welcome to "newsline." i'm keikichi hanada in tokyo. here are some of the stories we are following this hour. japanese government officials are working to get two men believed to be hostages of islamic state freed. a representative of islamic state has effectively admitted the group is holding the japanese hostages for ransom. and the number of tourists visiting japan has been growing.
that's good for the country's economy but the nation's airport is struggling to keep up with the crowd. the japanese government is using all available channels to gather information to help free two men believed to have been captured by islamic state militants. government officials say family members have confirmed that the man in the video are -- and --. a purported islamic state member appears with the two hostages in an online video and threatens to kill them unless japan pays a ransom within 72 hours. a foreign ministry official says the video is highly likely to be authentic. but a senior government official says the militant group has made no contact and it's not known when the 72-hour deadline will expire. the footage appeared during prime minister shinzo abe's tour of the middle east. he denounced the hostage taking and called for the release of the two men.
>> translator: islamic state said in the video that they'll kill japanese citizens. using people's lives as shields for a threat is an act of terror. i'm furious about this. the two japanese citizens should not be harmed. they should be released immediately. this is what we insist upon. i have ordered the japanese government to put the highest priority on protecting human lives. we will cooperate with the international community to contribute to regional peace and security. this policy is unwavering. and we will not change it. >> he added that japan will keep its promise of providing about
$200 million to help people displaced in syria and iraq by islamic state. abe has left israel and is on his way to japan. the japanese government is seeking help from the united states and other nations taking part in air strikes on areas controlled by the militant group. state minister for foreign affairs yasuhide nakayama, has arrived at the japanese embassy in jordan to take charge of local operations. officials are contacting tribal and religious leaders who have connections with islamic state. prime minister abe has asked middle eastern leaders to help japan deal with the hostage crisis. abe met palestinian president mahmoud abbas in ramallah in the west bank after islamic state released the video of the two hostages. abbas said that hostage taking
should be denounced in light of religious values. abe stressed gratitude to abbas and said the japanese government hopes to work closely with the palestinians and middle eastern countries. abe called for jordan's help to ensure the release of the hostages. abe told king abdullah over the phone that japan has pledged $200 million in non-military aid. he added that the militant group shows its cruel nature by criticizing the aid. the king said his country is ready to gather as much information as possible and provide other support. abe made the same requests in phone talks with turkish president, recep tayyip erdogan and egypt president, abdel fattah el-sisi. both leaders expressed their willingness to help. a spokesperson for the u.s. state department has condemned the threats to kill two japanese
nationals. jen psaki said in a statement the leaders in washington are calling for the immediate release of the two men. she said u.s. secretary of state john kerry will discuss the issue with japanese foreign minister, fumio kishida. u.s. government officials have consistently rejected paying answerem to extremists. they say responding to their demands would increase the risk of american citizens being kidnapped. and they've asked european nations to adopt the same approach. the u.s.-led coalition launched air strikes against islamic state in rauk last august and in syria the following month. military personnel from 12 other countries are also taking part in the operations. japan has provided humanitarian and other assistance to people who have fled the fighting. the american government has included japan in a coalition of 60 nations that are forming a net around islamic state.
a spokesperson for islamic state has effectively admitted the militant group's involvement in the online video. nhk exchanged online messages with the spokesperson on tuesday. the man said islamic state is not motivated by money alone. he said the group is spending a much larger amount every day. he explained this is knot an economic fight but a spiritual one. and he repeatedly said that the japanese government will pay the ransom. the spokesperson acknowledged that a 72-hour deadline had been set for the payment but he did not give a clear timing, only saying it will be 72 hours after the release of the video. u.s. president barack obama has been look back at his say
quote quote quote quote
achievements and spelling out what he hopes to achieve in his
last two years in office. he used his state of the union address to fight extremism. >> 15 years that dawned with terror touching our shores that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars. that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. it has been and still is a hard time for many. but tonight, we turn the page. >> obama suggested air strikes against islamic state fighters in iraq and syria have been a success. >> in iraq and syria, american leadership including our military power is stopping
isil's advance. instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the middle east we are leading a broad coalition including arab nation to degrade and
ultimately destroy this terrorist group. >> obama called on congress to authorize the use of force against islamic state militants. he wants to show the world that he and the members of congress are behind the mission to destroy the terrorist group. he also expressed a desire to and he spoke about the u.s. policy shift on cue baa saying the idea of containment was long past its expiration date. now to what's happening in the world of business. ai uchida has the latest. >> leaders from around the world are arriving one after the other in switzerland getting ready to attend the world economic forum. the four-day meeting opens
wednesday. more than 2500 business and political leaders from 40 countries will discuss a wide variety of issues under the key theme of global context. crude oil price and the impact of a possible rate hike by u.s. monetary authorities. chinese premier li keqiang will give a speech on wednesday about the country's economy. german chancellor angela merkel will speak about the eurozone on thursday. and francois hollande will give a speech on friday addressing the risen threat of terrorism. the schedule will include 280 sessions including topics like climate change and the ebola epidemic in west africa. now let's check on markets for this wednesday morning. for that we go to ramin mellegard who has all the details on the main move.
hi ramin, what do you have for us? >> investors are taking a chance to book some profits ahead of the key european central bank policy meeting on thursday. let's look at how the morning session wrapped up for the nikkei and the broader topix. both in the negative. and the broader topix, 1,391. excuse me. so after having posted its best trading session in over a month on tuesday, investors are take the opportunity to book profits and sell shares. investors may be a bit hesitant to make any further moves until the key central bank meetings are out of the way. some of the blue chip exporters i was following today, toshiba, sharp and panasonic are dragging the nikkei lower. other sectors gained some of the airline stocks after that continued weakness we are seeing in the crude oil prices.
ana holdings and japan airlines are among the gainers there. and that is after positive earnings from u.s. carriers such as delta and that's following the earnings reports there. we saw continued optimism for china related shares. hitachi construction machinery up after gdp numbers out of china on tuesday. and the premier will be addressing the davos meeting in a key speech today. a lot of leaders gathering there. and let's get an idea on currencies as well. the dloi/ollar/yen at 118.29-32. it's a little higher against the yen but may hold in a range the euro is weak. any aggressive moves by the ecb should weaken the euro further.
very quickly let's look at the asian indexes as well. the shanghai composite is up 1.87% following the plunge we saw on monday of over 7%. australia is also trading higher on hopes of further growth in china. that's all for now. major japanese machinery construction makers are trying to offset a labor shortage by using information and communications technology, or ict. officials at komatsu have announced they'll introduce an ict system with machines supporting work at construction sites next month. they say an automatic flying robot or drone can survey a construction site in less than one hour. the same task would normally take humans a few months. construction machines that receive the data collected by the drone will then automatically excavate the ground. seasoned skilled workers are generally needed for this kind of land survey, but with the new system, workers will only have to transport machines to the designated sites.
the number of people working in the construction industry has been falling. industry officials are concerned that the labor shortage will become more serious as preparations continue for the 2020 tokyo olympics. >> translator: some experts are predicting a labor shortage of 20 to 30%. this will make it difficult for the construction industry to maintain the land in japan, but if machines can do more work, then this will be possible. we'd like to contribute to that. >> another leading japanese manufacturer hitachi construction machinery, is already using an ict construction system. machines with sensors help give precise instructions to machine operators. a next-generation ultra high-definition tv is drawing the attention of visitors at a broadcasting technology fair at
the united arab emirates. the tv was developed by japanese engineers. more than 40 countries and organizations from europe and asia are showcasing their latest technologies in dubai. these include wireless cameras and video compression techniques. nhk is showing an 8 k ultra high-definition tv capable of delivering images at 16 times the current definition of current high-definition tvs. it's the first time an 8k tv has been displayed in the middle east. >> i feel like it's natural for the eye. to experiment. this is what i think. it's really, really amazing. >> visitors seemed captivated by the clarity of the image and sound as they watched soccer games and traditional japanese events. south korea's economy depends heavily on big companies, and this is driving smaller ones to look overseas for opportunities. some of them are turning their eye to japan.
nhk world's hiromitsu nagano has the story. >> reporter: the south korean government is trying to promote venture companies and holding business fairs like this one in tokyo. officials from 35 firms pitch their products to leading japanese companies. many of the south koreans are from the i.t. industry. >> translator: we're interested in small firms with new technologies. >> reporter: in south korea, big firms related to conglomerates tower over others in technological development. some small businesses consider japan as a steppingstone for advancing overseas. >> translator: if we combine the originality and ingenuity of south korean firms with japan's organizational skill and global network, we can enter not only
the japanese and south korean markets but also the entire global market. >> reporter: two years ago jeon jaewoong set up a venture business targeting the japanese market. his firm has developed an original 3-d animation technology. it can show anime characters in three dimensions on a smartphone screen. jeon thinks this technology and high-tech eye wear will be a perfect match. >> translator: we can make everything appear very real before your eyes. from film and manga characters to trains. >> reporter: he has already obtained nine patents in other countries. >> translator: we spent a lot of time trying to make it easier for people to use our complex technology.
>> reporter: he says he has set his eye on japan because many people there are willing to pay for apps. he thinks that success in japan would pave the way for his firm's foray into the global market. he has already won his first contract in japan. the deal is with the company which has produced the globally popular hello kitty character. jeon will make an app for advertising a movie. he plans to move the marketing and other key sections of his company to tokyo to boost business in japan. >> translator: we think the quality of his technology is very high, so we asked him to do the job. >> translator: we can work with japanese businesspeople if we just open up our minds. i want to set an example for other firms.
>> reporter: the diplomatic relations between japan and south korea remains strained today because of historical issues, but there still appears to be many possibilities for closer business ties between the two countries. hiromitsu nagano, nhk world, tokyo. and that's all for now in business news. i'll leave you with a check on markets. every morning investors turn their attention to asia.
the tokyo market leads the way and markets around the world follow. >> from the decisions that could change the course of an economy. >> to the companies at the forefront of change. >> up to the minute market reports. >> and analysis by specialists from around the world. >> get all the latest business news and insight every day here on "newsline." lots of tourists have been flying in to hokkaido, japan's northern-most prefecture. and every year the number grows. while that's good news for the local economy, a major airport there is scrambling to accommodate the crowds. nhk world's yuki takama reports. >> reporter: this airport is a main gateway to hokkaido. many tourists fly in from tokyo from one of the larger cities. this year there are a lot more visitors than usual. a look at the international
departure hall tells you why. the international security check point has a long line of foreign tourists getting ready to board their flights home. most of the visitors are from china, south korea and southeast asia. travelers go through the airport in record numbers. in 2014, nearly 1.5 million, that's 20% more than the previous year. the cheaper yen has made traveling in japan more affordable. as well, more kinds of goods are now duty-free, including food and cosmetics. after using the ski resorts and hot springs, many foreign tourists look forward to shopping. >> very many, yes, very good, very nice. i love. >> cheaper than shanghai.
>> reporter: the departure hall is lined with souvenir shops crowded with travelers enjoying their final moments in japan. some shoppers buy enough goods to fill a cardboard box. >> translator: many foreign tourists buy in large quantities. popular items sell out really quickly. it's great for business. >> reporter: these days so many people are checking luggage that the screening machines can't keep up. and suitcases pile up at the counters. as a result over the tourism boom, some airlines want to increase the number of flights to -- airport. but because of the limited number of arrival and departure slots, it's impossible to meet all requests. this winter a major chinese airline group started operating out of -- airport. the company requested 14 flights
a week, but they only got half that number. >> translator: all the airlines want to add more flights, but the airport won't authorize it. it's a real shame. we want to show chinese people and other asians all the good things about japan. >> reporter: the number of foreign tourists is predicted to grow even more. but the airport officials believe it will be difficult to accommodate them even by speeding up the departure procedures and hiring more staff. >> translator: international passenger arrivals are growing by around 140% every year. from a long-term perspective, we're considering expanding the facility and also looking at budgetary measures. >> reporter: the airport
officials expect that crowds will soon get even larger. next month many chinese tourists are expected to come to the prefecture for the new year holidays. the airport faces a stiff challenge in dealing with the growing number of travelers. yuki takuma nhk world. sapporo. time now for a check of the weather. people in parts of bosnia herzegovina are dealing with flooding. the capital has been especially hard hit. mai shoji has the latest. >> a couple of low pressure systems continue to disturb western europe especially with precipitation that caused severe flooding in and around sarajevo. heavy rains monday into tuesday resulted in this kind of flooding in the sarajevo region of bosnia herzegovina. this is the fifth time in the past 20 months the area has been
flooded due to heavy rains and the 25th in the past 15 years for this family being shown here. local authorities stated over 100 homes in total were submerged from this week's flooding. many bosnians are recovering from the record-setting floods last may, the worst in 120 years. no more rain is welcome here but unfortunately we are likely to see a little bit of that build up again. it's the difference between the warm surface temperature and the upper level cold air that is going to be clashing again and creating this great level of instability again in and around sarajevo and much of italy with drenching rainfall yet again. it will be topping 100 millimeters in localized areas. localized areas in cannes will be seeing heavy rain. and lyon will be seeing snow showers today and into thursday. in uk we have a yellow warning for snow in effect. there you go. glasgow you have snow in the
forecast for you with just 1 degree for the high. not only travel disturbances that could be caused from this weather conditions but also the icy roads are dangerous for traveling. keep that in mind. kiev at 0, a little bit above average with snow in the forecast for you. moscow at minus 10 with the sunshine. here across eastern continental asia well we're looking at high pressure system dominating much of china. but this low will travel over to northeastern china and towards the korean peninsula. it is likely to create snow up to 15 centimeters. and we're likely to see more snow piling up here in japan. we have a couple of systems that will be affecting the area especially potent with this bringing thunderstorms associated with the heavy rainfall. and then the high pressure system sitting east of japan will create this exasperation with moisture flowing into
another low pressure system sitting over japan. it will be a very messy day for us. a gloomy and wet, windy conditions that is likely to prevail across western japan and into the rest of the workweek, i'm afraid. naha i do want to mention that the high for you will be 16 degrees. that's below the average. and the morning lows will be dropping to single digits. quite a rare event in and around okinawa. tokyo at 6 degrees for the high with chilly rainfall. above average temperatures in eastern china. a quick look here across the states. snow will be traveling from chicago chicago all the way into new england states and probably effecting the big cities such as new york and d.c. into the evening hours on your wednesday possibly disturbing your commuting. 20 centimeters of snowfall will be piling up in the four corners and northwestern texas. but just to the west of it summer temperatures in los angeles at 22 degrees. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
good evening from los angeles, i'm tavis smiley. tonight we welcome the award-winning director of the movie "selma," ava duvernay. the film, of course tells the story of one of the seminal moments in american history which led to the passage of the 1965 voting rights act. the movie has generated a great deal of controversy over its depiction of president lyndon b. johnson and his relationship with dr. martin luther king jr. we're glad you could join us. a conversation with director of "selma," ava duvernay coming up right now. ♪