welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, december 2nd. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. people in japan will be hearing a lot from their politicians in the coming days. official campaigning for a general election is now under way. candidates are filling out the necessary papers to get things started. parties and independents are going after the 475 seats in the lower house. 295 of them are single seat districts. 180 are for proportional representation. prime minister shinzo abe and i had governing coalition are putting their comfortable majority on the line.
he's framing the vote as a referendum on his economic policy. he argues the ruling parties have scored some success in their bid to end years of deflation and stimulate growth. some members of the opposition maintain the benefits have not reached all corners of the country. they are also focusing on issues such as nuclear power and to allow japan to defend closely related countries that come under attack. the official campaign runs for 12 days. then voters cast ballots on sunday december 14th. "newsline" will bring you extensive coverage as well as results and analysis on election day. a japan based advocacy group says tokyo immigration officials are to blame for the death of a sri lanka man at an immigration center. the man died two weeks ago after officials neglected his medical needs. he was found unconscious in his room at the tokyo regional immigration bureau. he was transferred to a hospital but later pronounced dead. the man arrived in japan last month but was refused entry.
the group sats learned from other detainees that the man had complained of severe chest pain but officials did not summon a doctor. the group surging the justice ministry to improve medical services for detainees. >> translator: behind these incidents was a lack of medical support and inadequate handling of detainees. many immigration officials ignore the human rights of foreigners. >> a tokyo immigration bureau spokesperson has denied that the medical care was inadequate. he said officials had been check this man's condition. it was the third death this year at a japanese immigration center. two people died in march at a center near tokyo. the justice ministry admitted last month that the facility failed to provide sufficient medication for one of them.
representiveses of from about 190 governments have started discussions on ways to slow climate change. they've gathered in peru for a conferen conference. they are to discuss a new framework to limit greenhouse gas emissions. it will replace the ko toe protocall that expired in 2012. >> we have to make history at cop 20 in lima. >> representatives are expected to discuss whether the reduction targets should be legally binding and whether or not they should include financial assistance for developing countries. they will submit targets as early as march and hope to finalize a pack by the end of 2015. last month, the heeders of china and the united states announced new reduction targets. they are the two largest greenhouse gas emitters. japan has been slower than other countries to set up its goal.
the country's energy future has been unclear since the fukushima daiichi nuclear accident in 2011. all reactors in the country are currently offline. a world health organization official says deadline has been missed in the fight against ebola. he says the organization wanted 70% of patients in west africa isolated and treated by december 1st. he says international support helped achieve that goal in guinea and liberia. >> the biggest area right now of escalating disease is what's happening in sierra leone where the amount of new disease is still out stripping bed capacity. >> he said disruption of medical supply delivery to remote areas of the country contributed to the spread of the disease.
but he says he's confident the isolation goal can be met within a few weeks. the w.h.o. reports the number of patients continues to rise by combined 1,000 per week in the three countries. the disease has spread to nearby mali as well. pro democracy activists are facing another court order. they have been banned from sit ins in the roads leading to dpovt buildings. they've been camped out in the city center for two months. scuffles continued throughout monday. they are demanding an election to choose the territory's chief executive in 2017. thousands tried to surround the government headquarters on sunday night. police used batons and pepper spray on the crowd and arrested more than 40 people. the high court on monday issued an order prohibiting the occupation of the road leading to the complex. authorities recently cleared barricades in kailoon. the chief executive says he's
ready to take more measures. he criticized protesters for trying to paralyze the government. he says after two months of protests public patience is frayed. a leader of the hong kong student federation said their latest plan failed because police reacted quicker than expected. he says his group is now deciding their next move. china has blocked a group of british lawmakers from entering hong kong. they were planning to study the political and economic situation in the territory. >> the highest debate and important matter that should have your again consideration. >> members of britain's foreign affairs committee were hoping to fly out on a fact-finding mission later this month. the visit would mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the joint declaration. that document paved the way for britain to hand hong kong back to china. but the chinese embassy in london refused to issue visas. the chinese government is acting in an confrontational manner.
>> this is the most worried thing about this is they seem to be saying the joint declaration now has no vaa will validity whatsoever. >> a chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said it's china's sovereign right to decide who is allowed to enter hong kong. >> translator: if the british lawmakers insist on trying to visit we consider it a confrontation. >> she said china and britain many times that it opposes the trip. the u.s. government has expressed concern over china's moves on the issue. >> we hope the members of parliament with travel freely as they wish. >> she said the u.s. continues to urge protesters in hong kong to act in peace and authorities to refrain from provocative actions. nhk's international tv broadcasts are being blacked out in mainland china every time they report on the protest in hong kong. on monday evening nhk's news
program on the world premium channel was blocked as soon as it showed images of the clashes. tv screens went dark for about 40 seconds. the same thing had occurred earlier in the day. analysts at one of the top u.s. credit rating agencies have downgraded japan's sovereign debt rating. they're feeling less confident that leaders are steering the country in the right direction. >> they're worried about the mountain of debt japan carries. leaders were planning to tackle by raising the con sunlgs tax. that could also delay the plan to balance japan's fiscal health. they decided to downgrade japan's bonds. analysts at moody's from
analysts postponing would delay budget planning. they say japan's debt reduction plan will likely be announced next year. >> we think that the, the delay adds material uncertainty to the credit profile in general and then also to the ability to reduce the government deficit. >> investors are selli ining bo this morning and the yield is higher rkts. still, they're saying their outlook is stable. they say domestic investors still have a strong appetite for bonds and that private sector profit can cover the debt. they say a are risk of a surge is low. overnight, currency traders in overseas markets moved on the
announcement. they took the dollar from the lower 1.19 level to 1.17 in just three hours. right now in tokyo, the pair is trading at 118.33-34. they say the appetite has faded after moody's downgraded so, traders are buying the yen which they see as a safer asset and riskier assets like stock are being sold this morning. the anikkei trading lower. some investors are selling stocks to take profits from the recent gains. shares of airlines and shipping companies are being sold as crude oil prices bounced back on monday. let's take a look at what's happening on other markets in the south pacific. kospi is down lower, more than a quarter percent. in australia, the benchmark outperforming the others. the people who run some of japan's biggest department stores are getting a helping hand from foreign tourists.
managers at three out of four major department stores say in november, visitors from overseas helped drive up sales. managers say their sales increased 0.6% from a year earlier. those at isetan say sells were up 0.4% and soga and seibu, . 4%. managers had a more difficult month, sales down 0.3%. analysts say foreign tourists spent twice as much as they did last year because of the weaker yen, b but they say stores in rural areas continued to struggle. department store officials say they expect things to pick up in the weeks ahead as shops get winter bonuses. that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
japan's prime minister has expressed his commitment to resolve i resolving a long standing dispute with russia. he claims the four islands that make up the four territories russia controls them. abe met with five mayers from hokkaido. abe meeting president putin seven times. he said it shows relations between the county dris are at their best since the end of
world war ii and hopes the japanese government will revolve the issue. he said he and putin agreed last year to speed up negotiations in order to sign a bilateral peace treaty. >> it is my mission as politicia politician and japanese prime minister to find a solution. i will tackle this issue with firm dedication. >> abe said ties have been b proceeding on various levels. discussions with putin, the country's foreign ministers have met. a staple from the japanese diet is catching on elsewhere. kelp grows in abundance in russia, but most locals don't consider it food. some entrepreneurs are changing that by promoting the seaweed's health benefit. >> residents enjoy eating at this japanese restaurant. it serves authentic japanese food prepared with local
ingredients. among them is kelp. it's used in the soup and is grown in russia's o's coast. >> it's simple, but tastes better than boarscht. >> usually, russians don't eat this kind of seaweed, but a well-known sweet shop made some locals change its taste when it sold a new product. this chalk have this as its ingredien ingredients. the taste is very rich, but a little bit salty, but it's nice. locals now buy 1,000 bars a day. the bar contains powdered kelp. it's saltiness compliments the
chocolate favor. people also buy the product because it's its popularity has also reached the beauty industry. these bars most popular offer sg a kelp bar. you can also get a kelp cream massage. since the spa started, to aid circulation and skin, the number of regular customers by 50%. >> i've been coming two or three times a week. it helps me to relax. and with a seaweed cream, i really feel as though i'm being beauti beautified. >> russians are also beginning to look on kelp has health food
that curbs sugar and fat ab sormgs and a local unit have researching whether it increases life expectancy. >> kelp is full of health boosting ingredients. it also contains ingredients that can prevent hardening of the arteriearteries. >> university researchers have developed a menu of 20 dishes containing kelp. they have invited college students to a sampling party. >> we've prepared very healthy kelp dishes. >> among the dishes were sausages and salads mixed with seaweeds. >> if this was generally available, i'd definitely eat it. >> i think it goes really well with vegetables and meat and any
kind of cooking. >> people like the food so much, within an hour, it all vanished. >> i hope everyone eats more kelp to become healthy and happy. >> good producers in -- are already preparing to market sausages with kelp. it might not take long for seaweed to become a staple of the russian diet. thailand has long been the engine of southeast asia's auto industry and used to enjoy robust consumer demand. japanese brands dominate the market, but a protracted sales slump has forced them to change gear.
>> reporter: thailand hosting southeast asia's biggest motor show. japanese brands have unveiled new models to try and boost their disappointing sales. this new model will be more than 10% cheaper than the competition. the weaker yen is behind the lower price tag. half the parts including the engine, are sold from japan and assembled in thailand. by importing more parts from japan, the manufacturer can take advantage of the rapid depreciation of the yen to keep prices low. >> parts from japan used to be considered costly, but the recent depreciation of the yen helps push down our cost. >> about nine out of ten people
sold in thailand are japanese models and there's still room for more. per capita ownership is less than one-third of in swra pan. but ever since, the government ended a subsidy program, demand for new cars has shrunk. here, only sales declined for 18 months in a row. >> now you can get a loan with four years zero interest. >> they're trying desperately to shore up sales. offer rock bottom prices and zero interest loans, but buyers remain unconvinced. >> translator: people are worried about the economy. so, they're conscious about spending. >> translator: the government
should lower taxes on cars. or help with insurance coverage. >> two, one. ♪ >> mazda will launch a new diesel powered compact car in thailand next month. it will have efficient mileage and qualify for government tax break on eco-friendly vehicles. >> with local production lines and this new eco-friendly model, we intend to solidify our focus on southeast asia. as a mainstay of our business. >> mitsubishi motors has unveiled a new pick up truck. the first of this well-known model in nine years. mileage has been improved by 20%. >> translator: the past two
years have been a period of adjustment. we're cautiously optimistic that sales have turned the corner and will gradually cover going forward. >> thailand's old market is at a turning point. and expert says says the trend is is clear. >> translator: the government wants to focus on producing cars that are environmentally friendly. vehicles that are highly efficient and consume little fuel, but are also safe. companies that plan to introduce automobiles in the thai market should watch those factors closely. >> the space thailand enjoyed for many years can no lopger be taken for granted. automakers have to rethink their strategies to convince consumers to get on board.
it's time now for a check of the weather. people in tokyo may be feeling a little chilly, but they're seeing sunny, clear skies. robert speta tells us how it's looking elsewhere. >> yes, in tokyo, if you head outside today, it really does not look too rough out there. a little breeze in the air and much of the pacific coast of japan for that matter also feeling that way, so, if the you are flying into the country, into tokyo, you're probably going to be seeing decent weather through the monday and tuesday. a little bit dry. on the other happened, if you are heading over towards the pacific coastline or the mountains here, you will be seeing the snowfall. some areas already reported upwards of 20 centimeters. we're talking about the equivalent, typhoon strength winds. that is bringing those winds onshore and the snow is coming down. i want to take you to some video
out of hokkaido where the blustery conditions really have just been felt over the past 24 hours. a strong system just producing these fierce winds, specifically on the sea of japan coastline. we've seen 124 kilometer per hour winds as well. 108 kilometers per hour in hokkaido. also, six trains have stopped due toakita -- just lost power. confirmed that was due to snowfall to wup of these hard hit areas, so i'm sure people on board not really too excited about being out in those gusty winds in the heavy snowfall. as we look ahead though, more snow is in the forecast. some areas, 60 to 70 centimeters on top of what has come down. we're also talking about these very gusty winds and that's going to be blowing the snow around. it is going to be feeling chilly out here.
note it stops here in the central portions of japan. on the pacific coast side, you won't be seeing as much of the snow. a lot of these mountains just squeeze that out like a sponge. down towards the south, it could be moving over towards nagoya and then eventually in the higher elevations, you could see the white stuff. let's look elsewhere. i want to mention our tropical storm. now, this is the tropical storm. it is tracking off here towards the west. right now, well over the open ocean. really, this isn't impacting anybody directly at this time. some surf advisories into guam, but it is headed towards the west and eventually could impact the philippines or turn towards the north. a lot of uncertainty in the long range forecast, but we want to keep a close eye on this storm system. in the americas. in southern california, earlier,
talking about the possibility of flight delays. los angeles, reporting rainfall, making for slick conditions. also, mud flow will be the potential because you have an upper level low, then that moisture flow coming in clear from hawaii. those will combine to push a lot of rainfall and the it is going to be coming down towards the snowfalls and higher elevations. on the other side of the country, we're talking about snow, but i think the bigger threat here is as this system lifts on up towards the north, if you are in new england, freezing rain could be a threat. forions out there on the roads. i'll leave you with your extended forecast.
near tokyo will display one of the largest. the temple attracts millions during the new year holidays. designed to resemble rice stalks. the tradition is to ensure an abundance of harvest. workers have been busy tieing bundles since early november. it will be six meters long and weigh about 200 kilograms. >> translator: visitors come here with all sorts of wishes. we pray that the sacred rope we're making will allow their wishes to come true. >> the decoration will be displayed at the front of the main hall from december 25th to welcome vis tors. that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joininging us.
>> november 9, 1989, the night the berlin well fell. welcome to our "euromaxx highlights," the biggest highlight being a very special anniversary for germany. it's been 25 years since the event that shook the world back in 1989, and for the occasion we decided to bring this program to the scene of the action. we're going to leave our studio behind and hit the streets of berlin to remember this historic event. here's what's coming up -- memorable moments. we look back at some of the most iconic images from the fall of 1989. border of lights. what 8,000 balloons have to do with the berlin wall. and turning point. how the end of east germany rocked people's worlds.