welcome to "newsline." it's friday, december 18th. i'm miki yamamoto in tokyo. diplomats in japan and south korea are watching to see how seoul prosecutors react to a ruling in a case that has strange ties. a japanese journalist was found not guilty thursday of defaming south korea's president. tatsuya kato is the former bureau chief for sankei shimbun. he was charged after reporting rumors of park geun-hye's whereabouts on the day of the "sewol" ferry disaster. prosecutors have sought an ape-month prison term.
kato defended the piece. the japanese prime minister welcomed the ruling. >> translator: i value the court's decision of acquittal. i expect it will have positive effects on our relations with south korea. >> south korea's biggest news wire says the decision will help leaders focus on other issues of mutual concern, including those referred to as comfort women. prosecutors in seoul say they will decide whether they will challenge the ruling after discussing contents of the sentence. they can appeal to a higher court within a week. representatives from libya's two rival governments have agreed to unite within 40 days. the country has been split between the two sides for more than a year. delegates from the secular and islamic governments signed a deal at a meeting in morocco.
the agreement was mediated. expected are rising that the accord will resolve the national divide and become the first step toward ending that country's civil war. >> translator: we should overcome our differences of opinion and live up to the agreement. we've had enough fighting. >> translator: the new unity government will surely have various difficulties and responsibilities. but i'm happy that libya will unite. >> but some forces on both sides reject the u.n. intervention. libya plunged into turmoil when government of moammar al gadhafi fell during the pro-democracy asian spring movement in 20011. chaos has allowed the islamic-based group to gain ground in the country. counterpart to promote exchanges and information-sharing.
>> translator: we want to maintain and develop our relations between the two maritime organizations through various opportunities. >> maritime officials from both countries met earlier this month for talks on further cooperation. both organizations set up a liaison channel last january. chinese vessels frequently enter japanese waters around the senkaku island flts the east china sea. japan controls the islands, china and taiwan claim them. the japanese government maintains the islands are be a inherent part of japan's territory in terms of history and international law. it says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them. the japan coast guard says it wants to take time to find opportunities for mutual visits by japanese and chinese maritime officials. russia's president says his country's military is prepared to shoot down turkish war planes if they enter syrian air space.
vladimir putin made the comment on thursday at his annual marathon news conference. putin responded to last month's downing of a russian war plane by the turkish air force near the border between syria and turkey. >> translator: the shoot-down by turkish authorities was a hostile act. at the moment, i don't see any prospects to improve ties. >> the president touched on russia's deployment of an air defense system at a base in syria. >> translator: we have deployed ground-to-air missiles. turkish forces have constantly violated syrian air space. let them try it now. >> putin said russia supports a u.s. plan to draft a u.n. security council resolution on syria. he added russia's plan for syria broadly coincides with the u.s. viewpoint. search and rescue teams are still looking for missing
sailors following a collision in one of the world's busiest commercial sea route. a cargo freighter sank in the singapore strait after colliding with a chemical tanker wednesday night. cargo freighter "circle cloud" had a crew of 12 on board at the time of the accident. >> translator: six crew members have been rescued. the other six remain missing. search and rescue operations started last night and continue now. >> the other vessel involved in the collision, the chemical tanker "stealth commitment," escaped major damage. authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident. the singapore strait link s malaka and the south china sea. it's a lane that is vitally important to world trade. japanese officials are putting the finishing touches on a draft budget for the fiscal
year. ai uchida from our business desk, where are they heading? >> officials are looking to put together a package worth more than 96 trillion yen or $780 billion. that number is expected to exceed this year's which set a record. social security spending is expected to grow to around $260 billion to meet the needs of the aging population. the money will cover the costs of medical and nursing care. the defense budget will come in at more than $40 billion. the government plans to earmark funds for the purchase of is on pray transport aircraft and maneuver combat vehicles. on the revenue side tax collectors plan to bring more than $465 billion. they expect to get more money from corporate and income taxes due to strong business performance and wage hikes. the government plans to reduce the issuance of new bonds in the current year to under $285 billion. it plans to above the fiscal 2016 budget at a cabinet meeting
next thursday after further adjustments to medical fees and allocations to local governments. nhk has learned that toshiba plans to shed more jobs than earlier announced meaning cuts could rise to around 4,000. toshiba has been trying to turn itself around in the aftermath of an accounting scandal that surfaced in may. sources say the company will announce the additional streamlining in its appliance business as early as monday. around 1,000 workers will be asked to take early retirement or be relocated. executives are already thinking about selling factories in indonesia and china that have made washing machines, refrigerators, and other home appliances. the company's turnaround is focused on investing in semiconductors and other globally competitive operations. people in japan have seen a fall in the value of their financial assets. officials sat the bank of japan say the assets held by
individuals at the end of september were down are down from three months earlier. it was the first decline in 18 months. the officials put the total number at more than 1,600 trillion yen about $13.7 trillion at the current rate. that's down 2% in yen terms from a record figure set at the end of june. they blame falls in share prices in tokyo following plunges on the shanghai market that started in june. stocks and other investments fell about 10% and mutual funds around stocks and other investments 10%, mutual funds fell about 7%. the central bank officials say the decline in the value of people's assets is not expected to continue because officials see investors returning to things like stocks. let's check in on markets. tokyo share prices opened in the negative on a continued decline in global oil prices. the nikkei is trading down by .5%.
19,257. analysts say the gains we saw yesterday in reaction to the federal reserve's decision to raise interest rates was a short-lived relief rally. slumping crude oil prices are now dampening investor sentiment and the energy sector is leading stock prices lower. the dollar is grading at 122.46-51, scaling back a touch from an overnight high at the upper 122 yen level, its highest in over a week. clarity from the fed helped the u.s. currency reach a more than ten-day high against the euro overnight. the euro/dollar is raiding at 1.08. traders are waiting for what bank of japan governor kuroda has to say after the policy announcement later today. take a look at other markets across the asia-pacific. we are seeing a negative start to our morning. sydney share prices lower by .74%.
in seoul the kospi is down by .55%. part two on our report on the changes happening in japan's labor market. faced with a declining population and shrinking pool of workers some enterprising companies are coming up with unconventional staffing solutions. today we visit an i.t. firm that's focused on freedom and flexibility in the workplace. >> tottori prefecture is the nation's least populated area. it's here he runs a school but this is not his only job. >> translator: i'm from surora cram school but i have another card as well. >> reporter: he works for an i.t. firm in the prefecture. the company offers web services to businesses and develops smartphone apps.
many of the firm's workers have paid employment elsewhere. >> translator: i'm also a jazz guitarist. >> translator: i grow persimmons and ship them. >> reporter: comes generally don't let their workers hold a side job, saying it would undermine the commitment to their duties. but this i.t. company has attracted employees with diverse talents by allowing them to work a second job. >> reporter: tot. to ttori's small population puts it at a disadvantage. i believe we should naturally have varied standards rather than just economic ones. >> reporter: salaries fall short from the wages offered by big employers in tokyo. but the firm's workforce has grown from two to over 100 in nine years. highly skilled workers are signing up. hashimoto is in charge of a new project development.
he was once employed by a global i.t. giant in tokyo. he wanted to change his approach to work so he could spend more time with his family. >> translator: i was too devoted to my job back in tokyo and could rarely take care of my children. i thought it would be nice to have a working style that lets me enjoy nature and make the most of my know-how at the same time. >> reporter: the new job also allowed him to indulge his passion for outdoor adventure. he works as a canoe guide for two months in the summer. he passes on his tips about paddling technique sxtss explains the features of the appealing landscapes. while he works as a guide, hashimoto is in contact with his colleagues at the i.t. firm when necessarily. but he only has to show up at his workplace once a week.
hashimoto now enjoys more time with his wife and children. it's part of his afternoon routine to collect his two sons from school. in tokyo, hashimoto often worked until midnight. he earned less now, but he's able to share an evening meal with his family at around 7:00 p.m. >> translator: i enjoy this style and want to keep it up. but i'm thinking i may be able to do more things. maybe even three jobs. not just two. >> reporter: japan's changing demographics demand fresh solutions. to ensure businesses attract the type of staff they need to succeed. >> you can watch our series on japan's changing work places on the nhk world website displayed
here. i'll be back next hour with more business headlines for you. for now, i'll leave you with a check on markets. japan's environment ministry is looking for ways to meet obligations agreed to in paris for the new global climate framework. an expert panel has compiled a proposal calling for limited new coal-fired power plants.
the accord requires each country to submit an emissions reduction goal every five years. also seeks to cut new global greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero by the second half of the century. the idea is to reduce emissions to levels that forest and oceans can fully absorb. the expert panel discussed how japan can set a long-term emissions reduction plan within the new framework. members agreed to advise the ministry to go ahead with a significant cut in the number of proposed coal-fired power plants. experts say an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases is necessary by 2050 to meet goals set by the government. the panel outlined one option of using expensive new technology to bury co2 deep underground. plans to build coal-fired plants are gaining momentum in japan following the nuclear disaster at fukushima daiichi. experts say the top floors
of highrises in osaka could sway up to six meters in a huge earthquake. simulations were carried out for a mega quake in western japan. a government panel released its first estimates for highrise swaying caused by long period ground motion. seismologists say a mega quake in the area could cause severe movement as its focus would likely be shallow and close to land. such swaying would be more severe than in the 2011 quake of fukushima. experts warn it could cause ceilings and walls to collapse and furniture to topple. >> translator: we must take preventive measures to avoid being crushed to death by heavy furniture. >> the panel estimated the swaying of tall structures based on data from past mega quakes. japan has about 2,500 buildings 60 meters or taller. a magnitude 9.0 earthquake is
estimated to cause the top floors to sway two to three meters in coastal cities like tokyo, osaka and nagoya. swaying could reach six meters in buildings 200 to 300 meters tall built on reclaimed land in osaka. tunnel construction is set to begin for a new ultra high-speed rail line in japan. the magnetically levitated or mag lift trains will travel up to 500 kilometers per hour. the central japan railway company is initially planning to connect the cities of tokyo and nagoya. the 286-kilometer line will begin in service in 2027. the most difficult phase of construction is the 25-kilometer tunnel running through the southern japanese alps. tunnel construction is regarded as a major challenge due to intricately layered strata and up cleared locations of subterranean water veins. officials say the project will begin by drilling an escape
tunnel. the main tunnel construction will start in the second half of 2016. the new rail line is expected to bring with it economic growth. however, locals are worried about negative effects on flora and fauna as well as groundwater. railway officials say they will provide detailed explanations to local residents on environmental protections and safety measures. residents of a disaster-hit town in northeastern japan are celebrating the return of something many take for granted. the return of routine life. they lost loved ones, homes, even medical services in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. four and a half years on, they're hailing the reopening of their local hospital. >> reporter: the new hospital is built on higher ground than its
predecessor. the modern three-story building consists of ten departments, with 90 beds for inpatients, as well as a nursing care facility. >> translator: it's very convenient to have a hospital in town. and a doctor who can see me immediately when i'm not well. >> reporter: a tsunami more than 15 meters high flooded the old hospital up to the fourth floor. 74 patients and staff were killed. it also left the area with no medical services. in the medical aid station set up immediately after the disaster, this doctor organized support teams from around the country and worked hard to provide care to all local residents. >> translator: i've heard the water supply is running low.
still, we'll continue to take care examining patients, mainly to prevent the spread of disease. >> reporter: in some cases he had to send doctors to remote areas. despite support from home and abroad, the hospital could not be rebuilt right away. some patients had to check into a facility in a neighboring city 35 kilometers away. >> translator: traveling so far to look after the patients has been really tough on both our staff and the patients' families. >> reporter: japan's self-defense forces helped with the task of transporting 22 patients from the distant facility to the new hospital. it took an hour for each trip between the two locations. at the new building, mishizawa
was ready for their arrival. the patients need to be transported with extreme care. and four hours after the start of the operation, everyone had been safely transferred. >> translator: i'm really grateful for help in completing the transfers so smoothly. thank you very much. >> translator: now the hospital has been rebuilt, i feel we are finally back at the start line. the physical side is ready. next we hope to provide the soft side, good medical services the community can trust. >> reporter: but there are still obstacles to overcome as there are only three full-time doctors at the hospital. it really needs another four.
so it has been relying temporarily on part-time doctors from several universities. we asked an expert who has been working in the worst-affected areas. >> translator: we need to build a permanent system for stationing doctors in these areas. under a new government policy, medical schools in japan can now accept more students. so one solution would be to encourage schools to increase the number of doctors. >> reporter: if the disaster-hit region is to get properly back on its feet, health care services are indispensable to a full recovery. that's why a thorough and robust medical system needs to be put in place as soon as possible. it's time now to check out the weather with our meteorologist robert speta. robert, we had a relatively warm week here in tokyo and in most
of japan. how's the weather going to play out through the weekend? >> yes, actually, this coming weekend we're going to be looking at some cooling temperatures across most of japan. already that has been setting in compared to wednesday and thursday, for example, where we had temperatures pushing into the mid to teens across parts of the tokyo area. as we go through friday into saturday, the highs will be 11 to 10 degrees and the overnight lows near the freezing point. let's talk about this. what is going on out here? you do have this front toward the south. behind it we haven't seen those strong northwesterly winds pull out of a very cold siberia, also northeastern china. temperatures looking to continue to cool off here. that's moving over the sea of japan. as far as the snowfall is concerned really starting to set up here. the sea effect snow machine cranking up, picking up that moisture off the sea. it just starts to pile on many of the mountains. parts of hokkaido could see some of the 70 meters.
but into the tokyo area it doesn't look like things are going to stay dry but cold out here. meanwhile back toward the west i do want to make note, northeastern china, temperatures have been remaining on the chilly side. all that's been setting down toward the south with our cold surge. but the thing is the leading edge of this, very windy. you have some high waves out here extending down towards parts of northern philippines into hainan as well and that cold air is lingering as far south as northern vietnam where into the higher elevations in vietnam you can see a little bit of frost. something to keep in mind. hong kong only with a high of 15. it seems relatively warm compared to other areas. as far as hong kong is concerned definitely a chilly afternoon on your friday. meanwhile across the philippines what is left of melor, our sigh foon that devastated central philippines this past week, that is still lingering somewhat. the leftovers of the convection
continue to bring showers off here towards the north. really you don't need any more rain. still got the recovery efforts. down in the southopical depress coming in. it's going to stay weak but could cause localized flooding out here. let's look at australia now. taking away from the snow, let's go into the heat. sydney we had severe thunderstorms, a rare tornado. all that has cleared out now and really what is dominating is high pressure and warm weather. temperatures pushing into the 40s for some of you. key thing to note, though, look at this. we have this front coming in from the west. that is coming from the south. that means cold air will be spilling in. not only on friday and saturday, be looking at the warm temperatures, by sunday a big change wrapping up. by monday that's going to continue to cascade farther toward the east out here with those temperatures continuing to cool off in some areas as much as 10 degrees by the start of your work week. meanwhile here into europe, really the tale of two different
air masses out here. in the south we have the heat in place. temperatures above average across the western areas of the med train yap. in the north the british isles looking at windy conditions. over toward the scandinavian peninsula, looking at 60-mile-per-hour winds. our trough dips down and the chance of severe weather in the balkan peninsula. you're going to see thundershowers, athens, clearing up in the afternoon hours. snow in the east, moscow a high of minus 2 on friday. here's the extended outlook.
stacey thunder (voiceover): on this edition of "native report," we watch master quilt maker gwen westerman construct a beautiful star quilt, we learn about "mni sota makoce, the land of the dakota." -with the beautiful people of the red lakes celebration. and we take a look back at our very first story from season one of "native report." we also learn something new about indian country and hear from our elders, on this "native report." narrator: production of "native report" is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community and the blandin foundation.