welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, december 1st. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the u.n. climate conference in paris opened with speeches by leaders of some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters, but all countries, big and small, faced a tough challenge at the meeting, agreeing to a global framework to tackle warming temperatures. >> reporter: french president hollande kicked off the conference in the presence of about 150 government leaders and heads of state. among them, u.s. president barack obama. >> i've come here personally as
leader of the world's largest economy and the second largest emitter to say that the united states of america not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it. >> reporter: obama prefer as strategy that will allow all countries to reduce the burden. >> progress paves the way for regularly updated targets. targets that are not set for each of us but by each of us. taking into account the differences each nation faces. here in paris, let's agree to a strong system of transparency that gives each of us the confidence that all of us are
meeting our commitments. >> the leader of the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses was not the only one to adopt an ambitious stance. >> reporter: we have confidence and resolve our commitment. >> the philippines, bangladesh and costa rica held talks on the sidelines of the conference. they say their countries are already affected by extreme weather such as powerful typhoons. and they're urging the rest of the world to adopt stricter targets. one of the main agenda in paris is financial support from developed to developing countries to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions. japanese prime minister shinzo abe pledged a stance by developing nations.
>> translator: we cannot overlook the difficulties of those developing countries suffering from the negative impact of climate change. in 2020, japan will provide approximately 1.3 trillion yen or $11 billion of public and private financial assistance. >> developed and developing countries have been at odds over climate change. what is different this time is both sides recognize they need to cooperate on this issue. all eyes are now on whether their delegates will manage to strike a historical agreement. chinese authorities are issuing its highest pollution warning for beijing, telling people there to stay indoors. it began sunday in wide swaths
of the north and east. winds have not been strong enough to disperse pollution in the air. they're urging residents to take steps to protect their health. the affected areas include beijing as well as shandong. china's president xi jinping has been stepping up measures to curb pollution wales as carbon dioxide emissions. new delhi has also been facing high levels of air pollution, and in the east of the country, people are dealing with rising sea levels that they say are displacing families and destroying farms. nhk world reports from the ganges delta. >> reporter: along the coastline beside the bay of bengal, it reveals the scars of global warming. sea levels here have been rising about 8 millimeters a year. a small island has already disappeared under the waves.
as you can see behind my back, there is a sea, but surprisingly, up to 50 meters there on, there used to be land a few years ago. abandoned houses dart the shoreline of mosuni island. locals told us this wooden structure used to be part of a dike. as sea levels have risen, safe land has become uninhabitable. high tides can flood residences. two years ago, the tide destroyed this farmer's house. >> translator: seeing this ruined home sometimes makes me cry. i spent so much money on it. >> reporter: about 1,500 local people were forced to move inland. he and his family built another house with aid from the state
government. but sea water ruined his farmland. he has no crops to sell and little money to buy food. >> translator: it's the rich nations that caused climate change, but we are suffering the consequences. that makes us sad and angry. >> reporter: other farmers share his predicament. researchers say about one-third of the farmland here is not suitable for growing crops. >> translator: the sea water has wrecked it. no crops can grow here. >> reporter: an expert with the worldwide front for nature has been monitoring this area. he predicts rising sea levels will displace 1.3 million people before long. >> we need to have this cop-21
in paris, and on the other side, we need to work to help the people and the ecosystem to adapt. >> reporter: these farmers of west bengal are witnesses to the changing environment. as world leaders debate what to do about climate change, people on global warming's front lines are living with this impact every day. nhk world in the ganges delta. russia has released more details of its economic sanctions against turkey following the downing of a russian warplane by turkish forces last week. agricultural imports like fruit and vegetables from turkey will be restricted. they're believed to be worth more than $1.6 billion annually. contracts for turkish construction firms will also be limited.
russian officials declared turkish construction workers must obtain government permits to continue their work beyond the new year. they also took aim at the turkish tourism industry. charter flights will be banned and there may be a limit to regular flights between the countries. turkey hosts 4 million russian visitors each year. russia has stopped short of prohibiting imports of industrial goods, such as clothing from turkey, but prime minister dmitry medvedev said the package is just the first step. more and more international travelers are visiting japan every year. members of the tax panel are looking at ways to encourage them to spend more and give the economy a boost. travelers must spend more than 10,000 yen or about $80 at each place they shop to qualify for a tax refund. law makers with the liberal democratic party tax panel wants to cut the minimum amount in half to 5,000 yen. government officials have been
looking at spending by foreign tourists for the three months to september. each tourist spent more than $1,500 on average and spending by all tourists came to more than $8 billion during the period. board members of the international monetary fund are boosting the status of the chinese currency. they will include the yuan al g alongside the dollar and euro. >> the main thing is that it is an important milestone for china's integration into global finance. what is going to happen is that the yuan will be included in an imf benchmark reserve currency basket. officials made the decision monday. they're adding the yuan, also known as the renminbi to their reserve currency basket. that is from next november. it is an important milestone in china's integration into global finance.
it will be into the special drawing rights or sdr basket as a fifth currency with the u.s. dollar, the british pound and the japanese yen. it's a reserve asset used to settle accounts when they have a shortfall of foreign exchange. imf officials review the basket every five years. the yuan will account for more than 10% of the basket, ranking third in weight after the dollar and euro. the move apparently reflects china's huge trade figures and wide acceptance in international transactions. >> the inclusion of it in the basket of currencies is a recognition of the reforms which have been conducted of the significant opening up of the chinese economy, of the financial, more market-driven principles that are being used by the chinese authorities going forward. >> analysts predict countries around the world will be increasing their yuan holdings as part of their foreign reserves.
authorities in beijing have taken a variety of measures to help the yuan become accepted around the world, and their efforts are starting to pay off. nhk world's takuma yashioka has more. >> reporter: chinese money is funding a major initiative in kazakhstan, the one belt, one road project. the money is used to build infrastructure and fund other investments abroad. this railway hub connects china and europe. beijing provided most of the funds for the work in yuan. other projects include highways, tunnels, and even hotels. >> translator: china is crucial to the development of the central asian region. >> reporter: another proving
ground for the yuan lies in hong kong, one of china's special administrative regions. hong kong is set to be the world's biggest trading center for the chinese yuan. many of the exchange stores here are eager to accept the currency. and the policy of one country, two systems, its official currency remains the hong kong dollar, but as tourism and business ties between the two sides grow, it's more common to see people exchanging dollars and yuan. as residents in hong kong grow more familiar with the yuan, they're looking for people to manage their assets in the currencies. >> come in. >> thank you. >> reporter: helen mak works at the real estate agency.
five years ago, she opened the short fund deposit account in yuan at the hong kong-based bank. the deposit was worth about $113,000 u.s. mak says she was attracted by the high interest rate of more than 5%. >> in my opinion, i'm very confident in the next 10, 20 years, that that would be the currency of the world. >> reporter: people in hong kong have flocked to yuan-based banking since authorities first allowed it 11 years ago. financial institutions and individuals hold deposits totaling about $900 billion or $140 billion u.s. investors are also becoming interested in so-called dim sum bonds. they are bought in hong kong dollars but redeemed in yuan. since they first appeared eight years ago, more than $100 billion u.s. have been issued.
hong kong's top finance official believes the yuan is ready to take its place on the world stage. >> we are just at the beginning of this very exciting, new era of china growth and internationalization renminbi, and there are tremendous growth opportunities and potential associated with this process. >> reporter: the imf's decision to accept the yuan as the reserve currency may lead investors around the world to follow hong kong's example. takuma yashioka, nhk world, hong kong. and for insight, peter morgan is a senior consultant at asian development bank institute and a specialist on chinese economy. he talked about the significance of the yuan being included in the basket and the challenges that may await chinese leaders. >> it's mainly symbolic at this
stage. it recognizes the importance of the yuan as a global currency, and of course, it also recognizes the importance of the chinese economy in the global economy, too. but given the fact that the yuan is still only partially convertible on the capital account, i think its use as a reserve currency is going to be relatively limited for the time being. >> morgan said chinese leaders are eager to make the yuan a major currency, but they'll find it's a gradual process that presents big challenges as the economy slows down. >> they've already taken a number of steps, both in terms of liberalizing the currency in terms of having it being more affected by market forces than previously. also along with that, we've seen various moves to gradually open up the current account and the capital account. but we're still pretty far away from a freely floating currency. i think that's going to take a relatively long time. and one of the reasons for that
is that the progress, the liberalization of the financial sector domestically and of the capital account is still relatively slow. the chinese government officials are still somewhat cautious about opening up the capital account too rapidly. they are concerned about the possible development of volatile capital flows, either in or out of the country, and what effects that might have on domestic inflation or the financial sector as it bubbles, that kind of thing. so, i think it will still be a gradual process. india outpaced china for growth in the july to september quarter. domestic demand and manufacturing backed the economic increase. government officials say the gdp expanded 7.4% in the same period last year compared with 7% in the previous quarter. robust manufacturing activity and government spending on infrastructure pushed the economy. the prime minister hopes to continue the growth by
simplifying procedures for land transactions and taxation but is facing stiff positions from opposition parties. let's check in on markets. tokyo share prices are on an upswing this morning. stronger than expected data on business investment gave a boost to the market. nikkei trading higher by 0.8% above the 19,900 mark. corporate capital investment rose more than 11% in the july to september period in annual terms. analysts say investors regained their confidence about the japanese economy. most sectors are trading higher. the dollar is gaining ground against the dollar. many traders are expected the u.s. federal reserve will raise its key interest rate at the next policy meeting. market focus will be on the key u.s. jobs report on friday. in an opposite move, the european central bank is expected to further ease its
monetary policy at its meeting on thursday. overnight, the euro hit its lowest point since mid april. >> let's take a look at what's happening on other markets across the asia pacific. we are seeing pretty strong performances in australia as well as south korea. sydney share prices up 1.6%. i'll have more in business the next hour. i'll leave you with a check on other markets.
myanmar's opposition leader is preparing to meet with the country's two most powerful officials. aung san suu kyi's scheduled to sit down wednesday with president thein sein and military chief min aung hlaing. her democracy party will lead the next government after a sweeping election victory. it was myanmar's first free election in 25 years. the nld dealt a decisive blow to the military-backed ruling party. aung san suu kyi had written to the president and the military commander, asking for meetings for the sake of national reconciliation. thein sein said he would agree to a meeting when the election result was finalized. the nld will effectively have to enter into a coalition with the armed forces to govern. myanmar's constitution is written by the former military government. it keeps 25% of the seats in parliament for military personnel, making it the largest opposition group in the new
parliament. the constitution also stipulates the military chief can pick the ministers of defense, home affairs and border affairs. and businesses associated with the military have influence in almost every part of myanmar's economy. myanmar's military has released 53 children and youth from service. human rights groups have long accused the military of abuses such as using child soldiers and forcibly recruiting conscripts. the groups have estimated there are thousands of underage soldiers in myanmar. in 2012, one year after reformist president thein sein took power, the military signed a joint action plan with the united nations and began removing soldiers under age 18 from its ranks. the u.n. issued a statement saying it hopes adeqmeasures ar the recruitment of children no longer exists. the world body also called on armed ethnic rebel groups to stop recruiting child soldiers. the u.n. secretary-general has
listed seven armed groups, including those of the kaching and wa ethnic minorities, calling them persistent perpetrators in recruiting and using children. award-winning japanese manga artist has died. he was known for retelling traditional ghost stories and depictions of the horrors of war. mizuki began drawing after completing his primary education and studying artistic technique. he was drafted in 1943 and sent to the front lines in world war ii. he lost his left arm in a bombing. mizuki made his professional debut in 1957. he produced manga inspired by folk tales. they became a major hit and were made into tv animations and movies. mizuki created manga about his wartime experience. one about the life of adolf hitler, highlighted the atrocity and inhumanity of war.
he won multiple awards in japan including the purple ribbon medal in 1991 and the person of cultural merit in 2010. he was 93 years old. it's time now to get a check of the weather. people in south africa are dealing with a severe drought. many farmers are seeing their crops die. our meteorologist, robert speta, tells us more in world weather. >> this is one of those things that maybe contributed to the climate change we've been talking about here. at the very least there is this severe drought ongoing across much of south africa. we talked about this last month. here it is yet again. we've been looking at that dry spell continuing to linger. jet stream drifting farther south. this should be around johannesburg's wettest time of year. you haven't seen rainfall in some time. we have photos to give you an idea how dry it is. typically this time of year, most of this is very green.
many farmers are losing their crops. and livestock due to lack of water. also inside the city. many government officials saying that the drought is one of the contributor factor. and the loss of water, leaky pipes one of the main problems across this area as far as the forecast is concerned, we are not seeing anything in the near term coming up. something to watch out for if you are located across much of this region. let's look toward the americas now where we are continuing to watch this dynamic storm system. when we talk about dynamic, we are talking about different types of severe weather. first we have that heavy rainfall back here towards the east. that is bringing strong thunderstorms across parts of atlanta extending over to the carolinas. back west we have this area of colder air mass continuing to drift off to the east. problem with this, this is going to be snowfall on top of the ice
that's accumulated here. thousands of people without power across much of oklahoma. four casualties reported earlier this week due to freezing rain, snow adding in with that will exacerbate the situation. cold air continuing to drift from the north. behind it as well, especially across the pacific northwest. you'll be looking at temperatures continue to drop off. in los angeles, a high of 23. i mention that because it is very dry there for you. santa ana winds so you are looking at the threat of fire weather. over here towards north eastern asia, specifically north eastern china, we do have a low pressure area moving through that should help with the smog situation in beijing. it will bring snowfall there for you. ahead of it, another low departing japan and brought widespread snow. 20 centimeters on top of more
snow in hokkaido. conditions will change by the time we head through the latter part of this week. by wednesday into thursday, we'll look at low pressure pushing through much of japan and will bring widespread rainfall. beijing just with a high of 2. you are going to look at hazy conditions out there for you. down toward the south in hong kong, high of 246789 partly cloudy skies. across the tropics, decent weather. highs in the mid 30s here on your tuesday. i'll leave you with your extended outlook.
celebrities, movie characters and marching bands walked through the streets for sunday's holiday christmas parade. making the appearance was a giant japanese float. it's use in a festival in a northern japanese city. >> they are very beautiful. very pretty. the best thing i saw so far from the parade. >> translator: i'm thankful we could walk the head carpet in the heart of hollywood. we could convey japanese culture to the people of l.a. >> japanese builders made the float in los angeles with the help of local craftsmen. >> that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for staying with us.
>> hello, everyone. thanks for tuning in. it has been a packed week here in europe, so here are our favorite stories that we want to share with you on the show. we look at how architects are trying to make cities greener. swedish artist erik johansson and his surreal pictures. irish author cecilia ahern publishes her 13th book. increasing the greenery in city centers is an environmental challenge that many architects are trying to address. amongst the many projects cropping up around europe is one by italian architect, luciano