hello there, glad to have you with us on this edition of nhk "newsline." it's wednesday, december 14th, 10:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. an emergency water landing of a u.s. osprey aircraft has japanese officials asking questions about safety. five crew members were rescued on tuesday night after the osprey ditched off the coast of okinawa. an nhk cameraman sent this video from the site of the incident on wednesday morning. >> reporter: from the air, i can see that the osprey is broken apart. most of the debris can be seen just under the surface of the
shallow water. i can even see the cockpit. further away, i can see more debris and the wing of the aircraft. >> the character belongs to the futenma air station. japan defense minister is calling for u.s. forces in the country to suspend operations of the aircraft. >> reporter: the accident was very disappointing as the japanese people have been concerned about the safety of the osprey. >> prime minister shinzo abe also commented. >> translator: i think the first priority is ensuring the safety of the osprey. >> a spokesperson at the us state department says an investigation is under way. >> they'll do the right thing in terms of figuring out what
happened here. they'll learn lessons from it. they'll share those lessons from it. >> reporter: the u.s. military began deploying osprey to the futenma base four years ago, but some residents is protested the deployment, saying the aircraft has a poor safety record. residents were quick to comment about the incident. >> translator: it's terrible. i say it's an incident. i'm really shocked by this. i'm very angry. >> translator: it fell in a residential area. that worries me. military bases should be taken away. >> this incident comes at a time when washington and tokyo are trying to move the base to another part of the prefecture. the prime minister of japan and the president of russia are one day away from a leaders summit. shinzo abe and vladimir putin
will hold talks in western japan and then in tokyo the following day. the pair is expected to talk about proposed joint economic activity on four russian-controlled islands claimed by japan. russia controls the islands, japan claims them and refers to them as the northern territory. japan's government maintains the islands are an inherent part of japan's territory. it says the islands were illegally occupied after world war ii. abe hopes the talks will help advance negotiations for signing a peace treaty. one was never signed following the end of the war. a major hurdle for the treaty has always been the northern territories. the two sides are expected to re-affirm an eight-point economic cooperation plan proposed by abe earlier this year. japan and russia have spent more than seven decades without a peace treaty. leaders have been discussing settling the territorial issue. here's a look back on how that's been playing out. >> reporter: japan calls the four islands northern territories and maintains they are an inherent part of its territory.
russia says it became a part of their country as a consequence of war. in the final year of world war ii the former soviet union declared war on japan and occupied the islands. the japanese government says it was a violation of a neutrality pact. soviet leader josef stalin annexed the islands and deported 17,000 japanese. a decade later japan and russia resumed diplomatic relations. but the islands remained the sticking point and leaders agreed to continue talks on signing a peace treaty. in the years since, moscow has been building infrastructure for the russians who call the islands home. currently about 16,000 people live there. as the leaders of both countries changed, both sides continued their discussions over the dispute off and on, but neither has budged on its stance.
in 2013, japanese prime minister shinzo abe and russian president vladimir putin issued a joint statement saying the two governments aim to finally resolve the issue. since then they've held 11 summits. >> translator: we agree to accelerate our talks to draw up solutions acceptable for both sides. >> reporter: abe proposed what he calls a new approach to putin. >> translator: if we continue on like this, this very same discussion will continue for yet more decades to come. vladimir, shall our generation have the courage to fulfill our responsibilities? >> reporter: putin welcomes stronger economic ties but has been cautious about referring to the territorial issue. >> translator: both countries are hoping and making efforts to settle the issues but i can't yet say when or how or even if we can achieve it at all. >> reporter: and has said
nothing new when it comes to the islands. >> translator: as the result of the war, the islands are under russia's sovereignty. >> reporter: abe too knows the road ahead is not a smooth one. >> translator: the path towards achieving the goal is now in sight but the mountain has to be climbed one step at a time. >> reporter: the big question now is whether these two leaders can achieve something their predecessors couldn't. >> on to other story this is hour, a japanese cargo spacecraft has docked with the international space station, orbiting at an altitude around 400 kilometers. >> and capture is confirmed. >> a u.s. astronaut aboard the iss, caught the cargo transporter with a robotic arm. the docking was completed at
18:24, utc, on tuesday. it was launched from the space center in kagoshima prefecture in southwestern japan last friday. it is the largest of the four types of cargo spacecraft currently in use to transport food, supplies, and equipment to the iss. it's also the only one that has never had an accident in six successful missions since its first launch in 2009. the cargo this time includes japanese-made lithium ion battery cells, which will become the main power source for the iss. astronauts are scheduled to install them as early as next month. >> the vehicle has the new lithium ion batteries. it's going to be really exciting. >> in late january or early february, the rocket will be use said to conduct an experiment to remove space junk, using japan's technologies. it's time now to take a look at business stories.
japanese companies are feeling optimistic according to the bank of japan's latest survey. ai joins us from the business desk. >>s as you know, boj officials reach out to 10,000 companies in japan across the country, they ask them what they think about business conditions. in the latest survey, which covers this current quarter, by the way, we are seeing sentiment improve the large sectors. that's the headline figure that analysts off first look at, and it's the first improvement in six quarters. the tank an's index represents the difference in the percentage of companies that say business is good and those who say it's bad. a positive reading means more companies are optimistic. boj economies say sentiment among large manufacturers stood at plus ten, up four points from the previous survey. for major non-manufacturers, it was unchanged at plus 18. now, officials have a less rosy
outlook for the coming quarter. they expect the index for large manufacturers to be down two points at plus eight. non-manufacturers, the sentiment for them is expected to worsen by two points to plus 16. now let's get a check on market. the headline tank an figure was in line with what analysts expected and stocks are showing small moves ahead of the u.s. federal reserve's policy meeting. the nikkei trading at 19,194, a loss of almost .3%. a sentiment of caution prevails in the market and some are booking profits after a six-day winning streak. the dollar is range-bound, having slipped from monday's ten-month high at the 116 yen level. the dollar/yen pair at the lower end of 115. analysts say the market has
already fully priced enough fed rate hike this time. the focus is now the pace of future rate increases. let's turn now to markets in the asiania pacific. we're seeing a mixed picture, with the kospi in the negative, but gains of more than .6 of a percent for australia, at 5,580. china markets will open in just under half an hour. a survey shows many japanese companies doing business in russia have concerns on currency swings, and complex procedures when they invest in the company. the japan external trade organization, jetro contacted 110 firms doing business in russia. 83 responded. they were asked about their concerns when making investments in russia. more than three-quarters cited surns volatility. 63% said complicated administrative procedures for such things as getting permits and approval. just over half cited an
undeveloped legal system and opaque practices. around half the japanese companies were concerned about the local labor market, and 42% mentioned complex customs clearance and other procedures. even so, three-quarters of the firms pointed to the market scale and growth potential as advantages for putting their money in russia. well, japanese investors have been snapping up mutual funds, the balance of products sold, exceeded 90 trillion yen last month, that is the highest in six months. officials at the investment trust association japan say the balance stood at roughly $810 billion at the end of november. that's up around $30 billion from the previous month. the value of japanese mutual funds bought by investors last month topped that of canceled and redeemed products. this marks the first net increase in two months. global stock prices have been rising on hopes that the policies of u.s. president-elect
donald trump will boost the economy. that has increased the funds' value while also making them more attractive to investors. well, this week, we start a three-part series on how japanese companies faced with shrinking domestic demand are gambling on foreign sales. today we look at strategy -- at the strategy and the trial and error process of a venerable sake brewery that's looking toward the rest of asia to save a tradition. >> reporter: this sake brewed in sheega prefecture uses premium local rice and water to bring out its signature flavor. this is the seventh generation head of the fuji honka brewery. he's been committed to making high quality sake his entire life. but with domestic sake consumption down to less than a third of his peak 50 years ago, that's no longer enough.
>> translator: people's lifestyles and eating habits have changed. i think we have to react to that and move on to a different stage. >> reporter: fujii set his sights on new territories in asian countries that have been enjoying rapid economic growth. he wanted to grow his business abroad, but also to keep his brewery's good reputation. that meant making some adjustments. >> translator: people in asia eat rice regularly. so our sake could become popular in the region. we hope to expand our sales by entering markets for asian countries. >> reporter: in order to produce sake that appeals to other parts of asia, fujii first teamed up with a local university. this professor of sheega university agreed to help fujii figure out new strategies. they began by surveying tourists and foreign students about their preferred flavor of liquor.
many of the 120 people polled had a taste for sweet sake. >> translator: we may be able to expand the market for sake abroad if we come up with one that goes well with chinese or other asian cuisines. >> reporter: fujii took these findings to heart and embarked on making a sweeter sake that would fit the spicy asian meal. he figured out a way to retain more sugar content while keeping sake's distinctive player. the secret was the mixture of yeast and to adjust the fermentation process. his efforts bore fruit. its crisp taste is designed to go well with spicy foods. yet when you take a sip, you still instantly savor the sdinkts flavor of rice.
the alcohol content is about three times as higher to help prevent thinning when ice is added to a glass, something done in hotter climates. a student from malaysia was the first to sample the new product. >> translator: it slips down easily. and it's very sweet. i like it. i've tried other types of sake, but this one is delicious. >> translator: my top priority is to showcase our regional sake culture, but we're still in the developing stage. i'll do everything i can step by step. >> reporter: can this innovative sake capture the hearts of consumers across asia? like fujii's brewery, many japanese businesses may need to come up with global strategies in order to survive. >> that's the latest in business. here's a check on markets.
♪ ♪ on to other stories we're following this hour. in a high profile case in indonesia, the governor of the capital is on trial for alleged blasphemy. he is the first ethnically chinese governor of the capital and the first christian to hold the post in more than 50 years. on the first day of the trial, he denied intending to insult the koran. nhk world has more.
♪ ♪ >> reporter: the court in the capital was on high alert. hundreds of members of anti-ahok groups gathered outside the courthouse. >> reporte . >> translator: our request today is first, arrest ahok immediately, and second, jail him immediately. that would be justice for all muslims. >> translator: there's no need to worry. they can say whatever they'd like. we're not worried at all. we did nothing wrong. so there's nothing to fear. >> reporter: a muslim organization brought a complaint of blasphemy against ahok. it accused him of insulting islam by criticizing opponents who have used a koranic reference to attack him. in the trial, aired live on
television, the prosecutor said the governor has lied and insulted muslims. >> translator: the bottom line is that the defendant was charged with two alternative charges. one law that the defendant was charged with violating is article 156-a. >> reporter: ahok has denied any wrongdoing, but has apologized for the remarks. >> translator: i had no intention of insulting muslims or the clergy. on that basis, i appeal to the judges to consider my plea. >> reporter: in december and november, tens of thousands of
hardline islamists demanded ahok be arrested. in february, he will be running for re-election against muslim candidates. some fear the governor's political foes are using the controversy as a political tactic to reduce his popularity. but the situation has now gone beyond local political confrontation. muslims and japanese are indonesian dominant groups, but the country's many minority groups, christian, hindu, and buddhists, are also following the case closely. nhk world, jakarta. >> we take you to northeastern japan now. the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed many fishing boats in the region, along with the flags used to celebrate a good catch. those flags, however, are finding a new lease on life. nhk world reports.
>> reporter: hair clips on heads, bursting with color. they are cut and sewn from vivid designs that used to flutter in the wind. these products are made from fishermen's flags tairyo-bata. they are hung by family and friends as a way of praying for a good catch and for the safety for those who are to bring it in. the 2011 earthquake and tsunami swept much of this way of life away. in the city of ishinomaki, the tsunami destroyed about 2,000 fishing boats. soon afterward, some turned up in the corner of a destroyed building, covered in mud. this man found the flags. he had gone to ishinomaki as a
volunteer and was cleaning up homes. >> translator: there was a collapsed building and in it were many tairyo-bata. i felt i must save those treasures. >> reporter: the colors shown through the dirt and debris. he thought about using the tairyo-bata to represent the area's revival. his experience as a clothing designer gave him some ideas. >> translator: i told the fishermen i wanted to add -- make items using them. many fishermen came out to the beach carrying boxes full of flags. >> reporter: so far the fisher men and their families have brought flags to create symbols of recovery. >> hiroyuki is one of them. he was born to a family that had
been fishing for more than 100 years. before the earthquake he would go out in his boat. the flags are used to decorate fishing vessels. so when the boats were lost in the tsunami, the flags had nowhere to fly. he said he found his flag in front of his home which had flooded. >> translator: they were here. >> reporter: his mother cocoa set out to rescue them. she carefully cleaned each flag and kept them until giving them to tanaka. cocoa passed away two years ago. she never spoke about her reaso reasons for donating the flags. he thinks she did it so they would be seen again. >> translator: it's a flag. it's supposed to be seen by lots of people. that will make the flag happy. people will see how beautiful it is.
>> reporter: he rebuilt his boat two years after the quake. he decorated it with a new tairyo-bata. it became an inspiration to others along the coast. tanaka is still doing his part carefully giving the donated flags new life. >> translator: i realized after i started doing it that it was a form of prayer, a prayer for the resumption of fishing and for the town's recovery. >> reporter: the tairyo-bata are filled with fishermen's memories and a history of overcoming hardship. there is still work to be done. ryoko tanaka, nhk world, ishinomaki. people in tokyo are dealing
with a dark, cloudy and wet warning. our meteorologist robert speta joins us with more. >> yes, we have been seeing here throughout the morning on wednesday, this area of low pressure tracking across the pacific coastline of japan. with that, widespread scattered showers for many people's commute. the good news, it is clearing up behind it. gusty winds over towards shiba prefecture, we had a wind report about 105 kilometers per hour, but this is going to taper off as we head through wednesday evening. but the weather is not over yet. we're not looking actually at sunny skies across all of japan. tokyo, you might be seeing it, but when we talk about the low pushing off towards the east, what sets up is the northwesterly winds and we bring this graphic out again. that means sea-effect snowfall, that moisture getting picked up, dropping across the mountains of central and northern japan. some areas could see 30 to 40
centimeters. if you're in tokyo, it is going to be clear. drier on the leeward side of those mountains. that means sunnier skies for thursday and friday. but for now, we still have those gloomy conditions, at least here on wednesday morning. seoul with highs too as well. partly cloudy skies. beijing up to 2. shanghai at 10. into the tropics, might see a thunderstorm or two passing there into manila. now, i also want to talk about what is going on out here across the western coastline of the u.s. we have the pineapple express set up. why is it called that? well, it's because it originates back here towards hawaii. you basically have this river of moisture running across the eastern pacific, comes onshore, you can see in the satellite picture, bringing widespread precipitation to northern california through oregon. but also not just rain, snowfall in the higher elevations, maybe
freezing rain as well. a slick go for a lot of people if you are traveling the region. now i want to talk about the east coast. we have high pressure settling in out of canada. what that's going to be setting up is some much colder temperatures. actually, the jet stream is going to continue to dive down, and the mercury will be dropping as well as the windchill, what it's going to feel like for some of you. chicago getting down to minus 16 for your low. toronto around minus 11 and minus 12 by friday. washington, d.c., around minus 9. so bundle up, especially if you have travel plans across the eastern half of the u.s. over the next several days. it's going to stay chilly. you know what else it's cold, back towards the north. some clear skies in parts of finland this past weekend. but it made for some pretty good viewing on something. i'll show you video out of northern europe here. how about this, absolutely gorgeous sight here with the aurora borealis. it started on friday into
saturday. you can see that, a great sight for star gazers. this comes from the surface of the sun. a mass ejection last week and it really sparked up some of those auroras. absolutely beautiful there. still staying cold by the way, on the eastern half of the continent. snow there in moscow. all right, here's the extended outlook. ♪ ♪ >> and that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for staying with us.
elaine: the latin american country of peru is well known for its andean culture, cutting-edge cuisine, but also something more sinister: counterfeit money production. i'm elaine reyes in washington, d.c., and this is "americas now." first up, counterfeit money production has become a big illegal business in peru. authorities are on the lookout for forging factories printing fake u.s. dollars, then slipping them into circulation. enrique: i would say it's, like, about--they make, like, $10 million per day face value in--in u.s. dollars, so that's, like, about $3,600 million per year. [man speaking spanish] elaine: one counterfeiter takes correspondent dan collyns behind the scenes for a look at his production process.