tv Satellite News From Taiwan PBS December 7, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. japan's space agency says its probe has failed to enter the venus orbit and passed on to outer space. the agency announced this on wednesday after a detailed analysis of data sent from the akatsuki probe. on tuesday it tried to enter the orbit 550 kilometers above
venus. the agency briefly lost contact with the probe but later re-established communications. it had been trying to confirm if the operation was successful. akatsuki was launched back in may as japan's first probe to venus. it was equipped with five cameras to collect data on the planet's atmosphere. iran and six key nations concluded a two-day meeting in geneva on tuesday but only reached an agreement to continue nuclear talks next month. officials from iran, the united states, and four other permanent members of the u.n. security council plus germany held the first talks in 14 months on tehran's nuclear development. the details of the talks were not disclosed, but the six countries are thought to have urged iran to immediately stop its uranium enrichment. iran is also likely to have stressed that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes and the uranium enrichment is its legitimate right. the two sides agreed to meet in istanbul in late january. >> we plan to discuss practical
ideas and ways of cooperating toward the resolution of our core concerns about the nuclear issue. the u.n. security council imposed additional sanctions against iran back in june. the united states, european countries, and japan have approved additional sanctions of their own, but iran is continuing its nuclear development despite the international pressure. two weeks after north korea's bombardment of yeonpyeong island in the yellow sea a senior u.s. official has again urged china to exert influence over its neighbor. u.s. deputy secretary of state james steinberg spoke in washington on tuesday before an expected visit to china. >> in the context of our interest in a stable and secure and denuclearized korean peninsula, china has a critical
role to place, and we look forward to working together in a way that can demonstrate to all that our partnership is effective. >> steinberg also said the united states does not consider it productive at this point to convene a meeting of delegates to the six-party talks, as proposed by china. he stressed north korea first needs to take concrete steps toward denuclearization. a british court has denied bail to wikileaks founder julian assange and kept him in custody for possible extradition to sweden on sex crime allegations. assange appeared before the steve westminster magistrates' court in london on tuesday after turning himself in to scotland yard earlier in the day to face a swedish arrest warrant. the 39-year-old australian told a british judge that he does not consent to his extradition to sweden. he denies allegation that he sexually assaulted two women during a visit to sweden in august. the london court sent assange to jail until his next hearing on december 14th.
>> many people believe mr. assange to be innocent, myself included. and many people believe that this prosecution is politically motivated. >> wikileaks has been denounced by the u.s. and other countries' governments for illegally obtaining classified official documents and uploading some of them seriously affecting diplomatic activities and security. after the arrest wikileaks spokesman said in a statement that the website will continue to release the secret documents it has obtained. swedish judicial authorities that issued the arrest warrant deny any link between the case and the revelation of official documents by wikileaks, saying the decision was made independently without any political pressure. japanese researchers have rehabilitated a monkey's spinal injury using induced pluripotent stem cells, or ips cells. the groundbreaking achievement is likely to bring laboratory experiments one step closer to
clinical human trials. keio university professor hideyuki okano and his research team used neural precursor cells developed from ips cells. these were created by planting different types of genes into human skin cells. the team transplanted the cells into aparalyzed monkey. the monkey began moving its body in ten days and was walking again in six weeks. the success of the experiment has increased optimism about a cure for human spinal injuries. professor okano said ips cells often turn cancerous but no symptoms were detected during the three-month observation period. okano hopes his research will lead to clinical human trials after gathering data to ensure their safety. one of japan's most popular kabuki actors, ichikawa ebizo, has apologized for his involvement in a bar fight but denied that he used violence. the kabuki theater operator says the actor's stage appearance will be cancelled for an indefinite period.
on tuesday night in tokyo ebizo appeared at a news conference for the first time since the incident. ebizo said he met the people he was drinking with and his assailants for the first time that night. he stated that he was hit after trying to help a friend who fell down. the actor said he thought he would die while being beaten and escaping from the attackers. the kabuki theater operator
president jun-ichi sakomoto announced that ebizo will take indefinite leave from stage appearances. >> police have an arrest warrant for a 26-year-old man on charges of inflicting injuries on the actor. in biz news, japan's current account surplus rose for a second straight month in october, up nearly 3% from a year earlier. the financial ministry released the preliminary figures on wednesday. the report said the current account surplus stood at $17.2 billion. that's up 2.9% compared with the previous year. the modest increase comes as sluggish auto exports to asia were outweighed by larger profits from overseas subsidiaries of companies.
the trade surplus stood at just under $11 billion, down 2.6% from a year earlier. while imports grew due to higher prices of coal and iron ore, exports to asian countries leveled off. meanwhile, the income surplus was $10.6 billion, up 3.9% compared with a year ago. the ministry says it will keep a close watch over emerging economies, the effects of a strong yen, and price trends for raw materials. japan's machinery orders in october fell 1.4% from the previous month. this marks the second straight month of decline. the cabinet office reported on wednesday that major machinery makers received orders worth just under $9 billion from domestic firms. this excludes those from shipping and power companies. orders for manufacturers including chip makers grew, but a fall in non-manufacturers such as communications equipment and computers. however, the margin of decline was small, and the government maintained its assessment that machinery orders are picking up. but the government remains cautious about the overall
outlook for corporate investment, citing weaker corporate production and exports. it also points out the possibility of a reduced impact from recent government economic measures and have supported consumer spending. business sentiment at japan's major manufacturers is expected to worsen for the first time in 21 months. this comes as a strong yen and the expiration of government subsidies for ecofriendly cars are damping demand for autos. the bank of japan's tankan survey is due out in a week. nine research firms have forecast that business sentiment at large makers in japan will worsen from the previous survey by five points, bringing the figure to plus three points on average. while the positive number indicates optimists still outnumber pessimists it marks an end to six consecutive quarters of improvement. as for the outlook, eight out of the nine research firms expect business confidence to decline further as the government has cut back on its subsidies for
rapid growth, but the labor situation is now changing dramatically. nhk world's makoto oda has the story. >> reporter: dongguan, a coastal province of guangdong is host to a large number of foreign-owned manufacturing plants. its population is to reach about 7 million. more than 70% of those living here are workers from outside the city. since the beginning of this year workers have staged a series of strikes, demanding higher wages and better employment terms. many businesses are struggling to secure enough labor to continue boosting output amid economic growth. this 23-year-old man came here from the inland province of hunan six years ago. he earned about $180 a month in
his previous job. this man turned down all of the jobs he was offered on this day, complaining that the salaries were too low. >> translator: the jobs on offer were all poorly paid and had unappealing working conditions. no way. >> translator: the number of job seekers isn't keeping up with the increase in the number of job openings. it's a job hunter's market. >> reporter: china has been dubbed the factory of the world for its ability to manufacture large quantity of goods at relatively low cost. a large number of foreign companies have offices and plants in the coastal region. as many as 100 million young people, hailing from farming villages and other inland areas, have flocked to the coast.
wages have been kept low, hugely benefiting the many companies that have set up shop in china. development has begun to spread inland from the coast, and fewer workers are now willing to make a major move in search of work. some have even returned to their place of origin. this japanese-owned electronic parts maker opened a plant in tonkn 11 years ago. 400 employees work in two shifts to keep the plant running round the clock and maintain an output that is five times greater than a decade ago. hiromasu kikahara is in charge of the plant. with business booming he wants to take on new workers. despite a rise of 20% in the initial wage offered since the beginning of the year, the company has had trouble finding
enough workers. >> translator: in the past dozens of job seekers formed a line at the gate when we had a recruitment drive under way, but no longer. the number is much lower now. >> reporter: difficulty finding new recruits is only part of the problem. with an increasing number of employees already on roster failing to return from a visit to their home regions. the firm is now following many others by making an effort to garner employee loyalty by improving working conditions. chairs have been installed in response to complaints about the need to remain standing. this is the accommodation for workers. an air-conditioner has been installed in every room at a total cost of about $53,000.
a more positive touch is seen in the company's habit of marking every employee's birthday with cake and words of congratulations. >> translator: they're so good to us. they make us feel as if we're family. >> reporter: despite all of these attempts to keep them swayed, employees quit just as frequently as before. the plant may not be able to keep up with increasing orders and could end up retooling its production plants. >> translator: securing sufficient labor will get even tougher. we'll have to think hard about whether we should stay in china or move production somewhere else. >> reporter: hikihara's problem is shared by other foreign-owned firms in guangdong.
in extreme cases there's barely one applicant for ten jobs openings. these conditions are likely to force recruiters and employers to come up with creative and more effective ways to find and hold on to workers. makoto oda, nhk world, guangdong province, china. to create new jobs a japanese city has started a taxi service using a bicycle to be precise. the low fare of 60 cents for every 500 meters has helped make the service a huge success. but the public funding that support the bikes will soon run out, and the taxi service might have to fold.
>> reporter: these rickshaws pedal through the streets of uwajima. elderly people use them for shopping trips or doctors' visits. >> translator: it's much faster and easier than walking. >> translator: it's cheap. >> reporter: uwajima city and the local chamber of commerce set up the bicycle taxi program last year to create jobs. the business hired seven unemployed people to drive the rickshaws. >> translator: there really weren't any jobs out there. with this salary at least i can support my family, so i was really happy when i got hired. >> reporter: but the service has a problem. it is completely financed by the government, and funding will be
cut in two years. the project will keep going after the funding dries up, but the fares are too low for the business to make a profit. everyone involved is worried that the bike taxis won't be able to stay on the road. >> translator: in the private sector they would have to raise their prices. there are a lot of problems, and at this point we can't realistically move forward. >> reporter: now another problem has surfaced. the issue of competition within the industry. until recently the rickshaw service oparated like a regular taxi company. it took bookings over the phone and picked up customers at specific locations. but some residents said the service was unfairly competing against private sector cabs. >> translator: of course i want them to stop.
our rate is about $6.60. we can't beat their 60-cent fare. >> reporter: the bike taxis didn't have many options. they decided to stop taking phone bookings. since august they've waited by the rickshaw stand for customers. but this causes new problems. business has fallen off. on a busy day they used to transport over 100 passengers, but now the best they can manage is 60. customers complain that the service is less convenient. >> translator: they used to come pick me up. it was more convenient. >> reporter: when the project organizers met, they decided to pick up customers around the downtown shopping areas. taxis aren't allowed to drive through the pedestrian shopping mall, but rickshaws can, so
there's no competition there. plenty of older people need help carrying home their bags. the rickshaw service teamed up with the local shops to offer a voucher. anyone spending over $30 at local stores gets a free 500-meter drive. >> translator: we take lots of riders, mostly elderly, and we get to know them. when i see their smiling faces, i feel we can't possibly stop this service. >> reporter: it's been a year since the service began. the drivers work hard while wondering whether they will be able to keep serving their community. >> the government aid will end in march 2012. here's the weather forecast with saki ochi.
hi, welcome back to your world weather update. now, across east asia, getting a look here at the conditions, high pressure still in control over much of china. so we're looking at clear dry skies again. in the northeast too some snow flurries yesterday but that is pulling away. much of the korean peninsula, however, will be seeing that sn snow/sleet mix falling across a wide area today. slowly tapering off into the midnight hours and should look dryer as we head into thursday. on the other hand, all that moisture is going to be heading in toward japan. so while today not too bad, especially for the west coast something, lingering showers in the morning but that pulls away, but then in another day or so definitely more showers coming on in off the sea of japan. for southeast asia, still looking at tropical showers and downpours across the philippines as well as for the mainland peninsula and parts of the
southern areas of the indo-china peninsula as well. here's a look at highs. 32 in manila and 19 in hong kong. 2 for seoul and 13 in tokyo. a little bit on the cool side. now we head into australian and we do have an update on the flooding situation in new south wales. let's start with a look asome of the scenes coming out from the area. this would be on tuesday in new south wales. widespread flooding. you can see here a very, very serious situation. it's been an ongoing story for the past week or so. much of the state is under floodwaters and residents definitely struggling to cope. officials are warning that more rain could fall, up to 100 millimeters in fact is possible. and that's really overflowing these rivers as well as dams here. very serious situation. looks like a lot of damage to crops as well. so not good news. in fact, for the next 48 hours as well more showers expected to move in through impacting much of eastern australia. and that could include heavier rain bouts as well.
getting a look at north america now, it does look quite wet and windy in the west here. rather the northwest -- rather the intermountain west will see the moisture spread. that also moves into western and central sections of canada. eastern canada as well as the northeastern united states still dealing with a snow/sleet mix. that lake effect snow definitely going to pile up across the great lakes regions. 2 for your high in new york and the same for d.c. quite cool still here. minus 6 in chicago. very chilly day on wednesday again. finally a look at europe. it does stay wet for the iberian peninsula. quite a bit of rain has been falling here for the next couple of days. that's looking set to continue again today. winds will be on the breezy side as well. elsewhere a lot of that prips tai precipitation across continental europe. mix of sleet, snow, and cold rain. very chilly picture again today. highs on wednesday, minus 2 in
stockho stockholm, minus 1 in berlin. temperatures well below zero, 3 in vienna, and 2 degrees for paris. overall very chilly conditions lingering across a lot of europe. all right. so that's a look at your weather for now. and here is your three-day outlook. ♪ ♪ once again, the headlines this hour, japan's space agency says its probe has failed to enter the venus orbit and passed
on to outer space. the agency announced this on wednesday after a detailed analysis of data sent from the akatsuki probe. on tuesday it tried to enter the orbit 550 kilometers above venus. the agency briefly lost contact with the probe but later re-established communications it had been trying to confirm if the operation was successful. akatsuki was launched in may as japan's first probe to venus. it was equipped with five cameras to collect data on the planet's atmosphere. iran and six key nations concluded a two-day meeting in geneva on tuesday but only reached an agreement to continue nuclear talks next month. officials from iran, the united states, and four other permanent members of the u.n. security council plus germany held the first talks in 14 months on tehran's nuclear development. the details of the talks were not disclosed, but the six countries are thought to have urged iran to immediately stop its uranium enrichment. iran is also likely to have
stressed that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes and uranium enrichment is its legitimate right. the two sides agreed to meet in istanbul in late january. >> we plan to discuss practical ideas and ways of cooperating toward the resolution of our core concerns about the nuclear issue. >> the u.n. security council imposed additional sanctions against iran in june. the united states, european countries, and japan have approved additional sanctions of their own. but iran is continuing its nuclear development despite international pressure. a historic hot spring bathing facility in matsuyama city, western japan, has undergone its traditional annual cleaning ahead of the busy holiday season. the main building at dogo hot
spring, built 116 years ago, is one of the city's top tourist attractions, drawing 700,000 visitors a year. the facility attracts a whopping 6,000 people a day, triple the usual number, during the new year's holiday period. the building is closed to guests for one day every december and given a top to bottom scouring. on tuesday 80 municipal employees and staff from local inns removed tatami floor mats from the building to be aired. they also wiped down the ceiling and light fixtures. outside workers cleaned the roof and under the eaves using brooms tied to six meter long bamboo poles. the scrubbing is a time-honored tradition that has come to symbolize the leadup to the holiday period. many households undertake an osoji, or house cleaning. that's it for this edition