nortkore offialsay ty have no intention of carrying out another nuclear test. western diplomats have warned for weeks that leaders in pyongyang were preparing for a new nuclear test. but the north koreans say they do not see one in their future. state media is reporting that they never considered another
test, and they're focused instead on putting a satellite into space. >> the state-run korean central news agency said the official warned north korean officials will have to take countermeasures if the u.s. continues to press for tougher sanctions. the senior u.s. diplomat for north korea is leaning on chinese leaders for their help. glen davies wants them to use their influence with officials in pyongyang to stop further provocations. davies made the comments after meeting with china's special representative for the korean peninsula. the six-party talks will take place. >> both china and the united
states really have the same fundamental interests when it comes to the peninsula and in north korea, which is peace, stability and the pursuit of denuclearization. >> davies will head to tokyo later in the day with tks with japanese officials. a japanese research institute said satellite images show that north korea is building a new launchpad in the country's northeast. researchers at johns hopkins university announced the results of their analysis of the photos of the site taken on april 29th. the researchers say the work to upgrade the site began last summer. they say the images show the concrete foundations of a launchpad and buildings designed to enclose the fuel. they also say a large structure apparently intended f assembling rockets has been completed in a former residential area near the site. the institute said the upgrade
is aimed at launching test launch also. it predicts the new facilities could be operational in four years. south korean defense authorities want to buy more military hardware to protect against threats from north korea. they're planning on spend inging several million dollars. the money will pay for the deployment of hundreds of new cruise and ballistic missiles. south korea unveiled the new cruise missile last month. the weapon has a top range of 1,500 kilometers. the decision to buy more hardware follows north korea's failed launch last month of what the regime designed as a rocket designed to carry a satellite. most countries considered it a missile. south korean military leaders have set a range limit for ballistic missiles of 300
kilometers in an agrment with the uned stes. some people in the country want that reach to be extended. a major ratings agency has downgraded japanese bonds. stock markets have just opened here in tokyo. how are investors reacting to the news? >> catherine, japan is no stranger to downgrades. the latest may be shrugged off by stock investors. adding to the wait-and-see attitude may be wall street's performance overnight. american stocks retreated by the close. and the dow jones industrial average ended nearly flat on the day at 12,502. now, perhaps more front and center on investors' minds is continued fears of greece exiting the eurozone and that is after comments from the former prime minister. so for more on how stocks are trading this wednesday, let's go to ramin. good morning to you. the big question is how are tokyo stocks opening?
>> yes, very good morning to you. you mentioned the comments from former greek prime minister talking about a possibility of the exit of the greeks on the eurozone. we did see the euro lower considerably against the dollar. and let's have a look at how the stock markets are opening here for wednesday. and just looking at the main indexes, we're seeing the nikkei trading below the 8,700 level again. we did actually trade up on that yesterday. but of course also with the latest downgrade of japan's bond rating by fitch ratings to a-plus, as well as the wrappin up of a two-day bank of ja man meeting today, investors may be staying on the sidelines, or hard pressed to make any major mofls ahead of those events especially the bank of japan meeting wrapping up today. global markets trying to make sense of a possible exit of
greece. whether we get any good news or bad news corporate earnings recently in japan have been mixed. we had positive forecasts from that. and also we've seen economic data out of the u.s. and china, also not really giving any concrete signs of a full path to a recovery in either one of those economies. still questions there op the fundamental side. the euro took a bit of a beating following the fitch ratings, and of course, continuing with the eurozone offense. let's look at the currency levels. the yen, if anything weaker a touch against the dollar. and largely unchanged against the euro there. so you can see the dollar/yen at the 80 levels now. trading at the mid-17 levels yesterday. >> speaking of boosts i hear
there's good news from the auto sector. >> definitely. we've been tracking the auto sector since the march 11th disasters last year and the thailand flooding which severely hampered the production levels for the big three automakers. toyota media reports coming out saying toyota has regained the number one are level for the quarter. it's made aggressive moves to gain back market share. so has honda and nissan. so again toyota, regaining the number one spot there. we're going to track the auto sector today and all the related shares as well. back to you. >> ramin, thanks a lot. from the tokyo stock exchange. this just in for you. japan's trade balance in april was in the red for a second straight month. the finance ministry said in its preliminary report on wednesday morning that japan's trade deficit was about $6.5 billion.
exports were up for a second month in a row. that's almost an 8% rise from a year earlier in yen terms. it's mainly due to an increase in shipments of autos and automotive parts. however, imports, too, rose 8% due to a rise in liquefied natural gas and crude oil. and that follows the shutdown of nuclear power plants across the country in the wake of the fukushima daiichi accident last year. > all rit. moren the trade balance as the day progresses. now, separately, an international survey on overall happiness in life has found that japan ranks 21 and that's among 36 industrial emerging nations. the organization released the results on tuesday. japan is rated the safest country of all, because very few people reported falling victim to crimes. the country even ranked second
in education, with high scores for reading and mathematics. but japan performs poorly in housing, coming in 25th place. that's because housing costs take up a large share of household budgets. now, japan is number 27 for life satisfaction. and 34 for work life balance. the survey notes many japanese work very long hours. the low scores in these categories put japan in at 21st place for overall well-being. australia is ranked the happiest nation of all, followed by norway, and the united states. many of the top ten nations are in northern europe. might be time for a trip to northern yoirp. that does it for this business hour. i'll leave you with the market figures.
representatives from iran and six other countries will resume talks on iran's nuclear program in baghdad. the european union's foreign policy chief will be representing world powers during the talks. she and other officials are expected to tell iranian nuclear negotiator that iran should stop producing 20% enriched uranium. some countries fear that iran wants to use this uranium to accelerate the process of developing nuclear weapons. western negotiate eshs are also likely to urge iran to close some underground nuclear related
facilities. in return iranian officials are to ask their counterparts to lift the sanctions. the talks were in istanbul in april after 15 months of delocks. both sides said the first round was forward looking. meanwhile, the international atomic energy agency and iran have agreed on ways to verify the country's suspected nuclear arms development. iaea director told reporters in vienna that the two sides will soon sign the accord but he did not give a date or details. >> the decision was made by me and my counterpart to reach an agreement on t approach. >> the iran negotiator said it's the first time since 2007 that iran has accepted an iaea proposal to allow wider inspections.
egyptian voters will start casting their ballots on wednesday for the first presidential election since mubarak was toppled last year. it will be the first freely held poll. front runners include muhammad morrissey of the muslim brotherhood and islamic fundamentalist group, and fortua, an islamist who left the group. the strong contenders are former prime minister shafick and former league secretary-general musa. both were members of the mubarak administration. islamic parties marked a major victory in the parliamentary polls in january. tensions between party supporters have been increasing along with skirmishes throughout the country. the nation's ruling military council said it will deploy
120,000 troops to prevent turmoil during the two-day voting period. malaysia's opposition leader ibrahim is no stranger to the country's justice system. and he found himself in court again on tuesday. here's the details of the new case against anwar. >> reporter: malaysian prosecutors indicted ibrahim on a street rally held last month in kuala lumpur. there's speculation he made his own parliament for a snap election expected in the fall. the charges against anwar drew criticism that the government is trying to suppress the opposition. anwar is a former deputy prime minister. he's accused of inciting demonstrators to enter prohibited areas during a rally. anwar denies the charges.
the huge rally calling for political reforms was held in the malaysian capital on april 28th. tens of thousands of people clashed with police leading to more than 500 arrests. malaysia has been ruled by the same national front coalition eever since the country's independence. but they face growing dissatisfaction among the public who are calling for electoral reform. the ruling coalition lost nearly 30% of its seats during the previous election in 2008. anwar has faced prosecution at least twice before but has always said the charges were politically motivated. from one opposition leader facing trial, to another. this time set free. sri lanka's former chief of
staff was released from jail on monday. it follows pressure from the united states which considered him a political prisoner. nhk world reports. >> reporter: he was released and was met with cheers from a crowd of supporters. >> translator: we are committed to establish a nation where people are happy, by removing the suffering they face and saving them from economic difficulties and corruption. >> reporter: he led sri lanka's victory over the insurgents in 2009. that ended more than two decades of civil war. the following year he ran for president in a direct challenge to his former boss incumbent president packsa. after losing the election he was charged with corruption.
the sentence drew criticism from the united states which called the trial politically motivated. the issue was raised again on friday when u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton held talks with the sri lankan counterpt in washington. as they recover from their long civil war, some see the attempt to attract foreign investment. nhk world. next to hanoi, where a bomb shelter from the vietnam war was recently rediscovered beneath a luxury hotel. with vietnam rushing to develop a modern economy, the shelters reminded citizens of the capital about the importance of honoring the past. >> reporter: the hotel hanoi has been adating back to 1901.
in 2011 work on a new extension to the hotel led to the discovery of an underground air shelter. the shelter is 40 square meters big and divided into five rooms. between 1965 and 1975 as many as 40 people sheltered here during the u.s. flights over hanoi. among them was american actress jane fonda. she came to vietnam in 1972 to
protest against the war. a those memories came flooding back for a former official. >> translator: stepping into this shelter after so many years brought back memories of the war. i was very moved. i want this place to be preserved as a piece of vietnamese history. >> reporter: vietnam's booming economy is currently changing the face of hanoi. reminders of the war have been swept away. the owners of the hotel plan to open the shelter to tourists to help keep history alive. nhk world, hanoi. and that will conclude our bulletin.
the winds have died down the skies have cleared, and the mist has evaporated. so the view from atop the world's toppest tower promises to be better on its second day open than it was on the first. strong gusts forced the operators of the tokyo sky tree to shut down its elevators near the end of its opening day. still, thousands went out before that. and even those who didn't have a ticket joined in the celebrations. rina na kano was there. >> reporter: these people already have reservations to go up the sky tree. but that didn't stop them from lining up hours before the opening. their goal? to be the first of the first. >> translator: i never get to climb up that high. that's why i'm curious to see how it feels up there. >> translator: we didn't go on
our honeymoon last year because of the earthquake, so we decided to make this our destination. >> reporter: it took engineers nine years to build the tokyo sky tree from the base to the opening day. it has two observation decks, one at 350 meters and the other at 450 meters. people who climb it say despite the bad weather, it's still worth the wait. >> translator: the cars look really small. which shows how far up i am. >> translator: when i was standing on the glass floors i felt like i was on a roller coaster.
>> translator: japanese technology is great. i'm not getting any younger, so i have to experience it as soon as possible. >> reporter: back at ground level, people who didn't have tickets still had fun. >> translator: i spent four days straight without sleep making this costume. >> reporter: the sky tree fashion is expected to continue. imagine how long it took this guy to do his hair. operators of the tower say this is just the beginning of a long and exciting future. >> translator: we want people to discover a charming new tokyo, a new japan. we hope the sky tree becomes the world's most loved tower. >> reporter: one of the final highlights of opening day? this. by the end of the evening, about 8,000 people went home with
bragging rights. the first members of the public to go up the world's tallest tower. rina nakano nhk world, tokyo. a beautiful sight there. lots of enthusiasm. thousands of people are expected to visit the tower today on its second day open. and it sms theeaer wl be cooperatg. we're joined now with the world weather forecast. >> that's right. we are expecting very warm and clear skies here in tokyo. the reason is this low pressure system is starting to pull away from the region. but still impacting northern japan. in fact storm warnings are still posted across the miyagi prefecture, and that will continue throughout this morning. rain should remain in parts of hokkaido and the northern islands of japan into tomorrow. out toward the west another lovely day for you across the korean peninsula, in northeastern china down to the
south. weather is extending into the shanghai area. wet conditions remain -- will remain here for the next several days. and to the south, similarly wet in southern china, and northern portions of the indochina peninsula. in hanoi, about 17 millimeters of rain has fallen. however, more rain will be coming down so that could, of course, raise the risk of flooding as well as land slides. out towards the east we're still monitoring tropical storm san sanbu. it's continuing to move away from the marian islands. right now, it's a tropical storm, but could become a severe tropical storm and affect the southern islands of japan, including iwo jima on your friday morning, local time. as the temperatures for asia getting up to 33 many are 29 in hong kong, with sunny periods.
26 in suleoul. now, let's go to the americas. a tropical depression has been downgraded to a remnant low. it is pulling away from the mainland u.s. as it does so thundershowers along the eastern seaboard will dissipate. however, the southern tip of florida as well as the caribbean islands will remain stormy. about 130 millimeters of rain has already fallen in florida. but more rain is in the forecast. up towards the north, a series of low pressure systems will continue to produce thundershowers and strg winds along the u.s./canada border. severe weather in the northern rockies should slide into the area from southern minnesota into northern kansas on wednesday. tornadoes are not out of the question. to the south, critical fire risk in the four corners region, into the rest of the week. and down to the south, a new tropical storm has formed over
the pacific. but it could become a hurricane status on your thursday and get close to the south coast of mexico on your saturday morning local time. stormy conditions are in the forecast later this week. so we'll keep you posted on its progress. temperatures for north america, getting up to 32 in houston. the same goes for oklahoma city. look finally, let's go over to europe. inclement weather will remain across parts of france italy, the balkan peninsula into your wednesday. particularly stormy in the southern half of italy. thunderstorm warnings have been posted here. as for the high 21 in rome. and 23 in paris. here's your extended forecast.
our lead stories this hour western diplomats have warned for weeks that leaders in pyongyang were preparing for a third nuclear test. but the north koreans say they do not see one in their future. state media iseporting that ey never considere anoth test, and they're focused instead on putting a satellite into space.
the state-run korean central news agency coded a spokesperson for the foreign minister. the official warned north korean officials will have to take countermeasures if the u.s. continues to press for tougher sanctions. the senior u.s. diplomat f north korea is leaning on chinese leaders for their help. glyn davies wants them to stop further provocations. he made the comments after meeting with china's special representative for the korean peninsula. wu dow way chairs the talks. they share concerns about recent events. >> both china and the united states really have the same fundamental interests when it comes to the peninsula and in north korea, which is peace, stability and the pursuit of