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tv   Newsline  PBS  October 15, 2010 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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hello again and welcome back to "newsline." i'm hideshi hara in tokyo with the latest at this hour. north korea's envoy to the six-party talks says his country is ready to resume talks on the program. the talks have been suspended since december 2008. first the vice foreign minister made the remark to reporters on friday in beijing after meeting with the chair of the six-party
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talks. he added that while the north is positive, the united states, south korea and japan remain cautious. kim then referred to u.n. security council sanctions against the north over its nuclear tests. kim said the north has no obligation to participate in talks as long as sanctions are in place but that members of the talks could still find a solution. nhk's correspondent in beijing says kim appeared to be using a possible return to the talks as a bargaining chip for the removal of sanctions and direct negotiations with the u.s. three former japanese abductees who were taken by north korean agents in the 1970s have made a fresh plea for an early resolution of the abduction issue.
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separate comments were issued on thursday on the eve of the eighth anniversary of their return to japan. five former abductees were repatriated on october 15, 2002 after 24 years in north korea. they said every year they have been asking the japanese government to bring back the other abductees. they said they feel frustrated and even angry to see how little progress has been made. they urged the government to somehow achieve a break-through and move the situation forward as soon as possible. one girl's mother was abducted with her but remains unaccounted for. soga says she has been praying for an early reunion with her mother. she said she feels frustrated tlas have been virtually no developments. she added she wishes from the bottom of her heart that all abductees, including her mother, will be quickly reunited with their families. the five former abductees have been campaigning for a resolution of the issue. north korea maintains that there
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are no longer any japanese abductees in the country. the top leadership of china's communist party is meeting behind closed doors to discuss key policies, including the succession of president hu jintao. the four-day meeting of the central committee started in beijing on friday amid tight security. attention is focused on whether the vice president xi jinping will be promoted to vice chairman of the central military commission, a move that will cement his position as successor to president hu. the assembly is also expected to outline a five-year economic plan from 2011 that would include the creation of a more sophisticated industrial structure to stimulate china's economy. the plan may include measures to raise income levels amid a widening income gap and repeated strikes over wages. u.s. retail sales in september rose by 0.6% from the previous month.
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it is the third consecutive monthly increase and was more than the market expected. the u.s. commerce department announced the figure on friday has set the upward trend was mainly due to stronger sales of automobiles, electronics and appliances. a u.n. conference on biological diversity has unanimously adopted a new protocol that calls for compensation for ecological damage caused by genetically modified organisms. >> adopted. the supplementary protocol was adopted on friday in nagoya, japan. they state in reported gmos damage the eco systsystem, theye able to seek damages from the countries. but compensation has been left to future skigss.
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the meeting will start discussing new goals for saving fauna and flora next week. as host nation of the conference on biodiversity, japan aims to promote areas known as satoyama where humans live with nature in harmony with human life. >> reporter: satoyama is surrounded by rice and vegetable fields and forests. people co-exist with native animals. satoyama accounts for 40% of japan's land. such environments play a vital role in biodiversity and are essential places for the residents to experience nature. recently, however, wild animals have expanded their territories. there have been many reports of animals coming into conflict with humans.
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on thursday in northern japan, a bear attacked a man in the field. it then entered a junior high school and injured two officials. local hunters shot the bear dead. >> translator: i have a class today. and i'm scared. >> translator: it was my first time to see a bear. so i was surprised. >> reporter: bears attacked 84 people nationwide, from april to september. that was already about 30% higher than last year's total. more than 2,100 bears have been caught. of them, 1,800 have been killed at a faster pace than the last fiscal year.
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bears are not the only wild animals that are wreaking havoc around the country. in the center of japan, a monkey bit more than 100 people since august. there have also been cases of deer and wild boars eating crops and tree seedlings. global warming and the results on declining food are believed to be pushing wild animals closer to human homes. but experts also blame the population in rural areas and the resulting increase in abandoned farm fields. they no longer serve as a buffer between wild animals and humans. >> translator: humans have abandoned the satoyama. wild animals like monkeys and bears now view the areas as their own. so they have been expanding their range into the former buffer zones. animals are testing the limits
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to see how far they can increase their habitats. >> reporter: people with a sense of crisis are launching efforts. some non-profit organizations and the local governments are working with young people to restore and protect satoyama. their activities include the activities include teaching students the importance of forests through tree planting. the environment ministry had decided to use satoyama as a model for future preservation efforts. the ministry plans to introduce the concept at the ongoing conference in a bit to encourage other countries to actively preserve their rural environments. nhk world. time for the second part of a series "new home new challenges." today we're looking at muslims
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who live in japan. 23% of the world's population, or 1.6 billion people, are followers of islam, but very few of them have lived in this had country. that's slowly changing. number of muslims who call japan home has doubled to 80,000 in the last decade, and as nhk world found out, they face their own challenges. >> reporter: many muslims in tokyo go to mosques on fridays to worship. most of them are from pakistan and indonesia. many have found work in businesses that export automobiles and home appliances from japan. such products have high prices in the middle east and africa where economies are growing rapidly.
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this man is a muslim who came to japan 28 years ago from india. he lives in tokyo with his japanese wife and teaches at university and serves as an imam or a religious leader at the mosque. islam follows the consumption of pork and animal. muslims in their daily life must find products which do not use the pork or alcohol. life in used to be difficult for him in the days when there are no shops. he could not be sure about the food he ate. that changed. >> we can buy the japanese
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things a lot. >> reporter: now he faces another challenge. it is a problem he discovered when his mother-in-law died 20 years ago. she converted to islam when her daughter married her. according to islam, the dead bodies of followers must be buried. but in japan, more than 90% of people who die are cremated. most nature areas in fact are perfect burials. he's spent a lot of time searching for a semer that that would permit them. the only one he found at tokyo was at a temple. pakistan international airlines is offering help. it launched a free service five years ago. it delivers bodies of people who
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could not be buried in japan to their homeland. only pakistani nationals can use the service. about 200 bodies have been sent back so far. he is in close contact with the airline about this service. >> please we continue this service. >> yes, this service continue. >> reporter: he has also asked the airline to increase the number of bodies it sends back to pakistan. he has become the go-to person in his community when it comes to the burials. he receives many calls from fellow muslims asking for advice. at present, only a few cemeteries, allow burials for dead bodies.
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during han's search, it has not been unusual for him to face protest from local residents. >> translator: people in japan should be cremated. burying corpses is unsanitary. i oppose a plan to build a cemetery in this neighborhood where bodies will be buried in the ground. >> reporter: han is aware of their objections but says he's determined to continue his effort to persuade japanese people. >> we have to know the culture and also good things from japanese people and we cooperate with them and they hope they will cooperate with us. >> reporter: the number of muslims in japan is growing, although many of them wish to stay here for the rest of their lives. they have yet to find a final resting place they consider
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suitable. nhk world. >> he joins us now in the studio. you just mentioned khan is the go-to person in japan's muslim community. how busy do you think is he dealing with problems? >> he says he gets 20 to 30 inquiries each month to burials and there are issues, for example, the construction of a mosque in western japan last year pitted local residents against muslims. the locals associate islam as a terrifying religion. in an effort to eliminate this misconception, muslims organize events to help local residents understand their culture and customs. the muslims also do up a statement promising they will not cause noise or any other problems. after rounds of discussion, the
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locals and muslims came to understand each other. eventually the mosque was built. >> and what kind of issues do the muslim children face here in japan? >> one major one happens in education. khan told me how school lunches at elementary and junior high schools sometimes contain pork. since islam prohibits pork consumption, muslim children can't eat the lunches. a number of children have been bullied at the school because of that. some of them have been forced to transfer to other schools. in fact, most muslim children go to international schools. international schools in tokyo have introduced a you this system enabling muslim children to choose pork-free meals. they also allow lunch boxes. it's just one of many challenges
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muslims face. they try to make japan their new home. they are doing their best to maintain their own traditions while trying at the same time to fit into japanese culture. >> thank you for your report. what can a robot do for you? in this fast-evolving world, robots will be playing ever-bigger roles in our every day lives. we look into this fast-growing market in our "one-on-one" segment. >> reporter: in our collector psyche, robots are the icons of what we call the future. ever since the ancient greeks,
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beef's been imagining a world in which machines would free us of the woes of labor. but where are all those human noids we thought we'd be surrounded by? are these robots really anything more than science fiction, or is the future now? to find out, i put the question to one of the world's leading authorities on practical robots, collin angle, ceo of the american corporation i-robot. the company is at the forefront of the fast-growing robot industry. its military and first response bots and roomba home vacuum cleaning robots are among the company's best selling products. >> how are we not assisted by robots in the aspect of our daily lives as we imagined 30, 40, 50 years ago how life would be in the 21st century? >> the dream came out in the '60s. we all knew what we wanted, but the best we could do for decades
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was hollywood fake robots. >> are we anywhere near practical applications? >> today, we can vacuum your house for you. we can start to imagine doctor visits happening where a remote doctor on a computer can control a robot in your home that can do a check-up or a nurse can come and do a check-up. that's certainly within the realm of the next few years, five years we'll be able to see that practically available. >> robotics today seems to be driven by r & d in military applications. >> in iraq today, there's challenges of bombs being placed on the roadside and we have been asking our soldiers to go up and defuse those bombs. what a crazy and terrible job to do. so developing a robot that can go and do that instead of a person made a ton of sense.
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the gulf disaster down in the gulf of mexico where we spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the water. robots were used to go help identify where that oil was. these are things that people couldn't do easily. >> how is research into military robotics actually beneficial to home robotics. >> we built a robot that would hunt for mines and we needed a technology that would ensure that robot would get everyone on the field and ensure coverage. so why not apply that navigation technology to the vacuum cleaner. so we did and we ended up with a system that was incredibly thorough. and so it all works. >> if you look at robotics being developed here in japan, there
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is a big focus on humanoids, on making them look so real that they'd fool r2-d2. >> there is no good reason why a robot should look like a person outside of hollywood. it is interesting because we've been trained by movies and tv shows to expect robots to look like people but it makes no sense to do so. legs are incredibly complicated, and so you see a walking robot. it has 100 times the complexity that is required if that robot instead could just use wheels. a humanoid looking robot is going to cost more money, is going to be less reliable, and less useful. >> what are some of the wildest applications for robotics that you have thought of or your teams have thought of that we may actually see in 15, 20 or 30
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years, or further, further down the line? >> you know, the thing about robots is that it solves physical problems. right? it's not google or it's not the internet, robots are typically useful for the dull, the dirty, the dangerous sorts of tasks. so a robot that can go down into a mine and mine coal, a robot that does laundry, that can cook me food, that can go and if i have trouble walking, help me around my home. i want a robot to fold my laundry for me. is that sexy and cool? i don't know. but i don't have to do it. and that's important. >> robotic applications in nano technology, is that on the way? >> absolutely. i think nano technology and robots are bound to intersect if they haven't already. so building a robot that you might be able to swallow could go through our veins and help
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clean them out, would be a very useful thing or something that could do a -- you follow a robot into surgery for you. >> thank you so much for taking the time to spend with us today. >> my pleasure. here's some of the news received from broadcasting stations across asia. we begin with this item sent by irib iran. iran will assume the rotating presidency of the organization of petroleum exporting countries, opec, from next year. the announcement was made at the organization's ministerial meeting in vienna, austria, on thursday. iran has been elected to the presidency of the 12-member oil cartel for the first time in 36 years. iran is opec's second-largest crude oil producer. member countries provide about 35% of global oil supply. china's biggest trade fair
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opened in the southern city of guangzhou on friday. the event is considered a key barometer of the country's trade and economic development. more than 23,000 domestic and overseas firms are taking part in this 108th edition. exhibits cover a wide range of fields, including mechanical and electrical appliances, textiles, health care products, and other consumer goods. the event is taking place amid growing concerns that a stronger yuan could impede china's exports. hello there. welcome back to your world weather update. japan is going to see some showers to the north on saturday. but it will stay largely dry and settled for the most part. this last system also producing some showers and winds across northeastern china. we could see snow and sleet in the mix. we have cold winds tucked away
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behind. the korean peninsula and much of china as you can see is under a high pressure system. there will be good deals of sunshine, but down in the south is a different story from hainan island into indochina peninsula, dealing with more heavy showers this weekend. we have typhoon megi over the pacific that will make its way in a westerly direction, not affecting land masses just yet, but it is showing signs of intensifying further as it makes its way towards the northern philippines, probably arriving here by early next week. so we really want to keep an eye on where this is going to be heading. as for indochina, it has been dealing with rather a lot of rain in the last 24 hours, central vietnam, thailand as well. so some of these areas dealt with severe flooding just a week ago, so it is going to be quite vulnerable to flooding and landslides, hainan island, vietnam. it looks like there will be torrential rains this weekend. thailand too looking at the possibility of flooding. tropical depression that will be
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making its way slowly across northeastern india will also be raising risks of flooding and landslides here as well, especially in and around arisa. keep updated with your local weather reports. looking quite mild on your saturday, across central and southern china. 27 degrees in hong kong with light showers and tropical downpours for bangkok, 30 degrees on your saturday. now, let's head to the americas. largely settled and dry, not much cloud about for a large part of the u.s. it is pretty windy, though, today on friday across central and western canada and down towards the northern rockies as well. over towards the northeastern corner, this very large system is going to continue to move slowly up the east coast, bringing some more heavy showers, thunderstorms and strong winds to watch out for as well in southern quebec and also new england. looking quite dry in the southeastern corner here as well. we have red flag warnings in place, still mild, down in the south.
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27 degrees in denver as well and 26 in los angeles. as for europe, northern areas drying up quite nicely brightening up across the uk and scandinavia too. that wet weather moving away from finland. now, central europe is a different story. we are going to see substantial rain moving through. it will continue to head south, turning quite lively over the alps as well. watch out for heavy showers and thunderstorms. and much of italy, looking very unsettled again on saturday. in fact, that widespread rain will really continue to persist over the balkans, over western turkey where there has been some flooding problems. you do need to watch out for those heavy downpours. 23 degrees in athens today. 22 in rome. over towards the northeast, it is going to be pretty cold out here, 3 degrees in moscow. cold rain and snow on the cards. here is your extended forecast.
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thamplts con. that concludes this edition
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of "newsline." i'm hideshi hara in tokyo. we'll be back in a half-hour. thanks for joining us on nhk world.
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