of the stories we're following this hour. japanese people are setting records by living longer and longer. the tokyo high court has upheld a lower court ruling that japan's self-defense forces should suspend nighttime flights at a base near tokyo. and a japanese filmmaker looks into why young tibetans
are expressing their desire for freedom by expressing some extreme measures. japanese people are living up to their reputation for longevity. figures for last year show the women had the longest average life span in the world for the third year running. the men were not far behind with the third longest. japanese government officials put the average female life span at 86.83 years. they put the figure for men at 80.5. on average, the women were living 0.22 of a year longer. the increase for the men was 0.29. the average life span for each gender is a japanese record. the women were followed by those in spain and france. the men came behind those in hong kong and iceland. a japanese health ministry official highlighted the role of medical advances. >> translator: japanese are living longer because it's
possible to prevent illnesses from leading to death. >> officials say a growing number of elderly japanese are health conscious and trying to improve their diet. they say life spans could get even longer. the tokyo high court has handed down the first ruling of its kind in favor of residents disturbed by noise from an air base. a judge upheld a lower court ruling and ordered japan's self-defense forces to suspend nighttime flights near tokyo. residents welcomed the ruling. the judge ordered that flights by maritime self-defense force aircraft be suspended until the end of next year between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. he also ordered payment of compensation of about $76 million. about 7,000 people living near the base filed the complaint against the central government. the plaintiffs complained about noise pollution from the base
used by the japanese msdf and the u.s. navy. the judge said the noise seriously disturbs local residents' sleep. but he dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint against u.s. military flights. he said the japanese government doesn't have the authority to suspend them. >> translator: although the ruling is limited to self-defense forces flights, it's very significant that a high court has ordered the suspension. >> ono is one of the plaintiffs. he lives in a residential area about two kilometers from the base. he says the u.s. navy jets are noisier than the msdf propeller planes. he's on medication for high blood pressure caused by lack of sleep due to the noise. >> translator: our only wish is to bring back quiet skies. that's all we want. there's nothing else. >> the plaintiffs say they'll continue to demand the suspension of u.s. military
flights. >> translator: the government was unable to win the understanding of the court in today's ruling. in that sense, i think it's a very harsh sentence. >> suga says relevant agencies will confer on the government's next move. investigators are looking at a piece of debris found on an island off the east coast of a africa. the malaysian government has sent a team of investigators to the site. they are wondering if it could belong to the malaysia airlines passenger plane that went missing last year. the malaysian transport minister told reporters it can't be ruled out that the debris belongs to the plane. >> we need to verify whatever wreckage found. we hope that we can identify it as soon as possible. >> flight 370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew when it went missing in march of last year. the flight left kuala lumpur and
was heading to beijing when communication was lost. it's believed to have gone down somewhere in the indian ocean off australia. local media are reporting what appears to be a part of a wing of a passenger aircraft washed up on reunion island. >> translator: they found a plane's wing. i don't know. it looks like the wing of a plane. >> the associated press is reporting that a u.s. official said investigators have a high degree of confidence the debris is from a boeing 777. reunion island is french indian ocean territory. the french government has also reportedly dispatched an investigation team. japan's upper house special committee continues debate on the national security bills. prime minister shinzo abe has denied the possibility of the proposed legislation leading to the introduction of a conscription syste mori of the governing liberal
democratic party said mothers of young children have told her they understand the importance of national defense but don't want to see their children drafted. the lawmakers said the public shares this concern. >> translator: the constitution bans involuntary servitude in article 18 and conscription is obviously unconstitutional. there is no room for the government to change this interpretation of the constitution. >> another ldp lawmaker asked how japan will guarantee the safety of its nationals abducted to north korea in the event of a contingency on the korean peninsula. abe said cooperating with japan's ally the united states will be very important if such a situation occurs. abe said the government has been providing information on abductees to the u.s. and asking for cooperation in such an emergency. now for the latest in
business and financial news, here's gene otani. gene. >> james, thanks. officials at japan's second biggest oil refiner are set to snap up a bigger share of the competitive domestic market. executives will buy a stake in a small arrival as part of a deal that could lead to a merger. the executives say they'll acquire the one-third stake in showa from royal dutchshell. they'll pay about $1.36 billion in the deal which will make them the top shareholder. combined sales would be close to those of industry leader jx holdings. government officials say domestic demand for gasoline will likely fall by nearly 60% between 2010 and 2030. leaders in the oil wholesale industry are consolidating their businesses in a bid to beat the competition. executives at south korea's samsung electronics have reported a decline in the firm's operating profit for the seventh straight quarter. they blame the drop on sluggish earnings from smartphones.
the executives say the operating profit in the april to june quarter was about $6 billion. that's down 4% in terms from the same period lt year. sales stood at about $41 billion, down 7%. this marks the fifth straight drop in quarterly sales. their semiconductor business was robust but their smartphones were up against fierce competition from apple and chinese makers. they also say the production of curved screens for the latest smartphone, the galaxy s6 failed to meet demand. but south korean media say the firm's business performance is showing signs of recovery as both sales and profits were higher than in the previous quarter. checking on the markets, japanese share prices made solid gains on thursday fueled by strong corporate earnings. let's get the details from our business reporter, yang at the tokyo stock ex-change. yang, what can you tell us? >> investors today were
encouraged by strong quarterly profits from japanese companies. the chinese markets seem to have stabilized a bit and the yen's slide against the dollar also boosted by orders in tokyo. the nikkei average snapped a four-day losing streak and gained almost 1.1%. closing at 20,522. meanwhile, the broader topix rose 0.8%. companies that made headlines with earnings reports in either direction are leading the gains and losses today. hitachi jumped 6.5%. the electronics maker reported net profits surged more than 30% in the april to june quarter. hino motors shares climbed nearly 7%. their buses are in big demand by tourists from china. it reported a 23% rise in net profit. and mazda motor is up as well after announcing quarterly operating profit. that beat analysts' expectations. now i have to mention nintendo of course, the game maker swung
back into quarterly profits, and its shares soared more than 8%. on the negative side panasonic is among the worst performers today, tumbling 5.8%. its operating profit missed analysts' estimates. investors are now focusing on the release of gdp numbers out of the u.s. later today. we're also waiting to hear of more corporate earnings including honda tomorrow. giang nguyen reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. >> thanks giang. moving on to other markets in the asia-pacific region. we saw another volatile day in china. the shanghai composite dropped 2.2% closing at 3705. some analysts say the selloff was due to speculation that financial authorities may stop supporting stock prices. seoul's kospi slid 0.9% to a three-week low. samsung and other companies posting poor earnings dragged down the index. the hang seng retreated from two days of gains closing down 0.5%.
sydney extended gains to a second day adding 0.8%. japan's largest convenience store chain has decided to open its doors in vietnam. executives at 7-eleven japan are targeting the emerging economy's growing middle class. sources say 7-eleven plans to have its first outlet in ho chi minh city by march 2018. the company intends to open up to 200 stores by about 2021. it eventually plans to have 1,000 in ten years. but they won't be run directly. 7-eleven will provide management support for a company owned by a local operator of restaurants and retail stores. vietnam will be the sixth southeast asian country where 7-eleven operates stores. an increasing number of japanese retailers are eyeing the southeast asian market. the supermarket operator convenience store chain family mart are already doing business in vietnam. japanese people have a soft spot for certain types of food in the hot summer months.
one is soul man, a traditional dish of thin noodles served up nice and chilled. it's a great way to beat the heat. not so great for companies looking for steady revenue. but one producer is testing ways to attract customers year round. >> reporter: noodles have a long history. and so do some of the companies that make them. this producer has been in business for 380 years. it usually comes in one color, white. but makers in this area offer customers other options. consumption is declining as people's eating habits change. and being a seasonal business creates another problem. >> translator: demand for noodles peaks in summer, but it slows in winter. so we hope to develop products that appeal to consumers in winter, too.
>> reporter: looking for new product ideas, a company official has come to talk to a group of homemakers. these women run a consulting business focusing on a mother's point of view. >> translator: we want to create dishes that help people enjoy their meals and spur their appetite with colors. >> reporter: the mothers are not short of ideas on re whoing the humble noodle. the first relates to their size and shape. >> translator: we chop up noodles we give to babies so they won't choke on them. the preparation is a little tiresome. >> reporter: the team has a child-friendly solution. make the noodles wider and just a faw centimeters long. the group also looked at ingredients. traditionally, makers use eggs to make yellow noodles.
to create brown noodles, they add buckwheat. but these can cause allergic reactions. the mothers looked for alternatives. to replace eggs they recommend a citrus fruit and a local specialty. it gives the noodles a vivid yellow color. as for brown noodles, the development team opts for a change of color. it uses gardenia flowers to create blue noodles. the flowers were used for making noodles back in the eto period from the 17th to 19th centuries. it's usually eaten by dipping the noodles in cold soup. but the consulting team proposes novel ways to serve them. using their short noodles, the mothers cook up some new creations. this vinegar-seasoned dish
features red noodles. the plums bring a refreshing taste. the team also whips up a sweet dish using green tea-flavored noodles. >> translator: sticking to all thing old things protects traditions but i believe that companies should evolve to meet the needs of the times. >> reporter: a traditional delicacy, it's now moving with the times. and the seasons. >> that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets. have
inchsz the people planning the tokyo olympics have found themselves embroiled in controversy again. they're getting flak from a belgium-based graphic designer who says there's something all too familiar about the logo they've just unveiled. oe livier says the emblem looks exactly like one he created for a theater. he posted them on twitter. and he noted they shared a striking resemblance in composition and form. debi says he's consultsing the theater and a lawyer to decide whether to take legal action. other critics say the logo reminds them of a motif by a spanish design company.
that logo was created to solicit donations for northern japan after the 2011 disaster. the organizers of the games say they checked registered trademarks worldwide before unveiling the logo. and they've discussed the issue with the designer. they say they don't believe there's a problem, and tokyo's governor agrees. >> translator: i don't see any particular problems, but they look alike. >> international olympic committee spokesperson mark adams says it's not the first time a logo has been questioned. >> i remember when the rio logo was launched there were a number of people saying that it was similar to a different logo. >> adams says the ioc doesn't see any problem with using sano's design. government officials in the u.s. are defending a plan to create a national park using sites where scientists developed the atomic bomb. they say they're not trying to celebrate the weapons.
the officials want to preserve a laboratory in new mexico and other locations associatesd with the bomb. they say the park would help people understand the weapons' history. the u.s. began developing the bomb during world war ii. they called the program the manhattan project. scientists conducted the first test in july 1945. the following month, u.s. planes dropped the bombs on her row sheem ma and nagasaki. many americans say the atomic bombings were necessary to end the war more quickly. the mayors of hiroshima and nagasaki have asked that the park accurately portray how much devastation the bombs inflicted. the u.s. officials plan to begin work on the park next year. many young tibetans are taking extreme steps to protest china's policies in areas where they live. the tibetan government in exile
says that since 2009 more than 140 people have burned themselves to death. chinese authorities accuse religious leaders like the dalai lama of encouraging acts of terror. and beijing has placed strict controls on media reports from the region. a japanese filmmaker is trying to shed light on what's happening in tibet and why young people there are resorting to such radical tactics. >> reporter: a documentary is called lunta. that means wind force in tibetan. people will leave their forbidden prayers to the gods. the film begins in northern india. that's where tibetans set up their government in exile. nakahara has worked with them for more than 30 years. >> translator: another burning martyr today. he's running with his body in flames.
you can see two bystanders here and there, praying for him. >> reporter: people preserve the memories of the young men and women who have resorted to such actions. nakahara visits people who have left their homes in tibet. >> translator: i was severely tortured. they subjected me to electric shock and poured boiling water over me. >> translator: they broke my leg during a torture session. they nailed my fingers right here and hung me from the ceiling. we could easily kill five or six chinese without a gun. but instead, we'd give up our
lives for tibet. >> reporter: the director says people in tibet are choosing self as the ultimate form of nonviolence. >> translator: a sense of mercy and consideration for others is behind these. the old man was in prison for 4 years. we asked him how he could bear it. he said it wasn't the chinese who caused his misery but it was his karma, his fate, that was responsible. he said he prays that his suffering won't cause any harm to others. we've heard many tibetans say amazing things like this. >> reporter: the film shifts to the other side of the himalayas. to tibet itself. a traditional horse race marks the end of a short summer in the high plateau. armed chinese security personnel keep a close watch. tibetans traditionally live by
herding animals. a woman chants prayers as she milks her yak. people say chinese authorities built these fences. tibetans say china's so-called nomaddic settlement programs threaten their traditional culture. >> translator: they are now being forced to give up their traditions, and they're staking their lives to preserve their tibetan identity. i hope people will understand that the only way they can show their resistance is to set fire to themselves. >> reporter: people remain devoted to buddhist teachings. groups of chinese tourists can now be seen at traditional places of worship. >> translator: two people set fire to themselves right here. one of them was a young woman. her hands were tightly clasped
in prayer until the very end. >> reporter: tibetans have long believed that lung ta sends their prayers to heaven. he hopes his film will help convey their message to the rest of the world. >> a very fascinating and poignant report indeed. it's time now for world weather with our meteorologist, sayaka mori. residents of southern europe are having to put up with extremely hot weather conditions. tell us the details, sayaka. >> yes, it's hot in tokyo, but it's super hot across the south of europe and northern africa as well. take a look at these numbers. those are temperatures on wednesday. 48 degrees in the north of algeria. about 38 degrees in parts of morocco. that's actually the average temperature for this time of year. but about five degrees higher than normal in core dobaeb cordoba.
hot weather is meeting with cooler air from the north. in between there's a line of thundershowers into the north of italy. there is a risk of thunderstorms, large hail damaging winds and even tornadoes. now, another low is causing thundershowers and also strong winds over scandinavia as well as north of germany into the baltic states. watch out for rain and also winds. temperatures will still be in the teens in dublin as well as london but in the 20s in the middle and 40 degrees in athens. but with the rain coming in temperatures will drop to the 30-degree mark over the balkan peninsula and much of turkey as we go into the weekend. now, in south asia there's a large cloud mass this is right now a cyclonic storm, and this is the second cyclonic storm for the northern indian ocean so far this year. now, this one will likely move up towards the north and head towards the west. so many areas will be affected
by this system. and it will enhance the southwest monsoon so the western coast of myanmar will continue to deal with drenching rainfall at least for the next several days. now, several people were killed due to flooding because of the storm system in myanmar. so more rain is definitely not good news. and then we have another tropical low in the north of india. and that has been causing rainfall over this area as well as north of pakistan. take a look at this footage coming out of the north. the nationwide death toll from this month's flash floods in pakistan rose to at least 86 on wednesday. floodwater inundated hundreds of villages leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. the floods have affected more than 500,000 people in the past couple of weeks in and around this region. motorboat services and medical camps were launched in the affected areas. and more rain is expected so flooding is going to be a continued story, and this system also caused heavy rainfall over
karachi last week. that's the amount that they received during 2013 and 2014 combined. so flooding occurred in the south as well. and across japan, looking quite dry for many parts of the country. and yesterday the rainy season ended finally in the north of kyushu. scorching hot conditions over many parts. the temperature rose to 37 degrees in oita. that's record high temperatures in july. and because of the daytime heating, thundershowers are happening over the eastern portions of the country as well as parts of western japan. now, gunma had record-breaking heavy rainfall. 140 millimeters in just three hours. so flooding is happening at this moment. now, rain will likely continue in the mountainous locations into tomorrow and temperatures will be much much higher than normal. kyoto, which is in the valley will see dangerously hot conditions into saturday. and heat is also gripping the korean peninsula as well as eastern china. here's your extended forecast.
eed to recognize the source of the problem that has caused chaos at the southern channel in northern france. hundreds of police have been sent to the tunnel. last night, far fewer trying to break through. we will be hearing from our respondent in calais shortly. residence on the island of light reunion -- res officials on the island of la reunion say nothing can be rolled out after airplane wreckage is