conditions. >> japan's prime minister hailed a new chapter in his alliance with the u.s. shinzo abe is the first japanese leader to address a joint session of congress. >> the prime minister of japan. [ applause ] >> the congress welcomed him with a standing ovation. >> we must make the vast seas stretching from the pacific to the indian oceans seas of peace and freedom. where all follow the rule of law. [ applause ] for that very reason, we must fortify the u.s./japan alliance.
that is our responsibility. >> abe said japan is working to enhance the legislative foundations for its security, which includes proposed laws that will allow the country to exercise its rights to collective self-defense. he says japan will realize these reforms by this summer. and he also touched on historical issues. >> post-war, we started out on our part bearing in mind feelings of deep remorse over the war. our actions brought suffering to the people, peoples in asian countries.
we must not avert our eyes from that. i will uphold the views expressed by the previous prime ministers in this regard. >> abe said japan will be more committed to peace and stability in the world, and he stressed the importance of preserving the concept of human security. >> armed conflict made women suffer the most. in our age, we must realize the kind of world where finally women are free from human rights abuses. [ applause ] >> abe also referred to his economic agenda, including the trans-pacific partnership negotiations.
he said japan and the u.s. must take the lead in talks involving the nations in the asia-pacific. >> as for u.s./japan negotiations, the goal is near. let us bring the tpp to successful conclusion through our joint leadership. [ applause ] >> abe said the countries must take the initiative in building a fair, dynamic and sustainable market that's free from the arbitrary intentions of any nation. he concluded his 45-minute speech by calling the bond between the two countries an alliance of hope. >> let the two of us, america and japan, join our hands together and do our best to make the world a better, a much better place to live.
alliance of hope, together we can make difference. thank you so much! [ applause ] prime minister abe's speech was largely welcomed at capitol hill but it also triggered some criticism from japan's neighbors. nhk has the report. >> reporter: u.s. ambassador to japan, caroline kennedy spoke about abe's description of his visit to a world war ii memorial saying she found his words to be powerful. and she referred to his remark that he's committed to upholding statements about the world made by the previous prime minister. >> this speech was to the american congress primarily. but i think he did touch on the region and relations and i know he's committed to improving
relations with japan's neighbors. >> reporter: democratic congressman steve cohen said abe clearly expressed the importance of the u.s./japan alliance. cohen also welcomed abe's comments about the past. >> i think his recognition of the deaths and the sorrow that world war ii caused of historic and appropriate and his reference to women was also appropriate, and while he may could have gone further, he went a goodly distance and to be commended. >> reporter: china's state-run television was critical about abe's description. it said japan offered no apology for its participation. media was critical. a newspaper in seoul said abe's direct mention of the conflict
in women and remarks about women in armed conflicts. it said he tried to mask historical issues. japanese chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said abe's speech was meaningful. >> translator: the prime minister clearly presented his view that japan bears in mind feelings of deep remorse and that japan must not avert its eyes from the fact that its actions brought suffering to the peoples in asian countries. and he shares the views of past prime ministers. his speech clearly conveys these messages. >> reporter: the speech is considered a trial run for abe's statements to be issued this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. he is expected to finalize the content of his statement after closely examining international
reaction. >> thanks for that report. people in rural nepal are growing frustrated with the slow pace of relief efforts. they've been waiting for supplies since saturday's powerful earthquake. the 7.8 magnitude quake destroyed homes, buildings and heritage sites. the tremor triggered avalanches on mt. everest. authorities say 5491 died in nepal. deaths in india and china bring the total number of dead over 5,500. people northeast of the capital kathmandu said they received only a small amount of food from police and army personnel. many residents are sheltering in makeshift tents. some are falling ill due to cold weather and unsanitary living conditions. nhk spoke with an official of the world food program in nepal.
he said people are still in fear of after shocks. >> yesterday we could feel them. they are decreasing in number but still there. it's causing problems to people who psychologically have been hit hard and they don't want to come back to their homes. some really don't have a home to come back. rescue was priority, but after this first phase of emergency, food water, sanitation health these are the main areas in which people need assistance. >> he says heavy rain is slowing the delivery of medical relief and rescue activities. now here to add a business perspective on things is gene otani. >> thank you very much.
policymakers at the bank of japan have been trying to reach unanimous affiliation target of 2% but they are finding it to be an elusive goal. now they say they might not have reached the target until fiscal 2016. members of the boj's policy board held a one day meeting on thursday and released their latest outlook on economic activity and prices. they say the inflation rate for the fiscal year ending next march will be 0.8% down 2.0 from the previous and expect to hit the 2% mark sometime around the first half of fiscal 2016. the steep drop in the cost of crude oil and slow recovery in personal spending is keeping inflation low but officials say form prices will start to rise more quickly towards the end of the year as the effect of the oil plunge is expected to ease. policymakers have maintained a large scale monetary easing program since april 2013. they had forecast reaching the
2% target this fiscal year. boj governor said after the meeting that he sees no need for additional easing measures for now but he didn't rule them out. >> translator: if we see that the underlying trend for commodity prices changes we won't hesitate to make an adjustment to our monetary policy. >> the policymakers decided to maintain the current measures will help to achieve the target. >> investors have delivered the biggest one day loss for japanese stocks this year. many are on edge after seeing weak growth figures out of the u.s. they found nothing in the boj's latest announcement to ease their concerns. they stripped nearly 2.7% from the nikkei average to take it to close at 19,520. still over the month of april
the nikkei average finished up 1.6%. investors also delivered losses to other markets in the region. the shanghai kpom possiblecomposite shed 0.78 prsz. but it's ahead for the month. sidney was down more than 0.83% to list lowest close since mid-february. the main index posted its biggest monthly loss for the year and after hitting a seven year high. in other markets of asia-pacific region hong kong did 0.94% on profit taking but ahead for the month climbing 13%. seoul slipped 0.72%. and a look at indonesian stocks continued to fall ending the day down by almost .4 of a percent. executives at sony say they are seeing a turn around in their
business. they expect the group's net balance in fiscal 2015 to be in the black for the first time in three years. executives are forecasting a net profit of about $1.2 billion for the year. they released figures for fiscal 2014. they say operating profits more than doubled from the previous year to about $580 million. sony had success in stream lining its television business. that division returned to the black for the first time in 11 years but the company took a loss on sluggish sales of smartphones and booked a net loss of about $1 billion. sony officials say their efforts to restructure low performing divisions are paying off and expect to see growth in their image sensor and game console businesses. executives at mcdonald's holdings japan have come up with an action plan to make sure their food safe. they developed new guidelines in response to a series of cases of customers finding foreign
objects. sales fell at the chain after the incidents. company officials worked on the plan with outside experts. they will continue result with administrative agencies when a customer reports a foreign object and decide whether to make the information public. the previous rules required them to make an announcement only if the incident might pose a widespread health risk. foreign tourists in japan spent a record amount in march. this shopping spree is now supporting the country's economy. officials say foreign visitors paid nearly $6 billion for accomodation and shopping. that's a jump of more than 64% in yen terms from a year ago. agency officials say the growth is due to an expanded list of tax-free items. they also point to a surge in chinese tourists during the lunar new year holidays. they top the spending with $2.3
billion. next came people from taiwan with about $900 million. and then south koreans at $610 million. the average consumption per person grew 14 pierce to $1440. the chinese are also number one at $2,500. that includes $1490 for shopping. japan's prime minister abe and u.s. president obama agreed at their summit talk to work for an early conclusion of a trade pact. experts say they had a chance to end the negotiations between two countries but reaching a broad agreement was not so easy.
>> reporter: prime minister abe is visiting the united states hoping to strengthen summit ties. they tried to narrow the gap between the two countries in the tpp negotiations. but they still have homework to do. >> i think u.s. officials were able to make arrangement and it's an area where japan couldn't make any more concessions. so they had to make arrangements domestically for a smooth negotiation but failed to do so. >> reporter: he said the prolonged negotiations could affect the tpp negotiations among 12 countries. >> this could have future impact with other countries as they missed a golden opportunity to send a clear message of the u.s.
firm commitment to finalize the tpp negotiation. emerging countries such as malaysia and vietnam may keep or harden their attitude in their area of intellectual property like for new drugs and state-owned enterprises. they could use japan as kind of an excuse for not making concessions. >> he warns if the negotiations become dead locked the u.s. would not only fail to reach an agreement that benefits americans, but also lose its influence in asia. >> there's a chance that itchina will become more influential. it's expected to solve the slow decision-making process but concern lies among the transparency of business skills
as well as adverse effect on the environmental measures because of china's leadership. japan is to reconsider whether to join the aaib because world economic environment has changed. prime minister abe may face a new challenge in his political and economic policies. >> reporter: japan and the u.s. still have differences to iron out. the goal to reach a deal for both sides to find satisfactory grows more urgent with the passage of time. that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
more an more americans are protesting what they see as unjustified police violence. they are showing their outrage over the death of a black man injured in custody in baltimore. they demonstrated there and in new york. hundreds gathered in. manhattan's union square. some spilled into the street. reports say 60 got arrested. the protesters are angry about police treatment of a black man named freddie gray. he suffered spinal injuries this month and died. >> i've been protesting since ferguson happened. and this incident in baltimore
is devastating and the thing is that, you know i don't feel like this country is looking at things the right way. >> we have to do something. we just can't sit around and have everything happen the same way. we have to do something. >> police in baltimore arrested 18 people the same day. they've been trying to contain violent protests. city leaders had declared a state of emergency. police officials say they are investigating freddie gray's death. they've not said when they will make their findings public. the people in charge of major league baseball took an unusual step to keep fans safe. they had the baltimore orioles play the chicago white sox without spectators. u.s. media saying no other major league game has ever been played in an empty stadium. a court in tokyo sentenced a former member of the aum shinrikyo cult to life in prison for his role in the 1995 sarin gas attack on the tokyo subway system. the tokyo district court
presiding judge said on thursday that he played a role in the attack and said the group was going release the toxic gas. the judge said when the 57-year-old man drove one of the perpetrators to a subway station he knew the attack could result in many deaths. the sarin attack killed 13 people and injured 6300 others. the court also found him guilty in three other cases including an attack using toxic vx gas and abduction and confinement of a tokyo notary clerk. he contested all the charges. he denied that he knew the other cult members were going release sarin. he was arrested in 2012 after being on the run for 17 years. he's the last in a series of trials for the subway system attack. death sentences have been finalized for ten other former aum cult leaders.
shoko asahara is among them. three others who drove the perpetrators have been sentenced to life in prison. their sentences have also been finalized. japan's coast guard officials say three chinese government ships entered the waters off soiled. the ships left after about two hours. the officials say the patrol ships entered the waters just after 10:00 a.m. then they moved out to the contyingous zone outside of japan waters. they warned them not to enter japan's territory again. this is the 12th day this year for such intrusion. japan controls the islands. china and taiwan claim them. parts of poland were pelted with heavy rainfall as jonathan
oh from our weather desk tells us in this hour's weather update. >> it looks like we'll see an improvement at least for a day or so as high pressure moves into poland but before that happens we had a system moving through central portions of europe and then it arrived over poland during the day tuesday into wednesday, finally moving off towards russia but not without leaving a trail of water and lots of it. let me show you video. this was the scene in southern poland tuesday following heavy rainfall with a passing storm system. now a few locations flooding took place added up to over 60 millimeters in a 24 hour span. you can see here that the water flooded numerous homes and businesses. some roadways looking like rivers as the water spilled through the towns. some had to travel by boats or skip along the top of the water if at all possible where the cars should be rolling around. it looks like as i mentioned high pressure moving in so we're
seeing an improvement. sunny skies in place at least for next day or so. but there's going to be a change coming up soon. the reason why. we had a low pressure system moving out of the united kingdom and that's expanding to the east along with an intended cold front. that's going to bring plenty of rainfall once again. going to take a day or so before it progresses towards poland but i think by thursday we're looking at mainly a dry forecast for the eastern side of europe at least for warsaw with a high of 15 and that cold front will bring showers to us know and kiev and back towards the west the system that's coming onshore will bring rain to berlin and 20s only going to seem close to the mediterranean coast. now as we take a look at the forecast for north america look at the united states. not a lot of cloud cover to talk about. high pressure is building itself over the central portions of the united states. the low that's responsible for causing so many problems in the
southern plains and u.s. deep south is weakening and moving to the north and east but we're still expecting some showers in the mid-atlantic states as we go throughout the day, maybe few showers from a cold front in the northern portions of the rockies but all in all a dry forecast expected as we go through thursday not expected to see any significant strong stormy weather. we may see a few storms in denver and some showers, high of 26. warm temperatures in oklahoma city with highs in the upper 20s a shore in d.c. with a high of 22 for thursday. as we go into east asia we're talking about mainly improving conditions except for the heavy rainfall because of a low over into the western portions of japan. hiroshima reporting seeing close to 115 millimeters of rain in three hours. that's not even including the radar estimates of how quickly that rain was falling at times. i think we'll see an improvement as it moves to the east. dry conditions in the korean
s. the latest miracle survivor in n epal. a teenage boy five days after a earthquake devastated the nation. frustration growing of a relief efforts in the worst hit areas. the french ministry hit by accusations of sexual abuse and the central african republic. authorities looking into allegations of sexual assault on young children. indignation spreading beyond baltimore p protests held in several u.s. cities after a 25-year-old black