welcome to nhk world "news line." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's some of the stories we're following this hour. investigations continue following deadly explosions near a communist party building in china. workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are preparing to move fuel rods from the damaged reactor building. and the soviet union once dominated the winter olympics. now russia's leaders are investing heavily, hoping to return to those glory days.
police in china are investigating a series of explosions near a communist party building. state-run news reports homemade bombs killed one person and injured eight others. xinhua news agency says the explosions took place 400 kilometers from the capital. it says some eyewitnesses heard as many as eight explosions in three locations. xinhua news agency says small iron balls were found scattered around which suggests handmade bombs were used. in photos posted online show damage to nearby cars, but many have already been removed from the internet. family members of a prominent chinese human rights
activist have left china. officials allowed the mother and brother to visit him in the united states. chen got in trouble for exposing forced abortions by chinese authorities. he escaped house arrest in april last year. he was allowed to leave for the united states after seeking asylum at the u.s. embassy in beijing. the blind activist has appealed for international pressure on china to improve its human rights record. chen's mother and brother flew to new york on wednesday. authorities in china initially did not accept their passport applications, but officials reversed the decision and issued their travel documents in june. chen's relatives have reportedly suffered repeatedly harassment since his departure. u.s. officials have conveyed their concerns to the chinese government. japan's self-defense forces have installed land-to-sea missiles on okinawa's island for the first time. they're being deployed temporarily for a large-scale military drill. some 20 vehicles fitted with
launches arrived at the island's port from hokkaido about 2500 kilometers away. the missiles were then transmitted to a launch site. more than 30,000 personnel will join the drill through november 18th. they will practice targeting a maritime self-defense destroyer off the coast. the drill covers all waters between miyako and okinawa's main island. officials say the exercise does not consider the ships of any specific country as potential targets. yet chinese naval vessels often navigate the area as they head to the pacific ocean. it also extends to the air base. air self-defense have practiced an emergency scramble. it was prompted by military planes in the skies around okinawa. such incidents have surged since japan nationalized the senkaku islands in the east china sea last year. japan controls the islands but china and taiwan claim them.
the chinese government say it's part of their history and international law. workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have been battling problem after problem. they've been plugging leaks and scrambling to build storage tanks for contaminated water. now they're about to begin work on a task that's taken years to prepare. they're ready to move the fuel rods from the damaged reactor buildings to a safer location. nhk world's reporter has more in today's "nuclear watch." >> reporter: the media entered the fukushima daiichi on wednesday to see the number 4 reactor building. the building contains more than 1,500 fuel units. most of them have been used. they're extremely hot, highly radioactive. and experts say they need to be kept cool for 30 to 40 years.
they're about 20 meters above ground. the water traps radiation and keeps the rods cool. but a hydrogen explosion in 2011 weakened the building's structure. experts say the rods must be moved to a safer place. managers of tokyo electric power company have been preparing to start the job for the last 2 1/2 years. they plan to lift the rods out with a crane. but the building was too weak to support it. so workers built a steel frame. they will transfer the rods to containers that can seal in radiation. they will then move these two a facility within the compound and put them back into water. the job is far from
straightforward. the workers have to maneuver the rods under water to prevent any radiation from escaping. and they will have to cope with high levels of radiation, up to 200 microsieverts per hour. >> translator: the working environment here is more difficult and stressful than usual. therefore, i want to devote every effort to safely transfer all the fuel rods. >> reporter: tepco officials say it will take more than a year to remove all the rods from reactor number 4. then they will have to do it all over again at the three other reactors. they haven't said when they expect to finish. the operation is due to start this month. it's the latest hurdle in the long process of decommissioning the plant, a project that's expected to take up t
"nuclear watch" only on "newsline." the people overseeing the sfo disposal of syria's chemical weapons agree they may need to destroy the arsenal outside the country. the experts are working in a context of a civil war. and the syrians themselves don't have the expertise to get rid of their stockpiles. nhk world's chie ishikawa has more. >> reporter: this man heads up the organization of chemical weapons. he delivered an update on the mission in syria to the group's executive counsel. he said syrian officials have met a november #st deadline for destroying all production facilities or making sure the machinery is inoperable. the international team began their work last month to destroy the chemical arsenal in syria. they said the government was cooperative.
officials say syrian authorities destroyed equipment used for producing chemical arms, 39 of 41 declared facilities. those are located at 23 sites. but fierce fighting in the country posed a major challenge for the international mission. inspectors were unable to visit two sites for security reasons. the decommissioning team said the country has 1,300 tons of chemical agents. most of them are basic ingredients needed to produce the nerve agent sarin and mustard gas. the head of the opcw said the syrians have so far destroyed 99 of the more than 1,200 warheads. they say that work is continuing. syrian officials have proposed
that the destruction of the arsenal be shifted outside the country. albania and belgium are among the countries being considered. both are geographically close to syria and have experience destroying such weapons. a joint mission chief in syria says she will work with other countries to put the arsenals out of action. but she asks that security is still their chief concern. >> the conflict is of course of daily concern not only to the mission but to the people of syria. we make our security assessments on an ongoing basis and will continue to do so. >> reporter: opcw officials hope to have plans ready for the next stage of their syrian mission by next week. they are aiming for the verified destruction of all declared chemical weapons and production facilities by the middle of next year. chiaki ishikawa, nhk world.
>> some wonder whether the syrians and officials from the organization will be able to meet all their deadlines. we have a specialist in chemical weapons who helped set up the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. he said the experts are facing a host of challenges. >> the united nations resolution set a deadline of completing the work by the end of june 2014. but many wonder whether the syrians will meet that deadline. they are working, of course, in the context of civil war and experts within the country do not have the necessary skills or the infrastructure to get rid of the arsenal. it's important to find out whether countries offering to destroy chemical agents can actually do what they say they can do. they may not have the technical
skills or the experience to do this. they may not have the means to transport such chemicals. and they may not be able to provide the proper levels of security. officials from norway have already declined to help. those from albania and some other countries have offered to take on the job. but for the reasons i just outlined, albania is not necessarily the best nation to do this. it might be necessary for a group of countries, not just one country, to take on the responsibility. so we may see experts from belgium, france, italy, and possibly other countries take on this difficult task. japan's largest automaker, toyota, says sales are brisk, especially overseas. for more, ron madison from the
business team. ron. >> yep, that's one reason why it's seeing pretty good numbers at this time and projecting profits not seen in several years. toyota has released its latest earnings report. the firm expects to post an operating profit that will bring it close to the record high that it set before the global economic crisis. toyota revised upward its operating profit outlook for the current fiscal year to $22.3 billion. the previous estimate was about $19.7 billion. this will be the first time in six years that the profit will exceed $20 billion. toyota executives also reported the firm's earnings for the six months through september. they say operating profit for the term was more than $12.7 billion. toyota executives say revenue is on the rise as sales pick up overseas. that's due to a weaker yen. they also cite their efforts since the collapse of lehman brothers. >> translator: since 2008, we've
been making cost-cutting efforts together with our suppliers. >> looking ahead, the vice president suggested that toyota will closely watch economic trends in emerging nations. he said future u.s. monetary policy may also impact currency values of these markets. mitsubishi motors is set to raise capital through new shares. it's to shore up its financial condition. and it's also part of the japanese automaker's midterm business plan. company executives say they're targeting $2.1 billion through a public offer this fiscal year. they'll use the funds to buy back preferred stock held by mitsubishi group companies. >> translator: by buying back shares, our company will no longer be considered a firm on the mend. >> the automaker sold the preferred shares to group companies to cover funding needs. the firm's financial health had gotten worse after cover-ups of auto defects were revealed in 2000 and 2004. under the new business plan, the automaker will resume dividend payments to its shareholders
next fiscal year. that will be for the first time in 17 years. it's also planning to build a new plant in southeast asia where mitsubishi expects strong demand for its cars. let's get a check of the markets now. positive corporate earnings are lifting september intiment in e. frankfurt gaining 0.4% while paris is up by nearly 1%. budget carrier -- british budget carrier easy jet and the world's biggest staffing agency adeco were among the major gainers. tokyo's nikkei rosed 0.8%. thailand's index gained 1.4% on signs of easing political tensions over a parliamentary debate on a controversial amnesty bill. critics say the bill is aimed at the prime minister to return home. moving on to currencies, the euro is recovering in lost ground earlier in the week.
euro/dollar is now currently changing hands at 1.3523. investors are closely watching to confirm whether the european central bank will give any signal on a future rate cut at this thursday's policy meeting. analysts say the euro is unlikely to fall until market players i remember request the ecb's stance. meanwhile dollar/yen is at 98.58. a japanese railway operator is making inroads into thailand. east japan railway company has secured a contract for a new train line in bangkok. east japan railway will team up with toshiba and a trading house. the railway operator president says they secured a contract for the purple line which is now under construction. it will link bangkok as well as its suburbs. the cars will be run on the new line. the companies will also engage in operation and maintenance for ten years. >> translator: our employees will offer training on site.
we want to export our rail technologies and give technical support. >> the move comes at a time when the japanese government is considering exports of transport infrastructure as a pillar of its new growth plan. a japanese i.t. firm has set up a new facility in san francisco. this is to support ventures that aim to secure a foothold in the city. it is one of the i.t. hubs in the u.s. >> three, two, one, go! >> tokyo-based digital garage opened its new premises in the city center. san francisco's mayor, japanese venture firm executives and twitter's founder attended the opening ceremony. >> translator: i expect i can expand my personal network here. >> digital garage executives say they will use the facility to help nurture asian venture firms and support their fund-raising. that is going to do it for biz tonight.
prestigious sports club. this skating school is supported by russian ministry of defense. we can see the slogan on the wall. "always number one." this person became qualified to be a coach during the soviet time. the country almost always grabbed most of the gold medals at the winter olympics. but that changed when the union collapsed in 1991. sports clubs slowed their government funding. many out-of-work coaches went abroad. >> translator: many sports facilities were used as markets. there was litter everywhere. back then everyone was busy trying to get food and clothes. nobody cared about sports. there was no financial support
for sports. >> reporter: after more than a decade, russia's economy finally started picking up. in 2003, she got her job back at this skating school. she's once again training elite skaters. 14-year-old elena is one of them. she's won many golds in junior championsh championships. due to an age restriction, she can't compete at sochi, but she hopes to be a contender in future olympics. >> translator: of course, i really want to go to the olympics. >> reporter: last year president vladimir putin announced that he's bringing back russia's army unit dedicated to sports.
they were common in soviet times. they included only high-profile athletes. russia's government has strengthened its financial support to more than 1,100 sports facilities. among them is this skating rink in the country's far east. children who dream of performing in future olympics were competing. >> translator: i like to jump and spin. i want to be a pro skater. >> translator: we have high expectations, especially for women's figure skating. the skaters have made incredible progress. i wish them all the best. >> reporter: in putin's russia, the government is determined to steer the country toward a golden olympic future.
nhk world, russia. typhoon haiyan is approaching the philippines. for more we turn to robert speta. give us an update. >> very strong typhoon. this is expected to become a violent typhoon, potentially a dangerous and deadly one as it pushes west, approaching the philippines. throughout the day thursday conditions will go downhill. it's expected to make landfall by friday morning. now, right now it is farther back here towards the east. you can see that symmetrical shape forming around it. really that radial outflow. it's pulling off towards the west. tiny island right there in palau. already been seeing winds up to about 106 kilometers per hour. about 6,000 people live on that island. definitely will be hunkering down through the overnight hours as this does push off towards the west, passing north of palau through thursday morning.
typhoon watches are in effect there as well. now, the good news is the bulk, that core of the max winds which right now are gusting up to 20 kilometers per hour, should be remaining offshore. unfortunately, that is where the luck runs out because after it pushes by here, it's going to be slamming into the central portions of the philippines as not only just a strong typhoon but likely a violent typhoon with winds gusting near 300 kilometers per hour. we're looking at the risk of a high storm surge, building da g i damaging winds. towards manila, you're looking at the risk of flooding. i think the highest risk will be along the eastern seaboard. you have that moisture flow come around the northern prirry. a lot of these areas are very prone to landslides. and if you get over 300 millimeters of rain, potentially some areas could see about 500. that brings the very serious risk of low-lying flooding and landslides. evacuations are already in place. if you are being advised to
evacuate, please take those proper precautions. if you plan on flying out of here as well really throughout the rest of the week, just forget about it because flights are already being delayed and canceled. farther towards the west, rain showers continuing to kick up across portions of vietnam. we have a tropical depression already been bringing flooding rains to about 77 millimeters reported here in the past 24 hours. still some showers going to continue to linger. towards the north, japan's been enjoying mild weather so far this week. we do have a new trough that's starting to pull in out of korea and pushing into western japan. this is going to be bringing some rain showers out here. and even into thursday morning, tokyo is looking at some gloomy conditions. even a few thunderstorms possibly off towards the north. then that's going to push towards the east. cooler air will be moving in from the north and much drier. ulon bator with a high of four. things really starting to cool off. tokyo by the weekend, temperatures starting to dive down as well. let's talk about europe and
what's going on out here. we really have just one large system really extending ought the way from northwestern russia down there towards the balkans. that's pushing towards the east. good news, this is slowly weakening out. but still into turkey and portions of russia, you'll be seeing rain showers with this and even gusty winds. a little break in central europe. but then behind that, we have a new storm system. this one coming in off the atlantic. what's going to be happening with this? not so much a big rainmaker but pretty gusty winds. if there's any travel delays, it's due to these strong wind, cross-winds in london, paris, berlin, there's a risk of up to 100 kilometers per hour. right now you are seeing some foul weather. london, rain showers. paris, showers there for you. berlin, showers as well. even over towards warsaw. but that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.
japanese fishermen have started hauling in one of winter's prized catches, snow crabs. crabs are a seasonal delicacy showing up in everything from sushi to hot pot soups. the sea of japan is a key hunting ground. the crews of these boats are trolling 40 kilometers off the coast. they put down their nets at the stroke of midnight. not long after they were pulling in the first catch of the season. some of the shells measures 20
centimeters across. >> translator: i'm glad to see these crabs. we will work hard. >> the first auction took place wednesday. if the season goes well, the boats will be hauling in snow crabs until late march. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us. have a great day, wherever you are.
>> u.s. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east to kick off peace top -- talked to earlier he met with israeli .rime minister netanyahu in northern china, one person has been killed and 8 injured in a series of small explosions. security is on alert following an squareent in tianenm last week. service shut down across greece as more anti-austerity protesters take to the street. hello, you are watching "france 24