agreed to start negotiations in the new year. the heads of the association of southeast asian nations met in cambodia's capital. the leaders of six regional partners including japan, china, and india joined them at the summit. they issued a joint kmun ka that said they hope to reach agreement by the end of 2015. leader from japan, china, and south korea agreed to start talking on a free trade agreement of their own. they said they would put aside the territorial disputes between japan and the two other nations. japanese officials want to ease restrictions to give them more access to their neighbor's economies. chinese and south korean officials have already begun talks on a free trade deal between their countries. now negotiators involved in discussions for another free trade zone in the asia pacific say they hope to conclude an agreement by the end of next year. they're trying to strike a deal for what's known as the trance pacific partnership or tpp.
leaders of seven of the 11 countries discussing the u.s. life led on the sidelines of the east asia summit. the negotiators wanted to conclude a deal by the end of this year, but they couldn't agree on how to eliminate tariffs and they're still divided on other issues such as whether they will allow exemptions to the rules. australian prime minister julia gilliard said an ambitious deadline would be to reach agreement by next oblt. the negotiators will meet again next month in new zealand. january 1, 2013 marks more than just the new year. for americans it could be the beginning of simultaneous tax hikes and spending cuts. >> talking about the fiscal cliff and everyone is talking about it including the u.s. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke. he warned the imminent fiscal cliff poses a stashlg threat to the nation's economy and does say cooperation to resolve budget worries could boost u.s.
growth. >> the realization of all of the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff ab isn't offsetting changes would pose a substantial threat to the recovery. >> the central bank chief urged the government and congressional leaders to take prompt action. president obama is negotiating for a resolution with republicans but bernanke says delays in reaching an agreement would raise uncertainty over the u.s. economic outlook. he added avoiding a fiscal cliff is essential for the american economy. bernanke says a plan for resolving the nation's longer term budgetary issues without harming recovery could make 2013 a very good year for americans. japan's trade balance for october sank into the red for a fourth straight month. exports plunged due to a slowdown in the global economy and tensions over disputed islands with china.
finance ministry officials released preliminary figures shortly before the financial markets opened. last month's deficit came to about $6.7 billion. exports fell by 6.5% from a year earlier. that's in yen terms. japan's exports have fallen for five months in a row. cars and steal led the drop last month. imports also fell by 1.6% from a year earlier. now, by destination europe tumbled by 20% as the region's debt crisis continues to dampen demand. exports to china fell by over 11.5% and anti-japan sentiment dented demand for japanese goods. now let's get a check on the markets. on the tokyo foreign exchange, the dollar is gaining ground against the yen hitting the highest level in just about seven months. dollar yen is currently changing hands at 81.84 to 88 taking a look at the euro/yen, that is also at a six-month high.
euro/yen 104.87 to 88. sources say many currency traders expect the bank of japan to deliver mormon tear easing because the central bank gave a cautious outlook for the japanese economy. let's get a check on stocks. japanese share prices are trading higher on the weaker yen this morning. the nikkei average currently 9,218, a gain of over 8/10 of a percent from tuesday's close. investors are placing buy orders particularly onxport related issues due to the weaker yen, and let's also look s trading higher by over a fourth of a percent. weking at indid eider78ra> of jd
diptis,henid at,ndegt e try. they say they'reorni acen t cin days.for now fighters forsrlnd has owiteig o letting up.peleavdi aeeofightga strikeand fired sll at the gazan th cfltas so far killed 13leinns has and other palestinian militr they killed twoor iaes brgi t nbe of dead on tang refe at schools runy
th u. palestinian refugees account for more than 70 ozaputi.ey were fo israel and duringubqut wars. tnsto d'thi isla isa beca attacked u.n. schools before and jue 'lbeaf >> u.ectaenal a u.s. secretary of stateilry their weight toedtifos. >>heoa mt durable outcome that promotes regional aspirations of iaes a pastinns alike. >> egyptian diplomats are brerg elk has leaders are demanding the isel tif tircomi ocdef gaza. the israelis are calling on has spirgoctsndusing other aps
netanyahsays the forces will laun gunffsi i mas fhts do not let up. united nations oiclsayeyaven almi tnd i afanta th say the consult evaluation ofpeoueaopess e send more and farmers are growingopes to take advta of rising prices. e.nffenru a crime and the afghan government released thennual rort i the capital o kabul. th eime e ou ola us f ppy consult evaluation has increased over last year by %. th have seenarticular increases in the certain ovce o kdar a helmand, strong holds of taliban inrgents. help to fund aggression by the insurgents. they say more than 100 members of their securitors he enildhi .
>>he forr governor of tokyo says japanese leaders need to explore the possibility of acquin nlear. iknn for speaking mind. he gave his latest opinion while preparing for a national election next month. heowea a new opposition group. he made the remarks to foreign corrpondents in tokyo. >> translator: it would be good to have a simulation on japan holding nuclear weapons because itancts terrent. thdesion o acquiring them or not can be decided later. >> he announced in april the too veme pnned to t privately owned senkaku islands in the east china sea. they stepped in and nationalized
the islandsnd china and taiwan claimed the territory and they have straightened relations. a former japanese prime minister says he won't be running in the lower hou eltion. he says he can't support some of the party ideas. the moat ptyearsp pls to endorse candates only if they accept certain policies. >> i feel a strong affectiofo thdecricar. i let the liberal democratic party to create the dpj. personal importance to me. >> he isppedo japan joining the talks on the transpacific partnership free trade agreement. in june he voted against a goveme pnoaise the consumptiotax. the party responded by suspending his membership for three months. he became pri mister 2009 after leading the democratic party to victory in the lower
house election. he could not keep his promise t air station outside japan or at least outside okinawa prefecture, so heesigned in 2010. his government eventually agreed with the u.s. to move the facility to nago okinawa and that was similar to one signed in 2006 when the liberal democratic party held the reins of government. north korean officials are trying to drum up more foreign investment. once again they turned to their main ally china and invited the heads of 40 chinese companies for a week long industrial tour. north krooe's foreign shechlt committee keeps a permanent office in beijing. it is headed by the you thinkel and mentor of leader kim jong un. the office invited the chinese executives to tour mines and lumber mills in and around pinyany. they're already active in north korea and helping to develop two
economic sgroens in the north. the committee's work is seen as vital for jump starting a stagnant economy and hosted a trade fair last month in northeastern china. 100 north korean companies took part. china's new leaders are settling in to their new jobs and starting to work through the challenges they face. the economy is their number one priority. growth has slowed. senior officials are promising a fix. some analysts say they should start by putting a stop to bad investments by local governments. nhk world a mad ahas the story. >> reporter: the city of ordos rises above the autonomous region. the bulk of the revenue earned in the city came from making cashmere, but the coal mines started operating and making a
lot of money. in 2004 city officials began increasing the population of an area to 1 million. since then, they have spent nearly $800 million new condominiums and other buildings. now the area has a lot of high rise buildings including a theater and government offices. not many residents, only about 70,000 people live here. >> all over the city homes but no occupants. >> with so many empty homes and so few people to buy them, and in many other parts of china similar projects also fizzled. there they have left the local government with mountains of debt. after the global financial
crisis in 2008 central government authorities encouraged local municipalities including ordos to spur the economy. the central officials pushed them to invest more. so the local governments borrowed huge amounts of money. the funds went into real estate but even now many properties are still unsold. at the end of 2010 these governments owed a total of $1.7 trillion and the amount is still rising. the debt worries some chinese. he runs a national management firm and five years ago he began looking into the finances of local governments and posted his findings on his website and he says it is hard to get the big picture.
>> translator: governments do not disclose to ordinary citizens how they spend money allocated to individual projects. that's likely to lead to inefficient investment and wasteful spending, much more needs to be done to boost oversight. >> reporter: one expert says one issue may be bad for the economy. >> investments so far have come to a dead end and created problems like corruption and pollution. china's economy is facing a turning point. >> reporter: so china's new leader place faces a stiff challenge. he must ensure the rapid and stable growth of the economy. he also has to rein in local government investments. some adults have to get used
to electronic gadgets such as smartphones, but many children take to them naturally. now here starting to use smartphones and the apps designed for them to get even smarter. >> 31-year-old yishi and her daughter live in tokyo. she is just a year and ten months old and already she is preoccupied with mom's smartphone. this app is a favorite. she touches a drawing of an animal and a photo of it pops up on the screen and then it makes a sound. the app's maker decided to advance the intellect of young children. she started playing with her mother's smartphone just two or three months after she was born. now she uses six different educational apps. >> translator: it is really helpful for times when i can't
give her my complete attention or when she starts throwing a tantrum in public. i hand it to her and instantly she gives it all of her attention. >> reporter: the youngsters at this nursery school are also going digital. >> translator: turn the power on, please. >> reporter: they use tablets for learning. the apps teach the children to write the japanese alpha bet about i tracing their fingers along the characters. more than ever teachers and parents are turning to these devices to help them raise children. a market research company asked about 650 moms if they let their children use smartphones and other electronic gadgets. two out of three mothers said they do. more than 80% of them said the devices are useful. software developers see great opportunities in educational
apps. for example, this maker of karaoke machines, two years ago it started selling educational apps. now it offers 20 kinds. the head of the developers is the mother of a 5-year-old and 3-year-old and her goal is to make app that is help moms like her. recently she attended a luncheon with other mothers. she wanted to test a new app that teaches children to remember the map of the world and to gauge their reactions. >> the earth is turning. >> translator: i think it is great. if you have children do this activity on paper, it doesn't really grab their attention. they love games. making a school lesson seem like a game is a great solution. >> reporter: now the company plans to concentrate on educational apps and to sell the product in other countries.
making learning fun for kids there. people in the u.s. pacific northwest are being affected by flooding caused by torrential rain. here is the world weather forecast. >> hi, there. drenching rain and hurricane force wind gusts have been battering the northwest coast of the u.s. and tens of thousands of people are without electricity in oregon and washington on monday and rainfall of reported in some locations leading to serious flooding and unfortunately hefty showers will continue from northern california up into washington into your wednesday. that could raise the risk of flooding even more. meanwhile, as for the inland locations, heavy snow showers are pounding and mainly in western montana and light conditions occurring here and conditions will be spreading into idaho on wednesday. gusts could exceed more than 60
kilometers per hour and an additional 50 centimeters of snow is likely. lots of things are going on and it is going to be on going story into your wednesday and on thursday on the u.s. thanksgiving day, sunny skies should return to seattle with a high of ten degrees and as for oklahoma city, warm and sunny day on wednesday but light showers possible on thursday and new york city will continue to see sunny skies into your thursday. all right. moving into east asia then, snow showers are still on going in the northern half of japan, particularly ho died owe and ploe blowing snow advisory and remaining wet for the next several hours. as this high pressure system expanding, clear i should say drier conditions should return from this afternoon. as for the south of japan, clear skies and the pacific side will turn wet from tonight. down towards the south and the philippines are experiencing another rainy day but rain
should be dissipating on your thursday and more heavy rain is coming down in southern china. the provinces will be seeing the heaviest rain with up to 100 millimeters possible into the next 4 hours. that could be accompanied by thunderstorms as well as gusty winds and snow showers will be found in northeastern china and north korea from tonight. temperatures are looking like this, 4 degrees cooler than yesterday in tokyo, 14 degrees expected, single-digits in beijing and minus 9 and low on thursday could be minus 20 degrees and meanwhile 15 in shanghai and 25 in hong kong. finally, let's go over to europe. not much changed since yesterday. a series of lows are dumping heavy rain and for the north. particularly wet in the southwestern corner of the u.k. and southern norway and winds of over 70 kilometers per hour likely in southern norway today and as this front swinging
through the western continent will turn wet and windy and rain should be dissipating on your thursday and mean while severe weather is finally easing in the southern half of italy and the western tip of turkey and rain will continue on wednesday. that could trigger further flooding as well as landslides. here for the rest dry and we have fog alert issued for much of central europe. your temperatures on your wednesday, 5 degrees and 6 degrees in stockholm and warmer than average in london. here is the extended forecast.
our top story this hour, asia pacific leaders want to create the world's largest free trade zone, a trading block with the combined output of $20 trillion, almost one third of the global economy. a total population of about 3.4 billion people. the leaders of 16 countries have agreed to start negotiations in the new year. the heads of the association of southeast asia nations met in cambodia's capital. the leaders of six regional partners including japan, china and india joined them at the summit. they issued a community kommunicae hoping to reach agreement by the end of 2015. leader from japan, china, and south korea agreed to start talks on free trade agreement of their own and would put aside the territorial disputes between japan and the two other nations. japanese officials want to ease restrictions to give them more access to their neighbor's economies. chinese and south korean officials have already begun talks on a free trade deal between their countries.