announcement on friday. muromachi has been in office for less than a year. he took the post last july after an accounting scandal at the company. >> translator: i've always felt responsibility as a top executive for emergency measures like cutting jobs and unloading unprofitable divisions. as well as slashing employee bonuses and managers' salaries. >> muromachi's replacement will be satoshi tsunakawa, the company's senior executive vice president. he has been in charge of business planning since last year. his appointment is expected to be approved by shareholders in late june. >> translator: we will concentrate on core businesses and improve our financial base as the first priority. i want to overcome this difficulty together with employees, managers and stakeholders. the executives say the decision to replace the ceo is
based on advice from a panel of outside directors. toyota motor back to full production for the first time since last month's earthquakes. it's restarted the assembly lines at all domestic plants forced to halt after the quake. a factory in fukuoko went on line friday along with another on friday. it stopped production lines after the quakes hit a major parts factory in the region. the company resumed operation in stages on april 25th after sourcing parts elsewhere. officials say the plants will be running until may 14th, but they will have to see if they can then secure a stable supply of parts. the officials say the entire stoppage has cost production of 80,000 autos. they say workers may be put on overtime to make up for the shortfall. japan's foreign minister fumio kishida has pledged
continued support to improve vietnam's infrastructure and human resources. kishida co-chaired the meeting of a bilateral meeting with his counter part in hanoi. they'll do their best to improvement the environment for japanese investment in vietnam. >> translator: japan will continue to make sufficient infrastructure investment in vietnam, both in quality and value. >> he said ties with japan are vital and the nation is vietnam's important long-term partner. time for a check on the markets. tokyo stocks fell for the sixth trading day. share prices were lower in cautious trading. investors were waiting for a key indicator of the health of the u.s. economy. let's go to giang nguyen at the tokyo stock exchange. >> the u.s. stocks on friday is a key data point to indicate
whether the federal reserve will move on interest rates in june. the closing levels on friday. the nikkei fell .25% to close at 16,106. that makes for a weekly loss of more than 3% for the two days that the nikkei did trade this week. the broader topix lost.1% on friday. sharp was down 8.5% after media reports that the struggling electronics giant will likely post a $2.8 billion net loss for the fiscal year ending in march. olympus, the precision instruments maker lower by 4.6%. takata tumbled 8.6% on continuing fallout from its faulty air bags. takata is recalling an additional 35 million to 40 million air bag inflaters in the u.s. the nikkei's recent slump has been triggered by the dollar's
rise. the yen's strength continues to weigh on investor sentiment. >> thank you for the report. moving to other markets in the asia pacific. shanghai composite dropping 2.82%. 2913 for the closing number there, the sharpest one-day fall in more than two months. analysts say resource related shares fell on recent volatility in the country's commodity market. sydney advancing by .25%. 5292. hong kong's hang seng slipping by one point, almost 7%, stretching losses to a fifth day. a broad range of shares ending in the negative. singapore's index dropping 1.3%. financials and property shares dragged down the index to a two-month low. here is a look at some of the
other business stories we're following. the vice president of japan's main ruling liberal democratic party has hinted that a consumption tax hike could be postponed. the government plans to raise the tax by two points to 10% next april. he said the impact of the global economic slowdown and the quakes in japan's southwest could force a rethink. japan's monetary base hit a record high for the fifth consecutive month in april. bobby jind it topped nearly $3.6 trillion up $98 billion from a month earlier. the amount is total cash in circulation plus deposits commercial banks hold at the central bank. retailers in japan are adopting the electronic payment system operated by china's leading e-commerce company alibaba group. users of ali pay make payments
by showing bar codes at electronics retailer and convenience store chains. leaders in azerbaijan have banked on oil exports to deliver prosperity. they're being forced to rethink the approach after volatility in oil prices has left the economy struggling. >> reporter: for years people in this country watched oil money change the skylines over the city. but now they are looking at a very different picture. the drop in commodities have hit their currency. they face a surge in inflation. they have been forced to cut back their budgets. developers were planning to build official islands near the capital. now the project has been put on
hold. residents in small towns are feeling the pain too. the owner of this cafè used to see big crowds of customers. but he says the numbers have dropped and he is not sure when they will pick up again. he is now reining in his plans to expand. >> translator: things have become much more difficult now, so i have no choice now but to delay my plans to expand the number of shops. it was so much easier in the past. >> reporter: government officials say the country has been too dependent an oil. one plan is to turn azerbaijan
into a new hub, a cross-road of two major arteries, the east-west route connecting turkey and china, and the north-south route connecting russia and iran. to make the plan work, they need to improve infrastructure such as the rail link with turkey. in january, the first freight train connecting ukraine and china passed through. >> translator: the project will be the key to our efforts to achieve economic diversity. >> reporter: but some experts say azerbaijan needs to do more to encourage foreign investment. >> translator: the country must first root out corruption, do away with business monopolies and bureaucratic regulations, if there are any, before pursuing
economic development. >> reporter: leaders here have long had it easy as the economy took off. even at the height of the global financial crisis. but now they face a major test with the reforms needed to restart their economy. that's it for business news. i am going to leave you with the markets. north korea's ruling party is marking an important day. its first congress in decades. officials in pyongyang told nhk the meeting is under way.
leader kim jong-un is expected to solidify his power base. officials say the convention started 9:00 a.m. local time. local media including the central television have not reported on the event. international media including nhk have been allowed into the country for the event, but their movements are highly restricted. earlier in the day one of our crews said they had been brought to the front of the convention center that's hosting the gathering, but the journalists were not allowed to enter. people in pyongyang are throwing their support behind the political convention and paying homage to their leader. >> translator: we all hope the congress will be a success. i am sure it will. >> leader kim jong-un is believed to have delivered a speech and is likely to have praised the country's recent nuclear tests and long distance rocket launch as achievements. he is also likely to have phasizedis policy o
puuing bot nucle devepment anconomic renstructi. >> rafae wor i senio urnalistith the associated press and has been covering north korea and is in pyongyang to cover the congress. >> reporter: the day started early. about 8:00 in the hotel, everybody gathering together. finally we got in a motorcade of buses, vance as and cars. the streets were quieter than usual for a friday morning, and the venue itself, the april 25th house of culture, a large building not far from the center of the city, is the same place that the last congress was held in. all around the outside of the congress venue there were guards. we couldn't see if they had guns or not. they were standing with umbrellas at about 20 meters apart distanced all around the outside of venue looking out into the streets. sometimes in these celebration or big-event times in north
korea people have to put on their best clothes. women will wear traditional korean dresses and men will wear suits and ties, but the people we saw this morning on the street outside the congress venue were dressed as for a normal working day. so actually normal life is going on around all of this congress. but when you stop people in the streets and talk to them about it, of course they have to speak very carefully and in very reverential and respectful ways about anything to do with the party, the government or their leader as well. over the coming days there should be large celebration events, and that's something that we have been able to see people practicing for in the streets over the past few days. of course, thousands of people for these kinds of events are practicing for weeks and months in advance in open spaces around the city. there is still an atmosphere of great expectation here amongst the foreign media, and i think amongst the north korean
officials that we are dealing with every day. >> that was rafael wober senior video journalist with the associated press. south korea has in the past tried to promote reunification. president park made it a priority. but the goal now seems as far away as ever. nhk has more from seoul. >> reporter: in the first half of her term in office, park instructed officials to begin a range of nationwide preparations to pave the way toward unification. >> translator: in a nutshell unification is a huge opportunity to significantly grow our economy. >> reporter: she saw unification as an opportunity to expand the
country's economic arena. but she also had uncertainty over the direction north korea's regime would take. her remarks came following the purge and execution of the once powerful uncle of the country's leader kim jong-un. as part of her push park focused on education. she roughly doubled the time spent teaching elementary school pupils about unification. park also used instructors well versed in the policy. they included north korean defectors who led special classes. the government also launched a program to mold north korean defectors into leaders of a
future unified nation. the initiative involved about 20 young defactoectorsdefectors. this man who led 20 years ago hopes to serve as a bridge after acquiring experience in the program. >> translator: my dream is to become a teacher for children in the north and the south. >> reporter: but his plan run into some all too familiar set backs. two north korean soldiers were severely injured by land mines allegedly planted by the north. recently the north has launched missiles and conducted nuclear tests. this has all but drowned out the call for unification. south korea's former unification minister agreed to give nhk his first tv interview since leaving
his post. he said the preparation program was stalled as the government contradict where the north is heading. >> translator: the results may have been different if we could take enough time, but the government of kim jong-un was very provocative in its early days. it was tough to predict what action the north would take. >> reporter: public interest in unification is a low point with young people in particular reacting sharply to the provocatio provocations. this young man hopes to play a leading role in the future unified nation but says he now has little chance to discuss north korea with his southern friends. >> translator: my friends are not interested in unification at all. they avoid the issue and think talking about it would be boring. to be frank, i don't know when
we can achieve unification. we can't even discuss the subject. >> reporter: south korean officials are closely watching north korea to see what pyongyang does next after the ruling party's congress. some may call for dialogue if only to confuse the south and toy with expectations. but one thing is clear. president park faces a critical stage in seeking an answer to questions of whether or not she can turn around the relationship between the two koreas. minwu kim, nhk world, seoul. japanese prime minister shinzo abe and russian president vladimir putin will meet in the black sea resort of sochi on friday. an aide to putin told local media that the summits will give leaders a chance to talk privately. he said the two will also meet with economy ministers and the head
head of russia state run oil company. they'll invite abe to the oil forum in september. the conference will be aimed at attracting foreign investment to siberia and russia's far east. prominent u.s. republicans are planning to skip the party's july national convention. the boycott reflects internal division over the choice of donald trump as presidential nominee. the real estate mogul is excted to offially nominated at the conventnn ohio state. 2012 republican presidential nominee mitt romney has announced he won't be attending. he is a leading member of the gop. former presidents george h.w. bush and george w. bush as well as former florida governor jeb bush also plan to skip the event. jeb bush battled with trump in the republican contest this year. 2008 presidential nominee john mccain is among other big names
expected to sit it out. house speaker and 2012 republican vice presidential nominee is serving as chairman of the national convention. he told cnn this week he is not quite ready to endorse trump. a monitoring group says an air strike in northwestern syria hit a refugee camp killing 28 people. the syrian observatory for human rights says the victims include women and children. the camp in the province houses people who fled fighting in aleppo and other areas. fighting has increased killing over 250 civiliansince late april. the u.s. and russia finished arnging a ceasefire foralpo and surunding areas on wednesday. the air strike on the refugee camp came on thursday. the syrian military announced it would stop attacks in aleppo for 48 hours starting at 1:00 a.m. thursday local time.
anti-government activists in the city told nhk that no major clashes had occurred. syrian state-run tv carried a statement by president bashar al assad saying he would not accept anything less than final victory in aleppo and elsewhere in the country. the assad government claims that it is fighting terrorist organizations across syria, making it difficult to implement a nationwide truce. brazil's political turmoil intensified with removal of a key member of congress. the country's top court ordered the speaker of the lower house be stripped of his post. he had led the impeachment drive against president dilma rousseff. brazil's supreme court approved a request by prosecutors to remove him from office. his status as a lawmaker was also suspended amid allegations he obstructed investigation.
the speaker's departure comes as the senate prepares for a vote next week on putting president rousseff on trail over the alleged manipulation of government accounts. observers say the moves against rousseff are politically motivated. the president has vowed to fight the allegations against her. in singapore trading has begun on the world's first online diamond exchange. dealers use a system capable of processing more than half a million transactions per second. investors began trading diamonds electronically on thursday at the singapore diamond investment exchange. th exchange was established with funding from a singapore state investment company. the chairman hopes that diamonds will be bought as investments instead of gold since they are a freely traded commodity. unlike gold or platinum, the color and clarity of diamonds need to be physically judged by experts. so diamonds were considered unfit for only trading.
but diamonds smaller than 1 carat have little difference in quality and can be traded on the new exchange without having to be examined directly. some dealers are concerned the new system may bring excessive price volatility. diamond prices have been declining for several years due to falling consumption in china. tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate from fort mcmurray in canada. sayaka mori is here to tell us what weather conditions are like there. >> good news is that the heat, which is one of the reasons for the fires, has eased. so that's causing better conditions for firefighters but rain is not anticipated until sunday. th fir is quite significant. in fact it's considered as one of the worst fires in canada's history. 1600 houses have been burned, and we have some impressive video coming out of fort mcmurray. a wildfire is raging out of control in alberta, and it has
led to massive evacuations for one canadian city. a state of emergency has been declared. all 88,000 residents of the city were forced to leave their homes after the inferno destroyed much of one neighborhood there. the difficulty is the fact that most evacuation routes were being blocked by the fire. oils and mines had to be closed as the flames threatened the region. so far no injuries or deaths have been reported. winds and excessive heat is the major cause for the fires. the reason for the heat is this one, this is called the omega block, the very unusual jet stream pattern. the jet stream is meandering further up the north, which means warm air is coming in from the south. typically we see high temperatures and dry conditions in the middle and stormy conditions on both sides and the same weather pattern persists for days. now, the pattern has slightly shifted towards the east, so heat has eased, as i mentioned.
the high was about 32 degrees on tuesday and wednesday but down to 19 degrees on thursday. staying chilly as we go into the next couple of days and rainy severe weather expected on sunday as well as monday, so hopefully that could improve the situation. two sides of the continent will see very gloomy and unsettled conditions. hail and also a tornado was reported across north carolina. and then across the west, severe weather is anticipated for many portions of the united states. watch out for hail, thunderstorms and excessive amounts of heavy rainfall. temperatures will be cooler than normal in l.a. 19 degrees for the high. and much cooler than average across the east. new york city, the high could be 13 degrees on friday, that's about 10 degrees lower compared to average for this time of year. now, europe there is another omega block. we are looking at summerlike hot and dry conditions in the center and very unsettled conditions across the balkan peninsula and the iberian peninsula. so hail, thunderstorms and
strong winds are anticipated. that should continue into the weekend at least. extremely hot temperatures can be found across the central portions of europe. over 20 degrees in berlin, paris as well as london, and temperatures expected to climb as we go into sunday. let's go to asia, then. clouds are covering many parts of japan, bringing rainy weather. we have reports of 200 millimeters of rain for the southwestern islands of japan. rain shifted to the east and drizzle is falling across the area. that will not last long. another low pressure system moves into northern japan bringing stormy conditions and behind it strong winds are hitting the desert areas in mongolia and southern china. the weather should move into much of japan as we go into saturday. the yellow sun is visible from the satellite imagery. the colored part is the yellow sand.
>> welcome to the france 24 newsroom. it is 1:00 p.m. in the french capital. north korea holds a rare political gathering. the political elite meet in pyongyang or a show of unity under leader kim jong un. the labour party is losing ground in regional and local elections and the dip in support could hurt opposition leader jeremy corbyn. wildfires continue to burn in alberta, canada.