"newsline" comes to you live from our studios here in tokyo. i'm james tengan. here's a quick look at the hour's top stories. deadly blast. the turkish government says a large explosion that killed dozens of people in ankara was an act of terror. joining forces. u.s. and south korean troops are conducting military exercises,
despite threats from the north over the drill. and more than 3,000 tons. an nhk survey has found that unregistered post fukushima radioactive waste is being stored across a wide area. turkey's president erdogan says he will bring terrorism to its knees. the remark comes after a deadly attack in the capital ankara. authorities are investigating who was behind the car bomb. this video shows the site of the blast in the heart of the capital. the explosion occurred shortly before 7:00 p.m. on sunday local time near a bus stop in the downtown area. authorities say at least 34 people were killed and 71 others were injured. >> translator: i saw a red flame go up. something hit my forehead and chin. >> erdogan has suggested that an anti-government group may have been behind the blast. in a statement, he said
terrorist organizations are targeting civilians, because they are losing against security forces. in the past year, turkey has been hit by multiple attacks in ankara and istanbul. a white house spokesperson condemned sunday's attack in the strongest terms. he said the u.s. stands together with turkey as it confronts the scourge of terrorism. u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon joined in the condemnation. he says the u.n. will continue to support the turkish people and its government. it gives some reason for optimism. gene otani has the details on that and other business headlines. >> thanks, james. machinery orders in japan rose sharply, marking a second straight monthly increase. the figure came in much stronger than expected. big orders from steelmakers led the gains.
officials at the cabinet office say the orders were worth about $8.2 billion. that's up 15% in yen terms. there we see that spike right there for the month. the sharpest rise since comparable data became available in fiscal 2005. the figures exclude the ship building and power sectors which tend to see large fluctuations. manufacturers boosted their spending by more than 41%. steelmakers placed bulk orders for turbines and other equipment. orders by non-manufacturers were up 1% as financial institutions and firms upgraded their computer systems. economists at the cabinet office are playing down the sharp rise in orders for january saying the figures were inflated by the unusually massive orders. they're keeping their basic assessment unchanged that machinery orders are showing signs of picking up. those strong numbers gave a lift to share prices in tokyo. the nikkei average closed at its highest level since early
february. for the details, we go to our business reporter at the tokyo stock exchange. giang. >> reporter: the machinery orders surpassed all market expectations with a whopping 15%. investors here cheered on the data. share prices in tokyo rose for a third straight session. the nikkei was up 1.7%, closing at 17,233. the broader topix also gained finishing 1.5% higher. the nikkei was at its highest level in nearly six weeks. the sentiment was helped by the european central bank stimulus measures last week even though traders first stumbled over mario draghi's confusing statement, overall traders viewed it as positive. as for individual stocks, export-related issues were highered helped by a relatively weaker yen. alps electric added 3.6%. and tiremaker bridgestone was more than 0.3% higher. with the bank of japan policy meeting under way, some of the
big banks like mitsubishi and dai-ichi life insurance saw strong gains. the bank of japan's adoption of negative interest rates has hurt their profit outlook, but analysts are expecting it to stand when it concludes on tuesday. strong here in tokyo though investors are staying cautious with the central bank's policies front and center this week for markets. i'm giang nguyen reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. other markets in the asia-pacific region also extended their gains. let's take a look. shanghai composite up to 2,859. the central bank chief provided investors with relief. let's look at hong kong. hang seng gaining by almost 1.2%. 20,435 is the closing number. the index hit a two-month high following that rally in mainland china. seoul's kospi index, let's take
a look, see if we can get that up. little change. 0.4% rise. still managed to stretch its winning streak to a fourth day. indonesia rose by 1.3%, climbing to near eight-month high. "newsline" has been covering china's national peoples conference in beijing where delegates have been discussing the state of the economy. leaders in the country are under pressure to halt volatility in financial markets and put an end to the economic slowdown. last june the shanghai index hit its highest point in more than seven years and then dropped sha sharply. behind the price plunge was the central bank's decision to lower its daily reference rate. the number serves as a yardstick for the yuan-dollar exchange rate. market participants saw chinese authorities are apparently deevaluating the yuan in order to increase exports. last weekend, chinese officials in charge of monetary policy and supervising financial institutions spoke to news media.
nhk's senior commentator was there. i asked him earlier what the governor of the people's bank of china had to say. >> the governor hinted that at present the bank is adhering to its monetary easing policy. he said that future monetary policy will respond flexibly to economic changes at home and abroad. he also said that officials will not intentionally lower the yuan exchange rate to boost exports. >> translator: stimulating exports via monetary and exchange rate policies doesn't contribute much to economic growth. that's why we won't be relying on such policies. >> there was also an interesting exchange between zhou and the journalists on the devaluation of the yuan.
>> translator: is the stabilization of the foreign currency market's only temporary or will it remain relatively stable, how do you view the situation? should we rush to buy dollars? >> translator: of course there's no need to hurry to buy dollars. in time, those involved in the markets will be able to analyze the economic and foreign exchange situation more rationally and realistically. >> akihiro, people are selling stocks as well as the yuan. what did officials have to say about the stock market? >> the chairman of the chinese securities regulatory commission spoke about that. he indicated that the government would continue to keep stock prices stable by investing public funds in the market for the time being. >> translator: when the market
has completely recovered its ability to mend itself and move ahead on its own, we can end our support policy. but, at present, we are not considering bringing an end to the measures. it's too early to discuss the matter now. >> he also said officials are not planning to use the circuit breaker system for the next few years. they introduced the system in january this year to shut do markets in certain cases to help restore calm. but they canceled it after four days. the action was severely criticized, because it apparently encouraged investors to sell stocks, out of fear that they would not be able to after their value had declined. another big concern of the chinese government is the amount of bad debt held by banks as structural reform progresses and unprofitable companies continue to go bankrupt.
many bank loans will not be repaid. and the amount of bad debt will expand. the chairman of the china banking regulatory commission said banks must disburse bad loans and improve their management practices. i think he knows structural reform could be tough to implement if the banks fail to do so. >> now banking practices and structural reforms are closely connected. how does china intend to tackle them both? >> china is trying to carry out broad changes in its manufacturing sector. it hopes to develop new technology and manufactured products with high-added value. that requires capital. but if banks don't shape up, businesses will find it harder to get the loans they need.
will the chinese government get the banks to go along? and will they succeed in implementing key reforms in stock and bond markets in order to give business more chance to get the capital? china's leaders have so many problems to overcome, to achieve their goals. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. china's transport minister says the government plans to lay the legal groundwork to allow the online hiring of private vehicles. the business is growing in popularity in china despite being technically illegal. the minister said a legitimate industry would help develop internet-based businesses and reduce pollution. he indicated the planned legislation would specify requirements for drivers and types of vehicles. narita airport is opening a hydrogen fueling station to encourage wider use of fuel cell cars. the station will start selling customers hydrogen on tuesday at just under $10 a kilogram.
airport officials say it will take about three minutes to fill a tank. narita is the second airport in japan to set up a commercial hydrogen station after kansai international. annual wage talks in japan are in the final stretch. managers at major electronics makers are expected to grant base pay rise to their workers for the third year in a row. executives at five companies say they're offering an increase of about $13 per month, on average. labor unions were asking for twice that amount but are expected to accept the offer. that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
a nuclear test, a rocket launch, u.n. sanctions and a lot of rhetoric. tensions have been running high on the korean peninsula. and amid the strain, u.s. and south korean troops are conducting a joint exercise. while they don't specifically say the drills are about north korea, it doesn't take much to connect the dots. nhk world reports. >> reporter: u.s. marines and south korean marines have started the landing exercise. from the sea, marines and soldiers land in amphibious vehicles and take combat positions. from the sky, special forces parachute in. it's not a new exercise. it's a scenario, destroy the enemy using troops from sea and air.
and given the recent actions and saber rattling out of pyongyang, there's no question who the enemy is. this joint u.s.-south korean military drill is held every year. normally in the early spring. this year's military exercise is thlargest to date. there are a total of over 300,000 south korean and u.s. troops taking part. the militaries of australia and new zealand also have troops taking part. what we do hope that it offers is a good example of our capabilities with our ally, the republic of korea, and the kint of capabilities that we have that we hope deters anybody from any type of provocation and any challenges in this area. >> reporter: off the course, u.s. navy ships operate to support the exercise. including the nuclear-powered
aircraft korea and specially designed amphibious assault ships. these vessels are vital to air operations in support of marines. the man in charge of the labor opation sa it'all about readiness. >> the troop exercises might li these that we are ready at a moment's notice to take care of any challenges that arise together. >> reporter: north korea says the exercise is an act of war. u.s. forces, meanwhile, are careful to choose words to not provoke the nation. actions, though, tend to speak a lot louder than words. the joint drill will continue until the end of march. nhk world, south korea. personnel from japan's
self-defense forces and coast guard are headed to indonesia to help enhance its naval capability. the dispatch planned for late this month follows the first meeting of the two countries' foreign and defense ministers last december. the ministers agreed to enhance defense cooperation through measures that include increasing sdf support to boost indonesia's military capability. indonesian diplomatic sources say the japanese personnel will provide technical training in creating charts to record seabed topography and other information. indonesia's navy plans to improve its submarine unit. it commissioned a french-built advanced survey ship last year to draw detailed charts needed to operate the unit. part of indonesia borders the south china sea where beijing is increasing its military activity including the building of artificial islands. cleanup efforts after the
2011 fukushima nuclear accident have created a huge amount of radioactive waste. an nhk survey has found that some of it has not been designated as such and is being stored across a wide area. the government designates, stores and disposes of rice straw and soil contaminated with more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive materials per kilogram. but it is up to municipalities and farmers whether to apply for the designation. the survey found that at least 3,100 metric tons of undesignated waste is being kept in 30 municipalities across 7 prefectures. some municipalities say they did not report that they were storing the waste to prevent unfounded concerns. others say that even if the waste were designated as radioactive, it would still need to be stored due to problems in building disposal facilities. the central government plans to investigate undesignated waste and consider new disposal methods.
the democratic party and the japan innovation party have agreed to name their new party when they merge this month. the largest and third largest opposition parties separately sought public feedback on two proposed names over the weekend. members of a joint working group in charge of the merger were told monday that both surveys showed more support for the name. executives of both parties later met and agreed to adopt the name. its official english translation has not yet been disclosed. the parties are preparing to launch the new group on march 27th. democratic party president okada says he's ready to promote the party for what it is, not just its name. innovation party leader mtsuno said he wants the name to be at the forefront of voter consciousness. the nagasaki atomic bomb museum has unveiled renovations that show some of its exhibits
in a new light. the collection featuring the impact of nuclear weapons has been digitized. the renovation work started last summ at projecto commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. >> reporter: it becomes more and more important to provide information through documents and exhibitions in order to pass on the legacy as time on. >> one new exhibit projects video images on a diorama of nagasaki. it illustrates how the shockwave and the heat caused by the bomb spread through the city. another features digitized images from an 11-meter scroll depicting the devastation of the city in the days after the bombing. translar: i can now see more exhibitions than before, and they are easy to understand. >> photos and paintings have also been digitized to allow visitors to select and view them
using a touch screen device. japan's imperial residences will soon be welcoming more visitors. the imperial household agency has decided to increase access to palace grounds in tokyo and the ancient capital, kyoto. up to now, the compound of kyoto's imperial palace has only been open in five days in spring and in fall. it will now be open year round. the palace has been the site of enthronement ceremonies. it contains many valuable screens and paintings. and it was the imperial residence for more than 500 years. the emperor and empress now live at the imperial palace in tokyo. a tree-lined street leading to the palace is popular for viewing cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. the agency will extend the viewing period from five days to one week in spring and in fall. the street is set to open next on march 25th.
delegates from syria's government and opposition forces are set to resume peace talks shortly. they're in geneva more than a month after earlier talks collapsed. the major sticking point between the two sides is the future of president bashar al assad. the talks are mediated by a u.n. special envoy. he described the resumption of peace talks as a moment of truth. >> as far as i know, the only plan "b" available is return to war. >> the envoy says there will be two task forces discussing humanitarian aid and the cessation of hostilities. >> we are counting and using -- to use those task forces in order to contribute to make sure that the talks are focusing on the real issue, and what is the real issue? political transition.
>> a spokesperson for the major alliance of opposition groups has indicated that president assad should not be part of a new power structure. >> we want to see an end to what the syrian people have been facing for about five years. facing not only the dictators and the murder in damascus. >> on the other hand, syria's foreign minister has suggested that the government will not discuss the presidency of assad. he said the government's stance is that only syrians have the right to decide who will be their president. the talks aim to build on the cease-fire that came into effect late last month. the u.n. envoy will meet separately with delegates from both sides as the negotiations proceed. and it's time now for weather.
tokyo is experiencing cold and wet weather today on monday. for those planning to visit us soon, jonathan oh joins us with the outlook. >> hello. i think that we're going to be dealing with the chilly and the wet weather for one more day on tuesday, and then a big change comes. it's almost like flipping a switch. we're going from a cold, wet scenario to a very sunny and warm pattern as we go toward the latter half of this week. look at the rain totals that we received in portions of japan. i mean, way down toward okinawa, we saw 120 mill peimeters of rainfall in just the past 24 hours. let me give you another perspective. within three hours, we saw 81 millimeters of rainfall into portions. that is a record for this month. and now that system is continuing to push toward the east. this is a low-pressure area that has a lot of moisture with it. it's pulling down this chilly air. and because of that, we're dealing with temperatures that are very cold. we're talking about single-digit
highs in tokyo. and we're talking about lots of rainfall in the process. and we are looking at the rain to continue as we go throughout the day tuesday. as the low moves toward the north and east, we are looking at possibly up to 120 millimeters of rainfall in the islands. that's located also down in japan. and so we are expecting this rain to last through tuesday morning, and then we should see a drying pattern. this is exciting. this is where we're going to see more springlike weather. going induce wednesday, thursday and friday. 12-degree high on tuesday as we dry out a bit. and then we jump to 20 degrees on thursday. 19 on friday in tokyo. osaka looking at 22 degrees by thursday as well. even in sa powe row and 22 in nagano on friday. we are still dealing with some stronger and more severe-type weather. as we go into south asia, i wanted to point out this region in the northern portion of india and northward. and want to show you some video
over the past couple of days because of these storm systems that originated from the mediterranean sea. it moved across the afghanistan/pakistan region and then impacted northern india and areas north of there on saturday and sunday. the heaviest place had about 100 millimeters of rainfall during the weekend. that's very unseasonable for this time of year. and because the fresh snowfall that also came down, there are a chance of avalanches. so alerts issued to three states in the region. and then there's also some severe hailstorms or strong hailstorms that took place on sunday. wheat crops have been damaged by that and also strong gusts. and this is something that may likely continue for at least another day. the low that's responsible for this continues to remain and pushes toward the east. the rain totals itself may be dropping off a bit. this is our accumulation precipitation forecast. looking at areas way toward the north and west to see some rainfall from this. the damage is already done. this isomething that the farmers will have to recover
from as we move forward in time. a quick look at what's happening in europe. we have an area of low pressure down towards the balkans. this is moving over the region. greece, rome and italy also into portions of turkey looking at the possibility of some severe weather. so look out for that as we go through the morning hours. still seeing rain from rome to athens as we go through the afternoon. looking at temperatures in the teens for paris and madrid throughout the day on monday. we are looking at active weather as we look at north america. looking at a couple of areas of low pressure pushing east. look out for north carolina into virginia, the possibility of severe storms exist. dry weather but windy conditions bringing fire danger for the southwest. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.