this edition of nhk "newsline." it is 10:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. our top story this hour. diplomats at a u.n.-sponsored disarmament conference banded together to condemn north korea for its latest ballistic missile test. but the representatives for pyongyang struck back saying ongoing u.s./south korea military exercises might turn into actual war. envoys from more than a dozen countries met tuesday in geneva. many of them had harsh words for north korea. >> these actions are clear provocations to the security of the region and the international community. and are totally unacceptable.
>> it is in violation of multiple u.n. security council resolutions and that the countries represented in this room are not going to stand by and just let the dprk violate international law. >> but the north korean envoy dug in his heels. >> the dprk is firm in its determination to firm up its defense capabilities with a nuclear deterrent to defend itself against nuclear war caused by the united states. >> pyongyang says monday's launch was conducted by a military unit training to strike american military bases in japan. four ballistic missiles fell into the sea off japan's northwest coast. three of them apparently landed in the country's exclusive economic zone. the launch came just days after
forces from south korea and the u.s. began joint drills. >> japan and the u.s. confirmed the threat has enter a new stage. >> japan, the united states and south korea have requested the u.n. security council hold an emergency meeting to urge members to enforce sanctions. washington is pulling its asian allies close over north korea's nuclear and missile threat. rex tillerson is about to embark on his first official trip to the region. he will visit japan, south korea and china from next week to discuss the issue. the state department's acting spokesperson says the new level of threat requires a new approach among allies.
>> secretary will meet with senior officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues to address the advancing nuclear and missile threat from north korea. >> tillerson is expected to discuss the trump's administration ongoing review of u.s. policy toward north korea. let's take a look at the latest in business news. japanese government officials have revised key data. they say the economy grew faster than initially thought. what's behind this revision? >> people at the cabinet office say investment was better than earlier estimate. they say the economy expanded 1.2% from october to december. that is annualized and in real terms. the preliminary reading was a 1% expansion. corporate investment was much stronger than expected. it went up from 0.9% to 2%.
private consumption makes up more than half of japan's gdp. it was revised up from a slight contraction to expansion. some investment came in weaker than initial. housing investment was revised slightly downward and public investment that was already down in the preliminary release fell deeper into the negative 2 minus 2.5%. government officials released some other data for january. japan's current stayed in the black. the finance ministry say the surplus came in about $575 million in january. it narrowed nearly 90% from a year ago in yen terms. the trade deficit was more than $7.5 billion. the value of imports increased 10% and exports rose nearly 3%.
earnings from overseas investment compensated for the trade figure. the primary income account stayed in the black with a surplus of more than $11 billion. the upward revision in japan's gdp growth has done little to lift the mood in the markets. tokyo stock prices opened lower. investors are cautious ahead of the u.s. federal reserve policy meeting next week when a decision to raise its key interest rate is widely expected. the nikkei is down. 19,259. most sectors are trading in the negative. pharmaceuticals, one of the worst performers today after president trump promised lower drug prices in the u.s. let's take a look at currencies. the dollar yen pair remains range bound now at 113.8. market players are waiting for
the u.s. jobs data which is due out friday before making any major moves. the euro is holding steady against the dollar. it slipped on a rise in the polls of the far right anti-eu. candidate in the upcoming french presidential elections. let's move onto markets open this hour in the asia pacific. we're seeing modest moves. seoul's kospi up slightly. australia is down. china markets will open in under half an hour. nhk has learned that on the part -- operators of the tokyo stock exchange had signed with s saudi. they want the firm to list its shares on their exchange. the oil firm is looking to offer
its stock abroad in addition the exchange in the saudi capit capital. the tse is an affiliate of the group. the japanese side is called to provide technical advice. exchanges in hong kong and singapore are vying for the opportunity filling competition among asian markets. some people may think of farming as man's job. but our next report is about a farm in japan where all the workers are women. >> reporter: this greenhouse belongs to an agriculture firm in oita prefecture in southwestern japan. it specializes in hydroponiccally grown leaf lettuce.
lettuce grown conventionally in soil is harvested twice a year, but in this farm computers monitor temperature and nutrient levels so the lettuce can be harvested every month. the firm began operating last july and now has 14 workers from their 20s to their 60s. six of them are raising children. the president is a single parent. she started the company after her child was born. she used to work for a company that sells cosmetics, but she thought it would be difficult to continue while raising her child and decided to quit. at around that time she learned about hydroponic farming. she saw a chance and convinced four other women to invest in her company. above all, she wanted to create a workplace where women could thrive. >> translator: we wanted to bring a breath of fresh air to agriculture and what better way
to do that than by starting a company of just women? >> reporter: the company named its lettuce vegetable mother to highlight that it's grown by women. hydroponic farming eliminates the need for weeding and the containers are raised, reducing the physical burden. the key to it are transplanting seedlings or packing. most of the workers are part time and they choose shut patterns ranging from three to eight hours. they try to accommodate the wishes with work hours. when this woman's child developed a fever, everyone stepped in to cover for her. >> translator: when one of us needs to skip work, everyone comes together to help. it's very helpful for us.
>> translator: we all know how tough it is for a mother to work while raising children, but we support each other to pull i think it's because this is an all-female workplace that it's possible. >> reporter: this approach to business appears to be bearing fruit. the company expects first year sales of around $440,000, allowing it to break even. a fresh take on farming that's expanding opportunities for women and helping them thrive. more for you in business next hour. here's a check on markets. on to other stories now. japan's government is to make the largest ever contribution to
a u.n. anti-crime body. officials want to step up anti-terrorism measures ahead of the tokyo 2020 olympics. the government will contribute $23 million to the u.n. office on drugs and crime known as u.n.ocd. this will be the largest contribution by any nation. the threat of terrorism in japan is becoming increasingly real. japan will work with other asian nations to identify terrorist suspects. specialist training in anti-terrorism methods will be provided. as the sixth year anniversary of the fukushima disaster approaches, a number of people who fled the area has decided not to go back.
the government conducts an annual survey of people evacuated after the disaster. the fiscal 2016 poll covered five municipalities. compared with the survey two years ago the number of people who say they don't want to return was up in all five towns. futaba is one of the towns the nuclear plant straddles. the number there rose to 7 percentage points to 62%. the survey found young people especially reluctant to return. more than 50% of those under 40 say they won't go back. some say they are worried about the quality of health care in their hometowns. some think their lives would be less convenient. some say they have already settled elsewhere. the government says it will try to encourage people to return by improving living conditions and creating jobs.
march 11th marks six years since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern japan. this week a series confronting challenges will look at the region and its people. today's focus is a little known story of a local factory which turned massive debris into something which can be used to rebuild a devastated city. nhk world reports from ofunato in iwate prefecture, one of the hardest-hit areas. >> reporter: six years after unprecedented devastation, the building continues. this is just a small part of the work. what makes this city stand out is that they turn tsunami debris into concrete. on march 11th, 2011, the city of ofunato was leveled. the tsunami engulfed thousands of homes and buildings.
the largest cement factory in the region was also destroyed. with the exception of this, one of the factories kilns. the giant tube is used for making see meant. the kiln had become a beacon of hope for the city. many of the factory's employees lost family members and homes in the disaster. but they came back to work at the plant. >> translator: as i recall, we assembled all our employees and declared to them, let's resurrect our factory together. >> reporter: the tsunami turned the city into 850,000 pounds of rubble. city officials wanted to recycle the debris by using it to make cement.
so they teamed up with waste treatment personnel and the factory workers, but that process was no easy task. every bit of debris had to be separated into three groups, wood, metal and other nonflamables. the workers were joined by their neighbors, people who also lost homes and loved ones. they separated debris by hand. >> translator: whether wood or a lump of concrete originally, it was our homes, our property. >> reporter: as if the sorting wasn't enough of a challenge, there was an even bigger problem. the debris was steeped in salt. >> you need to put rebar in cement, but if there's salt, it makes the iron corrode. so we needed to get rid of the salt in order to make cement. >> reporter: a firm in osaka volunteered its services.
first they tried a conveyor that showered the debris with water, but the process just took too long. they went through seven months of trial and error. then they came up with this machine. >> translator: imagine it's like using a washing machine put sideways. things inside have rotated in a centrifuge in water and it can even take salt out of wood fiber. >> reporter: each load took five minutes. with the machines they could clean 500 pounds per day. the day to restart the kiln finally arrived. >> translator: it was like a ritual to put a soul into the kiln.
it was a ceremony where everybody that was present was feeling something special. >> reporter: a city lost became a city reborn. >> translator: i think everyone participated in the process because they wanted to rebuild their own city as soon as possible. >> reporter: last year another powerful earthquake struck southern japan. this factory is now using debris from that disaster to once again help people rebuild their lives. reporting for nhk world from ofunato. japanese researchers are trying to help boost the number
of one of the world's most threatened animals. only about 2,000 giant pandas are left. one zoo in japan is having progress with its breeding program producing 15 cubs. >> reporter: adventure world is a success story. the zoo has been breeding giant pandas. last september, the condition of a pregnant panda was changing. zoo keepers watched around the clock. tomoko endo manages the team. this is her first chance to take the lead on a delivery. >> translator: are you okay? >> reporter: the voice suggests the baby is coming soon. the keepers spring into action. a delivery can be risky.
a newborn only weighs about 200 grams. the staff gets ready to respond to any situation. at midnight, she changes her posture and begins to push. it's a girl. 197 grams. >> i'm happy and relieved at the same time. it was an emotional experience. >> reporter: newborns are raised by what is called the method named after the town where the zoo is located. in china, keepers used to separate a cub from its mother as early as possible. that allows the mother to get ready for another mating
opportunity. these days it's changes. the zoo believes pandas that grow up with love from their mothers become better parents themselves. it has mother and child spend as much time together as possible. the mother receives support too. tomoko wants to make sure the first breast-feeding will go smoothly. >> it's best for the mother to feed the baby herself. >> reporter: at daybreak she rises to the occasion. deepening the bond between parent and child. they have stayed close day and night. >> i want to help mother pandas and their cubs spend a lot of
time together. >> reporter: last november an international meeting took place in china. endo attended. only ten or so countries have programs to take care of pandas in captivity. she introduces the technology used to support the birth of pandas. the group like what it heard. >> great. very helpful and information we can use when we're taking care of our panda. >> great to see how the mother panda takes good care of the babies. >> reporter: after the conference the japanese zoo keeper visited a breeding fa sti -- facility. they met her there. she came to china four years
ago. the baby is a girl too. the method has had an effect in the home country of pandas. >> our efforts have been successful. i'm very happy. >> each panda is different. by respecting their differences i hope to deepen my relationship with each and every one of them. >> reporter: a new life has been welcomed. a place where affection for pandas helps ensure their existence. nhk world. >> we now go to world weather with our meteorologist robert speta. let's start off talking about what's been going own here across the u.s. over the past 48 hours. severe weather system that blew up there across the central
plains and tracked off towards the east across parts of missouri into illinois and iowa. that brought widespread reports of severe weather and damaged hundreds of homes. over 35 reports of tornadoes. good news no deaths in this specific storm but there were several injuries out of it. this is still cruising offer towards the east. we are continuing to see the severe weather threat up and down the eastern seaboards. i want to take your attention over towards ontario because you have very gusty winds out here. even winds over towards michigan expected to be 100 kilometers per hour as this pushes overhead and off towards the east. reducing visibility very likely because of blowing snow. behind this front temperatures are going to be dropping down quite exceptionally into ottawa, a high of three there. minus 9 on saturday. do remember that's the high. the low right around minus 23 there for you.
washington, d.c. as well, 20 and spring like. even some of the blossoms starting to bloom around the city. los angeles with a high of 27. i want to take your attention to europe. a cut off low is bringing some rough conditions. in fact, we're looking at winds up toward of 100 to 130 kilometers. this low be continue to spin off slowly toward the east. things remain dry. we still have northwesterly winds dominating. this is on top of what's already been happening. the past 48 hours about 40 to 50
centimeters out there for some of you. with the northwesterly winds in place, still an additional 50 to 60 centimeters is expected to come in from the northwest. really picking up that moisture across the sea of japan. if we pull back the picture, i want to know it's staying chilly back towards the north. that doesn't stop some people from getting outside. show you video we have coming out of lake hull area. this is marathon that was being held there in the middle of the siberian winter. one of the deepest lakes in the world. i'm sure that was day to remember for all these people out there in that very cold weather. all right. on that note i'll leave you here with the three-day outlook.
thi few days ago. i'm currently with my mother and my sister and we're very grateful to -- and gets there. >> he doesn't identify his whereabouts. if the man is confirmed to be kim sol, it will be the first time a family member of kim jong-nam acknowledged his death. the elder half brother of kim jong-un was killed last month in malaysia. that wraps up this edition of nhk "newsline." thanks very much for joining us.
♪ >> greetings, friends. it is a pleasure to join you. welcome to this edition of "euromaxx highlights." we begin the show with a quick glance at some of today's topics. robotic -- an exhibition featuring the history of humanoid robots. gigantic -- a designer who makes huge models of insects. pragmatic -- a hand-made house that blends in to its surroundings. very sophisticated robotics technology exists today and it continues to advance exponentially. if you're a science fiction fan, you could even say that we are pretty much living in "the future." but t