pressure on pyongyang. japan and the u.s. are ready to go to the u.n. security council over north korean plans to launch a rocket. you're watching "newsline." i'm yuko aotani. senior diplomats have agreed on the steps they'll take if north korea launches a rocket. the representatives of several other countries are urging leaders in the north to cancel the launch. the diplomats say the plan violates u.n. resolutions, and they say the security council should take up the issue.
the chief of the asian and asean affairs bureau of japan's foreign minister, shinsuke sugiyama met kurt campbell and other officials in washington. they discussed a common approach on north korea. leaders there plan to launch the rocket between april the 12th and the 16th. they want to put a satellite into orbit. many diplomats believe the north's real aim is to test long-range missile technology. >> if north korea goes ahead with the launch it will clearly be in violation of u.n. security council resolutions. >> japanese and u.s. government officials plans to call on north korean leaders to cancel the launch at an upcoming meeting of g-8 foreign ministers. the ministers will meet next week in washington. north korean officials have invited representatives of japan's space agency to attend the launch. the japanese are among experts and journalists invited from
around the world. members of the general association of corn residents based in tokyo handed the invitation to officials with the japan aerospace exploration agency. the the north korean committee invited them to visit the launch site. officials with japan science ministry say the space agency may have to decline. they fear accepting may be seen as an approval of the launch. they say the north is inviting outside observers to soften international criticism. a north korean official has reiterated that the launch will be for peaceful purposes to put a weather satellite into space. the head of the foreign ministry's north american affairs bureau held informal talks near berlin with former u.s. under secretary of state thomas pickering. the two attended a seminar hosted by a u.s. think tank. the talks were calm. he said a weather observation
satellite would be helpful for farming. u.s. officials oppose the launch. they've threatened to withdraw an offer to provide north korea with thousands of tons of food aid. pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi has reached out to other political parties to work together for myanmar. her party won more than 40 seats in by-elections. the eselection just a small step toward democracy following decades of military rule. nhk world reports from yangon. >> it is not so much our triumph as a triumph of the people who have decided that they must be involved in the political process of this country. we hope that this will be the
beginning of a new era where there will be more emphasis on the rule of the people in the everyday politics of our country. >> reporter: sunday's by-elections filled 45 vacant seats in myanmar's 664-member national parliament and local assemblies. aung san suu kyi won her seat in southern yangon. in total, the national league for democracy claimed to have won 43 of the 44 seats it contested. but even with the gains, the party will hold less than 10% of the seats in parliament. the governing party retains a commanding position. aung san suu kyi called on its leader sthop cooperate for furthy democratization. >> we would welcome all parties who would wish to join us in the process of bringing peace and
prosperity to our country. >> reporter: the government is likely to tout the election result as another step toward democracy. it may also urge western countries to lift economic sanctions. aung san suu kyi campaigned knowing how the government intends to use the result. but she has bigger goals aiming to win general elections scheduled in 2015. the latest vote marks only the beginning of expected political maneuvering between aung san suu kyi and the government. chikashi takaoka, nhk world, yangon. aung san suu kyi has accused the ruling party of committing acts of obstruction. u.s. government officials are calling for a probe into the complaints. state department spokesperson
victoria newland said the u.s. government is evaluating the election results. >> we need to continue to make progress in the electoral systems and make sure that any irregularities here are investigated. >> nuland said washington has nothing to announce at this point about its sanctions on myanmar. the international security assistance force says 17 of its personnel have been killed by afghan security forces this year. isaf spokesperson jacobsen spoke to reporters on monday. he said the number of killings by afghan interpreters has increased dramatically ever since u.s. soldier burnt a koran in february. another soldier went on a shooting sfree in march killing 17 afghan civilians. the brigadier general said the nato-led mission will work closely with the afghan government in order to stop the attacks. he said the isaf will step up background checks on afghan recruits to get a better
understanding of their private lives and relationships. the international body has been hiring soldiers and police officers from among afghan civilians to replace isaf personnel before completing a transfer of security to the afghan government by the end of 2014. but anti-government taliban infiltrators are said to be among the newly hired personnel. jacobsen says the reasons for the attacks lie with the individual and express concern over the increasing anti-u.s. sentiment among ordinary afghanis. the u.n. arab league special envoy to syria says the country has pledged to stop armed violence by april the 10th. kofi annan says he received a letter from syrian foreign minister. it proposed to honor the terms of the six-point peace plan assigned last week. the former u.n. secretary-general on monday joined a u.n. security council meeting via videophone from
geneva, switzerland. he asked the council to prepare to send monitors in the event of a cease-fire. but some council members raised doubts about syria's promise. >> the proof is in the actions, not in the words. and past experience would lead us to be skeptical. and to worry. >> the syrian government is continuing to attack civilians. local residents they troops fired rockets indiscriminately on to south syria, a stronghold of the anti-government free syria army. human rights activists say troops are burning houses in homs. detaining civilians who cooperated with the free syria army. nearly 200 people were killed in the country on sunday and monday. nuclear energy is powering
china's economic growth. the country has 15 reactors in operation and is building 26 more. still the nuclear accident in japan last year caused people in china to worry about safety. many are speaking out. nhk world's makoto oda has more. >> reporter: it doesn't look like much, but the message is clear. this sign says the government can't prevent all accidents. workers here in southeastern china are breaking ground for a plant that's due to have four reactors. officials are trying to reassure the public of safety. residents of a nearby town are not convinced. >> translator: if the plant blows up it will affect us. the government should be
realistic and talk with us. >> translator: if the plant has an accident, like the one in fukushima it will contaminate the river. so it will also contaminate the big cities down stream. >> reporter: everyone in town depends on the river for water. most for farming. they risk their livelihood if the water got contaminated. even scientists for developed nuclear weapons is against the plant. he wrote the government after the next japan with a warning. >> translator: the accident at the fukushima daiichi plant taught us that we don't understand nuclear power well
enough. i want to warn the public and our leaders. >> reporter: concerned citizens are starting to convince their local representatives. county officials filed a petition against the construction. opposing the project is almost unheard of. >> translator: if the fukushima nuclear accident hadn't happened, people here wouldn't be so strongly opposed. i believe the government will cancel the construction. its priority should be the lives and health of residents. >> reporter: government officials want to increase china's nuclear power generating capacity by around eightfold from 2010 to 2020. they reportedly aim to have 17
actors in operation. still, opposition from the people they govern may at least force them to start listening. makoto oda, nhk world, beijing. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster. but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." the release of radiation from the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant led to a ban on shipping rice, beef and other foods. the disaster in 1986 at chernobyl led to a similar scenario in europe. many governments prohibited shipments of contaminated foods. 26 years later, the british government has decided to lift the last restriction on shipments of lamb and mutton.
adrian dillwood has more. >> reporter: wales is a part of great britain famous for sheep farming. despite being 202,300 kilometers from chernobyl, radioactive fallout was carried here by wind and rain contaminating some upland areas grazed by sheep. for four months after the disaster, farmers were banned from selling sheep from affected areas. glen roberts has been farming in this region for almost 30 years. he estimates that in 1986, the chernobyl disaster caused a 40% drop in his income. even after the ban was lifted, every sheep had to be tested
before it could go to market. if levels of radioactive cesium were too high, farmers had to keep the sheep until contamination levels fell. affected farmers have followed the rules carefully. maintaining consumer confidence is critical for their livelihoods. >> they have more confidence in buying the lamb because we were doing all the monitoring work. >> reporter: finally, glyn roberts has the news he's been waiting for. from june the 1st, all remaining restrictions will be lifted. >> it's a happy thing that the whole process is going to end and we see the light in the end of the tunnel. >> reporter: the decision was made by the uk's food standards agency. officials point to the latest studies which show that eating
meat from the affected farms carries a neglible risk to human health. >> what you can see, in 1987, nearly 14% of sheep failed the monitoring. but that number has come down quite dramatically over the years and is now approximately 0.2%. >> it's clear that there is now evidence that demonstrates that risks are very low and that it would be possible to remove all of the remaining control. >> reporter: some consumers are welcoming the news. >> shows that everything is safe now. we eat it, and my children eat it and we're perfectly happy. >> reporter: but a welch farmers union says the government needs to communicate its evidence more clearly to the public to prevent a negative impact on confidence. >> they need to do a good job of explaining why this is the case,
and reassure the public that there isn't a large associated health risk with that decision. >> reporter: up to 26 years, the lifting of restrictions is good news for farmers. their hope now is that the public remains confident about their product. adrian durward, nhk world, wales. managers at japan's leading manufacturing firms say they expect to spend more on plants and equipment. they're forecasting an increase of 3.6% over the next year. japan's central bank released a forecast of sales. exporters say they hope overseas economies will pick up later in the year. bank of japan analysts expect
large size companies, in particular will increase spending on plants and machinery. they've held off on making investments since the disaster last march. accountants at the largest steelmaker find their books today are a bit more favorable. nippon steel has reversed a loss of more than a billion dollars. the company reported losses on the sthairs held for the nine months that ended in december. the debt problems in europe dragged down stock markets. and they caused the steelmaker's holdings to lose more than half their value. but the stock market rebounded in recent months. the nikkei average is back above the 10,000 level, and nippon steel is no longer obliged to record the losses. the decision will allow the company to post profits for the business year that ended in march. executives at nippon steel had originally expected just to break even. people across japan don't want to be caught off guard again. they've starting buying up
emergency supplies after the tsunami and earthquake last year. now they predict a high magnitude earthquake could hit tokyo. >> reporter: this is a diy store in tokyo. protective equipment for big earthquakes is very popular here. >> translator: actually, i'm here to look for a helmet. i checked around other stores, but they didn't have any. >> reporter: helmets are sold out and on backorder. this support pole prevents furniture from falling by propping it against the ceiling. radios and flashlights are essential in a disaster situation. sales of emergency goods spiked in late january and have increased 10 times since the disaster. similar sales have always been common after large earthquakes, but this time, the store says
people's awareness of disaster prevention has changed. >> translator: people used to downplay the possibility of a major quake. but now more of them are expecting one to hit. so they think of these things as essential. >> reporter: the change in attitude is also being noticed at other diy stores in tokyo. with the rise in sales of disaster kits, this store has expanded its selling space. the store has seen changes in the way people buy emergency food. >> before the disaster, people thought emergency food for three days would be enough. but now quite a few customers are considering preparing a week's supply. >> reporter: in fact, it took a week or more to deliver relief supplies to some areas still cut off by the tohoku earthquake.
akiho saito, a housewife living in tokyo is anxious about being ready for anything. >> translator: i pack a lot of survival items that are light and small so i can feel safe. i have them with me all the time. >> reporter: when she goes out, she carries a compact thermal blanket. she also has a dust mask and a whistle to signal for help if she gets trapped under rubble. she carries over 30 items to be ready for a disaster. akiko is well prepared at home as well. in the event of a major quake, she plans to use this closet as an emergency shelter. after the shaking has stopped, and if her house is in danger of collapsing, she plans to put on her shoes and escape outside, carrying a backpack with her
emergency supplies. at the same time, she's prepared to take refuge at home and stocks daily necessities for a week, including pouches of fried rice and soup. she also worries about hygiene and has bought a portable toilet, which requires no water. akiko is prepared for a disaster anywhere. she even has more food, a gas stove and other essentials in her car. >> translator: i've got supplies in lots of different places. i tried to imagine all the situations i could be in. i hope i can be all right by preparing myself to survive alone for at least a week, if i need to. >> reporter: survival kits are in growing demand in tokyo, where more and more people are expecting another major earthquake and are taking measures to prepare for anything.
a powerful storm is on the way here in tokyo. it's already getty windy and pretty dark, too. let's turn to sayaka mori for the weather forecast. >> a low pressure system which could become as powerful as a typhoon is approaching us. right now, the system is impacting much of western japan with very wet and windy conditions. yakashima island has received about 120 millimeters in the past three hours, and kumamoto gusts exceeded 130 miles per hour and the system will become even more intense over the next couple of hours when it hit central and northern japan. what we are expecting is more than 80 kilometers per hour wind. gusts will be exceeding these numbers and high waves could reach up to 10 meters along the coast. in terms of rainfall, total could be 160 millimeters. so umbrellas may become useless.
even japan meteorological agency is advising people to stay indoors and go home early if possible because further transportation delays are expected. the peak of the stormy conditions in tokyo will be about 3:00 p.m. into 9:00 p.m. over the next 24 hours, again, much of the precipitation will move out to sea across much of western japan and the konto area, but colder air will flow into northern japan on wednesday. so blowing conditions are expected in hokkaido, the tohoku regions. now moving on to the americas, a couple of low pressure systems are still bringing snow and rain in central canada and heavy thundershowers to much of the central u.s. on tuesday, the thundershowers will expand much of the eastern half of the u.s. the severe -- the threat of severe weather, including large hail, damaging winds and even
tornadoes will continue in the southern plains. so you do want to watch out for flooding. and out towards the west, there's another powerful system moving into the west coast. so that will create staggering amounts of snowfall and heavy coastal rain in parts of british columbia the pacific northwest and even northern california. as for the highs, getting up to 10 degrees in seattle and 11 degrees in winnipeg. and out towards the east, unusual warmth is still staying. getting up to 25 in oklahoma city and 29 degrees expected in atlanta. in contrast, parts of european countries are experiencing very cold conditions. let's go to some video coming out of belarus. belarus has been under the influence of a powerful low pressure system that brought heavy snowfall to minsk and other cities. it caused dozens of traffic
launches a rocket. the chiefasean affairs bureau shinsuke sugiyama met u.s. assistant secretary of state kurt campbell and other officials in washington. they discussed a common approach on north korea. leaders there plan to launch the rocket between april the 12th and the 16th. they say they want to put a satellite into orbit. many diplomats believe the north's real aim is to test long-range missile technology. >> translator: if north korea goes ahead with the launch, it will clearly be in violation of u.n. security council resolutions. >> japanese and u.s. government officials plan to call on north korean leaders to cancel the launch at an upcoming meeting of g-8 foreign ministers. the ministers will meet next week in washington. and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm yuko aotani in tokyo. thank you very much for watching.