"nhk world" tv from japan. hello, welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. south korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for a longtime friend of president park geun-hye. the prosecutors charged ch soon-sil of attempted fraud, accused of large sums of money to her non-profit organizations and accusedahnjong-beom is accu.
he was later detained. the prosecutors are also questioning people connected to the two non-profits. choi is reportedly denying all allegations. hong kong's legislature has seen more turmoil. scuffles erupted on wednesday after two pro-independence lawmakers were forced out of the chamber. last month, the man and woman displayed a flag with the words "hong kong is not china" at a swearing in ceremony. the government asked the court to disqualify the pair. it said their action violated the basic law which acts as hong kong's constitution. the legislative council president banned their attendance pending the court ruling, but the two members entered the chamber anyway only to be ejected.
>> i'm not from beijing so i don't know what they are thinking about but they want to destroy the one country two systems. >> the pair tried to take part in a session being held in another room, prompting security guards to prevent their entry. four guards were injured in the scuffling that followed. the disturbance occurred the day before a court hearing will decide whether they can take up their seats. later in the day, a top chinese government officials in hong kong said any actions or comments soliciting the territory's independence must be punished in accordance with the law. chinese president xi jinping ordered officials to practice stricter discipline in his ongoing campaign against corruption. xi laid down the law at a key meeting last month where he was
named core of the party center. state run xinhua news agency reported xi's remarks as the meeting of the party's central committee. the matter leadership introduced two documents, one on the norms of political life and the other on interparty supervision. xi said a handful of senior officials were overcome we political ambitions and resorted to conspiracies. he cited former domestic security chief zhou yonkang and other members. he was a member of the standing committee but was jailed for life on corruption charges. xi ordered senior officials never to betray the party. the meeting confirmed that the party leadership will resolutely protect its authority. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has met with myanm myanmar's state counselor aung saung suu kye aung san suu kyi.
in the meeting, abe stressed his commitment to supporting the new government. >> translator: japan is a friend of myanmar. both the public and private sector will support the new government. >> translator: we're writing a new chapter in our history. we believe japan as a reliable partner will continue to walk together with us. >> abe pledged aid worth $8 billion to help improve infrastructure and farming villages, create jobs and promote industries. he also promised to provide loans to renovate two aging hydroelectric power plants. also on the agenda was north korea which is pressing ahead with its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of international criticism. abe called on myanmar to work together in dealing with pyongyang. aung san suu kyi says her country shares japan's position. myanmar has diplomatic ties with
north korea. japan does not. >> translator: we expect japan will support myanmar's democratization, peace building and national development. i will try to make the best use of japan's help. >> aung san suu kyi is set to visit kyoto university where she spent nine months as a researcher in the 1980s. she's scheduled to meet the emperor and empress before leaving japan on saturday. aung san suu kyi met on wednesday with members of the local myanmarese community. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the long line of people waiting for aung san suu kyi, and at the front is a former democracy activist who lined up at 5:00 a.m. to get a seat in the front row. >> translator: this is for mother suu for celebrating she stands above the president.
>> reporter: 25 years ago, she fled her country's oppressive military regime and came to japan. for years, she held out hope that aung san suu kyi would change the country and that change is finally taking place. >> translator: thank you very much for coming and welcoming me. >> reporter: aung san suu kyi's party swept to victory in the country's election last november. she serves as myanmar's state counsel and the foreign minister. she is the country's de facto leader. in tokyo, she called on the mor japan to help. >> translator: foreign people judge whether myanmar is worth investing in or not when they see those living abroad.
>> reporter: she also took time to answer questions from the audience. >> translator: am i satisfied with the current laws? no. there is no reason to be satisfied. >> reporter: she also said there is a lot of work that needs to be done before rule of law is established in myanmar. >> reporter: the response from the audience? >> translator: it's not easy to manage a country, especially a country like myanmar where a military regime had control for a long time. she said that's why it will take time. i think so, too. >> translator: i learned there are a lot of things we need to improve in myanmar and i have the power to act. >> reporter: for her, the visit has renewed desire to help her homeland. >> translator: i want to teach people everything i learned in japan.
i support our country by sending money, too. i'm determined to continue working hard to do that. >> reporter: on top of some political meetings during her five-day visit, aung san suu kyi will also attend a panel discussion with students at kyoto university where she was once a research fellow. nhk world, tokyo. an independent panel has found that u.n. peacekeepers failed to rescue civilians under attack from south sudanese government troops in july. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has dismissed the operation's commander in that country.
a spokesperson for ban said the panel probed the actions of the u.n. mission in south sudan. u.n. and private compounds housing refugees in the capital, juba, came under fire. >> they did not respond effectively to the violence due to an overall lack of leadership, preparedness and integration among the various components of the mission. the special investigation also found that command and control arrangements were inadequate while peacekeepers maintained a risk-adverse posture. >> the panel determined at least 73 people were killed during 3 days of attacks. the spokesperson said ban will review the operation to properly protect people's safety. south sudan gained independence from sudan five years ago, fighting reignited in july between government and rebel forces. u.n. officials say security conditions in the capital are now relatively stable.
japanese self-defense forces personnel are taking part in the u.n. mission there. people in thailand continue to mourn their late king there's now a growing sense of uncertainty over the future of its economy. nhk world explains. >> reporter: the economy is the thai government's top priority. >> translator: we ask you not to let the stock market, trade, investment and all other economic activities slow down. we ask you to try to put economic stability first. >> reporter: there are about 4,500 japanese companies in thailand. there was some concern about the possible impact of the king's passing. but the day after, most of them were operating normally.
>> translator: japanese corporations are operating normally in all areas of their businesses. our understanding is there hasn't been any problem. >> reporter: every financial institution operating in thailand remained open. so, too, the did stock market. the key index had risen more than 6% on the idea that the king's passing would have only a limited economic impact. >> translator: we have clearer prospects for the future. investors are regaining their confidence in the stock market. >> reporter: but there are worries about the tourist industry which accounts for about 10% of the country's gdp. the ancient city here attracts 9.2 million tourists a year. this temple used to be full of tourists but the number of visitors have sharply declined since the passing away of the king.
>> reporter: this hotel says the cancelation rate for reservations is about 10%, but it's expected to rise. >> translator: some conferences have been canceled due to the mourning period. >> reporter: the lantern festival scheduled in november is usually packed with international and domestic tourists but the government has announced a year of national mourning so organizers have been asked to tone down the event this year. >> translator: religious events can be conducted as usual, but we must refrain from conducting events that are designed as entertainment. >> reporter: private consumption is also expected to suffer. department stores are already getting fewer customers, especially for luxury goods.
>> translator: the possible impact on consumption must be monitored carefully. restaurants and other service-related businesses may be affected. >> reporter: the thai economy has so far avoided major turmoil, but concern for its prospects runs deep. nhk world, bangkok. corporate leaders have wrapped up the japan/china ceo summit in beijing. the members agreed to cooperate on business and markets other than their own. they also pledged to work more closely in i.t.-related areas such as robots and artificial intelligence. >> translator: we expect mutual
trust will grow and we'll see progress on specific issues. we hope japan's investment into china will expand. >> some chinese participants said japanese business leaders should urge their government to join the asian infrastructure investment bank. the bank has been set up by china to fund development in the region. japan is known as the land of cute mascots. many businesses depend on them to endear themselves to customers. take a look at a company that creates custom designs with just the right amount of cute. >> reporter: this business provides rental wi-fi routers to customers arriving at tokyo's haneda airport. they've introduced two time traveling ninja characters from the endo period and these foreign visitors find them irresistible. >> wi-fi.
>> many people are fascinated about japan because of manga i guess. >> translator: people can tell right away these images are japanese, it's a distinctive look other companies can't copy. >> reporter: but these characters didn't really travel through a rift in time. they were created by a company in shizuoka. the company provides designs to businesses that want to transform their brand and reach a larger audience. it matches images uploaded by artists to clients' products and target markets. customers can review these images and choose what they like. each design costs about $3,000. half of that goes to the artist and the rest goes to the company. >> translator: many firms are having difficulty reaching new markets and customers. characters like these can really help them expand their customer base. >> reporter: some of the images
created are already making a big splash. this aquarium opened 40 years ago. recently, the number of visitors has started to decline. so the management enlisted some outside support, a rather unusual mascot. the character is decked out in a blue and yellow costume. it's modeled after the sea slugs commonly found in the area. >> translator: it's cute. >> translator: it even has the antenna. >> reporter: but it wasn't just the design that caught people's attention. like the slug that inspired it, it has both male and female traits. and that led to more than 10,000 posts on social media in a single day so the aquarium decided to expand the character's social network to include a sister and childhood friend. and as her story expanded, so did the number of visitors. >> translator: i believe people
got caught up in the idea that one figure could be both male and female. actually, that's not the result we were aiming for but now we feel the sea slug was the right choice. >> reporter: as more affordable designs make it easier for smaller firms to get into the character game, the cuteness boom is likely to continue for a long time to come. soaring vegetable prices in japan are having a big impact on people's lives, including children. at tokyo's central wholesale market on tuesday, prices for vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers were twice the amount compared to last year. the lack of sunlight has taken a bite out of school lunch budgets. in western japan, public elementary schools and kindergartens will not be serving school lunches on two days in december and january. students will be asked to either eat at home or bring a lunch to school. >> translator: it's sad because
i might not be able to have lunch with my friends. >> translator: i'm busy in the morning so school lunches are very helpful. this will be a problem. >> in central japan, farmers say the prolonged rain and lack of sun in september stunted the size of their lettuce and brought on disease. >> translator: it rained a lot. since i've been a farmer, we've only had that kind of weather once before. >> the agriculture ministry expects shipments of most vegetables to improve and prices to level off this month, but ministry officials say the price of carrots and potatoes will likely remain high for the rest of the year. producers are concentrated in areas that were hit by typhoons. long before high-tech electronic gear came along, japan had a reputation for green tea.
now a japanese girl is working to extend that status to another kind of tea, black. nhk world reports. >> reporter: people in england know how to enjoy a cup of tea. in this case, a japanese black tea. >> very nice. yeah. really good, actually. >> oh, i like it. >> reporter: the tea was cloned by aiji miyamoto. >> reporter: i'm exhilarated to know londoners are enjoying my tea. >> reporter: the tea plantation is in the city of nimi. in 1999, he sold his house and property to buy his field of dreams. snow covered it in winter. the temperature difference between growing seasons, night to day, enhances the flavor. the tea leaves also benefit from
a frequent mist keeping them moist and enriching their aroma. >> translator: this area's topology and weather are very similar to -- >> reporter: myamoto has been planting and gradually expanding his fields for about ten years. he currently cultivates about 10,000 tea trees on 2 hectares. in 2014, he built a processing plant to consolidate production and sales. fermentation is an important step. he decides when to end the fermentation by smelling the leaves and feeling them. all this brings out the aroma and differences between the harvests in spring, summer and autumn.
several different restauranteurs and stores in tokyo feature his tea. he's also been looking for opportunities overseas. myamoto wants to first achieve results in britain known as the home of tea. he wants to see how this japan-made tea would fare in markets around the world. in september, he visited the uk thinking that if his tea can make it there, it can make it anywhere. a tasting event took place in central london. european and american tourists join the british in taking a sip. >> very mild. it's good. >> i didn't know that japanese -- quite surprising, it's very good. >> reporter: based on the response, myamoto believes his
tea can go far. >> translator: it's truly an honor to win praise from people who drink indian and sri lankan teas daily. >> reporter: as part of his initiative, he visited a distributor based in london. he met the executive managers and an expert in leaves. >> sweetness and also there's not bitterness. it's great. >> thank you very much. >> we very much would like to, of course, work with you and to promote the tea and over time, develop together. >> reporter: myamoto's tea is only across the ocean. >> translator: i'm very gratified to know that people see long-term future for my tea. i hope many people will have the opportunity to enjoy my tea in the future. >> reporter: and if those people like what they taste, japan may
someday be known as the land of tea of both colors. nhk world. joining us in the studio is our meteorologist robert speta. it's a little chilly, but we're seeing sunny skies in tokyo this national holiday. robert, how's the outlook for the rest of japan? >> well, it does look like a lot of the rain that was in tokyo has since tapered off, but off toward the north, not so much the case. in fact, you can see on our satellite picture, look at this low just whipping up out here. that is just a potent one. now slamming onshore here in the northern honshu, through hokkaido, bringing fairly blustery winds. we even had some tornado advisories issued this morning as well. and plus plenty of snowfall to go around across parts of hokkaido. in fact, some areas could see as much as 40 centimeters accumulating over the next 24 hours. also we're looking at wind gusts about 126 kilometers per hour out here along the western
seaboards. just a tight pressure gradient coming onshore with that low pressure area and of course waves could be as high as 6 meters. as i mentioned we do have tornado advisories if play ies . maybe hail mixed in with that as well. lot of rough weather back toward the north. at least tokyo is looking at clearing conditions, same back toward the west. one thing i do want to know across northeastern china, we have high pressure in place. that does bring in the risk of reduced air quality. actually across beijing the next several days, that's something we're going to be wanting to watch out for. me meanwhile down toward the south, do want to talk about the tropics a little bit here. first across the indochina pence larks the northeast monsoon, start of the northeast monsoon continuing to move in. that's the northeasterly winds which slam onshore in parts of vietnam, even over toward thailand, starting to kick up precipitation there. it's been rather heavy in vietnam. actually i'll show you video out of central areas of that country here. this is just quite incredible.
pretty significant flooding. there has been two reports of casualties this week. over 30,000 students have been asked to stay at home, actually, because of rising floodwaters. and thousands of homes have been completely inundated. you can just see right there. those poor people having to wade through the water. fighting whatever way they can to get around it. pretty significant flooding. now, this is almost seasonal. you just have those northwesterly winds coming in. last thing you need is additional rainfall. do remember, this is not anything organized as far as tropical activity is concerned. we do have an area we are watching, though, back here toward the east. actually two tropical depressions. this one likely will be pulled toward the northeast. we actually have the cold surge coming in. see on our satellite picture, look at all this dry air right here then you have storms down toward the south. that's going tbe interacting wih this. if you look at our precipitation outlook, a big hot mess out here. most of the models are kind of
agreeing with that. this one here could potentially develop and pull toward the west in the philippines. maybe next week. want to keep a close eye on that. definitely last thing you want is another typhoon out there. meanwhile, in we take a look into the americas we actually do have this low pressure area pulling through the central u.s. bringing some thunderstorms today, large hail up to golf ball size has been reported out of this. as it lifts toward the north, though, it is going to be bringing the severe into the northeastern states. widespread snowfall. behind it, temperatures are dropping down. in fact, this three-day outlook. boston, 18. down to 110. new york, 23, dropping to 12 only by friday. all right. i'll leave you knnow with your extended outlook.
♪ >> welcome to "in good shape." coming up -- battling hospital bugs. the wonders of sauerkraut. and, hope for psoriasis patients. here's your host, carsten lekutat. dr. lekutat: hello and welcome to "in good shape." patients are often embarrassed about this skin condition because it is hard to hide, but there are new treatments and