here in japan it's 7:00 p.m. on a friday. i'm james tengan in tokyo welcome to nhk "newsline." here are some of the stories we're following this hour. questioning tokyo's olympic bid. french prosecutors investigate allegations of large payments from japan to a firm linked to the family of a disgraced olympic official. and canceled plans. as the kyushu region looks to
rebuild the tourism center is trying to convince visitors to return. french prosecutors say more than $2 million in payments may have been connected to tokyo's bid to host the 2020 olympics and paralympics. the prosecutors claim payments from transferred to a singaporean firm around the time of international olympic committee chose tokyo. they're investigating the flow of money. the firm is believed to be linked to the son of an i.o.c. member when tokyo won the bid. diac is under investigation for corruption during a doping scandal during his tenure as the head of the world governing body for track and field. the olympic organizationing committee denied involvement in the alleged payments. it says they believe tokyo was selected because they selected the best bid.
japanese officials say they'll look into the allegations. >> translator: we will work with relevant government agencies to find out what really happened and will confirm the facts with the tokyo metropolitan government and the japanese olympic committee. >> tokyo was known for having the most honest process of all the candidate cities, which made me confident. i don't think we were involved in the alleged payments. >> he says both the tokyo government and j.o.c. have denied similar allegations in the past. turning to the rio olympics, health officials are advising athletes and other visitors to protect themselves against mosquito bites. they say an outbreak of the zika virus continues to spread in brazil. officials with the world health organization are urging people to avoid impoverished and overcrowded areas. they say places with no piped water and poor sanitation are breeding grounds for mosquitos. they're advising people to wear
light-colored clothing that covers as much skin as possible. and they're urging visitors to practice safe sex or to abstain altogether. including at least four weeks after they go home. the who says the games will happen during brazil's winter when there are fewer mosquitos but it advises pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas affected by zika, including rio de janeiro. the virus has been linked to birth defects. one of the u.s. president's closest aides met with veterans to discuss barack obama's historic trip to hiroshima. the meeting was to address their concerns that the visit signals an apology for the 1945 atomic bombing. white house officials say national security adviser susan rice spoke to the veterans thursday. she told them obama's visit is to honor the memory of everyone who died in world war ii, and she referred to strengthened security and economic ties between japan and the u.s.
obama will be in japan later this month for the group of 7 summit. he is not expected to give a major speech during his may 27th visit to hiroshima. hiroshima's mayor says he wants obama to meet with atomic bomb survivors in the city. >> translator: i will ask the japanese foreign ministry to arrange an opportunity for president obama to meet survivors so the president can show he is acknowledged their wishes. >> matsui reflected back to obama's 2009 speech in prague. he said he wants the president to reassure people that he is still working toward that vision of a world without nuclear arms. saturday will be one month since the first powerful earthquake hit southwestern japan.
seismic activity continues in kumamoto prefecture. dozens of tremors are still hitting the region every day. 49 people died in two powerful quakes last month. and search efforts continue for a university student still missing. it's believed he is buried underneath a landslide. authorities say around 10,000 people have been taking refuge. the disaster devastated many of their homes. the death toll rose by 19 after people evacuated. officials believe stress and other health issues may have been causes. government officials are now focusing on rebuilding the region. cabinet ministers approved a budget of more than $7 billion, but it still needs to be passed in the diet. the money is ear-marked for the construction of temporary housing and basic infrastructure as well as assisting local businesses. one of kumamoto's key industries, tourism, is struggling to entice visitors to return. many tourists have canceled
trips to the region following the quakes. noriko nakamura has more. >> reporter: in a normal here it hosts around 500,000 travelers, but this is no normal year. one month ago the kumamoto earthquake struck the region. the focus for residents is trying to rebuild so they can get back to some sense of a routine. for the tourism industry it seems a long way off. many hotels and inns remain closed, unable to open because of damage and continued aftershocks. for the few that manage to be open, it hasn't been easy. this hotel escaped major damage but it has no guests. >> translator: our rooms were almost fully booked for the golden week spring holidays but all the guests canceled their
reservations after the quakes began. i feel really anxious. if visitors don't return, it means we'll have to give up our business. >> reporter: in neighboring oy eachy, a similar story. tourism is the prefecture's main industry. people come to be immersed in nature and for the hot spring resort. but during japan's spring holiday week there was a 45% drop in visitors from last year. an association that promotes tourism in kyushu said more than 700,000 reservations were canceled at hotels and inns as of last sunday. the association estimates it means a loss of nearly $130 million. the group tried to spark interest with travel agencies at an event in tokyo. the hope washat the agencies will oe again recommend kyushu
to their clients. >> translator: the situation is very serious as kumamoto, which is one of the pillars of kyushu's tourism industry, has suffered damage. i really hope the affected areas will be reconstructed quickly and further boost the economy for the entire kyushu region. >> reporter: getting life back to normal in the kyushu region will take more than rebuilding infrastructure. its key industries also need to be up and running. for tourism, that means convincing visitors it is safe to come back and experience the charms of the region. noriko nakamura, nhk world, tokyo. tokyo governor yoichi masuzoe has addressed allegations that he used an official expense account for personal uses. he says he will cover some of the costs himself. a weekly magazine aeged that he covered expenses for family
vacations with funds ear-marked for political activities. an expense report shows that his now-defunct political organization spent around $3400 for two meetings at a hotel outside tokyo. the meetings were in january 2013 and january 2014, before he took office as governor. he says the expenses were for meetings held in hotel rooms with his aides. >> translator: i used rooms where my family was staying for meetings, which caused a misunderstanding. i am ashamed of that. >> he says the meetings were to plan strategies for the gubernatorial election and other matters. the expense report includes ten payments to restaurants. masuzoe says five of them were mistakenly listed as related to his political activities. he says he will remove those five payments from the report and cover the costs himself.
many japanese companies have released their earnings reports for the last fiscal year which ended in march. gene otani from our business desk joins us with more on that and other headlines. data compiled by major brokerage firms shows profits of companies listed on the tokyo stock exchange more or less levelled off in the year through this march. pretax profits of about 1,000 listed companies decreased 0.2% to about $280 billion from the previous business year. that's as the stronger yen dented profits of major exporters in the january to march period. the steel industry suffered. 47% decline in profits affected by the slowdown of the chaepz economy and other emerging markets. sea transportation reported a decline of 44.8% decrease. wholesalers including trading firms saw a 44.3% decline due to stagnant crude oil prices. in contrast, air transportation
profits rose by 39% due to the drop in fuel costs. textiles also did well. it went up by 19.8% due to the lower cost of raw materials as well. retailers' profits rose 28% backed by active spending by foreign travelers. some analysts say many companies are likely to be affected by moves on the currency markets in the current fiscal year. let's look at the earnings of some japanese companies. honda motors profit was heavily dragged down by the recall involving the takata air bags, the net profit fell about 32% from the previous year to about $3.1 billion. honda officials say the stronger yen also drove down their profit. net profit of electronics maker hitachi fell by more than 20% to a $1.5 billion in the last fiscal year. company officials say sales of
construction machinery declined in china due to sluggish demand for real estate. lower interest rates affecting the earnings of japan's post holdings. the performance of the group's banking firm deteriorated after japan introduced the negative interest rate policy. the net profit shrank nearly 20% from a year ago, the first annual earnings report since the company went public. officials from japan's transport ministry inspected the head office of mitsubishi motors in tokyo. the investigation is in connection with the recent revelation that the company rigged data on fuel consumption. the ministry officials are looking into how the auto maker manipulated fuel efficiency data for tests of four mini car models. the scandal involved a total of 625,000 vehicles. mitsubishi was told to submit the results of an in-house probe by may 11 but the ministry
concluded that the report was insufficient. internal investigation found that a manager instructed an employee to fabricate data. the probe also found that some mitsubishi officials had repeatedly stated at meetings that they were determined to achieve their goal as other automakers were working on improving their fuel economy. the officials said they wanted mitsubishi to be the number one automaker. checking on the markets. shares in tokyo ended lower. investors booked profits after four days of gains. checking the market. shares in tokyo ended lower. investors booked profits after four days of gains. for details we go to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. >> with oil and crude oil prices falling, investors took a little bit of money off the table so to speak. the profit taking after the nikkei gained 540 points in the last four days. let's see now the nikkei and the topix closed off this friday, may 13th. the nikkei fell 1.4% closing at
16,412. the topix fell 1.3%. both opened in the positive but the dollar had been higher but soon came in for a bit of profit-taking. let's look at some of the main movers. pioneer, which was one of the biggest losers, tumbling 12%. that's on weak earnings reports for fiscal 2015, sales were down more than 10% on weak demand for car audio systems in emerging economies. net income also fell by 95%. now, as we have been covering all week on nhk "newsline," a lot of focus on nissan as well as mitsubishi motors. nissan rose 4%, not only because it took a 34% stake in mitsubishi motors but also it posted strong earnings and raised its dividend payout as a result. mitsubishi motors fell 1.7%, but only after it had been flooded with buy orders on thursday, so it wasn't too surprising that it
came in for a bit of profit-taking. so looking at the week on the whole, the nikkei ended up 1.9%, thanks to strong gains earlier in the week. i am ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. moving on to other markets in the asia-pacific region. let's look at shanghai. the shanghai composite down by .3%. 2,827. the index posted a fourth straight week of declines, the longest fall in two years, concerns about china's economy persist. malaysia's main index dropping by 1.3%, 1628 the closing number, lowest in three months. country's economy in the first quarter grew at the slowest pace since 2009, exports were weak. seoul's kospi down by .5%. bank of korea held its key interest rate steady. hang seng declining by almost 1% before key economic data from
china over the weekend. and the philippines bucking the trend there, up by 1.5%. china's latest economic indicators suggest that continuing weak demand at home is chilling hopes of recovery in the world's second biggest economy. officials at the national bureau of statistics say the producer price index declined by 3.4% year on year in the month of april. that was better than march, but producer inflation remained negative for the 50th consecutive month. that's weighed on corporate revenues and profits. excess capacity also remains a major concern for the heavy industry sector. for more insight, we spoke with jackson wong, an associate director at an international securities firm in hong kong. he gave us insight on the current data. >> i think the data was pretty encouraging, even though it is still in a negative territories. i think two things that held the
data in april. the commodity prices jumped in april. that helped the overall prices. we know that. and secondly, i think the supply side reform, they have been talking all along might be actually working, and that helped the -- negate some of the oversupply problems. so i think this is pretty encouraging. >> jackson, beijing has conducted several rounds of mini stimulus measures, spending more on infrastructure, encouraging banks to lend more money. how do you rate what they have been doing? >> they have been doing fine, but they will take it very slow. and because they do not want to repeat the big move that they rolled out in 2008 because that created a lot of over-capacity problems. right now they have. however, private sectors are still reluctant to invest a lot.
they do need their government to lead. if the government is not rolling out big policies they will wait and see. so now they are waiting for a more policies or more clear pictures so that they can invest more. >> specifically, jackson, what kind of policies are you envisioning? what can we expect? >> at this point the china government will take it slow and not roll out big policies. they'll focus more on the micro side. if they keep doing what they're doing private sectors will invest more money. if that's the case, we will see the numbers from the fdi, the foreign direct investment, and fixed asset management. but if they try too hard, sometimes it can backfire. so they will have to keep the policies consistent. if the policies are consistent, private investors are invest. >> you said they'll be taking it slow. how early could we expect something?
>> if the first half of the year they have been very busy, focusing on fixing the stock markets and the currency problems. i do not think they would roll out g policy in the first half of the year. even in the second quarter, they are trying to fix that to address issues in the banking system. so they'll focus more on micro-policies in the second half of the year and i think mostly like tax incentives to consumers and small business. that's it for business news. i'm going to leave you with the markets.
thousands of people who were forced to evacuate during the 2011 fukushima disaster may soon be allowed to return home. it would be the largest number yet. government officials are planning to lift an evacuation order for parts near the crippled power plant. more than 11,000 people were forced out of their homes. officials say 10,000 of them may be allowed to return in july. decontamination has been completed in the designated areas. the government plans to lift other evacuation orders next month that will affect 1300 people in the region. and once again, this story making headlines. japan, tokyo governor yoichi masuzoe has addressed allegations that he used an official expense account for his personal uses. he says he will cover some of
the costs himself. a weekly magazine alleg that he covered expenses for family vationsithunds ear-marked for political activities. an expense report shows that his now-defunct political organization spent around $3400 for two meetings at a hotel outside tokyo. the meetings were in january 2013 and january 2014, before he took office as governor. mass zoey says the expenses were for meetings held in hotel rooms with his aides. >> translator: i used rooms where my family was staying for meetings, which caused a misunderstanding. i am ashamed of that. >> masuzoe says the meetings were to plan strategies for the gubernatorial election and other matters. the expense report includes ten payments to restaurants. he said five were mistakenly
listed as related to his political activities. he says he'll remove those five payments from the report and cover the costs himself. ♪ we're coming to you live from tokyo where the weather is pair, partly cloudy. 22 degrees celsius or 71 degrees fahrenheit. jonathan oh joins us with the world weather starting with news of inundation from india. >> we have been keeping an eye on the very hot weather, but it's been very, very wet up toward the north. even though we're in the premonsoonal time period we're seeing heavy rain to the south and toward the upper evations ofindia. it's causing the flooding problems. i wanted to show you that video, give you the impression of what is taking place. hey rains caused severe flash flooding in the northern states. at least five tourists were
swept away by gushing waters on tuesday. all roads connecting this particular village have been cut off and water and electricity supply have been disrupted. we are continuing to see that there may be some showers here, but the good news is i think that we are going to see a drier period toward the weend. towa the nor and east we're seeingeavier rainfall that where wll be concerned next when it comes to flooding concerns. 150 millimeters closer to nepal. the southeastern tip of india is looking at the possibility of some rainfall but we're still waiting for the actual monsoonal front. it will take some weeks to get to the indian subcontinent. looking at more drier conditions into the weekend. highs in the mid 20s, meanwhile the heat continues into new delhi with the haze condition. thunderstorms into places like
hyderabad. it's been warm and dry across japan. highs in 29. tokyo saw warm weather because high pressure is controlling the situation, with clear skies. we'll see this continue through the weekend. when we go into the first part of next week we'll see the chance for rain in the korean peninsula and into japan. the heavier rainfall still taking place over into portions of china. we'll see rainfall and possibly flooding concerns to the weekend. all across the eastern side of china except for shanghai looking for wet weather. 27 in shanghai, 23 in tokyo under partly cloudy skies. the forecast for north america. we've been monitoring this frontal passage that has been making its way all across the united states as we went through this week. as we go forward in time it is still going to create an instability, looking at the possibility of seeing some thunderstorms along the carolina coast and toward the south.
some of them may be strong. another low pressure system is dropping in from the north and will bring a chance of severe thunderstorms as well throughout the day on friday. so large hail, strong wind gusts, lightning and tornadoes all part of the concern here. back toward the desert southwest looking at the possibility of some dry thunderstorms. that can create some concerns when it comes to fire danger, so please be on the lookout for that. wet from new york into washington, d.c., also thunderstorms toward atlanta. chicago looking at a chance for rain. snow into winnipeg as cold air is forcing itself down to the south. look at the heat. highs near 30 degrees in seattle under sunny skies. please take care as we're expecting those conditions not to be so good. as w lookt the forecast for eupe. all in all lking at a wet weather pattern. chances for thunderstorms. most of the continent looking at that. the exception really the far northern portions of europe. that's where we'll see more of the drier weather as we go throughout the day. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here is your extended outlook.
hope the weather is looking good in your neck of the woods. one of tokyo's biggest festivals is in full swing with people parading down the streets. 1.5 million people are expected to take part before it wraps up on sunday. the festival opened with a procession of about 400 musicians, geshas and people in colorful costumes. they made their way around the grounds of the shrine. the spectacle drew thousands of locals and tourists. >> translator: it was amazing! >> people from the world coming here to enjoy this party. not only japanese. this is great.