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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  December 4, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PST

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." japanese politicians have taken out their loud speakers and their megaphones to share their messages with voters. they launched their campaigns officially in a general election. two parties, the democratic party of japan and the liberal democratic party, have dominated japanese politics for years. their leaders started off in a place that has been the subject of countless debates. >> translator: this election is
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about reviving japan, so i wanted to start my campaign here in fukushima. i want to make a new start for japan in the belief that there will be no revival for japan without the recovery of fukushima. this election is about whether we can move forward with what we have to do or turn back the clock and return to the politics of old. >> translator: i will bring the economy out of deflation, correct the high yen, lead economic growth, enrich people's lives, and recover an economy where young people don't have to worry about finding jobs. i'll strengthen social security and will promote the reconstruction of the disaster-hit northeast.
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we'll aim to take back power by winning a majority along with the new komeito party. >> candidates from the following parties are also running -- tomorrow party, new komeito, restoration party, japanese communist party, your party, social democratic party. new party daichi, people's new party, new party nippon, and new renaissance party. candidates are trying to win one of the 480 seats in the lower house. there are 300 single-seat districts. parties win a number of the other 180 seats depending on how much of the proportional representation vote they capture. 1,294 candidates filed to run in the single-seat constituencies.
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and 1,001 candidates are running for seats in the proportional representation system. they'll share their views on how to right the japanese economy. they'll debate whether japan should join negotiations on the free-trade agreement known as the transpacific partnership. they'll outline their vision for how to supply the country's energy needs after the nuclear disaster in fukushima. and they'll talk about how to defend national security. the official campaign lasts 12 days. voters head to the polls on sunday, december 16th. earlier i spoke with nhk senior commentator masayo nakajima, who has covered countless elections in japan. i asked him what voters are thinking about most. >> voters are thinking first off about whether the democratic party of japan should stay in power. you know, the dpj swept into power in 2009, ending more than half a century of unbroken rule by the leader democrats.
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its leaders promised a lot as people used to being in opposition often do. they said they would cut government spending. they said they would stop the construction of a multimillion-dollar dam, make expressways toll free. prime minister noda had to come out last month to apologize for all the broken promises. support for his party slumped under his watch. the dpj offered a confused response to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. noda oversaw the restart of nuclear reactors, and he embraced unpopular causes such as the hike in the consumption tax. opposition leaders have criticized the dpj for putting the alliance with the u.s. in danger by flip-flopping on relocating american bases. you know, opposition parties will be making these same arguments to voters. >> so how do you rate the opposition's chances of winning?
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>> mm-hmm. recent polls suggest that main opposition leader democrats could regain power. you know, leader shinzo abe has already served as a prime minister in 2006 and '07. he says he would not yield in territorial fight with china and would increase defense spending if necessary. at the same time, he said he would do more to mend economic ties. he said if deflation persists he might delay the hike in the consumption tax. he has piled the pressure on the central bank to do more to ease monetary policy. he has said the government policy of phasing out nuclear power by the 2030s is unrealistic and irresponsible. >> so how about all these new parties that we're hearing about? >> well, voters who are tired of the establishment could support what are known as the third force.
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former tokyo governor shintaro ishihara leads the restoration party. its candidates are asking voters why they would return power to the ldp simply because they are dissatisfied with the dpj. restoration party candidates promised that they would change japan fundamentally. they have attracted followers with promises to lessen the role of government and promote more free-market competition. but, you know, we are only on day one, so we are going to have to wait and see how all these factors play out. >> and that was nhk world's masayo nakajima. joushgen government officials say authorities in their neighbor to the north are another step closer to launching a long-range ballistic missile. they say crews in north korea may have finished installing the first two stages of a three-stage missile and could be hard at work on the third.
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the officials say it's all unfolding at a launch pad at tong chongry in the northwestern part of the country. they know preparations are going faster than suspected. north korean leaders have said they would use a rocket to send a satellite into orbit sometime between dose 10th and 22nd. they attempted a similar launch in april, but the projectile broke up and crashed into the sea. foreign diplomats also labeled that a missile test. senior officials from japan, south korea, and the united states are sharing strategies on how to dissuade the north koreans from carrying out this latest launch. they're gathering in washington. japan's chief negotiator from the foreign ministry, shinsuke sugiyama, flew out on tuesday. leaders in tokyo pushed for these in-depth talks. analysts from the three countries have already been sharing key information on north korea. south korea's chief negotiator, lim sung-nam, also traveled to the u.s. capital.
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>> translator: i would like to step up diplomatic efforts with the united states in a bid to prevent north korea from launching a missile. >> sugiyama and lim will be meeting up with glynn davies, the u.s. special representative on north korea. the three senior diplomats are expected to demand north korea exercise restraint and will likely refer to a u.n. security council resolution banning such activity. they're also expected to discuss plans of action in case the launch happens. the diplomats are likely to request the security council to issue a strong condemnation. police in central japan are trying to find some clues as to why a highway tunnel collapsed. they've searched the headquarters of the company that operates the highway. police suspect officials with central nippon expressway of professional negligence resulting in injury or death. officers also searched a
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maintenance facility and four other locations. hundreds of concrete panels fell from the tunnel's ceiling on sunday. they crushed three vehicles. nine people were killed. expressway officials say some of the bolts used to attach panels to the ceiling became loose. workers completed the tunnel in 1977. company officials say they have no records to indicate any bolts were ever replaced. they say crews only conducted visual checks. experts studying the collapse say the fact that the concrete ceiling slabs were connected may have been the reason so many of them came crashing down. central nippon expressway representatives say reinforcing steel rods protruding from each slab had been welded to the next one. experts say this connectedness may have triggered the domino-like collapse. inspectors can determine whether construction materials are loosening or deteriorating by using sound. they use hammers to strike the
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surface of things such as bolts and listen for sound differences. central nippon expressway officials say crews conducted a recent visual check of the bolts that hold up the ceiling slabs in the sasago tunnel. but inspectors did not do a hammer test. they determined the bolts were too high to tap because they were 5.3 meters above the slabs. company spokespersons say teams had hammer tested two other similar tunnels because they could reach the upper parts of the structures. u.s. president barack obama is telling syrian leader bashar al assad to think twice before using chemical weapons in the country's civil war. he suggests resorting to weapons of mass destruction could force the american military to take action.
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>> the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable. >> secretary of state hillary clinton echoed obama's words. she says the use of chemical weapons is a red line for the u.s. she warned her country would certainly plan to take action should that happen. foreign ministry spokespersons in syria have responded to clinton and obama. they say even if such weapons were available the assad administration would not use them under any circumstances against the syrian people. aid workers from the united nations and the european union continue to provide humanitarian services even after u.n. cease-fire monitors withdrew from syria in august. now officials have decided to withdraw their remaining personnel. they say it's just too dangerous.
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>> the united nations and syria will pull out non-essential international personnel with immediate effect. >> nesirky said any u.n. personnel who stay behind will be restricted to the capital damascus. eu sources said their ambassador and two other diplomats would be recalled. they say about ten syrian employees will take over information gathering and liaison activities. reuters says eight u.n. staff members have been killed since the uprising began in march of last year. the iranian military says it has captured a u.s. intelligence-gathering drone in its air space. but a spokesman for the u.s. navy's 5th fleet denies that claim. iran state-run television network aired footage showing what it says is the unmanned air craft. iran's revolutionary guard missiles say it captured the drone after it entered the country's air space over the first gulf. they said the aircraft was
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engaged in reconnaissance and gathering data. they released no details about the aircraft. a revolutionary guard commander says the u.s. has attempted for many years to attack iran from the persian gulf, but iran's ability to intercept aircraft has improved. the pressure is rising at the united nations conference on climate change. the meeting ends in four days. but delegates have yet to reach a deal. they hope to hammer out a new plan for reducing global carbon emissions. now ministers from more than 100 countries are lending their weight to the negotiations. nhk world's jean baptiste niard reports from doha. >> reporter: the annual two-week meeting taking place this year in the oil-rich country of qatar has entered the final stretch, and delegates are making their final appeals. >> doha must mark the transition
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from the old system with the two tracks and the future system, with one track. >> reporter: delegates have been trying to piece together a new agreement on curbing carbon emissions. they hope to forge a framework to succeed the kyoto protocol, which expires at the end of the year. wealthy nations want them to adopt stricter limits on green house gases, particularly fast-growing countries such as china and india. they're currently not committed to binding targets. representatives from china, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, say their country has done its share. they note that during the first nine months of 2012, china's energy consumption fell by 3.4% from the previous year.
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>> translator: we made a commitment at our party congress. we prioritize building an ecofriendly society. we'll make a strong effort to promote a recycle-based society. china will act on climate change with other nations. >> reporter: some delegates also want reassure rance on financial support. wealthy countries have pledged to provide $100 billion per year in aid by 2020. the money is intended to help developing countries reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the effect of climate change. time is running out for the delegates to reach a deal. many decisions remain between the participants from the industrialized and the developing nations. now it may be up to the ministers attending talks to steer the conference toward a successful conclusion.
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jean-baptiste niard, nhk world, doha. the south china sea territorial dispute may be about to get more complicated. another emerging kmiec power has suggested it might get involved. patchari raksawong in bangkok has details. >> the dispute in the south china sea already involves a number of asean nations as well as china. the united states has also expressed its concern over the potential flashpoint. and now a senior indian official has indicated that country, too, is anxious to counter the maritime assertiveness of china. nhk world reports from new delhi. >> reporter: india's navy chief held a media conference on monday, in which he addressed the spreading maritime power of india's big east asian rival. he expressed admiration for china but also sounded a note of alarm.
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>> it's impressive and certainly a concern for us which we continuously evaluate and work out our options and our strategy. >> reporter: admiral joshi raised eyebrows when he suggested that the indian navy was ready to send warships to the south china sea. >> translator: whenever we're needed to defend our national interests in the maritime domain, the navy has the mandate to do so by all means necessary. >> reporter: the admiral referred specifically to india's joint efforts with vietnam to explore marine resources as well as the freedom of navigation. india is wary of china's expanding presence at its doorstep. chinese companies are helping to construct old facilities in pakistan and sri lanka.
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the chinese government has also extended economic aid to bangladesh and myanmar. the combined efforts are known as china's strain strategy. india is concerned that china's growing military presence may spread beyond the straits of malacca into the indian ocean. this situation has prompted a rapprochement between india and the united states. the two nations share the view that any threat to the freedom of navigation runs counter to their national interests. india is also likely to develop cooperation with asean and japan as part of a strategy against china. abhishek duel ya, nhk, new delhi. thailand's auto industry was one of the hardest hit by last year's devastating floods. automakers are a pilar of the
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thai economy, but with factories ruined, production was halted for months. this year, though, has seen a drugmaker turnaround with record high production as nhk world reports. >> reporter: the thailand international expo is taking place here in bangkok. 38 automobile companies are showing off their newest models. thailand's model show is one of the big events in southeast asia. it kicked off last weekend attracting consumers on the hunt for a new set of wheels. japan's honda has unveiled an japan's honda has unveiled an
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ecofriendly brand-new deluxe for asian markets. nissan is showing their popular compact car with more options to customize the interior or body color. 2012 has been a landmark year for the thai auto industry. >> translator: today is the day we celebrate the great success of the local automobile industry. i believe we'll be back celebrating production of 3 million units in the very near future. >> translator: we could recover from the floods in a very short period. since the recovery, we have received many bookings and now we are operating at full capacity. but still, we have many back orders waiting. >> reporter: the floods of 2011 are a bad memory for the industry.
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automakers and their suppliers were severely affected. many plants were forced to close. but thailand's status as an important production base hasn't changed. with strong demand in asia, the industry has quickly got back on track. a thai government tax break for first-time car buyers has also helped. >> translator: it helps us to make a decision to buy a car more easily. we can get a tax rebate up to about 3,000 u.s. dollars. >> translator: we'll buy an ecocar because it saves energy, it's not so expensive, and covered by the government's tax rebate program. >> reporter: japanese automakers plan to boost production in thailand. the country is one of the most important manufacturing hubs. they are betting economic growth
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and prosperity will continue to rise across. asean as the prue group moves towards creating an economic community in 2015. >> translator: southeast asia's auto industry should enjoy 7% to 8% growth similar to china over the next four or five years. compared to other countries in the region, thailand is the leader in auto production and has the soundest supply chain. >> reporter: thailand's auto industry has a goal of producing 3 million cars a year within the next five years. even after the flux of 2011. the country remains in the driving seat of the fast-growing auto market.
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busaba sivasaboom, nhk world, bangkok. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. a typhoon is causing havoc over the philippines. rachel ferguson has an update on that. rachel, what's the latest? >> hi, there. typhoon bopha made landfall in mindanao earlier this morning. it will continue its path towards the north and the west. at the moment, it was a weaker system than it was when it made landfall but still a potent storm, this one with wind speeds now sustained at 126 kilometers per hour, wind gusts at 180. it's moving at 30 kilometers per hour. that's going to be helpful. it's quite a decent clip for a storm like this. so it means that heavy rain is not going to be hanging around, targeting one place, but it is going to be moving fairly quickly. if we take a look at the next 72-hour rainfall accumulation, the heaviest rain is falling over water. that said, the system is pulling in a lot of moisture still across the eastern seaboard, so we'll see ongoing heavy rain for
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the next couple of days and certainly a flood risk continuing into the weekend. elsewhere across eastern asia, fairly quiet on the continent. but we have been dealing with a couple of low-pressure systems in japan to the north. an additional 120 millimeters of rain is likely in hokkaido. that could very rapidly melt the snow that's there. when that happens, flooding, mudslides, and also landslides are a big concern. it's also going to be very windy up here, so strong, gusty winds for hokkaido but also for the sea of japan side of northern honshu. we've also got another round of wet weather coming from wednesday, so something else to look forward to in the next few days. now, temperatures are dropping toward the north. just around the freezing point in seoul as well as beijing with minus 21 for the high in ulan bator. shanghai also cooling down to just 11 degrees, and tokyo expecting 10 tomorrow. all right. let's head now into europe. very patchy around here. this is extremely unstable across much of the continent.
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when i pull back the clouds, you'll see what i'm talking act. we've got low-pressure systems just dotted around the continue innocent. lots of windy and wet weather toward the west and the north. down here towards the southeast, we've got a low moving in that's going to bring some more severe weather in terms of the thunderstorms, and lots of snow. frigid air is descending from the north, and we'll see a lot of snowfall even quite far south into italy and the northern balkans. i want to show you some video coming out of ukraine. now, this is in kiev, the capital. this is the first snow of the winter. now, last friday's temperatures were the warmest seasonably that they have been for the last hundred years. many people found themselves quite unprepared for the sudden change in the weather. commuters in the region found themselves inconvenienced as the snow led to a lot of congestion on the roads in the downtown area. road crews were scrambling out, trying to get the mess cleaned up, put away all of that snow to
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get people back to their daily routines. now, the remainder of cold air is expected to stay in place, meaning more snowfall is on the cards. we'll show you some of the figures we've been looking at in terms of the high temperatures for wednesday. take a look at these. zero in stockholm, just 1 degree in berlin. we're around the freezing point in warsaw, as well weather minus 3, and moscow getting to minus 5, and kiev as we were just looking at there. out towards london, 4 degrees with 6 in paris. so do wrap up if that's you in the affected area. i'll leave you now to your extended forecast. ♪
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we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks very much for
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joining us. have a great day wherever you are.
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