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tv   Newsline  PBS  June 28, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday, june 29th. 9:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. tokyo electric power company resumed the operation to cool damaged reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant on tuesday, but it says it found minor water leaks in a newly installed cooling system. tepco said it traced the leak to a joint connecting plastic hoses near a pump injecting water. it did not check the possibility of a water leak before starting the system on monday. tepco's so-called circulating injection cooling operation is designed to decontaminate radioactive waste water in the reactor and turbine buildings
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and then use the treated water to cool the reactors. it says 14 tons of recycled water and two tons of freshwater have been injected into the reactors per hour. the utility says it will continue to inject water while watching out for more leaks. the japanese government has decided to help fukushima prefecture conduct health surveys of its residents with estimates on the spread of radioactive substances from the fukushima daiichi plant. the fukushima prefectural government is scheduled to conduct the research for more than 2 million residents of the prefecture. some experts say the level of residents' external radiation exposure cannot be estimated precisely as no radiation data immediately after the march 11th accident is available due to blackouts at the plant. the government's nuclear disaster task force says it will provide data from its computer forecasting system called speedy. speedy predicts the spread of radioactive substances based on the levels observed in each area, and forecasts of wind and
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other weather conditions. the system will be used to calculate radiation within areas of 20 kilometers of the plant between march 12th and 18th. the nuclear industrial safety agency says the residents' exposure levels for the week will be clarified to a certain extent by combining the presumed radiation levels and a survey of their activities. tepco has held its first shareholder meeting since the crisis began at fukushima daiichi after an unprecedented six-hour meeting with a record 9,300 attending, shareholders in the end voted down a proposal that would have forced the company to halt all nuclear power generation. our business reporter mitsuko nishikawa tells us more. >> reporter: discussion over tepco's handling of the nuclear crisis ran long, pushing the meeting to more than double last year's time. though the proposal that tepco abandon nuclear energy was not approved, the anti-nuclear
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outcry was louder than ever. many condemned the company's dishonest management practices, saying that's what caused the nuclear crisis. some claim that the company even falsified scientific seismic data to continue running unsafe nuclear plants. >> translator: many shareholders urged tepco to abolish its nuclear power business, but they failed to respond. >> translator: i think it's unrealistic to abandon all nuclear power generation right now. >> reporter: the meeting is over, but criticism of tepco will likely continue over its lack of risk management and failure to bring fukushima power plant under control. tepco needs to solve all these grave issues without delay if it's to take the first step in regaining the trust of its shareholders and the public. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world. "newsline" offers the latest
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information and insights into japan's ongoing crisis on "nuclear watch" every thursday night at 8:00 and 11:00 and friday mornings at 8:00 japan time. prime minister naoto kan has indicated that he has no intention of dissolving the house of representatives for a general election while he's in office. kan has been under pressure to step down soon from opposition parties and members of his own party who criticize him for his handling of the reconstruction effort following the march 11th disaster and the fukushima nuclear accident. >> translator: i believe energy policy will become the biggest issue in the next general electio election. >> at a meeting of all the lawmakers of i had democratic party tuesday, kan also said the enactment of the fiscal budget
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for fiscal 2011 and two key bills would become conditions for his possible resignation. one bill is designed to promote the use of renewable energy sources and allow the government to issue bonds. some members of the democratic party and opposition party say kan must have made the remarks to caution those who want him to resign soon but others say the prime minister may have it in mind if it fails to pass the diet. katsuya okada and noda dismiss candice solving the chamber before the election. now we look at the latest in business news with ai uchida. >> good morning to you, catherine and good morning to you as well. french finance minister christine lagarde has been elected to head the international monetary fund. she will be the first female imf managing director, who succeeds dom stheek strauss-kahn who resigned in may after he was
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charged with sexual astault. the imf said in a statement on tuesday that its executive board selected lagarde by consensus. lagarde said in a statement she would make it her goal that international lending continues in the same focus and spirit as in the past, looking into achieving stronger growth and microeconomic stability. lagarde has served as minister of economy, finance and industry under president nicolas sarkozy since 2000. she is known for her mediation skills and ability to build consensus. lagarde will deal with immediate challenges, including the imf eurozone effort to bail out debt-stricken greece. she begins her five-year term on tuesday next week. now some fresh economic date ta for you. japan's industrial production rose 5.7% in may for the second consecutive month. the improvement shows supply chains are getting back on track due to recovery efforts since
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the march 11th earthquake. the ministry of economy trade and industry announced on wednesday that the output index at factories and mines in may was 88.8 against a base of 100 for 2005. the figure grew for the second straight month after a record plunge in march. the rise is attributed to the increase in the manufacturing of machines which include production of autos and machineries. over in the u.s., home prices slid again in april, as housing remained weak. the standard & poor's case-shiller home price index released tuesday showed prices dropped 4% in april in 20 major cities from a year ago. it was the biggest decrease since november 2009. but on a monthly basis, prices inched up 0.7% in april, which was the first gain in eight months. david blitzer, chairman of the index committee, said this was a welcome shift from recent months but that much of the improvement
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reflects the beginning of the spring/summer buying season. he noted that it's too early to tell if the improvement is a turning point or simply due to warmer weather. he also cautioned that for a real recovery it would be necessary to see several months of rising home prices large enough to shift the annual momentum to the positive side. and now let's turn to the markets. for that twe are joined by our business reporter yongghi kang at the tokyo stock exchange. yongghi, how are tokyo stocks changing after industrial output numbers? >> good morning to you ai and thank you for that. we got the industrial output numbers which came in slightly better than expectation. let's see how japanese stocks are trading in reaction to the release off the data. japanese stocks are trading higher pretty much across the board. nikkei average adding more than 100 points from the previous session. global stocks had a pretty good day on tuesday as the key indices in tokyo, london and new york all ended higher, and that's largely due to easing
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concerns about the fiscal problems in greece. now if you look at overnight moves in new york the dow posted its biggest gains in more than two months on optimism that the austerity plansz will be pushed through the greek parliament this week. the first vote is set for later today. energy and retail stocks led the gains in new york. the dow finishes at 12,188, up about 2% and nasdaq finished at 2729 up about 1.5%. here in tokyo those overnight gains in new york at a weaker yen are expected to lend some support for japanese stocks and speaking of the weaker yen, it extended its fall against the dollar in new york overnight. on tuesday at this hour, dollar/yen was trading in the upper 80s but we're seeing that pair trading in the lower 81 yen level. deal about the dollar as u.s. yields rose and differentials between the u.s. and japan
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widened. the japanese currency fell against the euro also on hopes that the austerity plans will be approved in greece. the euro is trading in the lower to mid 116 yen range. now for the remainder of the week, ai, analysts say market focus will be on some of the key economic indicators due out this week. on friday the bank of japan will release the tankan business survey sentiment and friday the ism manufacturing data in the u.s., so a lot of things to watch out for. that's all from here. back to you. >> thanks very much for that. that was our business reporter yongghi kang from the tokyo stock exchange. and now let's get a look at some other market figures.
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all right, catherine, that's it from me. back to you. u.s. ambassador john roos has visited some of the areas in northeastern japan that were devastated by the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. he pledged to offer long-term u.s. support. roos visited coastal areas of iwate prefecture on tuesday. in rikuzentakata city he met mayor futoshitoba. >> today i've come really to hear people's stories and to see what we can do going forward again to help our japanese friends. >> he also visited ofunato city, where volunteers were working to pull down a building destroyed by the tsunami.
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he helped them for about one hour. the ambassador visited an evacuation center in otsuchi town, where the ambassador helped local residents by providing cooked meals and playing catch with children. the united states deployed nearly 20,000 members of its armed forces in rescue, relief and reconstruction activities in in operation tomodachi, which means friend in japanese. >> i think the opportunities and the needs are so widespread that people from the united states and our government are going to be helping in many different ways. the next phase of tomodachi is going to be much broader help for japan in the recovery process. pop star lady gaga has been sued over sales of charity wrist bands for relief efforts following the march 11th earthquake and tsunami in japan. lady gaga has been in japan since last week for a charity concert. the wrist bands inscribed with a message "pray for japan" were
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sold for $5 each. a group of consumer advocacy lawyerness in the u.s. alleges that the singer took some proceeds from wristbands she sold on her website by inflating shipping costs, despite having promised to donate all sales to the disaster areas. the class action lawsuit was filed in the state of michigan. the amount of damages claimed was not immediately disclosed. the lawyers say they want to ensure that claims about donating all proceeds to japan are true. lady gaga has not issued any comment on the suit to u.s. media. her distributor in japan, universal music, says it will issue a statement after confirming the facts. a short novel written by nobel prize laureate pearl buck is attracting attention in japan following the march 11th disaster. the american writer first published "the big wave" in 1947. the story looks at a japanese child who loses almost everything to a tsunami. nhk world's tomoko kamata reports on how this classic is getting a second life.
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>> reporter: this online video deserves some of the credit for creating more interest in pearl buck's "the big wave." a japanese man who read the book filmed it and then uploaded the results to youtube one month after the march 11th disaster. thanks to promotion via twitter and other social networking sites, more than 14,000 people have seen the video. pearl buck published "the big wave" at the height of her popularity in the united states. the novelist was raised in china in the 1890s, and lived there for 40 years. her stories were rooted in asia, with japan sometimes featured as a setting. the story is set in a coastal
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village in a boy who l sea, and his friend, kino, lives on a hill. one day a tsunami sweeps away jia's family right in front of his eyes. a small publisher in tokyo released the japanese edition of the book six years ago. it didn't sell at all. but after the march 11th disaster, the publisher started receiving daily calls from people who wanted to buy a copy. >> translator: they asked why it's not available and said we should reprint it. i thought the book is worth selling again. >> reporter: the publisher sold the entire first edition and then printed two more editions.
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in all, 2,500 copies sold in two months. editor jun harada says she's never had sales like that in her career. she read "the big wave" after the tsunami and says she was astonished by the way buck described the destruction. it matched what she saw on march 11th. >> "the wave ran up the mountainside. all who were still climbing the path were swept away. black, tossing scraps in the wicked waters. the wave swept back again, ebbing into the ocean, dragging everything with it, trees and stones and houses." >> reporter: english teacher junko machida was also touched by buck's words.
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machida said before the classic, she was deeply depressed because she couldn't do anything for the people who died or disappeared on march 11th. >> translator: the book changed my mind dramatically. if i hadn't read it, i wouldn't have been able to feel better. >> reporter: machida says a paragraph in "the big wave" helped to put her mind at ease. it involved the dialogue between kino's father and the children. >> "to live in the presence of death makes us brave and strong, kino's father replied. that is why our people never fear death. we see it too often and we do not fear it. to die a little later or a little sooner does not matter." >> translator: it made me think that i want to cherish my ordinary life. i want to treasure the life i
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have with my family and my community. >> reporter: editor jun harada says she was particularly interested in the way the traumatized child, jiya, is treated. it takes years for him to heal. first, his body, and then his mind. >> translator: the novel shows us the practical steps to deal with and overcome hardships. i want it to be read and passed down from generation to generation. >> reporter: in "the big wave," a phrase "life is stronger than death" is used repeatedly. at the end of the story, pearl buck gives the boy, jiya, the courage to live close to the sea again. buck's words have international and universal resonance and seem to have given japanese readers the encouragement they need. tomoko kamata, nhk world.
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chinese authorities are closely watching one of the country's human rights activists hu jia, despite his recent release from jail. hong lei told reporters tuesday hu was freed after two and a half years in prison, he was convicted of subversion after posting on the internet a text criticizing china's human rights situation. hong said hu has been deprived of political rights and his activities including interviews will be severely restricted. in december 2008 hu received the sakarov prize, a human rights award given by the european parliament. he is regarded as one of china's most prominent activists along with last year's nobel peace prize winner liu xiaobo. china's government is concerned apparently that hu's release could lead to a surge in pro-democracy sentiment in the country ahead of the ruling communist party's 90th anniversary on july 1st.
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in greece, demonstrators have protested new austerity measures and clashed with the police. at least seven people were injured. greek labor unions began a 48-hour strike on tuesday to protest the government's austerity bills which will be put to a vote in parliament on wednesday and thursday. thousands of people gathered in central athens. some of the protesters turned violent and riot police fired tear gas to disperse them. the austerity bills call for tax increases and privatization of state enterprises. they need to be enacted before greece can receive a new rescue package from the european union and the international monetary fund. the bills are likely to be approved with support from ruling party lawmakers since the cabinet of prime minister george papandreou survived a no confidence vote last week. tensions remain high as labor unions plan massive rallies on wednesday in front of the parliament building. time to check on some of the
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stories we've gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin with this item sent by irib iran. iran began ten days of military exercises on monday to confirm the effectiveness of the missile defense system it has developed. on the second day, nine ground-to-ground missiles were fired, almost simultaneously. including a long range shahab 3 missile. the shahab 3 which uses liquid fuel, has a range up to 2,000 kilometers and can carry a 760 kilogram warhead. on monday, the revolutionary guard unveiled underground sigh lows silos for iran's ballistic missiles. for the past 15 years, the army has been using silos developed without outside assistance. an art exhibition has opened in beijing to mark the beginning of the founding of china's communist party, which will be
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held on friday. the exhibition features around 300 items ranging from oil paintings and sculptures to woodblock prints and ink-washed paintings. organized by the ministry of culture, the aim is to bring the past alive for visitors and commemorate the contributions of those who sacrificed their lives for the country. the exhibition runs through july the 18th. in india, seven people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a well-known investigative journalist in mumbai. police in the city say the killing was ordered by a top gangster called chohota rajan. crime journalist mojote raje was shot dead by four men on motorcycles, as he was returning home on june 11th. his recent reports are focused on the involvement op underworld figures in stealing fuel. police said they have seized the weapons and the vehicle used in the crime. the arrested men appeared on monday in court in mumbai. they will remain in police custody until july 4th.
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hello there. time now for your weather update. well, starting to see that high pressure system build over japan. this is going to allow for good spells of sunshine throughout the day, warming up quite nicely as well. instead this frontal system is going to be shifting towards the west, so the korean peninsula it looks like you're going to be in for some hefty showers, see at the tail end of the system as well as the east coast of china looking at showery weather and the southern end of china, too, contending with widespread rain throughout the day, guanching and guandong good showers. for lieu zahn the philippines, good spells of sunshine throughout the day, but by the afternoon we'll start to see sporadic showers bubble up here, around the bay of bengal as well the southwest monsoon really kicking up here. it's starting to really advance in towards northern india, that's going to produce those heavy thundery downpours over a wide area. that rain extends up into
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northeastern india into northern myanmar as well. temperature wise it stays hot for much of central china, 35 degrees in chongqing today, and 31 in shanghai and tokyo coming in at 32 degrees as well. looking extremely hot for much of japan today. in fact, many areas exceeding 30 degrees. 35 in osaka and even sendai coming in at 32, ten degrees above the seasonal norm here. now we head into the americas, we're seeing tropical development in the southwestern gulf of mexico here, heavy rain anticipated over the next several days. this system could well become a tropical depression soon, and also tropical cyclone over the next couple of days. across the u.s. looking quite thundery down in the southeastern corner tonight. watch out for heavy rain as well as strong thunderstorms and then as we head into the western side we're running into this new system coming from the pacific,
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this is going to be producing those strong winds across the four corners and then over towards the pacific edge we're looking at plenty of showers here. in terms of temperatures it stays hot in the south, 37 degrees in houston, 37 in denver, but towards the west coast it turns much cooler for you, seattle only 17 for your daytime high. now for europe we're starting to see that very long frontal system advancing in from the west, this will produce plenty of showers, heavy rain as well as thunderstorms, all the way from norway down towards france and that steadily moves into central europe next. out towards the east we're still looking at that very large low pressure system that will continue to spread plenty of showers, watch out for pockets of heavy rain across the balkans, eastern europe as well but for the central mediterranean essentially staying dry, looking summery out here, spain and portugal also looking at good spells of sunshine, the heat waves finally starting to ease as well, 33 degrees in madrid, cooling off considerably in london and paris as well at 22 celsius, but on
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the other hand, things really warming up in central europe, looking at 29 degrees in berlin and 28 in vienna. all right, here is your extended forecast now.
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our lead story this hour -- tokyo electric power company resumed their operation to cool down the reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant on tuesday, but it says it found minor water leaks in a newly installed cooling system. tepco said it traced the leak to a joint connecting plastic hoses near a pump injecting water. it did not check the possibility of a water leak before starting the system on monday. tepco's so-called circulating injection cooling operation is designed to decontaminate radioactive waste water in the reactor and turbine buildings and use the treated water to cool the reactors. it says 14 tons of recycled water have been injected into the reactors. the utility says it will continue to inject water while watching out for more leaks.
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wra that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us.
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