down. he has reigned for 28 years. he succeeded his father hirorito. he's been telling top aides he will hand over to the crown prince. he says he wants to step down before he's too frail to fully carry out his duties. they tell nhk things are under way. if that happens the emperor may avoid direct expressions given his role as the national figure head. but the announcement would convey his feelings. there is no legal provision for living succession. so in order for emperor akihito to abdicate, a change in law is required. japan's top government spokesperson had this to say about the issue.japan's top gov spokesperson had this to say about the issue. >> translator: i am not in a
position to speak about the emperor's intent. >> appointed by the cabinet secretariat deals with issues on the law with the imperial household. but the government as of now is not considering revising the law. japan's emperor was once considered to be a living god. but that status zradrascally changed after wororld war iiii. during the war the emperor was the supreme commander. hirohito declared he was not a god based on mythology. the current constitution came into force the following year and the emperor became a symbol of the state and the uninity of the people. that is the system emperor
akihito inherited. they include convening the diet, dissolving the lower house, and receiving foreign ambassadors on approval from the cabinet. people in japan are wondering what the future holds for the throne and they're looking back at emperor akihito's reign. yuri hito reports. >> reporter: a day after the possible abdication talk, it's all the news around the palace in tokyo. >> translator: he has been visiting so many countries at such an old age. it must be so hard being over 80 years old. i think it is better for him to pass down his position to the prince. >> translator: i think the emperor tore the wall down between the imperial family and citizens. he sat face-to-face with victims in disaster-hit areas. that was unthinkable in the past. i respect him for making us feel closer to the imperial family.
>> i think that's a really good thing if he wants to give away his powers freely. i know that in europe they do sometimes. for me it's not a strange thing. >> reporter: the emperor has been admired by people for emphasizing peace. he's also been behind japan's push to modernize. emperor akihito is the first to be enthroned under the post-war constitution which defines his role as a symbol of the state. >> reporter: that style was front and center after a volcanic eruption in japan. the emperor knelt down and spoke with people at a shelter. the down to earth gesture was quickly embraced by the japanese
public. each time a disaster hit the country, the emperor has traveled to areas to speak with people. he's also worked to heal the wounds from world war ii in japan and throughout the region. on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, he paid respects in hiroshima and nagasaki that were devastated by american atomic bombings. on other anniversaries, he vi t visiting, he paid respects to the war dead on both sides. in recent years taking his age into account, the household agency has been cutting back on his official duties.
four years ago the emperor had bypass surgery for a heart condition. and on his 82nd birthday, he hinted his health was affecting his duties. >> reporter: and for the time being, emperor akihito will continue to perform his duty. yuri ito, nhk world. the news about japan's emperor made heaeadlines oversr. south korea's newspaper featured the story on its front page thursday morning. the paper said it would be the
firsrst time it happened. thailandnd's onliline voicece t reported on who is next in the line of succsion. in the netherland the leading newspaper nrc ran the story on its website. it rorted on the emperor'r's visits to northeastern japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. and he has won respect at home and abroad. survivors of earthquakes in japan are a look k back on three months of hardship. they're still looking for places to live and rebuild their lives after a series of earthquakes. the disaster t task force att t kumamoto city office began a meeting with silent prayers for victims. on april 14th, the region was
hit by a quake with the maximum intensity of seven on the japanese scale. a series of jolts killed 59 people in kumamoto prefecture. one person is missing. about 4600 people are still in shelters. many others are sleeping in garages or tents. >> translator: as a shop owner, i want to reopen for business. but i have no idea when i can do it. first i want to move into temporary housing. >> repeporter: municipalities a building temporary housing, but they've only completed 40%. local labor officials say they've received more than 20,000 inquiries from people who lost their jobs and businesses trying to rebuild. the man who overseas one of the world's main financial centers is trying to protect its reputation as a place to do business. gene otani joins us with more on that and other business
headlines. >> the lord mayor of the city of london wants to ease concerns among foreign investors about the impacts of the brexit vote. jeffrey evans is visiting japan and he's working hard to convince people here that nothing has changed. he told investors in tokyo that the situation for britain's financial hub is as strong a as ever. > don't't be put off, d don' discouraged by brbrexit. it may seem to be a cause for uncertainty. but approaches the future from a place of formidable strength. >> executives at some japanese banks with bases in london are considering moving them out of britain. they worry the brexit vote will hamper their operations in the eu. evans visited the tokokyotock exchange to meet with the ceo of japanese exchange group. he said the uk capital remains an exciting place to do business.
>> my prime objective here is to reassure investors and our many friends in japan of the continuing offer and attractiveness of london. >> evans is also scheduled to meet with executives of japanese banks and securities firms. people in southwestern japan are still trying to find places to stay and rebuild their lives three months after the first series of earthquakes hit the region and businesses are continuing to feel the effects. a firm belonging to the toyota motor group in kumamoto was one of those affected. production was transferred to a different factory. but full operations at the quake-hit plant are not likely until late august. sony is back in action but pre-quake level production isn't expected until late august.
hoya has decided to close the factory in the region that was producing parts for liquid crystal display panels. some investors bought on hopes that the bank of england would cut its interest rate to prevent a post-brexit recession. our business reporter phoebe amoroso reports from the stock exchange. >> tracking wall street that closed at a record high on wednesday. the nikkei added 2.95% to close out 16,385. it's a one-month high. the topix raised 0.8%. investors were feeling more confident now there seems to be a bit of stability returning in the uk especially with the appointment of a new prime minister. looking at stocks.. asas we've seeeen reporting, nintendo stock is c ctinuing t soar up 16% because of pokemon
go. the greenback broke above 105 yen. the hihighest levevel in thrhre weeks. many investors are hoping for furtrther reassurance now that e nikkei has also recovered post-brexit losses. there are still concerns over china's economy. phoebe amoroso at the tokyo stock exchange. all right. let's move to other markets. in china the shanghai composite falling to 3,054 for the closing members. three days of gains before their release of numbers on friday. sydney gaining 0.4% to finish at 5411. the index increased the winning streak to a sixth day and hit an 11-month high. some investors were cheered by the increase in full-time jobs although the unemployment rate rose slightly in june.
moving to other index, the kospi gains 0.1%. the hang seng index climbed t ta three-month high ahead of the boe's rate decision. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. japan credit rating agency has lowered its outlook for japanese government bonds from stable to negative. the agency said the delay in the consumption tax hike caused by the stronger yen. the announcement is the first step toward a possible downgrade in the agency's rating which is still at the highest level aaa. japanese police are teaming up with a u.s. nonprofit organization to fight cyber scams. the police will supply details on fake shopping websites, banking portals, and more to the anti-phishing working group. members of the group who include microsoft and google will then
alert users who access those sites. u.s. trail officials have launched a challenge against china at the world trade organization. impose higher costs on american manufacturers. the officials say if negotiations fail, they'll ask the wto to set up a panel to set up the dispute. discarded automobiles generate large amounts of waste. it's a problem worldwide. it's one that businesses in japan are working to solve. and a new program is helping to share advanced japanese technology with the places that need it most. >> reporter: these cars have reached the end of the road but their components will be reborn in new products. this plant uses highly detailed methods. a group of researchers from brazil came to see how it works. they were invited by the japanese international cooperation agency.
the group included engineers and set up a progrgram back home. professor daniele castro helped organize the visit. >>. >> we have now this process for cars. we have a lot of use of cars that needs to be recycled. >> reporter: when cars reach the end of their useful life, most are dumped. castro says they often leak oil and lead contaminating soil and ground water. he and his team want to use what they learn in japan to turn things around. they're hoping their trainees will go on to set up businesses throughout latin america.
the brazilian team learned how to dismantle cars and sort the parts. >> translator: please remove all the bolts that you can see. then separate them into steel and copper. >> reporter: parts are separated into 420 categories. >> our training was very interesting. we dismantle up to the limit. >> reporter: the teams visited a small island in the seto inland sea for a history lesson. they learned japan wasn't always the leader in the field of auto recycling. for around 12 years until 1990, teshima was a dumping ground for
waste. some 700,000 tons of waste were dumped here. total estimated cost to clean up, about half a billion dollars. much of the debris is from cars that had been shredded into small pieces. it contains hazardous material. a museum on the island tells the story. visitors can see layers of waste that accumulated over the years. shozo aki has been leading the fight to clean up the island. >> translator: there can never be another teshima. i hope you will tell people back home about what you saw here. >> training was very important. new generations received this knowledge in order to change the future. >> reporter: professor castro and his team want to spread auto recycling far and wide and give more people the tools to create
a healthier planet. that's a look at business news. i'll leave you with the markets. you're watching nhk "newsline" live from tokyo. beijing continues to say a tuss ruling dismissing the south china sea is not legitimate. it has made a move in an attempt to underscore that. china has test landed two passenger aircraft on controversial airstrips in the sea. state run media say the planes flew almost two hours from
hainan island and landed on two different strips. the planes were large enough to carry more than a hundred people each. beijing reportedly began test flights onon tuesday using a smaller plane. the chinese government stresses thatat the airfields are for non-military purposes. like search and rescue missions. but it has upgraded the facilities which suggests they would eventually accommodate military aircraft. china claims almost all of the south china sea as its own. japanese prime minister shinzo antibiotic abe is plalanning to urge chinao accept the ruling. >> translalator: now we have a legal decision on the issues over the south china sea. i'll stress the importance that those should be resolved peacefully under the law. >> he spoke to reporters before leaving for mongolia to attend an asia/europe meeting.
abe plans to push for a peaceful settlement of the dispute with help from other countries. he says he'll work to include those ideas in statements at the meeting. britain's new prime minister is starting her role by naming members of her cabinet. theresa may appointed one of the leaders of the brexit campaign, boris johnson, as foreign secretary. he and others will help may steer the exit from the eu. >> as we leaveve the european union, we will forge a bold,, new, positive role for ourselves in the world. and we will make britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us. >> queen elizabeth asked may to form a new administration on wednesday following david cameron's resignation. may is 59 and is the second woman to lead the country after margaret thatcher. she's held key posts in the
conservative party including serving as home secretary for six years. in that role she grappled with terrorism and the flow of european immigrants. johnson, the former london mayor, spoke about his new role as foreign secretary. >> clearly now we have a massive opportunity in this country to make a great success of our new relationship with europe and with the world. and i'm very excited to be asked to play a part in that. meanwhile, people on the streets of london have mixed opinions of their new prime minister. >> i definitely think she's quite experienced. i think she was the best candidate. >> i think may will need to reach compromise. i don't think a compromise is going to suit anyone completely. >> david cameron made a short speech before stepping down with his family standing beside him he looked back on his six years in office.
>> it's not beeeen an easy joury and of course we've not got every decision right. but i do believe that today our country is much stronger. >> cameron's austerity measures were blamed for slowing down regional economies and expanding the gap between the rich and the poor. public frustration with his government's economic policies is believed to be a key factor in britain's vote to leave the eu. one of the main challenges for may will be how to heal the divisions in british society following the referendum. thursday marks one year since iran and six world powers reached a final deal on tehran's nuclear program. but frustration in the country is mounting. its economic relations with the west have not improved as much as it had hoped. last year iran agreed to substantially curb its nuclear development. in return the western powers later lifted economic sanctions related to the program.
tehran h had hoped that would normalize, prompt a return of economic assets, and improve ties with other countries. however, reactions haven't expanded as much as tehran had wanted. it's partly because the country is still under sanctions for non-nuclear issues like tehran's missssile developmpment and suspected susupport f for terrorisists. iran's supreme leaeader ayatoll ali khomeini expressed frustration with the west saying if the united states tears up the current agreement, iran will light it on fire. we here in tokyo are practically swimming in humidity today. the forecast calls for partly fair skies and thunderstorms as sayaka mori tells us in this hour's update. >> sure. heavy rain and also thunderstorms are happening in the kanto region. we can hear rumbles of thunder, actually. severe weather is caused by the
upper cold air and also high temperatures near the ground. the mercury rose about 30 degrees in many places of the kanto region. the risk for severe weather will likely continue at least into tonight. so if you see black clouds approaching, take shelter immediately. if you can hear rumbles of thunder, you'r're close enough betrtruck by lighghtning. so please be careful. now more rain is expected for many portions of the kanto region and certain areas. rain has been causing serious problems over the south of the kyushu region that over the past 24 hours or even ten days, in fact, over 630 millimeters of rain has fallen in parts of southern kyushu and over 500 millimeters for the areas. in the past 24 hours, an additional 100 to 200 millimeters ofainn h fallen. the risk for landslides and flooding are getting higher and higher day b day. gogood news, rain not expected friday. so we can see the nice break
from the rainy weather finally in the kyushu region as we can see kumamoto even the sun will come up on your friday. but as you can see on your saturday, rainy weather will come back and that should continue into sunday. now, as for tokyo, showers will likely continue and temperatures are going down by about 5 degrees compared to thursday. and gloomy conditionons will likely prolong into your saturday. continuing dry and hotot conditions are worsening the situation in california. i want to show you some video out of the inland areas of the state. firefighters were busy tackling a large fire tuesday. in less than seven hours the fire burned more than 140 hectares of land. it was only about 20% contained by the end of the day. and dry conditions and windy conditions will likely prolong it for at least the next couple of days in the western united states. this is definitely not good news. meanwhile, it's quite wet across the eastern areas of the united states due to a slow-moving cold
front. we have reports of several tornadoes a couple days ago. more risk for severe weather can be found acroross t the eastern united statates. w watchutut for thunderstorms, gusty winds, and large hail. wet weather will likely prolong across the east and temperatures are going to be quite hot. and it's going to be quite humid. 34 degrees in washington, d.c. is expected on thursday. and, in fact, on wednesday, it was quite hot, too. washington, d.c. the mercury rose to 32.2 degrees. staying hot in other areas. you'll see high temperatures into thursday. in fact, with high humidity you could feel like 40 degrees. so please take care of your health. now across the southern hemisphere, it's winter. a potent winter storm is affecting much of new zealand with strong winds and heavy rainfall. wellington had gusts over 130 kilometers per hour. more windy and rainy conditions