foreign satellite. they put a south korean satellite into space. [ eaking japanese ] >> the h2a rocket blasted off around 1:40 a.m. from the tanegashima space star. the multipurpose south korean satellite separated about 15 minutes later, 60 kilometers above earth. the rocket then released japanese observation satellite designed to monitor climate change. jaxa engineers used the same type of rocket last december to put a domestic information-gathering satellite into orbit. that operation brought the a success rate to 95%, which appeals to clients hoping to launch satellites. the space agency has now launched 15 of them in a row, without a major problem. this latest launch could help the agency secure commercial orders from other countries. europe and russia currently control 80% of the international market for commercial satellite
launches. people who work in japan's space industry have spent years dreaming of the day when they could launch a satellite for another country, but despite this success, they still face challenges. nhk world's dice say kogurae explains. [ speaking japanese ] >> reporter: japan's space agency sends the country's first satellite into space more than 40 years ago. since then, they've had 81 launches. with 1988 and 1999 led to a major setback. u.s. companies considered a contract to launch 20 satellites. space engineers started using the next generation 4 hen?2a rocket
in 2001. since then 19 have been successful, that helps representatives of jaxa and heavy industries secure a contract with south korea to launch a satellite. >> translator: we'lle developing a newypef rocke toompete in the international market. >> reporter: however, japan's competitors have stronger records. the united states atlas rockets have both more than 300 launches. europe's ariane rocket has more than 200. [ speaking japanese ] >> reporter: it is also more expensive right now to launch a satellite in japan. special engineers are currently working on plans to develop new rockets.
in the meantime, they'll keep encouraging countries to launch rockets in japan. it's a business opportunity and also a chance to strengthen the domestic space industry. daisuke kogure nhk world, at the tanegashima space center, japan. wall street investors pushed stock markets down for yet another day. ai uchida joins us now from the business desk so ai what's behind the fall there? >> we saw a few factors pushing the dow jones down but the main ones were weak manufacturing data as well as renewed concerns over europe. the dow jones fell to a four-month low, levels not seen since mid-january. it closed the day at 12,442 down 1.25%. so to see how stocks are trading here in tokyo, let's go to ramin mellegard, who is at the tokyo stock exchange. ramin, what can you tell us? >> very good rning to you, ai. yes, a lot of concern there
about what's happening in greece and a possible exit from the eurozone but not only that, we've also had the downgrade of a lot of spanish and italian banks. look at the opening levels for this friday for the nikkei and the topix and we've actually broken below another key level. you can see there, 8,700 -- 8,694 now, down 2%. nikkei really having a tough time this week despite a little bit of positive economic data yesterday's gdp numbers showing a third straight quarterly growth number which actually spurred some market confidence in japan. yesterday we did see a little bit of a rebound across a lot of sectors which had been sold off heavily earlier in the week but there is hesitancy in the markets over in europe and we're seeing that directly translated into markets as well. now the euro of course has been heavily affected by all of this. let's have a look at some of the
currency pairs as well. dollar/yen top of the screen there under 80 yen, but if you have a look at the euro/yen trading at 100.76-79. just the other day trading at 102 and last week trading around 105. you can see the euro considerably weaker because of event in europe. ai? >> no kidding, ramin, so with currencies at these levels some market participants have even started talking about possibly that the japanese authorities may step into the market to weaken the japanese currency. >> exactly. that's really a focus in the currency markets right now and that's especlly aer the february move by the bank of japan to come in and reverse the strength of the yen that we've seen most of last year by setting a consumer price inflation goal of 1% and also increasing its asset buying programs in order to stem the rise of the yen we saw last year which was really shurt hurting a lot of exporters.
what's happened is that's not really helped because of events in europe and a lot of investors switching to the relatively safer asset which is the yen so we're seeing that now, the yen gaining quite abit. yen also sensitive to u.s. economic data as well as the european events as well and some u.s. economic data has also been a little bit weaker than expected. following on later today, ai we'll have the initial public offering of facebook and it set its subscription price at $38 a share and if you haven't got your allocation yet it's a little bit too late. >> all right, ramin, thanks a lot for the update. ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. the nikkei now down 2.3%. we'll keep track of where trading takes us for the rest of the day. let me tak you to ns out of gece, where the upcoming elections are now affecting the country's credit rating. greek government bonds were downgraded by major rating agency fitch. the agency announced on thursday it lowered greece's rating to
ccc, which is the third lowest down one notch from its previous rating of b minus. fitch says it's highly likely greece may leave the eurozone if the country fails to form a government that will carry out austerity measures after re-election next month. the agency says that if that happens, government bonds and loans to the private sector could fall into default, leading to financial turmoil. fitch also said that it will review sovereign ratings of all eurozone members if greece leaves the common currency. in greece a caretaker government cabinet was sworn in on thursday. council of state head panagiotis pikrammenos took his oath as temporary prime minister. the caretaker cabinet is tasked with holding repeat elections on june 1th, the country's austerity program is the main focus. the radical left coalition opposes austerity measures and
finished second in the last election. the latest poll in may found the party just a few percentage points behind the conservative new democracy party, which supports austerity measures. public approval ratings for the two parties are both over 20%. all right, that is the latest from business for this hour. i'll leave you with the market figures.
china and north korea are caught up in a rare public spat. the authorities in the north seized the vessels last week. chinese media say a north korean gun boat captured the ships on may 8th in the yellow sea. the boats came from dalian in northeastern china. the reports say officials in the north are demanding money for the release of the 29 crew members. chinese foreign ministry spokesperson hong lei says his government is trying to resolve the problem. >> translator: we are demanding that north korea observe the legitimate rights of the crew members.
>> hong declined to say whether the north korean government or the military may be involved in the seizure of the fisng ats. the traditionally friendly relationship between the two countries soured temporarily after an incident in 2010. north korean border guards fired on a chinese ship on the yalu river and killed three crew members. this latest dispute comes as chinese leaders are urging north korea's regime to refrain from conducting its third nuclear test. an international group of exiled uyghurs ended its four-day general assembly in tokyo with an agreement to boost aid for the ethnic minority in china. the world uyghur congress decided to ask other countries to press the chinese government to end its oppression of the minority. participants in the triennial meeting, the first in asia, also agreed to retain rebiya kadeer as the group's president. the participts s thewill contue to strengthen tir appeal to address problems facing uyghurs. >> translator: we will work to expand our political activities around the world in order to support uyghurs. >> china's leaders were not happy about the meeting. they expressed strong
dissatisfaction with japan's decision to allow the congress to meet. china also called the congress an anti-china separatist organization, with links to terrorists groups. >>u.s. president barack obama likes the progress he sees in myanmar so he's rewarded the government there by suspending sanctions and he's named the first u.s. ambassador to myanmar in 22 years. secretary of state hillary clinton made the announcement after meeting with foreign minister wunna minute. they've awarded the position to derek mitchell. it wilincludeil and g services and mining interests and central firms. the u.s. will maintain its arms embargo on myanmar. >> we will keep our eyes wide open to try to ensure that anyone who abuses human rights
or obstructs reforms or engage in corruption do not benefit financially from increased trade and investment with the united states. including companies owned or operated by the military. >> clinton said u.s. officials will continue to ue leaders in myanmar to release more political prisoners and to engage in peace negotiations with ethnic minorities. officials in japan and australia believe they have some common interest and some common concerns in the region, so they've signed an agreement that will allow them to share intelligence. japanese foreign minister koichiro gemba and australian counterpart bob carr signed the treaty in tokyo. japanese officials have concluded similar packets with the u.s., france and nato. >> translator: through the use of this agreement, japan wants
to strengthen trilateral security cooperation with australia and the united states. >> this information security information is another key step in building the legal framework for our cooperation, for our rapidly growing strategic partnership. >> gemba and carr agreed to meet again soon along with the japanese and australian defense ministers. they want to discuss common approaches to security terrorism and military exercises. visitors to the world's fair are finding out how they can live in better harmony with the world's oceans. they learned about this in a conference in yeosu, korea. nhk world's anna jeung explains.
>> reporter: i'm at theallery on the main street of the expo it's a good spot for watching visitors from south korea and so many other countries. since the opening day on may 12th the event has attracted 156,000 visitors. let's join them and see what this expo offers. you can drop in to pavilions hosted by more than 100 countries and ten international organizations. it deals with the diversity of the ocean. to get its message across the exposition makes use of the latest digital technology. >> the presentation is great. i think that if really it was expressed. >> reporter: what makes this expo like no other is its information system. it's everywhere.
the kiosks give infmation about the restaurants boton and off the expo site. people can make sure they get into the pavelon onpavilions they want to visit by making a reservation. by using their cell phones people can get the best experience possible at this highly digitize edd smart expo. the expo will continue until august 12th. by the time it closes it is expected that 10 million people will have passed through. playing ing planning such a large event presented challenges but with help from area residents, organizers have pulled it off. the government felt the expo would be a good chance to increase tourism in the country's south.
that is why it chose yeosu, with its 300,000 residents, as the host city. but officials realized they faced a shortage of hotel rooms for visitors. when they counted rooms, they realized just how serious the shortage was. >> translator: we needed 36,000 rooms, but we found we only had 5,000. it was definitely not enough. >> reporter: it was locals who came to the rescue. many families offer home stays to expo guests. >> welcome. >> thank you. >> reporter: the kims wanted to help. they found yeosu's home stay network online and signed up. here, the kims welcome their guests from india. she pays around $26 a night. the room comes with breakfast,
but for this guest, the kims also rustled up a homemade korean dinner. >> good taste, but we use a little more spicy. >> translator: we were worried about the language barrier, and about foodut we thohtf w had communication problems we could use internet translation services, so we decided to join the program. >> the husband and wife were really affectionately taking me inside the house. i'm welcomed very warmly. >> reporter: not only families but also temples and churches are hosting foreign and domestic guests. people in neighboring cities also for hotels. now it has enough rooms for visitors and provides them with the ty oospitality koreans are famous for. >> ann that jung there in yeosu,
south korea. in a few days millions of people will pause to stare at the sky. they're hoping to catch a glimpse of an annual solar eclipse. it only lasts five minutes and for the first time ever the majority of residents in japan will have one of the best views. nhk world's rinna nakano has the story. >> reporter: this isn't your average arts and crafts class. these people are preparing for a special moment in celestial history. 73-year-old kunio fujimori is taking it pretty seriously. >> translator: i hope sunlight doesn't seep in from the cracks. >> reporter: fujimori and others here at this free class are making pinhole telescopes so they can safely watch this. [ speaking japanese ]
>> reporter: an annular solar eclipse. the last time people in japan saw one was in 1987 and only then from okinawa and the surrounding areas. the moon will eclipse most of the sun to create a glowing ring, or annulus. people living in these parts of the planet will be able to see it. and for the first time in history, that includes residents in most of japan. eclipse ver is harto miss. some jewelers are selling wedding rings to celebrate the event. stores are promoting their stock of protective glasses and books about the solar system. and astronomy buffs are already staking out the best spots.
>> translator: in the past, i've had to travel around the world to see solar eclipses, but this time i get to watch it from right outside my own house. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that i cannot miss. >> reporter: people at this arts and crafts class don't want to miss out, either. they don't have high-quality equipment, just household items. they hope their pinhole telescopes will do the trick. sunlight passes through a small hole on the top. they'll see a light on the bottom. and then a ring during the eclipse. that way they won't damage their eyes. >> translator: if you look in here, you can see the sun. >> translator: the next time is in hundreds of years, right? i have to watch it. >> reporter: kunio fujimori plans to do the same thing. a five-minute spectacle he'll
share with the person he's closest to. >> translator: i'm hoping to take turns using this with my wife. >> reporter: this will be the first d last chance fumo and others in japan will see the moon take a bite out of the sun. experts predict the annular solar eclipse won't be visible in the tokyo area for another 300 years. rina nakano, nhk world, ebina, japan. >> and i have my viewing glasses ready. pinhole and professional telescopes are a couple of ways to see the solar eclipse. here's another. you can stand under a tree and look at the shadows that are created by the leaves and branches. sunlight will seep throughhe leaves and make shapes. if you're in the right spot at the right time, you'll be able to see a crescent turn into a ring. f people in tokyo will be able to see the annular solar eclipse
monday at around 7:30 a.m. local time. now let's take a look at the world weather forecast with sayaka mori. >> today we're mainly unstable across much of central and northern japan. thunderstorms, gusty winds and hail, as well as tornadoes are possible across this area but western japan will see clear conditions under the influence of the big high pressure system. similarly dry across the korean peninsula as well as northern china, but to the south, a seasonal rain ban is still affecting much of southeastern china as well as taiwan. particularly wet in taiwan. more than 100 millimeters of rain is in the forecast over the weekend. the risk of floodings and landslides will remain extremely high here. down toward southeast asia, a southwesterly monsoonal flow will create scattered showers across much of indochina as well as the philippines. temperature wise getting up to 33 degrees in manila, 29 degrees
in hong kong. still on the hot side in beijing, reaching 32 degrees. tokyo, three degrees lower than yesterday, 24 degrees expected. now, moving over to the americas a low pressure system is sliding across the u.s./canada border, producing scattered showers across the western half of canada as well as the northern rockies. rain could become heavy at times on your friday. down toward the south, very strong, dry, and warm air is flowing in. raising the risk of wildfires across the four corners region. unfortunately, dry weather should remain into your friday. out towards the east getting dry across much of the eastern half of the u.s. however, southwestern corner of the state may see pop-up showers during the heat of the day. temperature wise, 31 degrees expected in miami. the same goes for houston. the heat is extending all the way up to central canada.
31 in winnipeg, which is about more than ten degrees higher than average, but out toward the west, still on the chilly side. 15 degrees in seattle and 16 degrees expected in van cover. finally, let's go over to europe. a high pressure system is dominating much of central europe and italy bringing dry and calm conditions, but surrounding this area, very unstable. rain showers and strong winds could become intense across the british isles, france, as well as spain, as we head into friday. meanwhile, a potent storm is slowly moving toward western turkey. thunderstorms, gusty winds, and even hail are expected on your friday. up toward the north, a slow moving weakening low lifts toward the north. as it does so, the baltic states, southern finland, and northwestern russia should get drier. temperature wise, 21 degrees expected in moscow, 18 degrees expected in kiev. warming up to 18 degrees in berlin and the same goes for vienna.
our lead story this hour the people at japan's space agency have put a south korean satellite into space. it was their first foray into the commercial for international launches. [ speaking japanese ] >> the h2a rocket blasted off around 1:40 a.m. from the tanegashima space center. the multipurpose south korean satellite separated about 15 minutes later, 60 kilometers above earth. the rocket then released japanese observation satellite designed to monitor climate change. engineers used the same type of rocket last december to put a domestic information-gathering satellite into orbit. that operation brought the h2a success rate to 95%, which appeals to clients hoping to launch satellites. that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in