welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. indonesian searchers say they found the tail of the missing airasia passenger jet which may hold the black box flight recorders. a top executive of mcdonald's japan has apologized for a series of incidents involving foreign objects found in their food. candidates looking to lead japan's largest opposition party have officially entered the race
and are hitting the campaign trail. and the u.s. congress has convened with republicanss controlling both chambers for the first time in eight years. indonesian searchers say they found the tail of an airasia passenger jet that disappeared with 162 people on board. they say the section could house the crucial black box flight recorders. >> translator: i can confirm that we've found the tail. that's been our main target today. >> the head of the search and rescue agency said searchers located the wreckage off the coast of kalimantan. divers were able to identify it from letters written on the side. international teams from the u.s. australia, and japan have been taking part in the operation. searchers have only recovered 40 bodies so far. they've made it a priority to retrieve the tail and the black boxes inside. they hope these voice and flight
data recorders will reveal the cause of the crash. aviation authorities say the plane was flying through stormy weather when it disappeared on december 28th. it was heading from surabaya in indonesia to singapore. south korean prosecutors have charged a former korean air vice president with violating the aviation safety law. she is the daughter of the airline's chairman. she delayed the departure of a korean air flight in new york early last month over the way a snack was served. >> translator: we charged the former vice president of korean air for violating the aviation safety law by changing flight plans. assault on a plane, coercion and interference in the execution of duty. >> cho became outraged when a cabin attendant offered her nuts in a bag instead of serving them on a plate, as laid out in the
airline's manual. she demanded the plane return to the gate even though it was taxiing for takeoff. she also ordered the flight officer in charge of cabin service to get off the plane. prosecutors also charged her with interference in a government investigation by ordering korean air officials to give false testimony, and fabricate documents to cover up the incident. in addition prosecutors indicted managing director of korean air for trying to force flight attendants to give false testimonies to defend cho. a top executive at mcdonald's holdings japan has said he's very sorry for a series of problems involving foreign objects found in its food. >> translator: we deeply apologize for causing so much trouble and concern to many of our customers. we are very sorry.
>> a customer discovered a piece of vinyl in a chicken nugget last week at a restaurant in a northern prefecture of aomori. all japanese chains were ordered to halt sales of the product produced at a plant in thailand on the same day that the nugget was made. the piece of plastic was also discovered in a dessert at a outlet in northeastern prefecture of fukushima last month. the object was part of a machine at the restaurant. senior vice president aoki revealed on wednesday that a customer at the fukushima restaurant was injured by the piece of plastic. he also says the customer in osaka complained what appeared to be the tip of a human tooth was found in a patch of fried potatoes. he says it's unclear how that happened. the chicken nugget was produced at a factory northeast of bangkok. officials at the factory say they have sent gloves and aprons used at the factory to japan to
determine whether any of the material matches the vinyl found in the nugget. >> translator: our products meet the standard of our company's quality control system. every employee here understands the production process well. so we have 100% confidence in our products. >> products from the factory are also exported to countries in europe, and southeast asia. japan's shinkansen bullet trains have been whisking people to distant places for more than half a century. now executives see an opportunity to help build a new high speed railway system in the u.s. state of california. construction got under way this week. about 1,000 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony in the city of fresno. the project will cost $68 billion. state officials plan to begin operations by 2029. the trains will travel more than 800 kilometers between los angeles and san francisco in under three hours.
>> we are very open to companies in the world. we know that we're now just starting on high speed rail but japan led the world in high speed rail and so we have a great deal to learn. >> ten groups have expressed interest in tendering bids to provide rail cars. they include companies from germany, france and china. japan has set up a consortium of seven companies, including east japan railway and kawasaki heavy industries. they'll urge the project's leaders to adopt the shinkansen system. bidding is expected to begin as early as this spring. california authorities want to decide on a contractor by next year. the people who run japanese electronics maker hitachi are seeing their rail cars thrive in a different part of the world. they've landed a major deal to supply trains in the uk. and they're also eager to drive their products into new markets. nhk world's mitsuko nishikawa has that part of the story.
>> reporter: hitachi executives and officials celebrated on wednesday a first for the company. these rail cars will leave their factory in yamaguchi prefecture and arrive in the uk in march. they say it's one of the largest contracts ever awarded by britain's railway system. >> it's a fantastic day for us to ship the first class 800 series train from our mother factory here. >> reporter: the company has seen a lot of business from england come their way in the last three years. they won a contract to replace 866 carriages on the uk's asian high speed railway. officials with hitachi say their state-of-the-art trains are faster and smarter. they say they can carry commuters at speeds of up to 201 kilometers per hour and they also say people will have more space on board. trains will connect london and
other cities as part of the intercity express program initiated by the government. the car has a diesel engine so it can run on stretches that do not have electricity. people in the country who ride the rails have become familiar with japanese technology. hitachi's rail cars were widely used during the london olympics in 2012 taking visitors to the main venue. people came to appreciate the train's speed and punctuality. company executives are also eyeing markets beyond the uk. they're keen to challenge other leading manufacturers, including canada's bombardier and france's austin. >> i see in the future continued growth for the railway business. and i think hitachi's very well-placed to capture this both strengthen our position in
europe, but also to expand our operation to other markets. >> reporter: they're putting more emphasis on selling to rail operators in europe. they also want to push their products in emerging areas like india and our southeast asian countries. and they call their large-scale deal in the uk an important milestone in a competitive transportation industry. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world. data announced in europe show concern for deflation is increasing. and yuko fukushima has more on that from our business desk. so yuko what's going on? >> gene those figures out today highlight how weak the economy is in that region. because we're hearing that inflation in the eurozone moved in to minus territory in december. this is the first time in more than five years the figure has turned negative. officials at euro stat the statistical office of the european union released a preliminary figure for december.
the rate was minus 0.2% compared with a year ago. that's down from plus 0.3% in november. inflation was pushed down by a fall in oil prices. a slower rate of increase in the cost of food also contributed. analysts say the european central bank is now under increased pressure to introduce additional monetary easing measures. the office also released the unemployment rate for the region in november. the figure stood at 11.5%, and changed from october. taking a look at the markets now, first from the world of foreign exchange, the euro showed no significant moves against other major currencies although the falling consumer price was bigger than expectations. the common currency has been at a nine-year low against the dollar since the beginning of tokyo trading. and it is still changing hands at 1.1852-53. the euro is also moving in a narrow change against the yen. many traders have already factored in the fall in consumer prices. meanwhile, share prices in
europe are rising. london's ftse is up almost 1%. frankfurt's dax is also up 1.15% trading at 9,578, and paris' cac 40 is up 1.3% trading at 4,139. and analysts say many investors are betting the weak inflation data will prompt a further monetary boost from the ecb. and earlier in asia tokyo's nikkei managed to snap its four-day losing streak but tumbling crude prices still weigh on the resource heavy australian market. the benchmark index there was down 0.2%. electronics firms from around the world are showing off their latest gadgets at the international consumer electronics show in las vegas. leading electronics companies, as well as carmakers, are exhibiting cutting-edge technologies. more than 3500 firms are taking part in the biggest event of its kind in the world. officials from sony unveiled a
new 4k ultrahigh definition tv set. it has a liquid crystal display that's only 4.9 millimeters thick. sony says that's the thinnest in the world. panasonic expanded its offerings for corporate clients. the company is displaying a system that allows smartphone users to access information by swiping their phone over a reader. data transmission is by l.e.d. and the system is aimed at public facilities. >> translator: this event is a great opportunity for us. we can show off our technology and craftsmanship across a variety of fields. >> ten automakers are also showing off their latest models. people from toyota are displaying fuel cell vehicles. the company says it will share patents on hydrogen fuel cell technology with other automakers free of charge. people attending the show also got a firsthand look at some unmanned drones. the market for drones is
expected to grow. they can be used for various purposes, such as aerial photography. two of japan's biggest oil distributors are teaming up to battle shrinking demand for gasoline. cosmo oil have launched a new company to jointly run some of their refineries. the company will use a pipeline to connect existing factories near tokyo. the plants produce gasoline and other products. analysts are expected a long-term slide in japanese demand for gasoline. they say cars have better fuel efficiency and the population is getting smaller. officials of the industry ministry have been urging oil distributors to take action. and that's all for now in business. i'll leave you with the latest market figures.
supporters of japan's largest opposition political group are preparing to go to the polls. they'll choose a new leader after losing in last month's general election. and they'll now decide on who they think best rebuild the democratic party in japan. more from nhk world's tomoko kamata. >> reporter: three senior officials of the democratic party of japan filed papers on wednesday to enter the leadership race that will be held on january 18th. former house and labor minister akira nagatsuma, former party secretary-general goshi hosono.
and acting president katsuya okada all say they'll revive the party. they say they'll counter abe's giant ruling coalition in the diet. >> translator: people desperately want a stable strong and large political party that could take over from the liberal democratic party. the dpj must respond to that demand. >> translator: unfortunately we have lost the people's trust. i consider this election the last chance to revive the dpj. and i vow to rebuild it. >> reporter: the dpj became the ruling party for the first time ever in 2009. but the party faced with a major setback after abe's liberal democratic party and its junior coalition komeito won back the power in 2012. in last month's lower house election, the dpj gained 73
seats. that's 11 more than its pre-election strength but still fell way short of reaching a majority. even outgoing dpj president banri kay he'd today could not secure his seat. he announced immediately after the results that he would step down. >> translator: voters were saying that abe's administration should not be allowed to have so much power. but we failed to respond to the public's expectations. >> reporter: some party members argued that they should consider merging with other opposition groups to tackle with the overwhelming majority of the ruling party. >> translator: we secured 20 more seats in the diet but we're still short in numbers. i think we have to aim for a united front with other opposition groups. we should closely consider whether there is any common political ground and then take
flexible measures. >> reporter: all three candidates now have less than two weeks to campaign. they'll be looking to secure as many votes as they can before dpj supporters cast their ballots. tomoko kamata nhk world. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has said his administration will maintain a stance of past cabinets on historical issues. the pledge will be included in a statement he'll deliver on the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. now officials have begun choosing experts to sit on a panel that will work out the exact content of the address. >> translator: i will bring together the wisdom of the people to reflect on the war. the path japan has taken post-war, as a pacifist nation and what contributions it can make to the asia pacific region, or the world.
>> officials say they'll finalize the panel's membership as early as this month. it will include historians and senior media figures, and some will be women. in 1995 then-prime minister tomiichi murayama expressed deep remorse and heartfelt apology for japan's colonial rule in wartime aggression. the 1993 statement by the chief cabinet secretary expressed sincere apologies and remorse to those referred to as comfort women. abe says his government will inherit those views. the united states announced its support of the decision. >> we welcome prime minister abe's comments yesterday, including the positive message on history issues and japan's post-war contributions to peace. we believe that strong and constructive relations between countries in the region promotes peace and stability, and are in the interest of both the countries, as well as the united states.
>> u.s. officials have encouraged japanese leaders to continue work to improve relations with china and south korea. people in the united states are preparing for what could be a rocky political ride. republicans have taken full control of congress following their victory last year in the midterm elections. they acknowledge there's room for agreement with the democrats. but, they've made it clear they won't back away from plans to derail some of president obama's policies. nhk world's craig dale reports. >> the senate will come to order. >> reporter: u.s. vice president joe biden ushered in a new era for american politics. one that could prove even more divisive. >> please raise your right hand. >> reporter: he swore in lawmakers in the senate a chamber the republicans now control. senator mitch mcconnell's leadership. >> we recognize the enormity of
the task before us. we know a lot of hard work awaits. we know many important opportunities await, as well. >> reporter: the republicans also control the house of representatives. john boehner won a third term as speaker, despite a challenge from within his party. 25 more conservative members voted against him, some believing he hasn't done enough to fight president barack obama's policies. boehner appeared unfazed. >> the battle of ideas never ends, and frankly, never should. as speaker, i'll ask, and frankly expect is that we disagree without being disagreeable. >> reporter: he spoke of finding common ground between republicans and democrats, as did obama. >> there will be some pitch battles but i'm also confident that there are enormous areas of potential agreement. >> reporter: but many are focused on areas where the two parties will likely disagree. the republicans are expected to work to undermine obama's health
care program. they want to chip away at the immigration reforms he implemented using his executive authority. they'll likely wrangle with the democrats over the debt ceiling. and they're focused on passing an energy bill that would approve a canada to texas oil pipeline. >> this is about building the infrastructure that we need to build a comprehensive energy plan for this country. >> reporter: but a number of americans are opposed to the project. they call it a carbon bomb and argue it would only add to global warming. obama is against it too. >> i can confirm for you that if this bill passes this congress, the president wouldn't sign it, either. >> reporter: the parties are also expected to clash on cuba. many republicans disagree with obama's plan to normalize relations with the communist country. they point to cuba's human rights record as one major reason diplomatic ties should not be restored. administration officials continue to defend the plan and continue to highlight a promise by president raul castro to release political prisoners.
>> there are many components of why this new -- our new approach to cuba is going to help civil society, help human rights activists, help the human rights community in cuba. >> reporter: all of these issues will play out in the coming months. the republicans may possess more power than they've had in eight years but on cuba immigration and other priorities president obama has shown he's willing to use his executive authority to put his plans into play. still, he says there's room for the two sides to make significant progress. they'll start the discussions next week when he meets top leaders from both parties at the white house. craig dale, nhk world. winter continues its grip over northern japan leading to lots of snow and high winds. our meteorologist jonathan oh has the details. jonathan? >> hello, gene yes. we are keeping an eye out for this low pressure system that's continued to usher in some loads
of snowfall especially for the northern tohoku region and also into hokkaido. i want to show you some video coming out of aomori prefecture. gives you an idea that winter wonderland, but also a bit of a headache in the process, as well. where fierce winds, and significant snowfall are coming on the residents in northern japan. warnings for heavy snow winds and high waves are in effect in hokkaido gusts up to 155 kilometers per hour were reported wednesday afternoon. now as high as three meters of snow is on the ground in aomori prefecture and authorities are advising people to stay on the alert for avalanches and snow related accidents because on top of the fact that the snow is falling, it's not necessarily snow that compacts very easily which means it can also move along very easily in the process, and that's where the danger can take place. so please make sure you're aware of the situation especially as this low pressure system continues to bring in the sea-effect snow along the mountains, and the northern portions of japan. on top of that the windy
conditions, not only is the low bringing this chilly air but the high pressure located over northeastern china, those two interacting with each other really blowing the winds down here and really suppressing the temperatures in the process. the snow will continue though as we go in to thursday. i think eventually this low will depart from the area but until then this is going to be staying around for a bit. cold temperatures are really starting to take a hold of northern china and also into the korean peninsula. we're looking at temperature highs of negative 1 in seoul coming up on thursday. a high of 9 degrees in tokyo. back over toward beijing a high of 6. and ulan bator, negative 10 is what we're expecting for the high coming up on thursday. so definitely continuing to stay warm in these conditions because it is going to stay chilly. now, speaking of chilly weather, we're seeing a changeover for the deep south as we look at north america. what's happening in the united states, we have the jet stream dipping far down toward the south which means it's opening the door for all this cold air to seep down all the way into
places like jacksonville, florida. we're looking at windchill values down to negative 10 degrees celsius. that means on top of the fact that temperatures are going to be chilly the wind is going to start kicking up and so some places like in southern portions of south carolina you'll even see these chilly conditions. you'll feel that way, at least and further up north as you go the winds will interact with the chilly temperatures, and we're looking at some areas feeling like negative 40 degrees celsius by wednesday night. places like new york look at this, we are seeing these very cold windchill value temperatures expected. it's going to feel like negative 33 as we go throughout the day wednesday, and into wednesday night in chicago. so you definitely will need to bundle up. the actual temperature for the high as we go through wednesday, negative 17. some snow mixing in with some windy conditions. negative 20 in winnipeg. notice the high in atlanta, only 4 degrees with sunny skies as we go through wednesday. winter still making its presence known also into europe. we have a low pressure system located in the northern atlantic
bringing in very windy and wet conditions. high pressure down toward the south, we have another low over turkey and moving into the middle east. and because of that we're looking at some snow for places like ankara and also to istanbul as we go throughout the day. so, be prepared for some chilly weather as we go throughout wednesday. stay warm, hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
e of carnage as described by some witnesses. the report say multiple gunmen -- the numbers are still unsure -- went into charlie hebdo, the satirical magazine, and started shooting. 10 people dead, five injured critically injured. what is the latest? >> francois hollande has been speaking to the media over the last number of minutes. he moved back down toward the offices. he was standing in t