thursday. i'm james tengan in tokyo. welcome to this hour's "newsline." here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. editors of a chinese newspaper have called for the release of their reporter who's been arrested for doing wrongdoing at a state-owned firm. managers of japan's damaged
nuclear plant is making a less than ideal move to contain contaminated rainwater from a storm heading their way. limiting an impact on their communities and global economy. the editors of a chinese newspaper keeping up their fight against media control for the second day in a row they've used their front page to send a message to government leaders. they want authorities to release one of their reporters from custody. the new express newspaper is based in the southern province of guangdong. the headline reads "once again please release him." the headline on wednesday said, "please release him." police detained a reporter on damaging the reputation of a state-owned company. he wrote articles exposing illegal activities at the construction equipment firm. a new express editorial writer told nhk the staff believes the
credibility of chen's stories and will not give up until he's freed. another journal daily ran an editorial on thursday saying the government abused their power in this case. chinese have posted thousands of messages online in support of chen. authorities have told the state-run agency that they found chen's articles were fabricated. editors at other chinese newspapers said they've been warned not to investigate or run any articles concerning his arrest. officials in seoul say their counterparts in pyongyang will release six south koreans held in detention on charges saying they illegally entered north korea. a spokesperson for south korea's unification ministries said they sent a notice saying they would return the men on friday. the exchange is expected to
happen in the village. >> translator: south korea welcomes the north's action based on humanitarian grounds. >> the spokesperson says the identities of the detainees are unknown except they're in their 20s to 60s. ministry staff plan to interview the men about when and why they went to the north. three years ago, north korean leaders disclosed they were investigating four south koreans who had entered the country without permission. officials in seoul are trying to find out why authorities in pyongyang decided to return the detainees now. last month, the north koreans unilaterally canceled a reunion of families separated during the korean war in the 1950s. an approaching storm is sending workers at the fukushima daiichi plant in a race against time. the storage they have is almost
full. here's more. >> reporter: workers at the plant have had their hands full dealing with rainwater. a typhoon blew by last week. that was followed by a heavy rainstorm. forecasters say another storm could hit this weekend. the rain has filled barriers around storage tanks holding contaminated water. on sunday workers discovered that rainwater had flowed over the barriers of several locations. tests revealed that some of that water contained high levels of radioactive strontium. there have been other programs. earlier this month, workers mistakenly allowed 430 liters of highly contaminated water to escape outside the barriers. some of it may have reached the ocean. on another occasion, workers pumped too much radioactive water into a small tank.
five tons overflowed. the possibility of more rain has the plant's operators scrambling for a solution. officials at tokyo electric power company have asked nuclear regulators to let them store water in underground pools. >> translator: we've asked to be allowed to use the underground pools. we won't put highly tainted water in them. >> reporter: managers plan to temporarily store rainwater in underground pools. they can hold nearly 9,000 tons of water. the pools consist of holes dug into the earth. they are lined with three waterproof sheets. in april, three of seven pools leaked. tepco stopped using all of them. but they've decided to fill pools that have not leaked before. with more rain on the way,
company officials say they have no other choice. regulators have given them the go-ahead. nhk world. a pertinent question, so where is typhoon francisco now? our meteorologist, robert speta, is tracking the storm. robert? >> as of rain now, it's down to the south, just east of okinawa. it will change going through the day on friday, and eventually out toward saturday as the storm system tracks off to the northeast. first bringing heavy rainfall across western japan, then going into tokytokyo. we're going to be seeing heavy rainfall. it's not going to be a big wind event out here. the max of the winds will stay offshore. by the time it gets up here it will be a strong tropical storm. it's the rain that's going to be a problem. western japan, pretty heavy
showers here. tohoku area, 50 to 100 millimeters, and isolated areas could see up to 200 millimeters of rainfall here going through friday night into saturday. so something we want to continue to watch. i do think the bulk of the rough weather is going to be down here towards the west, and also across the southern japanese islands. i'll be back a little bit later on with more information on what's going on there. a court in western japan has set a legal precedent for how atomic bomb survivors are compensated for their medical bills. they've been ordered to pay the bill of three people who received treatment in south korea. japanese law guarantees free health coverage for survivors, but only if they live in japan. the court awarded more than $13,000 to a south korean man, and the families of two other survivors who are now dead. the south korean man was an unborn baby in hiroshima when the bomb was dropped in 1945.
the two deceased people were also in the city at the time. all three survivors later moved to south korea and received treatment. they applied to the osaka prefectural government for compensation but were rejected. the court ruled that decision was illegal. it's the first time this has happened in a case involving a-bomb survivors overseas. the plaintiffs read out a comment by the living survivor. >> translator: many survivors like myself are suffering because there's a limit on the money we can get back for medical treatment. i want the japanese government to accept the osaka district court decision. >> osaka prefecture officials say they will consult the health ministry and other organizations on how to respond to the ruling. pakistan's prime minister has met with u.s. president barack obama in washington.
he said he raised ab issue that's straining relations between the two countries. u.s. drone strikes. we're joined with an update on the talks. >> prime minister sharif wants obama to end the strikes in his country, but the u.s. president won't make any concessions. his response record brought anger in pakistan. here is the report. >> reporter: it was the first visit by a pakistani prime minister at the white house in five years. he said the leaders discussed the biggest point of contention between the countries. >> pakistan and the united states have a strong ongoing counterterrorism cooperation. we have agreed to further strengthen this cooperation. i also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end
to such strikes. >> reporter: relations soured after u.s. forces carried out a raid in pakistan in 2011 to kill osama bin laden. they didn't alert the pakistani authorities before it happened. u.s. drone attacks in pakistan have made the situation worse. people in pakistan are angry with the american forces exerting their power in their country. the international community is also questioning the legitimacy of their u.s. operations. amnesty international said that drone strikes are taking a toll, not only on insurgents, but innocent civilians, too. the organization conducted a
survey in pakistan and urged the u.s. to investigate the possibility that the attacks breach international law. the white house refused. it says the strikes are a legitimate and effective counterterrorism measure. >> u.s. counterterrorism operations are precise. they are lawful. and they are effective. and the united states does not take legal strikes when we or our partners have the ability to capture individual terrorists. >> reporter: for president obama, ending the drone strikes is not an option. all he can do is show cooperation for pakistan. >> we agreed we continue to need to find constructive ways to partner together, ways that respect pakistan sovereignty, that respect the concerns of both countries. >> reporter: the u.s. plans to
withdraw combat troops from afghanistan by the end of 2014. obama says that the instability in pakistan will benefit neighboring pakistan in the long run. the leaders say their countries will continue working together to improve security in afghanistan. but the meeting will do nothing to ease american sentiment in pakistan. nhk world, islamabad. directors at the asian development banks say southeast asian countries will have to work harder to meet a major deadline. they say at the current rate, the ten asean member states will struggle to achieve their goal to build an economic community by 2015. the bank released a report outlining challenges the nations face. it says they need to do more to
unify markets by abolishing trade barriers in agriculture, steel, auto and other industries. it also says they need to work together to boost the flow of services, and it calls on them to promote policies to ensure fair competition and protect intellectual property. asean leaders are committed to creating a regional economic community by 2015. but the bank says they'll have to continue implementing some measures beyond that date. it says they need to boost labor mobility, so that skilled as well as nonskilled workers can move across borders more easily. in regional economic integration says he supports greater unity in the asean community. he says this will help the region achieve greater productivity at a time when the global economy is still fragile. delegates from the asean
countries are also working together to improve the way they handle natural disasters. the ten-member nation state in the vietnamese capital of hanoi. about 2,000 police, firefighters and military personnel took part. a akico reports from hanoi. >> reporter: rescue teams from ten countries are conducting search and rescue operations together. the participants are in the destroyed building. they started a process of searching for survivors, rescuing them, and providing treatment. they also use boats and helicopters to rescue people who are stranded on the roofs of their flooded houses. it struck the region.
this month, a strong earthquake shook the area. flooding is causing widespread damage on the peninsula in the rainy season. two years ago, devastating floods also struck in thailand. waters engulfed industrial compounds causing massive disruption to global supply chains. participants tested out a communications system. it enables member states to accept requests for another country, and share information about what they can do to help. >> it provides an opportunity for all the participants, the rescue teams, at the strategic level, to meet and discuss and know each other and build their work, which is very, very important. >> reporter: asean countries
cater to the regions. they are a major force for growth in the global economy. but major disasters are a constant threat to their industry. these countries are trying to cooperate more closely. nhk world, hanoi. police in thailand are investigating the cause of a bus crash that killed more than 20 people. it's the latest in a series of accidents that have contributed to the highest road death toll in southeast asia. police said on thursday that 22 died and 16 others, including the driver, were injured when the bus plunged about 30 meters into a ravine. the accident occurred in the mountainous northern province. the bus was carrying mostly elderly worshippers. they were returning home from a religious ceremony. fatal road accidents have
become a major problem in thailand. the world health organization reports there are 38.1 road deaths per 100,000 people. the average for southeast asia is 18.5. earlier this month, at least 16 people died when the truck they were traveling in slammed into a tree in the northeast. associated press said up to 26,000 people died in road accidents in thailand every year. and that wraps up our bulletin. and those were reports from our bangkok bureau. members of nato are voicing concerns about how long it's taking u.s. and afghan leaders to reach a security deal. they say the delay is cutting into the time they need to map out a plan to withdraw foreign combat forces from afghanistan by the end of next year. defense ministers from nato
plans discussed the plan at the alliance headquarters. their hands are tied somewhat. u.s. and afghan leaders have not reached an agreement on legal jurisdiction of the american troops who will stay on as of 2015. the head of nato stressed the need to speed up negotiations. >> we can't finalize our preparations until we have finalized negotiations on the legal framework, the status of forces agreement. >> u.s.-led international combat forces have been dloyed in afghanistan for ten years. of t topped 100,000t one point. the majority of soldiers wl leave by the end of 2014, but a small contingent will stay behind to provide training, advice and assistance to afghan forces. on the business front, the
japanese government says the country's economy is on the way to rovery at a moderate pace. they kept the headline warning unchanged from september's assessment. the cabinet eorsed its monthly economic report for october. the report says private consumption is picking up thanks to steady demand for electrical appliances and eating out at restaurants. business investment is also showing signs of picking up, mainly among nonmanufacturing industries the report also notes continued price increases in gasoline and energy related items, indicating that deflation may be coming to an end. however, export growth is leveling off, partly due to a pullback in auto exports to southeast asia. but cabinet office officials forecast exports will pick up again, considering the steady expansion in china and the weakening yen. >> translator: household income and investments will keepheir
upward trend, thanks to a recovery in export and the government's stimulus measures. i hope this development will put the economy on a solid recovery path. >> the government will support the economy by implementing its growth plan. japan's powerful business federation gives high marks to prime minister shinzo abe's economic policies, but says there's still more work to do to stimulate economic growth. the officials say in their report the ruling coalition has put in places policies the federation haseen calling for. these include an easier monetary policy, a higher consumption tax, and entry into tpp trade negotiations. but they say the government still has problems to address. they want the corporate tax rate in japan lowered to the internional average of about 25%. the rate is currently above 30%.
officials say drastic reforms and regulation and administrative systems are needed. they also called for an early restart of the country's nuclear power plants. and they want the government to present specific plans for securing cheap and stable energy supplies. construction has bun on vietnam's second oil refinery. oil and chemical firms are joining the venture to provide fuel to the fast-growing economy. over 1,000 people including vietnamese prime minister attended the groundbreaking ceremony on wednesday. >> translator: this project is of great significance for the development of vietnam. >> japanese i'll refin ri and chemicals are joining forces in vietnam and kuwait. the project is worth $9 billion
and the daily processing capacity will be 200,000 barrels of crude oil. the chairman said his firm wants to use the refinery as a platform to expand gasoline sales in cambodia, laos and myanmar. vietnam is experiencing rapid motorization. its sole refinery has been in operation for four years but meets only about a third of the nation's fuel needs. engineers with russia's biggest company have seen riches in the waters off the far east. crews with gas problems have started work at a natural gas field. engineers with the state affiliated oil firm have launched production on a new field in the sakhalin project. they believe there are 1.4 trillion meters of gas below the surface, most of it in this latest block. president vladimir putin ordered people in charge to speed up
production. managers plan to ship to asian countries. the project is essential to enhancing russia's position in the global energy market. gas from the project will be transported through pipelines to that city. several japanese firms are expected to join the project. and now, for a look at the latest market figures. robert speta joins us again with the latest in world weather. >> we are continuing to watch
our typhoon out here, typhoon francisco, still impacting the southern japanese islands. i want to start off by showing you a video just to the east of okinawa here, where we're seeing these pretty gusty winds. some of the power lines blowing in the breeze. and actually, gusts up and over 140 kilometers per hour already recorded here. that's typhoon strength winds out there. okinawa itself are seeing pretty strong tropical storm strength winds out here, and also the heavy rainfall. now the storm system is tracking off to the northeast. you're still going to be pretty breezy conditions going through the day on friday. the center of circulation is going to move farther and farther off to the north. going through the day on friday, though, this is going to weaken out and become a severe tropical storm. good news. but it isn't like the bulk of the winds will stay offshore. the worst of the weather coming from this will be because this is getting wrapped up with a boundary centered over western japan, bringing pretty heavy rainfall out here.
and over 5,000 people have been told to evacuate in one area in kyushu. landslides reported there on the key peninsula in shokoku. an additional 300 millimeters of rainfall is expected here in the next 24 hours. so still the risk of further flooding and landslides. just continuing to impact this area. as far as northern japan, it could be a lot worse because francisco is actually going to get wrapped up with likima. this one's going to start to pull it in from the west here and push it off to the east. so as far as this storm moving through north, it's actually going to move more eastward toward this one. good news there. powerful typhoon, as a matter of fact, 306 kilometer per hour winds up in the center of circulation. well over open ocean. only the fish will be impacted by this as it does push off. let's talk about what's going on in the americas, though.
the big topic is the high pressure. look at this, the big high dominating. usually when you have a high big bubble, no trouble. pretty decent weather. well, what's going to be happening, though, is we have these northwesterly winds coming across the lake. downwind of that we could be seeing about 5 centimeters of snowfall in buffalo, over towards chicago as well. already seeing snow reported in wisconsin, up to about 8 centimeters deep. some of the early snowfall here in october. farther to the south, freeze watches and warnings actually in effect for northern portions of georgia, even toward the carolinas. i do want to touch in on what's going on here in europe. we have one low pressure moving off to the northeast. this is bringing rough conditions out on the peninsula. but another one is coming in. windy weather, pretty heavy rainfall for the iberian peninsula. that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.