lvr hello and thank you for joining us on this edition of newsline, i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. japanese economists have are given their outlook on the country's next gdp report. they predict data later this month will show an increase in a second straight quarter. still, they think that increase will be modest. analysts at ten research firms and financial institutions offer their estimates for the three months through march. they're all expected to see growth on the quarter. they think it will come in between two-tenths and half of a percent in real terms. that would translate to annualized growth of six tenths
to 2.1%. the analysts say the negative impact of a consumption tax hike last april is receding, still they believe the pace of recovery remains modest. that i say consumers are not loosening their purse strings and business owners are cautious about spending money on facilities. executives at toyota motors say the group's operating profit for fiscal 2014 hit a record high and they're forecasting a third straight record profit in fiscal 2015. toyota had an operating profit of about $22.9 billion in the business year that ended in march. that's up 20% in yen terns compared to the previous year. sales in japan declined after a buying spree ahead of the consumption tax hike in april last year but sales in the united states and europe increased and the weaker yen pushed up profits.
looking ahead, toyota executives project operating profit for the current fiscal year at about $23.3 billion. they expect strong sales in the u.s. and they also plan more cost-cutting measures. toyota executives are targeting global sales of just over 10 million vehicles in the current business year. that's roughly the same number of the company sold in fiscal 2014. people if the united states are again seeing more chances to work. data for last month show employers created over 200,000 openings. that's quite a pickup after a hiring slowdown in march. labor department officials say employers added 223,000 non-farm jobs. that's in contrast to a final figure for march of 85,000. companies added most jobs in business services, construction, and health care. the unemployment rate fell from 5.5% to 5.4%. that's the lowest since may, 2008. policymakers at the federal reserve have hinted they're prepared to raise interest rates
in june or later. they highlighted improvement in employment figures and consumer prices. and over in china, the economy is projected to face a further slowdown. exports and imports fell in april from the same month last year. customs authorities say exports stood at more than $176 billion, down 6.4%. that's the second-straight monthly drop. shipments of clothe, shoes, and computers to japan, europe, and southeast asia were sluggish. imports totalled just over $142 billion, down 16.2%. that marks six straight months of decline. trading of steel and automobile-related materials dropped amid weak investment in real estate and corporate equipment. experts say the slow recovery of the global economy has weakened
external demand. they say rising labor costs are hurting china's export competitiveness. they also say domestic demand is still weak. in other news, british prime minister david cameron is getting ready for his second term. he led the conservative party to victory in a general election. now he says he'll follow through on his campaign promises. >> it's a manifesto for working people and as a majority government, we will be able to deliver all of it. >> cameron said he'll focus on providing child care for working families, cutting taxes for people on low incomes and building homes younger people can afford. he also said he'll hold a referendum on britain's membership of the e.u. parties were chasing 650 seats. the conservatives won 331, the labour party lost 26 and kept 232, the liberal democrats lost 49 and held on to eight. labour party leader ed miliband says he's stepping down. >> britain needs a labour party
that can rebuild after this defeat so we can have a government that stands up for working people again. and now it's time for someone else to take forward the leadership of this party. >> members of the pro-independent scottish national party became the third-largest block. they increased their seats from six to 56. >> the smp won't let you down. we will make sure scotland's interests are protected. >> many people in the united kingdom say the election results are surprising. media predicted no party would secure a majority. japanese prime minister shinzo abe says he's glad he can keep working with david cameron. abe sent him a word of congratulations. he commended the conservative party for what he called an impressive victory.
he said he's pleased he and cameron can keep working closely together. abe said he wants to develop the strong relationship between japan and britain and join hands to tackle global challenges. humanitarian organizations from across the globe are keeping up their efforts to help people in nepal get back on their feet. but aid workers say nearly two weeks after an earthquake hit the country, basic supplies are hard to come by. unicef estimates the crisis has had a severe impact on 4.2 million people, object 40% of them children. nhk world has more. >> reporter: day after day, brick after brick, people me nepal have been cleaning up. they're clearing away rubble from last month's devastating earthquake. elsewhere, they're building temporary shelters.
volunteers are helping these residents put up tent using bamboo and advertising posters. >> translator: the monsoon season is coming very soon. we need our houses to be restored. >> reporter: so much of the country needs to be restored. the 7.8 magnitude quake flattened building after building. more than 7,800 people died in nepal and neighboring nations. aid workers say the needs are great, especially because four out of every ten children were malnourished even before the disaster. >> in terms of priority, the shelter, in order to ensure that the children have -- and their families have a place to stay to keep them safe from the weather, the other immediate need was to ensure that they had clean water to drink and those -- good sanitation facility. the houses have been destroyed so maybe the water taps are gone, the water sources are destroyed. >> reporter: she says some remotes of nepal have no road
access. delivering aid has been a challenge and is taking time. the patience of locals is wearing thin. >> definitely the sentiment of those who have had no home, nothing there and not receiving anything for anybody has hurt. so there has been instances of people being upset and trying to stop the relief supplies, including like to the point where such supplies had to be escorted by police. >> reporter: many children are also stressed because they can not return to their classrooms. some 1500 schools were damaged or destroyed and more than 5,000 have closed temporarily. unicef is helping to survey school facilities and it's offering interim day care centers for more than 2,200 children.ency staff noticed kids also needed a chance to talk about their feelings.
so they partnered with a nepalese radio network to hear from them directly. the country's top psychologist answered questions. >> everybody was tuning into radio nepal and we thought to those places where we have not been able to reach and where all these traumatized children, there must be so much questions and there must be so much that nobody's listening to us so one way of bridging that gap was through radio waves. >> reporter: she says the overall challenge is to ensure the children of nepal feel that everybody cares about them, even as the country itself is trying to rebuild and move forward. nhk world. police in thailand have arrested a local mayor in connection with a human trafficking scandal. the arrest follows the discovery of mass graves in a jungle in the country's south. patchari raksawong has the details.
>> human rights groups have accused thailand of being a hub for human trafficking. they allege some thai officials are complicit in the illegal trade. at least 50 police officers were removed from their post since the graves were discovered and are under investigation the they include members of anti-trafficking units and border control officers. the mass graves were found in a province and many of the dead are believed to be muslims, a persecuted minority in myanmar. human smugglers likely detained them en route to malaysia via thailand. the police chief said they arrested the mayor on friday. he called the mayor a key suspect. he promised a thorough investigation into allegations that police officers were involved. rohingyan muslims are denied citizenship in myanmar. deadly clashes with members of the buddhist majority erupted three years ago. the u.n. estimates more than
80,000 rohingyas have fled or been smuggled out of myanmar. the u.s. government called on the thai government to carry out a speedy inquiry into the mass graves. human rights groups are urging thailand to crack down on human traffickers. faced with growing international criticism, the prime minister called on friday for a three-way meeting with malaysia airlines and myanmar to resolve the human trafficking problem. the u.n.'s refugee agency says an estimated 25,000 rohingyas boarded smugglers' boats in the first three months of 2015. that's more than twice as many as a year earlier. it estimates about 300 of them died at sea. with 180 million people, pakistan should be an attractive economy for foreign investors. many firms have avoided it because of worries about security but others see potential. a japanese motorbike
manufacturer is determined to make in roads as nhk world reports. >> reporter: yamaha motors started running last week in pakistan's largest city karachi. assembly of motorbikes has already begun. the initial plan is produce 40,000 bikes annually. the 200,000 square meter site could boost yamaha's output in pakistan up to tenfold in five years. yamaha set its sights on the comeback in pakistan seven years after pulling out of a local joint venture. many foreign companies have shied away from pakistan because of worries about security. but others see massive potential. 70% of the population is aged 35 or younger. gdp per capita is rising. motorbike sales are expected to
double in five years to three million units a year. >> translator: the number of young people is expected to grow, making motorcycles an exciting market. >> reporter: yamaha's biggest rivals are chinese brands. japanese motorbikes used to be the leaders in pakistan. but chinese competitors selling bikes costing 30% less expanded their market share, overtaking the japanese in 2009. >> translator: chinese motorbikes have good performance and are fuel efficient. >> reporter: to regain its edge, yamaha rolled out a model offering a bigger engine and more comfortable ride, targeting customers who want a higher grade.
it opens repair and maintenance shops with better follow-up services. customer service could become a point of difference with chinese rivals. >> translator: we want to strengthen customers' trust in our company with these services. >> reporter: japanese and chinese motorcycle makers see huge potential in this young market. they need to get ready for stiff competition on the road to success in pakistan. nhk world, karachi. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. researchers in japan have
detected more seismic activity coming from a popular tourist spot near tokyo. their instruments picked up 100 plus minor tremors on friday alone in the mount hakone region. a group of exports shot this video and say the volcanic gas contains more carbon dioxide than before the recent seismic activity began late last month. that suggests an increased flow of hot gas underground close to the surface. officials with the japan meteorological agency are warning of a possible minor eruption that could affect the surrounding area. they're telling people not to approach the crater. the agency is keeping the volcanic alert for mount hakone at two on a scale of five. hakone attracts millions of visitors from japan and abroad. nearly 170,000 foreign tourists go there each year, and the number is on the rise. this ropeway has been out of
service because it goes over the restricted area. >> i have no idea about the volcano. >> it's actually for our own safety i think it's a good thing that they are doing that. >> local officials are trying to reduce the economic impact caused by the alert. they're handing out information in english to help foreign visitors understand the no-entry zone applies only to that area. they say visitors can enjoy their activities elsewhere. >> well, we trust in japanese tourism to let us know that it's safe, so it's fine, yeah. >> officials plan to distribute the leaflets in chinese and korean as well. japanese leaders are encountering resistance from south korea in their bid to gain world heritage status for more locations across japan. the south koreans have raised flags about what went on inside some of these industrial facilities decades ago. earlier this week, an advisory
panel to unesco recommended the sites be added to the world cultural heritage list. >> translator: we've just been informed of a recommendation on japan's industrial revolution in kyushu and a related center for world heritage. an advisory body to unesco, the international council on monuments and sites, has nominated 23 sites from japan's meiji industrial revolution. they're dotted across the country and date back to the late 19th century. one of them is the iwata iron works, founded 114 years ago. its machinery repair works is the oldest steel frame structure in japan and is still in operation. this island in nagasaki houses the hashima coal mine. it's called battleship island because it's shaped like a warship.
the undersea mine helped the island prosper. a festive mood has taken hold around the sites and more spring holiday makers have come to view them. >> translator: it's impressive. >> translator: i hope the former mine will be preserved for another century as a world heritage site. >> reporter: people around the hashino iron ore mine savored the news, perhaps more than most. the area was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. the mine has the oldest western-style blast furnace in japan. >> translator: i'm happy. world heritage site status will certainly give a boost to reconstruction efforts and greatly lift the spirits of locals. >> reporter: but one of japan's neighbors isn't so positive.
south korea is among the 21 countries on the world heritage committee and it opposes the nominations, saying koreans were forced to work at some of the facilities toward the end of world war ii. a south korean parliamentary committee passed a resolution criticizing japan's bid. its chairperson has sent letters of opposition to other world heritage committee members. japanese officials have dismissed the move. they say the sites are the legacy of a 50-year period of rapid industrialization beginning in the 1850s. that was before japan's annexation of korea. the top government spokesperson says the matter should not be politicized. >> translator: i don't think it's appropriate for south korea or any country to introduce its political position on the matter now that the panel of experts has endorsed them and recommended granting them world heritage status.
>> reporter: unesco's advisory body placed the sites at the highest of four levels of recommendation. that paves the way for a formal decision at the world heritage committee meeting in july in bonn, germany. japanese officials have decided to consult with their south korean counterparts before then. the head of taiwan's ruling party has held talks with chinese president xi jinping. it was the first time that the nationalist party and the communist party have spoken. experts are trying to see what impact it could have on taiwan's presidential election next january and the future of the relationship. >> reporter: this was his first visit to mainland china since he was elected chairman of the nationalist party in january. he's a rising star within the party and many people are hoping
he'll run for president. during the talks, chu called for greater unity. >> reporter: and china's president seemed to agree. chu also spoke to university students in shanghai and beijing. he said he wants to open channels of communication between young people. some critics in taiwan say that stronger relations with china would only benefit the wealthy.
chu said he'd like to implement policies to expand economic opportunity for youth. >> translator: we should work together for the benefit of future generations. i want to increase opportunities for taiwan's young people and new companies. and i want to create more chances for people to find jobs. earlier, nhk world explained the meaning behind chu li-liuan's visit. >> chu is working a fine line here. he wants to emphasize the nationalist party's strong presence and ability to negotiate with china on equal terms. last year, students opposed to taiwan's economic agreement with china occupied the assembly building. the incident directed wider fears that taiwan could be
absorbed into china if the nationalists continued their conciliatory policies. the nationalists took a big hit from the largest opposition party in last november's local elections. the democratic progressive party has called for taiwan to distance itself from china. an expert on taiwan says the impact of the talks between chu and xi could be significant. >> translator: which you li-liuan says he wants to make sure the benefits trickle down to the middle-class to small and mid-sized companies and to young people. hi also showed an interest in joining the asian infrastructure investment bank and in creating a regional economic partnership structure. the fact that china showed support for the nationalist
party is a big step forward. >> reporter: the nationalist party is in the process of selecting its candidate for president. chu li-liung has expressed reluctance. public response to the meeting with president xi will be a factor. the democratic progressive party's presidential candidate says that she hopes to maintain the status quo between taiwan and china but she hasn't announced any specific policies and opinion polls by a major taiwanese newspaper suggests she is the front-runner. xi jinping has also apparently weighed in on the upcoming election he says the one-china concept lies at the heart of the relationship. that could mean he believes the
role of the democratic progressive party should be limited the two parties will be keeping an eye on public opinion as they craft their campaign strategies and many voters will be looking to see how they map out their vision for taiwan's relationship with its giant neighbor. there's more to come on newsline, but first the three-day outlook on the world's weather.
first glimpse of the outside on saturday and were greeted by a throng of visitors. the sisters are named oh-hing and to-hing. they were born in december. the twins are making the most of their newfound freedom. both now weigh more than nine kilograms. that's 50 times their birth weight. >> the pandas have a limited tolerance for summer heat so they'll head back inside when the temperature starts to rise. just adorable. that's all for now on this edition of newsline. i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for watching and have a good day wherever you are.