it's 7:00 p.m. on a tuesday here in japan. i'm james tengan in tokyo. welcome to "newsline." turkish authorities say ten are dead and 15 injured after a large explosion in istanbul. police sealed off a part of the city. the blast occurred near the salton ahmed square on tuesday morning. the historic area includes the
blue mosque and is unesco world heritage site. in january of last year, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a police station in the district, killing a police officer and wounding another. in october, a bomb attack in ankara killed more than 100 people. police suspect the islamic state militant group was involved. we'll have more details for you here on "newsline." investor concerns over china's financial markets and economic outlook are fueling volatility in other asian benchmarks. gene otani joins us from the business desk. gene? >> thanks, james. the sell-off is continuing here in japan after a three-day weekend. the nikkei average hit a 3.5-month low on tuesday. mayu yoshida at the tokyo stock exchange has the details. what did you see today? >> the stock sell-off is unstoppable here. it's not just china but crude oil prices hit sentiment.
investors are worried that the stronger yen would weigh on japanese company's earnings this year. so the stock sell-off continued after the markets re-opened on tuesday, the nikkei closed at 17,218. the lowest close since september 29th. while the broader topix tumbled more than 3%, also closing at a 3 1/2 month low. the both indices dropped for six days in a row. the nikkei dropped 9.5% since 20!6ç started. crude oil prices hit a 12-year low. traders are worrying that china's energy demand could slow as well as about the possible of flood of oil from iron. t inpex down 5.8% and another company lost 5.6%. this is after a report that said
jk holdings may lose $1.7 billion for the year. the energy secretarier became the biggest losing sector. we saw 97% of stocks listed on tokyo's main board opposed to losses. it was another day of volatility and stock routes here in tokyo. i'm mayu yoshida, reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. moving on to other markets in the asia-pacific region. in china, shanghai composite briefly dipped below the key 3,000 mark for the first time since mid-september. it ended the day up by a fraction, 0.2% up. analysts say some investors cheered the government's efforts to stabilize the yuan. the central bank set the midpoint rate slightly higher than yesterday's close. concerns over china weed on other benchmarks. hong kong's hang seng slid 0.9% to close at the low nest more than three years. sydney's s & p asx slid.
a rout in oil prices weighed on the resource heavy market. japanese leaders are calling for calm in domestic stock markets as investors react to the slowdown in china's economy. japanese firms are on a solid fundamental footing. people are too excited about the situation. i urge market watchers to remain calm as they monitor stock prices. >> economic revitalization minister added caution yash advice, noting that chinese stock prices are volatile as the country transitions from fast paced growth to moderate expansion. he said he hopes the chinese markets regain stability before too long. we asked a specialist to give us his outlook on the japanese stock market.
>> translator: investors are selling japanese shares due to overseas factors rather than the domestic economy and corporate performance. it will take time for external factors to subside. it's unlikely the situation will improve in the short term. the japanese stock market will calm down if the yuan becomes stable and crude oil prices and shanghai stocks show signs they are stabilizing. >> ana holding is pursuing a tie-up with vietnam airlines. they aim to capitalize on growing travel demand in the region. ana officials said the two firms have reached a basic agreement. the japanese carrier will buy 8.8% of vietnam's flag carrier for about $110 million. the vietnamese government holds a 95% stake in the country's largest airline. managers working to privatize the company had been looking for an overseas partner to contribute capital. ana is planning joint operation of routes between the two
countries. vietnam airlines currently shares flight service with japan airline. ana official says that arrangement is expected to change. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. japan's current account in november was in the black for the 17th straight month. the surplus was more than $9 billion. finance ministry officials say lower crude oil prices were a factor. the current account balance is the broadest measure of trade and investment with other countries. a government survey suggests workers in japan were more optimistic about the economy in december when holiday spending was high. the economy watchers index showed the first improvement in sentiment in two months. the index rose 2.6 points in november to 48.7. many were less optimistic about the month ahead due to china's slowing economy. that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the market.
japan's prime minister welcome the new year talking about the challenges 2016 will bring. results of a new nhk poll suggests his popularity hasn't changed since last month. around 1,000 people participated in the telephone survey from saturday through monday. the cabinet support rate stayed the same as last month at 46%. the disapproval rate went down
one point to 35%. respondents were asked whether they approve of the abe cabinet's economic policy. 52% said they do. 42% said they don't. the survey also touched on last week's nuclear test by north korea. 81% said they are concern. 15% said they are not concerned. respondents were also asked if they support the agreement japan and south korea reached last month on the issue referred to as comfort women. 53% said they support the agreement, 29% said they do not. we are joined by a reporter here in the studio. it seems voters are relative supportive between japan and south korea reaching an agreement over the issue of those referred to as comfort women. >> they may support it but there is some doubt it can be honored. that has been a source of political tension between the
neighboring countries. japan's prime minister said he welcomed the final and irreversible resolution and hoped this would assure a new era of relations. some voters are not so sure. 59% of people we polled said they feel the issue of comfort women will remain while only 8% answered it won't. the japanese govern maintains that all issues relating to property and claims between the two governments were settled 50 years ago. bu seoul continued to raise its claim. it's not surprising that many people seem concerned about the agreement. north korea's latest nuclear test is playing a re that could help the move put the pressure on japan and south korea to put this issue behind them and together face the instability in the region. >> this was our first poll for 2016. giving us an indication of where abe's support rate stands, what are some of the big issues facing him this year? >> well, in abe's first speech of the year he said it will be a
year of challenge. he's facing upper house elections this summer. abe will be working to strengthen his political base. he wants his ruling block and opposition parties to secure a two-thirds majority in the chamber. that number of seats would enable him to initiate the referendum necessary to reviews the constitution. but he hasn't made clear which part he wants to change. abe needs to show he's prioritizing the economy knowing it's a key factor for public support. he has to make sure to win the diet's approval for the next fiscal year by the end of march. he faces debate related to the consumption tax hike. abe must seek approval of an agreement on the transpacific partnership free trade initiative but opposition parties aren't just standing by quietly. some are considering ways to feel the joint candidate in the upper house election to fight
the ruling coalition. they see diet deliberations as a chance to present a common front which means they will step up their attack in the upcoming discussions. >> thanks very much, myuko. as part of the ongoing response to last week's nuclear test by north korea, senior officials from the japan, u.s. and south korea will sit down soon to discuss the situation on the korean peninsula. >> translator: we will use the talks to re-affirm the close coordination of our policies over issues related to north korea. >> the talks will include the foreign ministry officials in charge of north korean affairs. the meetings will be in seoul on wednesday. and in tokyo on saturday. japanese officials are monitoring developmenting in the north. he referred to sunday's b-52 bomber flight, he says it shows
that washington is serious about its commitment to the security situation in northeast asia. japan's top government spokes penn says officials in tokyo are considering what will be the most effective measures against pyongyang. >> translator: we have been taking a resolute stance against north korea, jointly with the united states, south korea and other members of the international community. that includes working with the u.n. security council. >> at the same time, suga said japanese officials are studying the best possible way to settle various concerns about the north. they include abduction of japanese nationals in the '70s and '80s as well as nuclear and missile development programs. japan's defense minister is considering a new approach to policing japanese territorial waters off the senkaku islands. he says self-defense force personnel could be mobilized if a chinese military vessel enters the waters.
japan controls the islands, china and taiwan claim them. >> translator: if the situation cannot be dealt with by the japan coast guard, the general principle is to issue an order for self-defense force personnel to engage in maritime policing activities. >> the senkaku islands are in the east china sea. japan's government purchased some of them from a private japanese owner in 2012. since then, chinese patrol ships have repeatedly entered the surrounding territorial waters. japanese officials say one ship spotted late last month was a remodeled chinese navy frigate. the vessel appeared to be equipped with guns. it was the first time an armed chinese government ship was confirmed to have entered japan's territorial waters. after weeks of mounting international criticism, the syrian government allowed supplies to be brought into the besieged town of madaya.
people there have been trapped for months by a government blockade and without supplies since october. the town's 40,000 residents received food, medicine and other humanitarian aid that was prepared by the united nations and the international committee of the red cross. the need was critical. >> translator: around one to two people pass away every day because of a lack of food. and there are between 200 and 300 cases of fainting daily. >> officials at the u.n. security council confirmed the severe malnourishment in the town. >> around 400 people have been identified who must be evacuated immediately. we must seek to do this and put the arrangements in place as soon as at all possible for medical treatment. >> syria's ambassador to the u.n. told reporters his
government was committed to cooperating fully on aid delivery. but warned some of the supplies have been looted by armed terrorist groups. fans from around the world are mourning the death of rock legend david bowie. he passed away on sunday. nhk world looks at his legacy. ♪h#%e1l[ñlv david bowie died of cancer two ds after turning 69. he was known for inventing his sound and image through his long career. some laid flowers in memory of the singer and grieved his death. >> i just wanted to say thank you for all the years of music. >> he was an icon, the best. we all loved him. it's heartbreaking.
♪ >> reporter: london in 1947. he changed his name to bowie and developed a unique image with eccentric costumes and make-up. his 1972 album prepared him to grow and inspired a generation of musicians. ♪ let's dance >> reporter: his success continued with the 1983 album "let's dance" which sold 7 million copies worldwide. he kept pushing the boundaries of music and produced songs in several decades. >> you could change music at a time when it didn't have to become static. you could spent it in many ways. it would be constantly in flux. >> reporter: bowie remained active till the end. his latest album was released friday. his 69th birthday.
his official facebook page published a statement stating he died surrounded by his family after courageous 18-month battle with cancer. british prime minister david cameron held the singer is has a talent who enriched people's lives. >> musically, artistically, david bowie was incredible. >> a record store in tokyo have set up an official display to feature's bowie's work. >> translator: i came here to mourn his death and share with others.
>> the way songs have great melodies. he was also a leader in fashion and other areas. ♪ >> he starred in a 1983 movie by a japanese director. bowie played a part during world war ii. he continued to create until the end of his life and his sudden passing has left people around the world grieving the loss of a unique talent. nhk world. u.s. president barack obama has been struggling to close the country's most notorious prison since his nauseouinauguration. public attitudes about guantanamo have shifted
dramatically during his administration, posing yet another road block. nhk world's alicia rose has more. >> shut it down! shut it down! >> reporter: people gathered outside the white house for a protest, coinciding with the 14th anniversary of guantanamo's first arrival. they say the nearly 800 detainees who have been held at the u.s. military prison suffered serious human rights violations. with one year left in the white house for president obama, protester its are calling for the release of guantanamo bay prisoners. the facility as set up at the september 11th attacks. currently there are 103 people there. obama has been chipping away at that population but hasn't yet managed to keep his campaign promise about the prison. >> i will not relent in my determination to shut it down. it's time to close gitmo.
>> reporter: republicans in congress have been putting up road blocks. >> when i am president, foreign terrorists caught overseas will receive a one-way ticket to guantanamo where we will interrogate them and gather as mu much inasmuch as -- as much information as we can. >> the fear has led to a rise of attacks on muslim mosques in the u.s. this is a doctor who emigrated from pakistan to texas and he's the president of a national muslim youth association. but none of that mattered in november when another passenger on his flight reported him as a terror suspect. >> when the flight landed, they pulled me off, fbi, police
officers came on, took me into a police car. >> reporter: his experience prompted him to launch a new campaign. he started engaging children at his mosque. >> have you ever had any kind of stress at school? because of the fact that you're a muslim? >> sometimes people are like, oh, no, don't bring any explosives into class. >> we're not the kind of muslims that take anger and revenge on other people. you should tell your teacher if somebody bothers you. >> reporter: but last week his community was raddled when a young muslim from houston was arrested for trying to cooperate with the islamic state militant group. >> there's no doubt in my mind that advancing the rhetoric of islam a fo
islam-aphobia. >> that negative impact could actually help terrorist organizes. obama has used a similar argument when defending his plan to close guantanamo. he said the prison has been a recruitment tool for terrorists and he is expected to express his resolve for the plan again this week when he delivers his final state of the union address. alecia rose, nhk, washington. you're watching "newsline" from tokyo where it's finally feeling like winter. >> it's freezing cold outside, yes. the cold air will continue to grip much of japan into tomorrow. we saw the coldest air blanketing much of japan. we saw the first snowfall of the season in the tokyo area. take a look at this footage coming out of tokyo earlier this morning. temperatures dropped 2 degrees celsius in tokyo this morning,
creating snow flurries. again, we saw the first snowfall of the season, that's nine days later than normal and 29 days later than last year. yokohama has snowfall. chilly air, cold enough to create snowfall blanket in much of japan, hokkaido through the tokyo region into western japan as well as the korean peninsula and northern portions of china will see snowfall across many areas of asia. snow flurries from tonight and into tomorrow morning. but it's not going to be heavy snowfall. we don't think it will accumulate. tokyo, tomorrow's high will be 9 degrees. 6 degrees for the high on tuesday. slightly warmer, going up to double digits on thursday as well as friday. that's the news.
a cold front caused severe weather across the florida peninsula during the weekend. a tornado ripped through the town in the area, about 210 kilometer wind gusts were reported as you can see, cars were damaged and trees were toppled. meanwhile, northern portions of the u.s., heavy snowfall, had four centimeters of snowfall. buffalo will see an additional 40 centimeters of snowfall into tuesday night. as you can see, the lines are very close to each other. that means winter is here and cold air is coming in, the combination is causing low wind chill valleys, we're talking about minus 25 degrees wind chill valleys. that's on your wednesday morning in the chicago area. this is not the actual temperature but it could feel like minus 25 degrees. cover your skin to avoid frostbite. even down to minus 40 degrees on tuesday. the extra temperature in winnipeg, minus 20 and sunny conditions on tuesday.
snow is likely to fall in new york city on tuesday and snow is expected in washington, d.c. with a high of 7 degrees. let's go to europe. multiple systems are creating messy pictures across europe. this low pressure system is dragging cold air from the north. even blizzard conditions could happen in western russia and severe weather is once again affecting italy and parts of the western balkan peninsula. the severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, tornadoes as well. the windiest part will be southern germany. where about 120 kilometer wind gusts are expected. you may not be able to stand without support. watch out for that. temperatures will be in the single digits in london, paris. 30 degrees for the high. snow is expected to figure into the latter part of this week. meanwhile, 19 degrees in athens with plenty of sunny skies on tuesday.
our top story once against, turkish authorities say ten people are dead and 15 are injured after a large explosion in istanbul. police have sealed off a part of the city. the blast occurred near the salton ahmed square in a major tourist district. it is a unesco world heritage site. in january of last year, a female suicide bomber blew herselup at a police station in the district, killing a police officer and wounding another.