welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, december 15th. i'm miki yamamoto in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama is taking a harder line on the group islamic state. he's been facing criticism for his strategy on the militants. now he says the u.s.-led military coalition will intensify the campaign. obama was briefed about the military operations at a national security council meeting at the pentagon. he said the coalition has been hitting the militants harder than ever. >> as we squeeze its heart, it will make it harder for isil to pump its terror and propaganda to the rest of the world. >> obama says the coalition has launched nearly 9,000 air strikes, killing militant
leaders. he says the group has lost about 40% of the areas it once controlled in iraq, thanks in part to iraqi military advances on the ground, and he said his defense secretary will travel to the middle east this week to ask coalition partners to provide more military assistance. officials from doctors without borders have revised the death toll from a u.s. air strike on their hospital in afghanistan, and they say the number of fatalities is higher than initially believed at 42. the u.s. military says its aircraft mistakenly targeted the hospital in the northern city of kunduz in october. the medical charity had previously counted 30 dead, including patients and hospital staff, but the group carried out an investigation that included other hospitals where the injured were taken, and they identified more fatalities.
>> even in afghan culture, it's a safe house, and it's really surprising for me. we're asking for an independent investigation to find out why and what actually happened. >> last month, u.s. military officials released the results of their investigation. they said human error was the primary cause, and they said they would take measures to prevent similar incidents. more than 700,000 people in the philippines have been evacuated to escape possible flooding and landslides from the powerful typhoon melor. its path is similar to that of haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013. the typhoon made its first landfall on the eastern island on monday morning. authorities have closed schools and offices. dozens of domestic flights are canceled and ferries ordered to remain in port. the philippines is affected by more typhoons than almost every other country, an average of every year.
latest killed 43 people when it slammed into the northern philippines in october. there were scuffles outside a beijing courthouse on monday. a prominent chinese human rights lawyer is being accused of inciting social unrest through social media. as the trial of pu zhiqiang took place inside, this was the scene outside. police pushed away dozens of supporters as well as journalists. they also tried to prevent foreign diplomats from making statements. >> we urge chinese authorities to release mr. pu and call upon china to uphold fundamental civil rights and fair trial guarantees. >> the u.s. diplomat also said human rights activists like pu should not be subjected to what he calls continued repression. pu was one of the student leaders at tiananmen square in 1989. he has continuously called for light to be shed on the
suppression of those protests. authorities detained him in may last year after he attended a meeting commemorating the 25th anniversary of the incident. pu's charges relate to comments he posted on the chinese social media website weibo. his comments were critical of the government's policies on tibetan and uighur minorities. according to his lawyer, pu admits to posting his views but denies trying to provoke social unrest. a verdict has yet to be announced. chinese leaders want more influence in international finance and are getting a push from a major international institution. let's go to our business desk. there's been a lot of headlines on this topic. >> exactly. last year the international monetary fund including the yuan. the european bank for reconstruction and development
or ebrd approved china's application for membership. board members made the announcement on monday. the officials said in a statement they are ready to work with the new beijing-based asian infrastructure investment bank including on joint projects. the ebrb was established in 1991 to support former soviet and eastern european states. more than 60 nations, including japan and the u.s. as well as european union are members. they provide funds to invest in projects in different countries. china is trying to create an economic zone connecting asia and europe through an initiative called one belt, one road. the ebrd also invests in central asia. the world trade organization's latest round of ministerial-level talks are about to get under way in nairobi. they will focus on a proposal to eliminate tariffs on several high-tech products. representatives from many of the
wto's 162 countries and regions will come together in the kenyan capital from tuesday to friday. 54 members, including japan, the eu nations, china and south korea, will try to hammer out a deal. if it's successful, duties will be eliminated on 201 items, including home electronics and office and medical equipment. the representatives will also discuss the future of the doha round of free trade talks, which are aimed at finding common ground among all the members in eight areas. officials from japan and the u.s. want to bring the doha talks to an end. instead, they want to focus on interregional free trade agreements, such as the trans-pacific partnership. but such a move would likely face opposition from emerging economies. tokyo share prices opened slightly lower this morning. many investors are avoiding active trading ahead of the u.s. federal reserve policy meeting.
nikkei is trading lower by more than 0.3%. the fed begins its two-day meeting later today. many are expecting a rate increase. overnight the pair did hit the lowest delve since no crude oil prices snapped their six-day decline. volatility is weighing on investor sentiment. some traders have regained their risk appetite and are buying the dollar. others are buying the yen as a safer asset. let's take a look what's happening on other markets across the asian pacific. we are seeing modest gains in sydney. share prices higher by 0.4%. over in seoul, the kospi trading higher by 0.5%. well, more women in southeast asia are taking leading roles at companies and helping steer national economies. nhk world's kyoko fujita speaks
leadership with top ceos in the first of a two-part series, we meet a woman who's transforming myanmar's retail market. >> reporter: win win tint is ceo of myanmar's leading retailer. 19 years ago, she took over the family grocery business and built it into the major chain it is today. she has since expanded into other retail businesses, such as stores and pharmacies. she employs more than 6,000 people at some 200 outlets. >> being able to do something different for people, for our customers, for the staff, for the family, it's a great feeling. i enjoy doing this. >> reporter: win win tint has been changing local shopping habits. she studied the branding
strategies of foreign firms to sell international goods while offering fresh, local products at affordable prices. most grocers are small, family-run operations, but her stores are here to stay. this store is targeting an emerging middle class. >> translator: prices are mostly fair compared to the shops on the street. i like the foods here because they're fresh. >> reporter: win win tint has launched two new businesses with japanese firms to increase her access to goods. >> the supply chain is weak in the country, and then the standard, like quality standards are still developing. japanese companies usually do things with highest quality. >> reporter: one of the businesses is an agricultural company producing fresh fruit and vegetables with less pesticides.
the japanese company is supplying skills. >> they're very tasty, too. >> reporter: having the farming company means she can grow new kinds of produce for her stores. win win tint says myanmar is an agricultural company without sufficient investment. she says now is the time to tap into that market and gain an upper hand. the other new business is in logistics. the company delivers cold storage and frozen foods, like ice cream and imported beef. those foods are gaining in popularity at restaurants and cafes as incomes rise and the number of visitors to myanmar increases. >> translator: it's very hot in myanmar, so i like cold sweets. >> reporter: japanese are supplying the latest technology in inventory management. products have to be stored at the right temperature and
delivered promptly. a japanese manager also has high hopes for growth in the business. >> translator: more households in yangon will have refrigerators as electricity supply stabilizers over the next two or three years. when people have refrigerators, they will buy cold and frozen food. >> reporter: pondering her own success, win win tint says more women in myanmar should have faith in themselves and take the leadership in business. >> i don't see any issue being a woman doing business. we just have to promote more of that so that we don't become minority. >> reporter: this pioneer of myanmar trade is helping to build a new business infrastructure as she takes the country's retail sector to a new level. kyoko fujita, nhk world.
speaking of myanmar, a major infrastructure project is taking place in the southern part of the country. the japanese government says it will help fund its construction. offings from japan, thailand and myanmar signed a joint agreement on the project. the way special economic zone is being built on the indian sea is expected to help boost exports to india and the middle east. myanmar and thailand had requested japan's support to help cover the development costs. analysts say tokyo is getting involved on behalf of japanese companies that have plants in thailand, including automakers. more for you in business next hour. for now i'll leave with you a check on markets.
indonesia's growing economy is coming at a cost. it is one of the world's biggest emitters of koshian dioxide. officials are introducing green technology from japan to try to scale back. nhk world reports from jakarta. >> reporter: this is one of the convenience stores using the latest technology to help energy in jakarta. the store is fitted with l.e.d. lights. a sensor gauges the indoor brightness and the system adjusts it throughout the day. the store's seven air
conditioners can also be adjusted automatically. based on the number of customers in the store. the system also controls refrigerator temperatures. >> translator: all data is transmitted to headquarters via this device. >> reporter: the temperatures are monitored around the clock. when they move out of a set range, a technician is dispatched to fix the problem. this system was launched two years ago to help out a japanese convenience store chain. it has led to an effort in reduction of about 33% of greenhouse gas emissions per store. the program is called the joint crediting mechanism.
when they provide energy-helping technology they are subsidized by the japanese government. if they are able to cut emissions as a result of these measures, part of the reductions are credited to japan. the jcm system is also being used as a processing plant that consumes a huge amount of energy. this factory took delivery of japanese meat flash freezing last july. the system not only uses less energy, but also cuts the freezing time from the previous three or four hours to half an hour. this translates into reductions of more than 200 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year. >> our efficiency improves significantly. our output tripled compared to levels before the installation.
>> currently, 21 joint energy staffing projects are under way between japan and indonesia. that will bring an estimated total annual reduction of 320,000 tons. >> translator: the joint crediting mechanism helps reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not only an investment for the future, but also a transfer of japanese technology to indonesian companies. >> translator: this offers japan a great chance to use its technologies and contribute to a global reduction in emissions with unique effort drawing attention from around the globe. so we want to use this as our best card in dealing with the issue. >> reporter: the joint crediting mechanism is aimed at reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, while encouraging the use of eco-friendly technologies. there are expectations that the system will prove effective if helping combat global warming in indonesia and other countries. nhk world, jakarta. french authorities say a teacher lied about being stabbed by an attacker acting in the name of the group islamic state. the kindergarten teacher was taken to a paris hospital for injuries, but it's not clear how he was injured. witnesses say they heard a man shouting "it's daish," another name for the islamic state militants. investigators were questioning the teacher when he admitted he made up the story. the militant group has named french teachers as targets because of the secular education system. security was already tight at schools in the wake of last month's terror attacks that left 130 people dead, and france is
still under a state of emergency. tourism to japan continues to grow. in the first ten months this year, about 15 million foreigners arrived in the country. that's more than in all of 2014, itself a record year. but not everyone in the field of tourism is enjoying the boom. nhk world's fumiya takahashi reports. >> translator: i'm excited about everything i'm going to visit and see. >> reporter: the more visitors to japan, the more tour buses are needed to take them around. but the companies running those tourist buses are not reaping much reward. >> translator: we drivers work 12-hour days sometimes, but we only make about $80 a day.
>> reporter: shigohiro ariga is the head of a local tour bus company in shiguoka prefecture. ariga's buses are hired to take tourists from shizuoka airport to mt. fuji, then to tokyo. it's a 500-kilometer journey over three days. his company is paid 70,000 yen, less than $600 per day. after deducting labor and fuel costs, there's almost no profit. >> translator: the payment level is incredibly low. the only way we can make a profit is to run a high volume of tours. >> reporter: many of these trips are arranged by chinese brokers working in japan. they book the hotels and transportation, acting as the middle men for the tour companies in china. these brokers maximize their profits by paying the tour bus companies as little as possible.
even though they pay for rental, ariga has to keep taking their business so his company can survive. sometimes he has had to ignore industry regulation. rigorous safety checks are required by law. when it came to light in august that arigas' company had failed to do this, he was ordered to halt operations for 100 days. >> translator: there were times when we weren't getting enough business, so we had to break the rules. >> reporter: cutting corners like this can have serious consequences. in april, 15 chinese tourists were injured in a crash caused by a brake malfunction. the owner of the bus company admitted that he had failed to have his buses checked because he didn't want to lose business. the government set what is called appropriate rules for bus companies alarmed by the safety reports.
in april of last year, they made recommendations. however, the bus company owner says the industry standards are being ignored. workers often send in their orders with a space for the payment amount left blank. negotiations with the bus companies were conducted by phone off the books, and the amount the brokers offer is far below the new minimum payment mandated by the government. >> translator: if we insist on the new price levels, we may lose the business to another company. >> reporter: the government is keen to attract more foreign visitors, and the tour companies try to keep their costs as low as possible. meanwhile, the bus companies find themselves squeezed in the middle. fumiya takahashi, nhk world, shiguoka.
time now for a check of the weather with robert speta. as we've been reporting, the philippines is being impacted by a powerful typhoon again. what's the latest? >> necessity. let's get right into this. this storm system is not over yet. tracking off to the west making its fourth landfall on the isla island. the impact this storm system has had, the government's reaction, over 700,000 people have been evacuated. most of those evacuations were just about 24 hours before the storm made landfall after rapid intensification back on sunday. first landfall was here monday morning.
then made a second one over to the west. one key thing you want to notice this is now back over open water. we have seen reintensification yet again on your tuesday morning. this is back to a very strong typhoon coming into this island here towards the west. the key thing with this island, it is known for breaking apart typhoons, weakening them. the reason is because the mountainous terrain. that will squeeze out this moisture. could see severe flooding and landslides. winds 162 gusting to 216 kilometers per hour. it is going to stay south of manila here. talking about the rain, of course, but there is that threat of storm surge, especially to western areas. high tide's around 2:00 p.m.
hopefully this is over the island by the time that rolls around. coastal flooding will be an issue. even southern areas of lazan we have evacuations because of flooding and that persistent moisture. this made landfall yesterday. it is still going to be impacting areas out here. eventually the saving grace is we have a cold surge out of china. that's going to push towards the south and act like a snowplow on this cloud cover and tear it right apart. the other thing this surge is doing is playing into a part of the weather across the korean peninsula over towards japan. we have a low pressure that will bring snowfall to parts of the korean peninsula. we have warming temperatures here on tuesday but by wednesday, cold air is going to spill in across and widespread
snowfall. temperatures are dropping down. take a look. you've got 15 down to 6 by thursday. high of just 6. snowfall as well there for you. seoul, pretty significant drop heading to the latter part of your week. let's talk about what is going on across europe unto eastern europe and southwestern russia, we have winter storm warnings in effect. potent moving towards ukraine. high pressure dominating central europe. our next storm system will bring blustery conditions with it. paris with a high of 12. madrid at 16. london partly cloudy for tuesday with a high of 11. here is your extended outlook.
>> "euromaxx highlights." and here's your host, megan leigh. >> welcome to our highlight show with the best picks of the week. here's a look at what's coming up. filmmaker andi jansen and his amazing surfer videos. british chef jamie oliver promotes "super foods." german singer-songwriter alex diehl creates a hit peace anthem. german videographer andi jansen has chosen to pursue a career that makes quite a splash -- literally. he films surfers. his job is quite demanding.