others. aung san suu kyi looks forward to a role in the cabinet. and nuclear transport. a load of tutonium is on its way from japan to the u.s.. the shipment is for counterterrorism measures. explosions have rocked in belgium airport. 13 people are dead. video posted on social media shows people fleeing from airport buildings. >> translator: i can't tell you the number. there are a lot. a lot of people are injured. it's a catastrophe. >> airport authorities have announced that all flights have been canceled. they're calling on people to stay away from the area. about an hour after blasts an explosion hit a metro stationary eu institutions. the operator said the blast occurred at a train that was
stopped at the station. 13 people are dead and 35 others are injured. reuters news agency reports the government has raised security alert to the maximum level across the country. authorities have closed all public transport systems in brussels. the blast occurred four days after the arrest in brussels of a suspect in november's paris attacks. story here on "newsline." myanmar's president-elect has named the people he wants in his cabinet. top of his list, aung san suu kyi. if she takes a post position, she won't be able to take part in political activities. can there was a list of 18 cabinet ministers. the speaker read out the nominees. aung san suu kyi was the first name read out. it's not clear what post she was offered. it's likely to be foreign minister. that will let her take part in discussions with the military
and the government as part of the national defense and security council. if she takes the job she will have to give up her seat in parliament. and stop her vilgts as party leader. the new government will be inaugurated next week. a ship carrying pluto a plu has left the port for the u.s. it's carrying 331 kilograms of plutonium enough to make 40 atomic bombs. the ship left the country's northeast escorted by japan's coast guard vessels. the japanese government has not released the route of the transport. japanese and u.s. officials agreed on the counterterrorism measures in 2014. japan purchased the plutonium from u.s., france and britain in the 1970s.
it's been used for research purpose. experts say the purity of the plutonium is so high it can be categorized as weapons grade. it will be processed as a facility in the u.s. so it won't be used in nuclear weapons. other than the shipment japan has 47 tons of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuels of power plants. that's about 70% of the stockpile of puerto rican lutoniurm reprocessed for civilian use. only britain and russia have larger amounts. some countries accused japan of storing unnecessary amounts. the reactor is still under development and won't go into use in the near future. chief cab pet secretary says ukraine president will visit japan in early april.
suga says the ukrainian president will visit on april fifth and will meet with prime minister shinzo abe. this will be his first visit in two years. >> translator: as the host of the g-7 summit, prime minister abe will help the ukraine peacefully have domestic reforms. sporadic fighting continues in eastern ukraine despite a cease-fire deal reached in february of last year. >> north korea's state-run media reported the country test ad new type of rocket launching system. it believes projectiles from pyongyang fired monday came from that launcher. the ruling workers party newspaper reports the test took place in the presence of leader kim jong-un. it says the test was the last one before operational deployment and targets in south korea are within range.
and it adds kim expressed satisfaction with the rockets accuracy. the report didn't say when or where the tests took place. north korea has launched multiple projectiles. the latest came on monday when it was fired towards the sea of japan. kim ordered prep regulates for tests of a nuclear war head and ballistic missiles. reactions come as washington and seoul conduct joint military exercises in south korea, something pyongyang has condemned. u.s. president barack obama is heralding a new day in relations with cuba. he's the first sitting president to visit the country in 90 years. the historic visit is a chance for two sides to discuss a range of issues from trade to human rights. obama joined a meeting of u.s. and cuban entrepreneurs on monday in havana and referred to economic reforms and said the
u.s. wants to help cuba succeed. >> well, as your friend and as your partner, the united states of america wants to help you get that chance. >> talks earlier in the day between obama and cuban president raul castro show that while progress has been made, gaps still remain. the two leaders promised to strengthen economic ties. they failed to reduce their differences over human rights. later that evening castro honored obama and the michelle obama with a state dinner. several members of the u.s. congress also took part. obama is scheduled to speak to the cuban people on thursday, the third and final day of his trip. he'll meet with pro democracy activists before flying out. japan's growing to your jiechl market is helping to push up commercial land price. gene otani has details on that and other business headlines. >> thanks, james. the average price of commercial land has risen for the first time in eight years.
experts say an increase in foreign tourists has spurred the demand for land for hotels and stores and monetary easing policy put more capital into real estate. prices nationwide as of january 1st in more than 25,000 location. commercial land up is an average of 1% since last year. it's the first increase since january 2008. we were talking before the global financial crisis. and there's been a nearly 3% jump in prices in major cities of tokyo, osaka and nagoya. the figure was 5% in the key region cities of sendai, sapporo. the three major cities still saw a 0.5% rise. checking the markets tokyo stocks rallied. nikkei rallied the key 17,000
mark. for details we go to our business reporter at the tokyo stock exchange. the dollar gained ground against the yen after some fed officials indicated they see a rate hike on the horizon as early as april. here in tokyo shares rose as the yen weakened. nikkei average closed up 1.9% at 17,048 snapping four days of losses. the topix at 1.8%. shares of toyota rose 3.6% and denso gained by the same margin. it will be building drones to inspect bridges and buildings. nintendo alleged more than 8%. the game maker social media app chalked up more than 1 million
users, passing off critics expectations. dena also hosted gains of 6.5%. a long takeover bid by japanese company of sharp. the nikkei average ended above the 17,000 mark. tokyo shares off to a strong start for the week. moving on to other markets. china's shanghai composite snapped a seven day losing streak. it finished at 2999, just below the 3,000 marks. they took profits from recent markets. taiwan declining by .3 of 1%. 8785 is the closing number after export orders in february
dropped on 11 straight month decline. seoul's kospi gaining by a third of 1% to close at a three month high. indonesia extended losses to a second day. the jakarta composite down by .6 of 1%. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. shipments of home pappliancs in japan continue to raise in february. it was up more than 10% from a year earlier. industry officials say demand remains strong. washington machines that are energy saving or value added. sales at supermarkets were up in february for the second straight month. over 9,000 outlets nationwide sold nearly $9 billion worth of product. that's up 3.4% from a year earlier. officials at the japan chain stores association says the
increase was from the leap year's extra operating day. officials have been giving new yorkers a chance to sample rice balls. many japanese farmers are wary that the transpacific partnership free trade pact could trigger a glut of products from abroad. but some see it as a chance to try new markets. worldwide exports hit $90 million last year. ten fold jump from a decade earlier. in today's view from the top we introduce a small japanese distiller with a global following but as the president tells us, success didn't happen overnight. >> reporter: japanese whiskey in the spotlight. this event took place last
month. one of the labels was ichiro's malt. his single malts have been winning international prizes. >> i'm surprised by the complexity of the flavor and i really enjoyed it. >> my favorite japanese whiskey. second to none in my view. >> reporter: his whiskey is matured here in the basin of the chichibu mountains. some are stored three years, other 30 years. >> translator: the long ageing process breathes life into the liquor and turns knit to whiskey. i like to think of the process this way. time gives life to a whiskey while a person's life gets shorter as he eagerly awaits for first sip. time means life to both whiskey and people. >> reporter: after graduating from university, he joined a leading sake producer. a turning point came when he was
38. his family was forced to sell off their financially struggling brewery. his family produced sake, liquor and whiskey. but the buyer had no interest in whis key and wanted to dispose of all the barrels. he took over the 400 remaining casks and decided to start his own business. >> translator: some of the spirits were nearly 20 years old. they are just like kids reaching the age of 20. i couldn't bear to let them go down the drain so i started the distillery to send the spirits off into the world. >> reporter: the distillery was small but he wanted to it be special. whiskey ages best when conditions are both hot and cold. he wants to make best use of the big swings in the city's temperatures. her ksks are exposed to natural
temperature and humidity that permeate through the soil. his casks are made out of oak. he believes this wood gives the liquor a fruity aroma and depth. >> translator: to produce the subtle differences you need to persist on details to the point that other people might question your sanity. i want my whiskey to be unique so people will know the moment when they taste it. >> reporter: he's always testing blends. he has visited thousands of bars across japan and keeps notes on feedback he gets back from customers. >> translator: i started from nothing but time and effort has helped me achieve what i have today. here i believe i have given birth to something entirely new. >> reporter: japan's whiskey has put itself on the map with more effort and more time, he says it
will pay even bigger dividends in the years ahead. >> that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets. u.s. investigators may have found a way to unlock an iphone used by a suspect in last year's shooting spree in california. officials' federal bureau of investigation say it would allow them to crack the phone without apple's assistance. in papers submitted to a california court fbi officials said an unnamed third-party presented them with a possible method for unlocking the phone.
they said they need time to see if it works. the court has agreed to the agency's request to postpone a hearing scheduled for tuesday. the fbi is trying to gain access to data on the phone of one of two suspects in december's san bernardino shootings. and the government took the tech giant to court to force it to help. opinion is divided over whether apple should cooperate or whether a move would infringe upon the right to privacy. the okinawa ble passed a resolution that u.s. and japan take steps to enforce discipline among u.s. servicemen. the assembly reached the unanimous decision following the arrest earlier this month with the sailor of u.s. navy on suspicion of assaulting a wom i at a hotel in the city of naha. the relution said thessembly ked fortrict measure to stop crimes commied b.s.
miliry persoel. translar: as sh ce s occurdgainust say that t pventativ meares taken byhe u.s. militar han't rked. e ways evidenc indating militafficers inot work. i can no help feeli intense resentment. >> the assembly called on the u.s. military to disclose the off duty activities of servicemen. it also wants the two governments to develop more effective methods of preventing criminal acts by military personnel. the assembly plans to send the resolution to the two governments the u.s. military as well as major u.s. bases in okinawa. the japan's government has decided to relocate the agency for cultural affairs from tokyo to kyoto. the move is part of a plan to relocate some of japan's central government offices and institutions outside the capitol. prime minister shinzo abe and others approved it on tuesday. details of the relocati will
be decided before the end of this year. >> tnslator: the relocatn of thgovernme officess an important effort to protect over concentration and revitalize local areas. >> kyoto was japan's capital for more than 4,000 years. half of the national treasures are located in the city. the relocation was approved after continuous lobbying from kyoto politicians and business people. opponents have concerns the relocation will affect sessions of the diet. the government is also considering relocating the consumer affairs agency and the statistics bureau. a decision is expected by the end of august after the completion of feasibility studies. the government decided not to relocate four other agencies, including the tourism agency. instead it chose to enhance the functions of the existing branch offices.
science fiction authors have long written about artificial intelligence. now the tables are turning and ai is starting to pen stories. but they may not be making any recommended reading lists any time soon. >> reporter: people used to believe that computers count beat human players of chess and golf. this has happened. people say computers can't write novels but i believe they will one day. >> reporter: he's part of a team encouraging ai programs to write stories. there's a contest. the story is about a computer that becomes bored by the past given by its users so it starts working on a novel. >> it was cloudy during the day. the clouds hung low in the sky.
the temperature and humidity were comfortable. yoko relaxed on a couch and played a video game to kill time. >> reporter: two skills are needed to write a novel, creating a story and compiling logical sentences. they gave basic instructions to the computer and software found related words and organized sentences. >> translator: we now know that computers can write a story consisting of thousands of letters. that's the most important result. >> reporter: but the software did not succeed in creating a story line. team members say computers can only do about 10 to 20% of the work and human intervention is needed for the rest. but ai programs are showing advancement in other fields. one recently defeated a grand master of the game of golf.
and they are being used to develop driverss cars. they're working on ai's creative aspect and they hope the program will be able to write its own story in two years. chie yamagichi, nhk world. exciting but intimidating news. for any potential visitors to tokyo planning to catch the cherry blossom sight we have information on that and this hour's world weather outlook. they started to come out yesterday in tokyo, and i think the people, next tuesday, march 29thplanning picnic uld be great id. accoing to t weather associion, theherry blsoms macome outarlier tn normal in many rtions ojapan. it wilbe arounapril 15, six da earlierhan avere, and may d is a d earlier than norl.
so it's going to be a very gorgeous season. and we are looking at temperatures warming up to 17 degrees on wednesday, so that could speed up the blooming of the flowers but starting thursday temperatures will go down, even go down to 11 degrees on sunday. so i think we can enjoy the cherry blossoms longer than normal. now sks are gr across e southernortions china. in fact, spring is a rainy season for this area. in just 20 hours, 140 millimeters of showers has fallen in guangdong province. we will also spread to taiwan as far as the okinawa region into your wednesday. it's a completely different story. it has been very dry and according to the united nations, 36 million people are facing hunger in the south and eastern portions of africa. one of the worst hit areas is ethiopia. we have some video coming out of the country.
africa's second most populace nation continues to suffer from consecutive failed rains worsening an already critical nation. the northern areas of ethiopia are most recently dealing with a lack of rain due to el nino. some believe this is creating a crisis worse than the drought back in 1984. according to the government and humanitarian partners, more than 10 million people are now critically short of food. unfortunately, the experts who are following this development are fearful that the conditions will only get worse as time progresses. typically from april to november this is the rainy season for ethiopia, but rain is not enough to improve the situation unfortunately. heavy rain is still falling across the south of italy. we have another low pressure system come in from africa. so there is a chance for heavy rainfall as well as thunderstorms, gusty winds, even tornadoes over the southern areas into tuesday and into wednesday as well.
and rain will also spread to other areas, such as the balkan peninsula and will also spread to some portions of turkey into the weekend. so widespread heavy rain is expected for many parts of the mediterranean countries. temperatures warm into wednesday into the areas. we are looking at temperatures going up to 14 degrees in sofia. istanbul, 21 degrees. that's more like may, in fact, but things will change as we go into thursday, down to only 17 degrees. and as we go into saturday, we go down to 9 degrees. single digits for you. and as you can see, heavy rain is expected to fall into many areas into saturday at least. up next is your three-day forecast.
here on "newsline" our top story once again. explosions rocked an airport and a metro station in brussels. belgian media are reporting that at least 23 people are dead. video posted on social media shows people fleeing from airport buildings. local media reporting prosecutors suspect they were a terrorist attack. public broadcaster kwauts a witness saying after gunfire was
heard somebody shouted in arabic and explosions followed. >> translator: i can't tell you the number. there are a lot. a lot of people injured. it's a catastrophe. >> airport authorities have announced that all flights have been canceled. they're calling on people to stay away from the area. about an hour after blasts an explosion hit a metro stationary eu institutions. the operator of the metro said the blast occurred at a train stopped at the station. local immediate quoted prosecutors saying 23 people are dead and 35 others are injured. reuters news agency reports that the government has raised security alert to the maximum level across the country. all railway services in brussels have been suspended. belgium prime minister said on his twitter feed officials are following the situation minute by minute. he said their top concern is for the victims.