welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here is a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. chinese government officials rejected a call from south korea to revise their new air defense identification zone even as nations continue to defy it. thailand's prime minister has survived a no confidence vote in parliament, but protesters occupying government buildings still want her to quit.
competition is heating up in japan to attract foreign tourists with duty-free shopping as the country welcomes a record number of visitors this year. chinese leaders are standing their ground in the face of more xloints over their newly established air defense identification zone. they've rejected a request by south korea to revise the zone which is over the east china sea. the air space overlaps areas claimed by japan, taiwan and south korea. senior government officials from china and south korea talked about the zone in seoul. south korean officials say vice defense minister pick sin ju express regrets that it was set up without prior consultation. his chinese counterpart wang gong jong rejected a request to redraw the zone.
the officials say peck told wang that south korea is considering expanding its own air space. they expressed concern that chinese action could increase military tensions in the region he reportedly called for talks among the countries concerned. japan's chief cabinet secretary and the new u.s. ambassador to this country say they'll work closely together on this issue. yoshihide suga said the new zone is dangerous and raises serious concerns. kennedy said in a speech on monday that her country is concerned and will cooperate with japan. he later revealed that self-defense forces have continued routine activities in the zone since china's declaration. >> reporter: japan's self-defense forces have routinely been conducting air and sea surveillance operations in china's air defense identification zone, including
the east china sea after the declaration. we will never alter those activities for the sake of the chinese. >> suga says sdf patrols in the zone have not triggered a reaction from beijing. a high court in japan has ruled july's upper house election invalid due to the wide disparity in the weight of votes among constituencies. it is the first time a court has annulled the results of an upper house election. part of the upper house is elected by constituencies from each of japan's 47 prefectures. the number of lawmakers elected by each prefecture is based on the size of the voter population, but ratio is non-proportional, meaning heavily populated prefectures are underrepresented. two groups of lawyers have filed lawsuits in high courts across japan to seek an annulment of the election. they are pursuing individual claims against the electoral committees of each prefecture.
the lawyers claim that the disparity ratio between the least represented district and the most is as high as 4.77. they say this violates the people's right to equality as guaranteed by the constitution. the okam ma branch of the hiroshima high court ruled this disparity is unconstitutional, thereby invalidating the results. presiding judge blamed the diet for not acting enough on a supreme court ruling handed down four years ago that urged electoral reform. >> translator: we think the ruling is wonderful. it states clearly that the value of each vote should be the same. >> translator: the ruling is very severe. >> thursday's ruling can be appealed by the prefectural election committee f. the ruling is finalized, the constituency's
sole lawmaker will loose his seat. the disparity in the value of votes in last year's lower house election is also an issue. the supreme court ruled last week that the disparity among -- amounted to a state of unconstitutionality, but the court stopped short of saying it violated the constitution. all high courts across japan are expected to hand down judgments by late next month on the upper house election lawsuits. thai prime minister yingluck shinawatra has called on protesters occupying government buildings to go home. yingluck addressed the nation on television and offered to hold talks with her opponents. the thai prime minister earlier survived a no confidence vote in parliament. tra tina gau son has more details from bangkok. >> reporter: the no confidence vote against prime minister yingluck took police among anti-government protesters. yingluck survived the votes, but
on the streets of bangkok protesters continue to demand she resign. the lower house on thursday morning rejected the no confidence motion submitted by the opposition. yingluck's party and its coalition partners have a significant majority and were easily able to defeat the measure. events in parliament drew a sharp reaction from anti-government protesters in bangkok. >> translator: i'm here for the king of thailand and for the country, and i want the government out, out of the country, all of them. all of the shinawatra family. >> reporter: thousands of protesters are continuing sit-ins on the compounds of the finance ministry and another government building. they're calling on government workers to join them. supporters of the government on wednesday night held their own rally in bangkok. they called on people not to join the protests.
another pro government rally is planned for this weekend. >> translator: the yingluck government was elected to power in a fair election. >> reporter: the recent surge of anti-government protests was spurred by yingluck's decision to force a controversy amnesty bill through the lower house. critics say the bill was designed to allow her brother, former prime minister thaksin shinawatra return to thailand. the political standoff reflects social and economic gaps between those who have most benefited from thailand's economic development and those who have been left behind. yingluck and thaksin received most of their support from rurm areas, while the urban middle class tend to support the opposition democratic party. so far no political leader has been capable of bridging that divide. stocks in europe are trading
on back of gains in asian markets. ron madison has the play-by-play. >> that's right, gene. been a nice couple days for the markets. in fact, the dow joe and germany's dax are in record high territory. now jop pan has joined the global rally thanks to more funds flowing into the market. tokyo's main benchmark rose to a nearly six-year high. the nikkea climbed 1.8%, finishing at 15,727. sentiment really got a boost today from the yen's fall to the 102 yen level. investors now expect brighter corporate earnings, especially among major exporters. turning to europe, germany's dax is still at a record high level. tt at 9,384, a gain of .4%. meanwhile, in london, the market is up by a .10%. paris's cac 40 is up by 25%. in thailand the s.e.t. index climbed by about 1%, invaefters
remaining a bit wary about the anti-government protests. the euro rose for the first time in 4 1/2 years, right around 138-87. in the eurozone traders are waiting for november consumer prices due out on friday. the figure could affect the trading direction on the euro. dollar-yen meantime at 102.18. participants will be closely watching japan's cpi figures due out on friday. investment in middle eastern energy supplies will be key to meeting rapidly growing demand in asia. that's according to the head of the international energy a agency. iea executive director mar vandr hope. but she said production will fail to match demand. >> projected growth outside north america is too slow to
take over as the engine of production growth in the last decade to 2035. so to meet the continued rise in demand in asia, we will need to be seeing the necessary investments made in the middle east already in this decade. >> vander hope also said china would overtake the u.s. as the world's largest petroleum consumer by 2030. consumption will also grow rapidly in india. new car production in japan rose in october for the second straight month. consumers were attracted to new models from major brands. eight key automakers say they produced about 825,000 vehicles in the month. that's up nearly 10% from october last year. the figures were boosted by strong sales of new fuel efficient cars and mini vehicles. increased exports to the u.s. also helped out. mitsubishi led the way with an increase of more than 60%. it was followed up by that 30% gain from mazda. toyota's out put grew more than
9%. that was thanks to brisk exports. the automakers plan to release more new models in the coming months. japan's agriculture ministry is to make the largest cut in its rice production target in a decade. a panel of experts and farmers advising the ministry approved the target at a meeting on thursday. the target for next year is set at 7.65 million tons, down 260,000 tons from this year. the ministry made the cut for a fifth year in a row. rice consumption is falling due to rising prices. a relatively good yield in the crop this year is raising the prospects of a surplus in rice stockpiles next year. the government has set a total production target and quotas for rice producers. that system is set to be abolished in about five years. that is going to do it for biz tonight. i'll leave you with the markets.
the number of tourists visiting japan this year is likely to top ten million. it appears japan is recovering from the march 11th disaster in 2011. many foreigners hope to do some shopping in ginza, an upscale tokyo shopping district. it has always been the place japanese people would go for luxury goods, but has been changing over the past few years. competition is heating up among retail shops targeting tourists from emerging asian nations. nhk world's tack fume many
reports. >> reporter: managers at this store in ginza are trying to lure in tourists by making shopping easier. instead of waiting and filling out forms, customers just have to let staff scan their passport and then sign the copy. a chinese company owns this store and 21 others in japan and china, first selling electronics but shifted to duty free in recent years. company executives -- the ginza location will be its flagship store in its country. >> translator: this area specializes in iron wear made in the country's northeast. >> traditional iron kettles made by japanese artisans are hop pop lar especially among wealthy chinese. prices range from $100 to more
than $10,000. >> translator: the economies of asian nations are growing rapidly. what was in fashion last year may not be popular this year. we want to keep abreast of these demands. this is our challenge. >> reporter: retailers in japan are making up for lost ground. foreign business in 2011 dropped by almost 30% after the march 11th disaster. things have since improved. the number of chinese visitors is recovering despite the diplomatic tension between japan and china. people from other parts of asia are coming, too. the japanese government eased visa restrictions for tourists from five southeastern asian nations. it's trying to attract more affluent travelers. well established department stores are trying to win them
over. they're offering duty-free service and more. this store renovated its interior and expanded its women's shoes section. >> translator: we are getting more shoppers from china and thailand as well as from other southeast asian countries. this year foreign customers spent three times as much as they did last year. >> reporter: japan welcomed a record 8.66 million foreign visitors as of the end of october. analysts say promoting tourism will stimulate the economy and create new jobs. >> translator: japan's population is shrinking and personal consumes is not likely to grow, but by welcoming foreigners, we can boost sales. on the other hand, how foreigners behave sometimes depends on chance. we may get more foreigners or
fewer according to political and economic events. >> reporter: government officials want to welcome 25 million people from abroad in 2020, the year of the tokyo olympics. the competition to cater to these visitors will heat up in the coming years. tack houma tehui, nhk world, tokyo. negotiators from six countries are wondering whether they'll soon be back around a table. the six-party talks on north korea's nuclear program have been stalled for about five years. chinese leaders support the north koreans politically and economically, but they chair the talks and act as a go-between for negotiators from the u.s., japan, south korea and russia. they all want the north koreans to denuke rise.
lately the chinese have been hinting that negotiators may restart their discussions soon. >> translator: i'm confident the talks will resume. >> the chair of the talks has made frequent trips to north korea and the u.s. he and his colleagues had taken the same position as the north koreans that the talks should resume with no conditions. now the chinese have agreed to impose some preconditions. negotiators from the u.s., japan and south korea have made their positions on the nuclear program clear. they say the north koreans must take concrete steps towards denuclearization if they want to resume talks. now a senior official in the south korean government has suggested the north koreans may be willing to move from their position. professor kim jhung yung teaches international relations in hong dong cloebl university in south
korea. we spoke with dr. kim from seoul. >> in china's proposal there are seven agendas. let me tell you some important agendas. first, denuclearization of korean peninsula and the resumption of the six-party talks and implementation of 2005 agreement. and normalization of relations of relevant countries and settlement of issues of north korea's interest which means easing tensions -- sanctions. there are two points in this proposal. number is demanding resumption of the talks. number two is returning the the 2005 joint statement framework.
north korea does not want any preconditions. they just want go back to the negotiating table as a nuclear state which cannot be accepted by u.s., japan and korea. from the north korean perspective, the value of six-party is great if there's no preconditions. and especially 2005 agreement there is everything north korea wants. specifically they can end economic sanctions, and they can get help from outside. number one priority of kim jong regime this year is simultaneous pursuit of economic development and nuclear deterrence. and second is ending the political isolation. they can normalize the relations with other countries, but the problem is, and the point is this is all about tug of war
over preconditions. the u.s. has been very firm about their position toward north korea. to make matters worse, as you said, north korean security authority took into custody 85-year-old american, and this situation impedes more any efforts to improve north korea and u.s. relations. probably north korea did this in order to get washington's attention. this is typical north korean tactics. however, it cannot be an independent variable to change whole picture of deadlocked nuclear talks. washington is likely to deal with this issue separately from nuclear issue. so, therefore, overall judgment
or prediction about the possibility of resuming the talks is not very positive at this moment. former italian prime minister silvio berlusconi lost his seat in parliament following a conviction for tax fraud. members of the senate voted on wednesday to expel him. in august a court sentenced berlusconi to four years in jail for tax evasion. but he is unlikely to serve any time behind bars because of his age. berlusconi is 77. he was prime minister three times for a total of nine years. italian law bans anyone sentenced to more than two years in prison for running for public office for the next six years. berlusconi is vowing to stay on as an opposition leader. he says his political activities will continue outside parliament. western japan is experiencing the first snow this year. rachel ferguson from the weather
team has more. >> yes, exactly. we've been seeing a lot of snow piling up in northern portions of japan and now it's reached further south. let's take a look at the scenes in hiroshima. a fair dusting there in the mountains as you can see up in the trees, but it's not just up in the upper elevations. but down on the streets people pulling out their umbrellas to walk through what is admittedly a very light snowfall, but just shows us that winter is indeed coming, and it will continue to do so as we head on through the season. at the moment we've got these very strong winds coming in across from the northwest. what they're doing is picking up the moisture from the water and then dumping the snow on the korean peninsula as well as japan. through the loc and the sea of japan, we're getting the sea-effect snows. up towards the north it's very windy and will continue to be very windy for northern japan, gusts exceeding 100 kilometers
an hour as well as having this heavy snow. we could see 30 centimeters in hokkaido. reduced visibility, blowing and drifting snow will be the threats through friday. after that the winds should die down but the snowshowers will continue. heavy showers for parts of the philippines as well as in luzon, heavier rain and potential for severe weather at the moment. elsewhere, though, looking pretty clear across china and mongolia. we'll see a warming trend. some temperatures have improved. beijing was hovering around the freezing point the other day. up to 12 degrees on friday with sunshine. seoul up to four but tokyo cooling down on friday with just 13 in the forecast. when we go into the americas, today is thanksgiving for those in the u.s., and many of you will be able to enjoy a very clear and fine day. lots of sunshine available. all this week, though, of course, we've been warming these storms moving through central and eastern locations. whether you're actually at the
parties, the celebrations you intended to be at, who knows? a lot of grounded flights and a lot of tailbacks as well especially in the east with freezing rain, lots of snow and flooding rains as well. now things are a bit brighter, but it will be cold. you'll still have that lake-effect snow for many portions of the great lakes. let's go to some pictures to show you what's happening down in the south. this is a nasa view of the snowfall down in texas even, spreading into kansas. plenty of it in the mountains of colorado, down into new mexico and arizona there as well. beautiful picture coming out of nevada. you can see what the scene is like on the ground. this was on wednesday and also from colorado, this was on tuesday. so it looks like ski season is definitely on its way now. temperatures across the united states, canada and mexico, 20 degrees in mexico city, 22 in miami and 20 in los angeles. we're seeing a lot of single digit highs here, not too bad in
denver and oklahoma city, eight and 11 respectively. good improvement. towards the east, though, it is going to stay very chilly. a lot of temperatures hovering around the freezing point there. look at all this sunshine. you can certainly get out for a little bit of throwing the football around i think today. here is your extended forecast.
about 60 classic cars left taipei's president office on thursday for the four-day tour. they include models made in france, germany and italy from the 1920s to the 1970s. each car bears a sticker expressing gratitude for the approximately $200 million in donations from the taiwanese people to the disaster-hit regions of northeast japan. the rally's circuit extends about 1,000 kilometers around taiwan. the motorists will visit spots with historic ties to japan and meet with the local people. >> translator: i'm glad if we can express our gratitude to the people of taiwan through smiles and shaking hands. >> they called the rally nippon 2013 in taiwan was organized by a group of classic car lovers in jap japan. this is the first time their annual rally has been held abroad. that's "newsline" for this