here in japan it's a wednesday night. i'm james tengan. welcome to nhk "newsline". president obama is still considering a visit to hiroshima during his trip to japan for the may g7 summit. a white house spokesman says the u.s. leader is pursuing a vision of a world without nuclear weapons. >> obviously, probably symbolically, there's no more powerful illustration of that
commitment than the city that contained the victims of the first use of that weapon. >> the spokesman says the question about whether to visit hiroshima comes when the president comes to japan. they are considering the option following john kerry's this week. kerry became the first sitting cabinet member to visit the peace memorial. >> japan, which is very moving, very long overdue in many respects. but quit impressive. and if any of you have a chance, you should go see that particular memorial. >> kerry spoke about his trip during a speech in california. a close aide to vladimir putin is also contemplating a visit to hiroshima. a source says russia's lower
house speaker, sergei naryshkin, plans to visit tokyo in june for a cultural event and is considering going to hiroshima to pay respects to the victims of the atomic bombing. russia apparently wants to demonstrate it recognizes the devastation caused by the bombing. it may also be aiming to stop america's initiative in talks concerning nuclear-related issues. russia has been strengthening its criticism of the atomic bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. when the u.s. dropped an atomic bomb in hiroshima in 1945 it killed tens of thousands of people including a group of american p.o.w.s. few people knew about the death of the u.s. servicemen but one
survivor is trying to change that. he's the focus of a documentary telling the lesser known stories of world war ii. >> reporter: a moment that was years in the making. meeting with the families of p.o.w.s who died when the u.s. bombed hiroshima. it's a scene from the do you meanary "paper lanterns." he was only 8 at the time of the bombing but devoted much of his adult life piecing together what happened to 12 american p.o.w.s. the document year's director said when he learned what was being done he had to know why. >> why would you help these people, because they are the one that dropped the bomb on the city. even though they didn't but they were part of the country that did. and your gut reaction is no i wouldn't help them. that's why i think the story is so important. >> reporter: the film shows mori
digging through documents and sending countless letters to the u.s. to track down families of the p.o.w.s. when he first learned about them in the '70s he was shocked they were not recognized as victims and he. ed to speak for them and tell their families about their deaths. >> translator: when i finally got in touch with some of the family members, i remember that three of the letters i received from them were smeared with tears. i realized what a difficult time they had been going through. >> reporter: about 200 people attend ad screening in tokyo on tuesday. >> it's very heavy feeling after the movie, a very important topic. >> translator: i was surprised at how he worked so hard, sacrificing himself. he has such a selfless heart to do that. >> reporter: for mori seeing his efforts on screen was emotional.
>> i struggled through a difficult period while doing extensive research. the movie moved me to tears as it brought back those memories, i would like to think that the work i did has historical significance. >> i think with this story, at least what we try to tell, is the importance of compassion and humanity and 70 years later looking back and understanding what happened and not forgetting it so that it doesn't happen again. >> reporter: the documentary is scheduled to also be shown in the united states. he hopes people in his country will watch it and think about the tragedy that nuclear weapons can cause. the they'd of the organization for economic cooperation and develop says japan should raise its
consumption tax. gene otani that's the tails along with today's other top business news. oecd chief met with prime minister shinzo abe and discussed the economies of japan and the world. korea said tokyo should stick to its plan of raising the consumption tax next april from the current 8% 106. officials should continue with further hikes in ways that don't shock the economy. >> 10% is not enough. but we should be going at least until 15%. but my way of doing it would be 1% per year. 1% per year. >> chief economist of the asian development bank touched on china. he said he sees no signs of a drastic slow down, but that beijing needed to create a consumption-oriented economy.
firms at the bank of japan have released a producer price index. they say prices of goods trade among companies fell in march for the 12th straight month. the figure was down 3.8% from the same month last year as we see here. china's slower economy pushed down the price of steel, lower crude oil prices were another factor. petroleum and coal products plunged 25%. scrap and waste were down by 22 and nonferrous metals dropped 12%. investors in tokyo sent the nikkei average above the 1616,0 mark for the first time in seven sessions. we go to the tokyo stock exchange for more. >> the market in tokyo was supported by a weaker yen and oil prices ticked higher overnight improving the appetite for risk. the nikkei average gained 2.8% to close at 16,381.
that's the best finish in about two weeks. broader top picks was up 2.5%. u.u.s. benchmark wti crude futus rose overnight to the highestst level this year. shares of oil and gas developer rose moree than 3%. all sectors were higher but a couple of companies outperformed the market including murata manufacturing and alps electric. and fast retailing jumped 6.6% on a report that the operator of the brand will slash price andn reinststate a simpler pricing scheme. shinsei bank will offer smartphone based payment for duty free shoppers. investors will turn their attention to china's gdp figures which come out on friday.
thanks very much for that report. other markets in the asia-pacific region rallied on better than expected trade data. shanghai composite climbed 1.4% closing at 3066. some investors saw the trade figures as a sign the country's economy is back on track. hong kong's hang seng index gaining by 3.1%, 21,158 is the closing number. that's the biggest one day rally in nearly two months. sentiment got a boost after the imf raised its 2016 growth forecast for china. let's look at the other markets. singapore jumping by 1.4% as we see. sidney also up by 1.6%. higher commodity prices drove the index to finish above 5,000 mark for the first time in two weeks. a new service in japan let's
tourists take advantage of detaileded travel information using their smartphones. about 20 firms including a restaurant guide and railway operatators teamed up p on the projecect. it uses the gdp tracking and smartphones or tablets so travellelers can get locatition specifific guides around totoky. they can also find information on shops and events nearby. the service currently supports seven languages. >> easy to read. japanese, chinese and english version. >> it will be a very nice solution to visit the city. >> the government has seat target of 40 million visitors in 20, double the current goal. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following. china's customs officials say the overall value of imports and exports have increased from
the same month last year. exports were up more than 11%. first rise in nine months. imports fell 7.6%. 17th consecutive drop. both figures beat market forecasts. three leading convenience store chains in japan have reported a jump in operating profits. their all time highs for the year through february, seven 11 japan said it saw almost a 10% increase. lawson was up by 3% and family matter's gain was more than 20%. expansion ofof outlets and bris sales k keep actors behind the strong results. major japanese retailer aeon longed a profit. the executives say the group's operating profit grew more than 25% but the net profit fell more than 85% due to sluggish sales at general supermarkets. japanese potters have gone
to to milan, italy to unveil a new set of products. the aim is to attract european customers. sales have been falling. about 300 cups and dishes were created in collaboration with 16 johnson designers. leaders of the group of seven nations will be gatheriri in may for a summit in central japan. the people of miya prefecture see themselves as a chance to put themselves on the tourist map. >> reporter: operators have set up a special service in honor of the event. >> translator: here's the latest on the summit. >> reporter: these enthusiasts have acquired a special sign, smt is the abbreviation for
summit. they advertise the code sign of websites for ham radio users. everyone makingg a contact receives a card commemorating the big event. >> translator: we are introducing people to the g7 summit but also we're acting as tour guides. we're telling everyone, come to mie. >> reporter: on this day they responded to 150 calls. they are planning to operate the service until the summit opens in may. >> translator: the responses have been amazing. so many people are eager to talk with us. we would like to be as much help as possible in bringing more visitors to mie. >> reporter: not far away, an
auto dealership is also gathering up for world leaders. it's setting a camper with specially customized interior. the furniture is made of locally grown japanese cypress. adding to the mie scene are traditional paper stencils. the custom finish has bumped up the price but they wanted to create a rovining ambassador an it doesn't pay to cut corners. >> translator: we want people to know more about mie's tradition and culture. we'll keep trying to promote this prefecture to the world. >> reporter: mie prefecture was the first place i in the world produce cultured pearls for jewelry. some visitors might be surprised where they show up.
these are drain covers and with pearl oyster shells and pearls. they are the company that makes metal riggings. and this is how they did it. they molded the pearls in reis in -- resin casings before fitting ththem inn their produc. some are now showing up at a golf course very close to the summit. >> translator: the most difficult part was to give our products warmth. we want to help support the pearl industry by giving people a chance to see why pearls are so appealing. >> reporter: excitement is building in mie. residents hope their promotion campaigns start a movement that lasts well beyond the g7 summit.
earlier when i was reading ththe markets i said singapore markets, rather it's shanghai markets at the specific pry that i mentioned. thanks very much for joining me in biz. i'll leave you with the markets. nhk "newsline" comes to you live from tokyo. south koreans went to the polls to cast their ballots. according to exit polls president park geun-hye's ruling party is likely to lose its majority.
public broadcaster kbs says the ruling party will take 121 t to 143 seatss out o of 300. itayshe main opposition party is expected to take 1011 o 123 seats. the third largest people agencies party is expected to nearly double interests seats. once again south koreans went to the polls today to cast their ballots in a parliamentary election. according to exit polls president park geun-hye's ruling party is likely to lose its majority. public broadcaster kbs says ruling party will take 122 to 123 seats out of 300. the main opposition party is expected to take 101 to 123 seats. the third largest people's party is expected to nearly double its seats. the united nations children's agency says nigeria based boko haram is using
children in suicide bombs. unicef said the number of children involved in attacks in nigeria and neighboring countries increased from four in 2014 to 44 the following year. unicef officials say children might not know they are carrying explosives which are often detonated by remote control. nearly twowo years ago boko hah abducted 200 female students frfrom a school in eastern nigeria. the group threatened to sell them as slaves. the girls whereabouts are still unknown. unicef is calling on the international community to step up efforts to support children affected by extremist violence. two maritime self-defense destroyers have arrived in vietnam as part of a training course for high ranking self-defense officers. it comes as china expands its activity in the disputed south
china sea. >> translator: we want to strengthen relations while understanding the present situation in vietnam. >> this is the first visit by japanese destroyers to the bay in southern vietnam. it's their most important base and visits by foreign military vessels have been strictly limited. in 2014 a confrontation between vietnam and china broke out over installation of an oil rig near the paracel islands. vietnam claims them as their own. two ships collided escalating the situation. todaday vietnam is becoming increasingly frustrated as china continues to build up reeves and islands while adding slight and radarr installalation. vietnam is thought to be putting pressure on china by bolstering defense capability in cooperation with japan.
>> translator: there is no room for criticizing any bilateral cooperatation if it's normal bu china will oppose any cooperation if it confronts a third country, china inn particular. the japanese government stresses the freedom of navigation in the sea. >> translator: the government wants to strengthen relations with relevant countries around the soututh china sea. anand make efforts for peace an stability in the region. >> earlilier this momonth, the destroyers and t the submamarind navigation training in the philippines, a country that also has competing territorial claims with china in the sea. we spoke to an expert on security issues in the asia pacific. he is a former self-defense force officer and an ananalyst with the tokyo foundation. >> this time, the portrt call i of important meaning, because
japan visits vietnam, which has a dispute between china. and the bay is an important naval base for vietnam. japan also sent susubmarines to the bay in the philippines. the philippines alsoso has a teterritorial dispute withth ch. so these port of calls have meaning of the pressuring china. china tried to make south china sea to be chinese territorial waters, but china a does not us ththe territororial water. if china used the water, it defined the 12 nautical miles fromom its territory, , but chi wants to control all of the water in the south china sea, so
china is proceeding building artificial islands and also the military facilities on the islands. every country has to solve the problem by discussion, not by violence. japan has to show intentions, international society cannot accept those kind of ideas with other countries. >> that was boji ohara with the tokyo foundation. police have arrested a man in connection with a finer one of tokyo's most popular drinking districts. the suspect admitted to entering the building where the blazeze started. the fire broke out on tuesday in an area called golden guide. it spread to two neighboboring buildings. one woman suffered minor smoke inhalation. on wednesday police arrested a 66-year-old man on suspicion of
breaking into the buildlding minunutes before the fire start. security camera footage showed a man resembling the suspect entering the building and leaving minutes later. investigators say the suspect seemed drunk when they questioned him hours after the fire. the golden guide district consists of 300 tiny bars crammed into a few short alley ways. it's a popular destination for foreign tourists. drought stricken california has been pelted with torrential rain. jonathan oh is here to show us an unusual phone none. >> hello. we have been monitoring the rainfall in california for quite some time. but what is taking place is when you have so much rainfall, the infrastructure s starts to have some issues, especially underground. that is leading to a large sinkhole in california. let me show you the video. this is very, very impressive to look at and of course very dangerous if you're near by.
the sinkhole is in the middle of a street in california. the hole opened up monday with a depth up to six meters. the depression was already blocked off by police when it started to collapse into an underground sewage line. still not sure what the cause of the hole is, but it could be blamed on the recent rainfall. there were days when we constantly talking about rain into southern california and central california. look at this u.s. drought map. as of april 5, there is still a large portion of california under an exceptional drought category. it's still not enough rainfall to clear out the drought situation. it has been that dry. as we go forward in time, it is going to stay relatively dry, as we are looking at just some rain coming into the e northern portions of california. into the pacific northwest.
every where else looking relatively dry for points like los angeles and points southward. eventually, we'll get some of that moisture to move southward from the low. still looking at a relativively dry y pattern for the next day so. now as you go to the eastern side of the united states, we're talking abouout some very powewl stormsms. in texas, we had grapefruit-sized hail on tuesday. along with winds of up to 112 kilometers per hour. and more clouds developing over eastern portions of texas. we may be still seeing some strong thunderstorms developing. as this system moves toward the east, we a l looki a at heavy rarainfall.. some areas could see u up to 10 millimeters of precipitation as we go throughout the day wednesday. so be on the lookout for the possibility of flash flooding. rain extending from oklahoma city down to houston, also into atlanta. sunny skies from new york to d.c. but with the cold air moving into the northern portions of the united states, we're looking at temperatures slightly below
average as we go through the next few days. now, as we look at the forecast for east asia, we have a stationary front and a low pressure system moving into japan. because of that, areas in the southwestern portion of japan have seen some very heavy rainfall and strong thunderstorms. that precipitation is expected to spread across the rest of japan as we go throughout the day thursday. in fact, wednesday night into thursday is e e key timeme fram for a lot of that precipitation taking place. back down toward the southeastern portions of china where the stationary front is still making its way, we're looking at the possibility of more heavy rainfall. this is the rainy season for those living there. and so flooding is a bit of a concern. you may be wanting to keep an eye on that. rain through kyoto as we go through thursday. seoul and beijing looking at sunny skies. look at these temperatures, looking at highs in the 20s for friday. so we're seeing temperatures above average as we go into the weekend. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
>> things for joining us. it is 1:00 p.m. in paris. you are watching "france 24 come live from paris. our headlines this wednesday. a new round of peace talks on syria is starting in geneva to try to end five years of fighting. the syrian government is holding parliamentary elections, a vote not recognized by the u.s.