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tv   Newsline  PBS  December 19, 2015 12:00am-12:31am PST

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hello, and thank you for joining us on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. the leaders of japan and australia have been getting to know each other better. they talked about the role their countries play in regional peace and prosperity and they promised to work together more closely. >> translator: we affirmed our unwavering strategic relationship. i'm determined to work hand in hand with prime minister turnbull to build even stronger cooperative ties. >> we know that we share the same values as indeed our two countries do. our relationship is getting
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deeper, stronger and more enduring. >> turnbull is visiting japan for the first time since he took office in september. abe described the relationship between japan and australia as special. he said it plays a central role in the peace and prosperity of the asia-pacific region. abe and turnbull turned their attention to the chinese artificial islands in the south china sea. they agreed to call for an end to land reclamation and construction and for the islands not to be used by the military. they promised to work more closely on security with the united states. abe and turnbull also touched on defense cooperation between japan and australia. they said they will work toward simpler immigration procedures for troops. they want personnel to be able to enter each other's countries more easily to deal with disasters and to train. ethiopia's foreign minister is pushing for closer ties with japan on the economic front. he says he wants much more investment.
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he is visiting tokyo for a business forum. he told nhk his country is getting more and more corporate investment from china and europe and much less from japan. >> compared to other countries and considering also the potential that japan has, it's really small. >> tedros said he'd like to learn why investment by japanese firms remains low. ethiopia has africa's second largest population, more than 96 million. and it has the continent's highest coming growth, an average of 9% for the past five years. he touched on the tokyo international conference on african development and noted africa will be hosting it next year for the first time. he said leaders will discuss a wide range of political, social and economic issues and he said talks about infrastructure construction and industrialization will be vital
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to make african economies more competitive. engineers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are facing yet another challenge in decommissioning the facility. they installed a steel barrier to prevent contaminated groundwater from reaching the ocean, but they now say it has increased the amount of contaminated water. workers for tokyo electric power company, or tepco, built a steel piling wall in october along the plant's embankment. the initial plan was to pump up groundwater, remove radioactive material, and then release most of the water into the ocean. on friday, tepco officials said some of the groundwater is too salty to be processed. the officials say because the water cannot be released into the ocean, workers are putting it into reactor buildings, making it more contaminated. tepco says it will try to process a greater amount of salty water by monitoring its quality. the operator of japan's only
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online nuclear plant has submitted anti-terrorism plans for review. since 2013, regulators have required utilities to establish a backup control room to use if the main facility is destroyed. the operator of the sendai plant in southwestern japan submitted its plans on thursday to the nuclear regulation authority. utilities must set up a second control room and an additional cooling facility at least 100 meters from a reactor. kyushu electric power said it plans to build its backup control rooms inside its cooling facility. the regulator has asked the company to complete construction by may 2020, but utility officials have not announced when the project will be finished. a new earthquake study by the japanese government has important safety information for anyone living in a high-rise. it found swaying in high-rise buildings can be affected by the length of vibrations in an earthquake. the study released on thursday already has people talking.
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nhk world's tomoko kurabashi has more. >> translator: so scary. >> translator: there is no way to escape. >> reporter: people in osaka reacting to a video, a simulation of what happens inside a high-rise during an earthquake. furniture tossed around, intense swaying. a new study from the japanese government says the swaying can be a lot worse. it all depends on where the earthquake hits. the study looked at the nankai trough on the pacific coast from tokai to kyushu in western japan. it found swaying in buildings would be much worse if a quake struck this area. and experts say the nankai trough is overdue for a big jolt. if a earthquake hit this area, it could produce what scientists
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called long period ground motion. that means ground movement during an earthquake that causes vibrations that last a long time. earthquakes causing short quake ground vibrations did not generate intense swaying. but long period ground motion causes intense swaying in high-rise buildings. inside, there's lots of damage. the march 2011 earthquake that hit northern japan did this in tokyo. this is a video from a restaurant in a high-rise. the skyscraper in tokyo swayed slowly. the megaquake generated long period of motion. the swaying does not die down even in areas far from the epicenter. it is a huge concern for this
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disaster relief expert. >> translator: there can be more than 1,000 people in each skyscraper. several million people could be affected by the swaying. if they are hit by heavy objects, it could kill them. precautions must be taken. >> reporter: and some cities are already taking those precautions. japan's tourist building in osaka was built equipped with the latest technology. it limits swaying during an earthquake. the walls of the middle floors have steel plates. they are designed to absorb energy from tremors and minimize the effects. -- the business of selling homes in high-rises. >> translator: we will take the results into consideration. we would like to think about them for the work we do. >> reporter: the march 2011 earthquake had a magnitude of
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9.0. experts say another megaearthquake could hit at any time, but with continuous study and action being taken, the country can be as prepared as possible for the inevitable. tomoko kurabayashi, nhk world. policymakers at the bank of japan have voted to continue their massive monetary easing program in a bid to hit a 2% inflation target. they decided to introduce supplementary measures to further boost the economy. the decision came after a two-day meeting that ended friday. policymakers will establish a new program for purchasing exchange traded funds. the purchases will increase at an annual pace of about 300 billion yen, more than $2.4 billion, and it's in addition to their current purchases. the bank will start the new
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program next april. the policymakers have kept their assessment of the economy unchanged. they say it's continued to recover moderately, though exports and production have been hit by the slowdown in emerging economies. boj governor haruhiko kuroda spoke to reporters after the announcement. >> translator: the latest decision is not an additional easing measure to respond to downward risk. we have decided to support the economy to the best of our abilities. >> kuroda said he wants more companies to spend on capital investment and on their employees. the bank of japan has taken monetary easing measures twice since kuroda became governor. >> the policy started in april 2013 in kuroda's first meeting as boj governor. policymakers decided to double the funds the bank supplies to the market over two years.
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market participants welcomed the move which helped weaken the yen. tokyo share prices rebounded. the yen lost ground against the dollar, but the consumption tax hike in april 2014 slowed the economic recovery. japan's economy shrank in the subsequent two quarters. additional easing came in october 2014. the decision took investors by surprise. tokyo's stock prices soared to a seven-year high on the day of the announcement. the decision also further weakened the yen. the japanese currency is worth 20% less since kuroda became boj governor. that has drastically improved corporate earnings. many japanese firms have posted record profits and started to spend more on investment. still, kuroda faces a key problem in hitting that 2% inflation target.
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corporations have been slow to hike wages. he has urged companies to open their wallets and support economic growth. >> translator: companies have to take action now if they want to be among the winners in the future. >> earlier, gene otani spoke to teizo taya, of the bank of japan. he's a former policy board member at the boj and is now an editorial member at tokyo financial research. gene started by asking him why the central bank decided on the supplementary measures. >> the inflation rate has not been on the increase. for instance, the cost on the price index excluding fresh food -- 0.1% for three months in a row on a year on year basis. and on top of it, inflation expectations measured in various
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ways have come down in recent months, so i think the bank should do something about it. >> now, the bank has actually bought etfs this time. how effective do you think that measure is? >> actually, the amount of 300 billion yen is rather a small amount as compared to, for instance, the total market capitalization of the tokyo stock exchange. i think the tokyo stock exchange market capitalization should be something like 592 billion yen so as compared to this amount, 300 billion yen should be 0.05% of the total value. so i don't think this amount is big. this may be a reason why the market reacted in a negative way today. >> more or less kind of like a symbolic measure, it seems. >> i think so. yeah. they call today's measures supplementary measures, but these are not -- nothing but additional easing measures.
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>> what do you think is boj's next step? >> i think the framework under the monetary view may come to a limit sooner than later. i think the current regime may not be able to survive for a long period of time to come in the future. so in that event, the market, the bank of japan may have to resort to interest rate reductions instead of increasing the monetary base. the prime minister of cambodia is making his first official visit to thailand in a decade. he is expected to reach an
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agreement with thailand's interim prime minister chan-o-cha to open a new border crossing point. patchari raksawong in bangkok has the details. >> leaders of these two kingdoms at the center of mainland southeast asia are keen to improve regional connectivity. they know it's important to the success of the new asean economic community due to launch by the end of the month. the two-day visit is part of celebrations to mark 65 years of diplomatic relations between the countries. the leaders are scheduled to co-chair a thai/cambodia joint cabinet retreat. a draft joint declaration obtained by nhk says ministers are expected to review a plan to open a new crossing point. it says the location will be in eastern thailand and stung bot in northwestern
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cambodia. the plan is to ease congestion at a nearby entry point in cambodia and in thailand which forms a major commercial artery on the indo-china peninsula. greater movement across southeast asia will bring big benefits but could also make it harder to control the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis. the airborne illness kills 1.5 million people worldwide every year. a japanese doctor is helping people in northern thailand fight the scourge. nhk world has more. >> reporter: thailand's northern province borders laos and myanmar. tuberculosis affects many people in this mountainous area. hideki yanai is a japanese doctor who specializes in infectious diseases including tuberculosis. he has frequently visited the area over the past 20 years to advise local people.
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in this village, he has been working alongside residents to support patient access to tuberculosis medication. half a year after such treatment, this man is in full recovery. their persistence succeeded in eradicating the disease from the village two years ago. >> translator: it was the doctor and others who made it possible for me to take the medicine. i feel so grateful to them. >> translator: it's important to support patients and make sure they keep taking medicine until they make a full recovery. that's what we've done here. >> reporter: but the area is now facing a new challenge. the launch of the asean economic community scheduled for the end of this month.
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the new economic bloc is expected to promote the cross-border transfer of people and goods, but it will also heighten the risk of spreading infectious diseases including tuberculosis. an outbreak of drug-resistant bacterial strains caused by mutations would be especially threatening. >> translator: another place along the border has already had an outbreak of strains that don't respond to drugs. they must be careful not to let this happen. >> reporter: this hospital has seen a steady increase in tuberculosis patients coming in from myanmar and other countries. to deal with the situation, it is expanding its facilities including plans for more isolation rooms.
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the japanese government is also supporting thailand's fight against tuberculosis. it has sent an analysis device to the country. >> it's a technique we've been supportive of the machine and expert and scientists from japan. we can track the spreading of anti-microbial resistant strains. >> reporter: the launch of the asean economic community will open a new era in asia. international cooperation is essential in containing the spread of infectious diseases in border regions. thai authorities have confiscated more than 760 kilograms of smuggled ivory. they say they are working harder
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than ever to stamp out the trade in tusks from endangered elephants, and they are determined to shed thailand's image of a regional hub for ivory trafficking. officials say they uncovered a hole of 300 elephant truck pieces with a value of around $1 million. they seized the contraband on an island that is a popular tourist destination in the south of the country in early december. the trunks were packed in a box that came from nigeria and traveled through singapore. most illegal ivory is destined for asia, especially china. there were concerns thailand could face international sanctions if it failed to rein in ivory trafficking. the government introduced a law this year requiring thais to register all ivory items and limiting the number they can own. and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. in other news, diplomats in japan and south korea are watching to see how prosecutors
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in soul react to a ruling in a case that's strained ties. a japanese journalist was found not guilty thursday of defaming south korea's president. tatsuya kato was charged after reporting rumors about park geun-hye's whereabouts on the day of the "sewol" ferry disaster. the judge said kato should be protected by freedom of speech in a democratic society. there are hopes the decision will improve diplomatic ties. >> 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. the prosecutors have yet to say whether they will appeal the ruling. they say they will discuss the contents of the sentence. they have less than a week to decide. foreign journalists in south korea issued a statement on
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friday welcoming the acquittal. it also said it hopes the government will continue efforts to improve the country's media environment. china's young filmmakers are increasingly addressing tough social issues despite limits set by censors. some are coming to tokyo to hone their talents to an effort to cultivate cinematic talent. nhk world's miyuki tokoi reports. >> reporter: it attracts young filmmakers from across asia. this filmmaker is here to offer his expertise and screen his latest film. "mountains may depart" follows the life of a chinese woman over 26 years. in 1999, she marries an investor during china's economic boom. her husband gets rich, but the two are soon divorced, and she decides it's in her son's best interest to leave him with her
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ex-husband. the film exposed the enduring nature of love between mother and child in a country undergoing rapid change. >> reporter: this film has been shown all over china. this japanese producer ichiyama is a major reason for its success. his credits include work by a well-known japanese director, takano. in 1998, jia was seeking support outside china. his first film addressed china's growing economic inequality, but the government banned domestic screenings. meanwhile, ichiyama was looking for young asian directors to work with. >> translator: since the beginning, his work has been
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totally unique. i was surprised when i saw it for the first time. he has a cinematic language that's all his own. >> reporter: ichiyama has produced six of jia's movies. one of them, "the world," is about the harsh life of workers at a theme park. it was nominated for the top award at the 2004 venice film festival. jia's films have won prizes at major festivals. >> translator: he's given me all kinds of invaluable support and advice. he's irreplaceable. above all, he's extremely talented and a great director. >> thank you.
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>> reporter: in 2010, ichiyama helped create a program that takes place during film-x. it's designed to help young directors launch their careers. several young chinese filmmakers have since made the trip to tokyo. this year, lin was one of them. participants make presentations to generate interest from producers and journalists. he pitched his idea for a film that focuses on the difficulties resulting from china's one child policy. >> many more problems actually started to surface and so that's why i think it's probably a good time to start reflecting on its impact on more than one generation of the only child like me. >> reporter: lin was asked whether he would ever consider changing a story on a controversial subject in order to get financing. he said he would never sacrifice
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his message that way. >> with the rapid development in every aspect of china, it's very easy to get lost. it's like always stay true to yourself and what you want to make, and that's what i probably the most i learned from my professors. >> reporter: they hope the skills they acquire here in tokyo will help them achieve their goal of making films that will reach audiences around the world. miyuki tokoi, nhk world. now here's a three-day outlook on the weather for selected cities around the globe.
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and before we wrap up. sci-fi movie buffs around the world are excited by the release of the latest "star wars" film. and in japan, they are showing it in different ways. fans wore costumes of their favorite characters to celebrate the opening on friday.
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and a japanese master craftsman used the film as a motif for his work. with his japanese shogi chess board, players can re-create the battle between the rebel alliance and the empire. >> translator: they are three times the size of normal pieces. i hope they look quite powerful. i want people abroad to become interested in my work and learn about shogi, which is one of japan's traditional board games. >> takahashi spent four months carving the pieces at the request of a movie theater in tendo city, northeastern japan. it's known for shogi piece production. takahashi says he is especially proud of the realistic touch he gave master yoda. and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. from all of us at nhk world, thanks for watching, and have a good day wherever you are.
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>> a strong signal is due to be sent from paris not only about fighting terrorism, but also about tackling another worldwide threat -- global warming. starting next monday, the international community gathers in the french capital to negotiate a climate treaty in which all countries not just industrialized ones commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. it's about time as this edition of "global 3000" will show. under water -- why the largest island in bangladesh is being submerged. ice-free alaska -- we visit a region wherema

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