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tv   Newsline  WHUT  April 4, 2012 7:30am-8:00am EDT

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a rare approval. the chinese government allows several north korean defectors to restart their lives in south korea. you're watching "newsline." i'm yuko aotani. north koreans put their lives on the line when they try to flee their country and its oppressive prere jeem. some head to china hoping to go from there to south korea. five people from the north have managed to do just that. they spent nearly three years in diplomatic limbo at a south korean facility in china.
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south korean government officials say the group entered via third country earlier this week. the officials say one of the asylum seekers is the daughter of a south korean soldier taken prisoner during the korean war. the others include her two children. the defectors sought asylum theatsouth korean embassay in my 2009, but the north had refused to let them leave. the decision to release them was likely spurred by mounting protests in south korea against china's policy of sending north korean defectors back. the south korean government raised the issue with china at a recent summit meeting as well as through diplomatic channels. but sources say there's been no change in china's position on defectors. its policy is still to send them back as illegal intruders. japan's defense minister naoki tanaka and u.s. defense secretary leon panetta have reaffirmed their countries will work closely together to respond to north korea's rocket launch.
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tanaka and panetta spoke over the phone. they demand north korea halt its missile development. tanaka updated panetta on how his ministry is developing. he's ordered self-defense forces to intercept any part of the missile that could fall on to japanese territory. panetta stressed the need to show the japan/u.s. alliance is strong. they also agreed to the self-defense forces and the u.s. military will share information on the upcoming launch. >> translator: we will watch how the diplomatic efforts work. however, i told secretary pa h panetta if north korea does go ahead with the launch, japan will take appropriate measures. the secretary said he understands our stance. south korea has shown japanese destroyers as one of
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its ports to foreign media. the unusual move is seen as a way to show north korea that the south and japan are united against its planned rocket launch. two destroyers from japan's maritime self-defense force docked at pyongtech naval base in central south korea on sunday. the visit is part of japan's annual training for cadets. there will be exchange events and joint training with south korean naval personnel during their stay through wednesday. the maritime self-defense force and south korean navy have had exchanges and combined training in the past, but this is the first time for south korea to allow foreign media coverage of visiting japanese naval vessels. the first batch of u.s. marines to be deployed in australia has arrived in the northern city of darwin. the u.s. is increasing its military footprint in the asia pacific region in response to china's growing presence. u.s. president barack obama announced the deployment when he
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visited australia last november. the 200-member infantry landed on tuesday. a ceremony to mark their arrival will be held on wednesday. the united states plans to increase the size of the deployment to 2,500 personnel. the infantry has no heavy equipment, but the country will also bring in artillery and armored vehicles over the next five or six years. the u.s. military also plans to make greater use of australian naval and air force bases to boost bilateral defense cooperation. people around the world have praised mayan nar fyanmar for t of its recent by-elections. now officials in the united states are suggesting they could offer the prize they have their eyes on. a state department official is indicating that the u.s. is planning to lift economic sanctions. pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi won a seat in myanmar's parliament. a national league for democracy party says it took most of the
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seats it contested. >> we are prepared to match positive steps of reform in burma with steps of our own. >> but state department spokesperson victoria nuland did not give further details. the u.s. government has imposed economic and other sanctions on myanmar for years. the measures include a ban on investment and an important ban -- import ban on the country's products. the sanctions can't be lifted until the u.s. congress gives its approval. political analysts suggest the u.s. may lift first ban on issuing visas to myanmar's senior government officials. they also say it could appoint a new ambassador to the country. asean leaders also called the results of sunday's by-election a big step toward democracy. lifting economic sanctions was on their summit agenda in cambodia. the move would help them integrate asean economies more effect ofly. nhk world tashoki terazawa
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reports from phnom phen. >> reporter: today the summit in the cambodian capital was different. myanmar's president hun sen received a warm welcome after sunday's historic by-election. asean leaders praised the vote won by pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi. the development could boost asean's project to create an economic community by 2015. cambodian prime minister hun sen chaired the summit. he apparently believes removing sanctions from the economic area could be an important step forward.
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>> reporter: asean leaders are calling on europe and the united states to lift sanctions against myanmar. they said the move would further promote democratic reform in the country. >> one thing that we are very much keen on is to ensure that sanctions against myanmar need to be lifted. it is extremely important as a symbol, as a democratic dividend of a country that has begun the process of change, and this process of change must be acknowledged. >> reporter: myanmar has rich natural resources and -- but its economy has been closed from much of the world. lifting economic sanctions would benefit not only myanmar but the
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asean economic area. u.s. new car sales jumped in march for the tenth straight month, despite a 20% hike in gas prices since the beginning of this year. u.s. market research firm auto data says they sold more than . that's bup 13% from a year earlier. among japanese automakers, toyota sales jumped 15% and nissan also rose over 12%. but honda sales fell 5% slipping from a huge increase a year ago. leading u.s. automaker general motors recorded a gain of 12%. ford is up 5%. and chrysler surged about 34%. south korea's hyundai sales climbed more than 12%. the head of the international monetary fund has urged the u.s. to consider boosting its contributions in
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case more bailouts are needed in debt-strapped europe. >> thank you very much and apologies. the recovery is still very fragile. the financial system in europe is still under heavy straits. >> in a speech in washington on tuesday, christine lagard said a faltering europe would have a negative impact on u.s. employment and economic recovery. she noted that many u.s. businesses profit from exports to europe and investment in the region. she is trying to persuade the u.s., the imf's largest contributor, to play a greater role. but some american lawmakers oppose any such move in the name of helping europe. the imf is aiming to secure the agreement of its member nations ahead of a meet with the world bank later this month. a minority of u.s. fed policymakers wanted extra credit easing despite concerns over joblessness and their nation's economic outlook. that's according to minutes of
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last month's meeting of the u.s. central bank. the u.s. federal reserve on tuesday released the minutes of the march 13th policy meeting. the document says most members agreed that a moderate economic recovery will continue for the time being, but some cautioned that improvements in employment might diminish as the year progressed. the minutes also say only a couple of members flagged the need for possible additional stimulus. that's if the economy lost momentum or inflation stayed below the 2% target in the medi medium term. chinese authorities will release its first quarter economic growth data later this month. for what we can expect, let's go to our reporter jamie ung in hong kong. >> the chinese government lowered its growth target to 7.5% for this year. after the pace has slowed down for a fourth straight quarter in
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2011. this was likely due to the government's tighter monetary policy and exports to europe. >> while some are expressing concern about a continued economic slowdown, others say this could help reduce the potential for a -- of the chinese economy. to see what we can expect for the announcement of first quarter gdp, i asked an economist at standard charter bank in hong kong. >> for the first quarter of 2012 this year we're expecting china's gdp growth to come in about 8.3%. so this marks if true, this marks a bit of a slowdown from what we saw late last year in q4 last year. but then the slowdown is also at a managed pace. we're not seeing any collapse or significant drop off. >> reflecting concerns about the
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economic slowdown, china's central bank shifted toward easing monetary policy last december. it lowered the ratio for banks for the first time since december 2008. lau says the move has supported growth giving the banks more room to lend. >> china could monitor the april and march numbers on a monthly basis. so if those point to further slowdown, then that could still mean that further loosening is on the cards. they've already done a couple of times with that. and look at the ratio right now. it is still sitting at a pretty high level historically. so there's pretty large room for them to cut further. we are expecting at least three to four times more cut by 50 basis point each. >> meanwhile, the chinese government remains caution about the continuing high level of property prices even though the
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market has shown some sign of shrinking. >> despite the sort of like a practice or activities coming down over the past half year or so, we look at the situation across the board. prices in the third -- second tier cities, those are still pretty elevated. activities might have quieted down a bit but then prices are still pretty stubborn. it looked beyond the major cities. and i think china may want to wait a bit more to squeeze out the remaining inflation pressures on the property side front. wait until the high infantry levels starts to bring prices down a bit more. say another 10% to 15% before they would consider loosening the property controls across the board. >> along with gdp, key economic indicators including housing and
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consumer prices will be released in the coming weeks. markers are folk aungs how and when the chinese government will further loosen economic policy. let's take a look at some economic figures. the purchasing managers index fell to 48.3 in march from 49.6 the previous month. that signals a fifth consecutive monthly decline in manufacturing conditions. an hsbc economist says this reflects the further slowdown in growth pressured by fewer newer export orders. the average annual wage in shanghai rose from the previous year. the effort wage was 52,655 yuan or about 8,400 u.s. dollars a year. wages were highest in the financial industry. electricity, gas and water supply and related manufacturing as well as in the mining industry. the lowest wagers were in
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services, accomdagsss and catering and the agriculture industry. hong kong retail sales rose 15.7% in february from a year earlier. the spokesperson for the hong kong census and statistic department says improved incomes and vibrant inbound tourism. but the spokesperson added that they needed to keep a close watch on the impact of the negative economic factors overseas. that wraps up our report from hong kong. back to you in tokyo. >> that was jamie ung in hong kong. japan's reconstruction minister has hinted that some areas near the fukushima daiichi plant may have to be declared off limits indefinitely. it's the first time a government official has raised the possibility that some evacuees will not be going home. hirano met the governor of the
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prefecture and a town near the plant. they suggested some areas may remain unsafe for years to come. he noted the large amount of highly radioactive waste water stored at the nuclear complex. the water has accumulated from the process of cooling the reactors. the government has promised to decontaminate all affected areas so people can return to their homes in stages. prime minister noda has instructed a minister to draw up new standards for nuclear safety. their standards are a precondition for restarting two reactors at a nuclear plant on the japan sea coast. the nuclear safety commission is conducting stress tests on japan's nuclear power plants. last month, it favorably assessed the first round of stress tests on the reactors at the ohi nuclear plant. noda and three ministers discussed the commission's assessment. the ministers were briefed by the nuclear and industrial safety agency on the findings of its investigation into the
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nuclear crisis at the fukushima daiichi plant. some of the ministers said the proposed safety standards are not clearly defined. noda instructed industry minister yukio edano to come up with new standards for safety. >> translator: even if we can confirm the safety of the plant it will take some time to get residents' approval for starting it. >> ministers tor meet later this week to discuss the necessary safety measures. in a troichg sightal in tokyo last month, 100 people from areas devastated by last year's earthquake and tsunami spoke and sang of their experiences. take a look at these people who are mustering up the courage to face the harsh reality of their
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lives. misato oshikawa reports. ♪ >> the 90-minute recital took place in tokyo ginza district. on the stage, performers sung and spoke about their suffering in the march 11th disaster. >> translator: everything in the gymnasium was swirling around. i was swirling around, too. >> translator: we lost our families, our friends and our homes. we were bruised all over. both physically and mentally. >> reporter: most of the participants came from higashi in miyagi prefecture, an area hard hit by the tsunami. they began preparing for the
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recital in november of last year. ♪ 63-year-old hidoti lost his father and his mother. the group asked him to take part in the recital to make up for a shortage of male participants. this is where his house used to be. he lived here with his wife and parents. he happened to be away from home when the disaster struck. his father was found dead under the rubble of the house. the body of his mother was recovered a month later. he was reunited with his mother at the morgue. >> i caught sight of one of my
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father's yellow gloves in the rubble. i looked under the debris and saw his face. >> reporter: he begged repeatedly for his father's forgiveness in front of his body. >> translator: i have been talking about the disaster, but i have never told anyone that i begged my father and mother for forgiveness. >> reporter: he kept wondering whether he should speak about his remorse in front of a large audience. he thought that speaking about his repentance was not the way to salvation. he showed his script to his wife keiko and asked what she thought. >> translator: i thought if he had the chance to express what was bottled up inside him, it
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would ease his remorse. >> reporter: on the 18th of last month, 2,000 people came to watch the recital. ♪ >> translator: i used ten bottles of water to try to wash the mud off my father's body, but in vain. i was mad at myself because i only had muddy water to purify his body. my house and my beloved parents were lost. it was too much. dad, mom, i'm so sorry.
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immediately after the show, i thought i saw my father's face. he was smiling saying thank you. i would like to treasure this experience and live with it for the rest of my life. >> reporter: all 100 performes s sang a song they used to cheer themselves as they move forward to face tomorrow. ♪ ♪ >> in the recital, participants also expressed their gratitude
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for the support that came from all over the world. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the march 11th disaster. they have to rebuild businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." lovely sunny day here in tokyo. will this weather continue? let's go to sayaka mori for the world weather forecast. >> sunny gl tokyo will likely continue through the end of this week. and we are expecting the high of 19 degrees tomorrow. so that's definitely something we are looking forward to. but it's a different story for northern japan. it is still dealing with stormy conditions. very cold, wet and also windy. take a look at this. this photo was taken in niigata city this morning. you can see a truck overturned
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on the ground. sustained winds of 115 kilometers per hour were reported. the fastest wind ever reported in niigata. 20 electric poles were toppled by the blustery winds. unfortunately, those windy conditions will likely remain into tonight. we have lots of warnings and watches for high waves posted for much of the northern japan up to 10 meters of rain is expected, mainly along the northwest coast and for the rest of japan. winds are dying down. however, the threat of high waves will likely remain throughout the day. so if you are near the coast, watch out for the rough sea conditions. in terms of rainfall, actually snowfall, snow -- heavy snow will continue in hokkaido and tohoku region into tonight. and after the system passes through, another system will move into northern honshu that will create a wintry mix,
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feeling more like winter here. meanwhile, wet conditions in the southern half of china will continue and actually rain will intensify as we head into thursday in some locations. now moving on to the americas, we are still looking at widespread thundershowers through much of the eastern half of the u.s., particularly wet in parts of the south. the threat of severe weather will likely remain in the lower mississippi valley into wednesday. we are talking about severe thunderstorms, a large hail, damaging winds and even a chance of tornadoes because the system has been moving very slowly, the threat of flooding is very high. and out towards the west, there's a low pressure system moving towards the east over the western portions of the u.s. and canada, producing a wintry mix. the northern rockies will see snow showers intensifying as we head into wednesday. as for temperatures, cooler than average in seattle with 9 degrees. but out towards the east, lots of orange and yellow indicating
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warm temperatures. 22 in washington, d.c. and 30 degrees in miami. in contrast, parts of the northern british isles are experiencing wintry conditions. let's take a look at some video coming out of scotland. just days after a period of record-breaking warmth in northeastern scotland, snow fell in the highlands on tuesday. strong winds led to blizzard conditions which made for very dangerous driving. 17 centimeters of snow fell in some places. the temperatures plunged back down to freezing after people enjoyed sunshine and temperatures in the low 20s just last week. now the system which brought heavy snow in scotland continued to sag southward and impacting the central uk. so areas in scotland, this area, is experiencing very sunny skies and very calm conditions. however, temperatures will be on the cool side.
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for example, in edinborough, your high is expected to be only 5 degrees and very cool in london as well. only 9 degrees. but for the rest, it's on the warmer side. getting up to 16 degrees in paris. here's your extended forecast. and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline."
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ooum yuko aotani in tokyo. thanks very much for watching.
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