hello there, welcome to nhk "newsline." it is thursday september 15th, 9:00 a.m., i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. people in southern china are hunkering down as the most powerful storm of the year pushes forward. officials have raised their alert over typhoon meranti to the highest level. the storm made landfall in fujian province of leaving a dozen people injured in taiwan. it continue s thrash the island. strong winds pummeled a shipyard and on the streets, a person riding a scooter stopped when he noticed something coming toward
him. he had a narrow escape. on the southeast coast, a lighthouse was washed away. >> translator: it's frightening to discover the whole lighthouse had gone. i haven't seen such high waves for years. >> taiwanese authorities say 12 people were injured and 1 is missing. they also say about 860,000 households suffered power cuts at one point. more than 750 millimeters of rain was recorded in mountainous areas, that's mountainous regions in the south. weather officials say meranti is moving northward. our meteorologist robert speta joins us now with more on that storm. >> yes, some pretty incredible footage coming out of southern taiwan where they were impacted by this storm system. we had winds gusting at times
well over 200 kilometers per hour, plus we're looking at that threat of heavy rainfall still continuing out here. in fact, in total, a few locations have seen about 830 millimeters. now, i do want to mention taiwan because of these high amounts of precipitation. it really squeezed out a lot of that cloud cover and kind of disrupted this storm system because of the mountains. this is satellite imagery from wednesday evening. you can see right here, how that inflow comes in and then as it exits taiwan, you have a little bit of that grayish in the satellite. that is showing us some of the weakening that we experienced with the storm system despite the fact it did not tactically make landfall out here. those mountains still disrupted this. so as it pushed toward the northwest, it weakened a little bit. that was relatively good news for southeastern china over toward fujian province but still made landfall as a very strong typhoon. regardless, that's enough to cause some damage. we have seen some coastal reports of damage out here where
this did make landfall here in fujian province around 3:00 a.m. local time. winds now 144 gusting to 216 kilometers per hour. this is expected, though, to continue to weaken. the winds are still going to be a threat, but as we move further inland and further through time here on thursday, it's going to change over to mainly the rainfall threat. in total, we could see about 300 millimeters of rainfall, even extending toward the yangsy river basin, there's likely risk of flooding out there. still the threat of coastal storm surge. i think rain near the coast, the chance still of gusty winds. that's going to dwindle throughout the day. so the rainfall threat is there. plus, we have another tropical system. see it here on our precipitation outlook. have a little more on that later on. >> all right. robert speta there. he'll be back later on in the program with more on that storm and other world weather news. let's now move on to business news. two japanese companies in different stress have decided to deepen their ties in a bid to
stay competitive and generate some synergies. ai uchida joins us now from the business team. ai, what firms are are we talking about here? >> catherine, one is a major trading house, mitsubishi corporation, the other is lawson, a convenience store chain. both have seen recent declines in their market positions. mitsubishi posted its first ever net loss during -- to falling prices, that is, of natural resources and was not from its number-one status last fiscal year. lawson, meanwhile, lost its second-place position after a rival merge with another retailer. so both have been looking for ways to restore their status. executives from the companies are now in final consultation so that mitsubishi can raise its stake in lawson to make it a subsidiary. mitsubishi is planning to launch a takeover bid before the end of the year at the earliest. the trading house is already lawson's largest shareholder with about a third of its shars. it plans to spend around $1.5 billion to increase that stake
to more than 50%. mitsubishi hopes to use its global procurement network to come up with new products to place on lawson's shelves. executives will also consider speeding up the pace by which convenience stores are opened overseas. lawson is dealing with consolidation moves within its industry as competition with supermarkets and drugstore chains heats up. earlier this month, the family mart convenience store chain merged with retailer, uny group holdin holdings. and staying with consolidation headlines executives at german chemical giant bayer say the firm acquired monsanto for $66 billion. the deal would create the world's largest seed and agra chemicals company with a dominant market share. the acquisition is subject to approval by competition authorities. bayer hopes to gain monsanto's latest technologies including genetic modification techniques.
demand is growing for farm chemicals and seeds in emerging economies but low crop prices have hit the industry hard. in december, u.s. firms, dow chemical and dupont agreed to merge. and in february, a chinese state-owned company agreed to buy a swiss agra chemical firm. following the news, share prices of monsanto rose 0.6% but u.s. stock prices ended mixed overall. lower oil prices continue to weigh on sentiment, some tech companies gained and the dow jones industrial average fell almost .2% to the lowest level in two months. the tech-heavy nasdaq, though, was up a third of a percent. now let's see what's happening here in tokyo. we are going to go to ramin mellegard for that. he's at the tokyo stock exchange. good morning, what are you seeing at the opening there? >> reporter: a mixed picture in new york but tech shares were definitely boosted by shares of apple and it rose around 3.5% and that's after a brokerage
upgraded its outlook, so we'll watch out for component makers here in japan. but oil prices or oil price volatility really still keeping a lot of investors on their toes. let's have a look at the nikkei and broader topix kicking off thursday september 15th. both indexes in the negative down 0.58% for the nikkei. nikkei ended wednesday at its lowest close since late august and bank stocks have really taken the brunt of the selling. that's on growing speculation that the bank of japan would cut interest rates further into negative territory. the boj will have its policy meeting next week. a lot of focus on that. federal reserve having its meeting as well. but many are concerned about negative interest rates cutting into profit margins of the major banks here. so we'll watch out for those. now, oil prices, i touched on that, but overnight, benchmark crude futures were down yet again. wti fell nearly 3%.
though u.s. crude inventories showed a fall from the previous week's stockpiles of diesel and heating royal rose, and that's worried investors. however, it's not all negative. ai, we've seen a bounce in mi industrial metals. and for the rest of the year. and we did see copper actually hitting a fresh three-month highs. we'll see if that continues into the tokyo session. ai? >> all right, ramin. we did see the dollar/yen, you know, rise to the 103 yen level yesterday. what's happening this morning? >> reporter: exactly. it did hit a peak at that level but as you can see it's backed off. 102.58-60. following reports of the boj's intent on continuing with negative interest rates. the yen was weaker against the dollar but investors remain a little bit hesitant as to the full benefits of the boj's policy and have started to buy back the yen as we can see
there. the prospect of the federal reserve added to overall dollar weakness as well. if rates don't go up, it fails to give a bit of a shine to the green back. a weaker dollar helps commodity price and dollars, holders of other currencies, of course, will find them more attractive or cheaper. let's have a quick look at other asian indexes as well. seoul's kospi still on a holiday. australia's index barely in the negative. china markets open in an hour and a half. i'll have more later on. back to you. >> sounds good, ramin. we'll touch base with you then. now, from all you can eat to all you can read, the flat-price offer is a common way for japanese companies to attract customers. now with consumers tightening pursestrings, the marketing strategy is spreading to services of a more personal nature. >> reporter: customers at this nail salon can choose from a wide variety of colors and designs. manicures and pedicures at other salons can go for more than $50.
but here, customers can get any service they like as many times as they like, all at a fixed monthly rate of about $34. >> translator: there are no extra charge even if i ask for something super fancy so i have nothing to worry about. >> reporter: the salon targets fashion-conscious young women with limited budgets. it now has about 1,000 customers. managers say they cut costs and boosted profits by eliminating the receptionist position and keeping the decor to a bay minimum. subscription fashion services can also be enjoyed in the comfort of one's own home. togashi works for an i.t. consulting firm and he's very picky about what he wears to the office. >> translator: here it is. >> reporter: each month, a fresh supply of dress shirts is delivered right to his door.
togashi pays about $125 per month. he thinks that's reasonable considering the money and time it takes to buy shirts and have them laundered. >> translator: this is really good. the shirts are new and they're well pressed. >> reporter: customers can choose from a wide range of colors, patterns and collar shapes. it satisfies even fashion-conscious customers like togashi. a small startup company in tokyo provides the service. the company cuts costs by purchasing shirts in bulk from manufacturers. but it also focuses on small details. for example, each shirt comes with a number that corresponds to a specific customer. the company assigns each garment to one person exclusively for the length of his contract. that way, the customer doesn't
feel he's wearing someone else's clothes. >> translator: we emphasize direct communication with our clients and reflect their views in our service. we want to be as responsive t >> reporter: the companies behind these subscription services hope that the ease and convenience they offer will reassure customers that they don't need to shop around to get a good deal. >> and that is the latest in business. now, just a quick correction regarding chinese markets. markets in mainland china and taiwan are closed today for a public holiday. we will keep you updated on all the other markets, though. here's a check on what's open now.
on to other stories we're following this hour. japan's largest opposition party will select its new leader on thursday. the democratic party's former chief announced he wasn't seeking another term in july and says that the party needs new leadership to be able to win future elections. three candidates are running for the post. the party's acting president nenho who only goes by one name. former foreign min strister mae and yuchiro tanaki. how to regain public support ousted from party in 2012 and discuss possible cooperation with other opposition parties in the run-up to the next lower house election which would be held in 2018 at the latest. party lawmakers and presumptive candidates will vote for the leader at a convention on thursday afternoon. other party members and supporters have already sent in their ballots by mail. their votes are all weighted
differently. if no candidate wins a majority of points, lawmakers and presumptive candidates will vote again to choose between the two top candidates. japanese lawmakers are aiming to pile pressure on north korea in response to its latest nuclear test. they've adopted resolutions condemning what they call pyongyang's provocations. members of committees in both chambers of the diet passed the resolutions unanimously. they call the nuclear tests a reckless act that's totally unacceptable to japan. the only country to have been a victim of atomic bombings. and they urge the government to work with the international community to rein in the reclusive nation. >> translator: japan demands north korea immediately and completely abide by u.n. security council resolutions, give up its nuclear weapons and abandon its nuclear development program. >> the foreign minister said china has a pivotal role to play
as it accounts for 90% of north korea's trade. he said he's arranging an over-the-phone meeting with his chinese counterpart to seek cooperation. another longstanding issue with the country is the abduction of japanese nationals by north korea decades ago. nhk has learned that relatives are planning to urge tokyo to negotiate further for the swift return of their loved ones by putting aside the north's nuclear program. the abductees' families fear the latest nuclear test will stall negotiations and the international community may focus more on that than the abductions. many family members are old and anxious to see their relatives and also frustrated by the lack of process despite various diplomatic maneuvers following past nuclear tests. they had called for additional sanctions after each one. so the families decided to ask the government to focus on the abductees though they still
stress nuclear tests are unacceptable. the japanese government says at least 17 people were abducted by north korean agents in the '70s and '80s. five of them returned to japan in 2002. as leaders in pyongyang issue threats, tens of thousands of people elsewhere in the isolated country struggle to recover from devastated floods. they were brought by last month's typhoon lionrock. officials with the u.n.'s world food program say more than 130 people died in the floods and about 400 with still missing. they say tens of thousands of people are living in shelters. so far they've delivered biscuits and soybeans to some 140,000 survivors. the officials say the number of people in need could rise as the extent of the damage becomes clearer. the u.n. agency warns the impact of the flooding on farmland and livestock means the food shortage is likely to worsen over winter. it estimates it will cost an
extra $21 million to continue the aid programs through next august. another problem has come to light regarding the relocation of tokyo's iconic tsukiji fish market. officials with the metropolitan government had said they covered the entire compound of the newly built toyosu market with clean soil. it was to prevent contamination from a former gas plant that used to stand there. but an in-house investigation has found out they didn't do so. and the problem lies in a gray zone. experts had recommended covering the entire site with clean soil, and in 2008, the tokyo government set up a panel of engineers to discuss that and other decontamination methods, but government officials submitted documents to the panel that didn't mention placing clean soil under the buildings. they apparently wanted to use the underground space.
they gave no clear explanation during six years of meetings. this is an image that the officials submitted to the panel in 2014. the clean soil is shown in a cream color. the spaces beneath the buildings were shown in gray. there was no explanation about whether the gray parts were meant to indicate clean soil or empty space. the officials only said the panel of engineers was responsible for studying ways to use clean soil and that it wasn't up to them to decide exactly where it should go. water currently covers the ground under the buildings. the governor pointed out that it's not yet known whether the water is rainwater or toxic groundwater and she said that's a serious problem. she's ordered officials to study whether the site is safe. japanese astronaut onishi has carried out experiments on
behalf of students from asia at the international space station. the japan aerospace exploration agency or jaxa earlier called on students from asian countries to submit ideas for experiments in outer space. five proposals were selected. >> the astronaut performed my experiment. it's a lot more interesting than i expected. >> a girl from indonesia proposed putting three balls of the same size but different mass in a bag of water. when the bag was shaken, the ball that was most massive moved the least in zero gravity. a university student from thailand came up with an experiment using syringes. it showed that zero gravity enhances the difference of viscosity between water and oil. >> i hope that our work on the international space station will
encourage young people like you around the world, around asia to become more interested in science. >> this is the first time a japanese astronaut has carried out live experiments suggested by students from asia. world leaders and diplomats are gathering at the united nations for its 71st general assembly. we'll be covering the developments and also looking at key issues the leaders well be discussing. more than 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in europe last year mainly from the middle east and africa. european countries are facing the task of how to integrate them into communities and provide them with sustainable support. in some countries like austria, there's been anti-immigrant backlash and tough measures to keep them out altogether.
but there are some who welcome the new comers. a group of businesses is offering them a chance for a fresh start. nhk world's martina jefcoat has more. >> reporter: today is the first day. as you can see, many refugees came here today to look for a job. nearly 4,000 refugees registered for an event organized by entrepreneurs in austria. the refugees were able to talk directly with those who do the hiring. >> all mention here help us. i find more chance to find job here. >> we like to have a diverse team because diverse teams, all gender, also background, make a team a better team and they bring such a great attitude and very often talent with them. >> reporter: some companies already have refugees on their books. last november, this supermarket
chain hired about 20 people. this man came from syria about a year and a half ago. the supermarket prepared training programs for the new recruits. he also gets help from his colleagues. he uses german for work. his ability with the language has improved through lessons offered by his employer. the supermarket also sends refugee workers to vocational
schools. there they can study subjects such as marketing and accounting. the employer isn't merely providing jobs. it wants to help refugees become contributing members of society. >> translator: finding work is a crucial way for refugees to adapt to a new home. as entrepreneurs, we have a social responsibility to help them do that. >> reporter: austria and other european nations face a major challenge integrating people who fled war and other problems across africa and the middle east, east. by helping them find job, they can make the process a lot smoother. martina jefcoat. nhk world, vienna. let's now get a check of the weather once again. people in southern china are getting hit by the most powerful storm of the year. our meteorologist robert speta
has the latest on typhoon meranti. >> yes, this storm system definitely very dangerous. still dangerous, but it has weakened down since its peak intensity that we've seen on wednesday morning. now moving over eastern china. still some pretty gusty winds with this after making landfall, but it's the rain threat that we're really switching over to, and in some areas we're going to see widespread 200 to 300 millimeters out here expected. you do have to remember, it is a holiday so a lot of people in those very populated areas are are going to be out and about for these festivals. hopefully they do stay inside, heed warnings especially in hardest hit areas. back toward the east, we also have typhoon malakus. we want to keep an eye on this one, expected to intensify, moving on possibly brurk brushing across the coast of taiwan, maybe even okinawa this coming weekend in western japan. definitely something we want it be watching out for. i don't think it's going to be
as strong as meranti but still going to cause some damage out there especially since japan, it is a holiday weekend coming up. so much like we're talking about eastern china, a lot of people are going to be traveling this coming weekend and definitely something we want to watch out for. back toward the north, still got some scattered showers out there across much of central and western japan. you have the akisami front, it is the fall rainy season front. been bringing rainfall pretty much every day for the tokyo area and once again here on thursday, more rain in the forecast. and it's expected to continue heading into the weekend. all right. let's take a look here into the americas. we do have a front diving in out of the central u.s. behind that, some very chilly temperatures but some severe thunderstorms flaring up along that front. some of them could produce some hail, maybe some damaging winds. that will move out of the way. we have julia, julia is out latest tropical system in the atlantic really impacting florida, carolinas and georgia right now. actually on the coast of south carolina we saw a wind report
about 69 kilometers per hour out there. and still that threat is there as we look ahead through the next 24 to 48 hours. this is going to linger, right in place and bring additional precipitation. about 100 to 150 millimeters expected out there for you. so thunderstorms in the southeast. cooler back toward the north. denver, 23. winnipeg, a high of 20. even toronto just 21. overnight low into the teens. all right. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook.
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