was aimed at testing the structural stability and thrust of the newly designed engine. experts say that while liquid fuel rockets take time to fill, solid fuel rockets are easier to fill and require shorter preparation time. in south korea, the country is already on a heightened state of alert. president park geun-hye ordered hermel tear ready to respond to any provocations by north korea. on wednesday, pyongyang threatened to attack the presidential office in seoul to eliminate park and her followers. park's spokesperson criticized the threat as a provocation and challenge to the entire world. pyongyang's latest threat came in response to a south korean military drill. the scenario involved special forces being sent into north korea to attack key facilities. the drill is part of a joint u.s./south korea military exercise that began on march 7th. pyongyang has warned of
preemptive strikes. it has also repeatedly fired rockets and ballistic missiles into the sea of japan. the missile tests followed the u.n. security council's resolution to impose tougher sanctions on north korea with which was adopted on march 2nd. the u.n. human rights council has adopted a new resolution calling for the prosecution of north korean leaders for possible crimes against humanity. representatives from japan and the eu submitted the draft resolution last week. the north korean delegation boycotted the session. the council recommends appointment of an expert group at the office of the u.n. high commissioner for human rights. the resolution says north korean leaders should be held accountable by the international criminal court. it demands that north korea release all political prisoners and abolish its detention facilities. the resolution also urges pyongyang to return foreign nationals abducted by north korean agents to their home countries immediately.
japan's ambassador to the u.n. office in geneva called on pyongyang to halt its violations and to resolve the abductions issue. u.s. military chiefs are close to deploying one of their most potent weapons overseas. they say the first combat-ready f-35 stealth fighter jets outside the u.s. will soon be based in japan. u.s. navy assistant secretary shawn stackley updated congress. >> the first squadron in less that a year from now in japan in january 2017. >> the f-35 has been under development by the u.s. and eight other countries since 2001. the u.s. is bringing it to japan as part of a push to deploy cutting-edge hardware in the asia-pacific region. japan's air self-defense force plans to make the f-35 its mainstay combat jet.
japanese companies are taking a bigger interest in african economies that have relatively high economic growth. nhk world's takefumi terui takes a look at one plan to develop business. >> reporter: this career fair n atacted more than 300 students thursday. all of their educational fees are paid for by the japanese government. it's part of the country's push to foster better relations. the students are taking notice. >> from south africa. i've been visited companies that mainly deal with development projects. >> to get information about the companies, what they're selling, what their products are, and how willing they are to come to africa. >> reporter: japan is hoping to step up its presence in africa in part because of growing opportunities there.
and there's another reason. in recent years, china has been expanding its influence in africa through resource development and massive infrastructure projects. in december, chinese president xi jinping pledged $60 billion for development projects. japan doesn't want to lose out to china. it has hosted the tokyo international conference on african development since 1993 to promote high-level policy dialogue between african and japanese leaders. and they are determined to build on the relationship even further. the next round will be held this year in africa for the first time. and many japanese businesspeople see now as a good time to expand their business in the continent. he works for a manufacturer of industrial refrigerating equipment. he recently visited kenya and
has found their products are used but don't get proper maintenance. his company is planning to open a new branch there to offer better service. >> translator: we build business hubs in developing markets. we are currently looking for people who can work in our new branch. >> i don't know if you are interested in overhauling the machine. >> we have unique products and also the lifestyle of their products, i think it's good enough. >> translator: i spoke with many competent students. africa is a growing market with a young population. we have high hopes. >> reporter: there are concerns over the fall in natural
resource processes and how they may hurt african economies. despite that, businesspeople still see the area as the last promising continents market. takafumi terui, nhk world, tokyo. investors and economists around the world are keeping a close eye on how china's leaders intend to steer the economy. gene otani has the details on that and other business headlines. >> thanks, james. chinese premier li keqiang says that the nation's economy growing at a pace lower than the government's target would be a major risk. the chinese government has set this year's growth target between 6.5% and 7%. li was speaking at the forum for asia on the southern chinese island of hainan. it's being attended by political and businessss leaders from arod asia. >> translator: if the economy
sinks below the growth target for this year, it would pose a major risk. if thihis happens,s, we'll take comprehensive measures to prevent a slowdown. >> li stressed the government t will take monetary fiscal and other available measures to ensure the economy grows within the target range. he also expreressed his willingness to continue to promote structural reforms including reducing steel and coal overproduction. policymakers at the bank of japan introduced negative interest rates in february. they have released a summary of their views at a meeting last week, and itit shows opinions we divided over the effects, even among the board members. one member said the positive side is showing up as evidence by declines in lending rates to firms. another added that lower interest rates on housing loans will lighten the burden on borrowers and will boost private consumption. but other members pointed out some downsides. one said negative interest rates have triggered concerns and anxiety among financial
institutions and depositors. another said it could possibly impair the function of the financial services industry. central bankers, economists and investors are trying to figure out what kind of impact it's having after over a month of implementation. checking the markets, tokyo stocks fell for a second day with the nikkei closing below the 17,000 mark. lower commodity prices and the prospect of u.s. interest rate hikes weighed on investors' sentiment. for the details we go to our business reporter giang nguyen at the tokyo stock exchange. >> reporter: asian markets were mostly lower on thursday as fed officials signgnal a rate hike sooner than many are expecting. that strengthened the dollar, but investors are still trading carefully as the price of u.s. crude dipped below $40 a barrel. first, though, let's see the closing levels for this thursday, march 24th. the nikkei dropped 0.6% to close at 16,892. the broader topix was down 0.7%. on the heels of the lower oil
prices, the energy and commodities sectors sank. mitsui mining and inpex ended in negativer to. it's also affecting bottom lines of japan's major trading houses. shares of mitsubishi corporation and mitsui & company were down sharply. both firms are projected to pose a net loss for the fiscal ending this month. airlines were high other cheaper fuel. ana holdings was up almost 1%. japan airlines rose 1.9%. so a bit of a lackluster trading day. many investors are holding off as we near the end of the fiscal year here in japan and await inflation data out on friday. giang nguyen reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. > thanks veryry much for tha. moving on to other markets in the asia-pacific region, let's take a look at china, the shanghai composite, 2960 is the closing number there. dozens of domestic brokerages have reportedly resumed short
selling. that's the practice of borrowing stocks to sell with the aim of buying them back at a lower price. it was said to be one of the factors behind a market crash last year. sydney's s&p asx 200 index falling also 1.13%. 5,084 is the closing number, a three-week low. the banking sector led losses after the australian/new zealand banking group announced an increase in its bad debts. seoul, south korea, kospi index dropping by almost 0.5%. hong kong down by 1.3%. the index extended its losing streak to a third day dragged down by the energy and resources sector. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. the abe administration is lookining for ways to boooost w not ononly for s so-called regu workers but nonregular ones as well. members of a japanese government panel have started discussions on how to introduce equal pay for equal work.
they have discussed guidelines or laws needed to usher in the reform. the government plans to compile an implementation schedule as early as may. mitsubishi corporation has announced the first-ever net loss since its establishment in 1954. the president says they expect group net loss of about $1.3 billion in the business year, ending this month. he we earnings including copper mining in chile and liquefied natural gas in australia are deteriorating. the business of unmanned aerial vehicles is taking off. more than 100 makers from japan and abroad have gathered near tokyo to showcase the latest drones. one maker is highlighting the safety functions on its product. to activate the aircraft, the user must hold an i.d. card over it to show that they've taken a training program as required by law. muslims account for about a quarter of the world's population. and some of them live in japan.
companies here have been looking to tap into that customer base, and they're learning to follow the strict rules governing what muslims can and cannot consume known as halal. we report on a small japanese cosmetics firm that is leading the charge into halal businesses. >> reporter: at a recent cosmetics fair in tokyo, one booth attracted the attention of visitors from the middle east and southeast asia. the booth displayed hahalal cosmetics. the products are made without alcohol or animal extracts in accordance with islamic law. >> translator: we can accept orders of ten items. >> reporter: ishida is president of the company that developed these products. >> translator: japan's domestic
market i is limited. we'd like to add muslims to our clientele. >> reporter: ishida learned that muslim women use makeup more often than non-muslim because they remove it to pray. take these mosque visitors. before prayers, they wash their faces to purify themselves. a survey by a japanese local government has found that more than 80% of female muslims in japan follow this practice. since prayers are said five times a day, ishida thought the women must be heavy cosmetics users. >> i really want the a halal product that i can use every time to take care of my face.
>> reporter: ishida's firm began developing halal cosmetics two years ago. >> translator: this is the lab for testing, inspections and r&d. the halal products were developed here. >> reporter: but the task was far from easy. most cosmetics use alcohol, which is banned under islamic law. ishida's researchers looked for alternatives. they eventually found a plant-based moisturizer. but another problem emerged. when the ingredients were mixed and left for a few days, they developed tiny lumps. creating the required smooth, creamy texture was a struggle. the researchers spent 18 months of trial and error, experimenting with dozens of different concoctions before
getting it right. >> translator: we had to restart the process from scratch over and over again, so it was like we did it! when we finally got the right prescription. >> reporter: the firm plans to start selling its halal makeup remover, skin moisture gel and hand cream in april. >> translator: we e hope muslim around the w world will use saf halal-compliant, made-in-japan cosmetics. that's my dream. >> reporter: the global halal market is growing rapidly. even small japanese firms are vying to make their presence felt. haruka ijitsu, nhk world, tokyo. >> that's it for business news, james. i'm going to hand it back to you.
>> gene otani from our business desk. thanks, gene. in other news, belgian authorities probing tuesday's bombings have identified brothers as two of the attackers. they're hunting for at least one more suspect, and they're putting together links with november's attacks in paris. explosions tore through an international airport near brussels and a subway station downtown. 31 people died and around 270 were wounded. the islamic state militant t grp claimed responsibility. >> translator: the suicide bomber was identified by his fingerprints. born in brussels on the 12th of january, 1989, of belgian nationality. >> investigators say ibrahim blew himself up at the airport and halid at the subway station. interpol had issued an arrest warrant for halid. investigators believe he rented a house in southern belgium that was used by the paris attackers.
theyey found a computer in a trh can on the street they believe longed to ibrahim. they say it contained notes suggesting he knew he was beiei hunted, and they believe h he carried out the attack out of desperation. investigators say the other suicide bomber at the airport was likely najim laachraoui who was already on the most-wanted list. local media report laachraoui has been to syria. authorities believe he was involved in making explosives for the paris attacks based on dna evidence found in the wreckage. people from all walks of life gathered at a square in brussels to mourn the victims. they laid flowers and lit candles. >> translator: it is so meaningless and sad that
innocent people were killed by terrorists. >> the military and police are deployed throughout the city.. peoplele are waiting in long lis at train stations while police check their belongings. u.s. republican presidential front-runner donald trump has been making headlines with some controversial views again. this time he says he won't rule out using tactical nuclear weapons on islamic state militants. trump was speaking in an interview with u.s. media on wednesday in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in belgium. he said he's never going to rule anything out. and he wants them to know that weapons may be used. he also reiterated that he's open to water boarding detainees. democratic rival hillary clinton criticized the remarks. >> if i'm president, the united states will not condone or practice tortuture, anywhere in the world. one thing we know that does not
work is offensive, inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes all muslims. >> clinton says she will show leadership in the fight to eradicate islamic extremists. the chernobyl nuclear accident is believed to be the worst in history. almost 30 years have passed since it devastated part of the ukraine, but it's still unclear when disposal of nuclear fuel may be over. we have this report. >> reporter: this is the countryside around chernobyl. 50,000 people used to live in the city. four kilometers away. they were mainly workers and their families. all of them were supposed to leave. the area remains deserted to this day. the radiation level here still
remains high. our readings are 1.8 mic microsieverts. it was april 26th, 1986, that the reactor at the plant exploded during a test. a huge amount off radioactive mamaterial was released ininto roununding area. the authorities initially told people they would just have to leave for three days. it's been 30 years now, and the former residents are still not allowed to return because of high radiaiation.. the soviet union at the time built a structurere they dubbed the sarcophagus aimed at containing the radioactive material inside. melted nuclear fueuel stitill remainins inside the structure. scientists have not yet developed technology to remove it. ahead of the anniversary, officials allowed journalists into the plant.
much of the c complex is unused but there is still much activity because of safety concerns. this huge structure, more than 100 meters in height, is being constructed to prevent the spread of radioactive articles. the giant arch is designed to cover the reactor to keep contamination inside. it's s said to be completed nex year. the project has used tens of thousands of tons of metal and has cost 1.5 billion euros. the european bank has administered finance. japan is one of the countries that donated money. >> it's provided necessities in order to dismantle the old sarcophagus and to carry out all of the waste management operation that will need to be done over decades to come. >> reporter: the project
managers claim the arch will last 100 years. before the time is up, ukraine is trying to find ways to safely remove and dispose of the nuclear fuel. but that is not expected to happen any time soon, and the aftereffects of the disaster continue. naoto shimomura, nhk world, chernobyl. >> thanks. you're watching "newsline" live from tokyo. sayaka mori joins us with more onon how a powerful storm is impacting new zealand. >> yeah, a storm is causing lots of heavy rain and very strong gusts across main portions of new zealand. severe flooding is happening across the west coast of the south island. we have some impressive video. hundreds of tourists were evevacuated from p parts of new zealanand's south island thursd morning. a a state of emergency was declared for the town at 2:00 a.m. local time when a floodod
river burst its banks and inunundated hotels. abouout 200 tourists had to be momoved out of the hotel near t popular glacier. more heavy rain is expected for the northern areas. now, over the past 24 hours, some areas have seen over 140 millimeters of rainfall, and then stronger gusts buffeted auckland. now the heavy rainmaker and windmaker is pushing away from the country, but still the eastern half of the north island will see torrential rainfall and also strong gususts as well. and some spotty showers are stilill e expected for thehe so island for the next 24 hours or so. now, across asia, cold air is covering many portions of china, the korean peninsula, japan and also taiwan, pushing down temperatures. now, in tokyo, today's high was only 8 degrees. yesterday's high was 18 degrees, about 10 degrees difference in just one day. now, cold air is also causing
lots of problems over taiwan as well. meanwhile, across southern portions of china, things are looking up across this area. so rain is not falllling. however, hainan province will continue to see rainfall into the next 24 hours. and more heavy rain is on the way for the south of taiwan and also the northeasterly flow will cause heavy rainfall for the northeastern areas of luzon. now, temperatures are going to be at 34 degrees in manila with partly sunny skies. hong kong, it's going to be a very chilly day. only 13 degrees for the high on your friday where rain is expected. in taipei, 15 degrees for the high. and then to the north, 15 in beijing with sunny conditions on your friday. nonow, across north amamerica, wednesday, blizizzard-affectedd colorado, the international airport in denver was closed, actually. right now blizzard conditions are happening across the northern areas. right now wisconsin is dealing
with strong winds and whiteout conditions and also heavy snowfall. the severe weathermaker is pushing towards the east. meanwhile, along this warm front, there is a possibility of severe snowfall and rainfall that caused slippery road conditions. and cold front, severe thunderstorms could happen so watch out for t tornadoes, thunderstorms and large il a as wellll. now, rain will also spreadd to the eastern areas of the united states by thursday night. so areas like new york city, boston will see rainy weather on your friday. now, temperatures are going to be still on the warmer side in washington thanks to the nice, warm weather. 24 degrees expected for the u.s. capital. 16 degrees for the high, new york city, on your thursday. and this is your forecast during your easter holiday. it's going to be quite sunny on both saturday and sunday in new york city. and it's going to be a sunny day for you on easter sunday in los angeles. all right. that's it for me now. here's your extended forecast.