their critics. they invited members of the space development agency to attend the launch later this month of the rocket. their goal is to put a light into orbit. officials in japan say the north korea yans are testing long range missile. members of the korean residents in tokyo handed the invitation to the explorationagency. the invitation was sent under the name of the north korean committee for space technology. they invited jaxa officials to visit the silgt in korea. they hope for reply by thursday. jaxa leaders say they will discuss the offer with their supervisors. the space agency may have to decline. they fear accepting may be seen as approving of the launch. north korean officials intend to
fire off the rocket between april 12 and 16. they have invited experts from around the world to watch the launch. space officials say they are inviting foreigners to soften international criticism. a north korean official reiterated the launch would be to send a weather satellite into space. the head of the north american affairs bureau held informal talks in germany with former u.s. secretary of state, thomsz pickering. they attended a seminar. lee told reporters an airport in berlin, he described the talks with the u.s. as calm. he also said a weather observation satellite would help agriculture. a german researcher who attended the seminar said north korea
showed no intention of cancelling the launch. the united states opposed the unchnd threatened to withdrawal an offer of food aid. investors are starting off on a good note. wall street brokers went higher. we have more details. good morning. >> good morning, kathryn. as far the dow jones, it hit the highest since december 2007. it closed at 13,264. again, that is the highest close since december, 2007 t. nasdaq and s&p 500 ended higher after a manufacturing gauge that the u.s. economy is on the path to a recovery. let's see how stocks here are starting off the day. we are at the tokyo stock exchange. one key indicator, the main u.s. jobs number is the big one.
how are japanese stocks reacting to this? >> good morning to you. you mentioned the levels in the u.s. markets. the institute of supply management showed a rise from the previous month showing expension forhe manufacturing sector of the u.s. economy. it follows on from a positive economic data out of the u.s. which has pushed the dow, the nasdaq and s&p 500, so far to fresh highs this year. as you just showed us. the nikkei has been no exception, either hitting fresh highs on the back of positive economic data out of the u.s. it's a major guiding force. let's look at the opening levels. touch lower for the nikkei. th did gain yesterday, despite the quarterly business sentiment survey from the bank of japan. the tankan survey which was unchangeed from the previous month. concerns from slowing growth in
china. that's also working its way into the markets. some market players questioning the pmi data that came out in china over the weekend. manufacturing and unemployment also a little bit of a concern in europe and also with bond yields in spain and italy reaching worrying levels. a little bit of worries and concerns. those areas might cap the upside. we are definitely seeing it for the nikkei this morning. >> we saw a bit of a pullback in the yen's recent weakness which is good for export today. >> the yen actually gained around 1% against the dollar and the euro. let's look at the level now. 81.79 to 81 on t dollar/yen this was trading around the 82 levels this time yesterday. euro 109.03-06.
it was trading at 110 levels at this time yesterday. we saw some yen buying on the back of fiscal year end moves at the end of march for japanese companies to balance their books. we are seeing a continuation there on concerns on china growth and a little bit of questions about europe as well. we'll see how that plays into the markets. ght see a little bit of profit taking today in export driven stocks. later in the day, domestically we are going to get sales figures for fast retailing. a little bit of domestic news there as well. now, back to you. >> thanks for that update. now the employment situation in the euro zone is getting worse as they push ahead with austerity measures. the jobless rate marked an eighth consecutive monthly high
since the launch of the euro. the european statistics office said monday that unemployment in the 17 euro zone nations the up from the previous month. spain had the highest unemployment at 23.6% with the jobless rate for those under the age of 25 at more than 50%. unemployment rose in portugal to 15%, italy over 9%. they are urging them to create jobs for young people and accelerate moves with free trade agreements with japan and other countries outside the region. japan's leading manufacturers plan to spend more on plants and equipment based on a survey. an increase of 3.6% in the
current fiscal year through march, 2013. japan's central bank released the quarterly talk on survey of short term business confidence on monday. the report says exporters project 2.3% more sales due to hopes for a pick-up in overseas economies in the seconds half of this fiscal year. based on this projection the bank of japan expects large companies will boost capital spending as they with held spending since the march disaster last year. firms may take advantage of the recent pause in the yen's advance. they expect the japanese currency to be arnds 78 yen against the dollar. that indicates it foreign currency will go higher to five yen compared to current market rates. let's look at market figures once again.
more business news for you next hour. back to kathryn. >> thanks very much. myanmar's leader aung san suu kyi triumphed for the people. it won almost all the seats it contested. e election is just a small step toward democracy following decades of military rule. we have the story. [ cheers and applause ]
>> it is not so much our triumph but a triumph of the people involved in the pretty cal process of the country. this will be the beginning of a new era where ere' emphasis on the rule. >> sunday's elections filled 45 vacant seats in the 646 member national parliament and local assemblies. aung san suu kyi won her seat. in total, the national league for democracy claimed to won 23 of the 43 seats if contested. but, even with the end of these games, the party will hold less than 10% of the seats in parliament. the party retain as commanding
position. aung san suu kyi called on them for further democratization. >> the parties that wish to join us in bringing peace and prosperity to the nation. >> the government is likely to tout the election result as a step toward democracy. it may urge countries to lift economic sanctions. aung san suu kyi could knowing how they will pursue it. she has bigger goals aiming to win general elections scheduled in 2015. the latest vote marks only the beginning of expected political maneuvering between aung san suu kyi and the government. myanmar's leaders hope the elections ll bng an end to the country's isation.
the international response has been mixed. some countries indicated they would review sanctions. myanmar invited five visitors to monitor the election. eu officials are expected to discuss whether to ease the sanctions later this month. >> we want to try to continue to support this tremendous momentum for changing myanmar. it's what theuropean union wants todo. it'shye are here. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton congratulated them. more needs to be done. >> we are committed to supporting these reform efforts. going forward, it will be critical for authorities to continue working toward an electoral system that meets international standards, includes transparency and addresses concerns about
intimidation and irregularities. >> the japanese government welcom the ectio result and suggested continuing aid to myanmar. >> translator: in regard to redeeming full supportive measures to myanmar, we are looking at the state of our support. we will consider this election result as an important factor. >> the foreign ministers said they hoped the election would encourage myanmar to integrate with the global community. >> myanmar will be able to work on other issues that wld be more meaningful and contributing to the well being of the people of myanmar rather than stuck on the issue of -- instability and lack of -- political reconciliation in south myanmar.
>> myanmar's president will attend on tuesday an aung san suu summit in cambodia. he's expected to help e the nctis agnst his country. the international security says 14 personnel has been killed by afghan security forces this year. a spokesman spoke to reporters on monday. he said the number of killings by afghan interpreters increased dramatically since a u.s. soldier burn add koran in february. another u.s. soldier went on a killing spe. the nato led nation will work with the afghan government to stop the attacks. they will step up background checks on afghan recruits to get a better understanding of their private lives and relationships.
they have been hiring police officers among afghan to replace personnel before completing the transfer of security. taliban infill traitors are among the newly hired personnel t. reasons for the attacks lie with the individual and express concern over the increasing antiu.s. sentiment among ordinary afghannies. syria says it country pledged to stop armed violence by april 10th. coe fi annan says he received a letter promising to agree to the terms of the peace plan last week. the former u.n. secretary general joined a u.n. security council meeting via video phone from switsland. he asked them to send monitors
in the event of a cease-fire. some councilmembers raised doubt about the promise. >> the proof is in the actions, not in the words. past experience leads us to be skeptical and to worry. the syrian government is continuing to attack civilians. troops fired rockets into south syria, a stronghold of the antigovernment army. human rights groups say troops are burning houses in homs and detaining civilians that helped with the army. nearly 200 people were killed in the country on sunday and monday. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster. it won't be ea.
they have to rebuild homes, businesses and entire communities. we'll show their struggles and successes on the road ahead at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." the japanese government set stricter standards for permissible levels of radium in food products. local governments began checking food products based on the new standards. screening started monday throughout the country after the new rules came into effect the previous day. the government is calling on 17 of the 47 prefectures to conduct periodic checks of radiation levels in foods products. others are carrying out safety checks on their own. four prefectures reported the results of their inspections. none of the products exceeded the new limits. under the stricter rules, common
food products such as rice and vegetaesontaing up to 100 per kg can be sold. drinking water must not show readings above 10. the central and local governments will not allow food exceeding the permissible levels to go on the market. an nhk survey shows 21 prefectures stepped up screening levels. they are doing so by such means as introducing additional checking devices. the release of radiation fro the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant led to a ban on shipping rice beef and other foods. the disaster in 1986 and chernobyl led to a similar problem in europe. 26 years later, the british government decided to lift the
last restrictions on shipments of lamb and mutton. we have more. >> reporter: whales is a part of great britain famous for sheep. radioactive fallout was carried here by wind and rain contaminated areas grazed by sheep. for four months after the disaster farmers were banned from selling sheep from affected areas. glenn roberts has been farming in this region for almost 30 years. he estimates that in 1986 the chernobyl disaster caused a 40% drop in his income.
even after the ban was lifted every sheep had to be tested before it koulds go to market. if levels of seize yum were too high they had to keep the sheep until contamination levels fell. affected farmers have followed the rules carefully. maintaining consumer confidence is critical for their livelihoods. >> they have more confidence because of all the work. >> reporter: finally, he's got the news he's been waiting for. from june 1, all remaining restrictions will be lifted. >> so happy. the whole process going to the end and seeing the light. >> reporter: the decision was
made by the uk's food standard agency. officials point to the latest study that is show eating meat from the affected farms carries a negligible risk to human health. >> nearly 14% of sheep failed. that number has gone down and is now approximately 0.2%. >> is clear that there is now evidence that demonstrates the risks are low and it's possible to remove the remaining control. >> reporter: some consumers are welcoming the news. [ inaudible ] >> reporter: a welch farmers union says the government needs to communicate the evidence more
clearly to stop a negative impact. >> they need to do a good job of explaining why this is the case and reassure the public there's not a lot of associated health risk with that decision. >> reporter: after 26 years, the lifting of restrictions is good news for farmers. the hope now is that public remains confident about the product. >> it's nice morning inokyo bu we'll be seeing very different picture later today. we have the worlds weather forecast. things will turn very stormy from this afternoon here in tokyo. a strong low pressure system which could become as powerful as a typhoon is approaching. japan meet logical agency is advising people to go home early or stay indoors.
a lot of transportation systems may be affected. currently, the system is affecting much of western japan with very wet and windy conditions. the storm could become -- intensify more and affect the rest of japan today. what we are expecting is sustained winds of more than 80 kilometers per hour with such wind speed trees may be uprooted and may be difficult to stand without support. very distracktive wind. rainfall, up to 260 millimeters is expected. mainly along the pacific size. that may be accompanyied by thunderstorms and toadoes. very stormy conditions. over the next 24 hours, much of western japan as well as the tokyo region will get clearer. very strong northerly winds blowing into northern japan. snow conditions are expected in northern japan into wednesday.
the korean peninsula, heavy rain and snow moves out the sea by this afternoon. as for china, settled across much of the country. to the south, remnants are tropical storm is producing a lot of rain in the southern portions of the china peninsula. the ground is saturated. any additional rain could trigger flooding and landslide. as for the highs, getting up to 34 degrees in bankok with thunder showers and gusty winds, reaching 27 degrees in hong kong. seoul cooling down to five degrees. it's ten degrees cooler than yesterday. tokyo, warming up t 17 degrees. the system will bring a lot of strong southerly winds to the area. as for the americas a couple of low pressure systems are moving toward the east over to central u.s. central canada producing a
wintry mix to the north and heavy thunder showers to the south. severe weather in much of the plains and the lower mississippi valley will continue overnight and the threat will continue in the southern plains into tomorrow. a lot of rain could trigger flooding here. toward the west a low pressure system, which is very powerful is set to move into the west coast. it will produce staggering amounts of coastal rain in parts of british columbia pacific northwest and northern california. temperatures are as follows. 10 degrees in seattle and 11 in winnipeg. to the east unseasonable warmth is continuing up to 20 degrees in chicago, reaching 25 in oklahoma city. 31 degrees in miami. all right. up next is the three day outlook.
north korea invited members of japan's space development agency to attend the launch of what it calls a satellite rocket. officials in japan and elsewhere say they are testing a long range missile. members of the general association of korean residence in tokyo handed the invitation to officials. the invitation was sent under the name of the north korean committee for space technology. the committee invited jaxa officials to visit the site in northwest korea. they hope for a reply by thursday. jaxa leaders will discuss the offer with supervisors at the science ministry. ministry officials say they may have to decline. they fear accepting may be seen as approving of the launch. north korean officials intend to fire off the rocket between april 12th and 16th.
they have invited experts and journalists from around the world to watch the launch including lders at nasa. japanese space agency or science ministry officials say they are inviting the north to soften international criticism. that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i eam kathryn kobayashi in toke ya. thanks for joining us.