here in japan, it's 7:00 p.m., on a friday, welcome to "newsline," i'm james tengan in tokyo. here's the stories for this hour. u.s. president obama reversed his government's policy on afghanistan saying thousands of military personnel will remain there beyond 2016. experts say what china's continued buildup on artificial
islands in the south china sea could mean for the region's security situation. and japan's nuclear power plants are slowly going back on line despite lingering questions. u.s. president obama backed away from a commitment to end the afghan war during his time in office. he said he's not withdrawing troops from afghanistan by the end of next year. 5500 u.s. personnel will remain beyond 2016. >> as commander in chief, i will not allow afghanistan to be used as safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again. our forces, therefore, remain engaged in two narrow, but critical missions, training afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al qaeda. >> obama stated he does not support the idea of end legislation war, but says the mission is vital to u.s. national interests. the president warned the security situation is very
fragile in key areas of afghanistan, and that there is a risk of deterioration. he says the taliban has made gains, particularly in rural areas and can still launch deadly attacks in cities. 9800 u.s. troops are to be stationed there for most of next year. the executive office of the after gap president issued a statement welcoming the announcement. it says afghanistan will further cooperate with the u.s. in fighting terrorists. but people in the country have mixed feelings over the news. >> translator: if u.s. troops work really hard for afghans and serve our poor nation, they will be able to defeat the terrorists, so i'm happy that they will remain longer. >> translator: we don't need u.s. troops in afghanistan. we afghans defend our own country by ourselves. >> the obama administration has been under criticism for
allowing the islamic state group to gain ground in iraq afterle pullout of american troops. analysts say obama wants to avoid a similar situation in afghanistan. president obama has repeatedly voiced his concern over the situation in the south china sea in recent months. china has been building facilities with military capabilities on some of its art offici artificial islands. here's how some view the security risks in the region. >> reporter: the spratley islands made headlines in the u.s. new satellite imagery from the strategic international studies indicates china is reclaiming and building upon artificial islands in the area. gregory polling of csis say the chinese completed a landing strip of 3 kilometers in length
on the reef and are building two more on mischief and suby reeves. >> having three of these with air stripes that accommodate anything in the chinese arsenal and presumably with greater military infrastructure in the future, they would not be without risk to u.s. and allied operations. >> reporter: in a recent parade, china clearly demonstrated the rapid modernization of the military capabilities. the country prominently displayed the latest weaponry including the antiship ballistic missiles or carrier killers for the first time. andrew exxon of the u.s. navy war college says the weapons systems are designed to increase the cost to the u.s. military in case of a conflict. >> china's trying to develop a deterrent or push away or keep
out capabilities. we call this in the u.s. military antiaccess air denial. >> reporter: he further explains with the projects, they continue to solidify its control over the south china sea. >> one of the oldest examples we can think of is the great wall. this appears to be, props, the third major instance in history of china to fundamentally alter its strategic geography. >> reporter: how should the u.s. respond to china's strategy? international law kidictates island are given 12 naugtical miles, but that does not apply to artificial islands. china argues the islands are legitimate. at a u.s. senate hearing, some lawmakers insisted that the u.s. navy should sail listen 12 nautical miles to showhat the
u.s. doesn't recognize the chinese claims. the obama administration has been cautious. the president so far has only called on china to respect the rule of law. >> we have an interest in skbrup holding the basic principles of freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce, and in resolving disputes through international law, not the law of force. we'll defend the principles while encouraging china and other claimants to resolve their differences peacefully. >> reporter: the south china sea continues to be one of the key areas of tension in the asia pacific region and will likely remain a strategic challenge for the u.s. alex wardman, nhk world, washington. >> thanks very much, alex. the top u.s. admiral i arge of the asia pacific
region spoke to nhk about potential dangers of the militarization of airstrips in the south china sea. admiral harry harris says the u.s. continues to see a build up on the artificial islands, and if militarizemilitarized, that beijing a wider range of capabilities. >> that would afford them the capability to enforce and aide militarily if they so choose, but that means there's a lot of aspects to forcing natives. one is to have the military means and the airplanes and jets give them that, but the most important part of this is is ability to do the identification piece meaning radars and all of that. >> harris hopes china follows the leader's words, but he says the u.s. must be prepare for any situation. >> i hope that they don't
militaryize the islands or airstrips and follow what the president said they would, not militaryize them, but we have to be ready for that, and we are ready for that. business leaders in japan discussed ways to boost the country's activity. we have the details and roundup of the business headlines, gene? >> thanks, james. prime minister shinzo abe asked business leaders for more investment. abe spoke at the meeting of a new panel devoted to dialogue with the private sector. >> translator: now is the time for companies to invest actively, boldly in equment and human resources. >> abe said businesses are enjoying record profits, but there's not enough investment. company bosses asked abe to cut corporate tax rates to below 30% and proceed further with regulatory reforms and warned that electricity and social
insurance costs are too high. china signed a deal to build a high speed railway in indonesia if the contract japan failed to win last month. delegates from an indonesia c consortium signed an agreement friday with the state run railway. the 140 kilometer line runs between jakarta and another city, and the representative of the consortium says this project opens is new page in the country's railway history. china ease ambassador to indonesia says t the first high speed railway project in a symbol of bilateral ties. officials say the 5.5 billion dollar project will partly be funded by loans from china. the work is scheduled for completion by 2018 and starts operating the following year. checking the markets, tokyo stocks rally on the last day of the week. the nikkei average higher for a second straight day, and our business reporter has the details from the tokyo stock
exchange. aika? >> reporter: the market focus moved to the bank of japan. some traders bet the boj launches further easing measures and we had the transpacific partnership deal boosting shares of some companies. the nikkei rose 1% to close at 18291. at one point, it was up more than 300 points, but profit taking cap gained in the afternoon. the topix rose 1%. the nikkei rose two consecutive sessions, but similar measures left shares of financials down, a main benefit from greater liquidity in the market. mizuho jumped more than 2%. motorbike makers brought on news that the tpp removes tires from 700 cc motorcycles, popular in north america. market sentiments is not
bullish. declines in companies with parts show investors are concerned about slow downs in a chinese economy. alpslectric and murata manufacturing slumped. there was a rally for the weekend here in tokyo, but most fueled by speculation that the central bank will do more. this shares the market's concern over the state of economy. aika nanao at the tokyo stock exchange. >> thank you. most other markets mountain region extended gains. the shanghai composite climbed 1 preponderate 6% to close at 3391. hopes for fresh stimulus steps out of beijing continue to support investor sentiment, but some traders were cautious ahead of the release of china's quarterly gdp figures next monday. the s&p rose.7%, closing at 5268, and ammists say investors were upbeat on expectations of monetary easing by the reserve bank of austraa.
indonesia up 0.3% after the country's central bank kept the key interest rate up changed. seoul bucked the regional trend down .51%, and they face e ed ys recent strength. here's more stories we're following. volkswagen is recalling more than 800 million diesel vehicles in the european union that may cop tape software intended to manipulate test results, and some 11 million diesel vehicles around the world may have used the software. mazda is recalling 920,000 vehicles after several caught fire. the recall affects 2 1 models manufactured from 1989 to 2009, and oil in the ignition switches could cause fire, and 13 cases have been reported. the mip industry told the car
maker to do more to investigate the cause of the incident and address the problem. private sector representatives on a government panel gave tips to prime minister shinzo abe on how to boost the economy. they proposed extending employment insurance to cover the over 65s and suggested reducing social insurance premiums for the over 6 os when they work more than 30 hours a week. chinese economic slow down fueled concerns over the country's long term growth. the focus is now on china's third quarter gdp figures which will be released next week. the government's growth target for 2015 is about 7%, however, some economists expect annual growth to slip below 7% due to sluggish domestic, and external demand. we spoke with jackson wong, a director at international
securities. >> my suggestion for the third quarter is 6.9%, a little lower to the government rate, and it was a surprise the second quarter held at 7%, and in third quarter this market condition and market crashes in china, so the number has to be lower this time. however, when we look at the newest round of economic data such as the new loan data released yesterday, it was not that bad, so with all this trade data and the pmi numbers, i think the numbers should be around 6.9% for this quarter, and i do believe in fourth quarter they will try to speed up a lot of things to be able to hold 7% or 6.9% gdp growth for the whole year. >> okay. analysts say the growth rate is just 5-6%. first of all, do you agree with this? if so, please elaborate. >> it could be true, but there's no way we can verify if -- how
the data goes, but we know that in a lot of developing countries, economic data is not as accurate or sometimes they are even inflated, so we don't just take the gdp number at face value, but we look at the effects for foreign and direct investments, you know, consumption data, all different kinds of data as well, and as a matter of fact, when the --key r the fact is actual versus estimates so we can see the trends. we can get the trend to see the health of the economy. >> policymakers of the u.s. federal reserve meeting this month considering whether to raise key interest rates. what do you think the effect of a rate hike would have on the chinese economy? >> well, i think a rate hike at this moment will really dampen the confidence level in china,
and essentially the fact they withheld the rate hike in seventh and now want expectation of a rate hike for this year is significantly lower, and, actually, that improves a lot of my conditions and sentime in emerging markets when we look at the hong kong markets and china, they all rebound significantly from their lows so i think if the fed doesn't raise interest rates for the year, i think this will definitely help the other e emerging markets as well as china. >> that's all for business news. i'm going to leave you with the markets.
another reactor at a nuclear power plant in southwestern japan is back on line. it's the second restart under new regulations adopted after the 2011 fukushima accident. the operators are prepared to restart three more reactors, but many nearby residents say they want a thorough explanation. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the reactor power plant went back online on
thursday. the number one reactor at the plant was restarting in august, and until them, all the others have been on line since september 20 13. two reactors at the takahama plant and ikata plant are found in compliance with the new regulations. the operators of the takahama plant want to be back on line by january, but a court decision is blocking the way. the ikata plant is undergoing checks by regular lamt torregul. another 20 reactors applied for regulatory approval. government officials say restarting japan's nuclear plants will ensure a stable power supply and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and plant operators say the cost of fuel at thermal plants is
extremely burdensome. he lives in the town of takahama and believes restarting the plants are necessary, but is unhappy how the local government is handling the issue. he said town officials brought information about safety measures on television six times a day, but there were no face-to-face meetings with president. he responded to a questionnaire and asked how radio active water will be kept from sitting out. he received a reply saying that the government is working on it. >> officials do not understand how we feel when we ask such questions. i'm disappointed that this is how they respond to residents. >> reporter: some other residents pointed out problems with the town's evacuation plans. most are expected to use a coastal road. town officials predict the route
would be hit if a tsunami was in the area, and many of those evacuating would be stuck in traffic. >> translator: the cabinet office is currently doing its best to support and coordinate with local officials to respond appropriately should app emergency occur. >> reporter: an nhk survey conducted last weekend asked people how they feel about restarting the reactors. 18% of respondents support bringing the plants back online while 43% are opposed. experts say that government must demonstrate how it plans to protect public safety if it wants to gain public support. nhk world. >> will the results of the next survey change greatly?
we'll keep you updated here on "newsline", thank you for that report. iran released foot amg of an underground tunnel used to store missiles and launchers, the first time such footage was shown and comes months after a deal was reached on teheran's nuclear program. the report was carry on iranian state run television. it said the tunnel extends several hundred meters and lies at a depth of 500 meters. the broadcast did not identify the location. the report said the missiles are ready to launch in the event of app take. a senior revolutionary guard official said the facility is one of many missile tunnels in the country. earlier this month, iran released footage of what it called a test firing of a long range ballistic missile. the release was the first since the country reached a nuclear deal with six major world powers in july. the latest broadcast apparently is aim at keeping israel in check. israel has reacted sharply to the nuclear deal.
it is warned thatt will not hesitate to launch a unilateral strike against iran. two influential u.s. senators called on the chinese government to free the life of a nobel peace prize laureate. she was sentenced to 11 years for human rights activity, and his wife was put under home arrest a year later after her husband won the nobel prize. the senators have released a statement saying that her health deteriorated sharply over the past five years, and they say she's suffering from depression and that she had a heart attack last year. they requested that officials in beijing allow her to seek medical treatment abroad, and they also called for release of her husband. you're watching newsline coming to you from tokyo. a viewer from los angeles wrote in saying stores ran out of electric fans because of the up seasonal heat wave they've been
experiencing. now residents there are having to deal with downpours according to johnathan oh. >> hello, it's not looking good when we look at the situation. we are seeing a lot of rainfall. we needed the rain in southern, a serious drought situation for the western portion of the unit states, but when you have all of this rain in an area that's very dry in an area that can really produce a lot of mud flow, that's an issue. here's video from southern california for an idea of what is taking place here. flash flood warnings issued. the water is everywhere. the poor people and animals trying to deal with this weathe but not just the war, but it's the mud that is produced from the combination of some of the material out there with the water, and so drivers are swamped with thi stuff, and so cars are stranded in this, and because of all this mess, the interstate, some of them are stopped up as well. look at that, just the cars stuck in that mud.
it looks like that as we go forward in time, the rain is going to linger longer. los angeles proper and areas north and west, mainly going to wrap up the rain, but further inland, towards san bernardino and down towards the south, you're going to see more rainfallment make sure you are careful with the situation. the cutoff low is not a fast mover bringing more rain by tapping into the pacific ocean, and some areas may see close to 80 millimeters a lot. that doesn't sound like a lot, but if you're dry with these high rates of rainfall, you run into these problems, and, already, we had some places reporting record of close to 240 millimeters of rainfall in that 24-hour period. please be aware of your weather situation and definitely don't try to drive through areas that are quite wet or muddy because you can be stuck easily. los angeles 27 degrees, wet
weather, further south and east from l.a. now, along the eastern sea board of the united states, wet weather from trap toe to miami with a disturbance bringing wet weather. speaking of wet weather, two typhoons, both strong, both causing a problem. kappu is moving west slowly at 15 kilometers per how. this is expected to be a strong typhoon with potential pressure dropping to 925. here's the problem. yes, the winds are strong. yes, the waves are high. but the big issue is heavy extended rainfall taking place. some areas may he 500 mi millimeters of rainfall throughout the next few days. hopefully you're prepare as early as possible as we told you about this system because you are running out of time as this is coming onshore. now, we also have another strong typhoon battering the mariana islands, expected to turn north as we go forward in time.
lots of rainfall in place during the next several days with the two systems, so, please, make sure you are prepared for them. a quick look at what's happening over europe. there's a lot of rainfall taking place over italy and extending into the central portions and a cutoff low pressure system is moving into the balkan peninsula, expecting strong thunderstorms in areas like athens, and so be prepared for rainfall and some heavier thunderstorms from time to time as we go through friday. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.