hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday august 26th, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. here are your updates. this one ju just coming in. south korean government sources told nhk that north korean leader kim jong-il has likely visited china on a special train. the details of his visit and the purpose have not been disclosed. kim also visited china in may this year. at the time he exchanged views with chinese leaders on the resumption of the six-party talks on his country's nuclear development. now, once again, south korean government sources have told nhk
that north korean leader kim jong-il has likely visited china on a special train. we don't know the details of his visit, and the purpose have not been disclosed. kim also visited china in may this year. at that time he exchanged views with chinese leaders on the resumption of the six-party talks on his country's nuclear development. more on that story as details come in. now, the former secretary-general of japan's main ruling democratic party ichiro ozawa has decided to run in the party's leadership election next month. he'll be running against prime minister naoto kan. ozawa conveyed his decision to former prime minister yukio hatoyama when they met on thursday morning at hatoyama's office. ozawa told reporters that hatoyama promised him full support in the leadership race. >> translator: former prime
minister hatoyama said that if i run in the dpj leadership race he will fully support me. i told hatoyama i have made my decision to throw my hat in the ring. >> translator: i'm the one who had asked mr. ozawa to join the democratic party. with that background in mind, it's my moral obligation to support him. >> prime minister kan has already announced his intention to run for re-election as democratic party president. kan has recently met the party's first-term lawmakers to seek their support. he told them he wants to stay on as party leader for the next three years to implement the pledges made during last year's lower house election campaign. the leader of the main ruling democratic party is certain to become japan's next prime
minister. if ozawa wins the dpj leadership election, scheduled for september 14th, kan, who assumed the post in june, will be added to the list of prime ministers who only had a short term in office. now, since the start of his long political career, ichiro ozawa has always insisted on the need for political reform. he has been a central political figure in japan for more than two decades. >> reporter: ozawa was first elected to the lower house in 1969 as a liberal democratic party lawmaker. he joined the faction run by the powerful kakoe tanaka, who was prime minister at the time. but in 1976 tanaka was indicted for taking bribes in a payoff scandal involving the aeronautics company lockheed. ozawa continued to rise within the ldp. after serving as home affairs minister and deputy chief cabinet secretary, ozawa became the party's secretary-general in 1989 at age 47.
but in 1993 he left the governing party to support a no-confidence motion against the cabinet of prime minister keiichi mees wa after repeated fund-raising scandals involving ldp lawmakers. ozawa and others who left the ldp went on to form an opposition party. it played a critical role in establishing the anti-liberal democratic party coalition government under prime minister morihiro hosokawa. during hosokawa's term ozawa took the initiative to introduce the small constituency system to the lower house, but the anti-ldp government was quickly knocked out of power. in 2003 ozawa joined the democratic party, concentrating on nurturing a two-party political system in japan.
>> translator: we formed an opposition party that could take over from the ldp administration. >> reporter: in 2006 ozawa became the new leader of the democratic party. in july 2007 the party won an upper house majority, beating out the ldp. everyone thought ozawa would become japan's next prime minister. but he lost his chance. in march of last year, ozawa's chief secretary was arrested on charges of accepting illegal political donations from a construction company. ozawa stepped down as party leader. but he played a significant role in the election campaign of his successor, yukio hatoyama. the party's landslide victory ended the ldp's almost half century of rule. ozawa became the dpj secretary-general.
the wind shifted again. three of his former aides were prosecuted for falsifying an accounting report on a land purchase made by ozawa's fund management group. the democratic party's popularity plunged. ozawa decided to step down, along with prime minister hatoyama, who was embroiled in his own funding scandal. >> former dpj secretary-general ichiro ozawa will run against prime minister naoto kan in the party's leadership election. we'll keep you updated on the story. japan's trade minister, masayuki maoshima, has asked vietnam's prime minister to xhgs a japanese firm to build a nuclear power plant in the country. maoshuma and top executives from tokyo electric power, toshiba,
and other japanese firms met dung in vietnam on wednesday. vietnam plans to ask foreign firms to build two plants. naoshima said japan is ready to cooperate in every possible way. zun replied he gives high marks to the safety of japan's nuclear power plant technology. after the meeting naoshima told reporters he was able to make a good impression on vietnam. russia won an earlier bid to build two other nuclear plants in vietnam. myanmar's pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi has suggested that her supporters who want to vote for her party could refrain from voting instead in the general election. now, her party, the national league for democracy, has decided to boycott the polls,
scheduled for november 7th. in a statement released on wednesday, aung san suu kyi said the public should show interest in the election. it will be the country's first election in 20 years. she said nld supporters would not have to compromise and vote for another party. the nld has -- or was disbanded earlier this year after the military government introduced a new law. it effectively barred aung san suu kyi from running in the election. other pro-democracy parties intend to run in the election, but the party led by prime minister than sen and fully backed by the military government is likely to win. observers say aung san saw kooe's latest remarks are an attempt to maintain unity among her supporters and prevent her influence on myanmar's politics from declining. israel's shimon peres has defended his country's policy of shunning the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. peres met wednesday with international atoij energy chief
yukiya amano in israel. amano, who became iaea director general last december, is the first head of the agency to visit israel in six years. peres said iran's nuclear program is for military purposes. he said president mahmoud ahmadinejad's remark calling for the annihilation of israel suggests that iran would use nuclear arms. peres also said the world cannot ignore the fact that israel is under constant threat. that justifies israel's refusal to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or reveal whether it possesses nuclear weapons. the iaea will discuss the israeli nuclear issue at its general conference in september, where amano will submit a report. israel does not allow iaea inspections of its largest nuclear facility. now we go over to the world of business now with ines matsuyama. ines. >> thank you very much, catherine. wall street rose slightly overnight, ending its four-day losing streak. that's despite lingering concerns over the u.s. recovery due to weak economic data.
the dow jones industrial average briefly dipped below the 10,000 mark in early trading. weaker than expected july manufacturing orders and new home sales pressured stocks. but bargain hunters helped reverse losses and helped the benchmark index rise in the afternoon. the dow finished the day at 10,060, up 19 points from tuesday's close. the dollar also regained ground and hovered around a narrow range against the yen in new york. stocks' gains helped raise market sentiment and encourage investors to buy greenback. the dollar also got a boost after japanese finance minister yoshihiko noda hinted at intervention to stem the yen's rise. and tokyo stocks were hovering around a narrow range on thursday morning. the nikkei 225 ended the morning session at 8,872, up 0.3%, or 27 ticks. it opened just about the 8,900
mark but fell soon after investors sold stocks on weaker than expected u.s. xik data. in currencies the dollar rose slightly against the yen after japan's monetary authorities hinted at a market intervention. the dollar is now trading at 84.71-76 and the euro is at 107.50-55. sources say investors are selling the yen to lock in profits. and here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened 0.2% lower, currently down 0.1%. the shanghai key index for major blue chips is up 0.3%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.4%. the association of southeast asian nations moves closer to creating an integrated economic community by 2015. that's after the region's economic ministers pledged to
streamline trade and promote liberalization. during their wednesday meeting in da nang ministers from ten asean countries approved a joint statement. it pledges to standardize written trade documents and link trade offices within each member country. it also aims to liberalize capital and services to appeal to more investors. it also said that asean aims to become a central economic hub in the region, noting free trade pacts with japan, china, and other nations. speaking to reporters, vietnam's minister of industry and trade wong fong nguyen said creating the asean economic community is crucial to speeding up reforms. japan has lodged a written protest to china's request to review a planned trilateral investment deal with south korea. trade ministers from three countries met in seoul in may to come up with an investment protection pact by this summer. they were close to basic agreement, but japanese
government sources say china suddenly demanded a review of some items. including a proposal calling for corporate tax to beated equally across the three countries. japan and south korea said china's demands makes the pact impossible to approve. sources say the chinese government has yet to respond. japanese foreign minister katsuya okada plans to urge china to reconsider its stance when ministers from both countries meet in beijing on saturday. earlier this month hong kong held an international food fair, which is one of asia's largest. the region's already the biggest importer of japanese food products, and it continues to attract japanese producers as they face shrinking domestic demand. our reporter, jamie ng, visited the food fair, and talked with some japanese exporters. >> reporter: 700 firms from around the world showcased their products at the food fair in hong kong.
among the participants, japan dominates one of the biggest spaces. about 100 groups, including municipal organizations, joined the fair. it is the largest number ever. they aim to expand business in asia through hong kong. >> come here. >> reporter: this company, drawn to the food expo for the first time. it's created a special product called tofu shumai. that's a mixture of japanese bean curd and popular chinese dim sum shumai. enterprises from hokkaido in northern japan also promoted their local foods with unique ideas. this is frozen sushi. the company uses an original frozen technology to preserve its natural flavor. so when we unfreeze it, it tastes just as good as raw
sushi. this is spicy salmon oil. the red package is carefully chosen to pitch the product to hong kong and mainland buyers. red is their favorite color. >> translator: japanese food tastes so good, and it's very clean. >> translator: i like this hokkaido brand very much. i ate this when i was over there. >> translator: hong kong gives us the chance to expand our products to other countries. that's why we decided to come here. >> reporter: rikishi came to hong kong as a sales representative for armory prefecture, also in northern japan. the local government and producers are hoping to export rice since sales in japan have been declining. rikishi is stressing the taste and aroma of his product.
while in hong kong he is also meeting a local food importer he started approaching last year. rikishi explains he can accept an order for next year's rice but asked that last year's rice is immediately available. japanese rice is about five times more expensive than the popular rice in hong kong. but rikishi tell that amouri prefecture can produce rice solely for exports and keep production costs low. rikishi believes that quality is a big advantage for competing in hong kong. >> translator: i have received an enthusiastic response for our
rice. i want to consider details, like the price and settlement method. when i get back to japan. >> translator: the meeting was very good at the initial stage. they really want to bring their rice to the hong kong market. and i'm also very keen on importing new japanese rice to hong kong. >> reporter: the annual food show appears to indicate that hong kong's appetite for fresh food items is insatiable. that makes it necessary for japanese firms to come up with novel ideas in order to hang on to their market share. >> so japanese company have to constantly create new taste and new healthy food and their safety food, and it means they
will get a new market. it means new customers. not only rich people, middle-class people, and low-end people also. >> since we have 7 million population here plus 30 million tourists coming to hong kong every year, this is a very good opportunity for foreign companies including japanese companies to launch their product in hong kong as a showcase. >> reporter: many japanese participants say the show gave them opportunities to build a foothold in hong kong and possibly to expand their business throughout asia. jaimee ng, nhk world, hong kong. >> and that's all for now in biz news. every night businessmen and young people crowd into a noodle stand in kochi city. what attracts them is both the
fa tasty noodles and watching a homemade mechanical marvel. >> reporter: 10:00 p.m. the light goes on at a noodle stand at the corner shopping district. many people drop by for a snack of udon noodles. as well as noodles, customers enjoy another attraction. a robot-like machine named the robo cup washes the glasses. toro yamaguchi owns the stand. he taught himself how to make robots. it took him seven years to make robo cup. >> translator: i spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to do business in this
limited space. >> reporter: while making a robot for his stand, yamaguchi became fascinated with the process. now he's getting ready for a national robot fighting tournament this fall. this is the unimaru 3. its punches are strong, and it has moves that are both wide-ranging and dynamic. >> translator: you have to observe humans when building a robot like this. i see lots of people at the stand. so i can draw from that when i build robots. >> reporter: at night yamaguchi
sees all kinds of people at his stand. >> translator: i've seen many people at night with different life stories. so i can tell what's going on with them. just by looking at their faces. >> reporter: as well as making the unimaru a tough fighter, he's also given it a sensitive side. it cries. and it cheers. >> translator: i think the best kind of robots are those that
can express pure human emotions. in a way my customers and the people in my life have shaped me and have had a huge impact on me. so i want people to laugh and feel sad, looking at my robots. >> reporter: at 10:00 in the evening the customers start to arrive. there's no other noodle stand in kochi like yamaguchi's. welcome back to your world weather update. well, in eastern asia where lingering heat will continue to stay put in central and western japan throughout the day, and of course that will be leading to widespread showers in the afternoon. heavy rain also staying put
across eastern china and the koreas over the next few days. that will be a concern in terms of flooding, especially in the already soaked areas such as north korea and northeastern china. down in the south, low pressure system brings some wet and windy weather across luzon of the philippines throughout the day as well. and then this low pressure system over indo-china, remnants of tropical storm mindulle, will continue to drench the area from indo-china into southern china. so of course these areas will be at high flood risk once again. bangkok coming in at 34 degrees, 32 in hong kong with showers. shanghai coming in at 33, and tokyo looking at a steamy 34 once again. north america is looking generally quiet. but down in central america we've got lots of tropical activity here. first of all, tropical storm frank has been with us all week, bringing wet weather to southern mexico. it's now a hurricane. it continues to stay away from
shore, moving further and further away from the area. but there's still a lot of energy associated with this system feeding lots of winds, southwesterly winds into the area. so the next few days looking at more wet weather to come. localized flooding has been problematic here, so further flooding is not out of the question. it does look like the system is going to be weakening back into tropical storm later on in the week. hurricane danielle, over to the other side of the continent, is steadily making its way toward bermuda. it looks like it's going to be reaching this area sunday local time. if it does indeed follow this path, it will be bringing some very stormy conditions, high waves of up to ten meters to the area. so do keep that in mind. and then we have a new system, tropical storm earl tagging behind. you can see it forming in the atlantic. that's going to continue to stay way out at sea, not affecting land masses over the next few days, but it will be becoming a
hurricane shortly friday afternoon local time. so we will keep you updated on the weather reports here. now, looking toward the north for the u.s. and canada, generally dry as you can see under this very big high pressure system. a couple of trouble spots, though. down in the southeast we continue to see persistent rain from the florida peninsula, and then over toward the northeast u.s. and also for eastern canada, looking at very windy and wet conditions throughout the night, lasting into your thursday morning. more wet weather to come for british columbia, canada, as you can see, but that rain will finally be making its way inland. that will help to dampen the dry area here in the northwest. and also, we're having an impact on the temperature here as well. 18 degrees in seattle and 19 in vancouver, so much cooler than earlier in the week. staying very hot, though, down in southern california and arizona. 42 in phoenix and 33 in los angeles.
south korean government sources say that north korean leader kim jong-il has likely visited china. the sources told nhk that kim allegedly traveled to china on a special train early thursday morning. the details of his trip and the purpose have not been disclosed. but one of the south korean government sources says they're now checking the information. kim visited china in may this year. at the time he exchanged views with chinese leaders on the resumption of the six-party talks on his country's nuclear development. now, former u.s. president jimmy carter is now in north korea. he will discuss with the north's government officials about the release of an american man detained in the country. carter's visit is attracting media attention about whether he would meet kim during his stay. we'll bring you up to date on that story and more news at the top of the next hour. hope you stay with us.