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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  January 24, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PST

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north korea stepped up its response to a united nations security council resolution. officials say they plan to carry out a third nuclear test. trade gap. japan logs its worst ever trade deficit as exports slide. welcome to nhk world "newsline." authorities in north korea say they plan to carry out what they call a nuclear test of a higher level. they add that they plan to launch more long-range rockets. officials with the country's national defense ministry issued
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a statement warning of all-out action to defend north korea's sovereignty. >> translator: a series of satellite and long-range rocket launchers by the dprk and a higher level nuclear test are parts of an all-out action. this is a new phase in the anti-u.s. struggle that has lasted for centuries. we do not hide that the target of these actions is the united states, the sworn enemy of the korean people. >> the country's space agency launched a rocket last month. authorities claimed it was to orbit a satellite but other countries say north koreans were testing long-range ballistic missile technology. scientists in the north half carried out two previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. experts have been suggesting for weeks that they could be preparing for a third. the united nations resolutions ban north korea from developing missile and nuclear technology. on tuesday the security council condemned the latest rocket
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launch and expanded its existing sanctions. the latest north korean statement says the country flatly rejects all u.n. security council resolutions. it also says that no dialogue on the denuclearization of the korean peninsula will be possible in the future. but u.s. officials say some sort of dialogue has to happen on the korean peninsula before they engage in direct talks with the north. analysts say the north koreans are applying pressure to speed things along, but a senior american diplomat is urging them to first improve relations with the south. special representative for north korea policy glyn davies met in seoul with south korea's chief negotiator on the north's nuclear development. after the meeting he called on north korea not to engage in further provocations and to work on ties with the south. >> without sustained improvement in inter-korean relations,
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u.s./dprk ties cannot fundamentally improve. >> davies says the u.s. and south korea will consider imposing their own sanctions after carrying out the widened u.n. sanctions against the north over its rocket launch. he will be visiting china on friday and then will head to japan to coordinate policy on north korea. all of the players in this high-stakes game have seen the north koreans turn words into actions before. hiroki iwojima has been covering the korean peninsula for years. hiroki, is north korea in a position to conduct a nuclear test? >> this announcement came from the national defense commission, which often doesn't make statements. we can see these as a final warning. the nuclear analyst tells nhk that north korean scientists are
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ready to go. he says there are three tunnels in the northern area where previous nuclear tests happened. he notes one is off limits because it's being used before. but he says nuclear officials are making preparations at the other two and could carry out a test at any time. a senior japanese intelligence official told me one of the tunnels could handle a plutonium-type test and the other a test involving highly enriched uranium, which is easier to turn into bomb-making material. experts believe that the north conducted a plutonium type nuclear test twice in the past, but we should note that the north koreans say they will conduct a nuclear test over higher level. they have highly enriched uranium, so we cannot exclude the possibility that they will use the material in this next test. >> we saw american diplomat glyn
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davies visiting south korea, china and japan. what can these nations do about north korea's plans? >> the most important player in this process is china. it is north korea's closest ally and has influence, but north korean authorities snapped their neighbor this week. they said they will no longer recognize the six-party talks nor its 2005 joint statement in which the north agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs. so this announcement is causing them to lose faith. communist party leader said on wednesday he is against the nuclear test. people from the united states, south korea and japan will continue to pressure the north koreans through the chinese channels. the time to apply the pressure hiroki talked about may be running short. a south korean government source says north koreans appear to have almost completed
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preparations for their nuclear test. the source says satellite images show a tunnel at the poongkye-ri test site has now been plugged with dirt and concrete, likely to prevent a radiation leak. the images reportedly captured what appeared to be detonator cables extending out of the tunnel. a south korean defense ministry spokesperson didn't give us much detail but he said scientists in the north are on standby. >> translator: north korea is ready to conduct a nuclear test whenever its leadership decides. >> the spokesperson says south korean military commanders have been closely monitoring test preparations and other moves in north korea. officials with the finance minister resay japan's annual trade deficit is the worst in its history. they say imports outweighed sports in 2012 by about 6.9 trillion yen or more than $78 billion.
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that's three times greater than 2011. nhk world takes a look at the causes and the outlook for this year. >> reporter: they released the report for 2012 on thursday. it shows sports fell 2.7% to $720 billion. imports rose 3.8% to $798 billion. this marks a second straight annual deficit. the decline in exports was mostly due to the global economic slowdown triggered by the european debt crisis. exports to china also dropped significantly. relations between japan and its largest trading partner have been hurt by a territory dispute in the east china sea. this also has an impact on much of 2012 with the yen remaining at historically high levels. japanese products became less competitive overseas. exports of major goods such as televisions, semiconductors and chips all declined. >> translator: an exchange rate
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of 80 yen to the dollar is too strong for us to continue production in japan. >> reporter: while exports hacked, imports jumped. particularly for energy resources such as crude oil and liquefied natural gas or llg. they accounted for one-third of all imports. lng imports charged more than 25% from 2011 levels. that's because the gas was needed to fuel power plants. most nuclear plants in japan are offline for inspection following
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the mar 11 crisis at the fukushima daiichi. lng prices also stayed high throughout the year, due to stronger demand from emerging countries. another reason for the boost in imports has been a certain reversal in currency markets. the yen began weakening at the end of last year. the yen has continued to weaken and the new prime minister shinzo abe's bold economic policy. this corporation is one of japan's major trading companies. it imports lng from asia and the middle east. they expect imports of lng to be at least as high as last year, but the cost will be much higher as the value of the yen continues to drop.
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>> translator: we are really getting a triple punch in the shortage of lng supplies, the high price of the gas and the depreciation of the yen. as an energy importing company, we are concerned about what level the exchange rate will settle at because it has a big impact on our import costs. >> reporter: experts think a weaker yen will hurt importers more than it helps exporters. and it may cause a trade deficit to widen even further in 2013. >> another very sluggish economic situation. we cannot expect that export will grow by enough paces, but huge imports of fossil fuels is expected to increase this year also. so i estimate that this year's
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trade deficit will lead to 7.6 trillion yen. >> reporter: japan has a reputation as a trade powerhouse led by exports, but now it has fallen into the red. the question is whether it can prevent the deficit from becoming chronic. the outlook is dim. government and business leaders have a challenge of cultivating new overseas markets to keep pace with rising imports. daisuke azama, nhk world, tokyo. a japan citizen considered missing following the hostage siege at a natural gas plant in algeria is now confirmed dead. this brings the number of japanese victims to 10. islamist militants attacked the desert facility last week and kidnapped hundreds of workers.
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chief cabinet secretary confirmed the latest death in tokyo. >> translator: vice foreign minister told me by telephone from algeria that officials there have identified the body of the last missing person. with that we have confirmed the death of ten japanese nationals. >> the victim was 66 years old. atatani was a top executive with a japanese engineering firm, jgc corporation, which was working to construct a plant at the gas facility. sources with ties to jgc says he was at the site to meet executives from the british oil firm bp which leads the gas development project.
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the militants said they took him and hundreds of others hostage to pressure france to end its military campaign against islamist forces in neighboring mali. algerian soldiers surrounded the plant soon after the attack. their operation continued for a number of days. at least 37 foreign nationals died during the course of the crisis. a japanese government plane carrying seven survivors and the bodies of nine is now on its way back to tokyo. government representatives say they will repatriate the body of the tenth victim as soon as possible. air self defense force pilots in japan have been more active since the territorial dispute with china heated up. fighter jets were scrambled a record number of times to intercept chinese aircraft approaching japanese airspace most near the senkaku islands. japan controls the territory. china and taiwan claim it. defense ministery spokespersons
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say 160 scramble missions were ordered against chinese planes during the nine-month period through december. that's compared to 156 during a 12-month period through last march. the scrambles increased sharply after japan nationalized the senkaku islands in september. about 57% of them happened from october to december. china's information gathering military planes have been increasingly active around the islands, which are in the east china sea. the country's state oceanic administration is also dispatching aircraft and surveillance vessels to the area. japanese prosecutors have questioned two former executives of tokyo electric power company about the 2011 nuclear accident at the fukushima daiichi power plant. sources told nhk that the two are tepco's former chairman and ex-president.
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prosecutors are believed to have asked them to explain what plans tepco made to protect against a massive earthquake and tsunami such as the one which hit the plant in march, 2011. also the executives were pressed on the power supplier's predictions on the likelihood of a disaster of that magnitude. residents are accusing the government and tepco management of professional negligence resulting in death and injury. prosecutors are likely to face legal challenges pursuing their case. legal experts say it could be difficult to hold individuals criminally responsible for the accounted a. it may be necessary to prove the disaster was predictable and to detail the health impact of the radiation it released. a government spokesperson says japan will likely revise its target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. he says the 25% reduction target set by the previous government
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is excessive and unrealistic. chief cabinet secretary suga said thursday that his liberal democratic party has always said the target was unachievable. previously the last democratic party government pledged to reduce emissions by a quarter from 1990 levels by the year 2020. the u.s. navy is hurrying to remove a ship stranded on a reef in the philippines for more than a week. patchari raksawong in bangkok has that story and patchari, several more stories from the philippines today i hear. >> that's right, gene. we'll start with that stranded vessel. a u.s. navy official has expressed regret and says the united states is trying to remove the ship as soon as possible. the reef is a world heritage site and concerns are rising about possible damage to the environment. the uss guardian ran aground last week. the agency says rear admiral thomas carnie expressed his
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deepest regret. some 56,000 liters of fuel on board the stranded vessel needs to be removed. the navy then plans to use a crane ship to lift the mine sweeper off the reef. the reefs are located in the center of the sulu sea. it has a high density of marine life, including over 350 species of coral, about 500 species of fish as well as rare sea birds and turtles. thousands of filipino victims of human rights abuses under the regime of ferdinand marcos are set to receive compensation. the philippine congress approved the measure nearly three decades after the former strong man fell from power. money recovered will be used to pay the victims. a committee of the
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philippine congress approved the bill late wednesday. reuters reports total payments will exceed $246 million. the abuses occurred during a period of marshall law that lasted from 1972 until marcos fled the country in february 1986. his government is accused of making arbitrary arrests, detention, torture or even executions. some 10,000 victims or surviving relatives are eligible for compensation. the downfall of the regime gathered pace following the death in august 1983 of senator aquino, father of the current president and fierce critic of the marcos regime. he was assassinated at the manila airport. his wife led the people power movement that ousted marcos in 1986 and propelled her to the presidency. how to use the billions of
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dollars that marcos and his family gathered corruptly has been a lingering question ever since his downfall. filipinos were shocked to see the luxurious jewelry and shoes collected by former first lady ameldo marcos. the swiss federal supreme court ordered that ed thed that more million should be transferred to the philippine government. 27 years after the people power revolution, the philippine economy is finally emerging as one of the most exciting in asean. growth in the third quarter of 2012 was an impressive 7.1%. nearly matching the pace of china. filipinos who go overseas to work make valuable contributions to the nation's economy but more and more citizens are finding they're rich enough to go abroad but not for work, for fun. nhk world has more.
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>> reporter: the philippine capital, manila, is a city that's changing. the economy is booming and new opportunities abown. abound. as the nation's middle-class expands, so does personal consumption. but people aren't just buying things. they're going places, too. trips to japan reached a record at this travel agency last year. a vacation to japan used to be a dream for most people. but for the middle class, it's now a real possibility. in order to get more tourists to go to japan, this travel agency offers different types of tour packages to hokkaido, among many other places. the president of the company and her staff are busy planning new trips for spring. >> for this year we will concentrate on things that we
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should not miss in japan, the cherry blossoms. >> reporter: some of the filipino tourists heading to japan will travel on a local carrier, operating between tokyo and manila last march. collections like these are helping the travel market. >> we'll continuously grow, again, because of the affordability to diversify by product. those are the strategies. >> reporter: japanese destinations are eager to show what they have to offer. the street fair in manila last month attracted 29 different companies and municipalities from japan. >> this is for the hot springs lovers. you have to let the water from the river into your home. and then you can make your own hot springs. >> reporter: an official from
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hiyama described the prefecture's delicious food, including its famous tangerines. >> the opportunity to do the networking here is doing an immense impact to the opportunity to understand japan. >> japan is one of the -- we feel it's a very safe place to go to. it's another good alternative to china. we're going -- i think -- i'm positive there will be more people going to japan. >> translator: economic growth in asean countries is impressive. three years ago they started trying to attract visitors from singapore. recently there's been talk that the market in the philippines is also becoming active. today i was surprised to see japan is attracting a lot of attention as a travel destination. >> reporter: economic growth within asean nations is feeding new consumer markets for the travel industry.
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japanese companies are lining up to welcome more visitors from are the philippines in the coming years. nhk world, manila. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. dry weather here in tokyo. all of japan is not sharing the fair weather. robert speta is here with more. robert? >> yeah, across much of the weekend, actually tokyo is staying rather dry. hail could even be mixed into this. about 100-plus gusty winds continuing to push onshore here. but as the front pushes to the east, these blinds continue to come in from the northwest. that's going to set up the sea effect snow machine again. here we talk about the snow
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effect snow machine, but we are diving into what brings the heavy snow into west honshu. dry air comes in out of siberia. as it goes over the sea of japan, it picks up this cloud cover, it creates clouds larger and larger. once it hits the mountains, it squeezes it out like a sponge. that's why across much of the western portions of japan, talking up into the mountains, we see absolutely staggering amounts of snowfall. but then as you look over there toward the east, they all dry out into the eastern portions, and that's why into tokyo, they don't get a fair share of all the snow out there towards the west. and the same setup is what's happening in the next 24 hours. winds gusting up to 126 kilometers per hour, mainly coming in from the northwest here. also seeing that snowfall here farther down to the south, up to about 70 centimeters piling up here throughout friday evening. so definitely going to be seeing the next storm system continuing to ramp up here. if you have any travel plans, it will be rough going but for skiers, you'll be enjoying it this weekend. china is rather dry across the region, although back to the east we are still going to be seeing the weather continuing to pile up. i want to show you video out of northern honshu here first. we are talking about that sea-effect snow. this is actually what is already
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on the ground here. that's already occurring here. these images from the ski resort here, famous for its hot springs here, but also these snow monsters, which many people here get the pleasure of skiing down through these sculpture-like objects on the mountain side caused by the heavy snow. now as we look into the next several days, all the temperatures are going to be descending. a cooldown across tokyo, back to normal. actually, below normal. southeastern china, things remain dry. the philippines and tropics, heavy rain showers being expected here. flooding is also affecting here into australia. we have the remnants of cyclone pita continuing to wiped out. off to the east, we have the ex-cyclone oswald stirring up. now it's over here along the queensland coast. you see all this cloud cover, that is bringing moisture out of
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the coral sea. what is happening here is very heavy rainfall, about one to two millimeters expected in the next 24 hours alone. already seeing wide road closures from here. so still an on going situation here. still expecting to seat rain showers expecting from the south going through the weekend. continue to watch this closely. in europe, a series of storm sti systems from the iberian peninsula and then to the balkans. first one is here in the iberian peninsula. that's going to bring rain showers across the uk. then this one, much stronger. already in italy bringing rain showers to the southern balkans. 20 to 30 millimeters of rain. 25 sent mecentimeters is expectg through your friday. so this is going create something blizzard like conditions across much of the area. then it continues to trek off to the east, kiev, you're seeing subzero temperatures.
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minus eight on sunday. that will be minus 15 and the lows, minus 20. even towards the west, just above the freezing mark here in london and paris. now here's a look at your extended forecast. we'll be back in 30 minutes with more news. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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