hello, i'm james tengan in tokyo. it's 7:00 p.m. on a tuesday. welcome to "newsline." here are some of the stories we're following this hour. rising tension. demonstrators in tehran continue anti-saudi rallies while riyadh responds by severing air traffic and trade links with its recent rival. taking action.
u.s. president barack obama is introducing measures to tighten gun control. and going green. getting some on board is a challenge. the execution of a shiite cleric in saudi arabia has set off a chain reaction in the middle east. iran condemned the death, sparking the sunni kingdom and some of its allies to cut diplomatic ties. riyadh is severing more links with tehran. in iran, demonstrators denouncing the execution have continued for three days. in iraq's capital, baghdad, several thousand protesters also took to the streets. an attack on a sunni mosque was reported about 100
kilometers south of baghdad. no one has claimed responsibility but authorities indicate a possible link with the cleric's execution. saudi arabia severed ties with iran, after demonstratesers attacked its embassy in tehran, now the saudi foreign minister said his country would halt air traffic and commercial lunks between the two rival powers. >> it is the escalation is on the part of iran, it's their aggressive moves that have led to this. >> bahrain and sudan followed the example, by announcing they would cut ties with iran. bahrain's foreign affairs ministry told iranian diplomats they had 48 hours to close their embassy and leave. the uae announced it will downgrade its relations. washington is weighing in. a the white house spokesman told the two sides to show restraint. he said secretary of state john
kerry has spoken with his iranian counterpart and will discuss the issue with saudi arabia. and the arab league plans to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the diplomatic breakdown. foreign ministers from the member states will meet on sunday in cairo, after saudi arabia called the meeting. an arab league spokesperson said the talks are aimed at condemning iran's actions against the saudi arabian embassy in tehran. muslims here in japan have expressed concern about the breakdown in relations. >> it's kind of hard to say which one is right and which one is wrong. but i hope that they can conclude and finally solve the problem. >> a turkish man in tokyo said it's unacceptable to set fire to the saudi embassy, but he also criticized leaders in riyadh. >> saudi arabia should have predicted that the execution of the shia cleric would provoke protests from iran. >> middle eastern affairs expert
spoke with nhk to give his analysis. he says the countries that have followed saudi arabia's lead so far have likely done so because of their involvement together in yemen. their fighting against houthi rebels who support salah abdeslam. >> countries like morocco and even jordan may sever ties with saudi arabia. so far, countries like the uae, bahrain, and sudan, these are all partners with saudi arabia in their fight against the houthi rebels. i think that is more related to the issues in yemen rather than the entire region. the yemenese cease-fire was about to expire in the following days.
i believe that the saudis were calculating an event, sort of a chain of events that would erupt after the execution that would eventually lead to some action by the iranians that would give sort of a pretext for the saudis to act inside yemen, again, against the houthis and as well as the former forces loyal to former president salah. i don't consider this event would alter the powerballance within the region, especially when it comes to the persian gulf region. one thing is sure, the iranian diplomatic effort to regain trust and rejoin again the international community is going to be hampered by the recent event. there have been some backlashes against the states that may have been considering their relationship with iran. it's very difficult to consider that any state, a third party, could mediate the current
conditions that are already there. if you look back into history, the late 1980s until early 1990s, the saudis severed relationship with iran in those days. and it was only after the iraqi invasion in kuwait and the following gulf war that led the saudis to reconsider its position vis-a-vis iran. without such an event that would oblige riyadh to reconsider its foreign policy against iran, there's no room for, first of all, mediation and there is no room for the saudis to reconsider what they have to do with iran. so, i believe that current condition may continue at least for several years and could possibly go on for decade or so. >> that was korichito tanaka
with the institute of energy economics japan. u.s. president barack obama is trying to tighten gun control by bypassing congress. >> although it is my strong belief that for us to get our complete arms around the problem, congress needs to act. we'll be rolling out these initiatives. >> the white house unveiled the details monday. the measures require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks. obama will make an official announcement on tuesday. his decision follows multiple high-profile mass shootings, the most recent happened last month in california where 14 people were killed. legislation to tighten gun control has previously been blocked by republicans. they hold a majority in congress and believe in the right to bear arms. japanese executives are facing a new year and a new round of calls to reward their workers.
gene otani joins us for more on that an a roundup of other business headlines. >> thanks, james. japanese executives have got together to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that await them in 2016. they heard from the head of a major business group who urged them to take more risks, raise wages and increase capital investment. some 1,800 people attended an event hosted by three main business groups. the chairman of the japan association of corporate executives spoke on behalf of the organizers. kobayashi mentioned the broad agreement reached last year for the transpacific partnership free trade initiative. he told executives the ball is now in their court. >> translator: companies need to invest more in capital, labor and innovation. they should also raise wages. that would help to create a positive cycle for the economy. >> some executives spoke in
favor of wage hikes and capital investment. others were more cautious. >> translator: our firm mainly deals with oil refining and sales. we're still in a really tough situation, so we need to look closely at ways we can contribute to the economic cycle while keeping our own interests in mind. >> translator: investment in research and development has an immediate effect. japan's globally competitive know-how and technology will contribute to the future. so we'll promote investment in those two areas. >> toyota suggested he's eager to invest in research and technology of driverless technology and artificial
intelligence. executives at diacchi life are planning to raise wages for their sales team for the first time in 15 years. they're considering an increase of about $160 a month from april. the move comes at a time when the insurance industry faces ziflt securing sales staff. the firm will also continue a performance-based raise it's had in place for the last two years. checking the markets. stocks see-sawed in a choppy day for the markets. the situation has steadied a little since yesterday's drop. investors replain wary of the economic situation in china, despite efforts by beijing to stabilize there. and the escalating situation between iran and saudi arabia is adding to the sense of anxiety. the shanghai composite closed down 0.3% earlier in the day, the index dived more than 3% before recovering much of that ground. the index is now at a near three-month low. reports that china's central
bank intervened with a cash injection gave the markets a lift for a while but the upward momentum eventually stalled. it was a mixed picture overall in the rest of the asia-pacific region. seoul's kospi rebounded 0.6% as some market players went bargain hunting. indonesian shares rose 0.7%, boosted by financials and automakers. sydney's s&p asx fell 1.6%. concerns over china dragged down banking shares. wary investors avoided taking big gambles in tokyo. they watched as stocks wavered. we go to recommeto the tokyo st exchange. shares were in and out of positive territory. many investors deciding to play it safe. a few of them went out for a little bit of bargain hunting. the nikkei ended down closing at
18,374. the topix fell 0.3% to 1,504. again today, investors focused on china as well as currencies. that pretty much dictated much of the action. japanese companies with a large foot print in china also ended the day in the negative. i was tracking the likes of nissan as well as komatsu. the dispute between saudi arabia and iran really created waves in the middle east. i was tracking the likes of sumitomo chemical. a lot of concerns by investors for its petro chemical group operations in saudi arabia. the share prices actually fell to three-month lows. now, we did see the yen also weakening against the dollar but that really didn't help with exporters too much. again, we were tracking some of the big global names there, casio computer, isuzu, as well as nintendo. all trading down. investors look to have really
bounced back a little bit from that initial sell-off that we saw on monday. and a little bit less volatility this tuesday. i'm ramin mel gaarde at the tokyo stock exchange. >> thank you. "newsline" is airing a five-part series about the economic outlook for major countries. today we focus on the world's second largest economy, china. we asked an expert what he expects in 2016. >> very nice to meet you. >> thank you. >> reporter: this is dean of the asian development bank institute. he first went to china in 1991 to promote policies for growth. since then he's seen the economy shoot up and slow down. what kind of year are you expecting for china in 2016. >> i think it's 5%, 6% in china. domestic consumption and investment if the economy and expectations continue. it used to be 7% and then now
many people believes it is 6.5 or so. i think chinese export oriented growth will be slightly damaged. because of slow growth of international market. but some economies in china hopes domestic investment will take over exports, especially in middle-class income people are growing and consumption will grow. if they are partners of good things, domestic investment grows. optimistic people say 6.5 or 6% can be achieved. it depends on how domestic market can grow. >> he says one of the keys to maintaining stable growth will be china's relations with its neighbors. he points to an overseas infrastructure development planned called the silk road project. >> i think china is very much interested in connectivity with other countries, south, west and so on.
and silk road plan is also one of those schemes. they are planning this. in silk road i think it's very good for tourism. and to develop the small businesses in the region and selling those products, they need money also. not only constructing highways but also providing money to small businesses and hotels and so on. so if this comes very big, the silk road planning will be successful. on the other hand, just constructing road will not make them a success. >> reporter: on the downward pressure to the economy, he believes china will largely avoid the negative effects of the u.s. federal reserve's rate hike but he warns of domestic risks, especially possible overheating in the property markets. >> china has over investment in real estate industries because
chinese local government, their main tax revenue is coming from property tax revenue. and allocation of tax revenues between central government and other governments are very different from japan. if local government wants to keep on investing, they prefer rising price of housing price and property prices. and then the government has looked at a huge increase of loans to real estate sectors. then local government started to borrow money from bank and institutions. that has kept on throwing down into the local government. there's a possibility of bubble in construction and housing market. >> for wednesday's installment of our world economic outlook 2016 series, we'll focus on the united states. and if you missed our report,
you can check it out on our nhk world website. here's a look at some the other business stories we're following. last year saw a drop in japan's domestic sales of new cars. it's the first annual decline in four years. officials at auto industry organizations say dealers sold just over 5 million vehicles, that's down 9.2% from 2014. they attribute the drop to a tax hike on many vehicles. their sales fell more than 16%. >> the u.s. department of justice has filed a civil lawsuit against volkswagen for allegedly using illegal software to cheat on diesel emissions tests. the department officials accuse the german automaker of selling nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles in the u.s. with the software. they're demanding financial penalties, u.s. media say they could total $18 billion.
businesses are beginning to go green. but others are struggling to follow. >> reporter: in the middle of the mountains in this province is a cutting edge testing facility. chinese and american researchers are joining hands on a project here, their goal is to prevent carbon dioxide from getting into the atmosphere with a technology called carbon capture and storage or ccs. first, carbon dioxide is collected from facries so it isn't released into the air. then the gas is cooled, turned into a liquid and piped underground for storage. the technology has caught at tension of petroleum producers. that's because it can also be used to extract more crude from deep in the earth. once most of the oil is pumped out, liquefied co2 is injected to push out remaining deposits. experts say ccs could eventually
allow producers to extract 10% more oil than they do now. even with the increase, officials in beijing hope the technology will result in net gains for the environment. some major companies are introducing their own initiatives. one example is telecom equipment huawei. at ten minutes past noon, all the lights in the head office go off. the workplace remains dark for about 80 minutes every day. temperatures throughout the office are centrally controlled. and managers have installed solar panels on the roof of the main plant. they say the system supplies 10% of the plant's electricity. shenzhen officials are pushing all businesses in the city to do more. they opened an emissions exchange market two years ago.
when a company's emissions exceed the city's target, it has to purchase another firm's unused quota. huawei's managers are turning this scheme to their advantage. they've kept their emissions below the quota and plan to sell what's left over. >> we've been promoting energy efficiency in all areas from production to distribution. i think china's emissions exchange markets are moving in a positive direction. >> reporter: but venture to northeastern china and it's clear more needs to be done. people in cities like shenyung are choking on dirty air caused in part by burning coal. this firm supplies heat to 1,000 of shenyung's households. the workers here know coal pollutes the air. natural s is cleaner but, they say, it's too expensive.
>> translator: coal is cheap this year. we can't make the switch in a day or two. >> reporter: other small business owners rely on fuels like charcoal. they can't afford to adopt greener energy sources either. >> translator: many firms are not willing to give up coal instead of relying on citizens to act, the government must adopt stricter regulations. >> reporter: china's leaders expect the country's greenhouse gas emissions to peak in 15 years or earlier. they say they'll work hard to sharply reduce levels from there. they hope that the projects happening now will help set the stage for a greener future.
"newsline" comes to you live from our studios here in tokyo. it's time for weather. when it rains, it pours. residents in california are now seeing flash flooding after a long spell of drought and wildfires. jonathan oh has the details. >> reporte . it looks like a lot of rainfall is moving over southern california and all along the pacific coast of the united states. we have been monitoring these areas of low pressure that have been rolling through. you have to also keep in mind when we have the warm phase of the el nino southern oscillation we call it el nino during the warm phase, we have a lot more of a wetter pattern over the southern portions of this region of california and extending further slightly toward the east as well. we are monitoring this area because it's been very wet. now, in some aspects it's actually very helpful because we've been dealing with
significant drought in california but we want to make sure that the amount of rainfall is regulated in some amount, because we don't want all of that rain pouring at one time. we want to avoid those flooding issues. here's that low pressure system, another one that's part of this big pattern that continues to be over the area. this is going to be plenty of rainfall. we're also talking about snowfall further toward the east, higher up in the elevation and also areas where we're seeing some of the colder air filtering in. so plenty of active weather to talk about in terms of precipitation. now, in terms of the amount of rainfall, some areas may be dealing with close to 100 millimeters of rainfall over the next three days. some areas might actually run into flooding issues. please make sure you're keeping aware of the weather situation, los angeles, points southward, san diego, will need to keep an eye out on this. meanwhile, the opposite problem is taking place, very dry weather pattern but we are also seeing a very cold weather pattern, this high that is
bringing the dry conditions is driving down air from the north. and that's going to press the temperatures, high temperatures down to much colder than what it's supposed to be for this time of year. look at this. the high in baltimore and in new york city at zero on tuesday. atlanta, down to 6 for the high. we'll see a slight warming trend coming up on thursday but it will be definitely colder. overnight lows dropping into the freezing area for many of the eastern locations of the united states. as we look at the forecast for europe, we do have a low pressure system over the british isles. another low that's moved over italy. these areas will see rain and windy conditions continuing tuesday into wednesday. meanwhile, over toward turkey, this low pressure system that's rolling over another one is interacting with the cold air. we're looking at temperatures starting to make their way back down as we progress through the week. snow is part of the picture as well as the rainfall.
rainy continues in damascus as we go into friday. temperatures around this region is relatively above average just a little bit. we'll see the temperatures coming down as they progress through the week. as we wrap things up, we look at asia, east asia. we are seeing the clouds increasing over japan as a stationary front over the southeastern portions of china wiggles its way toward the north and east. we see snow further toward the north. it's staying dry but it's also fight chilly and we are expecting those conditions to continue. here's a look at the forecast over into beijing, a high of 2. sunny skies but it's going to be chilly. temperatures in the teens for highs in tokyo. further down toward the south, very different picture. closer to the tropics, highs in the almolow-to-mid 30s. hope you have a good day. here's your extended outlook.
genie: this is live from paris ." i'm genie4 godula. these are the headlines. the french president begins a week of tribute to the victims of the charlie hebdo attacks in paris. 17 people were killed in january of last year, the first of two deadly attacks that book ended 2015. allies of saudi arabia follow the kingdom's lead, scaling back diplomatic ties with iran. they cut relations after