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tv   Newsline  PBS  December 17, 2016 12:00am-12:31am PST

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glad to have you with us on this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. the leaders of japan and russia have witnessed the conclusion of $2.5 billion worth of deals between their governments and businesses. prime minister shinzo abe said they've also agreed to start talks on joint economic activities on four russian-controlled islands claimed by japan. the territorial dispute is the reason the two countries never signed a peace treaty after world war ii. >> translator: we have to put an end to this abnormal situation in our generation.
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vladimir and i have confirmed our strong determination to do that and express our commitment in a statement. we have agreed to begin talks on a special system for joint economic activities on the four islands. this is an important step toward the conclusion of a peace treaty. >> translator: prime minister abe proposed setting up a special mechanism for joint economic activities on the islands. it's important to use the mechanism as a basis to move closer to a final resolution of the peace treaty problem. if someone says russia is prioritizing economic relations and putting the conclusion of a peace treaty on the back burner, that isn't true.
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for me, signing a peace treaty is most important. >> the leaders say the economic activity could involve industries like fishing, tourism, and health care. japan refers to the islands as the northern territories. it maintains they are an inherit part of its territory and were illegally occupied after the war. moscow says they became part of russian territory as a result of it. abe said he agreed with putin on humanitarian grounds to consider allowing elderly former japanese residents easier access to the islands. the residents want to visit their ancestors' graves. executives from abe's ruling party have given their reactions on the outcome of the summit. >> translator: both sides should realize that if they make a compromise, the fruit of their cooperation will more than make up for it.
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the summit was very significant in that we got that process started. >> translator: we should push russia even harder so it addresses the territorial issue in good faith. most japanese people are disappointed. we have to take that seriously. >> and earlier james tengan spoke with nhk world's tomoko kamata. >> what are we to take away from the summit? >> abe is emphasizing where the two leaders found common ground and that he's closer to achieving his long-held goal. he has repeatedly talked about importance of peace treaty with russia, and he maintains japan's stance on the northern territories while recognizing that putin feels strongly about his own country's stance on the matter.
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he said if they keep going along like this, the issues could not be resolved. putin also said in the press conference that the most important thing is to conclude a peace pact. he added that with the cooperation, they could enhance their country's strengths. >> before the summit, abe said he was determined to solve the territorial issue during his time. what headway did he make towards that goal? >> well, as we heard, abe said this summit is one key step towards that goal, but it's not going to come easy. let's first consider the joint economic activities on the island. tokyo had been saying it won't allow japanese to conduct business there because it could be regarded as submitting to russia's jurisdiction. following thursday's talks, a russian spokesperson said the activities would be conducted under russian laws.
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they are set to discuss a special rule to conduct such activities. but it may be a difficult task. and also when a reporter asked putin about the northern territories he touched on the japan/u.s. alliance indicating that security issues should be taken into consideration by japan before a peace pact. they said they will meet again in russia next year, so i'm sure the talks will continue. >> tomoko, thank you. >> chinese government officials and media watched the japan/russia summit with keen interest. >> translator: china has been closely monitoring putin's visit to japan. china hopes that japan and russia will properly settle their territorial issue through dialogue. >> china's state run xinhua news agency said in a commentary that
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to keep china in check, prime minister abe is trying to form close ties with russia by making progress with the decades-long territorial issue. another state run media outlet, china central television, provided detailed daily coverage of putin's visit to japan. president putin also touched on the war in syria after the summit. he said he would work for a nationwide cease-fire in the war ravaged nation, even as some groups accuse russia of war crimes in the city of aleppo. >> translator: i agreed with turkey's president erdogan to offer a new round of peace talks to the rebels. we will represent the syrian government and turkey will represent the insurgents. >> putin says the talks could take place in kazakhstan and would complement u.n. brokered
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negotiations that have been held intermittently in switzerland. his comments followed a day of evacuations from aleppo. convoys of civilians and opposition fighters began rolling out on thursday, part of a deal that allows the government to take total control of the city after years of fighting. on friday, the evacuations had been suspended and mortar attacks had been heard. state-run tv blames the country's rebels for breaching the agreement by trying to bring prisoners with them in the evacuations. lawyers for south korean president park have said the country's constitutional park should reject parliament's decision to impeach her.
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the lawyers visited the top court on friday to submit a written statement on the impeachment moment. it's needed to decide whether to accept the motion within 180 days after it was passed on december 9. friday was the deadline for submitting the document. no details are available. one of park's lawyers said that the impeachment is groundless. he said the defense counsel will consult her but added the president would find it difficult to do so. the court hopes to decide on a schedule for procedures as early as next week to sort out the points of contention. tokyo's governor says the construction of a new olympic volleyball arena will go ahead as planned. the decision ends months of wrangling over whether to cut costs by moving some venues for the 2020 games. >> translator: in the end i've decided that the volleyball game venue will be in the arena. this is not just to cut costs. i don't think the discussion on
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whether to change venues was a waste of time. >> it's in tokyo's waterfront district. it was the original proposal. the cost of the stadium will be slashed by more than $55 million. koike also said the district will be redeveloped after the olympics and the paralympics and the right to operate the facility will be sold to the private sector. the governor has been reviewing several sports venues since she took office in august, amid concerns about spiraling costs. the decision means all the original locations will now remain unchanged. a mayor in the southern prefecture of okinawa is demanding a plan to move a controversial u.s. marine base to his city be stopped. he made the call after a u.s. military aircraft made a crash landing nearby on tuesday injuring two of the five crew members.
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susumu inamine delivered a letter with a demand to japan's state minister. he disputes how the accident has been characterized. >> translator: why does the central government use the term emergency landing? the aircraft was smashed to pieces. i think that the aircraft crashed. >> translator: in general, a crash describes an uncontrolled fall to the ground. i think in this case efforts were made to contain the damage to a minimum. >> the u.s. naval safety center has deemed the accident of the osprey aircraft as the most severe on its assessment scale calling it a class a mishap. a marine corps spokesperson says the amount of property damage is estimated at $80 million. the osprey has been involved in a series of deadly accidents in recent years. the american military says it will stop using them in japan until they are confirmed to be safe. in may a japanese pop singer was stabbed by one of her fans after tokyo police turned down her request for help.
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after a long recovery, the victim has come forward to tell of her ordeal and her deep mistrust of the police. the 21-year-old college student mayo komita was stabbed more than 20 times. the attack left her in critical condition. she had since recovered enough to leave the hospital. but she's still undergoing treatment. tomohiro was arrested and charged with attempted murder. prior to the attack, he sent her dozens of messages through social media. tomita has given nhk a four-page account of her story. she says the situation terrified her. so she went to tokyo police desperately seeking help. >> translator: i repeatedly told police that i feared for life, but they said there was no risk. i still cannot understand why. >> she says the investigators she spoke with before the attack have recently asked her if she had really told them that she might get killed. tomita says that left her with a sorrow beyond words.
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>> translator: time seems to have stopped since the incident. i have become too scared to move forward. i hope my experience will lead to changes in society so that people living with the same fear can have a sense of security. >> tokyo police have apologized for their poor handling of the case. they say officers failed to recognize the urgency of the situation and that they should have given tomita immediate protection. a japanese company and the country's space agency are teaming up to explore the possibility of resource development on the moon. tokyo-based venture firm ispace concluded the agreement on friday with the japan aerospace exploration agency or jaxa. the plan is to send a rover to the moon by early as next year. both ispace and jaxa say they want to find out what resources lie on the lunar's surface. then they want to figure out a way to get them back to earth. this is japan's first specific program for resource development in space. similar efforts are already
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under way in western nations. in november last year, the u.s. enacted a law to allow commercial use of resources retrieved from asteroids. in february, this year, luxembourg announced a national plan to develop asteroid resources. in other news, the japanese meeting to discuss an event the western prefecture of osaka hopes to host in 2025. the world expo. osaka was the site of japan's first world fair back in 1970. the meeting was attended by experts in related fields, they included professor yamanaka of kyoto university who won a nobel prize for his studies in ips cells. ichiro explained the prefecture government's basic concept of the planned expo 2025. he said the expo would be held under the theme of health of humanity and the challenge of longevity.
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some said issues of poverty and famine should be included to win support from many countries including developing nations. expos combine entertainment and education with a wide variety of exhibitions, activities and shows. japan has hosted several of the events in the past. in 2005, an expo in the prefecture attracted more than 22 million people from around the world. the meeting confirmed a plan to compile a draft report by next march that is necessary before osaka can officially file its candidacy. japan's retail giant eon is hoping a newly renovated outlet in central tokyo will mark the beginning of a turnaround for the store. it was the flagship store of a leading japanese supermarket chain. the first floor opened on friday. the renovated store is targeting working mothers and senior citizens. the lineup of perishable food products has been expanded and a food court has been added where shoppers can dine and relax.
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the building was once the flagship store of daiye, the most profitable japanese supermarket of the 1970s and '80s.du i heyy,nnual sas reached about $170 million. but with growing competition, sales at daiye stores around the country declined. last year, they became a wholly owned company of eon. department stores in general in japan have not been performing well. eon officials are hoping to change that by renovating their stores across the country and offering products that specifically target the local market. pakistan's military says
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shelling from india has hit a school bus, killing the driver and injuring at least four children in the disputed region of kashmir. >> the region has been experiencing its worst unrest since 2010 after indian security forces killed a high profile young muslim militant in july. pakistan's military media wing says indian firing across the line of control was responsible for the civilian casualties in the pakistani controlled region. it says pakistani troops returned fire. in november, pakistani prime minister sharif issued a strong warning to india over the shelling of a bus in the region that killed nine civilians. bilateral relations deteriorated in september when militants attacked an army base in indian controlled kashmir, killing 19 soldiers.
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india blamed terrorists based in pakistan. india and pakistan both claim kashmir and control different sections of it. muslim separatists in india have been fighting since 1989 for independence or to be merged with pakistan. in afghanistan gunmen have killed the chief of a radio station in the eastern province of logar and no one has claimed responsibility. two masked attackers opened fire on thursday afternoon on the car as he was driving back home from work. they then pulled him out and killed him, the associated press reported. the afghan journalist safety committee or ajsc has called 2016 the bloodiest year for journalists in the history of afghanistan. it says ten reporters were killed in the first six months. ajsc has recorded a total of 54 incidents targeting journalists in the first half of this year
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including murder, physical assault, detention and intimidation. the figure is up around 40% compared with the same period last year. he had run the local radio station since 2002. the station's news anchor said the killing is sad news, but they won't stop broadcasting. myanmar's precious stone producers are sharpening their skills, getting ready for potential new sales after u.s. sanctions ended in october. traders are hoping american consumers will offset a dip in demand from china. >> reporter: myanmar is famous for its gleaming gems, especially rubies, sapphires and jades. the government has been busily promoting the industry on the world stage. in november, it invited traders from more than 20 countries to the gems emporium.
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uncut jades were the focus of the show, but china, its main buyer, has been scaling back. >> translator: myanmar used to export mainly raw jade, but the sales volume at the gem emporium has been continuously declining in recent years. >> a glimmer of hope for the market came in october when u.s. president barack obama signed an order to remove all sanctions on myanmar's gem imports. a task force from the american gems trade association arrived shortly after to investigate opportunities. myanmar is now free to do business with the largest jewelry consuming nation in the world. to increase value, the industry is shifting focus from uncut stones to fine jewelry. local factories are also honing their skills.
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these myanmar amethysts just arrived and this is what they look like rough and uncut before they pass through the hands of several trained technicians and become these multifaceted gemstones. the stone is cut, chiseled and polished again and again before finally reaching the showroom. this blue sapphire ring costs nearly $40,000 in myanmar. perhaps much more abroad. an industry representative has high hopes for sales overseas. >> and the ruby and sapphire and including all of the color stone. after lifting all of the sanctions the door is open and
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everyone is happy and we hope. >> reporter: local ngos have voiced concerns over environmental destruction and human rights violations around the mines. >> this is a village. they stick all these, you know, so they can -- so it can collapse, you know. it cause casualty. >> reporter: recurring fatal landslides have prompted the ngo to call for further action to protect local workers. their latest report calls for more transparency. saying ending sanctions will benefit only a certain group of people with connections to the former military regime. >> it's more work for companies.
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this is their success story. but i would say that it would be really, really hard for the local people to get benefit from the gem industry. >> reporter: myanmar's gem industry has huge opportunities in the open-door economy. reaching its full potential will be a long and rocky journey. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. china will host its first ever winter olympics and paralympics in beijing in 2022. with preparations under way, one problem officials face is a lack of public interest. many in the country have not tried skiing, skating or other such activities, they're often seen as too expensive. nhk world reports on the efforts to heat up enthusiasm for cold
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weather sports. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: a newly renovated ski slope in the suburbs of beijing opens with a bang. the managers hope to attract new customers including children and those who haven't tried the sport. >> translator: it's a lot of fun. >> translator: coming down from high up is so exciting. >> reporter: it is one of 500 skiing areas across china. officials want to open another 200 in time for the olympics. many of these and other winter sports facilities are being built with government assistance. >> translator: these activities have long been seen as expensive, but with all of the new slopes being built, prices have come down. >> reporter: schools are playing along including this one in northeastern china, that is dedicated to winter sports. its students practice at a nearby skating rink.
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over 400 children from across the country come here to hone their skills. zhu is one of them. she specializes in short track speed skating. the 11-year-old arrived here last september after instructors spotted her talent. she spends every afternoon with other children training with top-class coaches. >> translator: put pressure down on your right knee and push the blade forward while keeping close to the skate. then pull your strength as you lift your legs so you can drive forward. >> reporter: her dream is to compete in the olympics. she said the training is tough. it often continues late into the night. but she's happy to be able to focus on the sport she loves. >> translator: i think that my
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two hours on the ice are my favorite part of the day. >> reporter: zhu lives in a dormitory together with her teammates and coaches. the local government pays for the students' schooling and living expenses. >> translator: going to the olympics has been my dream. now that i'm here i feel like it's getting closer to coming true. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: such academies have often focused solely on training, but the students here also take liberal arts and other courses. ♪ >> reporter: the classes are meant to give a cultural grounding to the children who are living away from family. >> translator: we believe athletes need to get a comprehensive education that
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produces well-rounded individuals. this will also make them better competitors. >> reporter: chinese officials are aiming to bring winter sports to 2,000 schools across the country by 2020. with the beijing olympics six years away, they hope to get 300 million people involved in the cold weather fun. the race is on to help china warm up to winter sports. now here is a three-dayout look on the world's weather.
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and that's all for now on this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. from all of us at nhk world, thanks for watching.
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anne: this week, "global 3000" heads to japan, the country with the world's oldest population. we meet an entrepreneur who runs affordable retirement homes. in the u.s., donald trump has older voters to thank for his election victory, leaving many young people in shock. another brexit? we ask a demographics expert about the generation gap. but first, we go to mexico where thousands of migrants remain dead set on crossing the border into the u.s. what does the future hold for them? the border between the u.s. and mexico is over 3000 kilometers long and one of the most patrolled in the world. getting across is already pretty

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