this is "newsline." welcome. glad you could join us on this edition. it's friday september 3rd, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine tokobayashi. we first go to ines matsuyama, who has the latest in business news. ines? >> thanks, catherine. hello. in japan's manufacturing sector capital spending fell over 10% from april through june compared with a year ago. the finance ministry surveyed more than 23,000 firms with capital of at least $120,000.
the survey shows that investment on plant and equipment cross all industries except for finance and insurance fell by 1.7%. looking in detail, the manufacturing sector plunged 10.5%, while non-manufacturers saw a rise of 3.4%. looking at earnings, the survey shows that sales and profit in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors rose. the drop in capital spending for makers stands as a cautious stance at business prospects. tokyo stocks extended their gains friday morning following a rise in new york. the nikkei ended the morning session at 9,097 points, up 0.4%, or 35 ticks almost. investors took their cue from a slightly weaker yen against the dollar and euro. the up side was capped as many players sidelined ahead of key u.s. jobs data to be released later in the day. and on the tokyo foreign exchange the dollar is moving within a narrow range. the greenback is changing hands
at 84.34-39. while the euro is trading at 108.20-25. market watchers say that the dollar gained slightly due to u.s. economic figures that were stronger than many analysts had expected. but participants are not active ahead of u.s. employment data. and here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened up 0.2% higher, current will i up 0.1%. the shanghai key index for blue chips is down 0.3%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up a quarter of a percent. the eu agreed to create new agencies that will watch over the region's banks and insurers from next year. the agreement was reached in brussels on thursday by the european parliament and member states. the new watchdogs will oversee
banks, insurers, and securities markets across the eu. they will have the power to give direct orders to financial institutions and to ban risky products. the new agencies will start operating in january next year. but concerns remain on how effective they will be in emergencies as member nations still remain supervisory power over institutions that are based in their own country. the european central bank has left its main key interest rate unchanged at a record low for a 16th straight month. the central bank decided on thursday that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations will remain unchanged at exactly 1%. it made the decision for the 16-nation euro zone during a board meeting at its hblt headquarters in frankfurt, germany on thursday. >> i'm absolutely clear the governing council has no intention to signal any change in the present interest rates,
which we consider appropriate, as i said, on behalf of the governing council. >> the european economy has been slowly recovering. this has been fueled mainly by increased german exports due to the rapid decline of the euro. however, gaps in growth are widening within the region as economies continue to slump in member countries with huge fiscal deficits, including greece and spain. the central bank apparently decided to leave the interest rate unchanged to provide support for the region as there are also growing concerns over the u.s. economic outlook. u.s. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke has called for tougher regulation and monitoring of major banks to prevent another financial crisis. the central bank chief testified before the financial crisis inquiry commission at congress on thursday. bernanke said one lesson learned is that huge financial institutions need to be controlled more strictly as they are considered to be too big to
fail, their collapse could lead to a breakdown in the financial system. he urged a rigorous implementation of the revised financial regulations that were enacted in july. the new rules are aimed at preventing moral hazard. that's when banks engage in risky lending or nichlths and then rely on public bailouts if they fail. bernanke rejected comments that the federal reserve's low interest rate policy triggered the crisis by creating a housing bubble if the first place. he said hiking interest rates could have led to deflation and other side effects. now back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. a japanese research team says it has succeeded in using ips cells to grow a rat's pancreas in a mouse. this is the first ips research that has produced an animal organ using a different species as host. induced plur i potent stem cells are able to develop into various body tissues or organs. a group of researchers at the
university of tokyo's institute of medical science conducted an experiment to see whether i.p.s. cells from one animal can develop into organs even when the cells are transplanted into different species. the group put i.p.s. cells created from a rat's skin into a mouse's fertilized egg that was genetically modified to prevent the development of a pancreas. the egg was then implanted into a mouse's womb. the group confirmed that a mouse born with the egg or from the egg had a normally functioning pancreas. it confirmed that the pancreas originated from the rat's i.p.s. cells by detecting proteins in the pancreas that had been artificially inserted.
pressure is building in the tectonic plates off northeastern japan, raising the possibility of a massive earthquake in the near future. the plate moved back about ten centimeters when a magnitude 7.2 quake hit off the coast of miyagi prefecture five years ago. the japan coast guard says rock pressure was released by the 2005 quake but it has been building again. the coast guard found in a recent survey that the continental plate is moving 5.7 centimeters west-northwest a year. the oceanic plate is sliding under the continental plate. accumulated tension is believed to result in earthquakes. debates between the two candidates in the presidential election of the ruling democratic party of japan are likely to heat up as their differences become clearer over key issues. the new party president will also become prime minister. prime minister naoto kan, who is the current party president and
former party secretary-general ichiro ozawa kicked off their verbal battle on thursday in a debate at the japan national press club. on the issue of financial resources ozawa said he is worried that politicians failed to exercise leadership in compiling fiscal 2011 budget requests from ministries. >> translator: lawmakers should make budgetary planning decisions, not bureaucrats. >> he stressed that he'll cut wasteful spending to secure funds to implement policies the party promised in the lower house election last year. on the contrary, kan replied that a review of the campaign promises may be necessary under the current difficult fiscal situation. >> translator: it is desirable for the ruling and opposition parties to discuss social security and the tax system as a
combined topic. >> he added that this is linked to the issue of increasing finances, which may include a possible consumption tax hike. regarding his political funds scandal, ozawa said he would not ignore it if an independent judicial panel concluded for the second time that he should be indicted. >> translator: no irregularities were found in the prosecutor's investigation. and i believe the panel will accept that conclusion. >> kan stressed the need to break away from what he called old politics that rely on the power of money and rallying supporters. >> translator: ozawa needs to explain about his scandals in diet deliberations. >> kan and ozawa also differ on local economy.cluding plans to their debates are likely to get
more intense ahead of voting on september 14th. nighttime temperatures in tokyo remained over 25 degrees celsius for a record-breaking 24th consecutive night on thursday. the previous record of 23 consecutive nights over 25 degrees was set in 1984. the current hot spell began on august 10th. the meteorological agency also said thursday's daytime temperatures were record highs for september at 62 locations nationwide. the daytime high exceeded 37 degrees in central and western japan. the agency says the unusually hot weather will continue for another week or so and urges caution against heatstroke. myanmar's top military leader will visit china ahead of
his country's first general election in two decades in an apparent bid for chinese support. china's foreign ministry amountainoused on thursday that senior general than shuei will visit wen jiabao and hu jintao. international concern is growing that the november election will end up favoring the military regime because pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi is virtually barred from the political process. china's foreign ministry spokesperson jiang yu said that peace and stability in myanmar will bring peace and prosperity to the entire region. a large-scale trade fair has opened in china, with many countries from northeast asia participating as well as north korea.
the five-day event started on thursday in chanchung, jilin province. more than 600 companies from china, japan, south korea, russia, north korea, and other countries are participating. 20 north korean companies have put their products on display, which include dried processed seafood as well as medicines and cosmetics that contain korean ginseng. in a siymposium held at the sam venue a north korean trade ministry official expressed hope that his country could boost trade with china and other asian nations in order to promote economic development. chang chun has been in the news
recently after north korean leader i kim jong-il visited the city last month to meet chinese president hu jintao. the two leaders discussed the need to increase economic exchanges. the russian fisheries agency chief paid a visit to one of four russian-held islands claimed by japan. russia's federal fisheries agency says that andrei krainy started a two-day trip on thursday to etorofu island off hokkaido, northern japan. the agency says the chief inspected a fishery processing plant on the first day and will board a fishing boat on friday. before starting his tour krainy said the four islands are russian territory and will convey to the world his country's intention to develop them. russia sent its fisheries chief to etorofu island on september 2nd, the day it was designated as the official end of world war ii, apparently to emphasize russian ownership of the islands. the international monetary
fund says it will provide $450 million in emergency financing to flood-hit pakistan. managing director dominique strauss-kahn said in a statement on thursday that he'll ask the imf board to approve the financing this month. he said flooding in pakistan has caused serious damage to infrastructure and severely impacted the country's financial situation and economic outlook. emergency relief supplies are being sent to affected areas in pakistan. however, experts warn that more assistance may be needed because there are still many areas underwater. flooding across the indus river region has claimed more than 1,600 lives and affected more than 17 million people, or about 10% of the population. in pakistan 2 out of 3 women can't read or write. the belief that women belong at home still prevails, making it impossible for many to get an education. but some are pressing ahead with the help of sympathetic
organizations and a very familiar tool. nhk world's mobarik ahmed virk has more. >> translator: women need to study in this day and age. >> reporter: unesco and a local ngo hold a ceremony in a farming village in central pakistan. about 100 women ranging in age from 15 to 40 attend. the organizers give these women, who have no formal education, free cell phones. they will use the phones' e-mail function to learn to read and write. >> translator: my parents didn't send me to school. so i am really excited to have a chance to study. >> reporter: 17-year-old iqura attends the event. she comes from a poor family.
from a young age she earned money doing odd jobs. until recently she had never been to school. this april iqura went to her first class. an instructor from the ngo teaches them letters and words by using simple sentences. they also learn how to use a cell phone. last year the ngo used cell phones to raise the literacy rate. the office sends messages to 1,500 women enrolled in their program.
iqura receives a short message. she writes it down in her notebook and learns the spelling. five times a day messages go out to cell phones. women can check their messages while they are on a work break. and they can study anytime, anywhere. >> translator: at first i thought it was difficult, but i got used to it. i want to study more. >> reporter: iqura and other students gather at their teacher's house three times a week. here they review the messages. e-mails often contain tips about healthy eating habits and maintaining good hygiene.
literacy education by cell phone not only teaches women to read and write but also to improve the quality of their lives. it has been three months since the cell phones were handed out. iqura's reading and writing skills have improved, and her siblings also became interested in studying. >> translator: my older sister and younger brother have been asking me to teach them to read and write. i'm so happy that i take part in this program. i just want to keep improving. >> reporter: pakistani women are starting to benefit from reading and writing with cell phones as
educational tools. mobarik ahmed virk, nhk world, islamabad. >> this innovative project was started by a japanese unesco employee in pakistan. the ngo operating the program hopes to make it available to other women elsewhere in pakistan and encourage women's participation in society. in the past four months the value of the japanese currency has soared over 9% to reach a 15-year high. since the end of last month its price has been fluctuating dramatically. the continuing appreciation of the yen is affecting many industries in japan, but not all of them are hurt. nhk world's nahoko yamada has more. >> reporter: manufacturers that depend on exports have been hit hardest by the stronger yen. this auto parts maker gets paid in dollars for the products it
ships to the united states. the company had forecast an exchange rate of 100 yen a dollar. the president says he's now resigned to suffering losses. >> translator: whatever happens, we're going to lose. whether it's in dollars or euros. >> reporter: tourism is another sector feeling the pinch. visitors from the united states in particular are limiting spending on food and sightseeing. >> i came because i found a really cheap flight. but as a result i'm definitely trying not to spend as much money. i'm staying in cheaper hotels and eating at cheaper restaurants. >> today we thought about going to disneyland but instead we're coming here because this is free. so the kids get to see something that's japanese and yet still doesn't cost a lot of money. >> reporter: souvenir shops and other businesses that depend on tourists have noticed a slowdown in customer numbers and sales.
>> translator: the number of foreign tourists is falling. >> translator: average spending by tourists has gone down to 4,000 yen from about 6,000. >> reporter: importers, however, are benefiting from the stronger yen. retailers have reported an uptick in sales of luxury brand goods. i'm in a watch shop where many pieces are imported. some items like this one here, a high-end rolex, are about 10% cheaper compared to a year ago due to the recent strong yen. the shop manager says business has been up 20% in the past week. >> translator: because it's cheaper now, i feel like buying a watch. >> reporter: banks are also capitalizing on the currency turmoil. there's been a rush of customers opening foreign currency accounts who hope to profit when the yen's value changes
direction. new account openings at this bank have doubled. >> translator: many people are interested. we hope to serve them to the best of our ability. >> reporter: with more volatility expected in the foreign exchange market, japanese businesses will continue to feel the impact of the stronger yen. nahoko yamada, nhk world. >> next is a recap of the latest market figures.
♪ >> and that's all for now in biz news. next is the weather forecast with saki ochi. hi there, and welcome back to your world weather update. now, east asia of course has been seeing a lot of very stormy weather due to all the tropical activity. we are looking at three tropical depressions here today. now, two of them, this one in southern china and this one in the sea of japan, they are both remnants of tropical storm systems that we had to deal with yesterday. they have since weakened, but this one, a new one that has formed in the pacific, well, this one could be on the strengthening track, possibly becoming a tropical storm within the next 24 or 48 hours. we'll be keeping a close eye on its progress. meanwhile, still plenty of rain already to deal with across east
asia, taiwan. the east coast of china has been seeing ongoing showers. that's looking to continue today. also, a new low is going to be moving into northeastern china, really bringing some heavy amounts of rainfall today. so that really ups the risk of flooding and landslides. for japan northern areas are starting to see the rain strengthen, and it will be quite strong throughout the day before it pulls away in the evening hours. 31 for your high in chongqing. 23 degrees in ulan bator, and it is going to be quite hot for tokyo again. 35 for your high today. in the atlantic we've been keeping an eye on hurricane earl. it is now getting very close to the outer banks of north carolina coastline. it remains a very strong hurricane. it's now at a category 2 strength. so showing some signs of weakening but packing very strong winds nonetheless. also, the core of the storm is getting very close to shore. this should remain offshore. but we'll be bringing plenty of
strong winds, high waves, as well as the rainfall. so do stay on the watch for that. tropical storm fiona is right behind earl. it's now heading in a northerly direction. heading out to see. but it could pass right over the bahamas. a little hard to see here, but we've got the bahamas -- or rather bermuda that is here and it could be bringing some very stormy conditions. so do stay on the watch for that. rain of course will continue to impact the coastline today. also looking at showers spreading across central canada and down in toward the midwest. there is the chance of a couple thunderstorms in the mix. so do stay on the watch for that. southwest corner of the united states today looking at quite a bit of heat. 44 for your high in phoenix. and 33 degrees in l.a. now, getting a look at europe, it is going to be fairly calm overall. just slow here moving in through the baltic states toward western russia. this one continues to bring in wet and windy weather underneath it, but otherwise we're just looking at this low in the
mediterranean that may bring a couple showers to southern italy, possibly affecting parts of greece today. as for highs, expecting sunshine in london. 21 for your high. and sunny skies for paris, too, 25, looking quite mild and pleasant. still a little hotter as we look to the south, 28 in madrid, 32 degrees for lisbon. also in greece too athens coming in at 32. a little bit of summer heat lingers today. all right. so that is a look at your weather for now. and here is your three-day outlook. ♪ ♪