the headlines for this hour. japan's defense minister says work to relocate a u.s. base in okinawa will go on despite opposition from the prefectural governor. the president of indonesia is in japan with a message for business people joko widodo wants them to help his country expand its economy. and the president of
afghanistan is on his first visit to the united states since taking office. a trip aimed at repairing and rebooting relations. japan's defense minister is standing firm on moving a u.s. air base in okinawa. jen nakatani says in order to suspend relocation work won't change anything. >> translator: i was not aware of any problems in the procedures leading up to the survey. so the governor will continue with the plan. >> nakatani says he wants people in okinawa to understand that it's important to move the futenma air station from a heavily populated area. he says it's necessary for national security and to reduce the burden on the prefecture. okinawa governor takashi onaga says the survey work has probably damaged coral reefs. he told the regional bureau of
the defense ministry on monday to suspend survey work. onaga says if ministry officials don't cooperate, he will revoke a marine drilling permit the previous governor issued. about 80 people protested next to the site of the planned base. >> translator: i am infuriated by the government's move. >> the protesters say they won't give up until their demands are met. a u.s. state department official has urged japan to stick with the original plan for the relocation of the base. >> construction of the replacement facility is a meaningful result of many years of sustained work between the u.s. and japan. it's also a critical step toward realizing our shared vision for the realignment of u.s. forces on okinawa. >> the spokesperson added that the u.s. believes the construction on the facility will proceed as planned.
japanese prime minister shinzo abe is preparing to head to washington on a visit focused on deepening trade and military ties. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga announced abe's itinerary. he revealed the prime minister will visit the u.s. for eight days late next month. >> translator: abe's next visit to the united states will be of great significance showing the world the strength of the japan/u.s. alliance. >> abe is expected to become the first japanese prime minister in more than five decades to address congress. he would be the first to address a joint session of the senate and house of representatives. abe is expected to discuss various issues with president barack obama including revisions to the u.s./japan defense cooperation guidelines, and negotiations for the trans-pacific partnership.
the president of indonesia is visiting japan for the first time. joko widodo asked business leaders in tokyo to invest more in his country. nhk world's chie yamagishi reports how japan and indonesia are trying to strengthen their ties. >> reporter: some 1500 japanese companies were doing business in indonesia as of march 2014. joko told the people at the forum in tokyo that he wants japanese firms to increase their presence in his country, and help build infrastructure. >> translator: i assure you that the political situation in indonesia is stable. i want people in japan to invest more in our country.
>> reporter: joko told people at the forum that indonesia, with almost 250 million people has a booming economy. he wants foreign investors to widen their focus from urban areas to the rest of the country. a business leader said japan can do a lot more. >> translator: we'd like to offer japanese technologies, know-how and experience to indonesia. we want to help develop infrastructure and financial systems, and train people to work in advanced industries. >> reporter: joko and prime minister shinzo abe met on monday. they agreed to promote economic cooperation and maritime security. >> translator: we reaffirmed that the two countries, both maritime and democratic nations in asia will further strengthen our mutually beneficial partnership.
>> translator: indonesia is a big country. it has a great deal of potential. >> japanese government officials are stressing what indonesia and japan have in common to ensure a lasting partnership. chie yamagishi, nhk world, tokyo. now, let's go on to business news. experts seem to be looking at another driving force behind asia's economy. here's ron madison for details. >> yeah that's right, miki. analysts at the asian development bank predicting asia's economy will continue to grow by 6.3% in 2015. that's the same rate as last year. they say china's slowdown will be offset by improvements in india and southeast asia. now the officials released their forecast for 45 countries and territories for this year. their growth rate estimate does not include japan and some other advanced economies in the region, though. they say with real estate investment in china sluggish
the economic slowdown there will continue this year. analysts say growth in china may slow to 7.2% this year down 0.2 percentage points from last year. but the adb officials say india's economy will grow 7.8% in fiscal 2015. that would be up 0.4 points from 2014. and they say india's investment environment has improved under the reforms of prime minister narendra modi. economists at adb urged countries in the region to reform their economies while crude oil prices are low. they say that that will help the countries brace for a time when prices rebound. let's get a check of the markets now. tokyo stocks ending slightly lower today on what was apparently some profit taking. the bench mark nikkei closing down 0.2% 19,713. now the index had been inching ever closer to that key 20,000 mark. but it finished in the negative for the first time in three trading days. we had china's weak pmi data, also dampening investor
sentiment. the shanghai composite fell today after the release of those pmi figures. it did reverse the losses and managed to close in the positive up just about 0.1% 3,691. the index has extended its winning streak to ten days. and sydney prices there rose 0.2% ending at 5,969. the index was hovering just below the key 6,000 mark. resources and energy related shares were up on firmer commodity prices. let's see how the rest of the region finished out today. we saw china's weak factory data also weighing on hong kong. the index fell 0.4%. south korea's kospi seeing gains of 0.2% closing at a six-month high. well japan's finance minister taro aso has expressed a cautious stance on japan joining a new international development bank proposed by china. aso was referring to the asian infrastructure investment bank or aiib. it will provide support for countries in asia.
>> translator: it's not clear how the new bank will manage its operations including the decision process for investments and loans. so we need to take a very cautious stance on participation. >> aso said many people agree that some asian countries need more infrastructure. he said if transparency is established regarding the way the new bank will operate, the aiib, and the existing asian development bank, led by japan and the u.s. should cooperate. but he said it will be difficult to do so if the rules are different between the two banks. 33 nations, including britain, germany, and france have announced their intention to participate. meanwhile, people in the u.s. administration are changing their tone on the chinese project. treasury undersecretary for international affairs nathan sheets released a comment on the proposed bank. he said the u.s. would back the fund if it strengthened support for developing countries. sheets said the bank could help promote high quality standards by co-financing projects with the world bank or the asian development bank. senior officials from japan
and the u.s. are again trying to narrow their differences on the trans-pacific partnership free trade deal. they're back at the negotiating table, and are focusing now on tariffs for auto parts. japan's ambassador for economic diplomacy takeo mori is in washington for the talks. wendy cutler america's acting deputy trade representative is also there taking part. japanese negotiators demand the prompt removal of u.s. tariffs on auto parts. u.s. officials want to be able to restore the tariffs if japan keeps its market closed. lawmakers in the u.s. are debating a bill that would give president barack obama greater authority to negotiate trade deals. some strongly oppose the bill though. they say the trade deal will weaken the competitiveness of u.s.-made goods and rob american workers of jobs. negotiate ares worry that debate could further delay the tpp talks involving all 12 participating countries. well the people at a chinese state-owned enterprise are set to take control of a 143-year-old italian manufacturing icon. checkives at china national
chemical or chemchina as it's known have agreed to acquire the tiremaker pirelli. the executives say they've struck a deal with pirelli's major shareholders to buy all of the company's stock and pay just about $7.8 billion to complete the takeover. analysts say the firm wants to use pirelli to gain more access to european markets and manufacturing technology. officials at pirelli can use chemchina's sales channels to expand their profits in asia where they face some pretty stiff competition from japan's bridgestone, and france's michelin. well a healthy staple of the korean diet many of the benefits are believed to lie in a distinctive type of lactic acid bacteria. now some south korean firms have extracted the bacteria and using it to launch some new businesses. nhk world tells us more about that. >> reporter: south koreans eat kimchi at almost every meal. the dish is high in nutritional
value but what's drawing attention lately is a particular aspect of kimchi. its lactic acid bacteria. a professor at seoul national university has been studying the bacteria for almost 30 years. he says the lactic acid bacteria found in kimchi is special at improving the human intestinal environment than that found in other food products. >> translator: lactic acid bacteria from kimchi has much higher resistance to acid compared to that derived from dairy products. >> reporter: the professor says that when the bacteria pass through the digestive tract most are killed by stomach acids. but the bacteria that come from kimchi are more likely to reach your gut alive.
these microflora play the role of boosting good intestinal bacteria and reducing bad bacteria, such as e. coli. four years ago, he set up a business venture and started to develop products based on kimchi derived lactic acid bacteria. this concentrated lactic acid bacteria supplement can be consumed easily by dissolving it in water, or sprinkling it on salads or other dishes. salt continuing 1 billion kimchi lactic acid bacteria per kilogram is used to season this seaweed. the professor plans to export it to japan and the u.s. this year. kimchi contains several types of lactic acid bacteria. some are even used to treat skin conditions. at drugstores this supplement is a popular treatment for skin
diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. the supplements kimchi derived lactic acid bacteria is said to be effective in restoring immune system balance in the intestines. the product's developer says 70% of the human body's immune cells are concentrated in the gut. he says when intestinal balance is lost the body overreacts to any stimulus causing severe itching or other symptoms. >> translator: three months after this 10-year-old child began taking our supplement his hypersensitive immune reaction was reduced, and his skin situation improved. >> reporter: the food company where kim is based began sending the supplement commercially last year. it now has monthly sales of around $1 million.
>> translator: i want to explain exactly how kimchi lactic acid bacteria is good for the body to people around the world. so they can consume our health functional foods with confidence. in the future i hope to develop pharmaceutical products, as well. >> reporter: will the health benefits from kimchi spread? time will tell but in this increasingly health conscious world, the two companies are confident. kim chan-ju, nhk world, seoul. okay. that is going to wrap it up for biz this hour. let's get you a check of the markets.
the president of afghanistan says he wants his people to take responsibility for their own destiny, but ashraf ghani admits he'll need the help of a key ally for years to come. he's in the united states to meet president obama and top officials to work out a new plan that will help his country transition from war to peace. nhk world's craig dale has details. >> thank you for allowing us to remove the ties. >> reporter: afghan president ashraf ghani provided a bit of brevity ahead of a long day of discussions with top u.s. officials. some results of the talks were immediately clear, including a multibillion dollar plan to support afghan security forces. >> the defense department intends to seek funding for
afghan forces to sustain an end strength of 352,000 personnel through 2017. >> reporter: long-term results, however, will be much harder to achieve. >> a stable afghanistan, democratic afghanistan, connected afghanistan, afghanistan which is not a burden on its partners. >> reporter: overall these high-level meetings are about giving u.s./afghan relations a much-needed reboot and putting afghanistan in control of its future. nearly 14 years of war have taken a toll. more than 2200 american soldiers died fighting taliban insurgents. some were killed by the afghan forces they were training. the majority of combat troops pulled out at the end of last year, but about 10,000 remain and could stay there well into next year. afghans, though, continue to shoulder much of the conflict's burden. nearly 4,000 civilians died last year alone, a 22% increase from 2013.
diplomatic divisions have also strained bilateral relations. president obama and his team were at odds with former president hamid karzai. they've been buoyed by the election of ashraf ghani and buoyed by the tone he's setting. again and again on this visit he's expressed gratitude to the u.s. for its support, and to american forces for their sacrifices. >> our army corps have changed fundamentally as a result of contracting with you. >> reporter: ghani has also outlined the challenges his unity government faces from corruption to widespread poverty to gender disparities. case in point, the fatal beating of a woman last week by a mob of men in kabul, following false allegations she burned a copy of the koran. then there's security. the taliban remains a threat even as u.s. and afghan officials try to work out a framework for peace talks. more bloodshed is expected with the arrival of spring known as the fighting season. the islamic state group is a
problem, too. it spread its tentacles from syria and iraq to afghanistan. still, despite the hurdles ahead, u.s. secretary of state john kerry spoke of the progress that's been made over the years. >> life expectancy has risen by 20 years. health care access has increased dramatically. >> reporter: and millions more children are in schools, he says. 40% of them girls. these meetings are about building on that progress but fundamentally, they're about creating a funding framework that will depend on specific reforms. >> this is a framework that will incentivize the afghan public and the afghan government to put our house in order. >> reporter: president ghani says that means afghans need to own their problems and solve them. but he's well aware this won't happen overnight and will require some sort of u.s. military presence in the coming years. they'll talk about that with president obama before heading to new york to meet the u.n. secretary-general. craig dale, nhk world.
u.s. senator ted cruz has announced his intention to run for president. he becomes the first major republican politician to officially enter the race for his party's nomination. >> i believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to re-ignite the promise of america. and that is why today i am announcing that i'm running for president of the united states. >> cruz launched his campaign in the southern state of virginia. he's 44 years old, and represents the state of texas. he's backed by the conservative tea party movement, and has strongly opposed president barack obama's health care and immigration policies. several other republicans are expected to announce their candidacy in the coming weeks. they include former florida governor jeb bush who is the brother of former president
george w. bush and wisconsin governor scott walker. attention in the democratic party is focused on former secretary of state hillary clinton. she's considered a heavy favorite to become the party's nominee. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is getting ready to move ahead following the victory of his likud party in last week's election. his next job is to form a coalition government. the president is expected to ask netanyahu as early as tuesday to put together a cabinet. the president has been speaking with the leaders of political parties, and confirmed that support for the prime minister to retain his post exceeds the 61-seat threshold for a majority in parliament. likud won the election by securing 30 seats. analysts say netanyahu is likely to build a coalition with far right and religious parties, along with a center right party
of former likud members. the new government is expected to be launched as early as next month. the international community is keeping a close watch on developments. netanyahu drew criticism from officials in the united states and elsewhere in the final days of his election campaign. he said a palestinian state would not be established on his watch. people in south korea are preparing to mark the fifth anniversary of the sinking of a warship in the yellow sea. south korean leaders say a north korean submarine torpedoed the vessel. pyongyang has again denied it was responsible. >> a torpedo struck the cheonon on march 26th, 2010. 46 crew members died.
an international investigation concluded that north korea was behind the attack. it's time now for world weather with our meteorologist sayaka mori. sigh aceh northern japan is like they're back in midwinter being battered by severe cold and heavy snow. what's the latest? >> yes miki. late march, but still winter is gripping northern japan. you can see rotating cloud in the north. that's driving colder air from the north, creating sea-effect snow mainly for the sea of japan side of the country. actually, 40 centimeters of snow has fallen in parts of the fukushima prefecture and gusts of about 100 kilometers per hour reported in the top end of hokkaido. the low pressure system is actually starting to pull away from japan so the peak is over but heavy snow and strong winds will likely continue at least into wednesday morning. an additional 60 centimeters of snow mainly for the hokuriku region but very stronger gusts and visibility will be very low
and also thunderstorms could happen, as well as snow across northern parts of japan. the conditions will improve on wednesday so that's good news. and across the southern half of the country, dry weather continues, and because of the warm-up, actually cherry blossoms are blooming in several places including tokyo. in tokyo, the peak will be next tuesday. so let's look forward to that. and i think the flowers will come out in sapporo by march 1st. and i think early blooming is likely to occur across many parts of south korea. now dry weather continues over south korea, dry weather advisory is in place so watch out when you use fire. the rain is increasing over the eastern areas of taiwan the philippines, as well as the eastern areas of vietnam. now, temperatures are actually 33 in bangkok with daytime thundershowers. meanwhile, 14 degrees in tokyo, a little bit chilly compared to average in sapporo with sunny weather on wednesday. now across the southern hemisphere we have nathan but
nathan is actually now a low pressure system. it has been with us for about two weeks. but it's now a low pressure system. however, it's still packing lots of moisture. enough to cause flooding rainfall for the northern end of northern territory for the next three days or so. so watch out for flooding. and across the south, a band of thundershowers is passing through new south wales. we have severe weather alerts posted at this moment. watch out for large hailstones as well and a new system will come in to victoria as well as tasmania on thursday. now across the united states winter system affected chicago on monday. hundreds of flights were canceled, and also traffic disturbances occurred in chicago on that day. we have video coming out of chicago. take a look. a spring snowstorm drove through the midwestern united states on monday. the system brought about 15 centimeters of snow in some parts of chicago. this led to various traffic
accidents and transportation delays. illinois officials had to dispatch more than 200 snow plows and de-icing trucks. it's likely more snow will roll through later this week. right now a high pressure system is settling in so dry weather at this moment. but a new system will be moving in that will provide rainfall in chicago and also a threat of freezing rain for the south of the great lakes region. cold air will meet with warmer air, so severe weather could happen over the mid part of the united states. watch out for large hail as well as damaging winds. now, temperaturewise, still on the warm side across the south, chilly, though in the north. and temperatures will be actually up and down as we go into the next several days. chicago up to 12 degrees on wednesday, and then go back to the single digit on thursday with snow. here's the extended forecast.
host: a call for international help from human as fears of a civil war growth. and delaying the international museum of tunis of last week's deadly terrorist attack that left 20 one people dead. in the greek prime minister is in berlin. alexis tsipras trying to reach a deal with lenders. those are the top stories is our. thanks for joining us. first, growing concerns of an outbreak of civil war in human, forcing out the government. they are now advancing toward the southern port