president xi jinping and other leaders joined more than 2800 representatives in the great hall of the people to vote on nine measures. the delegates passed a budget which will raise the fiscal deficit to a record high of 3% gdp. but nearly 300 voted against it. observers say the results reflect a clash between those who want more stimulus and those concerned about the widened deficit. they adopted other measures with bigger majority. china lower its annual growth target to 6.5% for the next five years. it pledges to lift more than 50 million people out of poverty. premier li keqiang addressed concerns that china's economy is headed for a crash. >> translator: as long as china maintains its policy of reform and opening up, the economy will not experience a hard landing.
>> li says the government will push ahead with reforms targeting overproduction in heavy industries and state-owned firms. for more insight our colleague spoke with nhk senior commentator who is in beijing. she asked him about the challenges that the leaders have to face ahead. >> it's going to be hard to 0 do reform without causing a lot of pain in the process. there's a risk of bankruptcies and massive job losses so if chinese leaders make good on their promise they need to ensure the economy pays off without negative impacts. easier said than done. another big issue for beijing is
income inequality. some 600 million people live on farmland where infrastructure is poor and jobs are limited. the gap between urban and rural communities is a problem that leaders can no longer neglect. beijing wants to turn farming communities and regional towns in to cities with enough jobs and social security benefits. >> translator: china is at the center of your been consolidation. there's room for industries to go. in the central and western regions there's huge capacity for more effective capacity. >> the problem is to encourage farmers to move into these cities and become part avenue middle class population. let's take a look at an example of how this would work.
as china developed economically places like guizhou province got left behind. officials are construct agnew type of city here to house local farmers. >> translator: this is a hospital, and this school will provide education from kindergarten all the way up to university. >> local authorities plan to move farmers in from surrounding areas by 2030 the new city will have a population of 2 million. the project is based on the national new type urbanization plan the chinese government unveiled two years ago. it calls for the creation of mid-size cities around china. local governments would attract businesses and provide new residents with jobs and housing.
as an added incentive, people would see their social welfare benefits increase. steady salaries would push more people into the middle class, and that would boost domestic consumption. officials in beijing want to build more than 130 of these cities around china. construction of the new city in guizhou began two years ago. an electronic equipment maker built a plant that employs 300 workers. >> translator: life has gotten better since i moved to the city. i'm enjoying every day. >> but, it's too early to declare the plan a success.
as small cities pop up competition to attract companies will intensify. some question whether they will be able to bring in promising businesses. and not everybody is happy about the relocation program. these farmers are in their 50s. they've been told to move to the new city. authorities have already cut off water for their rice paddies. they have to quit farming soon. >> translator: we want to live in this village but we have to do what the authorities say. >> once they move they will have to find jobs. but they spent most of their lives working on their farm.
>> translator: we're really worried that we won't be able to find jobs, and our lives will be tough. >> well, we saw from that report that the plan isn't necessarily delivering what residents want. >> no, it's not. actually, a few years ago i observed a similar case for myself on the outskirts of the city of bhuhan in central china. officials there are trying to modernize a farming village. they were building industrial parks and research and development hubs. but they needed people with the required skills and knowledge to work in them. the farmers were incapable of doing such skilled jobs. another program is that there are so many of these urban development projects springing up. and it's not clear there are enough farmers to work in them. so there's a risk that some will become white elephants.
>> how about foreign policy, the chinese government is trying to promote the so-called one belt one road initiative. what's involved there? >> yes. chinese leaders are aiming to set up a massive economic zone linking asia and europe over land and sea. the proposed area would have an operation of 4.4 billion people. the idea is that it could provide a new market for china's excess goods. it would also create big investment opportunities for chinese firms. but the proposed zone includes the middle east and europe. the former is mired in regional conflict. the latter is experiencing the biggest migrant crisis the world has ever seen. one expert says beijing will have no choice but to get more involved in these and other
local problems. >> translator: under the one belt road initiative china will make more peaceful improvements with countries than. before. beijing will be involved in the development of the middle east and help boost local economies through the initiative which will strength ties and contribute to the middle eastern peace process. >> some people have criticized china's involvement in emerging countries saying beijing is only thing about what it can get for itself. to prove the critics wrong, china needs to make a bigger contribution to the international community instead of focusing solely on economic gain. >> the premier veered away from economic matters to comment on another difficult issue. ties with japan. he said the relationship is improving but he urged leaders in tokyo to be true to their
words. >> translator: we've seen signs in improvement in china-japan relation. so the situation isn't fully stable yet. we believe the two sides must stand by the mutual consensus on historical principles and match words with concrete actions. >> japan's chief cabinet secretary only had a brief response to the remarks. he said it seemed li was being positive. a court in okinawa has rejected a demand by a group of people who sought state compensation over damages caused by the battle of okinawa in 1945. the naha district court handed down the ruling on wednesday. the presiding judge said that there were no laws covering state responsibility under the constitution at the time.
an 82-year-old lost his parents during the battle and suffered severe injuries. he says he will appeal the decision. >> translator: i feel frustration, rather than grief. i think japan is aiserable countr >> janese anu.s. fors fought frce batts in okiwa inhe finaltages oforld war ii. officials say out of the more than 200,000 people who died, about 120,000 were from the prefecture. 79 survivors and bereaved family members say they suffered from the battle of okinawa and that they say the japanese government failed in its duty to protect the people. they demanded a total of $7.6 million in damages. japan must preserve the memory of people suffering in okinawa.
>> translator: 70 years on okinawa bears an excessive burden of hosting u.s. bases. we need to take that fact seriously. >> he said the government will continue to side with the people of okinawa in boosting the economy. more than 71 years have passed since the battle of okinawa. nhk takes a look back at one of the bloodiest battles of the pacific war and the toll it took on survivors. a waing, thifootage ntains ages thamay be dturbing. >> reporter: march, 1945. in the ending stages of world war iithe unit states d its alli launchea massiv operation on okiwa. 50000 u.s.oldiers r outnbered thimperial military. the japanese tros were oered to prolong the battle in an effort to bide time before the u.s. troops attacked the islands. the japanese forced thousands
to the fht, incling wome and teagers. facing scide attks, the s. soldiers stopped disnguishin between civilians and soldiers. they bombed caves where people were hiding. survivors described the experience as hell. they starved and were forced to live amongst human was. tnesses y japane soldier killed civians, lols kille childrennd girls killed themlves. the panese cmanders okinawa finally ended the organized combat on june 23rd and committed suicide. almost 70 years later, in 2012, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the government. their average age is now 78. they say their lives were ruined by the government's misconduct. and that they still suffer physical and mental pain, even
decades on from the end of the war. nearly half of the plaintiffs submitted medical documents showing their psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. they insisted that the government should pay for compensation. for its part, the government insists that compensation for damages of war was not covered by the constitution at the time, and says th any inaion by thdiet cant be considered illegal. pele in okinawa are t the fit to legally challengehe government over their suffering. survivors of u.s. air raids in tokyo and osaka demanded damages and an apology for their suffering, but their cases were rejected. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world. thanks for that report. you're watching "newsline" live
from tokyo. managers at major japanese firms have respond to workers wage hike requests. gene otani has the details on that and other business headlines. company executives and labor union officials are wrapping up their annual wage negotiations. employees will get a raise, but it won't be as high as last year. managers are worried about china's slowdown and instability in the markets and the stronger yen. the auto industry is the trend-setter in the talks. managers at car makers have agreed to raise base pay. toyota and honda are at about 13 and $10 respectively. nissan has agreed to a request for a raise of $27. in electronics, hitachi and four other major firms have agreed to monthly raises of $13, only half of what workers asked for. toshiba is not offering any base hike. a major food maker is taking a different approach.
managers want to promote a work-life balance among employees. so they will cut regular working hours while keeping the same base pay. another issue this year is the gap between compensation between permanent and temporary workers. one has decided to raise the hourly wages of part-time and temporary staff by 2% on average. this will affect a total of around 100,000 workers. nobel laureate, joseph stiglitz says japan should avoid raising the consumption tax. the country is set to raise the levee next april. that's from 8 to 10%. abe is seeking input as he will head the international conference. the columbia university
professor noted that japan should take caution with tax hikes, given uncertainty in the global economy. he sd the g-nations d international community should work together to support the global economy. >> this is a particularly difficult time, 2015 was a weak year. i think 2016 is going to be an even weaker year. >> abe's planning to hear from harvard university professor dale jorgenson and paul krugman in the upcoming discussions. checking the markets, tokyo share prices fell for the second day in a row. >> trading volume was low here in tokyo. many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the federal reserve policy decision. let's look at the closing levels
for this wednesday, march 16th. nikkei average lost.8% to settle below 17,000. the topix closed about the same margin. let's look at the movers and shakers. banking shares are lower after bank of japan governor told lawmakers that in theory there's room to cut deposit rates even more. sharp continues to see declines down nearly 12%. some media outlets report its take over by hon hai could be delayed. apple suppliers gained following an uptick in shares after morgan stanley noted a strong demand for iphones. sony shares soared up it announced its playstation will launch globally this october for
$400. we'll be following closely how global markets react to the policy meeting. >> thanks for that. let's take a look at china shanghai composite gaining by .21%, 2870 is the finishing number there. investors were encouraged after premier li said the country's economy will not experience a hard landing. in hong kong shares fell for the second straight day. the hang seng declining by.15%. 20,257 is the closing number. energy shares took a hit on lower oil prices. indonesia rose by .2 of 1%. investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the country's central bank policy decision on thursday. sidney's index gained by.15%. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're
looking at. >> japanese officials asked south korea for talks on trade issues. they are being hit with unfair tariff and rules. south korean imposes tariff on pressure valves but officials say japan's valves face additional tariffs. another record number of travellers visit japan. february was second biggest month ever with 1.89 million up 36% from a year earlier. they credit the lunar new year holidays where travels from china and elsewhere in asia. the japanese amber jack is a popular local delicacy, farmed domesticically more than any other fish. foreign customers don't try it
because of its short shelf life. >> reporter: new japanese amber jacks hit supermarkets in january. >> translator: it doesn't have a strong smell. tastes sweet and melts in the moh. i'm buying it. >> rorter: t amber jk meat is fatty but doesn't have the strong fishy odor common for this variety. this company farms japanese amber jacks. it processes and ships the fish, too. the president also teaches at a university. he's studying ways to develop the domestic fisheries industry. the amount of farmed fish in japan has fallen by a quarter over the last decade. he thinks the key to revival is exporting overseas.
>> translator: many people abroad are becoming wealthier than japanese. that's a big business opportunity, and i think it could help boost japan's fishery industry. >> reporter: he thinks japanese amber jacks will sell well overseas. amber jacks are frozen for export, but because they stay fresh for only a month, the foreign market has been limited. enter the professor. he's developed a special sheet to keep the fish fresh. a vegetable polyphenol coating on the sheet preserves the amber jack. now the fish can be frozen for nearly six months. he also worked on improving the taste. he studied flavors in the fish according to what they're fed. farmed amber jacks are usually fed fish powder made from sardines.
that helps them grow fast but also leaves them with a distinctive odor. >> translator: i switched to soybean powder. >> reporter: vegetable protein had only been used as a supplement, increasing it reduced the fishy smell. he mixed about ten kinds of food, including tea and chicken powder to boost the flavor of the fish meat. the result was amber jack tailored for the tastes of overseas consumers. he brought the fish to a wholesale fair in february. >> translator: it doesn't smell at all. and it's great to keep it fresh. i want to discuss a business deal. >> translator: we want to make amber jack the world's number-one farmed fish. >> reporter: exports start this month to china, singapore and other asian countries.
he hopes to use the technology to export other fish, eventually foreign consumers may be able to enjoy a full smorgasbord of seafood from japan. that sure looks delicious. >> and that wraps up this segment on biz, i'm going to leave you with the markets. the turkish government has released details on the suspect of sunday's deadly suicide car bombing in ankara. they say they've identified the female attacker.
the blast killed 37 people, including a suspect in her 20s. the interior ministry announce on tuesday that the woman joined the band, pkk, in 2013. the ministry says she trained with kurdish militants in syria to carry out terror attacks. earlier, the prime minister said 11 people had been detained in connection with the bombing. turkey sent its fighter planes to target suspected pkk provisions in northern iraq on monday. the military says the strikes killed more than 40 people. since last july, turkey has been conducting large-scale military operations against the kurdish militant group. the country may also escalate operations in syria, citing a link between the female suicide bomber and kurdish militants in syria. syrian opposition negotiators have met with a u.n. envoy to syria and resumed talks in geneva. the opposition has submitted a
document outlining a new administration. george sabra of the main opposition group says they'll discuss the end of hostilities that took effect on february 27. he said they talked about the humanitarian situation in towns besieged by government forces. one day before the meeting, delegates from the syrian government also submitted their plan for a political solution. >> we will analyze them, see whether we can make out of that a u.n. paper for instance, or whether we can actually add to it. >> the details of the documents haven't been revealed, but the government and opposition still can't agree over the future of president bashar al assad. meanwhile, the first russian planes have returned to a base in russia one day after vladimir putin ordered their withdrawal. however, a military official says they will continue rstrikes on terrorist targets in syria.
at a ceremony marking the pullout, nikolai said it was too early to talk about a victory. japan's imperial couple delivered a message of hope to people displaced by the 2011 nuclear accident. they visited fukushima to speak with people who are still unable to return home. imperial couple made their first stop in miharu. evacuees have been living there. the couple heard from the mayor about efforts to get the evacuation order lifted in the months ahead. they also spoke with some of the residents including a 75-year-old man who plans to
live: this is "france 24," around the world. i'm genie godula. these are the headlines. a manhunt is under wave in brussels -- is underway in brussels for two men who escaped the anti-terror raid. hillary clinton and donald trump win big in tuesday's primary across the u.s.. clinton takes at least four states, dealing a blow to bernie