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tv   Newsline  PBS  December 24, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm PST

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. glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's friday, december 25th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japanese prime minister is taking a diplomatic move to resolve a war-time issue referred to as comfort women. he's senting his foreign minister to seoul for talks. officials are working to schedule a meeting next monday. abe and south korean president park geun-hye had their first summit last month. they agreed to resolve the
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matter as quickly as possible. president park has been calling for the issue to be resolved by the end of this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of ties. disagreement on the issue has been a continuous cause of friction. park insists the solution must be accepted by the former comfort women and convincing to south korean people. south korea's foreign ministry said it will comment after it makes a concrete decision. in the meeting, tokyo was told to promise this will be the final settlement of the issue and they will stop setting up statues memorializing the comfort women. the okinawa government is losing ground in a long-running spat over the relocation of a u.s. military base. a request by the island prefecture's governor to continue efforts to halt the project has been dismissed by an independent panel. and he's now planning to file a lawsuit against the state. governor onagawa had revoked construction permits for reclamation along the coast of nago city. the landfill work is needed to
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build a replacement base for the futenma air force station. onagawa's decision was suspended in october by the land minister. in november, he filed a request with the panel that settles disputes between the central and local governments. but on thursday, the panel rejected that request. onagawa now plans to file a lawsuit against the state to have the minister's suspension canceled. more details are being revealed about a japanese freelance journalist in captivity in syria. sources say he went to the country to cover the humanitarian situation. he is believed to be missing after entering syria from southern turkey in late june. the international journalist association reporters without borders says that the al qaeda related group is holding him. the armed group is demanding a ransom for his release. nhk met a man in southern turkey shortly before the journalist
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entered syria. >> translator: he tried to report on the refugee situation and the syrian people's struggle. he asked me for help to enter syria. >> the man said he sought approval from syrian insurgents but failed. the journalist apparently entered syria through other means. >> translator: he told me he had things to do. i was shocked to hear that he's missing. i tried to contact the armed group. i really hope he will be released. >> the man said that he wanted to take up the project of kenji goto who was killed earlier this year by the islamic militant group. the leaders of russia and india announced they're working together to bolster their
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defense industries. moscow is trying to strengthen economic ties with one of its most important allies to boost its stagnant economy. russian president vladamir putin held a joint news conference with the indian prime minister. putin said they've agreed to proceed with joint weapons development. >> translator: our countries have traditionally cooperated closely in the realms of military and defense technology, not just in supply and ready made products but developing technology, as well. >> we have laid the foundation of the future character of this strategy partnership. >> they said they'll work together to produce fighter jets and transport aircraft. observers say russia has been showcasing its military capabilities to promote arms sales. officials have released footage of missile launches from russian submarines and bombers against
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islamic state militants. japanese officials have just released -- or rather released the number of economic data this morning and it looks like a mixed picture. gene otani is here. what can you tell us, gene? >> not a clear picture, some good, some not so good. at the end of every month, we get a look at people's spending habits, the cost of goods and the job situation. it gives us a better picture how the economy was doing the previous month. let's start with people's spending habits. japanese shoppers were keeping a close watch on their wallets in november. spending by households fell 2.9% from a year ago. november marked the third straight month of decline. households with two or members spent an average of about $2300. another indicator is for prices. the officials say the consumer price index last month was up 0.1% from the same month last
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year. with prices of energy and foods were excluded. the gauge was also up 0.9% year on year. the figure had been on the rise for 26 consecutive months. the jobless rate stood at 3.3%. officials at the labor industry say the ratio of jobs and seeker was 125-100. starting in april, new firms entering the power retailing business will be able to supply cheaper electricity when the market is completely liberalized. officials at leading restaurant chain operator skylark have decided to switch power suppliers for half of the restaurants. sources say the decision will affect more than 1200 outlets around the country.
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the change also be introduced in the next few months and expected to save the company more than $830,000 per year. officials plan to switch power suppliers after the market is totally liberalized in april. the officials say they're taking the decision because electricity charges rose after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern japan. they also concluded that cost cutting is needed in light of increased labor costs. the recently sealed tpp may have positive and negative impacts on japanese industries. the free trade agreement could raise japan's overall gdp, but some industries may face challenges. here's the story. >> reporter: government officials released a report on their estimates thursday at the meeting of the council on economic and fiscal policy. >> translator: estimates say the tpp will hugely benefit our
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economy. we will make this a reality. >> reporter: the report says that once the agreement takes effect, it will enlarge trade and bring more investment to the country, helping to raise japan's productivity. it says the trans-pacific partnership, or the tpp agreement, will increase workers' wages, create jobs for some 800,000 people and raise japan's gdp by about 2.6% or more than $115 billion. but the deal has some adverse effects. the report says the tpp will lead to increased imports, thereby reducing japan's production of 33 items. they include beef, pork and dairy products. the report says the value of the production will fall as much as $1.7 billion from the current
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$56.3 billion. for beef, holstein prices will decrease as it competes with imported products, and prices of japanese wagu beef will also drop to some extent. prices of processed fish items like dried bonito and canned tuna are expected to fall as well. the government says it will enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural industry by helping it to cut costs and by covering farmers' deficits. they hope that will maintain the production level of these items. but the report says that the tpp deal will not affect japan's staple product, rice, in either value or volume. as imports increase, the government plans to buy up an equal amount to store as emergency rice stocks. experts' views are split over how the tpp will affect the country.
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>> translator: what's important is that growth of the japanese economy will be revitalized by the trans-pacific partnership, then the impact on the agricultural sector will be limited. >> reporter: some contend that the tpp does not bring anything rosy. >> translator: my estimate says gdp will hardly change, but enormous damage will occur to agricultural, forest and fishery products. the numbers reported by the government are something arbitrary. >> reporter: the japanese economy needs a boost to increase the country's growth. nobody knows yet whether the tpp will be the answer, but we know for sure the deal will change the profit margins of many industries. the government will sign the agreement as early as february next year and will seek approval
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from the diet. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world. shared prices in tokyo opened slightly higher but it's a mixed session right now. the nikkei average is now trading lower by just a fraction, down by 0.05, 18,780. many investors are staying on the sidelines, not placing big bets on their position during the holiday season. trading vom is thin. let's move on to currencies. the dollar-yen is moving without clear direction. analysts say the japanese economic data released this morning had little impact on currency traders. in the euro, changing hands at 131.65 to 79. many other markets in the asia pacific region closed today. but forces in china and thailand
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will open in about an hour. information technology is revolutionizing classrooms in south korea. the government is expanding the environment for what's known as smart education. that's creating a new market for the nation's i.t. companies. nhk world's kim chan-ju reports. >> reporter: students in this science class at a junior high school have swapped paper textbooks for tablet computers. the student's experiments are instantly disclayed on an electronic white board so the teach kerr see how they're doing. nearly half of all elementary, middle and high schools in south korea use high-tech devices like this. >> i can share what i studied on my digital textbook with others at school. >> translator: students are more interested in classes. even with difficult science they
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are more inclined to study and have fun. the application of i.t. to classrooms, known as smart education, is expanding in korea. that's creating business opportunities. this robot has been developed by a major korean telecom company. it's used with smartphones. the robot reads cards carrying instructions. for example, move forward or red eyes on. it then acts as instructed. the robot is used at 140 elementary schools nationwide giving kids their first ideas on computer programming. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: the telecom company sees solid growth ahead.
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computer programming will become part of south korea's compulsory educational curriculum from 2018. >> going forward we to expand the business field from kindergarten to compulsory education and other educational fields. >> reporter: some companies have their eye on foreign markets. take a look. this is a fully equipped smart school and it can be shipped anywhere. a startup company has developed this portable classroom. it's fitted out with an electronic white board and tablet computers. in areas without internet access it connects to the web via satellite. solar power panels are installed on the roof. the company says the classroom is assembled using containers and can be moved quickly to areas lacking infrastructure.
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the company already has an order for more than 5,000 smart classrooms from the united nations. they will be shipped to parts of africa from next year. >> translator: we see demand from developing countries because this kind of education is a key driver of economic development. these countries want the children to grow up and help their economies. they want state of the art education quickly. >> reporter: business is exploiting the expansion of the smart education market in south korea. the next step will be to see if the industry can become a major export force. kim chan-ju, nhk world, seoul. >> that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
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authorities in southern china are stressing their support for the people and businesses affected by a deadly landslide. they say four people have died and more than 70 remain missing. a mountain of dirt and construction debris collapsed sunday, engulfing 33 buildings in an industrial park. rescuers found the only survivor so far wednesday morning. the 21-year-old man had been under the rubble for more than 60 hours. >> translator: i was thinking i need to save my energy and wait
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to be rescued. i couldn't let myself die. >> officials are now adding up the toll of the disaster. more than 4,600 people have been affected and 90 firms in the park cannot operate. they'll provide funds to damaged firms and will send experts to support the families of victims. china will be the third biggest contribute tore the united nations annual budget, overtaking germany and france. the u.n. general assembly approved a budget of $5.4 billion for the coming two years. officials calculated each member state's share based on the gross national income and the other factors. the united states will still be the biggest contributor, followed by japan, but paying less than 10% for the first time in more than 30 years. china will take third place. japan's u.n. ambassador acknowledges his country has less economic clout.
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power is declining in relative terms. but i don't think we need to turn from joy to sorrow. what we're seeing is a reflection of japan's true state. >> as for peacekeeping operations, the u.s. will still be the biggest contributor with a share of 28%. china will bump japan out of second place with a share of about 10%. the operator of a nuclear power plant in central japan on friday will start loading fuel into a reactor. a court reversed an injunction it issued in april to keep the plant's number three and four reactors offline. the district court delivered the new judgment on thursday. the governments said the plan's host and the prefecture approved the restart earlier this month. the plant's operator plans to
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finish moving 157 fuel assemblies to the number three reactor from a pool in an adjacent building next tuesday. it will be the first time in nearly four years for the reactor to receive fuel. the utility plans to resume operation late next month after safety checks. the reactor is said to be the third to restart under new stricter requirements introduced after the 2011 fukushima daiichi nuclear accident. a woman in japan is making moves to become the first foreign professional of shogi, also known as japanese chess. >> reporter: she has made history. she's the first-ever foreigner to turn professional in the 400-year-old game's history.
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she became interested in shogi at the age of 16 where she read about it in a japanese comic. >> there was this ninja who clayelayedplayed shogi. >> reporter: she develops her skills by playing on the internet and later won the shogi championship. she had the chance to come to japan two years ago to study the game in depth. she was invited by a professional player, who has been trying to promote shogi overseas. >> translator: i heard about a strong female foreign player, so i looked her up and found her on facebook and twitter. i was really surprised to discover just how much she likes the game.
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>> reporter: but it was not an easy task. she had to beat other talented young players to have a chance of turning pro. >> at first, i was like, they're moving and making noises and i couldn't get used to it. when i lose a game, i go home. of course, it's difficult on me. sometimes i cried. sometimes i was very depressed. but i like shogi, i have to continue on. >> reporter: one additional challenge she had to overcome, how to sit. it was not easy for her. >> it's quite a problem. >> reporter: she gets up at 6:00 every morning and studies shogi for more than four hours a day.
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she studies japanese intensely to help her read books on strategy. after a year and a half of struggle, she became the first foreigner to join professional shogi tournaments. in her debut, she lost a 4 1/2 hour match that included 92 moves. >> it was difficult one. i did my best, but it was not enough. so i need to train more. >> reporter: she has earned only a temporary professional qualification. if she fails to perform well enough in the next two years, she'll be demoted to trainee status. >> i need to be a real professional. apart that, learning japanese more so i can teach shogi to people. and of course, i think about
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promotional shogi. >> reporter: about 30,000 people play shogi outside of japan. there is also a junior trainee from china, hoping to turn professional like karolina. she looks set to play a major role in promoting shogi around the world. >> good luck to her. people celebrating christmas in tokyo, it's going to turn out to be a warm one. but for residents in northern japan, a totally different story. >> yes, indeed. you're going to be looking at colder air spilling in, and really the faucet is going to be turning on as far as the snowfall over the curse of the
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next 48 to 72 hours. you can see on the satellite picture, we have those lines streaming in from the northwest towards the southeast. that is our cold weather cumulous continuing to set up and it looks like it could drop about 50 centimeters of snowfall, extending down towards the south, 20 to 30 centimeters. but the snow and this pattern is going to be sitting in place, well into next week. and you're going to be looking at all sorts of snowfall across the region. keep in mind, the japanese alps here, really blocking all that snow. so across tokyo, not going to be seeing the white stuff. but things chill down next week, with a high in the single digits and lows right near the freezing point for the tokyo area. back towards the west, high pressure is dominating, keeping things on the cool side. there across northeastern china, extending towards the south, a few showers for you. but also cooler temperature there is in the northern areas
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of vietnam where the overnight lows could push into the single digits. now let's look at your three-day outlook. minus 18 only for the high on saturday. that's where all that cold air is coming from, that's going to be impacting japan. sapora, snow, snow, snow, and tokyo, looking at a high of 16 here on friday. should be cooling off into next week. how about here in the americas as well. we are talking about that severe weather situation that we have been seeing across the deep south. a very devastating tornado reported over selveral states, n mississippi towards alabama. this is continuing the shift off towards the northeast. we've been talking about that warm air that's been fueling these storm systems. i do want to take you to some video out of new york city, because some record breaking highs continuing to pump in across this area.
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you can see right there in central park, a high of 70 there. excuse me, that's times square. central park had a high of 72 fahrenheit, 22 degrees celsius. people in shorts and t-shirts. that is absolutely unheard of for christmas and christmas eve out here in new york city. it looks like things should return a little bit more toward winter over the weekend. we have the cool air continuing to spill in behind it. temperatures are going to be reflecting that across much of the northeast. towards the south, we have widespread precipitation continuing to dominate some of these areas in the southeast and you could be looking at a threat of flash flooding in a few locations. first over here towards parts of georgia and the carolinas, we have another storm setting up by the end of the wmd. that's going to be pushing it further to the east in the same areas hit by the severe weather on christmas eve. take a look at the forecast. new york, a little bit of a
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cooldown but still above average. ottawa, just zero there on sunday. here's the extended outlook. that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for making us a part of your day.
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stacey thunder (voiceover): on this edition of "native report," we visit harvard university and learn about the archaeology and history of the indian college at colonial harvard. we meet robert anderson, visiting professor at harvard law school. and from the "native report" archives, we take a look back at a story about the federal recognition process. we also learned something new about indian country and hear from our elders on this native report. announcer: production for "native report" is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community and the blandin foundation. [music playing]

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