hello. you're watching "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. the japanese government is planning to implement measures to support those referred to as comfort women following an agreement with south korea. japanese officials say they will improve ties through more summit meetings at international conferences and other occasions.
the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed monday on a plan for the japanese government to pay more than $8 million to a south korean foundation. the funds will go to medical care and welfare benefits for the women. the ministers confirmed that they would resolve the issue finally and irreversibly. japanese government officials say prime minister shinzo abe talked with president park geun-hye by telephone. abe conveyed to park sincere apologies and remorse for the women. park replied that if the agreement is implemented, the issue would never be raised again. some japanese officials have questioned how south korea will deal with the statue of a girl symbolizing the comfort women. they've asked their counterparts to n negotiate with the civil group that erected the statue outside the japanese embassy in seoul about its removal or relocation. members of the civil group have reacted sharply to the agreement. they say it was not appropriate
for their government to promise to resolve the conflict over the statue. south korea's foreign minister yun byung-se said he will work on the issue. >> translator: we acknowledge the fact that the japanese government is concerned with the statue in front of the japanese embassy in seoul may disturb the peace of the mission or impair its dignity. we will strive to resolve this matter in an appropriate manner such as consulting with proper organizations. >> his counterpart fumio kishida told reporters that the statue would be relocated. but the group says it symbolizes their history and they don't condone the government's remarks on its removal or relocation. the largest opposition party also called the agreement unacceptable. party officials said japan has turned its back on its legal responsibility. president park made an announcement stressing that the
agreement was reasonable and called on south korean people to accept it with a view to improving ties with japan. officials in the park administration are facing difficult challenges. they need to gain public approval for the agreement and persuade the group to cooperate in the relocation of the statue. south korean media are divided over the deal. the korea "joongang daily" newspaper offered a measure of support referring to prime minister's abe apology in its headline. it also cited criticism for the support group for the women. the "hankyoreh" criticized the deal, putting a photograph of the women on its front pauj and pointed out the agreement does not hold japan legally responsible. top diplomats in the united states have voiced their support for the deal. secretary of state john kerry said washington welcomes the agreement over what he calls a sensitive historical legacy.
he called on other countries to back the deal. national security adviser susan rice said the u.s. looks forward to deepening its work with japan and south korea on a wide range of areas. it's rare for kerry and rice to both issue statements on the same issue. this underscores how the controversy has hampered efforts by the three countries to work together to counter north korea's nuclear development and china's increasing maritime activities. here in our studio we have first executive director of united nations university in tokyo. she worked at the united nations headquarters for nearly 30 years. she also served as the executive director of a japanese organization for compensating those referred to as the comfort women, the asian women's fund established in 1995. thank you very much for joining us today. >> my pleasure. >> leaders of japan and south
korea are describing the agreement as historic. what do you milwaukee of this deal? >> i do believe this is a major step forward, the two countries show a strong commitment. it will open new possibilities and new approaches, i believe. the agreement really brings, i think that the three major outcomes possibly and the first one is to further respond to the needs of the asian comfort women. the second is to promote peaceful and friendly relationships and especially in neighboring countries such as korea. and the third one is the possibility for younger generations to be able to move forward. >> the asian women's fund was
welcome by south korean officials. many women refused to accept the atonement money. could you point out some of the reasons why they didn't? >> at that time that the strong oppositions were shown by a group of citizens in south korea and to a great extent in japan. the reason for this objection was that lack of educationf those who are responsible for comfort women, including legal responsibility. also some media in the two countries, also interest among the citizens in both countries, opinions among the cities and the leaders of two countries also were divided. this create d rather -- atmosphere for the comfort
women, people to receive freely the amount of money. tried to create more understanding but the citizens groups and their people in some cities and groups never succeeded in create iing that. >> japan and south korea this time have agreed to establish a new foundation to support the women. do you think there are any lessons to be learned from the asian women's fund? >> yes, compared to the -- from the past, i sense a strong agreement such as this one between both governments about the atonement project. and this absence was a major, i think, weakness possibly.
but this time, there's a strong commitment by the two governments and i really do have a great deal of hope for the success of the new approach. and also, south korean government would be able to develop project responding to the needs of the comfort women closer this time, because they are responsible in developing those projects. and also, the development of public opinion, for this we really have to aim at. we can face history squarely and understand the positions of both countries and overcome some different ideas, the co-existence of different ideas and accept both sides. i hope we'll start from this new approach. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much for giving me the opportunity.
now let's get a check on the tokyo market. the nikkei average rose for two days in a row, one day before trading in japan ends for the year. for the detalls we go to our business report er ramin mellegard at the nhk market studio. in the morning, oil prices really dominated trading yet again. but in the afternoon, we did see some bargain hunting kicking in. let's have a look at the exact closing prices for the nikkei and topix, 18,982, and the broader topix closing at 1,543. now the trading was thin and the investors were cautious as we head toward the year end, and overnight in new york, the wti crude oil futures fell below $37 yet again and share prices on wall street ended lower. that weighed on a lot of
commodity shares here. let's go through some of them. the metal sector underperforming. we were following three of the big names there. hitachi metals, jfe holdings and toho zinc. and on the positive side we were following shares of toshiba on the back of news that it says it's going to seek a $2.5 billion credit line with its banks. that's for restructuring. that follows steep declines on the back of scandals. japanese office supply company one of the better performers, askul up almost 3% so far today on increased revenue as well as net income as it focuses on online business retail, both in japan as well as china. so with just a day left for trading, the nikkei looks to be ending the year on a positive note. back to you. >> that was ramin mellegard
reporting from our nhk market studio. world authorities suspended ivory trading 25 years ago. they've been unable to stop poachers and smugglers who serve a thriving black market in china. we lift the lid on the underground network. >> reporter: hong kong, a global hub for the ivory trade. there are more than 70 retail outlets. they are prohibited from selling restale stock. there are about ten ivory manufacturers in hong kong, but those products are only supposed
to be bought and sold locally. vendors have to provide the hong kong government with regular updates on their stocks. >> this import in '86. if some customer needs that, we can use this to make carving. >> reporter: for years, vendors reported declining supplies of tusks and ivory products, but then figures began to level out. environmental activists say the reason is the shops are popping up with tusks from recently poached elephants.
the environmentalists say lacks regulations and supervision allow the illegal trade to continue. one alleged member of a smuggling syndicate spoke with nhk on condition of anonymity. >> translator: the ivory comes from zimbabwe. >> reporter: the man says illegal wildlife trading is rampant in the impoverished african nation. he says monitoring falls short, not only in zimbabwe but hong kong, too. >> translator: customs checks a much stricter than mainland china. in hong kong, they're lax. >> reporter: smugglers use the post office near the border with mainland china.
they say one box of ivory arrives from zimbabwe almost every day. the tusks are well hidden beneath wrapping paper in packages that weigh about a kilogram. and authorities rarely seize them. about 80 carriers transport packages for the smuggling organization. they hide the ivory among other belongings, then pretend to be tourists crossing over to the mainland. members of the smuggling syndicate pay bribes to some chinese custom officials and a carrier is passed through the gates when those officials are on duty. >> translator: the carriers get about $70 per trip or $160 for two. there's a lot of money for people in the mainland. the ivory goes to beijing and shanghai. >> reporter: chinese president
xi jinping has pledged to crack down on the illegal trade, but he must also contend with the belief among many of his citizens that ivory products are treasures that bring great luck. nhk world. japan's aviation industry is taking off. one company has developed the nation's first commercial aircraft in half a century and a car manufacturer also aims to fly high. today we lk at ways that government and small businesses are teaming up to take advantage of new opportunities. nhk world has the story. >> reporter: the city of niigata spent $3.5 million to build this factory.
it was completed last spring. it has a cluster of five small to medium sized firms engaged in machining parts for aircraft. >> translator: we hope that components made in niugata will soon find their way into airplanes. >> reporter: the aviation industry is expected to grow substantially. a recent air trade show in tokyo attracted hundreds of firms from around the country. the ministry of economy trade and industry estimates sales in the sector will double in five years to $2.5 billion. a typical airplane contains over 3 million parts, over 100 times more than an automobile. the company that makes these parts must have advanced technological skill. but they don't need large expensive machines capable of mass production. that's one reason this industry is so appealing to smaller firms.
there are 28 aviation industry clusters in japan where 600 small to medium sized businesses have teamed up with government. niigata was among the first to establish a joint manufacturing facility. kagazaki machinery is one of the companies there. they have been making parts for home plumbing systems. over 70 years, the company developed expertise in handling difficult to process metals, something few businesses can claim. with sales plunging, company executives decided to use that experience to try something different. this man is one of them. >> translator: focusing on this industry will allow us to pursue new opportunities in a number of
ways. >> reporter: kimura began making the rounds of aviation companies in search of customers. recently he received a request from a major passenger aircraft manufacturer to produce a prototype for a key component. the aircraft company will give kimura the production contract if he can meet the customers' high safety standards. the part must be very strong and be built to exacting standards. kakizaki machinery invested $1.6 million in production equipment. work on the prototype can now begin. >> translator: we've committed ourselves to succeeding in this industry. so we have to keep moving forward. we've staked the future of our company on this project. that's the challenge we have to keep in mind.
>> reporter: many small businesses are hoping that the rising prospects for japan's aviation industry will allow the dreams of success to take flight. nhk world. the united states has expressed concern over a new chinese anti-terrorism law saying it could restrict freedom of expression. on monday, u.s. state deputy department spokesperson mark toner commented on the new legislation. it required internet-related companies to share information with authorities. >> the united states remains concerned that the broad, vaguely phrased provisions and
definitions in this law, speaking about the counterterrorism law, could lead to greater restrictions on the exercise of freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly and religion within china. >> toner also said the united states condemns all forms of terrorism regardless of the goals professed by the people who carried it out. under the legislation adopted on sunday, internet and telecom companies will need to provide their decryption. it prohibits individuals or organizations from providing any details which could be used to carry out imitation attacks. the u.s. government is apparently concerned that china could use the law to tighten its control over members of a minority group and other political dissidents. chinese police are
investigating the deadly landslide in the southern city shenzhen and have focused on 12 people. they say the person looking over the area has committed suicide. it stems from a company that runs a dump site at the construction site at the industrial park. they say soil from the construction site had been piled up and collapsed due to bad safety management. the official who killed himself had approved illegal dumping of soil. the landslide on december 20th left seven people dead and 75 missing. high-ranking officials from japan and britain are looking to discuss areas of mutual concern. defense and foreign ministers from the two countries are working out the details of a meeting last month in tokyo. it would be their second round of two plus two talks in the past year. the first meeting was held in
london in january. the two sides hope the talks will strengthen cooperation in security matters. the japanese ministers want to exchange views on china's increasing activities in the south and east china seas. they'll likely voice objections to any country acting on its own to change the status quo in the region. they are also hoping to increase ties between japan's self-defense forces and the british military. they want to make progress on an agreement for closer cooperation during joint trails and disaster relief operations. japan is getting ready to host world leaders at next year's group of seven summit in a certain area. the ministers are expected to re-affirm their commitment to improving counterterrorism measures. it's time now for the world
weather with our meteorologist. parts of the united kingdom are dealing with the worst floods in decades after exceptionally heavy rains hit the region in decades. >> it's been wet across parts of the british isils. northern england had 3.5 times more than the monthly rain so far this month and the worst floods in 70 years occurring. we have photos coming out of york. take a look. york city was inundated on monday after a pumping station became overwhelmed by water. over a month's rain fell in northern england in a few days. hundreds of soldiers were deployed to help residents and help emergency services. 500 properties were flooded. they are experiencing a break in the rainy weather but the ice s -- isobars are still high.
we are looking at rain to continue for the next several days. flooding will be a continued risk. now, the first winter storm of the season will likely affect the black sea region on tuesday as well as wednesday. we're talking about very heavy snow as well as low temperatures. it has been very warm across eastern europe so far this season. we will see a big change for the next several days. these are your morning lows. moscow minus 9 degrees for the morning low on thursday and then going down to minus 17 degrees on the second day of january. and the capital city of armenia with the fight low temperatures going into the new year. so please do bundle up. across north america, weather has been very wild in the southern areas. they were about 70 reports of tornadoes since last week and that system, that was caused by two different air masses, very warm and humid air from the gulf of mexico collided with cold air
from the north and blizzard-affected new mexico as well as texas during the weekend in some areas saw record-breaking heavy snowfall. severe weathermakers located over the u.s./canada border still causing widespread winter storm conditions across these areas. heavy snow and strong winds are expected to occur into your tuesday. and then a cold front will cause a wide bit of rainfall across the eastern seaboard of the united states. temperatures are going to be as follows. 11 degrees in new york city with rainy weather. this is warmer compared to average. 17 degrees in the u.s. capital, meanwhile, fight cool temperatures can be found across the north and west, moon us in 14 degrees for the high in winnipeg despite sunny weather on your tuesday. blowing snow conditions are still occurring across the northwestern flank of japan from hokkaido. 1.3 meters of snow is on the ground in sukayu and 1.2 meters
is on the ground in shumarni. the opposite side of japan including tokyo will stay fight dry for the next several days. temperatures are going to be fight warm. staying chilly as we go into wednesday in the tokyo area. 12 degrees on thursday and 13 degrees on january 1st is going to be spring-like warmth as we go into the next several days. here's the extended forecast.