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tv   Newsline  PBS  October 19, 2010 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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this is "newsline." glad to have you. it's wednesday, october 20th, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi with your updates. japanese department store operator isetan mitsukoshi holdings has cancelled a plan to open a second store in tianjin, china saying it is not the right time. the decision followed a series of large anti-japan protests in the country. the firm planned to open its second outlet in tianjin by the end of this year.
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it regards china as one of its most promising markets and has already launched four outlets in the country so far. but the company changed its expansion plan after its store in chengdu, sichuan province was forced to close because of anti-japanese protests. the firm had also face the a hard time reaching agreements with local governments over conditions. isetan mitsukoshi holdings says china will remain the pillar of its overseas operations because of the country's strong economy. but the firm says it is reviewing its business plan for the near future including a store opening in beijing. a former president of japan's upper house says chinese foreign minister yang jiechi disapproves of the violent anti-japan protests over the senkaku islands in the east china sea. satsuki eda spoke to reporters in beijing on tuesday after the meeting with yang. eda spoke with yang about a series of anti-japanese protests that have taken place in some chinese cities since saturday.
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eda quoted yang as saying that he understands the chinese people's patriotic feelings but the chinese government does not support those who are trying to solve a problem by holding violent demonstrations. >> translator: many problems can occur between neighboring countries. we agreed that instead of growing hostility we must try to overcome these challenges to keep a friendly relationship. the leaders of the association of southeast asian nations plus japan, china and south korea will likely agree to play a cooperative role as an engine of growth for the global economy. they'll gather in the vietnamese capital, hanoi, on october 29th. a draft statement acquired by nhk says east asia recovered from the global economic crisis faster than any other part of the world. it emphasizes the contributions made by asean members and china to the world economy. the document says the nations
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will work closely together to build a dynamic, thriving economy. it also says these countries will promote domestic demand and create more jobs on a collaborative basis. regarding next month's general election in myanmar, the statement insists on the importance of a free and fair election. it does not mention pro-democracy leader awn sang suu kyi, who has been essentially barred from the process. asean members are maintaining the principle of nonintervention and are concerned about how china would react because of its strengthening political ties with myanmar. a new u.n. survey says a majority of iraqis who return to their country after living in exile say they regret doing so. on tuesday the u.n. high commissioner for refugees released their survey of nearly 2,400 people who returned to baghdad in 2007 and 2008. 61% of the respondents said that
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they regret returning. mostly because the security situation hasn't improved. 34% said they were not sure if they would stay in iraq. the u.n. says it would continue seeking international support for returnees and iraqi refugees still living in exile. now let's take a look at business news. the latest with ines matsuyama. >> thank you very much, catherine. hello. to ease inflationary pressure china has raised its benchmark lending and deposit rates by a quarter percentage point from wednesday. it is the first rate increase in nearly three years. china's central bank said on tuesday that it will raise the lending rate from the current 5.31 to 5.56%. the deposit rate will increase from 2 1/4 to 2.5%. china's maintaining a high growth rate of about 10% a year. but there's increasing concern about a housing bubble and the
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consumer housing index that preceded for two months in a row. the reserve has been raised four times this year to absorb excess money and to prevent overheating of the economy. china's economy slowed down sharply after the global financial crisis, which was triggered by the collapse of lehman brothers in 2008. the government has restored high growth with massive stimulus packages. china's return to normal monetary policy is in contrast with japan and western countries, which are still struggling to get their economies back on track. in the united states housing starts in september rose for the third month in a row, exceeding market expectations. the commerce department said on tuesday that a seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 610,000 in september. the figure is a 0.3% increase from the revised august estimate. but the number of building permits in the same month declined 5.6% from august, indicating weak demand for new homes in the future. attention is now on whether the
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improvement will continue as the housing market is seen as key to the u.s. economic recovery. and tokyo stocks plunged on wednesday morning following an overnight sell-off on wall street. the nikkei 225 ended the morning session at 9,331, down 2.2%, or 208 points almost. shares were sold across the board, including construction equipment-related issues. investors are wary that china's interest rate hike would slow the emerging economy, possibly dampening the global economic recovery. major banks were also among the losers. that follows a drop in the bank of america's share price on wall street after the banking giant announced a loss. on the tokyo foreign exchange the dollar is moving in a narrow range against the yen on wednesday morning. the greenback is trading between 81.33-37. the euro now stands at 111.84-89. sources say that investors
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bought back the dollar in overseas markets overnight after china's announcement to raise interest rates. however, investors began selling the dollar against the yen as they suspect the u.s. fed will further ease its monetary policy. here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates, the yield on the 10-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets, hong kong's hang seng opened 1.4% lower. it's currently down 1.6%. the shanghai key index for major blue chips is down 1 1/2%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is down 0.9%. japanese online retailer rakuten has lodged a complaint with a trade regulator over a tie-up of two search engines, google and yahoo japan, saying the deal is against the anti-monopoly law. yahoo japan, the country's largest internet portal, announced in july that it would adopt google's search engine. rakuten's complaint, presented to the fair trade commission,
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points out that the agreement would give google a monopoly in prioritizing content for search engines. it also warns that the tie-up could lead to higher rates for online advertising. u.s. computer giant microsoft has also voiced strong opposition to the planned deal. yahoo japan says although it will use google's search engine it will continue to compete with the global search engine giant and plans to customize google's technology and develop different services even after the tie-up. the european union says it will sanction the united states if they fail to tackle growing budget deficits. that's in an aim to prevent another greece-like fiscal crisis from eroding trust in the region's currency, the euro. eu finance ministers met in luxembourg on monday to discuss how to prevent another global crisis and the confusion on the currency market. they agreed to impose sanctions neglects to address ballooning government debts within six months. the supplies to budget deficits, which are forecast to exceed 3%
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across domestic product by a wide margin. behind the move is strong criticism that greece's failure to disclose and contain huge deficits caused loss of trust in the euro by global market players. as most eu nations are already carrying deficits above the 3% mark, the tougher stance will likely be an extra incentive to clear up their debt. now, compared to other real estate markets and emerging economies in asia, japan's property prices have been on the decline. but the country's ailing market maybe getting a helping hand from investors from other parts of the region. >> reporter: this condominium in suburban tokyo was built 15 years ago. 50 units haven't been sold or had any buyers recently. now one tokyo-based real estate company is giving them a new lease of life by renovating their interiors. the remodeled units were quickly
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snapped up. the flats were half the price of apartments or new condominiums in the same area. >> translator: i believe if we offer properties at cheaper prices we can convince customers to buy homes. >> reporter: after the collapse of lehman brothers and the onset of the global financial crisis two years ago the company began sifting through a deluge of unfinished buildings and unsold condominiums for more business. >> translator: next on the list is a suburban condominium that was built more than three years ago. it's typical dead stock. >> so you mean that its developer is on the brink of bankruptcy and can't continue its business operations? >> reporter: the real estate company gets funding from an investment firm in singapore. last year the singaporean firm signed a contract to infuse up to 3 billion yen into the real
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estate company to fund its projects. that amount was eventually increased to 5 billion yen. the company's now eyeing an even bigger project with the financial backing. the plan is to buy an upscale condominium being built in central tokyo. the billion's developer is on the verge of bankruptcy and has applied for protection from creditors under the civil rehabilitation law. >> translator: our tie-up with the singaporean firm enabled us to make decisions quickly when we want to start new projects. i think the tie-up has provided us with a big engine to thrust forward. >> reporter: the ip flux of funds from other parts of asia is also reviving the real estate market in japan's rural areas. niseko is a popular winter resort region in hokkaido, northern japan. over the past decade an increase in foreign tourists mainly from australia has fueled the real
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estate market. but with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, the investors pulled out of the area. but as the world emerges from the recession, the resort district is getting a boost from chinese and other asian real estate buyers. the area is bustling again with the construction of resort villas and condominiums. >> translator: i think the point is asian people don't buy properties for immediate profit. they're meant to be status symbols.
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>> reporter: a malaysian company bought this resort hotel and started renovating it in august. another hong kong real estate company is building a luxury hotel in the area. the project will cost about $1.2 billion. >> translator: we don't want investments that only bring temporary relief for the town. but we certainly want to welcome those that are sustainable. >> while real estate prices soar in china and southeast asia, japan's property market is going in the other direction. now the country's real estate looks well within reach compared to other nations as investors try to diversify their portfolios. they're more interested in investing in japan as an alternative. next is a recap of the latest market figures.
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♪ >> that's all for now in biz news. back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. delegates at the cop10 meeting agreed on tuesday to establish an international network to promote areas known as satoyamma. they're places where people live in harmony with nature and wildlife. jun konoda plans. >> reporter: a ceremony on tuesday launched the international satoyama network. the discussions on this issue
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happened on the sidelines of the u.n. conference on biodiversity in nagoya. japan used its role as cop-10 host to push the initiative forward. the united nations university provided support. satoyama is a japanese term that refers to rural settlements surrounded by rice paddies, vegetable fields, and forests. these rural environments have been maintained over a long period of time and play a vital role in preserving biodiversity. nine national governments, ng ngngos and universities around the world have joined the satoyama network. they are going to mobilize information and funding together to preserve rural environments. these landscapes are increasingly threatened by industrialization and rapid change in rural population.
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>> i expect that we all become stronger. we want to use the land but plant, flowers, animals, wild animals, they also must be can exist on this land. and this is our goal. >> reporter: delegates from around the world are unanimous in their hope that international collaboration will help revitalize their communities without damaging ecosystems. junko noda, nhk world, nagoya. >> protecting satoyama is nothing new for one japanese photographer. he's devoted his career to capturing the beauty of this landscape and encouraging people to represent it. mitsuhiko inamori focuses on
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nature and the people who live in it. he shoots many of his pictures in and around japan's largest lake, biwa, where he grew up and still lives. he has been speaking out about the importance of satoyama for nearly two decades. he tries to-team teach people about nature and insects. his photos have received numerous awards in japan. earlier, junko noda talked to the acclaimed photographer. >> translator: what is it about satoyama that appeals to you as a photographer? >> translator: its scenic beauty is one thing. but the place as a habitat for many living things including humans is what i find appealing. i think rice paddies play a key role in the japanese farm culture. paddies require water. and this brings variation to the landscape. the paddies are soaked in water at the time of rice planting but then turn into grass-covered
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fields, which become golden in the fall. they bring a sense of the seasons while nurturing the precious environment. >> farmers are considered nurturers of satoyama but their numbers are declining. what's your assessment of the current situation? >> well, for one thing, japanese farmers are losing confidence in their work. back in the old days japan's farmers were much strong er. they had great respect for nature and were brimming with confidence because they felt they lived together in harmony with nature. but i believe they lost confidence as they came to rely more on modern technology such
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as farming machinery and chemical fertilizers. >> has this also changed the satoyama ecosystem? >> yes. when farmers lose confidence, they give up trying to pass down their farming skills to the next generation. they even encourage their own children to find work elsewhere. thus leading to a shortage of people willing and able to continue farming. also, while fields may still be taken care of for economic reasons mountains are being neglected and left in a terrible state. >> what is needed to protect the
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sa satoyama landscape? >> the most important thing is for farmers to regain confidence. one way of doing so is through exchanges with urban residents. some people pay to take part in rice terrace ownership programs, which gives them experience in the fields. but these temporary projects aren't enough. i think much deeper involvement is needed. like having young couples with children move into farming communities. >> what do you think of the plan to set up a global network at the cop10 to protect satoyama landscapes? >> it's wonderful that the harmonious environment of japan's satoyama will be promoted around the world. but i'm wondering if designating certain areas for protection may lead to other places being
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ignored. i want the satoyama landscapes to be addressed from a wider perspective. i hope more focus will be placed on the complicated and causal relationship between humans and other living things that rely on the satoyama. >> junko noda there speaking with japanese photographer mitsuhiko imamori. later we'll have more on these harmonious landscapes in japan as well as in thailand. one of japan's major scallop production centers has lost most of this season's harvest due to higher sea temperatures. the prefectural government is considering immediate support for the fishing industry. aomori prefecture is japan's largest scallop -- or second largest scallop producer after hokkaido. about 90,000 tons of the shellfish are harvested each year in the still waters of mutuwan bay, where plankton are abundant. but many scallops died when ocean temperatures rose this
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summer. the temperature at a depth of 15 meters remapd above 23 degrees celsius for 54 days from august. on 12 of those days the temperature aecreached an unprecedented 26 degrees celsius. some fishermen say that more than 70% of the scallops on their farms have died. they also say shellfish less than one year old are not growing as much as they should. a task force of the prefectural government says it is investigating the damage and will arrange support for the fishermen as soon as possible. welcome back to your world weather update. well, in the asia pacific region, typhoon megi is still our main story here. you can see the intensity and the scale of it from our satellite imagery. still really impacting the northern end of the philippines with strong winds as well as heavy rain. now, here's a look at your projected path. it is showing that it will continue to move very, very
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slowly over the south china sea, picking up a bit more energy before moving into southeastern china, possibly taiwan as well by the end of the week, making landfall here as early as saturday local time but still early to tell. it could change its course fairly quickly, so it's best to keep updated with your local weather reports and even places like hainan island and vietnam should brace yourselves and keep a very close eye on this storm system. now, of course, this is the area that has been dealing with serious flooding recently. here is a look at the situation in thailand dealing with widespread severe flooding. rescue operations still going on in central and northeastern areas dealing with lots of flooding problems. in vietnam as well, in central areas, dealing with lots of flooding problems here. the death toll is now reaching 40, and this is the second time that the floods have hit the area this month, so the situation is very, very serious indeed.
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it looks like dry weather will prevail across northern vietnam over the next 24 hours, but more showers to threaten central and northeastern portions of thailand. elsewhere across asia, china looking at dry conditions all the way from the southwest up into the northeastern corner here. south korea also in the dry. much of japan, though, will also see some showers. especially down towards the south along the pacific side of the country and also down in the southernmost islands of okinawa as well, looking at significant rainfall. tokyo coming in at 21 degrees today. 19 in seoul. quite mild for this time of year in ulan bator. 11 for your daytime high. 32 degrees down in bangkok. as for the americas, then, we are looking at this tropical low over the caribbean, and that is showing signs of intensifying. possibly becoming a tropical depression or a tropical storm in the next couple of days. it is going to be moving away
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from honduras, so moving over the waters, it will pick up a bit more energy before heading into jamaica and cuba, so look out for some heavy downpours here. as for the united states and canada, not much has changed. we've got this frontal line that's going to be sagging into the deep south. a couple of showers to watch out for, then some more severe thunderstorms erupting in southern california as well as parts of the four corners. british columbia, more rain to come. vancouver will escape the rain and the eastern side of canada dealing with wintry precipitation. it is going to be quite chilly out here and also across the midwest as well. toronto, 16 degrees for your daytime high. 17 in new york, staying mild down in the south. 30 degrees in miami, 31 and looking quite cool in l.a., 19 degrees with cloudy skies. all right. here is now your extended forecast. ♪
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♪ our top story this hour, the leaders of the association of southeast asian nations plus japan, china, and south korea will likely agree to play a cooperative role as an engine of growth for the global economy.
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they'll gather in the vietnamese capital hanoi on october 29th. a draft statement acquired by nhk says east asia recovered from the global economic crisis faster than any other part of the world. it emphasizes the contributions made by asean members and china to the world economy. the document says the nations will work closely together to build a dynamic, thriving economy. it also says these countries will promote domestic demand and create more jobs on a collaborative basis. regarding next month's general election in myanmar, the statement insists on the importance of a free and fair election. it does not mention pro-democracy leader aung sun suu kyi, who has been essentially barred from the process. asean members are apparently maintaining the principle of nonintervention and they're concerned about how china would react because of its strengthening political ties with myanmar. and that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. glad you could join us. úúrrñxñx
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