a very warm welcome to nhk "newsline," broadcasting to viewers around the globe. it's 10:00 a.m. in tokyo. our top story this hour, the u.s. attorney general says he'll recuse himself from any investigations into what the u.s. calls russia's interference in last year's election. he admits he met with the russian ambassador during donald trump's presidential campaign, but says it was in his role as a senator. not as part of the campaign. he says he won't resign. >> let me be clear, i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. >> sessions was a policy advisor
to trump and his meetings came at the same time russian operatives are alleged to have hacked into the democratic party's servers during his confirmation hearings, sessions didn't reveal he met with the russian ambassador. >> i didn't have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment. >> trump says he didn't know about the meetings but trusts the attorney general. democrats are demanding he resign. >> jeff sessions lied under oath to his colleagues in the senate and to the american people. >> sessions isn't the only member of trump's team to come under scrutiny for contacts with the russians. national security advisor michael flynn was forced to resign last month for not
disclosing his discussion with the ambassador about sanctions. south korea has expressed concern about its worsening ties with china. a plan to install a u.s. missile defense system is causing tension. it has formally acquired a golf course where the new missile system is scheduled to be set up. thaad is intended to boost the defense capability to protect against pyongyang. beijing strongly objects saying the advanced radar system could be used to monitor its military. south korean media report a major online shopping site has been shut down, food products were reportedly burned due to allegations it contained harmful additives banned in china. the foreign minister spokesperson says it is
punishing his country's firms. defense ministry officials say it was the largest group of foreign planes subject to the response measures since 2003. officials say the planes came from the east china sea and passed between islands in okinawa before heading toward the pacific ocean. all of them later flew back toward the east china sea. officials say the aircraft didn't violate japan's air space. three chinese navy vessels sailed through the area on the same day. it suspects it took part in drills staged by china's navy and air force. the air self-defense force has scrambled jets more than 1,000 times during the ten months through january that's higher
than the cold war record of 944 in 1984. the number of interceptions of cl chinese planes has been surging. let's turn to the world of business. japanese government officials have released the latest batch of economic data this morning. you've been sifting through figures. what do you have for us? >> we have a snapshot of how people spend, the price trends of some of these items and also the job situation. let's start with the consumer price index that is leading gauge of inflation. the cpi rose for the first time in 13 months. the government official say the index was up 0.1% in january from the same month last year. the index includes oil products but not fresh food. the reading was also higher when all types of energy and food are excluded. even so the officials say consumers in japan continue to keep a tight grip on their wallets spending by all
households when two or members fell 1.2% last year. they spend about 280,000 yen. that's around $2,400. officials have come out with job data. the unemployment rate edged down to 3% exactly in january. that's 0.1% improvement from the previous month. the ratio of job offers to applicants is unchanged from december to 1.43 meaning there were 143 jobs openings for every 100 people looking for work. officials at the labor and welfare ministry say japan's job situation has improved as the economy remains on a moderate recovery path. executives at toshiba say they're trying everything they can to strengthen the financial base of the struggling japanese electronics firm. the unit produces molding
machines. they will sell 2% on friday. the sell is expected to generate about $133 million of proceeds for toshiba. executives at toshiba machine held their meeting on thursday and voted to buy back the shares toshiba is selling. toshiba is expecting to post a huge loss from its u.s. nuclear power business. the executives have been working on a plan to give up control of the company's priczed chip business. share markets in tokyo are moving in a slight range after opening slower. however, a stronger dollar is supporting sentiment. taking look at where the nikkei is trading. right now we can see it's down by .2 of a percent. the energy sector is suffering from lower crude prices but
exporters like car makers are higher on a weaker yen. let's take a look at that next. the dollar is moving without clear direction in tokyo trading hours. overnight it touched a two week high at the upper 114 yen level. that's after more federal reserve officials voice the possibility of an early rate hike. traders will be watching fed chair janet yellen who speaks later on friday about the state of economy. the euro is lower against the dollar touching a one week low. let's move onto other markets open this hour across the asia pacific. we're seeing losses elsewhere too. seoul's kospi is down more than .9 of a percent but australia leading the losses this morning. it's trading down more than 1% at 5,716. china markets will open in under half an hour.
now, here in japan, this prefecture is famous for its seafood. one company has found a new way to enjoy this fish. >> this fish sauce is made from fermented yellow tail. it's used as a dressing in this restaurant and customers love it. unlike ordinary fish sauce it has a light aroma so it doesn't overpower the taste of food. the company that produces the sauce has been making soy sauce for more than 180 years. the executive was concerned about poor sales caused by changes in eating habits. >> translator: people love yellow tail. we thought, why not make it into a sauce. >> the new product is made from parts of the fish that are normally thrown away. the amino acids they contain produce a rich taste when fermented. >> translator: it's better to use these things rather than throw them away.
>> 40% of a yellow tail's weight consists of fat. that makes the fish's flesh delicious but it also makes the insides kind of smelly. the fish parts are spun in a centrifuge to remove excess oil. he has taken his search for customers nationwide. this food fair features specialties from across japan. >> translator: this is japan's first fish sauce made from yellow tail. >> his steamed rice recipe was one of several he had to share. >> translator: the fish is really delicious, the sauce looks like a special treat. >> translator: i want to try it in steamed rice or simmered vegetables. >> he also visited a store selling regional food products in a popular tokyo tourist destination. >> translator: i think customers
might find such a unique sauce appealing. >> translator: we'll make the most of the yellow tail's excellent reputation. we want lots of people to try this one of a kind fish sauce. >> he has shown that with a little imagination, and the right equipment, something tasty can be made from even the humblest of ingredients. >> asian marks are trading lower this morning. i'll leave you with a check on that.
now, japan's imperial couple have met people contributing to ties with vietnam, where they're on their first visit. one of them was a man born as a conjoined twin and operated on by japanese doctors. he and his wife were among the people who met the emperor and empress. the fusion of bodies is believed to have been used by a toxic chemical used by the american military during the vietnam war. the twins were separated by a team of vietnamese and japanese doctors three years ago. viet died in 2007. duc has been working at the hospital where the certainly took place. the emperor expressed his condolences, but said he's glad to see duc healthy. duc showed the emperor a
photograph of his twin children. the imperial couple also talked with a japanese celebrity who's been doing charity work in vietnam for many years. >> translator: i believe the meeting will boost bilateral ties in political, economic, and cultural fields. >> he introduced visually impaired children to the couple and said he and a japanese music producer have been helping them. earlier, the couple met with veterans. after japan occupied the country, the soldiers stayed and helped fight the french. the imperial couple met the families after their hardships. the emperor and empress expressed their sympathy. >> translator: i'm deeply moved. it was a great pleasure to see their majesties.
i'm also extremely grateful that their majesties, despite their advanced age, have come all the way to vietnam to see the family members of former japanese soldiers. >> during the cold war, the family members also suffered discrimination as anti-japanese sentiment spread in the country. japan's board of audit is investigating the controversial sale of state owned land for far below market value. it was sold to a school operator that wants to build an elementary school there that would teach a curriculum seen as supportive of the prime minister's policies. that's put shinzo abe and some of his lawmakers in the spotlight. >> translator: the board has already started collecting information. we will investigate this case from various perspectives. >> he also says they'll investigate whether the government has retained documents. the finance ministry was in
charge of the sale. >> translator: it's possible some politicians asked about the osaka sale, but we don't have the records of the inquiries regarding the case. >> earlier this week a document was revealed showing the operator's president met a veteran lawmakers from the ruling party and sought a discount. that lawmakers admits he did meet the school president and his wife but says he refused an envelope that appeared to have money inside. the land was sold at 14% of its appraised value. the government says that was to account for the cost of cleaning up contamination. abe's wife was honorary principal but stepped down after reports emerged about the deal. let's shift gears and take a a husband detain -- of the woman detained in china is speaking
out. chinese security authorities detained sandy phan-gillis in march 2015 while she was in china. china alleges she spied for the fbi. her husband spoke at a c congressional hearing and proclaims his wife's innocence. >> sandy is not some secret agent for the fbi. she's a wife, mother and businesswoman. >> jeff said for the past two years his wife has not been given any trial and only been allowed limited meetings with u.s. diplomats. he added she was hospitalized after being subjected to horrific treatment including torture and relentless questioning. >> how would you feel if your wife was treated in this way? or your child was treated in this way? >> earlier this week, trump and u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson met chinese state counselor, affirming the importance of bilateral ties. he oversees china's foreign
policy. attention is focused on how tough the united states's stance on human rights issues will be. about 300 people took part in an international conference on space in tokyo on thursday. attend attendees includes officials from the united states and european countries. peter martinez who is in charge of the issue said private firms around the world are expected to launch more satellites. he stressed the need to develop technology to prevent defunct satellites from becoming waste. an official from japan's foreign ministry said each country tackling the issue on its own won't work. he said multi-national
coordination is indispensablind. there's concern it won't be safe. march 11 marked six years since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern japan. today we start our series about challenges that people in fukushima are confronting. the japanese government is lifting evacuation orders for some municipalities this month,
while the decontamination work for these places is finished, radiation fears persist. former residents are being left with a difficult choice, try to move back home, or stay away. nhk has the story of one couple's decision. >> reporter: this may be a house, but it's no longer a home since the terrible disaster six years ago. >> translator: when my grandson used to come here, we would play together in a small kids pool and then have a barbecue. >> reporter: this man and his wife look at the emptiness of what was one filled with family in happiness. their town is namie, about ten kilometers from the daichii plant. they grew up here, raised their family, and became grandparents here. on march 11, 2011, the
earthquake and the tsunami crippled the power plant. they didn't know just how bad things were at the time. they fled right away. >> translator: my family was separated when evacuating. >> reporter: because of radiation, namie was declared a restricted radioactive zone, meaning they could visit, but they weren't allowed to live there. they spent the first four months in temporary housing, then had to move again to more prominent -- permanent housing about 70 kilometers away from their house. this woman took up arts and crafts with others from her hometown.
>> translator: i'm more positive now, but still can't sleep at night. so i do craft work to kill time. >> reporter: since then, the family has been driving every month to check on their house. at the end of this month, authorities will finally lift the restriction, but they say only about 4% of the city's residents are returning. the reason, radiation fears coupled with a lack of facilities and medical services. >> translator: we want to build a home in namie, if possible. but our children say namie is an inconvenient place to live. we don't see the point of living in a house where our children or grandchildren can't visit. >> reporter: last month, the family came to visit their family's graveyard near their
home. they offered a prayer for the wife's mother who died 20 years ago. >> translator: what heavy snow. my mother must be angry because we've left her alone. >> reporter: they don't want to be far from namie, but at the same time, they want to be in a place that's safe for their grandchildren. and so they tell her mom the news. >> translator: we will build a house in the town of yabuki this year which is far from here, but we'll keep this grave. >> reporter: before they leave to start a new chapter in their life, they have one last message. >> translator: we will join you soon. just wait a little longer. >> reporter: nhk world, fukushima.
people in tokyo are seeing sunny blue skies, let's check in with meteorologist robert speta. >> clear conditions dominating much of the pacific coastline of japan today. you can see on our satellite picture, that low brought the rain on thursday, that is now moving back towards the east. still bringing some precipitation out there across pards parts of okaido. something to keep in mind. into hokkaido we saw a 70 miles an hour gust out there. all these are creating sthoefl if you're talking about the sea japan post this day.
low visibility across some of these areas. as we go into saturday and sunday the snow will taper off a little bit as high pressure starts to work its way in for the west. for example, in sapporo, high of 2 there. another low works its way this by monday. same expecting some additional rainfall. rain throughout the weekend in the lower elevations. mountain top should see snow. how about tokyo, pretty decent weekend setting up here. high of 15 on friday. getting up to 15 and then 16 by monday. very spring like. that makes us ask that question at this time of year. a lot of people really like to pay attention to this map across much of japan. march 25th is the expected full bloom of the cherry blossom in tokyo something to look forward
to. i want to mention be a little patient. you still have another two months before they start to bloom up there. high pressure is dom flating back toward the west. keep things dry but cool if you're in eastern areas of china. shanghai just a high of 13. seoul at 9. beijing getting up to 13 as well with sunny conditions for you. let's take a look at cross the americas. we have several areas we're watching today but the big one over the past week it seems like has been this front. you can see on the satellite picture making its way out of the the gulf stream. still has a few lingering showers across parts of florida but overall high pressure setting in. that one produced several deadly tornadoes back in illinois even over towards missouri. widespread wind reports for that. we are continuing to see high winds into parts of new england extending back towards new finland as well.
gusts as high as 100 kilometers per hour. watch that one move away. high pressure comes in and keeps things dry. fire weather will be a danger in parts of sx even texas even ext back to oklahoma. that in british columbia down to washington and seattle been looking at a heavy rain this past winter across the area. that means even more additional rain is in your forecast. vancouver as well. you'll be looking at scattered showers, something to keep in mind. east of the rockies things are staying dry. all right. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook.
officials in tokyo will recommend ten japanese festivals to be added to the heritage cultural list. if they are officially recognized it could help local communities preserve tradition. they are held in different parts of japan feature people wearing masks and costumes and folklore gods as part of seasonal celebrations. one of the best known is the festival in the northern prefecture. on new year's eve scary devils go house to house to drive away back lud. that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. of "nativ,
we spend an evening with seven time native american music award winner keith scola. we meet minnesota state supreme court associate judge anne mckeig. and we follow up on a story from season 5 about men's health with dr. arnie vainio. we also learn what we can do to lead healthier lives, and hear from our elders on this edition of "native report". [music playing] production of "native report" is made possible by a grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community, the blandin foundation, and the duluth superior area community foundation.