hello there, welcome to nhk "newsline." it is thursday december 8th, 10:00 a.m., i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. a memorial service has been held at pearl harbor to remember the victim of a surprise japanese attack that pulled the united states into world war ii. [ bells ] ♪ around 3,800 american veterans and their relatives gathered on a pier overlooking pearl harbor on wednesday. the attack on december 7th, 1941, killed more than 2,400
memorial. at the memorial, the commander of the u.s. pacific command spoke to the crowd about moving past old battles. >> today, we work with allies and partners across the globe to protect those hard-won freedoms including our staunch ally, japan. reconciliation push turned once bitter enemies into the closest of friends. >> u.s. president obama underlined that saying in a statement he looks forward to meeting japan's prime minister at pearl harbor later this month. he said he an his wife, michelle, join the american people in remembering those who gave their lives on that day. president-elect donald trump also expressed his condolences. in a statement, he says the sacrifice of the veterans reminds americans of the great cost paid to secure their liberties. he said that inspired them to rise to meet today's challenges. motions to impeach south korean president park guen-hye expected to be put to a vote on
friday. members within her own party who oppose her are demanding it be partially revised. the opposition parties are pushing to impeach park over an influence-peddling scandal that enraged the country. thursday afternoon they'll put the impeachment motion up for discussion. at least 28 members of the ruling party must vote in favor for the motion to pass, so anti-park members hold the key to its approval. the political tug-of-war continues. the anti-park lawmakers now say they disagree with a part of the motion. it includes park's handling of a deadly 2014 ferry disaster as a reason to impeach her. but they want that taken out. those members called on the opposition to focus only on the current scandal. rescue workers have been searching for bodies from a deadly plane crash in pakistan's north. aviation officials say none of the 47 people onboard survived. the pakistan international
airlines plane was traveling from a northern city to the capital, islamabad. officials say it lost contact with air traffic control around 4:00 p.m. local time on wednesday. authorities say the pilot reported a failure in one of the engines. investigators are probing the exact cause of the crash. an airline official says two austrians, a chinese man and a famous pakistani pop star are among the dead. indian police recovered a large stash of demonetized bank notes from a train on wednesday. it comes in the aftermath of a government decision to remove high demnomination notes from circulation, an attempt to battle underground money. that's led to chaos at banks as people try to exchange the old ones for new ones. a total of 3.5 million rupees or more than $50,000 u.s. dollars was discovered on the train in the country's east. since the government announced mid last month, there have been several similar cases of people dumping bundles of cash.
prime minister narendra modi said withdrawing the notes is a way to fight rapid corruption and tax evasion. researchers estimate that india lost over $340 billion in outflows of illicit funds between 2002 and 2011. a wildlife conservation activist has called for efforts to preserve the habitats of rare species in the russian far east. director of the amur branch of wwf russia gave a lecture in japan. he was honored by a japanese foundation for his decades-long struggle to protect wild animals in the amur river basin. he explained that the area is home to rare mammals such as the amur tiger and the amur leopard and is an important breeding ground for rare migratory birds. he said that some 4 million hectares in the region has been designated as a nature reserve
but said the area is threatened by flooding associated with climate change. and he warned that the spread of farmland in neighboring china and north korea is threatening the reserve. >> migratory birds, most of them are very endangered. china, in japan. so we cannot save the species without joint cooperation. >> he said he wants city dwellers including tokyoites to understand the importance of biodiversity. let's see what's making headlines in business news now. government officials in japan announced important data on the economy. ai uchida joins us from our business desk. what are are you seeing? >> we're seeing numbers on growth as well as those for trade and investment. let's start with gross domestic product. officials from the cabinet office, they have revised downward the gross rate for the july to september quarter to 1.3% annualized. the preliminary reading was
2.2%, so the revision means that the economy grew at a slower pace than initially estimated. and officials have also released the latest current account data. the balance there stayed in the black for the 28th consecutive month in october. finance ministry officials say the surplus stood at more than $15 billion. the current account balance is the broadest measure of trade and investment with the rest of the world. the trade surplus came in billi. that figure improved as lower crude oil prices shrank the value of japan's energy imports. investors seem to be shrugging off the economic data and rather drawing support from wall street which charged ahead overnight. dow jones industrial average and s&p 500 both closing as record highs. tokyo shares surged at the open. they're still up. nikkei up by just about 1%. 18,680. investors are buying a wide variety of shares, but the
pharmaceutical sector is lagging. let's take a look at currencies. the dollar is slightly weaker against the yen, trading now below 114. 113.73-81. in the month since donald trump's election victory, though, the u.s. currency has rallied more than 12%. the euro, ground against -- after, rather, after its recent rally, it's now trading at $1.07. that's before the european central bank's policy meeting later on thursday. let's take a look at other markets open at the moment in the asia pacific. we're seeing others jumping, too. seoul's kospi and australia's s&p asx 200 both up by 1.25%. china markets will open in just under half an hour. the top trade official for the european uniyuunion says ja and the eu will likely soon wrap up their talks over an economic
partnership agreement. still trade commissioner cecilia malstrom acknowledged the two sides have differences to iron out. she was speaking to nhk in brussels and said the chief negotiators will meet in tokyo from monday with an aim of reaching a broad accord by year end. >> we are very close to finalize those negotiations. by the end of the year or very early next year. >> the eu want japan to scrap tariffs on european agricultural products and open u its railway business and other japanese works. urging the eu to abolish its tariffs on its car imports. the eu recently decided to freeze free trade talks with the united states. concerns are rising in member countries on whether president-elect trump will push ahead with a protectionist trade policy. rural areas across japan, they are experiencing economic stagnation and population decline.
to tackle this, residents promote their local dishes at a town regeneration event. the annual gathering boasts a decade of history but this year it takes on a brand new format. nhk world >> reporter: fried noodles, dumplings, rice cracker soup. volunteers from 60 municipalities across japan gathered in tokyo to cook up their local dishes. while the festival might look like a food market with a carnivalesque twist, the volunteers are each store are actually selling something much larger. their hometown. i'm at the b1 grand prix, an annual event, helping areas of depopulation and decline. with each town promoting its local brand through a local dish. previous winners have seen strong financial gains. one grand prix winner reaped
close to $30 million in just 8 months after the event. many others also saw more tourism and boosted sales of branded products through tie-ups with convenience stores. a city in northern japan which won gold in 2014 has gained even more than that. some younger residents decided to seek work in their hometown rather than move to larger cities. >> translator: i think the event has made young people much prouder and feel more connected to the city they're from. now they want to stay. >> reporter: the people running the event are not satisfied. they say the emphasis have been too much on the food and not enough on the towns. what's more, they've previously been held in the countryside with a majority of visitors from nearby areas, limiting the nationwide reach. for the first time ever, the tournament is being held in tokyo to gain a wider audience. the event also sees a new
collaboration between local governments and local food organizations with both working together to appeal to local visitors. this year's theme, the town i want to go to, live in or support. so, it's not just the taste of the food that counts, it's also the hospitality that comes with it. a town in northwestern japan has a sharply declining population. it fell by 1% in the past 5 years. local foods, this known as japanese sand fish. but that's not all. the entrance of the booth is manned by two demon like creatures which are intangible creatures for the city. these helped lure visitors toward a display of local sightseeing areas. >> translator: oga is a wonderful town so we want people to know it's a great place for tourism as well as our tasty fried noodles.
>> reporter: the northern island of hokkaido already has a robust tourism industry as it boasts good access to a national park. the problem of the population remains. volunteers are trying to turn visitors into residents with photos of the beauty it has to cover and, of course, with a tasty local dish, fried chicken. each visitor is given chop sticks to register their votes. we asked visitors how they felt about the places they voted for. >> translator: i voted, i'm familiar with it because my friends live there and the noodles are spicy and delicious. >> translator: i voted, i really want to go. we even got booklets. but i'm not sure about living there. >> reporter: organizers say the b1 grand prix draw 100,000 visitors. japan took a gold prize with the dumplings.
the organizers note that winning the b1 grand prix is not the end goal. >> translator: participating in the event will help promote the areas to a wider audience but won't solve all the problems. it's up for local residents to draw up a town regeneration plan. >> reporter: the organizers hope the new collaboration between local governments and local food promotion groups will provide a platform for future town regeneration projects. and they hope the greater focus on town hospitality will attract new residents beyond the food tourism boom. nhk world, tokyo. >> and that is the latest in business for this hour. here's another check on markets.
on to other stories we're following this hour. the international olympic committee formally approved the venues for sports making their debut or comeback at the 2020 tokyo games. members of tokyo's organizing committee submitted their proposals wednesday to the oic board in switzerland. and the board gave a thumbs up to all the picks. yokohama stadium will host baseball and softball games. one of tokyo's biggest halls known as the budokan will host the karate competition. skateboarding and sport climbing events will take place at a temporary facility in the japanese capital. and surfers will take to the waves in chiba just east of tokyo. but the organizers haven't yet
submitted details of their plan to hold baseball and softball preliminaries in fukushima prefecture. they said they're still trying to win the backing of the sport's' governing body. japan's political leaders spent a fiery day in the diet. one of the issues raised was about a bill that could legalize casinos. the leader of the main opposition party asked about the legislation which has already cleared the lower house and is before the upper chamber. >> translator: why was the bill in the lower house after the revelations that lasted just 5 hour and 33 minutes? we oppose the legalization of gambling. without how to deal with the issue of addiction. >> translator: there certainly are concerns such as the ones you pointed out just now, but if the bill takes effect, then there will be new bills to cover those details. those concerns should be
addressed in that process. >> the leader of the communist party praised the prime minister of another sensitive issue. he asked him about expanded duties given to japanese peacekeepers in south sudan. for the first time in their history, they're being allowed to use weapons to rescue u.n. personnel. >> translator: there have been fierce battles there. what would happen if the new mission found itself in such a situation? self-defense force members would have to use weapons against south sudanese government forces. that would constitute the use of force abroad, which is prohibited by the constitution. >> translator: south sudan is not a safe place. there may be dangerous situations, but no country has pulled out its peacekeepers because of the security situation. both south sudan's government and the opposition forces welcome the contribution of japan's self-defense force unit. the sdf will never engage in a
fight with south sudan's government forces. a representative of the fight with south sudan's forces. a representative of the nippon ishin party raised the upcoming meeting in japan between abe and russian president vladimir putin. they're expected to discuss a territorial dispute over four russian-held islands. >> translator: it's not an issue that can be solved by just one summit. it's an extremely difficult challenge, but if you just give up and do nothing, there will be no progress at all. i don't want to take that approach. i'm committed to doing whatever i can to tackle the issue, to fulfill my duty as a politician living in the here and now. >> the issue is the reason why japan and russia have not signed a peace treaty since the end of world war ii. tokyo maintains the islands are an inherent part of japan's territory. it says they were illegally occupied after the war. moscow said the islands became part of russian territory as a result of the war. the japanese government has
decided to lift the ceiling for loans to the operator of the crippled fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. the fund's upper limit will be raised to $123 billion from the current $79 billion to deal with mounting costs. the government now estimates the facility will end up costing tokyo electric power company more than $190 billion total. $70 billion of that will go to decommissioning the plant which suffered meltdowns after a massive quake and tsunami in 2011. that cost is four times the original estimate. compensation for farmers and others are expected to rise to $70 billion. and over $50 billion will be used for decontaminating and storing contaminated soil and waste materials. the government plans to have tepco and other utilities pay back the loans interest free. the decision may result in higher electricity bills for households.
in china, most garbage is dumped without being sorted. independent scrap collectors have helped deal with the longstanding problem, but falling prices of recyclables means they barely manage to get by. now a new recycling business looks set to change the industry. nhk world reports from >> reporter: recyclable garbage carted away by scrap collectors. they collect metal, cardboard and plastic bottles from homes and offices then sell them at designated collection spots on the outskirts of beijing. but the economic slowdown has brought down the price of scraps and fewer people are willing to do the job these days. the pollution has also become a big problem. >> translator: the materials are too cheap these days. the price of everything has
fallen. >> reporter: but these problems have led to the branch of a successful business. one company has come up with an efficient way to handle the large amount of garbage. an automated recycling station is installed in the beijing shopping center. the machine reads the bar codes on the empty bottles and cans and sorts them accordingly. recyclers get cash credits via a smartphone app. ten bottles fetch a 15 cent credit. that's more than they'd get through a regular collector, and the credits can be used when shopping at the mall. >> translator: i bring all my bottles and cans here once a week. not only does this help protect the environment, it gives me extra shopping money. >> reporter: the machine crushes
the bottles and cans helping keep transportation costs to a minimum. the beijing-based company has already installed around 6,000 machines in subway stations and office buildings. the machines are monitored through an online system. when they are full, an alert is sent to employees' smartphones. various kinds of wastes are collected like clothing and cell phones. the company is planning to increase the variety of recyclable items even further. it has also launched an app-based recycling service. users book a home pickup and get paid via the app. >> translator: this saves me the trouble of carrying the garbage out of my home and it's really easy to use since i get paid through the app.
>> reporter: the company now serves an area that encompasses 400,000 households. it is proactively hiring the oldest scrap collectors. >> translator: controlling the flow of recycled waste from the source helps ensure safe collection and reuse and if our system spreads, we can contribute to the industry by creating more jobs. >> reporter: as china's mass consumption grows, businesses that make recycling profitable could be the key to reducing itself by-products. nhk world, beijing. people in tokyo are seeing sunny, blue skies this morning. our meteorologist robert speta joins us with an update in world weather. >> yes, let's start off here in
japan, where we are looking at those clear conditions across much of the pacific coastline of the country here. the main reason for that, we have high pressure overhead across most of central and western japan keeping things on the cool but clear and sunny side the very least. back toward the north, though, we have low coming across tohoku over through hokkaido. small but unstable enough to create thunderstorms across this area and plus the snowfall that we have been seeing. but this is really going to be the pattern through the rest of thursday, but i do want to watch out for this low because heading into the weekend, this is going to be the big weather maker. right now, already bringing snowfall there in the northeastern china, through the korean peninsula, some areas as much as 5 to 10 centimeters could be seen coming out of this. as it moves across the sea of japan, it really ushers in all sorts of foul weather. and even across parts of so por row, snowfall, heavy snowfall expected in parts of tohuku and mountains of central japan. tokyo, rather decent.
partly cloudy conditions. a high here on thursday around 13 degrees. it is expected to warm up into friday and saturday before cooling off, though, early next week. same back there toward seoul, a high of 6, partly cloudy skies. into shanghai, 15, sunny conditions. while taipei, though, you're going to be looking at that rainfall here on and off on thursday. let's take a look down toward the south, though, talk about what's going on out here in australia. you have been seeing some rather violent weather this past weekend -- this past week, i should say. there has been several deaths due to lightning strikes and a few locations in betweenqueenslw south wales and victoria. this frontal area affecting brisbane, on and off thunderstorms expected through friday. also we're watching this low tracking across the southern end here over toward victoria. that's going to bring in some widespread thunderstorms and scattered rain showers here. as we go ahead through the rest of your thursday into friday before this starts to move off there toward the east.
so if you take a look at your three-day forecast, brisbane definitely still seeing thunderstorms. if you have travel plans, something you want to watch out for. sydney, showers, tapering off before friday by the time it kicks back in saturday. same thing goes for bell momelbs well. here across europe, high pressure dominating central and western europe today. high -- really just keeping things on the clear side. temperatures are going to be staying rather cool there as we look ahead through the forecast. but we do have a low back toward north, really running along the jet stream. that's going to be the big thing creating a lot of weather for you across the british isles through the scandinavian pension peninsula as well. areas looking at snowfall, the baltic states, 15 to 20 centimeters for a few out there as this moves over there toward western russia, diving toward the south
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