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

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." united nations officials say tensions in south sudan remain high with no sign of a cease-fire in sight. the u.n. security council held an unofficial meeting to discuss the latest developments. fighting across the african country continues to spread. the french ambassador to the u.n. and security council president expressed grave concern over the lack of progress.
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>> it's difficult to know whether it's simply an assault of last round before going into negotiation, or whether the two sides have decided to fight to the last ditch. >> fighting erupted mid-december in the capital juba between supporters and others supportive of the vice president muchar. at least 1,000 people are believed to have been killed. fierce battles continue in central and northern parts of the country. more than 180,000 people have been driven from their homes. nearly half have taken refuge from the fighting at u.n. facilities. officials expressed their concerns about reports large numbers of armed youths, believed to be supporters of the former vice president, are gathered near the central city of borr. they believe young militants were behind ab attack on
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december 19th. vladimir putin has ordered a tightening of security nationwide after a second deadly attack in two days. a bomb exploded on a bus in the city of volgograd. 14 people were killed. the attack came less than 24 hours after another at the city's main railway station. the latest bomb ripped apart a trolley bus. it left behind a tangle of metal and glass. security authorities said a male suicide bomber care rid out the attack. a day earlier, another suicide bomber set off a device at the entrance of the railway station. 17 people were killed. the bombings raised fears islamist extremists could stage attacks during the winter olympics. the games are less than six weeks away. >> translator: i'm worried something similar could happen in sochi and the damage could be even worse. as many people will be visiting the city.
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>> in the past few years, militants have carried out attacks in moscow. authorities are responded to the latest bombings by ordering more police officers have guard transport hubs in the capital. u.s. government officials have strongly condemned the bombings in volgograd as terrorist attacks. national security council spokesperson katelyn hayden says they have offered their full support to the russian government and security preparations for the sochi games. in the statement, the u.s. said it would welcome further cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants. members of the olympic committee are concerned by what they are seeing, but president thomas bach says he's sure russian authorities will do all they can to ensure the games in sochi are safe. he called the attacks an innocent attack on people and
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the entire olympic movement joins him in condemning what he called a cowardly act. he said he was certain everything will be done to secure the security of athletes and all other participants. ♪ >> this song is about a girl that died as a result of the atomic bombing of hiroshima. the day the paper cranes fly is not as popular outside of japan, but recently, people in australia started singing it, and credit goes to a man who spent much of world war ii in a japanese army prison camp. nhk world has the story. ♪ >> reporter: brisbane, northeastern australia.
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recently, local children sang the day the paper cranes fly. 81-year-old nio beggly is responsible for having australians sing this japanese song. b beggley's parents were missionaries. during world war ii, he spent three and a half years in a japanese prison camp. after the war, he went back to australia, angered by painful memories of the cold, the hunger, and the death of friends. 18 years ago, he published a book describing his harsh experiences. >> daily ration of food was one cup of rice per person, per day. one small turnip, and the only green vegetables we got were leaves. the anger about the japanese was
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very strong. >> reporter: meanwhile, begly came across a book about a girl who died at the age of just 12 after exposure to the atomic bombing in hiroshima. asdoko sasaki had leukemia as a result of the bombing. to pray for recovery, she folded thousands of paper cranes. ten years after the exposure, she died. a statue modelled on the girl stands in hiroshima. it brokes begly's heart that japanese children suffered during the war. last year, begly visited japan. he was a best of the japanese ministry of foreign affairs. they invited people whom the japanese army imprisoned. during the trip, begly felt a strong desire to visit the
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elementary school that sasako attended. while the australian was there, he heard "the day the paper cranes fly," sadako's prayer in song. >> the children at the school sang a most beautiful song, and the children of japan used that song as their wish that there would be peace. >> reporter: after returning home, begly started to tell local children about sadako. >> i was kind of sad about the girl dying, but she went through a lot of trouble making all those paper cranes, so, yeah, it was a nice story. >> i thought it was amazing that she went to all the trouble to try and make all those paper cranes, even though she was doing leukemia.
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>> begly decided he would spread the paper crane song in australia. he even translated the japanese lyrics into english. >> then when they are old and older in positions of power and authority, they will, hopel hop say, hey, we don't want to have a war, surely we can sit this down and talk this through. we don't have to fight. >> reporter: the foremost victim in any war are children. begley feels that with all the political and religious conflicts around the world, his mission is to convey the mindlessness and horror of war. nhk world, bris ban. auditors in china have
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identified an alarming trend in the nation's finances. they found local governments have been building up a mountain of debt. officials at the national audit office say by the end of june, those governments were carrying debts of nearly $3 trillion. the auditors care rid out a two-month investigation into transactions. they said local government debt exceeds $17.9 trillion, more than a third of china's gross domestic product last year. local governments are prohibited to deliver bonds for infrastructure projects, so they are using shadow banking. the prospect of defaults has raised fears they could leave banks with a load of bad debt. officials from the bank of japan say the volume of money in the financial market hit a record high this year. the central bank's massive monetary easing program boosted
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the figure by 45%, topping the target of 200 trillion yen. spokesmen say the monetary base stood at more than $1.9 trillion on monday, the last business day of the year. the monetary base includes the amount of currency in circulation, plus current account deposits held by the boj. the bank's executives plan to increase to $2.6 trillion by the end of 2014. they are hoping to pull japan out of deflation, but analysts say that can only happen if private sector banks lend more to businesses and households. the japan automobile importers association says sales of imported vehicles are soaring and they'll take a record share of japan's auto market this year. analysts say japanese consumers bought more than 280,000
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imported vehicles. that's up from last year. it gives import vehicles more than 8% of the market. they said many other vehicles are fuel efficient and so qualify for tax breaks in japan. germany's volkswagon has been cutting costs and driving down prices by using the same components in many of its models. consumers no longer see import cars as unattainable luxuries. >> translator: we offer many affordable models, so the customers look at them alongside domestic cars. >> analysts say volkswagon's vehicles are likely to fare well as japan's auto market shrinks. more than two-thirds of elementary and junior high school students attend cram schools and other private
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institutions in south korea. government officials are combining this national obsession with another korean strength, information technology. they are building a new education system using i.t. in the hope it will give young people an edge in the future. nhk world reports. >> reporter: sejong is a new fast-developing city in south korea's central region. this elementary school boasts an education system. childrens and student use state of the art digital technology in the classrooms. the school provides free tablet computers to all students in the first to sixth grades. the tablets are linked by a cloud computing. the school says the system makes
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learning faster and fun. teachers can use the panels to display the students' answers or to bounce questions back to the class. >> translator: mathewsed to be hard, now it's fun. >> reporter: the technology helps teachers assess how well students are grasping the lesson. she frequently checks students' comprehension by e-mail. she can plot their responses on charts. >> translator: some students struggled with math, but now the lessons interest them, and their concentration has improved. >> reporter: children in big cities can improve their grades by making use of the educational facilities behind me, but it's difficult for students in rural areas to reach higher education.
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government officials are trying to bridge this gap with information technology. the town of illo is home to about 7,000 people. he is in the fifth grade. his family runs a cattle farm. he helps out every day after school. last year, he began using an education site to build on his studies. government officials developed the site with support from the central government. he uses the site to review lessons on science and social studies. he can also explore topics in more depth. >> translator: i enjoy studying this way. there's a lot of animation, and the teachers answer my questions. it's a lot of fun.
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>> reporter: teachers say the cyber education system has improved the performance of students. they say it's opening doors for kids in an area where geography and economy can limit opportunities. >> translator: the data confirms their academic results have improved. >> reporter: but some teachers are struggling to adjust to the change. they know the classes are popular, so they are helping each other out with unfamiliar i.t. skills. keris is a state-run organization. officials say a switch to a digital society is unstoppable. >> translator: it's for the benefit of students that we're making these changes. teachers understand this, and that they need to improve their classes.
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some may be resistant, but if we provide i.t. instruction courses, we think teachers will embrace these changes. >> reporter: south korean officials plan to spend at least $2 million on this project in the next two years. the eventual aim is to create unlimited access to online education materials for everyone. nhk world, sejong. south korea has already started to export this i.t.-based education system. officials hope to not only boost the knowledge of students, but also the country's reputation as an educational power house. thousands of foreign volunteers traveled to northeast japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. many of them helped clear debris in the city of ish that ma key
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and miyagi prefecture. now a team of locals is trying to give something back to people overseas. nhk world's jean yamamoto has the story. >> translator:. >> reporter: he runs a gas country in ish ma key. he's very busy these days with reconstruction efforts. he has another commitment, as well. he started an english magazine with two friends last year. they named it "rolling press," because they want to set people's minds in motion. they write about what's going on in their hometown. >> translator: we're trying to focus on locals who are working with a positive attitude. >> reporter: arakawa had a good reason to start a magazine for
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people overseas. the march 11th tsunami destroyed his home and his business. he says the devastation made him feel hopeless, but then many foreign volunteers arrived and offered help. >> translator: i was amazed that so many of them came and worked so hard for us. i'm not sure i would have done the same thing in their situation. >> reporter: arakawa's team is working on an article about a japanese restaurant that was destroyed in the tsunami. many foreigners helped clear debris from the ruins. the restaurant was able to reopen this summer in time for its 100th anniversary. >> translator: the support of many volunteers made it possible for us to reopen.
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>> reporter: one of arakawa's goals is to tell the story of survivors who were helped by foreigners. one of the volunteers was free mcwilliams. she helped clear the debris in ish that ma key. now that the cleanup is finished, she's helping in another way, by translating articles in "rolling press" into english. >> i want to stay involved, and it's also just a continuation through the two and a half years, i've grown an affinity towards ish that ma key and it's become a place that i feel is quite near and dear to my heart. >> reporter: so far, more than 1,700 copies of "rolling press" have been distributed around the world. the team is trying more to
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disseminate to the world more information about effected areas and the progress of reconstruction. they've also conducted a tour for foreign visitors. arakawa hopes to share his experiences from the disaster and what he learned from them. >> translator: i felt not to have power is so huge and cannot fight for nature. but the reason i felt, people's power is also very huge, can change your mind, can change your situation. >> reporter: some took copies to bring home with them. >> it reminds people that life here still isn't perfect, and there's still a lot of work to be done. >> i'd definitely like to come
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back and see how it's doing in five years' time, ten years' time. >> translator: i'd like many people to visit ish no ma key, to see the rebuilding for themselves. they can connect with residents who were helped by foreign volunteers. that would help the economy, too. it's my dream. >> reporter: arakawa says he'll keep spreading the word about people in ish no ma key, their new lives and challenges. he also says he hopes to attract more tourists from overseas. jon yatsomoto, ishnomaki. a fashion designer working
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in japan is making waves with apparel that combines cutting edge style with traditional dyeing techniques. sara says she has a passion to preserve a time-honored craft and bring it to a global audience. ♪ >> reporter: the collection was one of the main attractions at this year's tokyo fashion week. >> translator: people really complimented my designs, saying that they have both china's boldness and japan's subtlety. maybe because i spent half my life in china and half in japan. i want to preserve the subtlety, while also adding new actions and bold ideas. skb
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>> reporter: arai came to japan in 1988 to study traditional japanese dance. arai was enchanted by the subtle colors of the kimonos the dancers wore. to learn more about how those colors were created, she visited traditional dyeing workshops around japan. arai learned the industry is in decline, as fewer people is taking up the dyers' time-honored craft. >> translator: it would be really sad if this craft disappeared. good things can't be made simply in one or two days. i began to wonder if there was something i could do. >> reporter: arai came up with the idea of reviving classic dyeing techniques by using them in her designs. in 2008, she launched her own brand featuring colors and motifs inspired by japanese tradition.
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arai's unique designs with their eastern feel made a big splash last year when she debuted at the paris collection. arai wants to make clothes combining traditional craftsmanship with the latest digital technology. an ink jet printer is used to achieve a subtle gradation of colors on the fabric. arai is now working with a kyoto fabric dyeing factory that has a rich history. a craftsman with more than 50 years experience applies the finishing touches. he draws a sunflower on the fabric. the dyer makes a frame for each color and then soaks them into the fabric one by one. >> translator: this is incredible. when the handprinting is nearly done, it creates a sense of three dimensionality.
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the heart and character of the crafts person is reflected in the work. it's like it's a living thing. it looks like it's going to start talking. >> reporter: it was finally time for tokyo fashion week. arai showed several designs combining 21st century digital technology with traditional dyeing techniques. the kyoto craftsman who worked with arai was in the audience. >> translator: i was surprised. it was wonderful. i didn't think it would be so great. >> translator: one thing i can say for sure is that i'm not supporting craftspeople. in fact, they are supporting me. >> reporter: with one eye on the future and one eye on the past, arai is pursuing her goal of becoming a world renowned designer. and now here's the weather forecast.
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restaurants in the city of takamatsu in western japan are busy serving udon noodles made out of wheat for new year's eve. people across the country traditionally eat buckwheat noodles or soba on the last day of the year, but they have the custom of eating long, thick wheat noodles to wish for good health and a long life. one restaurant in the area says it has prepared noodles for 2,600 visitors.
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that's more than double the amount of diners they usually get in a day. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, happy holidays.a7guc
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>> a french priest captured and cameron last month has been released. he was being held by islamist group boko haram. the french born in -- foreign minister is on his way to ameren to bring him back home. surgeons were able to operate on a racing legend the second time. some of the brain hemorrhage has been absorbed but he remains in a medically induced coma. israel releases 26 palestinian prisoners. they are welcome back as national heroes by president mahmoud abbas. thanks for joining us on "france 24."


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