hello there and welcome to nhk "newsline." it's wednesday, november 2nd, 9:00 a.m., i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. prosecutors in south korea are questioning a long time friend of president park geun-hye over her alleged interference in state affairs. they're expected to officially arrest the businesswoman on wednesday. the prosecutors have detained choi soon-sil for receiving confidential documents from president park. they also suspect she siphoned off funds from organizations that the presidential office was indirectly involved in setting up. choi has known park for 40 years. local media say she denies wrongdoing. the scandal has dominated headlines in south korea. one newspaper quoted
presidential office sources as saying that at one time choi was free to come and go to government offices without passing through security. they allege she was given the same clearance as the president. local media are saying the scandal could weaken the administration and have a negative impact on its diplomatic policies. foreign ministry officials say the issue will have no impact on national security and diplomatic affairs, including president park's planned visit to japan later this year for a three-way summit meeting, including china. choi soon-sil's personality is not well known. while it's says she's a businesswoman involved in real estate management, a lot of her life has been shrouded in mystery. she became close to the south korean president during the leader's early adulthood, as park geun-hye explained in her autobiography. here's the details from seoul. >> translator: choi soon-sil helped me during a difficult time in the past.
>> reporter: that difficult time for president park began in that theater in central seoul. it was august 15, 1974. there was an assassination attempt against her father. the then south korean president park chung-hee was in the midst of making a speech on stage when the shot rang out. park's mother was shot dead with a bullet intended for her father. after the assassination, park took on the role of acting first lady. the sudden death of her mother deeply affected her. >> translator: as i organized my mother's belongings one by one, my heart bled for her passing. >> it was around this time she became acquainted with religious figure choi tae-min. park met choi for the first time
after receiving a letter from him. he wrote that park's mother appeared in his dreams and park decided to take him on as a sort of spiritual advisor. this video shows park participating in a meeting of his religious organization. choi soon-sil is his daughter. park became like a sister to her, always providing her with support. park was involved in a political initiative known as the new seoul movement. it was started by choi the elder. the movement stressed the nation must advance not just economically but that people must also develop spiritually. park and soon-sil participated actively in this movement. in 1979, park's father was assassinated by his head of intelligence.
the assassin later told a court that one of the reasons why he killed his boss was because of choi tae-min's corrupt activities and his closeness to the president's daughter. those formally close to park's father suddenly began to leave her side. >> translator: it was a shock to have even those closest to my father suddenly desert me. >> reporter: with this incident, park geun-hye disappeared the -- from the political scene. even after leaving the presidential office, soon-sil was always by park's side during her period of obscurity. in 1997, park made an unexpected comeback in politics. in 2012, she made it back to the presidential office and, as always by her side was her long-time friend and confidante choi soon-sil.
nhk world, seoul. chinese president xi jinping has met with taiwan's opposition leader and stressed the importance of stibing to the one-china principle. president xi held talks on tuesday with the chairperson of the nationalist party. he said the two sides of the taiwan strait are inseparable. >> translator: to ensure national integrity and protect the fundamental interests of the chinese nation is the common will of all chinese people. >> hung hsiu-chu presented an idea for concluding a peace treaty that would end the strained relations between taiwan and china. >> we resolutely oppose the taiwan independence policy with policies aimed at peace that will benefit the people.
we actively play the role of promoting the institutionalization of cross-strait peace. >> she expressed hope of deepening the nation of one china to eliminate the risk of unrest triggered by a pro independence movement in taiwan. taiwanese president tsai ing-wen of the democratic progressive party, refuses to accept the one-china principle. the ties between she and hong appear to be aimed at putting pressure tsai. the presidential office released a statement. tsai ing-wen said the leaders on both sides of the taiwan strait should show wisdom and flexibility and overcome their differences to achieve a win-win future. tsai repeated a call for the resumption of dialogue that china suspended. two of china's stealth fighter jets made their debut at an air show in the country's south. the j-20 jets performed a series of maneuvers as beijing showed
its newest military hardware to the public for the first time. chinese media say the plane has capabilities to avoid detection by radar and may be deployed as early as next year. they're expected to be sent to the south china sea. beijing has claimed sovereignty over much of the area. other planes featured in the show included the y-20 transport aircraft. china says it can carry large amounts of cargo and personnel. china's latest weapons systems and domestically produced drones were also on display. the u.s. military says one of its ballistic missile submarines has arrived at a port in the western pacific island of guam. it says the visit demonstrates the u.s. commitment to its allies in the indo asia-pacific region. the u ss pennsylvania made port on sunday in the u.s. territory. such submarines are capable of carrying nuclear missiles and constitute part of the u.s. deterrence triad along with strategic bombers.
it's rare for the military to publicize the whereabouts of its submarines. u.s. military officials said such submarines provide a critical, stabilizing, and highly effective element of the u.s. nuclear deterrent force. the u.s. military and japan's self-defense forces have been conducting joint drills in guam and its surrounding waters since sunday. the u.s. military has frequently sent strategic bombers to the island this year. the submarine's visit is also seen as a show of deterrence as north korea conducts nuclear and ballistic missile tests and china increases its maritime activities in the region. n. >> the latest business news, uncertainty about the u.s. election has been dragging down prices. ai, the election is only about a week away. how are the latest developments affecting the markets? >> well, investors don't like uncertainty, but they've been getting a lot of that ever since
last week, actually, when the fbi decided to look into democratic nominee hillary clinton's e-mail use again. that's given the republican presidential candidate donald trump momentum. and latest polls show clinton's lead is narrowing. in fact, some polls show trump is leading. so this uncertainty, especially so close to the election itself is a big drag on sentiment, on wall street. both major indices fell more than half a point each as some see the option of a president trump and his policies as a red flag for the economy. ramin, how are markets opening? >> pretty negative. investors very nervous ahead of the u.s. elections as we've been talking about and pretty much in a risk-averse mode. let's have a look at the opening levels for the nikkei and the broader topix. you can see the nikkei is down 1%. the broader topix, down 1.2%.
so a nervy start. on tuesday, the nikkei ended slightly higher. it didn't have much of an impact on tokyo stocks, but the energy sector was lower on cheaper oil prices, but earnings reports from major companies are really moving markets now. i want to talk about sony. executives say net profit for the april to september period fell nearly 80% year on year. the stronger yen hurting overseas earnings. the recent earthquake damaged a plant in southwestern japan as well, affecting sony. we should also mention about sharp, it reported brighter prospects for its future after its earnings report on tuesday, following strinkent cost-cutting measures by hon high precision, otherwise known as foxconn, as it took over sharp.
steel makers are suffering with higher prices of coal and slowing demand. full year profits are expected to be lower. >> and speaking of earnings reports, the stronger yen would always influence these reports. tell us where some of the key levels are this morning? >> exactly. the dollar/yen pair, closely watched by most investors. 104.06. it meal fr we'll see how that trades and keep a close eye. traders are buying the yen as the currency of choice, usually in times of market tension, so it has risen against the dollar. that's due to uncertainty about the u.s. elections. this could again weigh on exporters here. i'll keep track of that, obviously. a quick look at indexes that are open right now across the asia pacific. seoul's kospi is trading down lower, 0.72% and sydney's index,
down just over 1%. in japan, earnings reports from mazda, olympus and yamaha motors. we'll keep an eye on those companies and the related sectors as well. but for now, that's all from me. back to you. >> thanks for keeping us up to date. japanese business leaders are in china, where they've met the premier and local counterparts. chinese officials have indicated a desire to improve ties with japan for the sake of their economy. the top corporate executives and officials from japan and china kicked off their annual meeting at the great hall of the people in beijing on tuesday. the japanese delegation comprises of 30 people. they include former prime minister fukuda and the chairman of the japan business federation. chinese premier li ker chung told the visitors that restoring ties would be beneficial for both sides.
he added that frank exchanges can lead to closer economic ties and reduce uncertainties. well, an economic partnership agreement between japan and mongolia came into force in june. one of the products on which import tariffs were lifted is cashmere. companies in both countries that deal in cashmere are increasing their trade. >> this clothing store is jammed with tourists from chinas, the united states and other parts of the world. cashmere is the draw. mongolia is the world's second largest producer of the luxury fiber. the hottest seller are coats of 100% cashmere coats. they're also popular in japan for their quality and affordable price. makers of cashmere expect the trade deal to boost exports to japan. this major manufacturer is one of them. the company produces about 10,000 cashmere coats a year. however, it lacks the technology
for high-end processing of delicate cashmere fibers. so it commissions the processing work to a company in japan. >> translator: using japanese processing, we hope to make products that are competitive in the global market. >> reporter: they sent their orders to this osaka textile mill. the mill processes about ten kinds of naturally produced wool, including cashmere, using a technique that's almost a century old. that technique is what attracted the mongolian maker. sharp teeth on rollers catch and lift surface fibers to make it fluffy and soft. skilled workers monitor the humidity of the work station, to ensure quality control, the pressure has to be repeatedly adjusted in response to those factors. >> translator: we have to check constantly. it's really difficult. >> reporter: the president has
preserved the labor intensive technique even has other mills have shuttered due to competition from lower-priced foreign-made products. the company's earnings have grown by 10% thanks to the processing deal with the mongolian maker. and it has already received orders for next year. >> translator: we hope to deepen ties with our mongolian clients and increase our orders. we'll need to do more to meet their quality demands. >> reporter: with the japanese help, the mongolian manufacturer now aims to produce ten times the volume of coats it did before. together the two companies are working to stay competitive in the global market. >> well, tokyo markets are in the negative this morning. i'll leave you with a check on those numbers. ♪ ♪
olympic officials in japan are taking a creative approach to promoting the 2020 tokyo games. they've organized a performance called the land of the rising sun that showcases a country's traditions and culture. as you'll see, some of japan's top creative talent, and a diverse range of artists, got into the act. nhk world's maria naka has the details. >> reporter: director myomoto is attending the rehearsal a day
before the performance. his plays have been performed all over the world, including on broadway. but this is his first time creating a play for an international conference. creative artists, using cutting edge digital art, are in charge of visual displays, used for the stage scenery. the cast includes a diverse range of people, including popular kabuki actors. >> rather than explaining with words, let me invite you to experience it. >> reporter: then comes the day of the performance. after the big bang, the gods, two figures from ancient japanese folk tales appear on stage. they're said to be the creator of japan and its gods.
the deity of the moon which stills the night is followed by the deity of the sun who rules the daytime. ♪ ♪ >> abundant nature created by the sun and the moon. the people give thanks for their blessings. the peace, however, is destroyed by a deity who brings natural disasters. he arrives amid serpents and overwhelms the audience with his presence. >> translator: i hope that everyone would unite to work together so i joined to play a part in the show. >> reporter: volcanos erupt in
the background, a hellish scene in which everything burns. then an egret appears and gives a rice plant to a young girl. the people stand up with a renewed sense of hope. >> translator: i want to show the spirit of the japanese people, which explains why we are so patient as we move toward the future, despite suffering natural disasters. >> reporter: the performance also showcases changes in fashion over time, from nobles in ancient times to women in the edo and meiji periods. and on to today. this virtual idol falls down from the heavens.
>> never forget the dream within you. >> reporter: the half hour show closes with cheers from the audience. [ cheers and applause ] marie yanaka, nhk world. >> a great display there. health officials in japan are urging people to see their doctor if they have a nagging cough. they say the number of patients suffering from a bacterial infection called mycoplasma pneumonia are on the rise. the national institute of infectious diseases says 758 cases were reported in the week of october 23 by 500 institutions across the country. that's the highest since record taking began in 2009. the infections usually occur during the autumn and winter. it can also cause encephalitis or inflammation of the brain,
although such cases are rare. about 80% of patients are children under the age of 14. japanese space officials are preparing for the launch of a weather observation satellite. and while some people are excited about the satellite, others are excited about what's on the outside of the rocket. the rocket was moved to a launch pad at the space center in southwestern japan on wednesday. and if you look really close, you can see some special art work. the creator of the manga series space brothers has sold about 17 million copies. he rated images to be put on the rocket. and if you look even closer, you can see they're also mosaics. he invited children to send in pictures and photos that represent their dreams. a total of 30,000 are now heading to space. >> translator: i'm so excited to see the rocket, to draw the exhaust trails, just the same as everybody who sent in their
drawings or pictures for the artwork. >> reporter: the rocket and its artwork are expected to lift off on wednesday afternoon. for any satellite launch, of course, weather conditions play a key role. we check in with our meteorologist robert speta for the latest in world weather. >> it's going to be on the chilly side at least over the next several days. a little bit of a warm-up, but i would still maybe have a cup of nice warm tea with you, if you are headed out and about through the rest of the week. especially in northern japan. tokyo in the high teens by the time thursday comes around. more snowfall for parts of hokkaido. you can see in the satellite picture, northwesterly winds moving through. and upper level low bringing warmer temperatures from the south, but it's not that much. so northern areas of honshu and
hokkaido, this is adding moisture. so it means cool rain for parts of tokyo. but snow for northern honshu and most of hokkaido, the white stuff. these northwesterly winds, at least for wednesday here, is some good news. and the reason for that is that you have this coming in from the northwest and pushing down towards the south, and that means some semi- clear skies expected across southern areas of kyushu. this is great news especially for the weather triple-team here. we have the satellite launch today, that is the backup, or the secondary to the next generation weather satellite. so another tool in the garage that we can use to show you some of the information displayed here for our weather forecast. and the good news, the weather looks pretty decent for it. sunny skies, high of 22, wind, watch out for that, about 30 kilometers per hour. but it's coming from the northwest. something to watch out for, it's
going to be airing here about 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, there out of tan ga shima. back towards the northwest, we have high pressure dominating much of china, keeping things on the cool side, but also rather stale. high of about 12 there. some sunny skies in beijing. seoul with a high of 10. and shanghai up to 17. want to take your attention over here towards the scandinavian peninsula. we do have basically this area of low pressure continuing to linger. i really want to bring your attention to that, because that is kicking up some fairly gusty winds. i want to show you video coming out of sweden, because this gives you a quick idea of what i'm talking about here. you think travel weather is bad where you are, how about this out of central sweden. a city of about 250,000 people. very low visibility. definitely not a good day to be traveling out on some of those major highways through that region. it's going to continue to be a slow go. and also the low is continuing
to track towards the east, more snow into parts of poland. combined with 89-mile-per-hour gusts, especially northern poland, and over to moscow and kiev, you have snow in your forecast as well. let's wrap things up into the americas. big thing is, we have a low developing moving towards the northeast? that is bringing thunderstorms with it. one of the other deals is the temperature is working with it. ahead of it, it's above average in new york, d.c., even down towards atlanta, low 20s. behind it, already a big cool-off into denver and towards winnipeg. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook. ♪ ♪
japan and for workers at the garden on the sea of japan coast, it means lots of preparation. each year, they have to make sure tree branches don't break because of heavy snow. they started with two pine trees using a traditional method for branch-tying. a small crowd of tourists even stopped to watch the progress. >> this is my first visit. it's wonderful. >> translator: i want people to enjoy the sight of trees with snow during the winter season in canna za. >> workers will cover pine and azalea trees at about 800 locations in the garden by mid december. and that wraps up this edition of nhk news line. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. line.
>> today on global 3000 we head to chile to check out affordable living options for people on low incomes. in rwanda, environmentalists are trying to prevent a wetland from drying up. but first we go to afghanistan, where there is still a complete lack of security. what does this mean for its people? should they leave or should they stay at co -- stay? the number of civilian casualities in afghanistan has reached a record-high. 5,166 people were killed or injured in the first six months of this year alone. almost a third of them children - victims of almost constant suicide attacks, bombs and explosions. as a result, increasing numbers