from overseas. an international arbitration court has decided to hear a case filed by the philippines of a territorial dispute with china. the case involves the group of islands in the south china sea. china claims sovereignty over almost the entire south china sea. the philippines, vietnam, and other parties also claim parts of it. the philippine government says china territorial claims violate the u.n. convention. they've taken their argument to the permanent court of arbitration in the hague. on thursday, the court ruled it will hear part of the case. the tribunal rejected china's argument that the issue is beyond the court's jurisdiction. beijing claims the dispute is about sovereignty and should be settled between the parties concerned. it has boycotted the proceedings. the philippine government issued
a statement welcoming the decision saying it gives manila a chance to air its position. the u.s. officials also signalled their support. >> we don't take a position on the claims. we take a position on coercion. one, all the disputes to be resolved peacefully, dipmatically, and through legal mechanisms such as arbitrations. >> the court is expected to begin hearing arguments this year or next. officials in the u.s. also challenged china over its activities in the region on tuesday by sailing a warship near a chinese built artificial isla island. the top ranking naval officers from the two countries spoke and agreed to keep talking about their military operations. pentagon officials say the chief of u.s. naval operations, admiral joan rich hudson and his counterpart lee spoke for over
an hour. the details of the conversation have not been made public burgs the t , but the two continued to engage in dialogue and military cooperati cooperation. sources say they may have explained theist mission. they repeated beijing's position that the action was provocation. the u.s. on tuesday sent a naval destroyer within 12 nautical miles of an art official island built on subi reef in the spratly island and expect to continue more such operations in the area. china's study run media reports he told the u.s. it is possible for chinese and u.s. navies to cooperate in the south china sea. the news agency says wu believes there is enough room and potential for cooperation and stressed that he has dealt with the issue in a restrained manner. he was quoted as saying,
considering the big picture for china-u.s. relations, u.s. naval ships warned the destroyer several times following a planned encounter at sea. he says china will take all necessary measures to safeguard sovereignty and security in the u.s. persists in going its own way and ignores china's concerns. officials at japan's central bank held a policy meeting. gene otani has more on that and a wrap up of business headlines. gene? >> thank you. policymakers at the bank of japan decided to maintain their massive monetary easing policy. they are still struggling to hit a 2% inflation target and have, again, delayed the projected timing for reaching that goal. the boj officials made the decision by an 8-1 majority vote. they also compiled the latest forecast on economic activity in places. consumer prices in september
inched down 0.1% amid crude oil costs. officials expect prices to rise 0.1% through march, down 0.6 points since july. they say the rate is 1.4% in fiscal 2016, down.5% points. the previous protection said it would be achieved near the first half of the year. the boj governor stressed his view that the inflation rate will rise towards the bank's target as the impact of the global oil price decline fades. >> translator: the 2% inflation target needs to be achieved in a good balance of the whole economy. with both wages and corporate
earnings increasing. >> indicating the boj is ready to introduce monetary easing it needed and will decide that after studying commodity prices and overall economy. checking the markets, stock prices flux waited after the decision to stand pat, but the nikkei recovered to the 19,000 level. we have more at the tokyo stock exchange. >> reporter: the nikkei moved without direction falling immediately after the boj dashed hopes for stimulus, but investors anticipated as much and are still hopeful the governor will provide more stimulus down the road. inflation remains below target and other economic data show the japanese economy is still under pressure. let's look at the closing levels this last trading day of the week and the month of october. the nikkei added .78% closing at 19,083 for a two-month high. the broader topix gained .73%.
for the month, the nikkei poestd the strongest performance in years, and as for individual stocks, share prices of the pharma company leading, up 11%, with a new flu drug coming in 2018. and the electronics maker tumbled 7% after cutting full year earnings forecast deciding the slowing chinese economy. fears of china weighed on denso, the biggest auto parts maker lost 3% cutting its full year earnings. for next week, investors will be watching the earnings of big names like toyota and soft bank groups and bracing for a $100 billion ipo from japan post holdings and financial units. that's the friday wrap up at the tokyo stock exchange.
>> thanks. other benchmarks in the region had a bullish month. in china, the shanghai edged lower, and some say market players were encouraged by the government move to end its one child policy, but losses in the energy and mining sectors weighed on the index. after four months in the retd, share prices in october jumped 10%. taiwan jumped after a two month low, fell 1% from a year ago, first contraction in six years, but they ended up 4.6% for the month. hong kong shed .8%. the index climbed in the month, and indonesia slid, but posted the sharpest monthly rise since february 2013. leading companies in japan released their half year earnings reports. retail and travel businesses reports strong profits due to a
surge in foreign visitors, but the slowing chinese economy is hitting some industries. nbc securities compiled reports from 260 firms listed on the tokyo stock exchange. pretext profits totalled $44 billion, up 16% year on year in yen temperatures. firms of the retail sector reported an increase of nearly 43%. those in the land transport industry saw a rise of 16%. electronic makers up 18% because of sales, but steel and machineries suffered double digit falls, blaming sluggish demand caused by the chinese slow down. auto makers are assessing the fallout from the volkswagen emissions scandal. many expect they'll be facing new demands from regulators to protect the environment. that will require some costly investment in the years ahead. nhk world reports.
>> reporter: the volkswagen scandal is having major repercussions starting with the test method for car emissions. this is what happens now. inspectors put the car in a laboratory test rig, gas measures are measured in controlled conditions so all cars can be tested and compared using the same driving patterns. volkswagen abused this test method. computer software in volkswagen engines sensed when the cars were tested on a rig. with this inspection mode activated, the software instructed the car to use full emissions control. out on the road, it was a different story. when the car was running normally, the software switched to driving mode. in this state, emission controls relaxed. as a result, volkswagen supposedly clean diesel engines
emitted 40 times the legal limit of emissions. one reason the cheating surfaced was because of improving testing technology. the new systems enable inspectors to check cars on the road. researchers on clean transportion or icpt exposed the volkswagen fraud. group member professor says car emissions need a thorough overhaul. >> translator: in addition to continued testing in laboratories, we need to measure the amount of gas emitted from the car when it actually runs on the road. we need to do this to make sure car emissions don't significantly exceed legal limits. i hope the introduction of this new type of testing method will contribute to rules for cleaner air. >> reporter: but volkswagen may not be the only auto maker to clean up its act. the researchers in the u.s. did an on road test of 15 vehicles.
all of the cars passed laboratory tests for emission standard. running under normals, only one car came in below the legal limit. transport authorities have been studying the feez ability of these tests and some cars are now on the fast track. >> translator: i'm not saying all car makers are suspect because of the volkswagen scandal, but i think it's a good idea to revise our gas emission tests in light of the scandal. >> translator: we are looking at whether it's appropriate to test gas emissions only in the laboratory. we would like to conduct feez ability on the road. >> most car makers are focused
on cutting down carbon emissions, gases blamed for global warming, and now they face another expense to protect the environment. >> this emission problem, like nox, has not been solved. it's coming back. the industry really has to solve emission and also global warming issues at the same time so that is really very difficult and also costs a lot of money to solve them. >> reporter: he says the push for tighter environmental regulations put car makers under the gun. they have to speed up research and development work to meet the new standards. here's a look at the other business stories we are following. japanese government officials say household spending in september fell 0.4% from a year ago, because of a decline on spending on cars and home apliep applianc appliances.
they say personal consumption shows signs of flatness. jobs data for september is out. japanese officials say the unemployment rate was 3.4%, unchanged from the previous month. the ratio of job offers to seekers was up from august to 1.24, the highest level since january 1992. the number of foreign visitors coming to japan is booming in the first nine months of the year, the number of arrivals reached a whopping 14 million, already more than the whole of 2014. these tourists spend money and what they buy is giving japan's economy a major shot in the arm. nhk world has the story. >> reporter: record number of tourists here spent 1 billion yen, 8.3 billion dollars in just the last three months, and japan's retailers are taking steps to help them spend even more. this major department store in central tokyo has opened this
new section selling cosmetics aimed at the city's shoppers as well as japanese. booths are filled with japanese brand name cosmetics, a sales representatives say they sell well because of their reputation for quality. what they call the cosmetics is directly connected to this station. foreign guides are there to assist customers to find what they need at the newly built information center. >> can i help you? >> reporter: a task center is next door. they have many choices. it is so convenient. >> translator: it's great i can get a refund on consumption tax right after shopping. >> reporter: department store managers say people from overseas are becoming important
clients. >> translator: we have three times more foreign customers than last year. we hope the number of foreign customers will keep growing. >> reporter: other retail stores and restaurants in tokyo are coming up with new business tactics to draw international shoppers' attention. japan's biggest home appliance store chain developed a new outlet near tokyo station. the 10-story building offers the latest appliances, electronics, and souvenirs. robots welcome customers with basic chinese and english to provide floor information. >> i can speak three languages. >> reporter: the japan tourism agency expects that the influx of foreign tourists to the country will continue to rise. they say the weaker yen and consumption tax break on more items for foreign travelers are behind the current boost in the spending. the japanese government has set a target of attracting 20
million visitors a year by 2020. japanese businesses can no longer expect the country's shrinking population to be a major driving force of the economy. greater investment, better services, and policies to bring more visitors will be the norm for years to come. nhk world, tokyo. >> that's all for business news. i'm going to leave you with the markets.
prime minister's visit to south korea starting sunday is generating a lot of interest in seoul. the meeting monday with south korean president will be the first ever bilateral summit. as nhk world reports, people's passions have been stirred in a number of ways. >> reporter: civic groups braved cold weather friday to gather near the japanese embassy, sel, to express opposition to the visit. they say they are hoping for a resolution to the issue of those referred to as wartime comfort women.
>> reporter: their strong opposition was neglected in the demonstrations including satire performances including the two leaders. after the protests, some demonstrators, conference women, expected to walk into the embassy. they tried to meet with the japanese ambassador, but in vain. she said she handed over the request to japanese officials. >> translator: i cried for sadness when i think about our friends who passed away. we have to solve this problem by all means. i want abe to bring solutions, if not, he's not allowed to visit our country. >> reporter: but not all south koreans oppose abe's visit. those who work with japanese tourists are worried about the future of the jobs.
soaring relations between south korea and japan led to a decrease of visitor in the past few years. >> translator: we are hopeful that normalizing ties between the two countries will lead to an improvement in tourism and more tourists. >> reporter: opinions on abe's visit vary depending on people's positions and experiences. for today, a number of people are interested in the talks and their results. it is difficult to anticipate any dramatic changes, however, people in seoul expect the meeting between the two leaders could lead to some improvements in ties. nhk world, seoul. ghosts and goblins are gearing up for a big day,
costumes and makeup are on for hallowe halloween, a day away, but it's not stopping the crowds in tokyo. nhk world's michael dick reports from a businessing crossing in tokyo. >> guest: we >> reporter: right now, this is the busiest intersection in the world, this the unofficial kickoff to halloween, hundreds of people behind me now checking out the action. there's a lot of great costumes, marilyn monroe to the power rangers here having a great time. these people are having a great time, and why not. it is a fantastic night here in tokyo, a warm and beautiful night, and, of course, all the action here is drawing the attention of those ghosts and goblins who come from everywhere, foreign tourists seeing the action here. i spoke with someone a short time ago to get reactions to the action in tokyo. this is what they said. have a look. >> reporter: where are you from? >> egypt. >> reporter: what do you think of halloween in tokyo? >> amazing.
>> france. >> first time in tokyo? >> first time in japan. >> what do you think of hall weep here? >> it's different. it's sort of strange. i take a picture with a power ranger, you know. have you seen them? >> i was with the power rangers. >> i was with them over there. >> this is really amazing here, first time now here in japan, and it's just mind blowing. >> reporter: you like the costumes? >> oh, yes, yes, i wish i could live here. i'm surely being dressed tomorrow. >> reporter: now, on this spooky night here in tokyo, i should point out, there's 800 police officers in this area alone making sure all the people have a good time, get home safe, as you can see behind me, the party is just getting started, going all weekend long, like these folks here, a good time had by all. you are on the road, wondering what i'm dressed as? well, same thing as last year, tv reporter, not an award
winning costume, but it gets me here to all this action. michael dick, nhk world, tokyo. time now for a look at the world weather. very severe cyclone approaching the arabian peninsula. let's go to johnathan oh on what residents there need to prepare for. >> well, with the storm approaching, whatever type of typical preparation you do to prepare for flooding and things like that need to be in mind because this is a very powerful system as we go into the weekend and first part of next week. here's a look at the storm, a very severe storm, moving west slowly for the moment, but as it continuings to hover over waters, it is intensifying with gusts over 175, and it intensifies going forward in time as it approaches yemen,
there's a lot of rainfall and strong winds are part of the story. going into the first part of next week, residents need to be aware this is going to bring a lot of strong winds and heavy rainfall. so this is nothing that we see very often in the region, but it happens from time to time. i hope you are making preparations now. now, another area that's dealing with very heavy rainfall is over in italy in europe as this low pressure system spins its way southward and brings all the flooding rains. in fact, here's the video to give you an idea of what's happening in the region. this is the result of a low pressure area that we expected to roll over italy this weekend. it's still rolling over italy now. the heavy rainfall swept across the region causing flooding rivers and spilling those waters into the roadways and buildings and for most of thursday morning, many highways were very difficult to pass through, and so now people are trying to clean up the mess that was left
behind by the storm, and it is still lingering over the southern portions of the country so there's a lot of moisture picked up by the mediterranean sea thrown into the region. there's a possibility of seeing more thunderstorms as we go throughout the day friday with heavy rainfall and also the possibility th the enough spin taking place here the water spouts may be a part of the story. we have another system back in the west producing some rainfall, but it's staying further west, and so, really, places like ireland and coastal areas of the continental europe dealing with rainfall, but drier conditions friday. let's see what's happening in north america where the weather is relatively calm for the east coast. it's been busy during the past few days because of what was leftover of patricia, a category 5 hurricane. now as you approach the halloween time period, i think we'll see improvements with the forecast as high pressure brings in dry conditions.
we have a low pressure system here that's going to bring in moisture and so for those of you who want to go trick or treating in celebrating, you need to watch for the rainfall, dampened spirits maybe because of the rainfall, and into halloween, and there's wet conditions in the northwest and snowfall in the rocky mountains, and, again, those of you who want to deal with a little bit more of the fun stuff, the little more we y weary, wet weather in the eastern part of the united states as the system pushes east. l.a., new york city, you are fine if you trick or treat, wet in houston and chicago. now, a big celebration taking place over in tokyo has a lot of people also getting geared up for the halloween festivities, and looking at dry conditions as we go into saturday and staying dry, but cooling off going into monday. i hope you have a happy halloween wherever you are.
"> welcome to the "france 24 newsroom. i am molly hall. syrian government rockets hit a damascus suburb, killing dozens. the violence comes as crucial talks are held in vienna in hopes of bringing any indeed to the syrian civil war. two boats carrying migrant refugees sink off the greek coast. at least 22 people drowned. half of the victims are children. the greek prime minister says the ceaseless tragedies