belgium authorities detained six people as part of their probe into tuesday's attacks in brussels. storing fukushima's wastes. they haven't decided where to put the fuel yet. north korea's state media reports the country's military has conduct ad long range artillery drill simulating strikes on residences of park geun-hye. it's the latest threat against seoul and washington. the ruling workers party newspaper says leader kim jong-un oversaw the drills. photos show more than 100 artillery canons firing shells towards an island. the exercise the biggest ever was in response to a south korea military drill earlier this week.
south korean special forces took part in a mock advance into the north to attack key facilities. that was part of joint military exercises that began on march 7. in an attempt to show off it's missile telling, pyongyang has been firing missiles towards the sea of japan every week this month. state media says they have successfully tested a solid fuel rocket engine. and president park says her country will respond resolutely to any further act of aggression by the north. >> translator: south korea will remain firm against any threat from north korea. that country's reckless provocations will only lead to its own destruction. >> park was speaking at a memorial ceremony at the national cemetery. south korea has designated the fourth friday of march as a day to protect the yellow sea. in march 2010, 46 south korean sailors died after their ship sank along the coast.
seoul blames pyongyang for sinking the ship. north korea denies any involvement. in november of the same year, four people were killed on an attack. park referred to the joint industrial complex where operations were suspended. she says her country will coordinate policies with the international community and step up sanctions against the north. the president warns that chances are high that north korea could carry out further threatening japan's prime minister shinzo abe reiterated his commitment to new security laws set to take effect next week. it will expand the role of the self-defense force and allow the country to collective self-defense under certain conditions. the prime minister was responding to questions if an opposition lawmaker who said the government was not explaining
the laws clearly. >> translator: japan and the united states were able to work closely before. if the legislation would be abolished it would cause harm to the japan-u.s. alliance. it would have a grave impact on our national security. >> abe said the laws are the best way to protect the lives and peaceful livelihoods of the japanese people in the increasingly severe environment surrounding the country. authorities in belgium detained six people as part of their massive probe into tuesday's bombings. the attacks at the international airport and a subway station in brussels killed 31 people and injured 270. the islamic state group has claimed responsibility. police conducted a sweeping search in brussels thursday night. they cordoned off parts of the northern district of schaerbeek which has a relatively large immigrant community.
the neighborhood was also searched following the paris attacks last november. belgian police are still searching for two men who were seen with the suicide bombers near the attack site. they have identified three suicide bombers. two of them were brothers. they say najm laachraoui went to syria in 2013. he confessed that he could not find any signs that his elder brother was influenced by extremism. meanwhile, in france, the interior minister said authorities arrested a french national who was apparently plotting a terror attack. plans for the attack were at an advanced stage. authorities have not yet
confirmed that the man has links to the attacks in brussels and paris. the attacks in belgium have prompted officials to beef up intelligence. eu home affairs officials held an emergency meeting on thursday. they set up an anti-terrorism center in january to fight crime. but it is not working properly. citing varying results for requests for information. >> sometimes, i'm afraid there is a lack of political will, lack of coordination and most importantly in some cases lack of trust. >> the ministers released a joint statement saying the eu will create a system next month to require airlines to submit passenger lists. they will work to establish more effective border controls. and they will call for stronger laws on buying and owning
weapons as well as improved measures to prevent document forgery. japanese government bonds are increasingly attracting foreign interests. gene otani has the details on that and other business headlines. >> thanks, james. overseas holdings of japanese government bonds have topped 10% for the first time ever. the cloudy global outlook including lower oil prices and china's slow economy is driving foreign investors to the relatively safe assets. the bank of japan has just released its latest report on the flow of funds account and the figures for the end of december are out. the report says overseas holdings were up 18% from a year earlier. the holdings accounted for 10.6% of the total outstanding balance. boj's holding rose 29% from a year earlier. the bank is buying government bonds under its monetary easing
program. tracking the markets tokyo stock prices rose for the first time in three days. stronger dollar helped lift overall sentiment. for details we go to our business reporter at the tokyo stock exchange. sentiment got a boost from a stronger dollar after one federal reserve board member said a rate hike may not be far off. investors picked up stocks with high dividends before companies go ex-dividend. the nikkei rose .65% to 17,002. the to biks was up.84%. canon, kubota and mazda ended in positive territory. toyota won an award for it's
roadster. sony was up 1.15%. they announced plans to take the playstation business into smartphone gaming and setting up a dedicated subsidiary next month t to do this. sharp may fall below it's projections.s. nextxt weekk we'll see economic indicators out of japan including employment data. >> thanks for that report. moving on to other markets in the asia-pacific region let's take a look at china. shanghai composite gaining by.62%, 2979 the closing number. property shares closed on news government will offer a tax exemption on sales of existing homes. taiwan is down .44%.
they cut the key interest rate. seoul's kospi is down by .10 of a percent. many markets in the region are closed for a holiday. myanmar's first stock exchange has started trading. it's in the coununtry's biggest city. the market will help companies raise capital to boost the nation's growth. the stock exchange opened last december but has only begun operating on friday. it was partly financed by a jajapanese brokerage among othe groups. only one company qualified to lilist its shares. its real estate developer first myanmar investment. >> we look forward to a robust stock exchange that will help many does in myanmar access capital and build t their
companies. >> share prices change only twice a day at 11:00 a. and 1:00 p.m. due to low trading volume. myanmar's economy has been growing fast but their financial industry is weak. they are struggling to get capital from banks. they want to list more companies and boost activities. some japanese banks are showing interestst in joining a international financial associatation chinina is plannno establish. >> t translator: china is proposing an asian financial cooperation association. we want to cooperate with other countries to optimize the regional financial market and avoid large scale financial turmoil. >> li was speaking at a forum. sources say three major japanese
banks have already expressed their intentions to become members of the new grgroup. >> translator: asian countries haveve no voice in internationa governance. this is disadvantageous for the financial stability in asia and the world. >> he told nhk that so far 38 organizations including chinese and foreign banks say they want to sign up. he said official launch is expected in july. central bankers in south korea have taken a close look at their economy and chosen stay the course. policymakers kept their key interest rate unchanged at 1.5%. south korea has been struggling under a sluggish economy. forr some insight, i asked a professor at the catholic university in seoul. le >> professor thank you for
joining us. was this the right move for the bok and are you expecting a cut any time soon? >> yes, i do believe this was the right move for the bok. if you just look at the statistics, sluggish consumption, falling exports it may justify another rate cut but if you look at the rate cuts that we made previously the last few rate cuts it hasn't had as much effect as we would have wanted, and also in february korea had a very rapid temporary depreciation of the korean yuan that alarmed the korean government and bok and was started because rumors that bok would lower its interest rates. so i think the bok made a prudent move. now if you look at the press releases the bok seems to be reluctant to lower tint rate further unless they are accompanied d a very strong fiscal expansion policy. so unless the figures -- if the
figures get worse and if it's accompanied by strong fiscal expansion, then i do see a possibility of another rate cut in the first half of the year, but i think bank of korea in order to lower the interest rate needs a push. >> speaking of fiscal policy what more can the government do especially considering all the government debt? >> okay. well korean government has been facing a really big problem. the short term situation requires that government increases its expenditure, have an expansion fiscal policy perhaps even at the cost of increasing its deficit. but in the long term because korea's ageing society, the debt is expected to grow a lot faster. so the government is sort of stuck in the long term/short term situation and new incoming vice minister is concentrating
more on the long term debt problem than the short term fiscal problem. so government budget hasn't increased a lot this year and i think that's going to be continuing to be a problem. >> and here's a look at some of the other stories we're following. japan's consumer price index for february was unchangeged fr a year earlier. officials say the cpi came in flat for the second month in a row. the index does not include fresh food, lower oil prices have put a lid on price growth. growing demand from tourists is driving up prices for services in japan. bank of japan say services producer price index for february edged up 0.2% from a year earlier. business services prices have risen for 32 months in a row. nhk has learned skymark
plans to resume charter international flights in fiscal 2018. the airline filed for bankruptcy in january last year. it expects to complete court supervised rehabilitation soon. skymark officials have been rebuilding their business with financial support from ana holdings. they are drawing up a three year management plan. that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
traveling around japan is about to get a little bit easier thanks to a new express bus terminal in central tokyo. the facility will have the most arrivals and departures in the whole country. the terminal is located beside the major railway and subway stations and open on aprpril 4t. the terminal will consolidate 19 main bus stops which are currently spread out around the area. it costs $620 million to build. the four story facility will serve about 1600 arrivals and departures per day. 118 operators will run express buses to and from 39 prefectures across japan. limousine buses connecting the airports will also use the terminal.
>> translator: this terminal will help bus and train users move around more freely. >> a tourist information center on the third floor will offer information in several languages including english and chinese. another japanese utility has decided to scrap an ageining nuclear reactor. the decision was reported to the plplant's governor. >> translator: i think the decision clearly shows that resuming operations at all nuclear power plants isn't a foregone conclusion. >> the number one r reactor at e
ikata plant has beenn off line since september 2011. it will reach the 40 year limit of its operational life next year. the government introduced that limit and new regulations after the fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. the limit can be extended for up 20 yrs but they decided not to apply for an extension because the necessary updates would be too costly. other utilities have made similar decisions. ikata will be the sixth in japap to be decommissioned. out of 43 reactors nationwidide only two are currently online. they hope to restart another reactor at ikata. there's continued questioning over the future of the area around the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. the japanese government and the plant's operator plan to start remofling molten fuels from its damaged reactors in 2021 but
there's been no decision yet on where to store the highly radioactive waste. and local people are concerned. >> reporter: in an interview the chairman says it will take time to decide where to store damaged nuclear fuels. but he says the site of the fukushima daiichi plant is a a likely possibility. >> translator: we need to convince people in order to proceed. >> reporter: he also stressed it will help improve the living environment near the plant before evacuation orders are lifted. part of that is assessing the radiation. last december and february regulators conducted radiation
surveys in tomioka not far from the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. it was the first detailed survey of its kind. officials measured radiation levels every two meters. their findings are represented on this map. yellow spots are areas with high levels but elsewhere they found some levels were below the government standard. he says they will conduct a larger scale survey within a year to provide the data for more locals. >> translator: with deac. >> reporter: this woman evacuated from her home after the accident. she took part in a meeting hosted by the nuclear regulators. >> translator: we need more
explanation to be convinced that we will never be ordered to evacuate again. >> reporter: he says he's aware of the people's concerns. >> translator: it will take time for the people to return even after the evacuation orders are lifted. we will make the utmost effort to support them. >> reporter: officials face the chancellorsville convincing former residents, even as they speed up preparations to lift most evacuation orders by march of next year. they say they will carefully explain the situation and address residents concerns. u.s. tech giant microsoft unveiled an artificial intelligence project and quickly pulled the plug when it started to make highly objectionable comments on social media.
developers made what's known as a chat robot. it was designed to learn how to communicate through interaction with humans. the program was named tay and it was given an account on the social media platform twitter. it began echoing posts made by human users and was soon make being sexist and discriminatory comments. the prorogram even hailed nazi leader adolf hitler. microsoft put the program on hold and said it needs adjustments. like children picking up questionable language from their parents, nothing questionable about our meteorologist, though. who is here to tell us about t e weather starting with tokyo. >> yeah, mild conditions will likely continue, and the cherry blossom season has started in several portions of japan. the temperature was 14 degrees.
mild conditions will continue. as you can see, cherry blossoms are already blooming in the southern half of japan. the peak of the blossoming in tokyo will be around next tuesday. so let's look forward to that. and yesterday the flowers started to come out in koji. it will spread to the northern areas as we go into may. the flowers may start to come out around april 3rd in the city of sendai. that's actually eight days earlier than normal, and around april 27 in hakodate. you may want to take the shinkansen and go to hokkaido, too. now across the northern areas, wintry precipitation is still falling.g. snow could taper off tomorrow. southern half of japan will stay dry. there'ss a low pressure system over the south island of japan. the system will likely head towards the east as we go into the weekend, affecting the izu islands on your saturday. now temperatures are going to be as follows for the next four days, tokyo's high could be 11
degrees, 13 degrees on sunday. and warming up significantly next week. 16 degrees for the high and by tuesday about 20 degrees. according to the japan meteorologicical agency it wille very warm next week. and for kochi, rainy weather. across china, the flood season started earlier than normal. and more rain falalling acrcro taiwanan and china. it startrted 11 days earlier th normal. but it should taper off as we go into tomorrow and things will be calming down. so that's good news. sunny weather should come out in hong kong. we'll have 18 degrees on your saturday. taipei, cloudy conditions for your saturday with a high of 16 degrees and very warm for this time of year. beijing, 18 degrees for the high, with sunny skies. and ulan b bator, 1212 degrees the high. all right. let's gogo to nortrth america. one tornado was reported in louisiana, and hail damaged homes and also cars in texas.
the same system caused blizzard conditions for the great lakes region, so this is definitely a multi-hazard spring storm. the storm will likely make its way toward the east, affecting the eastern seaboard where many, many people are living. the heavy rain and thunderstorms expected. not just that. large hail and damagaging winds coululd happen across the easte seaboard all the way down to florida. so watch out for the severe weather conditions. the northeastern areas will see things clearing up by your saturday. it't's ing g to be calm oyour easter sunday, but across s the southeastern areas will see wet conditions continuing as we go into early next week. now temperatures for friday are as follows. it's going to be another warm day in new york city, about 20 degrees for the high, despite rainy weather. cherry blossoms are blooming in the u.s. capital. the high will stay quite warm, 22 degrees for your friday. then across the central portions of the united states 8 degrees