hello there. welcome to "newsline." we begin the program with new information on the hostage crisis. militants purportedly with the group islamic state have released an audio message with new demands. the message is voiced by a man who identifies himself as captured japanese freelance journalist kenji goto. he says if jordan's death row inmate sajida al-rishawi is not released by sunset thursday they'll execute the jordanian military pilot they're holding. >> i'm kenji goto jogo. this is a voice message i've been told to send to you.
if sajida al rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the turkish border by thursday sunset 29th of january mosul time the jordanian pilot moaz al kasasbeh will be killed immediately. >> the man says the deadline is sunset mosul time. if he is referring to mosul, iraq sunset would be around 5:30 p.m. local time. officials in jordan and japan are racing against time to secure the hostage's freedom. jordanian officials say they're ready to let go of the woman being held on death row in exchange for the pilot's release. >> state-run television says the government is ready to release her. but only if islamic state
militants hand over jordanian pilot moaz kasasbeh. militants captured him in december. he was taking part in an air strike when his plane went down. jordanian judicial authorities sentenced rishawi to death for her role that bomb attacks in the capital amman in 2005. they said she belonged to al qaeda in iraq the predecessor of islamic state. earlier on tuesday militants posted a message online with their demand. they said jordan must free rishawi within 24 hours or they would kill both the pilot and japanese hostage kenniji goto. jordan's foreign minister said in an interview with cnn that the government is negotiating for the release of both the pilot and goto. but the ministry suggested the talks were not going smoothly. nasser judei said islamic state has yet to provide evidence that the pilot is still alive. japanese leaders are closely watching how the jordanian government is handling the
crisis. foreign minister fumio kishida spoke to reporters at 7:30 a.m. japan time but declined to talk about movements in jordan. >> there has not been any big vemts developments. we will remain on high o'letteralert to save goto. i must refrain onfrom commenting on statements made by the jordanian government. >> reporter: officials in tokyo are working with a japanese government task force in amman. state minister for norman affairs yas hooed yay nakayama is overseeing operations. officials are trying to confirm details of information aired on jordanian state tv. they said they'll continue to cooperate with counterparts in jordan and other countries to get goto released. about 100 people gathered in front of the prime minister's office in tokyo and urged the government to do its utmost to secure goto's release.
>> translator: violence is unacceptable. i want him freed. >> translator: goto told me how miserable wars are and how precious peace is. i want the government to do all it can to save him. >> the participants included friends of goto and those who got information about the gathering through the internet. they held signs saying "free kenji" and lit candles praying for goto's release. now, goto's mother says she's very worried. junko ishida spoke to reporters late on wednesday. >> translator: we're getting mixed information, and no one can say at this point what's going to happen next. i'm really shaken up. i'm so worried about my son, kenji.
>> ishida said she hopes negotiations by the governments of japan and jordan will help save her son. here's a look at the timeline of how the hostage crisis has evolved. >> reporter: the first video appeared on january 20th. it showed a masked man and two hostages, later identified as kenji goto and haruna yukawa. the militant demanded $200 million to free the hostages. he said the japanese government had 72 hours to pay. prime minister shinzo abe was on a tour of the middle east at the time. he had recently announced that japan would give $200 million to help refugees displaced by islamic state militants in iraq, syria and neighboring countries. abe called the threats an act of terrorism. he said japan's aim was to provide humanitarian aid in
non-military fields. people in japan expressed shock at the news of the threats. >> translator: i want them to be released soon. i hope everything will be resolved peacefully. >> japan's leaders set up a task force in the jordanian capital, amman. officials asked neighboring governments for help. they also reached out to local tribal and religious leaders, hoping to open a channel to negotiate with the militants. on january 24th, more than a day after the militants' deadline expired, another video was posted online. it featured goto holding a photo that appeared to show yukawa had been executed. a voice on the video said the militants had changed their demands. they now wanted an iraqi woman freed from death row in jordan. sajida al rishawi was involved in a series of bomb attacks in
amman in 2005. the attacks left more than 50 people dead. the demand became a contentious issue in jordan. islamic state militants were also holding a jordanian pilot who had taken part in air raids against them. many people wanted him released first. on tuesday a third video appeared, showing goto holding a photo of the pilot. a speaker claiming to be goto said he only had 24 hours left to live and the pilot had even less. the speaker demanded al rishawi's immediate release and said any delaying tactics could result in both hostages being killed. >> translator: i felt indignant at the video. it is an extremely despicable act, and i strongly condemn it. amid this extremely difficult situation, the japanese government will make all-out efforts to secure goto's release.
>> japanese government officials said they were working closely with their jordanian counterparts, doing all they could to save goto. for more insight into the hostage crisis, nhk world's gene otani spoke with akiko yushuota a researcher on middle east affairs. >> what's your reaction to the purported offer by the jordanian government to release al rishawi? >> well, the islamic state militants have threatened to kill the jordanian pilot unless rishawi goes free, but they never promised to release him. the priority of jordanian authorities is to bring back the pilot. that's perfectly understandable. it's also understandable that they are being positive about the release of rishawi. i think they are trying to buy time to save the pilot. >> why is sajida al rishawi so important to islamic state?
>> i don't think she is personally so important for islamic state, but winning the freedom of someone like rishawi who took part in a successful bombing attack would have a powerful symbolic meaning. i think that's why islamic state is demanding her release in exchange for hostages. >> what do you think is the militants' motives behind all these moves? >> i think they may be in a fairly desperate situations. they are fighting intense battle all over the region, and they seem to be losing ground. if their aim in posting these videos is to get global attention and promote their cause, this might have some impact. they might be trying to bring the issue to a head in some way. >> what can we expect to happen next? >> there is a possibility the islamic state will release both hostages as part of the exchange. they could claim that the release of rishawi satisfies their demand.
another possibility is that the jordanian government won't release rishawi unless it gets assurances that the militants will definitely free the pilot along with goto. officials over in russia are doing their part to bring order to war-torn syria. they've called on representatives of the syrian government and the opposition to unite in the fight against the islamic state militant group. delegates from both sides are in moscow for peace talks. the meetings began on wednesday. >> translator: we believe that politicians and leading representatives must join forces to combat this common threat of terrorism. it will serve as the key for the resurrection of the unity of the syrian nation. >> lavrov apparently hopes that if two groups cooperate, it will weaken opposition calls for president bashar al asad to step
down. russia backs the assad administration. but it's not clear if a full-fledged united front can be formed against the islamic state group. members of the western-backed opposition, the syrian national coalition, are not participating in the talks. the israeli military and hezbollah militants have exchanged fire along the border between lebanon and israel. two israeli soldiers and one u.n. peacekeeper were killed. a convoy of israeli military vehicles was hit by a missile in the border area on wednesday. lebanon-based hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack. a u.n. peacekeeper from spain was killed in the fighting. u.n. spokesperson stephane dujarric said it's not clear which side killed the peacekeeper, but he criticized the attack as a violation of the u.n. cease-fire resolution. israel and hezbollah have engaged in sporadic fighting since the month-long 2006 war.
tensions between the two sides have risen since an israeli air strike in syria earlier this month killed a hezbollah commander and several other members. the new greek prime minister says he will push forward with his campaign pledge to ask the european union to reduce the country's debt. alexis tsipras's remarks have sparked criticism from some eu ministers and have brought turbulence to the country's financial markets. >> translator: we didn't come here to take over institutions and to enjoy the trappings of power. we have come to radically change the way in which politics and governance is carried out in this country. >> tsipras clarified his plan to review the austerity policy at his first cabinet meeting. he said he wants to promote measures such as raising pensions for lowin come earners
and rehiring fired civil servants. his coalition of the radical left, or syriza, swept to i alandslide victim in sunday's snap election. germany's economy and energy minister expressed his concern on the new demands from greece. >> translator: i cannot imagine a haircut on greek debt. i can only imagine the programs continue, so the aid continues. >> greece's stock index temporarily fell by more than 9.5% on wednesday, bringing the total drop to more than 15% in the three days since the election. investors are also selling greek government bonds. the yield on 10-year bonds rose to more than 10%. eurozone finance chief dijselbloom plans to visit greece on friday to meet tsipras and hear his plan. people in the aviation industry have been worried about
japan's number 3 airline. they know executives at skymark have been trying to cope with the weak yen and a dispute over the order for new planes. ai uchida joins us from the business desk to give us the details. >> on top of that skymark has been feeling the heat from low-cost carriers and the company has now filed for bankruptcy. skymark officials say service will continue as the company tries to restructure itself. they're looking for corporate backers to help it restructure under core protection. skymark executives say private equity firm integral has agreed to provide some of the money the airline needs to restructure itself. the executives are putting together a rehabilitation plan. but the airline faces a financial challenge. european airplane maker airbus wants skymark to pay 7$700 million for canceling a purchase order. skymark had ordered six a-380 passenger planes from airbus. the tokyo stock exchange will delist skymark shares on march 1st. skymark is the first company
listed on the tokyo stock exchange to go bankrupt since august 2013. nissan motor officials have discovered problems with anti-freeze systems and front hood latches in some vehicles. they're recalling more than 760,000 sport utility models and luxury cars worldwide. the officials say rogue suvs from 2008 to 2014 and pathfinders from 2013 to 2014 will be recalled. infiniti luxly lyuxury 2014 models are affected too. most of the vehicles being recalled were sold in north america. nissan officials say anti-freeze can seep through the driver's side carpet and cause electrical problems. they also say a faulty latch can cause the hood to open while the car is in motion. the officials say so far there have been no reports of accidents or injuries due to the
problems. people at the u.s. central bank have maintained their policy of being patient in deciding when to raise the key interest rate. market players say there has been no major change to the policy makers' stance. officials at the federal reserve wrapped up their two-day mee repeated they would be patient in deciding when to raise interest rates from near zero. that's wording they introduced in december. they deleted another phrase people had gotten used to seeing. policy makers dropped the expression "for a considerable time" in referring to how long interest rates would remain low. policy makers brushed aside market worries that falling crude oil prices and a slowdown in europe would affect the rate hike decision. officials said they realize oil prices may weigh down on prices in the near term. still they're expecting inflation to rise gradually toward 2% over the medium term. well the fed statement was in line with market consensus
but u.s. stock prices closed sharply lower as crude oil prices continued to decline. tokyo share prices opened lower following those overnight moves. the benchmark nikkei now trading lower by more than .4%. shares of komatsu and hitachi construction machinery are lower as they reported weak earnings reports yesterday. on to currencies. traders are becoming cautious as oil prices continue to fall. they're buying what they see as safer assets like the japanese yen. and the dollar and the euro. both lower against the japanese currency. looking at some other markets in the asia pacific region, south korea's kospi trading lower this morning, down by .4%. let's see what's happening in australia. the benchmark index down as well. just a touch, though. down a tenth of a percent. we're seeing a pretty negative start to this part of the world this morning. i'll keep track of markets for you throughout the day. for now i'll leave you with a check on other markets. ♪
and markets around the world follow. >> from the decisions that could change the course of an economy. >> to the companies at the forefront of change. >> up-to-the-minute market reports. >> and analysis by specialists from around the world. >> get all the latest business news and insight every day, here on "newsline." north korean leader kim jong un is reportedly ready to make his first trip overseas since taking power. russian officials say he's going to attend a ceremony in moscow in may. interfax news agency quotes kremlin spokesperson dimitri peskov saying his government has confirmed kim will attend an event on may 9th. the occasion will be the 70th anniversary of the soviet union's victory over nazi germany in world war ii. north korea has been seeking to strengthen relations with russia. its political ties with its closest ally china have recently soured. in november the secretary of the
workers party visited russia as kim's special envoy. he held talks with president vladimir putin. russian media report 20 years including chinese president xi jinping will attend the event. they say invitations have also been sent to japan's prime minister shinzo abe, south korean president park geun-hye, and leaders from europe. senior government officials from japan, the u.s. and south korea have agreed they need more help dealing with pyongyang's nuclear program. the counterparts from russia and china will be asked to assist in concrete actions toward denuclearization. their decision came on wednesday after a meeting in tokyo. it's the first time the three nations have discussed the issue face to face since last april. japanese foreign ministery's junichi ihara gave an update on his recent meeting in moscow. he had talks with russia's deputy foreign minister.
>> translator: by cooperating closely between japan, the united states and south korea we will press north korea to implement promises faithfully and completely including u.n. security council resolutions. >> we agreed that it's important for us to continue to enforce our sanctions in light of north korea's continued violation of international obligations and commitments. >> the six-party talks on north korea's nuclear development have been suspended for more than six years. officials in the north have suggested the talks resume without any conditions. police in thailand have made an arrest in a fraud case targeting japanese men. they say utsaya nansakan dressed up in women's clothes and deceived the men into giving him money. police made the arrest in bangkok. they say he used a credit card belonging to a japanese machine without authorization. they say he preyed on men in a part of bangkok where many japanese live.
officials say the suspect talked to more than 100 men into lending him money but never paid them back. and he defrauded more than 1 1/2 million dollars. the suspect reportedly told police he targeted japanese men because he was tricked by one when he was younger. more than 20 people have contacted the japanese embassy in bangkok over the past year claiming they have been victims of fraud. the embassy had been calling on zwlnz japanese nationals in the country to be on the alert. it is time now for a check of the weather. people in tokyo haven't seen any significant snowfall yet this winter. but a storm coming in could change that. meteorologist robert speta joins us with the details. >> yes, it has been cold across japan the last several days including the tokyo area where in the early morning hours on thursday we did see the temperature drop below the freezing point but just too dry at this point to see any of the white stuff in the air.
but that will be changing because what we have going on is still the sea effect snow toward the north but look toward toward the west. the new low is developing into eastern portions much china. this frontal area has been bring a rain-snow mix, some areas around 10 centimeters along the yangtze river basin could be seen. as that develops and pulls off toward the east it will be
enjoying the snowfall. if you want to be somewhere warm how about you head south into the southern we have been watching a low right here. this is a rather developed storm system. it's been pumping that moisture onshore. coastal areas, looking at the threat of rain showers and thunderstorms. main reason i show this, though is because in newcastle we have a playoff match for the asian cup. iraq versus uae. the low should move off toward new zealand leaving some clear conditions. also looking at some clear weather for saturday for the final match out there. now let's move over toward western europe. do want to talk about this storm system diving its way through the low countries. parts of germany you can actually see some 15 to 20 centimeters of snowfall. even into austria as well. those conditions are going to be kicking up here. about 30 centimeters. also winds could be as high as 126 kilometers per hour. so it is going to be a blustery day for many of you.