a very warm welcome to nhk "newsline" broadcasting to viewers around the globe. it is 9:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. our top story, japan's defense minister has been dragged into a scandal involving a controversial school land deal. tomomi inada admitted her deal with a school operator correcting an earlier comment when she denied it. but opposition parties say she made false remarks in the diet and are demanding her resignation. lawmakers have been debating the sale of state-owned land at a deep discount. it was sold to a school operator
headed by yasunori kagoike. inada denied ever representing kagoike in a trial or offering him legal advice when she was a lawyer but court records emerged that proved otherwise. she admitted she acted as a legal counsel for the school operator in a 2004 civil lawsuit. >> translator: i answered the question totally based on my memory. i have later confirmed that i appeared in court on behalf of my husband on december 9th, 2004. i correct my prior remark and apologize. >> inada also said she would like to continue to sincerely perform her duties. prime minister shinzo abe had this to say when asked if he plans to dismiss her. >> translator: i want inada to fulfill her responsibility to give honest explanations and faithfully carry out her duties. >> but a member of the largest opposition democratic party disagrees.
he says inada is responsible for protecting lives and a person who lies should not stay in the post. u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson's first mission to asia will be focused on north korea. he'll kick off his tour wednesday in japan. >> the idea is that this trip will allow secretary tillerson to engage allies and partners not only on a range of bilateral issues but also importantly to discuss and coordinate strategy to address the advancing nuclear missile threat from north korea. >> thornton also says the trump administration is reviewing the u.s. policy towards north korea. tillerson will meet japanese prime minister shinzo abe and foreign minister fumio kishida on thursday. he'll travel to south korea on friday and china on saturday. while in beijing he'll help pave the way for first summits with between donald trump and xi jinping.
malaysia has made the next move in a diplomatic standoff with north korea. government officials say the unclaimed body of kim jong-nam has been embalmed and will deport dozens of north koreans whose work permits have expired. the half-brother of north korea's leader was killed last month at the airport with a toxic chemical. pyongyang has demanded that the body be returned but malaysia says it will only hand it over to the next of kin. an official revealed the body was secretly taken out of the morgue for the embalming and then returned. >> translator: it's an effort to preserve the body because if it is kept in the hospital mortuary, it will decompose. so we did the embalming to preserve the body. >> he also said his government will deport around 50 north koreans detained for overstaying their work permits. the two countries had barred each other's citizens from
leaving. zahid gave no details on why these workers are the exception. candidates from south south korean voters are working hard. four contenders took part in a democratic party debate. the center left party is enjoying strong public support. he said the resolve underscores the power of unity. >> translator: if we can gain the support of the people, conservative parties will not be able to resist us. >> the governor of south chungcheong province an hee jung is the runner-up in the polls. he called for cooperation with
conservatives to narrow the divide in public opinion. >> translator: the most important role of the president is to exercise leadership and unify the people and the state. >> they also have different views on the u.s. move to deployed the thaad missile defense system in their country. china has been taking a string of economic measures against seoul. beijing says the system's advanced radar may be used to monitor its military. moon says the situation resulted from the failed policies of park's administration, but an said the plan should be maintained because of the alliance with washington. we've been cover this story heavily here on newsline. tell us what we know so far. sdp sdp >> toshiba postponed the release of its earnings report for a
second time. those numbers won't come until april. company executives say they need more time to investigate accountsing irregularities with huge losses at their nuclear unit business. now the executives are considering selling their stake but also facing the challenge of stemming losses at the u.s. sub sids ar -- subsidiary. sources say it won't be easy to close the deal. they say toshiba might end up with a big financial burden. toshiba's president is hopeful a solution will materialize. >> translator: we don't think it's impossible to sell westinghouse as long as the overall operations are taken into account. >> in the meantime westinghouse officials are weighing the option of filing for chapter 11
bankruptcy. a variety of options are on the table but no decisions have been made yet. toshiba executives say on wednesday that their going to -- they say on wednesday they will meet with about 80 financial institutions including their main creditor banks. they plan to explain restructuring strategy and ask for continuing lending and support. lower oil prices dragged down major indices as well. let's see how tokyo markets are opening. we'll go to ramin. tell us how markets are opening. >> all eyes and ears are going to be on the federal reserve meeting later wednesday. many have already pretty much priced in rate hike but many market players will want to hear from fed chief janet yellen and any comments she makes.
that may dictate the next moves in financial markets. let's get an idea about how the nikkei and topix are getting off. the nikkei closed lower on tuesday. most tokyo investors taking a step back ahead of the fed meeting. however, shares of toshiba really dominated price activity here at the tokyo stock exchange after dropping over 8%. then turning around to end up 0.5% on the day. that's as investors try to make bets on the survival chances of the global tech conglomerate. it mentioned selling majority of its stake in westinghouse.
now, all prices also been focused showing a lot of volatility. the benchmark wti crude dropped off the opec reported a surprised output jump from saudi arabia but the index bounced back as u.s. inventories were lower than estimated. we'll keep track of energy shares as well. >> get us updated on currencies. it looks like the dollar has lost steam against the yen. what's going on? >> exactly. quite a story there with the british pound. i'll come to that in a second. the dollar yen trading 114.67. the euro lower against major peers. many enjoyed major risk. the focus is on the far right party's move. the british pound fell on further uncertainties over brexit as scotland's leader called for a second referendum on independence. many market players watching
what's happen ng that aring in f financial markets as well. let's look at indexes open now. so seoul's kospi is lower. many really waiting for the central bank moves not only from the fed but we have the bank of japan and the bank of england to announce policy measures as well. that's all for me. back to you. >> thanks a lot for keeping us up to date. the international monetary fund is urging major economies to avoid protectionism. that's a warning for donald trump. the officials began a two-day meeting on friday in germany. it will be the first meeting since trump took office in january. the report says a strong commitment to a rules oriented multilateral trading frame work maximizes the benefits from
global integration and safeguards against risks. the trump administration has indicated it may ignore world trade organization decisions on trade disputes if it deems them not to be in washington's favor. the draft of a joint statement to be released after the g-20 talks. it doesn't include the phrase resist protectionism which was something that was included in a previous communique. attention is focused on whether they will put the words in the final version. donald trump's pledge to put america first has japanese automakers on edge. after years of investing in local production and sales facilities, they face fresh measure to show their commitment to the u.s. economy. >> reporter: i'm here in the midwest. toyota is appealing to makers
with its made in america campaign. toyota motors showcased a new sedan made it one of its american factoriefactories. in the past it focused on the performance and fuel efficiency of the vehicle but not this time. >> which vehicle is the most american made? the toyota camry. that is right. toyota camry is the most american made vehicle. >> reporter: for japanese automakers, highlighting made in america is taking on a new urgency. >> did you know that camry was built in america? >> not until today. that's important. >> that's my country where i'm from. i buy from that country. make america great again. >> reporter: toyota started building cars in the u.s. in the 1980s. the company's largest american plant in georgetown, connecticut
employs 7,700 people. >> i know what it means. >> reporter: the automaker has been nurturing the local work force training young hires in car making and factory maintenance skills. >> toyota has been an outstanding corporate citizen for our community. that's matter of pride for us. >> reporter: toyota wants to spread this message far and wide. the u.s. is the automakers largest market. >> consumers are paying more and more attention to where things are biluilt and where things ar coming from. it's important to reiterate the fact to customers that 70% of the toyotas that we sell here in the u.s. are made here. >> reporter: japanese automakers have been here before. in the 1980s, there were a key target of u.s.-japan trade frictions. once again they are feeling the
into the plant. they believe it's melted down through the nuclear core and is at the bottom of the contain m vessel. the operator began preparations to send the robot with the camera attached by a cable to the vessel. it called off the attempt on tuesday after images on a camera placed outside the containment vessel to monitor the robot could not be seen on screens in the control room. the plan was to insert the robot through a pipe and lower the robot's camera by the cable into contain naminated water at the m of the vessel. they plan to try again on thursday or later. the 2020 olympic and paralympicses are expected to be an economic boon to tokyo but others are hoping to cash in on the events, too. >> reporter: yamanashi prefecture has the largest government owned forest in the country but its industry is struggling, so officials are
setting their hopes on a key event to help improve their fortunes. >> reporter: we can promote forest materials from yamanashi from getting them used in buildings for the 2020 olympic and paralympic games. >> translator: one key building is the main stadium itself, its design calls for using lots of wood, especially wood grown in japan. mayors across the country have expressed concern that tokyo would be the only place to enjoy the benefits of the games. so every prefecture has allocated money to promote its products. a total of $25 million. one way yamanashi is hoping to get noticed is to be an international standout for
environmental friendliness. tokushima prefecture is trying to promote a product. japan blue comes from indigo plant. the area is known as the home of the country's indigo dyeing. the color is featured in the logo for the games. >> translator: this is a once in a lifetime chance for tokushima to spread our indigo dye tradition. we have to seize the moment and invigorate both the public and private sectors. >> reporter: businesses have incorporated the color into a range of products including surfboards to introduce surfing as an olympic sport. miyazaki is hoping to make some of its plants famous, too.
its farmers want to put them in the hands of athletes. >> translator: i would be happy to see medalists take the podium holding bouquets made of our plants. >> reporter: farmers say the leaves will enhance the beauty of the flowers just like other regions are sure their products will for the games as a whole. and they all want to make sure the world knows it. reporting for nhk world. athletes around the world athletes around the world thousands of men gathered in western japan to take part in an ancient ritual wearing only loin cloths. it involves preparation, practice and strategy. >> reporter: participants don't hide much of anything. the name means naked festival and the uniforms are loin
cloths. in february about 10,000 men compete to catch two sacred wooden sticks thrown from the main building of the temple. those who catch the sticks and manage to carry them outside the temple are said to be lucky men for the year. some competitors work in groups. this group consists of about 20 men. it was formed 36 years ago and has won the sticks 11 times. last year three members became lucky men. he was one of them. >> translator: iure with words when we became lucky men. the group is divided into three member teams. they practice together every month. one of them runs a real estate company. seiya first took part when he
was in college. a friend called him to join. he's been trying to get the stake ever since, almost 20 years now. so far no luck. >> translator: i really want to get close to the stick, grab it. >> reporter: iid's teammates are in their teens and 20s. they practice seizing the stick and getting it away without anyone noticing. once the man in the front has the stick he passes it through his legs to the guy behind him. at the end he carries it outside the temple. the plan seems good but thousands of men have the same objective. in order to get as close to luck as possible, he and his teammates brave the cold and offer prayers. they purify themselves with baths from the temple grounds. no hot water for them. when the event was a week away
the groups had a test run. they took part in a small festival held at a shrine in a neighboring city. he struggled to chance the stat. a chance came his way. he grab the stick and handed it outside. his haste showed other people what he was up to. another man took the stick away. >> translator: i do all i can this week to get ready. >> reporter: on the night of the festival the teams head to the temple. at 10:00, the lights go off and sticks are thrown. bodies collide in a quest for wooden sticks.
two groups of three are this year's lucky men. iida managed to touch a stick but couldn't get it away. >> translator: for me this festival is like tend of a year and the start of a new one. i'll keep at it to do my best next time. >> reporter: 12 month s a long time to way but they have tho choice. all they can do is practice and chill out.ntho choice. all they can do is practice and chill out.otho choice. all they can do is practice and chill out. choice. all they can do is practice and chill out.nochoice. all they can do is practice and chill out.no choice. all they can do is practice and chill out. >> braving the cold for lucky charms. i think people in north eastern u.s. states are bundling up or staying indoors. they are dealing with a late winter snowstorm. it's having a huge impact on travel and businesses. robert speta has the latest.
>> still ongoing and bringing heavy snow. you can really see this storm just wrap up over the past 24 hours. that's a strong upper level jet. there's a lot of fuel into the storm system. i'll show you video out of new york city. they did see snow but it looks like the freeze line was right over the city there. they say a bit less than expected. the coast also was hit by a storm surge. you saw some coastal flooding.
on monday all public schools were suspended. over 5,000 flights have been cancelled because of this storm. it's having a very serious impact here. it's still ongoing. it's areas further inland. talking about northern pennsylvania upstate new york. extending through new england. you have still seen about 70 centimeters heading through tuesday night into wednesday morning. it's not just the snow with the storm. the big problem is the winds. look at the very tight pressure gradient for the center of circulation. we're still expecting winds out here up to 100 kilometers per hour in a few locations. sustained up to about 50 to 60 to 70 kilometers per hour. put that in perspective. that's about tropical storm strength if we were talking about the tropics. a pretty intense system. this is going to continue to lift towards the north. wrap around moisture behind it and still seeing flurries fly
across these areas even as we head into wednesday and thursday. maybe even lake enhancement coming off of erie and ontario as well. warm down towards the southeast. houston at 21. scattered showers for our next storm system moving in. showers with 12 there for your high. now let's take a look here across japan. actually, a fairly gusty winds out there. plus some moisture moving through. the morning hours some of the areas around tokyo probably not in the downtown area but around the region could see a rain/snow
♪ "euromaxx highlights."and here's your host. >>greetings from berlin andwelcome to our highlights edition.shaping up this time around with the following top stories:pedal power. fat biking in the snow is anexciting winter sport. online sensation.a commercial for a danish tv station goes viral.and prime location. we visit a cozy apartment indowntown stockholm. and we'll start off in themountains of switzerland. a skiing and snowboardingparadise, to say the least. but the past few years have seenanother fun sport gain in popularity, and that is fatbiking! now this is not to everyone'staste, as the bikers have to