philippines and vietnam didn't want to rock the boat on diplomatic issues during the summit. they have conflicting claims with cthe waters. >> translator: in the meeting that just ended, there were only two countries trying to sow discord. they were still talking about
the south china sea issue. and discussing the arbitration ruling. we already discussed and dealt with that in the china asean foreign ministers meeting in july. we hope the relevant countries will stop using it as an excuse to create conflict among us. >> the leaders also discussed how to reduce tensions in another regional security hot spot. they adopted a statement demanding north korea abandon nuclear and ballistic missile development. now, the u.s. president also touched on a way to counter north korea's provocations. an advanced anti-missile defense system deployed to south korea. obama is trying to get the chinese president xi jinping on board. >> but if the thaad bothered him, particularly since it has no purpose other than defensive and does not change the strategic balance between the
united states and china, that they need to work with us more effectively to change pyongyang's behavior. >> the u.s. and south korea say the deployment is to respond to possible attacks by the north. but chinese officials expressed strong opposition. they fear the system's radar could be used to spy on their military. obama acknowledged that international pressure on pyongyang for its repeated ballistic missile launches has been insufficient. south korean prosecutors have questioned the founder of the scandal-hit conglomerate lotte group on suspicion of evading taxes. the prosecutor suspects shin kyuk ho dodged about $550 million in gift taxes. the apparent deception took place during the process of transferring shares in lotte holdings to members of his family. they believe he used overseas paper companies. the prosecutors interrogated the
93-year-old business tycoon at a hotel in central seoul as he refused to go to their office citing poor health. shin reportedly told the prosecutors that he has no memory of evading taxes and did not commit the crime. prosecutors may also quiz his second son, lotte group chairman shin dong bin for amazing a huge massive off the books fund through asset transactions through affiliates. all right. it's time now to move on to business stories. the european union leader has met with british prime minister theresa may for the first time in london. let's go to our ai uchida from our business desk for more on this. the main topic was about brexit. >> the european council president urged may to start negotiations as soon as possible for britain to leave the eu. to stress that triggering the procedure would reduce and eventually end the uncertainty.
>> the ball is now in your court. i'm aware this is not easy. to start the process as soon as possible. >> may said she wanted to spend more time on discussions on the domestic front to make sure the procedure goes smoothly. she's believed to have reiterated that the talks will not start within the year. the eu is planning to hold its first summit that would not have a british leader at the table next week. and in another development in europe, the european central bank left its key interest rate and other measures unchanged and wall street ended lower on that as u.s. investors were hoping for more policy action. to see how this is affecting trading here, this friday morning, we're going to go to ramin mellegard. he's at the tokyo stock exchange keeping tabs on how markets are opening. tell us what you see. >> very good morning to you, ai. all eyes were really on the ecb
meeting in the absence of any other news and many investors were left a little bit disappointed as many of them had been looking for the ecb to increase its bond buying. but we're seeing a pretty positive start here so far for this friday, september 9th, for the nikkei and the broader topix up 0.34% for the nikkei, 17020. just a reminder the nikkei has been subject to moves in currency marketsp we saw the dollar tumble earlier this week and that stopped the nikkei in its tracks, but we're seeing an upward trend now. and september kicking off relatively on a positive trend. now, here, of course, the big story was nintendo. after it announced its highly popular super mario mobile app phone game is going to be available on iphones in time for christmas, and its share price was up 13% yesterday. i'll keep track of that share and its sectors as well.
ai? >> ramin, then exporters who be getting a boost because we saw the dollar bounce back a bit. what's going on with currencies? >> we did see that dip, then a little bit of a bounce. look at it now. 102.34 to .37 this friday morning in tokyo. that compares to the mid101 yen range yesterday. but the euro held pretty steady after ecb president mario draghi didn't come up with any further policy moves. it actually went up against the dollar and the yen after the announcement. now, poor u.s. economic data and the ecb keeping its policy unchanged have left the euro in relatively strong shape. now, european and u.s. government bond yields edged up on the ecb's inaction. yields on the german government bond that you can see there in fact rose just a touch. we should also keep an eye on energy stocks. crude oil prices jumped after a report showed u.s. crude inventories fell by the most
since 1999. brent touched $50 a barrel. and wti, west texas intermediate, jumped 47%. hurricane hermine stopped production on some offshore platforms. let's get a quick idea of the other indexes across asia. seoul's kospi is down 0.75% and sydney is down 0.45%. china markets open in 1 1/2 hours. we'll have more later. back to you. >> sounds good, ramin. thanks a lot for keeping us up to date. honda motor is recalling nearly 670,000 more vehicles in japan for problems with air bags made by takata. honda has filed a recall notice with the transport ministry. the move covers 16 models including the fit and the freed. they were produced from january 2009 to december 201 1. ministry official assist that takata air bags could explode
when deployed shooting out metal parts. the latest move has brought the total number of recalls in japan over takata air bags to more than 15 million vehicles manufactured by 20 automakers. in recent years imports of cheap fireworks from china have flooded the japanese market. this has driven many domestic producers out of business. nhk world reports on the industry's efforts to spark a revival. >> reporter: fireworks spell summer in japan. friends and family get together to light up the dark in their front gardens. the mini pyrotechniques can be purchased at supermarkets and toy shops. these children here are playing with fireworks but fewer kids play with them now. fireworks craftsmen are struggling to increase sales. this woman's family has been making fireworks for 90 years.
under pressure from cheap imports, her company is trying to drum up business by creating high-end products. this sparkler spits out a slowly expanding fireball. the shower of vivid colors can last about a minute. the maker sells a box of 16 sparklers for about $4.50. that's almost ten times more than imported ones. but she says sales have taken off. and this is the secret ingredient. and the reason for the higher cost. a burnt shaving of 30-year-old pine wood. she also offers sparkler gift sets. the most expensive one goes for about $100. but it's also selling well.
>> translator: i want more people to know that sparklers were born in japan. it's a craft tradition that's been handed down for generations. >> reporter: innovation is one strategy. another is nostalgia. dragon is a hit product from the 1980s. production stopped after imports flooded the market. now, crowd funding is bringing it back to life. dragon's maker used facebook and other internet sites to solicit investors. the president says he raised $20,000 in just a few weeks. more than 300 people contributed. with that money, he was able to work with local companies that made the paper and packaging materials for the original product. >> translator: i want to create an environment where every
company involved in making dragon can continue with their businesses. i want all of us to keep moving forward to make made in japan fireworks. >> reporter: 53-year-old takashi is one investor who is happy to have contributed to the project. >> translator: it makes me reminisce about my childhood. it's beautiful. >> reporter: it's more than just a business. a summer tradition is at stake. mixing the old and the new, japan's fireworks industry is striving to keep the flame alive. reporting for nhk world from tokyo. all right. that's the latest in business news for this hour. i'll leave you now with a check on markets.
the tokyo high court has upheld a life sentence for a inform member of the cult group aum shinri kyo. this is the last case in a series of trials that began 21 years ago after group members carried out a deadly attack on a tokyo subway line. it changed the lives of victims and family members forever. we have one of their stories. >> reporter: for over two
decades, this woman has gone to court. she sat in on the trials the of various former members of aum shinri kyo cult. but despite attending 500 sessions, she still doesn't have closure. >> translator: we couldn't hear the accused's words about how he felt about the case. i want to know what he thinks about the attacks. i am not convinced. >> reporter: in 1995, members of the religious cult released sarin gas on tokyo's subway system during morning rush hour. 13 people died, and over 6,000 were hurt. takahashi lost her husband, who worked as a station official. she wants to know the real reason why the cult members carried out the attack and also how they feel about the victims. >> translator: my life was not
supposed to be the way it has been now. it has been totally screwed up. >> reporter: she kept records throughout the trials to document them. during the 70th session, she even listened to the group's leader, chizuo matsumoto. but none of it gave her what she wanted. lawyers and judges focused on the facts and situations. takahashi was looking for the chance to hear the feelings of the accused. three years after the attack, though, she was able to get some of that outside of court. toru toyoda was sentenced to death for the attack. he was expressionless throughout his trial. he apologized but didn't reveal what he was really thinking. takahashi sent him a book about
how survivors and families had to deal with the aftermath. >> translator: i wanted toyoda to know that the family members of victims are suffering so much. >> reporter: unexpectedly, he sent a reply to her. he explained why he hid his emotions in court. >> translator: i believe that it's the minimum responsibility for a person on trial to refrain from making remarks or taking attitudes that would increase the anger and sorrow of the victims and bereaved families. this may have given the impression that i showed no emotions. i am deeply sorry if my attitude offended you. >> reporter: the letter was a realization for takahashi. she felt she was finally able to understand some of his thinking.
>> translator: now i understand why he looked emotionless. at the same time, i realized how much he regretted the crime. this letter made me think if i speak to them face-to-face, i might be able to hear more of their true feelings. >> reporter: she contacted the government, and they responded by creating a system to allow crime victims to take part in trials. she asked questions to former aum members, but unlike toyoda, many didn't open up. with the latest trial over, takahashi no longer has the opportunity to face the former members in court. 13 are awaiting execution, and meetings with them are strictly limited. takahashi is now trying to get in to see them. she hopes talking with them could help prevent similar crimes in the future and help her get the closure she strives for.
reporting for nhk world. families of japanese abducted by north korea are renewing calls for the early return of their loved ones. it's been almost 14 years since north korea admitted that its agents had carried out abductions. the appeal came at a rally held in tokyo to mark the occasion. the japanese government and tokyo metropolitan government jointly sponsored the event. >> translator: north korea has repeatedly made extremely insincere actions. tokyo will do all it can to help abductees reunite with their families as soon as possible. >> another speaker at the rally was shigeo iizuka who heads the organization of families. his sister was abducted in 1978. >> translator: we, the abductees' families, have come to the limit of our patience and
tolerance, mentally and even physically. we are taking actions day after day while we are worrying about our health. >> in july 2014, north korea set up a special committee to investigate the fate of missing japanese including abductees. but pyongyang announced this past feb it would suspend the investigation and disband the committee. the september grand sumo tournament starts this sunday in tokyo. powerhouse wrestler harumafuji is gunning for back-to-back titles for the first time in four years. nhk world's hiro morita meets the mongolian grand champion in this exclusive interview. >> reporter: harumafuji is
japan's 70th yokozuna or grand champion. he is one of the most dominant competitions in the top makunochi division. he's also one of the lightest, weighing some 30 kilograms less than the average. harumafuji wrestling's style could be called head-on fighting. he thrusts explosively from a low position, often ejecting his larger opponents directly out of the ring. his technique won him 13 bouts last tournament and ultimately the championship. >> translator: well, no one knew who the winner was going to be until the very end, and that helped me focus on every match and fight with all my might. >> reporter: harumafuji started wrestling as a child. he was encouraged by his father, a mongolian-style wrestler. in 2000, a japanese scout in mongolia saw him fighting at a tournament. he was just 16. on arriving in tokyo, he weighed just 70 kilograms, but his speed
and tenacity propelled him up the ranks. he entered the highest makunochi division in 2005. in the september 2012 tournament, he defeated yokozuna hakuho to win his second consecutive championship without a single loss. there was media fanfare when he was selected as yokozuna. he was sumo's first grand champion in almost 5 1/2 years. did you ever imagine you would be a yokozuna? >> translator: no. i was completely focused just on surviving each day. i was intimidated, living in a foreign culture where i didn't speak the language, surrounded by such massive men. >> reporter: the sumo association requires yokozuna to maintain an exceptional winning record. there is no demotion from this highest rank. the only way out is to retire. so the pressure is intense. meanwhile, the heavy clashes with his huge opponents took a toll on harumafuji's body.
injuries plagued his knees and his right elbow, and he was unable to fight consistently. his confidence took a blow. how did you feel when you had to skip a tournament? >> translator: it made me realize something i had never grasped before, like how lucky i was to be able to compete and how my fans loved and supported me. i learned and came to appreciate so many things during that period. >> reporter: there is more to harumafuji than his powerful sumo. he studied art in mongolia and turns to painting at times of stress. his bold brush strokes are well regarded, and he holds his own exhibitions. >> translator: i don't paint much when i'm happy with myself. when i lose a match, i express those feelings through colors while having a good drink and listening to music. that's what gives my paintings
their distinctive look and why i tend to use a melancholy color palette. >> reporter: we asked him to apply his brush to a simple message for us. it says "continue." what do you mean by that? >> translator: sumo is the only thing i'm thinking about right now. this message shows my determination to keep at it. i want to cherish each day and work hard. >> reporter: harumafuji is back to his winning ways, and he's continuing his fight in the best way he knows -- head-on. hiro morita, nhk world. >> all right. let's talk weather now. people in tokyo are seeing clear skies, but it's quite a different story in northern japan. our meteorologist robert speta has the latest. >> yes. actually, if you remember tropical storm storm malo, that hit the southern japanese
islands earlier this week. the storm faded out. but the moisture was still there. that pulled it off towards the north here. across parts of tohoku you saw heavy rainfall through the overnight hours here into friday morning and still scattered showers across parts of hokkaido. the same area has been hit by typhoons over the past several weeks, particularly last week. it really saturated the ground, casualties reported in that due to landslides and flash flooding. today just because of that rain on top of that we still have widespread landslide warnings down there especially towards iwate in southern hokkaido because of that precipitation. more rain is in the forecast, especially northern hokkaido. 100 to 150 millimeters. you have to watch out for it. cooler, drier air will make its way in by the weekend, but you have to get through that precipitation first. as we take a look down towards the south, we have this river of
moisture still working its way in out of southeastern china called a tropical river because in the upper atmosphere you get these bans set out. it really does look like a precipitation here if you take a look at satellite pictures, parts of the southern japanese islands, guangdong, you will be seeing some heavy rainfall and there is that threat of localized flooding there. hong kong high of 30, showers there. taipei a high of 30. we'll be cooling down next week. and into seoul actually a high of 27. you'll be looking at the threat of passing thunderstorms. let's take a look over here towards the americas. talk about thunderstorms, we have this front that is pulling across the midwest in the high plains and that's been bringing some thunderstorms out there and even the threat of flooding. showing video coming out of wisconsin. take a look at this. definitely a rather severe case
out here due to this heavy precipitation. emergency crews walking around checking vehicles here after they became submerged in floodwaters. something you always have to remember if you are in an area that's seeing flooding, drive around it. it might take a little bit longer on your commute, but definitely saves you from possibly losing your life if you get stuck in some of these raging rivers but also your car. most insurance do not cover cars being stuck in roadways in floodwaters like ta. take a look at the severe weather. all these storms are shifting towards the east. if you're talking about parts of upstate new york, extending down through ontario and even into the mississippi river valley, you're looking at showers here today. out ahead of it, it is hot and humid, though. actually, the heat index in parts of new york, down towards washington, d.c., could be pushing into the 40s. afternoon thunderstorms as well possible there. take a look over here towards
europe. talking about the heat across the western half of the continent, still staying on the warm side but a little bit of a cooldown. paris with a high of 26, berlin at 27 down from 30 on thursday. all right. here's the extended outlook. that is all for this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for staying with us.
>> on this edition of "native report," we'll attend the oklahoma premiere of the play "sliver of a full moon." >> and i think he beat her to what he believed was to death. >> we'll interview independent filmmaker alex smith... >> so, that was an early introduction to native customs and to native peoples. >> and we'll browse the vendor stands at the oneida farmers' market. we also learn something new about indian country and hear from our elders on this "native report." >> production of "native report" is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community and the blandin foundation.