the standoff comntinues as the land minister advocates to remit the license. the same-sex unions are underway in one central tokyo district, the first step to treating such relationships as equivalent to marriage. more details emerge about the u.s. naval operation that is sparking tensions between washington and beijing. a pentagon official has told nhk that chinese ships tracked the u.s. naval destroyer as it sailed near an artificial reef in the south china sea. china built the reef and claims it as its territory. the officials say the vessels shadow the ship for several days after leaving a port in malaysia. the shep stayed quite a distance away, and the situation was not dangerous. on tuesday, the ship sailed
within 12 nautical miles away from the spratly islands. they are claimed by china, vietnam, and other parties. the u.s. authorities say they'll continue to carry out missions in accordance to law. nations can declare up to 12 nautical miles from their coast of sovereign territory, but that does not apply to artificial islands. the pentagon official told nhk the ship sailed within 12 miles of reef claimed by the philippines and vietnam. the remark is believed to suggest that the u.s. is remaining neutral in the territorial disputes. nhk has learn the the top military commander in the region will visit china. harry harris will meet with military leaders beginning on monday. a u.s. ministry official told nhk the meeting was
scheduled bere the ship was dispatched to the south china sea. harry said the chinese counterparts are set to discuss military exchanges and expected to address issues related to the spratly islands since harris was involved in planning tuesday's operation. we spoke to a u.s. expert on china. the director of the china power project at the center for strategic and international studies or csis, offering her take on china's reaction to the u.s. mission and said a military confrontation between the two countries is highly unlikely. >> the u.s. and china signed last year an mou, a memorandum of safety on air and sea safety. i think this is an agreement
that's important to both the u.s. and china, so my expectation was that it was not violated, and that is served at the purpose of preventing an accident from taking place, and i expect that if the chinese did not challenge the united states in a very dangerous way, but simply signalled the united states that it wanted this navy ship, the uss and two aircraft to leave their -- what they seem to claim to be their waters. this was first leaked early may so we're talking six months ago, that the obama administration was considering conducting these freedom of navigation patrols, means that china has had a long time to prepare for it. they have been able to prepare how they would react, what statements they would make publicly, so i think there was
nothing that was unexpected. this will continue to be a very contentious issue, one in which the u.s. and china are not likely to find commonground in terms of how to move forward, but i doubt this spills over into other areas of the relationship. i think there is a common perspective in both countries, and between the u.s. and chinese presidents that where our interests converge, the two nations should try to cooperate. a top volkswagen executive endorsed diesel technology despite a scandal over the emissions test. gene otani has that and a wrap up of other business headlines, gene? >> thank you. the new head of volkswagen promised to win back trust following an emissions cheating scandal, and herbert says the
german firm plans to launch diesel vehicles in japan as early as next year. the chairman of the volkswagen passenger brand cars spoke one day before the opening of the tokyo motor show, apologizing for the auto maker's practice of installing software in cars to falsify emissions test results. >> we still think that the diesel has a great future. we are still committed to introducing our diesels to the japanese market. >> he said volkswagen sees diesel engines as a way to tackle carbon emissions. executives at japanese firms feel effects of fading growth. many who took part in a government survey say the slow down is hurting business. officials at the finance ministry polled more than 500 companies in september and early october asking about the effects of easing momentum on japan, and executives said 25% of firms said the situation has taken a toll on sales with other negative effects. 60% saw no effect, and almost
16% said the impact has been positive. executives in the steel industry are among those feeling pain saying demand falls as machinery makers scaled back their production. people in the freight industry are also struggling. they said a decline in trade between japan and china reduced their workload. on to the markets, major asian indexes are lower with light trading on the sidelines ahead of the federal reserve's policy statement coming out later today, but shares in japan up as strong corporate earnings supported the market. our business reporter has the details from the tokyo stock exchange, aika? >> as we have so much on the agenda with the fed and bankf japan meeting in the same week, it's not surprising that benchmarks are moving in a very narrow range. look at today's closing levels. the nikkei ended at 18903,
recooping more than ha of yesterday's losses, the topix up .26 and capped gains in the index. in the thick of the earnings season, they take the results and move the markets. the robot maker, fanuc surged 4 .7%, and the second quarter profit weaker than expected, thaw they reassured investors with an upward revision of the four year net profit forecast. in contrast, hitachi was pessimistic on china, revising down by a wide rgin. they plunged 4 .5%. at the releast of the policy statement draws closer, investors are really focusing on the wording the fed uses. this could move the markets tomorrow. >> aika, thanks. moving on to other markets in the region. in china, the shanghai lost 1.7% on profit taking. it snatched a four-day winning
streak after hitting a two month high tuesday. hong kong shed .8% following retreat in stocks. sydney's s&p 200 index slid 0.2%, closing at 5335, losses capped as quarterly cpi data came out lower than expected. analysts say this seals expectations as the reserve bank of australia would kus interest rates. indonesia dwindled from the highest level in more than two months that it reached earlier this month. mumbai falls for the third straight day ending down b by .78%. here's a look at the other business stories we are following. motorists in japan paid less at the pump for the first time in two weeks due to the fall in crude oil prices shelling out an average of 133.7 yen per liter as of monday, down .1 yen a week
earlier. analysts say prices will continue to fall in the days ahead. toshiba executives agreed to sell their image sensor business to sony. the deal reportedly worth about $160 million. this transfers more than 1,000 workers to the electronic giant as part of the agreement. they say the move helps them streline their operations after an accounting scandal. construction equipment maker, komatsu says weak demand from china caused the operating profit to fall 21% from a year ago. sales of construction machinery in china were down more than 40%. japanese farmers face increasing pressure as the domestic market is getting smaller, and the transpacific partnership free trade deal would bring in cheap produce from abroad. farmers are trying to be competitive with the help of new technologies.
some are looking to sell products overseas. nhk world has more. >> reporter: here are some new items that could help farmers increase productivity and add value to their crops. they were featured in an expedition outside tokyo that attracted about 700 companies. this producer is promoting organic soil. it contains hundreds as many organisms as normal soil. the company says with this product, farmers can grow tom o tomato tomatoes. they tested one on the device that measured the sugar content of fruit and vegetables. it showed the tomato is 1.5 times sweeter than normal. the company said farmer will be able to charge three times more for their toe nmatotomatoes.
>> translator: having a high value added product will be a great advantage for farmers to get their produce to market. >> reporter: this machine allows rice to be cultivated without the use of pesticides. it saves farmers from the tough job of weedi ining their pattie hand and allows more to be cultivated. they can increase the size their farms threefold. >> rice is grown pesticide free can be exported overseas, so this device can be a great help in contributing to the continuing development of japanese agriculture. >> reporter: another innovation
help farmers with little experience in agriculture. okayama started producing rice just nine years ago. like all rice farmers, he needs to have a deep understanding of water management. he says his father tried to teach him, but he still finds it challenging. he's testing a system developed by a major telecom company. sensors measure data such as water level and temperature. farmers can check the information on any mobile device. >> translator: farmers are beginning to understand the importance of visualizing information about their crops. >> reporter: okayama said he had difficulty applying his water knowledge because it couldn't be recorded as data.
but the new system allows him to monitor his crop by giving him precise measurements. he said he can avoid potential problems before they occur. >> translator: of course, i can't do betr than people who have been farming for 20-30 years, but i want to catch up with them fast by utilizing i.t. >> reporter: all new technology requires an investment, but japanese farmers are finding these innovations can help them keep up with the changing business environment. nhk world, tokyo. >> that's all for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
authorities in tokyo are pushing ahead with plans to relocate the u.s. military base within okinawa. the land minister advised the prefecture's governor to retract his revocation of reconstruction at the site. the governor opposes the plan to relocate the u.s. marine corp. air station within his prefecture. the central government wants to move it from the densely populated city to a coastal area. he revoked the permit to construct earlier this month, but officials at the land ministry suspended that decision on tuesday. if he does not comply with the land minister's advisory within
five days, the ministry is expected to send another docunt ordering him to do so. should he reject the order, the officials plan to file a lawsuit asking the court to allow the land minister to override the governor's authority and approve the work. he says he'll take the case to an internal ministry panel that arbors rights disputes between central and local governments. he's considering a filing a lawsuit to block relocation projects. officials with a defense ministry's regional bureau notified the prefectural authorities they start work on thursday. they say the work is expected to be completed in five years. >> translator: we plan ongoing ahead with the work so that there's no break in the project. >> he said the central government gives consideration to the environment and to residents while carrying out the
relocation work. u.s. government officials could be reversing long standing opposition to involving iran in talks on solving syria's confli conflict. a state department spokesperson said officials from teheran are likely to be invited to the discussions in vienna saying u.s. secretary of state, john kerry, is taking part along with other concerned countries. >> in moving towards a political transition, we have to have a conversation in the dialogue with iran, and so i wouldn't call them a partner necessary, but, obviously, there are many stake holders in this. >> russia has sought iran's participation in previous talks. the u.s. government apparently changed its position following an agreement on iran's nuclear program. foreign ministers from the
united states, russia, turkey, and saudi arabia met last week in vienna. they failed to narrow their differences over finding a solution. hundreds of palestinians staged a rally in the west bank city where they are angry that authorities refuse to return the bodies of 11 palestinians killed by israeli troops. violence between some of the demonstrators and security forces resulted in several injuries. palestinian media say at least 60 people have been killed this month in clashes with israeli forces. they say half of them were shot while allegedly attacking israeli citizens. ten israelis have also been killed. officials in jerusalem say they have not returned the bodies out of security concerns. they say people gathering at funerals could lead to fresh violence. in a separate incident tuesday,
two palestinians were shot and killed after allegedly shooting an israeli soldier near a settlement in the west bank. a district in central tokyo is blazing a trail for same-sex couples. it's allowing those couples to apply for certificates that acknowledge their relationship as equivalent to marriage, a first anywhere in japan. nhk world reports. >> reporter: officials plan to issue the certificates to respect the rights of sexual minorities. they include homosexual and transgender couples. this piece of paper is what it's all about. get one of these, and the process begins, now same-sex couples in japan are on the way to e eququality.
applicants fill out this form and prove they are guardians to each other and in a relationship of trust. this is the first couple that took advantage of the new opportunity. >> translator: i have been looking forward to this day. i'm very glad. >> translator: when i think about our future, i can't think of my life, and when the certificate is published, i intend to issue ideas with the chairman of a company. >> reporter: until now, same-sex couples in japan have been in a bind, unable to give their content if their partner needs surgery. while they are not legally binding, japan's constitution does not recognize same-sex couples, they will make some things easier. officials call on local
businesses and landlords to treat these couples in the same way as legally married couples. not everyone is behind the plan. this map has been thwarted with more than hundred e-mails, calls, and texts about the new rule. many say it damages traditional family values. officials map to start issuing certificates from the beginning of november. nhk world, tokyo. people in the southeastern coast of queensland have see days of wet conditions and it looks like it's going to continue thursday. let's check in with our meteorologist johnathan oh. >> i think you need the umbrella if you're going to be along the coast, brisbane, gold coast to
the sunshine coast, it is wet. we have an interesting situation taking place. we don't have a particular forcing mechanism except for a little bit of a southerly and westerly flow into the southeastern portions of queensland creating enough of an instability, when you have moisture and heat seeing the rising of the moisture, you have those storms develop, and some of these are stronger thunderstorms that are being produced as it pushes east, and so it looks like that as we go throughout the day on thursday, as well, we're going to see even more than that moisture driving through the high that's driving in the moisture seeing that operation producing and leading to some of the thunderstorms. that's not the only place there's rain. back to the west, there's a low pressure system bringing rain and showers into the western portions of australia. now, looking at the forecast thursday, high of 21 in brain brisbane, but that's the only location dealing with rain and
storms, and that extends along the areas north and south there in the sunshine and gold coast, but further north, they are looking at 31, partly cloudy skies, closer to the summer-type feeling, right now, spring there, and down in the south, we're looking at temperatures in the low to mid-20s under sunny to mostly cloudy conditions through thursday. now, speaking of sunny conditions, that's the big part of the story in east asia. high pressure is the dominant force, meaning we're going to see it clearing out the skies. we have just a little of instability over in the northern portions of japan because of the low pressure system, further up north towards russia, so that's introducing some of the moisture, and so we may see spotty showers in the region spoo places like hokkaido, but west, there's the drier weather pattern. looking forwa to seeing some of the foliage change over? northern portions, it's a little wet, but that's where the peak
of the color is. longer to the south before we see the colors changing, but over into the south korea, we're seeing that changeover coming into fruition going forward for the rest of the week. but a bit wet also with a high of 15, 21 in tokyo, and wet weather in shanghai. chilly in beijing, 12 degrees and sun thursday. as we look at the forecast for north america, you see the clouds spinning from the central portions of canada through the northeast, that's a couple of low pressure systems. one from the remanent of patricia and another low from canada. those two forcing a lot of rainfall. northeast with 70 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours and gusts up to 27 kilometers per hour as the low intensifies, that drives up the winds. it's a bet wet here from toronto to atlanta. have the umbrella handy through wednesday.
a quick look at the halloween forecast here coming up on saturday. looking like we're going to see a relatively dry day for some of the more spookier locations in terms of the halloween forecast. now, quick look at what's happening in europe, thunderstorms down in the south, and as a low pressure system and cold front sweeps through western portions of europe as we go through wednesday. please, be careful with the storms. have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
national team in the current rugby world cup provided a boost to the sports popularity here, and the country's gearing up to host the next tournament. international and japanese rugby officials up vailed the logo for the 2019 world cup at the news conference. it includes almosts that many people have associated with japan. >> theistinctively japanese rising sun with an iconic symbol from japan, mt. fuji, and emphasis on unity, this shows regularby and japan and world brought together. >> the chairman of japan's rugby association said he was pleased that a 2019 tournament will be held in asia. >> translator: as the ho nation, we'd like to organize the event with confidence and pride. >> the games start september 20th in tokyo, and a final match
frenchs 1:00 p.m. in the capital. these are our top stories. internationalin talks over syria for the first time. this is washington is ready to engage its -- europe's migrant crisis continues. austria says it will build a fence along its border with slovenia to stem the thousands traveling across the country to reach your.