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tv   Newsline  LINKTV  December 11, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PST

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welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. the prime minister of japan is praising the government's first national security strategy and new defense guidelines saying they'll become historic documents. nelson mandela inspired millions at home and around the world. people in tokyo gathered to pay tribute to the anti-apartheid
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legend. and japanese are facing another winter without nuclear power. people are doing all they can to avoid a power shortage. japanese leaders are putting the finishing touches on the country's first security strategy. the prime minister is calling the documents historic. shinzo abe says his cabinet has been working to rebuild japan's security policies. he says their goal is to protect people's rights and property. >> translator: i am convinced that the national security strategy and defense guidelines will become historic documents. they will be the basis of japan's future security policies. >> the security strategy is based on the concept of promoting pas schism through
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international cooperation. it calls for a review of japan's ban on arms exports. the new defense guidelines map out a course of action to beef up protection of remote islands in the southwest. they say the self defense forces should have amphibious capabilities so it can recapture islands in case a foreign nation invades, and they say the government will work with the private sector to strengthen transport capabilities in the area. the guidelines also state the sds will add another f-15 fighter jet unit to okinawa and deploy an early warning aircraft unit and u.s. osprey transport aircraft. government officials plan to endorse the strategy and guidelines as early as next tuesday. antigovernment protesters in thailand demanding the resignation of yingluck shinawatra continue to surround
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her office on wednesday. we're following the story in bangkok. >> 40 days have passed before the thai lower house passed an amnesty bill many say was to allow thaksin shinawatra to return from self imposed exile. the bill was rejected by opposition lawmakers, but the situation still spurred on the protesters, and concern is growing that lingering political turmoil may affect the second largest asean economy. protesters continued the sit-in they began days before. prime minister yingluck announced monday she would dissolve parliament and hold an election. >> translator: there really shouldn't be anymore elections. the elections have let us down for a long time. >> antigovernment protesters remain unmoved by the offer to return to the ballot box.
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they wrote to success on the back of policies designed to protect those left behind by thailand's rapid economic development. the supporters represent a minority of the national thai electorate. the opposition parties have yet to say if they will participate in an election, but are still calling for the prime minister to step down. there's also concern for the country's economy. thailand's channel 9 news says since late november when the political turmoil spread, about 20% of tourists who were planning to visit thailand from other asian nations have instead chosen destinations in other countries. the confrontation between thaksin loyalists and the antithaksin opposition has been going on for a decade. it has seriously affected the thai economy every time it has flared up.
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concern is spreading among foreign companies doing business in thailand. restaurants in an area where many japanese citizens live are starting to feel the impact ahead of the end of year party season. >> translator: it hurts our business. people prefer staying at home to eating out at night. it can't be helped, and i don't know what to do. >> although the number of people around the prime minister's office has decreased since monday's peak of 100,000, it's clear the protesters aren't going away any time soon. that's it for our update in bangkok. south africans continue to mourn the loss of their former president, nelson mandela, as they prepare to bury him on sunday. many people in japan also took part in a memorial service in tokyo to pay tribute to the icon
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of humanity. nhk world's mishiko nishikawa reports. ♪ >> reporter: a japanese choir sang south africa's national anthem at the united nations university in tokyo on wednesday. about 300 people gathered to bid farewell to nelson mandela. he inspired the entire world through his struggle for justice, freedom, and reconciliation. mandela was known for being a strong advocate for protecting the lives and rights of children. as children from south africa read out his quotes, participants recalled his thoughtful manner. >> no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. >> children, the most vulnerable
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children in any society, a life free from violence and fear. nelson mandela. >> reporter: people from all walks of life took part, including government officials and diplomats. japanese foreign minister kishida said he admired mandela for his lifelong work to pursue universal values of freedom and equality. south african ambassador said each person can help fill the empty space left by the great leader by having the courage to fight for human dignity. >> the values, the ethics and principles of nelson mandela need to be defended and fought for with the kind of courage that he had. >> reporter: after the service, participants lined up to write messages of condolence. >> i'm going to remember him
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forever more, and i thank him for changing our world. >> translator: i learned from mandela that i should not give up hope, i should not lay blame on someone else. setbacks provide food for my growth. i would like to have a positive attitude and engage people. >> translator: mr. mandela's achievements will be tested for years to come. i myself would like to do something for children and for future generations to help achieve his goal. >> reporter: japan is thousands of miles from mandela's home country, but his commitment to freedom and his indomitable spirit influenced the lives of so many people here. mishaku nishikawa, nhk world, tokyo. school children in iwata
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prefecture eastern japan are learning lessons of hardship and recovery. the class is being held on the 11th day of each month to commemorate the most recent disaster on march 11, 2011. an elementary school in the taro district is providing lessons on disaster control. the area suffered serious damage from the disaster, despite having one of the nation's largest seawalls. the teacher explained that the community had been devastated twice before by tsunami since the late 19th century. however, each time the local people overcame many hardships. the teacher introduced a poem called "unbeaten by rain." his work signifies the perseverance and resilience of the local community. >> translator: just remember our ancestors' spirit and do the best with the reconstruction effort. >> translator: we want to help
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rebuild the community like our forefathers did. >> hardship continues for both children and adults. some students in the class are still traumatized by the 2011 tsunami. a number of parents lost their jobs due to the disaster. following the massive 2011 earthquake in northeastern japan, the problem for survivors was securing water. many people found themselves without tapwater. this is ringing alarm bells for people around the country and they are taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen to them, too. nhk world has more. >> reporter: miyagi prefecture was one of the areas that was hit by the massive earthquake in 2011. many areas were left without running water.
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he said the water supply to his house was cut off for six days. he survived thanks to this well. >> translator: this really is the water of life. it helped me survive. people throughout the country should know how useful it is to have a well that can supply water. >> reporter: association of realtors said it's inspected around 240 in northeast japan after the disaster and found all of them continued to supply water. a growing number of people are recognizing the advantage of having a traditional well. recently, this specialist was commissioned to dig a well for a
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house in kamakura, a city just south of tokyo. he's been receiving orders from all around japan. >> translator: i dug a well in fukushima last week. after this, i'm doing one in tokyo. i'm working every day. i'm exhausted. >> reporter: this house in japan has also recognized the need to have its own source of fresh water. every day, it uses 350 tons of water for cleaning surgical implements and for kidney dialysis. if the water supply were to be cut off, it would pose major problems. so, it had a test well dug. by march, the wells should be able to deliver 600 tons of water a day if there's an emergency.
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>> translator: for a hospital, the situation would be critical if we lost our water supply. judging from recent disasters, water is even more important than electricity. we realize that water is essential for life. >> reporter: but not all well water is created equal. in some places, it's not drinkable. and following an earthquake, it could be contaminated by soil and sand. that's a business opportunity for companies making high performance water purifiers. this compact model is portable. it purifies water instantly, even if it had a lead or ink added to it. it can treat enough water in a day for 400 adults.
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>> translator: the biggest problem after a disaster is always finding good water. we hope our water purifier can help ensure survivors have a safe source of drinking water. >> reporter: in the past, this was a daily source of water for people throughout japan. now it's being recognized again as a lifeline in the event of a disaster. asami tarada, nhk world, kochi. people from overseas are no longer skipping japan as part of their destination, and making it the main part of their travel itinerary. ron? >> very good news for government officials, who have been engaged in a major push to get tourism numbers up, gene. the number of visitors to the country just keeps going up and the government's annual target
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is within reach. >> translator: if the number keeps rising at this pace, the government is likely to achieve its annual goal of attracting 10 million overseas visitors for the first time. >> he says as many as 9.5 million visitors came to japan between january and november. he went on to say the 10 millionth visitor is expected in the middle of this month. it's estimated more than 840,000 visited in november, marking a year-on-year rise for ten straight months. travelers from mainland china were encouraged by the weaker yen. their numbers nearly doubled. people from the five southwest eastern countries are also finding it easier to visit. those from thailand doubled and more than 70% more from malaysia, so the figure came in just half a million shy of the annual target. the tourism commissioner says
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the upward trend is also boosted by promotion campaigns that have been run by both the public and private sector. japan's three major megabanks are going to improve their cash services for overseas visitors. they will allow users to withdraw yen from automatic teller machines. officials decided to take the action on a government request. they hope to start the service in 2015. the other two megabanks are also planning to do so in the near future. foreign tourists have been complaining about the inconvenience. currently overseas credit card holders can only withdraw cash from a limited number of bank atms. all right, on to the markets now. global investors continue to avoid active trading ahead of the policy meeting next tuesday. stock indexes are looking like this. we've got gains for london right now of a quarter percent, frankfurt is gaining by .2 of a
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percent. royal bank of scotland fell more than 2%. the finance director resigned. asian equities declined across the board. chinese banking shares drug down markets. the hang seng down 1.7%. it was the worst performer in the region. tokyo's nikkei drifting lower 102.47 roughly. participants are adjusting their positions after a recent rise in the dollar. they are waiting for u.s. retail sales data, which is due out thursday, as the next trading cue. also the euro right around 141.07. general motors has announced its australian subsidiary will stop production. >> this is an incredibly
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difficult day for everybody at holden, given our long and proud history of building cars in australia. >> the chairman emphasized holden's dealers will continue business as usual. holden is the only domestic a o automaker in the country. holden became less competitive partly to higher labor costs. about 2,900 workers could lose their jobs. ford has also decided to stop production there in 2016. it's citing sluggish sales. all right, that is going to do it for biz tonight. let's get another check of the markets.
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japan is heading into winter without any of its nuclear reactors generating electricity. this hasn't happened since the crisis began nearly three years ago at the power plant in fukushima. government officials are calling on households and businesses to use electricity sensibly. people in northern areas are taking conservation a step further. nhk world explains. >> reporter: the biggest city on japan's northern island of hokkaido shines during the cold, dark months of winter. residents and tourists have been flocking to the white illumination for more than three decades.
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>> it's beautiful, yeah, it's nice. >> translator: i really look forward to this event every year. >> reporter: and the lights are everywhere. 400,000 of them, most now low wattage l.e.d.s. the organizers of this event are aware all of this requires a lot of energy, so they are using five generators to run more than half of the lights. they say it's about 30% more expensive than using conventional electricity. the generators run on biodiesel. organizers have set up collection points for used cooking oil. they say efforts such as this have helped cut total power consumption by 83% compared to last year. >> translator: we'll try to keep this event going by being eco conscience.
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>> reporter: japanese have been concerned about their power supply since the 2011 disaster at the nuclear plant in fukushima. the crisis led to ten days of rolling blackouts affecting 13 million households and offices. all of the country's 50 commercial reactors are offline and won't go back online until they pass new safety checks. utility managers have been making due by firing off thermal and hydro generators. still, they are urging people to conserve because they expect power reserves to dip to dangerous lows this winter, especially in hokkaido. the grid connecting hokkaido offers the lowest amount of energy compared to other lines. if supplies dwindled, replenishing them would take time. so utilities and government
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officials have started an energy conservation campaign for winter. >> translator: this year we are expecting severe cold weather. we need to have multiple prevention measures in place in case of power station failure. >> reporter: one of those measures involves requiring their most energy hungry clients to cut consumption. the utility offers rate reductions and in return, the high demand users must save electricity. more and more of those users have been installing something called a demand monitor to track their energy consumption. it advises people to switch off electronic devices when power consumption rises above a set limit. >> translator: we believe we are
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responsible for cutting our electricity usage as much as possible. it can also contribute to cost reduction. >> reporter: the coldest part of winter is just around the corner in hokkaido, the coldest region of japan. utility managers and government officials believe they can avoid a power crunch and keep the lights on. but they say everyone needs to do their part. yumi nakamura, nhk world. calm weather has returned to tokyo. for the weather forecast, we have our meteorologist robert speta with us. robert? >> gene, you're right, it's much calmer and quieter here across the pacific coast of japan following yesterday's storm system. you can see it shooting off there towards the north, but we have another low coming in from the west and that's bringing some heavy snowfall, up to about 30 to 50 centimeters could be
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expected in parts of hokkaido through thursday morning. the good news if you are in tokyo here is that the bulk of this snowfall and the wintery mix of precipitation is going to stay on the sea of japan coastline off towards the west in these areas that are used to getting the snowfall. that's expected to stay that way throughout the rest of the week. the big thing, though, is while all that's going on, you have the strong northwesterly winds, it's going to be driving down the temperatures and expecting cold surges and temperatures going into the weekend will be cooler than what we were seeing earlier this week. even snowfall across parts of korea, over towards china, high pressure is going to be dominating here and you're not seeing anything in the form of precipitation. that will change sunday into monday, though, we're going to start to see a new low develop here and that's going to feed moisture farther down towards the south. that could develop and pull off towards the northeast. even hong kong, you're going to be looking at rain showers later on. let's look at your temperatures, still into the 30s down here.
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hong kong with a high of 20. shanghai at 11, even seoul and beijing, though, you're still in the single digits, staying in the cold side. all that cold air will start pushing down there towards the south going into the weekend. already, cold air, arctic air really dominating much of the central u.s. and even off towards canada. we are seeing that filter in towards the southeast. remember earlier this week we were talking about the storm system moving off the new england coastline. that's gone, moved away, but we're seeing lake effect across parts of erie, ontario, up to 45 centimeters falling out here. remember with this lake effect snow, it's usually concentrated in narrow bands, so if you're driving north to south to it, you may only be in it for ten minutes, but while you're driving through it, it's going to be windy conditions and even whiteout conditions where that snow will be falling out here and really going to be causing
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some delays out there on the roadways. also looking at a storm system in the pacific northwest bringing gusty winds and heavy snowfall in the higher elevations, but high temperatures out here. high is a relative term, because it is going to be cold. washington, d.c. well below your normal average for this time of year, only minus 1 for your high. new york at minus 2. chicago at minus 7. remember, these are your highs. the lows will be much colder than that. not to count in the wind chill, which is going ton impacting some of you out here. into europe, we are looking at a big band of cloud cover stretching from west to east. you've been seeing heavy rainfall warnings in effect across much of norway, sweden, that's changing to snow. the british isles, it will start to shift down towards the south going into the weekend, so watch out for heavy wind and rain, but this is what i want to talk about out here towards turkey, into syria. remember, you have a lot of refugee camps.
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the last thing people out here with inadequate shelter need is snowfall and below freezing temperatures. we have this low pressure coming through. some areas could see 20 to 30 centimeters fall on the ground out here. take a look at your three-day outlook, it is going to be staying on the cold side the next several days, but sthathat thata look at your weather. here's your extended forecast. that's "newsline" for this
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hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. for all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us. have a great day, wherever you are.
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