live from tokyo, this is nhk "newsline." i'm james tengan. we start with a story that's been developing all day. intelligence officials in seoul have learned more information about the suspected death of the half brother of north korea's leader. they say he was assassinated in kuala lumpur and it's highly
likely the attackers used poison. we'll bring in our reporter from seoul. >> national intelligence officials briefed lawmakers on what they've learned so far about kim jong nam's suspected death. one lawmaker told the media this. >> translator: according to national intelligence service, it's confirmed the person presumed to be kim jong nam was murdered in malaysia and the nis strongly believes it's an act of terror using poison. >> the inch is director also told lawmakers that pyongyang has been attempting to kill kim jong nam for the past five years. he added that in 2012, kim sent a letter to his younger half brother, north korea's current leader, kim jong-un. he asked him to spare the lives of him and his family members. >> do you have any update on the two women suspected of murdering
kim? >> multiple media in malaysia are reporting about the surveillance camera footage of the scene. they say this is one of the suspects inside kuala lumpur's airport. the kim was poisoned either with a needle, a spray, or wrapping his face with a cloth. but none of those have been confirmed. >> tell us more about a possible motive for this. >> south korea's government is trying to analyze that. of course kim jong nam is a special figure in the north and experts around the country told nhk that only the top leader can order his murder. and if kim jong-un didn't order it, he at least gave his approval. >> translator: kim jong nam is a
thorn in the side of the country's leader, kim jong-un. there's no other north korean citizen who's been openly criticizing the regime. >> the expert also added he expects a strong response from the international community to this. so he thinks in the long run it will hurt kim jong-un's regime. that's it for now, back to you. >> nhk correspondent hideki yabu is in malaysia following updates there. he has this update. >> reporter: what's believed to be kim jong nam's body was transferred to this forensic lab in kuala lumpur wednesday. an autopsy is believed to be under way. we've seen cars with embassy plates and one with a north korean flag going back and forth. we saw what looked like the north korean official entering the hospital.
current diplomatic relations allow north koreans to enter malaysia without a visa. reporters have been gathering outside the facility and armed police are also on guard. this just in. police in malaysia say they've detained a woman with vietnamese passport in connection with this suspected assassination. they say they arrested her this morning. once again, this just in. police in malaysia say they've detained a woman with a vietnamese passport in connection with this suspected assassination. they say they arrested her this morning. we've also spoken to a japanese expert on the country. he says if it's confirmed to have been an assassination, it shows the leader of north korea not only has bad relations with china but is also afraid.
>> translator: kim jong-un had to take out his half brother in a way that shows to the international community that he's a terrorist. his half brother had no significant power in north korea. why was he so afraid of him? i believe the incident shows how bad the current china/north korea relations are. >> he says the chinese communist party leadership has been urging kim jong-un to make reforms in his country and halt its nuclear program. but we know he's refused to do that. at the same time, chinese leaders have sheltered kim jong nam, who's been in favor of reform. >> translator: the chinese communist party has provided kim jong nam with special security protection. that's why he's stayed alive even though pyongyang ordered his assassination. he was killed this time because he was outside of china. it means kim jong-un has long suspected that the chinese
communist party is trying to topple his regime and establish a pro-china, pro-reform government in north korea. >> he says it's not likely there will be an immediate repercussion for pyongyang. >> translator: kim jong-un has a strong grip on power. otherwise, he wouldn't be able to do this sort of thing. so i don't believe there will be any big political turmoil soon. but north korean people follow confucian ethics and will not respect a leader who has killed his uncle and brother. as for senior officials, they've been afraid that the china/north korea relationship could worsen and the government could collapse at any time. they've been taking bribes and selling information for foreign currency so they won't go bankrupt if that happens. they're not working out of loyalty to the leader. i think that now officials will
be even less loyal to the government. here on nhk "newsline" we now turn to the business and financial fronts. officials at toshiba are scrambling to shore up their financial support. gene otani has the details on that and other business headlines. >> executives at struggling electronics firm toshiba have asked banks to stay with them as they try to turn their business around. they met on wednesday for over one and a half hours with some 80 creditors. three main banks have agreed to maintain their backing through this business year ending in march, sue meet toe banking corporation, mizuho bank, and trust bank. executives told the banks they predict annual losses of over $6 billion on their u.s. nuclear power business. they said as of last december toshiba's debt exceeded its assets. the executives are thinking o o
selling off some of the mainstay flash memory operations to raise the cash they need to improve financial health. they may sell a majority of their stake, more than they had planned. some of toshiba's main lenders say the company should focus on making drastic krmpls and secure as much funding as possible even if this means giving up some control.l. but some tovoices at toshiba ar expressing some passion. another sign of trouble can be seen in its shrinking business footprint. analysts at privatete creredit researarch firm teikoku data ba said toshiba had 30 associated companies in japan as of july 2015. now the number has dress decrea 24 and business connections are down 38% to about 13,600. officials at the research firm say toshiba sold its medical and home appliance businesses in the wake of the scandal.
the latest developments at toshiba have sent its shares down for the second day in a row. its stocks price has lost nearly half its value since late december. overall tokyo shares rebounded strongly on a weaker yen. our business reporter has more from the tokyo stock exchange. >> it was another tumble for toshiba this wednesday. shares ended down 8.7%. that's after fallingng 8% the previous day. investors are worried about the company's financial health. in contrast, tokyo stocks on the whole rallied as the dollar rose against the yen. the u.s. currency gained ground as federal reserve chair janet yellen did not rule out a rate hike at the next policy meeting if march. the nikkei 225 added 1% finishing at 19,437. the broader topix climbed .9%.
financials led the gains with higher interest rate in the u.s. now. sshhhers like daiicichi life holdings and ms sxt ad insurance group. softbank was up 1.6% on news the telecom giant is buying fortress arres arrests, a u.s. meat firm, for $3.3 billion. we move on to other mark in the asia-pacific region. yellen's hawkish comments boosted financial shares in hong kong. hang seng up by 1.25%, finishing 20,994, the highest finnish five months. moving to to shanghai, declining by a little more than .1% to 3212, snapping a five-day winning streak. resource stocks took a breather after their recent rally. singapore gaining .5%. sydney was up 0.9%.
the index reached its highest close in nearly two years. all nippon airways has launched a new direct service between narita airport near tokyo and mexico city. ♪ officials at narita marked the start of the daily flights. ana is first japanese airline to fly their route nonstop. officials say they hope to meet demand from japanese companies operating in mexico, such as automakers as well as tourists. the new service comes amid concerns over the influence of the new u.s. administration. japanese companies have invested heavily in mexico over the past five years, but president trump has attacked plans by automakers to expand there. the airline chief has dismissed those worries. >> translator: we've seen no changes in reservations with the new u.s. administration. but we're keeping an eye on
demand. >> an ana official says 70% of seats on flights are already looked. labor unions and the management of japan's automakers have kicked off annual wage negotiations. the maker of subaru cars union is asking for an average raise of about $26 monthly in base way and a bonus equal to a little more than six months' worth of wages. unions at japan's other large automakers have similar demands. they're making their fourth consecutive call for raises in monthly base pay. they're keeping the $26 figure unchanged from last year. profits ending in march are expected to shrink for five major manufacturers, partly due to a stronger yen. the japanese car industry is facing increasing uncertainty
since president trump criticized japan's auto trade. attention is focused on how management deals with the demand of their workers. more senioiors are taking u part-time work in japan, welcome news for employers struggling with labor shortages. as the managers in our next story discovered, elderly workers can do much more than fill a vacancy. >> reporter: this shopping center has been recruiting more staff. and the bosses want the new hires to feel at home. >> translator: it's three months since i started. and i'm graduated and used to it. >> reporter: izawa worked part-time in the mall's video store. she's 72 years old. a senior manager has come to ask for advice. the shop is targeting older
customers. the manager thinks staffining t same age bracket could help identify their needs. >> translator: do you see any problems that need to be resolved, or have any ideas for making t things betterer? >> translator: some senioior customers tell me the rental fee system is difficult to understand. >> reporter: she's referring to the store's price chart. fees vary accordiding to how ol the title is. she says the chart needs to be simplified for elderly customers. >> translator: that's something we never would have thought of. i appreciate your suggestion. >> reporter: the shopping mall started recruiting seniors out of desperation. managers had had almost no response to their jobob ads for two years. four months ago they started a
recruitment drive, pitching their ads to those aged 60 or over. the mall now has 23 senior staff members on the payroll. >> translator: we first thought older people would be slow in doing things. that's not the case. so we want to hire more seniors. >> reporter: across japan, labor shortages are forcing companies to rethink their hiring policies. one survey found that the number of job postings encouraging older workers to apply had doubled in the past two years. but managers at this shopping center say the benefits go beyond manpower. elderly workers are bringing new ideas. >> translalator: how about we p the same sticker for new items on the price chart? >> reporter: which is why the video store is trying out a new
system to display prices. customers will be able to matchstickers on the chart with those on the dvds. >> translator: we want to introduce more improvements like this and also explore how to improve the working environment for elderly workers. >> reporter: hiring seniors alone won't solve japan's labor shortage but there does seem to be a silver lining with its graying workforce. >> you can c catch our reporort online together with a full transcript for nhk world and business wrap. that's business news, i'm going to leave you with the markets.
>> >> the chinese government says 192 people across the country wewere infected with bi flu in january and 79 of them died as a result. china's public health authorities say the deaeadly h7 strain of virus continueses to spread, especially on polery farms. the government began taking preventive measure in december, including closing some live pole tree markets. the w.h.o. is warning people not to go near poultry farms or live bird markets where bird flu cases have been reported. a japanese r researcheher says virus has not mutated since the first case of bird to human infection was reported inn chin in 2013. as for worry over human to human infection, he says there have not been any reports. nhk has learned japanese air
self-defense force jets have been scrambled a record number of times in the past ten months. government sources say the number topped 1,000 from last april through january. that's higher than the cold war record of 944 for all of fiscal 1984. they say scrambles are continuing with two months left in the current fiscal year ending march 31st. most were to intercept chinese jets. 73% of all cases from april to december involved planes from china. scrambles against russian jets came in a distant second at 26%. the number of chinese jets that have come close to japanese air space at a single time has also increased. more than ten asdf jets were scrambled in one incident. japanese artisans have been trying to find new customers for
their goods. with the country's population shrinking, they're turning their attention overseas. here how a man in switzerland is helping them do that. >> reporter: thomas malo operates from a base in switzerland introducing gifu products across europe. >> i would like to show you a collection we started to market this year coming from gifu. >> reporter: as a distributor, merlo has been pitching lighting made of a translucent paper known as mino washi. he started working with the local government in gifu two years ago. the prefecture prides itself on traditional paper, furniture in particular. in japan, though, demand has declined. artisans fear the time may come when no one will want to learn
their skills. some of them in gifu thought its distributors might be able to help. the wholesalers sell the products and the give them a boost through their own channels. merlo has a reputation for reading consumer sentiment and showing buyers productions they are products they are likely to love. things like this window decoration from a washi maker in gifu. the snow crystal design is meant to give a room a seasonal touch. merlo himself was taken bit material. he advised the maker to come up with designs that suit other seasons. >> we go into spring. people want to forget the bad winter. >> reporter: merlo proposed the feather and the leaf motif.
he also recommended deleting the word "winter" and changing the name to mino on glass." mino is the place where the goods are produced. merlo thought the name would set the products apart. he brought samples of items with new designs to a store. >> looook at this. the feathers. >> oh, the feathers. these look real. >> real feathers. >> yeah, super. i like it. i like that so much. >> i'm glad. >> what i like is that we now have not only the wintertime, that we have as well autumn. >> you can use it also, the feathers you can basically use the whole year long. >> yes, yes. >> welcome to the house. >> reporter: merlo also took care of procedures to acquire the ce mark, a european safety
standard. he negotiated with officials and prepared a mountain of documents. a washi maker in gifu would be hard-pressed to do that on its own. >> so we go. everything is fine. >> reporter: gi is now lolooking to develop relationships with distributotors in asia and d th u.u.s. >> translator: if we can work things out with distributors and buyers, our chances for success should increase. >> reporter: poetry and knives may be the next products to go global. artisans are relying on human connections to extend their traditions around the world.
nhk "newsline" comes to you live from tokyo where it's fair with a current temperature reading of around 8 degrees celsius, 46 degrees fahrenheit. jonathan oh fills us in on world weather starting with severe conditions in houston, texas. jonathan? >> for those living over texas in the southern plains, the weather should be improving for you. but for those who are further toward the east, the same storm system is likely to spark off a few thunderstorms as we go throughout the day on wednesday. let me take you to the houston metro area and look at this video, give you an idea of some of the damage that the tornados created in t this area. severe weather ripped through the state of texas tuesday. we see homes that were destroyed and thousands of people were without power. two tornados were reported in the fort bend county area just southwest of the houston metro region. the tornado warnings for more than 200,000 students to take shelter as the storm passed over all flies in and out of t the
cicity's airports werere stoppe well. but the good news is initial reports do not mention any injuries from this particular location, though there are some other injuries in other locations nearby, according to some of the reports that are coming out from the southern plains. now as i mentioned, low pressure system is pushing toward the east. it will be bringing instability, especially foror those of you living in jacksonville, florida, northward into the coaststal ars of georgia. you may be dealing with a marginal risk of severee thunderstormss w we go forward in titime. be on the lookout for that. up toward the north we do have cold air and a low pressure system bringnging the possibili of some snowfall around the great lakeses as we go forward time. we are also monitoring the weather over northern california. we h have been watchingg closelt lake oroville where the dam there had soo much water that te spillways had to be used until the spillways started to have issues when it came to erosion. some of the water has been released but we are looking at rain coming into the picture. the evacuation order has lifted
but evacuation warnings continue to be in place. rain into vancouver and seattle as well. much warmer down toward los angeles, a high of 26 through wednesday. rain and maybe flakes on the eastern seaboard depending where you're located. if we have a cold burst of air we may see that possibility. mainly going to be a rain situation as we go throughout the day on wednesday. as we look at the forecast for europe, the big story is high pressurere dominating most of t continent. but the western areas have been dealing with a little bit of strong winds from time to time. looking at the possibility of seeing maybe another windy day on wednesday. so look out for that. showers rolling through portions of the british isles so rain to london. warm down toward lisbon with a high of 19. cool on the eastern side of the continent with some snow possible into moscow and kiev. down toward africa we go. we are keeping an eye on dineo. this severe tropical storm continues to push boston ward toward mozambique, the southere areas of the country. we are looking at the concern of
this becoming a tropical cyclclone, intense fying, and bringing a lot of rain. already seeing some of that impact with the strong winds and the the rain. as it comes onshore more of that will be the case as we go throughout the day on wednesday. as you wrap things up with a look at east asia, the weather has been relatively mild for a good portion of the continental areas as well as japan. we are seeing that weather pattern improving with sunny skies and we are looking at warmer conditions as we go forward in time. we are looking at also temperatures in the mid-teens possible for places like tokyo, 14 for the high on thursday. a little hazy in seoul, we're looking at the air quality concerns as we go throughout the day thursday. 7 in beijing and rain into shanghai with a high of 19. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.