hello. you're watching "newsline." i'm shery ahn. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has announced north korean officials have promised to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the abductions of japanese nationals by north korean agents. abe spoke on the results of government talks that ended in sweden on wednesday. he said pyongyang has promised to investigate the fate of all japanese citizens, including abductees and those who were allegedly abducted but not officially recognized as
abductees. he said a special investigative committee will be set up based on the promise. he stressed that a complete resolution of the abduction issue is the top priority of his government. >> officials from both nations met for three days in stockholm. the japanese government says at least 17 people were kidnapped in the 1970s and '80s. five of them returned to japan in 2002. hundreds of other people are suspected to have been abducted by the north. as we just mentioned, north korean authorities have promised to launch a comprehensive fresh
investigation into an issue dating back decades. japanese officials promised to lift some sanctions in exchange for a new probe. japanese chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said they promised to launch a fresh investigation as we mentioned earlier. the investigation also includes japanese nationals who were allegedly abducted to north korea, but were not officially recognized as abductees.
>> negotiators from japan and north korea held talks in stockholm. those discussions followed up on a meeting they held in march in beijing. thousand, aft now, after the talks japanese cabinet members talked about kis duszed measures. they considered lifting some sanctions on the north in phases if authorities in pyongyang showed a willingness to launch an effective probe. the north koreans have pushed for the lifting of sanctions related to travel and for the settlement of issues tied to japan's past colonial rule of the korean peninsula. these talks between japan and north korea have been going on for several years now.
nhk world's hiroki yajima explains how negotiators got to this point. >> reporter: japanese and north korean negotiators met in beijing in 2008 to go over the abductions issue. the north koreans agreed to conduct a fresh investigation and release findings toward the end of the year. but that changed when japanese prime minister stepped down. authorities in pyongyang cited his resignation as a reason to call off the probe. the issues stayed on the back burner for years. then this past march, government officials from both countries held the first talks in more than 12 months. they agreed to meet again to discuss a range of issues including the abductions.
negotiators have since held unofficial talks on several occasions in different chinese cities. sources say those from north korea asked japan to lift sanctions in exchange for reopening the investigation. that could include a ban on travel between the two nations. and on charter flights from north korea to japan. hiroki yajima, nhk world. relatives of the abductees have been yearning for years to see their loved ones. they've watched negotiations on this issue plod along, but this new round of talks has given them hope. nhk world's norika okata reports. >> reporter: leaders in japan say north korean asians abducted 17 japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s. authorities in pyongyang denied the accusation again and again. but in 2002, late leader kim
jong-il told a different story to then prime minister koizin. kim admitted for the first time the abductions had happened, and he gave an apology. kim allowed five abductees to return to japan. and he called for the resumption of talks to normalize relations. members of his regime later announced they've investigated the abductions issue and they cleared it revolved. but japanese officials still have many questions. they demanded a new inquiry to shed light on what happened to all of the abductees. a breakthrough seemed possible in 2008. the north koreans promised to open a new investigation to locate the remaining abductees and send them home. officials in tokyo said they'd ease sanctions if the probe went
ahead. but things came to a halt when japanese prime minister yoso hukuda resigned. the issue stayed on the back burner for years. then this past march, government officials from both countries held their first high level talks in more than 12 months. they agreed to meet again to discuss a range of issues including the abductions. prior to the meeting, the parents of abductee megumi ogota traveled to mongolia to meet their granddaughter, kim un-jonk. north korean authorities say megumi is dead. but her parents and japanese officials don't believe them. the two countries arranged a meeting in mongolia for humanitarian reasons. the okutas have asked to see their granddaughter soon, because they are growing old.
norika okada, nhk world. >> megaumi's father commented on the developments. he said this was a positive step. he said as the abductees are getting older, he hopes the results of the reinvestigation will be revealed as soon as possible. japan's coast guard is investigating the cause of an explosion on an oil tanker off a western port. they say the captain is missing and four crew members have been seriously injured. firefighters battled the flames on the soko maru. officials have located 7 members among a crew of 8. four are in the hospital being treated for burns and two haven't regained consciousness. rescuers are searching for ando, the captain. the crew had unloaded oil friday at a nearby port.
they say someone aboard the ship was using a grinder to remove rust near the fuel tank before the blast. people in thailand have been adjusting to life under military rule. one week after the army chief declared a coup, most people's lives are fairly normal. but critics of the military are feeling the heat. people in bangkok have been following the regular routines, going to work and to school. many shops and other businesses are up and running. there are few soldiers in shopping areas and business districts, and military leaders have shortened a nighttime curfew. opponents of the military takeover have taken to the streets. the hunta has warned they'll remove demonstrations by force if they fail to follow orders. crew leaders have tried to tighten dissent by tightening controls on the media. they're also clamping down on supporters of former prime minister thaksin shinawatra. general pray youth chan-ocha says he'll call elections after
that c thaksin and their supporters reconcile. let's now get the latest business stories from ron madison. >> thanks, shery. many large companies in japan will hand out bigger employee bonuses this summer. that's thanks to a robust recovery and the weaker yen. the japanese business federation conducts a business survey. 74 companies have responded so far this year. their bonus per worker averages about $8,800. that's a jump of 8.8% in yen terms from a year ago and a biggest year on year increase since comparable data became available in 1981. breakdowns by industry show that payments by automakers will mark a record surge of 16.7%. payments were up 7.9% at textile firms and 6.5% at electronics makers. officials say many other companies that have not responded yet are likely to bump up their bonuses as well.
the governor of tokyo wants the city to become a global financial center to rival london and new york. he's asking financial experts how to make that happen. governor owe lee chi mas sue zoe way met with checktives from banks and brokerage firms on sunday. he wants to strengthen tokyo's position as a major banking center after two decades of decline for the city and the global financial system. >> translator: tokyo wants to work with the central government and financial sector to revamp the city and restore its leading position in global financial markets as soon as possible. >> the experts said that for tokyo to become a truly global financial center, it's necessary to increase the number of english speaking staff at japanese financial institutions. they said english speaking services in key sectors such as the medical industry and education also need to be improved. executives at apple are moving to strengthen the company's music streaming business. officials say they will buy
headphone maker beats electronics and subsidiary beats music for a price of $3 billion. the deal is the largest in apple's history. executives say they will complete the purchase by the end of september. beats was founded back in 2008. it holds more than 50% of the market in high quality headphones. and it started streaming music earlier this year. apple has had a strong foothold in the music download service, but it has lagged behind its rivals such as spotify in offering a streaming service. all right. on to the markets now. asian shares not showing clear direction amid a lack of major trading cues today. here's how major indexes finished out the day. tokyo's nikkei extending a winning streak to a sixth straight session. singapore's straits times index was lifted by news of a major deal. tokyo's nikkei average managed to end in the positive finishing up 14,681. shares of bet weather firms such as toyota and soft bank aided
the advance. singapore finished by nearly 1%. shares shot up after ailbaba said it will buy a stake in the singapore company. meanwhile, the philippines key index lost 1.6% falling to 6,676. the lowest close in a month. the country's economy grew 5.7%. that was well below what many economists had been looking for. generations of filipinos have gone overseas to earn a living. they've become an integral part of work forces around the world. they now number 2 million, in fact. together they send back billions of dollars every year to support their families. but many of those who go home are finding that their hard work hasn't paid off. nhk world's daisuke ozuma has more. >> reporter: 4,500 filipinos leave their country every day in search of a better life.
they found jobs as nurses, housekeepers and construction workers. government leaders in the philippines started encouraging this migration in the 1970s. -- from overseas filipino workers -- account for about 10% of the nation's gdp. still, more and more workers have increasing problems when they return home. amanda aguer worked as a care giver in israel and the united arab emirates. she says she had no choice but to go abroad, so she could earn enough for her three children. >> translator: i want to give my children the best future.
and i want them to -- and also my family. my whole family. this is the only way how to be more. >> reporter: auguilar stay add i broad for more than a decade. every month she kept sending $500 to her family. she decided to return to the philippines around the time her children were becoming teenagers. but when she got back, she discovered how family and relatives had used all the money she'd sent to cover living expenses. there were no savings. so aguilar started looking for a job, but with the nation's jobless rate over 7%, she had no luck. she's been cooking and selling meals to get by. she earns about $3 a day.
far from enough to make a living. >> it's difficult because every day i do not work and i get the food for my family. every day i have to think, oh, my god. tomorrow, again. >> reporter: philippine government officials recognize the need to support -- such as aguilar. people want to start a new business and are holding seminars on how to become financially independent. one official says the government is also looking into other ways to help financially distressed -- >> the idea of government is to maximize whatever skills and technologies they have gathered from working abroad. we have put up a facility
wherein they can put in their qualification, their credentials. and match these with vacancies. >> reporter: many filipinos devote much of their lives to working abroad so they can support their families and their country. but some who return are forced to give up dreams of a comfortable retirement and must start over again. daisuke azuma, nhk world, man a manila. japan's first atm for bitcoin is up and running. the number of virtual currency users continues to grow. that's despite the recent bankruptcy of mount gox, a major bitcoin exchange based in tokyo. >> one, two, three. >> the atm was installed at a bar in a downtown area. about 40 people gathered on the inaugural day to give it a try.
the machine takes in cash and exchanges it into the virtual currency which is then sent to the users' smartphones at the current rate. >> translator: bitcoin users are on the rise around the world. >> translator: this is so exciting. >> mount gox's bankruptcy caused millions of dollars in losses for customers around the globe. the firm was once the world's largest bitcoin exchange. despite the setback, the number of bitcoin users is estimated to exceed 3 million across the world. new exchanges for the virtual currency continue to be launched, even here in japan. all right. that is going to wrap it up for business hour. here's a check of the markets.
few days before most of the systems move out of the area. because these are moving very slowly. let me begin with the heavy rains over into canada. we talked about a system earlier this week that produced a tornado over into the dakotas. this low pressure system is a very slow mover. and bringing heavy rains into canada. here's the picture coming out of that area. you can see, it's a nice shot, but you can see the heavy rains pouring in the background. that's not the only area dealing with heavy rains. we go down toward the south into alabama, where flash flooding was taking place. we talked about the heavy rains in houston. that low pressure system is slowly moving eastward. so on wednesday we saw problems on the roadways. it looks like these systems will continue to be big rainmakers as we go throughout your thursday. the low responsible for the heavy rain slowly pushes toward the east. the instability allows it to continue to dump heavy amounts of rain. we also have a cold front that's also moving southward, so that clash will continue to bring
unstable weather for the eastern half of the united states going throughout thursday. i think by friday, most of this should start to move away from most of the eastern portions of the united states. high pressure coming in behind it. that's going to drop temperatures into places like new york and washington, d.c. this low pressure system up toward montana is going to continue to trek eastward and northward. so winnipeg, you will see some rain. also down to the dakotas once again and into denver, you're going to see a chance of some thunderstorms. here's a look at the forecast. high of 29 degrees in denver. also rain into atlanta with a high of 30. but much cooler in d.c. with highs only in the upper teens. unstable weather also continues for parts of europe. we are looking at the possibility of seeing gusts up to 100 kilometers per hour for the eastern half of the continent because of the unstable weather, and we are talking about also heavy rain in places where we don't need any more rain. here's a look at some video coming out of the czech republic. remember a couple of weeks ago where we had some of the worst
flooding in decades? well, the czech republic is being battered by more heavy rain for tuesday and wednesday. hundreds of calls were made for help. you can see the car stuck right there because they needed some help because of the flooding. we go to eastern germany here where they're also dealing with severe weather. more than a month's worth of rainfall drenched the region in 24 hours, triggering serious mudslides in the area. you can see the town being buried in mud and debris. let me give you some other facts out of here. the czech republic saw 50 millimeters of rain in just one hour. and some hail in azerbaijan and waterspouts in ukraine and croatia. we are looking out for that potential for severe weather from warsaw to vienna and kiev. make sure you pay attention to the local weather updates from the local agencies because of the weather situation. finally, we take a look at east asia. rain continues to fall into southern china. we also have the stationary front that was responsible for bringing some severe weather into parts of japan on wednesday. that is now starting to depart.
meanwhile, the dry weather conditions toward the north bringing a lot of warm air, but windy conditions. also kicking up the dust. so yellow sand is still a problem for the korean peninsula. and into japan. you see here temperatures moving into the 30s for seoul and beijing. highs in the mid-30s. and it looks like that the heat will continue for friday, saturday and even into sunday, though a touch cooler by the latter part of the weekend. but, yes, above average highs are expected. that's a look at your forecast. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
here's a recap of our top story. north korean authorities have promised to launch a comprehensive investigation into an issue dating back decades. agents from the reclusive nation abducted japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s. japanese officials promised to lift some sanctions in exchange for a new probe. japanese chief cabinet secretary yoshihiko suga said north korea promised to conduct a comprehensive investigation into japanese abductees by north korea. the investigation also includes japanese nationals who were allegedly abducted to north korea but not officially recognized as abductees. >> translator: as soon as we confirm that north korea has set up a special investigation committee and begun the promised reinvestigation, japan will lift
some sanctions such as those on travel between the two countries. and those on vessels coming into the ports of japan for humanitarian purposes. >> chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said north korean officials have promised to form the committee within around three weeks. japanese leaders have repeatedly demanded north korea reinvestigate the abductions. they considered lifting some sanctions in phases if authorities in pyongyang showed a willingness to launch an effective probe. the north koreans have pushed for the lifting of sanctions related to travel and for the settlement of issues tied to japan's past colonial rule of the korean peninsula. now, the state-run korean central news agency is reporting that officials in pyongyang will investigate the fate of missing
japanese nationals. the agency said if investigators find any survivors, they will do what's necessary to send them back to japan. for those of you just tuning in, we have breaking news. north korean authorities have promised to launch a comprehensive investigate into an issue dating back decades. agents from the reclusive nation abducted japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s. japanese officials promised to lift some sanctions in exchange for a new probe. japanese chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said north korea promised to conduct a comprehensive investigation into japanese abductees by north korea. the investigation also includes japanese nationals who were allegedly abducted to north korea, but not officially recognized as abductees. >> translator: as soon as we confirm that north korea has set up a special investigation
committee and begun the promised reinvestigation, japan will lift some sanctions. such as those on travel between the two countries. and those on vessels coming into the ports of japan for humanitarian purposes. >> suga said north korean officials have promised to form the committee within around three weeks. japanese leaders are repeatedly demanding north korea reinvestigate the abductions. they considered lifting some sanctions in phases if authorities in pyongyang showed a willingness to launch an effective probe. the north koreans have pushed for the lifting of sanctions related to travel and for the settlement of issues tied to japan's past colonial rule of the korean peninsula. of course, we'll have updates for you on this story and more at the top of the hour. do join us then.
"france vingt-quatre >> welcome to the -- >> welcome to the "france vingt-quatre" newsroom. russia has signed a deal with catholics dan and belarus. belaruse.tan and edward snowden says he would like to return home. he said he worked as a spy for the cia overseas, something the u.s. government designs -- denies. and the search is suspended until more powerful goodman can be used in the search for flight