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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 22, 2016 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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hello there, welcome to nhk "newsline." it is thursday september 22nd. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. shinzo abe delivered a speech at the u.n. general assembly in new york. it was his fourth speech at the annual gathering of the world body since he took office in december 2012. >> translator: north korea has now manifested itself directly before us as an open threat to peace. what can we do in response? the united nations is now being
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tested. north korea launched missiles. immediately after that it fired three ballistic missiles simultaneously to reach japan's exclusive economic zone. is it purely a matter of good fortune that no commercial aircraft or ships suffered any damage during this incident. this year alone, north korea has launched 21 ballistic missiles. in addition, it claims to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead in a test on september 9th. that nuclear test followed another test conducted this past january. this series of launches of missiles and a detonation of a warhead does change the landscape completely.
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north korea's nuclear development and the repeated launches of ballistic missiles are two sides of the same coin. right before our eyes, north korea is carrying out a plan about which there can be no doubt. there is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now. we must therefore respond to this in a manner entirely distinct from our responses so far. we must concentrate our strengths and thwart north korea's plans. next it's the united nations' turn on the stage. now is the time for the security council to indicate an unmistakable attitude towards this threat of a new dimension.
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>> translator: no matter the issue facing us or exactly since we are faced with many challenges, japan which marks its 60th year will spare no effort to strengthen the united nations. the cumulative total of the assessed contributions to the u.n. and assessed contributions to peacekeeping operations that japan has paid in as a simple tally of the book value of those contributions easily exceeds 20 billion u.s. dollars. it is only through a free and open trade and investment environment that japan was able to grow. this is the very same thing that has conferred the prosperity of the present day on the countries of asia. peace, stability and security of the seas as well as freedom of navigation and overflight are
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the basis for the peace and prosperity of the international community. should there be disputes, the international community must adhere strictly to the principles that states shall make their claims based on international law. they shall not use force or coercion in trying to drive their claims and they shall seek to settle disputes by peaceful means. japan will contribute to stand without fail on the side that upholds the world order that is open, free and unwavering in adhering to the rule of law and international rules. i will end my address by pointing out the need for fundamental changes in the u.n. governor structure. countries in africa and latin
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america have built up a degree of influence they have never had before in global politics and a global economy. and yet, they do not have satisfactory representation on the security council. just this single example makes the current state of affairs on the security council indefensible to the generation alive now. although international relations at the time the war drew to an end 71 years ago do appear on a page in the history books even now. they have nothing whatsoever to do with the countries that achieve their independence since then. if we do not carry out the reform of the security council now, it will easily be put off for a decade or two. will we stand in the position of
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harming the values of the u.n., or will we wish for strengthening of the u.n.? if it is the latter, then it goes without saying that we form of the security council is a matter of urgency. >> nhk world's senior commentator is following the general assembly in new york. here is his analysis of prime minister abe's speech. >> reporter: it was prime minister abe's fourth speech at the united nations, but it was his most powerful and urgent yet. abe avoided diplomatic pleasantries. he called the most recent nuclear tests and missile launches an open threat to peace. abe said the threat had reached a new dimension. he added the very reason for the united nations is now being tested and its effectiveness challenged.
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abe declared before the world's dignitaries japan's resolve. he devoted about half his speech to north korea. this year marks 60 since japan became a member of the world's largest body. prime minister abe said he intended to talk about the past 60 years, but north korea's threat changed the equation. mr. abe ended his speech with japan's longstanding bid to secure a permanent seat on security council. here again, he called reform of the united nations' most powerful institution a matter of urgency. the u.s. federal reserve has kept its key interest rate unchanged citing the need to monitor the trend of inflation. after a two-day meeting of the
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federal open mark committee, the fed said growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. the committee decided to keep the federal funds rate between 0.25% and 0.5%. the fed has once again put off the first rate hike since last december but says the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened. >> most participants do expect that one increase in the federal funds rate will be appropriate this year, and i would expect to see that if we continue on the current course of labor market improvement and there are no major new risks that develop. >> fed chair yellen indicated that the central bank may raise the rate by the end of the year depending on job mark and inflation trends. however, a rate hike would make the dollar stronger and hurt u.s. exporters.
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observers say a higher value of the dollar may cause investment money to flow out of emerging economies. bank of japan policymakers announced a set of modest occasions to their monetary policy after a two-day meeting. they said they're going to adopt a target for long-term interest rates in an effort to meet their inflation goal as soon as possible. they say they'll abandon their base money target and instead set what they call yield curve control. that involves central bank purchases of long-term japanese government bonds or jgbs to keep the yield of ten year jgbs around the current levels of 0%. the boj will purchase jgbs with a pace of 80 trillion yen or $780 billion worth. they also note the pace of increase in the monetary base may fluctuate in the short run depending on market conditions. in the short term, the boj will still apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1% to some of the current accounts held by
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financial institutions at the current, the central bank. the policymakers also decided to abandon the current two-year timeframe for achieving their 2% inflation goal. they now say they're aiming to hit it at the earliest possible time. boj policymakers first set the target in 2013, but they have yet to meet it and have been pushing back the date. boj policymakers also carried out a comprehensive assessment of the bank's easing steps including the negative rate policy. they concluded the bank of japan needs to adopt measures that are more sustainable and offer greater flexibility. the officials said that excessive declines in long-term interest rates lead to lower returns on insurance and pension products. they said this also increases companies' pension benefit obligations. but they added that the direct impact on overall economic activity is unlikely to be substantial. they noted, however, that these outcomes could negatively affect
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the economy by putting a damper on consumer sentiment, a possibility that required careful monitoring. the officials acknowledge that a further rise in expectations of inflation is uncertain and may take time. boj governor haruhiko kuroda emphasized the new mseasures ar necessary to strengthen the current framework of monetary easing. >> translator: the framework will enable the bank to respond more flexibly than the one now that sets targets on the monetary base and bond buying base. new one allows them to respond, economic prices and the. situation sp. >> kuroda added another aim is to prevent lower interest rates from adversae rly afeblfecting consumer sentiment. it plans to continue its massive easing policy until the annual rate of increase in the consumer price index exceeds 2% and stays above the target in a stable manner.
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a group of international journalists has published documents of more than 175,000 companies registered in the bahamas. a well-known tax haven. the documents are similar to the panama papers given to german newspapers. through the international consortium of investigative journalists, media outlets around the world including nhk world have analyzed the papers. the documents list directors and owners of business entities. among them, a dutch politician was listed as director of a bahamian company from 2000 to 2009. kroes served as eu's competition commissioner from 2004 to 2010. she didn't disclose her connection to this company and her declaration of personal financial interests when she held that position.
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she told, through her lawyer, that she didn't declare her directorship of the company because it was never operational. at least 230 japanese names are found in the documents. many of them are are related to shipping companies. the executive director of icij commented on the publication of the documents. he said we see it as a service to the public to make this basic kind of information openly available. there is much evidence to suggest that where you have secrecy in the offshore world, you have potential for wrongdoing. he said journalists around the world will keep working to eliminate that secrecy. in indonesia, search and rescue efforts are continuing after torrential rains triggered floods and landslides. at least 20 people have been confirmed dead. rainy season is not supposed to start for several weeks. disaster management officials are calling for vigilance. the disaster occurred on tuesday
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night in west java province. the fatalities happened in the worst hit area. officials say several people are still missing in the province. about 1,000 villagers were evacuated to temporary locations such as army barracks. the authorities have set up emergency shelters and temporary kitchens. rescue workers in bangladesh are searching for the missing after an overcrowded ferry capsized. according to reuters, ten people have been killed and at least 11 people are are still unaccounted for. the ferry sank on wednesday in the river sandia shortly after it set off from barisal district. ferries and river boats are indispensable transport for people in bangladesh with its many rivers, but many boats are are overcrowded and poorly maintained. an accident in february last year left more than 60 people dead.
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the video game industry has thrived by constantly generating new ideas and technologies. this year's tokyo game show continued that tradition showcasing what may be the next leap forward in virtual reality. we're talking about technology that goes beyond vision and sound and mimics our sense of touch. nhk world reports. >> reporter: more than 600 companies from across the world joined the tokyo game show this year. the star attraction for virtual reality games and devices. this is a v.r. game controller that uses technology that digitally recreates our sense of touch. so when i extend my arm and squeeze like i'm pulling the trigger, a bullet shoots out.
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oh, smart. i can feel a slight tingle on my arm and even in my muscles. the recoil from a gun is recreated through electric signals that stimulate the muscles. >> translator: v.r. games still do not have a fixed game controller. we're targeting that market. >> reporter: how about a body suit that stimulates the entire body? sound speakers are the technology of the suit. the vibrations from the speakers can be felt throughout the body. sense stimulation such as the sound of drums is perceived in different ways. wow, this is more than just a video game. i feel like i'm actually inside the game. or in the atmosphere. >> translator: looking at image, alone, doesn't allow you to actually feel what's happening. but the sense of touching and being touched helps us to step into the arena of human emotions.
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>> reporter: some are applying the technology beyond video g e games. among them is a venture firm spun off from a national research institute. the firm is trying to commercialize the technology. holding this tiny device in your fingertips causes your brain to create an illusion that you're being pushed or pulled. this is amazeing. i can feel my hands getting pushed in and now getting pushed back. i can feel the impact. wow. this is very, very interesting. here is one example of an application. an lcd screen controller for an air conditioner. it simulates pressure in the fingertips by digitally replicating our sense of touch. wow, this is very interesting. the sense of touch that i get is like pushing a button hard. lcd buttons are aused in
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everything from cell phones to ticket vending machines. the venture firm says applying the technology will create the sense of pushing a button and help reduce errors. the trick is in this vibration plate under the liquid crystal. this plate vibrates only vertically when touched but changing vibration patterns fool your brain into thinking the plate is moving up and down. the implication of the technology could be profound. it may eventually be applied to robotic surgery. doctors manipulating robots will be able to feel that their own hands are on raperating on the patient. >> translator: this technology will go beyond video games and will probably be used for all equipment devices and electronics fi electronics. five or ten years from now, it will be common to digitally feel the sense of touch that we take for granted.
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>> reporter: many companies around the world are attracted in this cutting-edge technology. japan is on the verge of creating the first mass market. nhk world. japanese cabinet ministers say they will decide on the fate of a prototype fast breeder reactor by the end of the year. it's beien plagued by safety problems for decades. they say they will consider the option of scrapping the facility. >> translator: we have reached a decision in today's meeting that we will conduct a drasmonju rea including the option of decommissioning it. >> the ministers also agreed to maintain japan's nuclear fuel recycling policy and they'll
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continue to promote the development of fast reactor technology. fast breeder reactors are designed to generate electricity while producing more fuel than they consume. the monju reactor was meant to play a key role in plans to recycle japan's nuclear fuel. spent fuel from conventional nuclear power plants contains plutonium which can be used as fuel in the monju reactor. the reactor runs on uranium-plutonium mixed oxide. more than $9 million has been spent to create and operate the prototype, but it has been in operation for only 250 days since its trial operation started in 1994. in 1995, a leak of sodium used to cool the reactor led to operations being halted. in 2010, the first test runs in 14 years began. three months later, a piece of
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equipment weighing over three tons fell into the reactor. due to the seemingly endless problems, the reactor has never gone into full operation. last november, nuclear regulators recommended that the government designate a new operator to ensure safety, but relevant agencies and the private sector haven't reached a conclusion partly because it costs $200 million every year to maintain the facility. japan and france are cooperating and studying the fast reactor technology in france's astrid project. science minister matsuno told the fukui minister to review the monju program. it's located in the central japan prefecture. matsuno said the government will give a proper explanation to the prefecture's residents who have supported the program. >> translator: the decision is extremely irresponsible.
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i have to say that fukui residents feel distrust. >> the governor expressed doubt whether the government has fully studied the monju program. he says he wonders whether nuclear fuel recycling is possible without the monju reactor. the mayor of a village in northern japan is also disappointed with the government's decision. he said the reprocessing facilities for spent nuclear fuel in his village and monju both play key role in japan's nuclear fuel recycling policy. he said he wants the government to continue using monju to study fast breeder reactor technology. lawyers calling for monju to be shut down have welcomed the review of the project. they've urged the government to decide by the end of the year to scrap it. it is time now for a check of the weather with our meteorologist robert speta. robert, it is a national holiday here in japan, so many people here have the day off from work, but it's a rainy and cool
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morning in tokyo. will weather conditions improve? >> yes, i'm sure a lot of people who are are off today probably not heading out and about too much. it is definitely cool out there. we have this stationary front which is lingering just down toward the south and with that, it's kind of pulling in some cooler air. the cloud cover has been there all day blocking out the sun. temperatures in the low 20s for the tokyo area and much of central japan for that matter. the showers are going to continue throughout the day heading into friday. the good news, by saturday and sunday, this is going to get a move on, drift toward the east. we got some clear air coming in from the west and also southerly winds. temperatures will be on the rise. for now, though, seoul 27. tokyo, 21. the rainfall there definitely on the cool side. take a look at the extended forecast. tokyo getting up to 26. 27 with partly cloudy to sunny skies heading into sunday. beijing, though, you're going to be looking at cloudy skies heading throughout the weekend. seoul, sunny weather out there for you and taipei, also above
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average temperatures expected. high of 30. you do have the rainfall out there. all right. let's see what's going on down toward the south. i also want to mention here into i indonesia, we had south of jakarta some severe flooding over the past several days. 20 casualtiy ies reported due t landslide out here. the big reason, it is the dry season. you don't get a lot of rain. a lot of rivers quite low, but over the course of a few hours, we actually had 100 to 200 millimeters of total rainfall reported in this small area and that resulted in some severe flooding. and there's more rain even in the forecast. it is the dry season. this is kind of unusual. something we really want to watch out for, especially for recovery efforts across much of this area. back toward europe, travel weather concerns for the british isles. we have a cold front pulling through there that's going to bring windy conditions especially along the western seaboards. while on the other side of continent, another front pulling across parts of the turkey and even over toward the balkan
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peninsula. actually, in turkey, we had recently a tornado reported. six years earlier this week and severe flooding taking place. 236 millimeters in 6 hours. flash flooding off here toward the east has been a major concern and more rain is in the forecast, unfortunately, for a lot of people in that area. let's also talk about the opposite of floods. how about the dry weather? wildfire concerns in southwestern u.s. actually, i'll show you a video coming out of santa barbara county here in california where a wildfire has burnt 1,800 hectares of land here near the vandenberg air force base. now, this is the same place that launches the space-x rockets. firefighters really trying to defend against those launch pads. could set back that space program if they were to catch on fire. right now they're starting to get it contained, but an ongoing situation. the weather is not cooperating, by the way. they've been looking at about 87 kilometer per hour winds.
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humidity around 10% in that area. so that is definitely building up a threat of fire. and also still got that massive drought going on across much of california. exceptional drought in place. back toward the east, though, dry weather in place here in the southeast. d.c. with a high of 28. atlanta, 29. sunny skies here on thursday. all right. here's your extended outlook.
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and that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us.
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