hello, and welcome to "newsline." a former north korean agent ended her first visit to japan on friday. during her four-day stay she met the families of citizens abducted by north korea. kim spoke about lives and roles of the japanese abductees. >> translator: i was allowed to live because i was a witness to
history. by being alive, i could tell what i know about the 1987 bombing of a korean airliner and also the abductions by north korea. >> 115 people died when the south korean exploded over the sea in 1987. kim was sentenced to death for her role in the bombing, but she was later pardoned. she now lives in the south. during kim's visit, she met the relatives of abductees who the north say are dead. the former agent today them she met their daughter once when kim was living with a fellow agent. in the interview on friday, she described the time with her in detail. >> translator: i met her briefly and only once in june 1984.
at the time i was learning chinese at a nearby facility. she looked very young, much younger than me, in fact. i remember she was a fair-skinned girl with a lovely look, and she also seemed very generous. i asked her to sing something to ease the atmosphere, but she was very shy. so all of us, including my colleague, sang japan's national anthem together. >> during kim's time as an agent she taught her the japanese language and about the culture. kim said that was the first instance of using the abductees to train agents. >> translator: first there was a plan to brainwash the japanese abductees to work as spies.
however, the workers party of korea became cautious. it said the abductees might change their minds and betray the country. the party couldn't trust the abductees. so it decided to try and make the abductees more sympathetic towards north. then the abductees trained local agents to disguise themselves as japanese. the plan was called localization. some other agents and i were the first to be trained through the so-called localization program. that's how i met her who taught me the language and culture of japan. >> kim expressed her will to visit japan again. she says she wants to help the relatives of japanese abductees to resolve the abduction issue. the minister in charge of the
abduction issue said her visit gave families more hope concerning the fate of their loved ones. the minister spoke to reporters on friday. >> he added that the visit sent a strong message around the world that japan will not tolerate the abductions and is determined to cooperate with south korea to fully shed light on them. >> she met the families of the abductees and told them to keep up their hopes about their loved ones. the meeting lasted less than one hour. each agent was paired with an abductee to receive training at a special facility and meetings with other abductees was basically prohibited. kim went on to say that she remained silent for fear of posing migami harm.
she did i sided to tell everything that she knew. kim promised to cook a meal for a man and when they met again this week, she kept her promise. the japanese government says there is information that she's alive and well in north korea six or seven years ago. >> now, kim's visit not only failed to achieve a break through in the search for abductees but it drew criticism for the treatment that the
government gave her. did the government gain anything from this visit? >> well, at a news conference it was emphasized that kim's visit demonstrated the concerted efforts of japan and north korea to resolve the humanitarian issue. but some remain critical of the special treatment, including the use of a former prime minister's villa and a helicopter flying over tokyo. some pointed out that kim's visit might have left the wrong
impression. kim expressed her invitation to return -- intention to return to japan to pay a role in helping to solve the abduction issue. it remains to be seen how the japanese government will make full use of her determination. >> thanks very much. the japan sumo association has removed a member of its panel that's investigating ties between sumo and the underworld. the dismissed member is an adviser for a boxing gym that provided a ticket to a gangster to watch sumo bouts. he says he didn't know the gym chairman was involved. during the may tournament in tokyo, a senior gang member of a group affiliated with the major crime syndicate watched from
ringside seats usually reserved for financial supporters of the sumo association. the ticket belonged to a former staff member of the stable who was in charge of announcing the names of wrestlers before bouts. police say he gave the ticket to the boxing gym chief, but it's unclear how the ticket finally ended up in the gangster's hands. the external panel announced its consensus on the issue. >> japan's defense minister will send self-defense officers to observe joint military drills between south korea and the united states. four maritime officers will join as observers for the first time in response to an invitation of
a combined forces command and they will conduct their large efforts of drills between the coasts of the peninsula. they say it's a result of the sinking of a south korean warship in march. some 20 vessels including the nuclear aircraft carrier uss george washington, 200 aircraft and 8,000 troops will take part in the drill. more than 7,000 children have set a new world record by bouncing basketballs. the children set the mass dribbling record on thursday. the event was organized by an agency to give hope to children in the conflict zone.
u.n. officials say 7,200 children bounced basketballs simultaneously for five minutes. the figure is suspected to be recognized by the guinness world records. >> translator: it was really fun to challenge the record. i enjoyed myself. >> i hope the record will help attract the world's attention to gaza. since the haitian earthquake six months ago, japanese volunteer groups have played a central role in providing medical aid. a leader of a major medical team
there a powerful earthquake on january 12 left port-au-prince in shambles. the quake killed 220,000 people and affected more than 2 million others. with us in the studio is a man from haiti. thank you very much for joining us today. now, six months have passed sints t since the earthquake in haiti. please tell me what it is like there today. >> well, unfortunately, the recovery activities have not occurred very much. port-au-prince, the capital of haiti, you can easily found that there are still buildings
destroyed and only garbage on the streets. people started their business already. therefore, people are moving, transportation also moving and rush hour is there. it looks like the work has already started but the scenery is still the same as just after the quake. >> and what have you and the japanese red cross society been doing to help those people? >> since january, we started two things. medical things in port-au-prince. and we have been working with bigger subsidies at the two places for the victims. but the emergencies is almost over so we close down the clinic in port-au-prince and just recently we closed down another medical clinic and then we
started. we have started more health services projects. according to our data obtained by the clinic, there is so many diseases, skin diseases, venereal diseases, diarrhea. so if we could improve the water situation in camps and the community, we could prevent those diseases. therefore, we have now switched our position to more preventive health services. >> now, you talked about the long-term issues that you're moving on to now long term.
they want to go back to their original places but unfortunately their houses are still collapsed and no recovery at all. therefore, the relocation issue from camps back to their house and employment issues. the jobless state of haiti is very high, even before the earthquake, more than 70%. >> that is before? >> that is before. most of the people in camps right now don't have any jobs. very, very worried about their income because they have to buy food and water and they have to pay school fee and so forth.
therefore, unemployment is another issue. >> how long do you think it will take? >> so we start right now focusing on health and then maybe we could provide some help for the victims. maybe two years and six months or three years from now. >> well, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> from the japanese red cross society working for haiti reconstruction. >> the japanese red cross society says it will keep sending specialists to haiti to help the country recover from the disaster. now some of the news received from broadcasting stations across asia.
we begin with india. a $35 computer was unveiled in india. he wants to boost technology and education by providing low-cost computers to every university student by 2011. he added that the institutes have contributed to the project. the computer weighs 1.5 kill low grms and is equipped with the basic functions that the students need. malaysia unveiled a food fair on thursday. the three-day event will serve as a food processing hub. 600 booths have been set up. the main exhibits include
organic food, seafood, herb, and spices. a puppet festival opened on thursday and features 12 events on the first day. artists from britain, france, arge teen yeah, india, and canada will perform. there will be puppet-making workshops and talks about the history of puppetery. it's day 13 for the sumo tournament. there's a lot of pressure on friday because the defeat could mean another championship for hakuho. after winning ten straight matches, he's lost his last two
about t bouts. hakuho was denied the day 13 championship. as we've seen in recent tournaments, they tend to become more focused and stronger when the going gets tough. let's see as was the case with hakuho on friday. he hasn't lost in his last 44 matches. that would enable him to win 45 consecutive victories. bulgarian ozekikotooshu hopes to stop hakuho.
kotooshu does an under arm throw but hakuho doesn't budge. and then they are tied 45 consecutive victories. another bout we'd like to show you from day 13 baruto and harumafuji. they are stressed against each other. harumafuji takes down baruto and forced him out of the ring to get his ninth win. back to hakuho he is tied for the most wins in history. the record is 69 wins in a row.
in east asian heavy rain once again. we have a very active monsoon across western portions of indochina. so heavy downpours here. then we have the tropical depression. this was the storm that made landfall yesterday as a typhoon. now those winds have really come down. it has really come down in terms of its intensity, but the rain is going to be a problem. in the next 48 hours, as much as 150 millimeters of rain in some areas. you'll also notice up in central china really heavy rain here, too. downpours continuing into the weekend. if we look at bigger picture, our 24-hour precipitation the whole of the southern half of china is getting some of that rain. this is falling on land that's already saturated in parts already flooded. so something to certainly take note of. things will be clearing up a little bit in the korean peninsula.
it will stay clearing up. it will stay unstable, but the rain will not be as intense as it was. heavy rain will continue for northern portions of japan. as for the rest of the country, it's going to be very hot particularly in the southeast. lots of temperatures up over 35 degrees, which is about 5 to 7 degrees above average. elsewhere in east asia, though, it's very, very hot. we have 35 in beijing and from shanghai down to manila and bangkok, we have low to mid-30s here. into north america, let's go straight to the tropical storm in the caribbean and see what's going on. bonnie is head sbug the southern tip of florida right now. it looks like it may just miss that southern tip. it's heading further into the gulf of mexico and into southern louisiana. now, it's currently moving at 31 kilometers at hour, which is fairly swift. it's going to be bringing all of that heavy rain down as well as the damaging winds and over the caribbean islands and also the
lower half of the florida peninsula as well. you need to be prepared for stormy conditions into the next 24 hours, and we'll give you all the updates on the developments here. severe weather for the north plains. the dakotas will see tough storms, i think. from nebraska into eastern canada is where the heavy rain and possibly hail and damaging winds, with you from friday into saturday. a few scattered thunderstorms moving through the four corners area. stays hot to the south below that front, particularly kansas and missouri. you have some extreme heat warnings in place. 37 degrees for washington, d.c. you're looking at 38 on saturday, so only getting hotter. behind that it should be a lot better and cooler. now, europe. things are going to quiet down across the west and drying out. we have the thunderstorms right in the middle of the continent. stays hot in the east.
that long front line is where we see pretty tough storms through poland and the baltic states particularly but things look better to the west. temperatures coming down as the storm progresses east. berlin, 23, much more comfortable, vienna is a lot better as well, staying hot in moscow, 36 and 33 in kiev. here is your extended forecast.
about 150 people splashed water on to the scorching pavement. the water splashing ritual is said to date back to the period that began in the 17th century. the effort paid off, if only by a little, as the temperature dropped in 15 minutes by 0.3 degrees from an alarming 39.1 degrees celsius. the modern campaign was launched by citizen groups that have been calling on urban residents to use rain water or left over bath water to tame the summer heat.