juror taking aim. the u.s. coast guard has opened fire on a japanese fishing boat drifting in the north pacific since last year's devastating tsunami. the coast guard is trying to sink a ship deemed a threat to navigation. they fired at the 60-meter long ship on thursday using a 25 millimeter machine gun. the ship was ripped from its moorings in the northern japanese port by tsunami. it was spotted drifting off canada's queen charlotte islands
on march 20th. 50i the vessel has floated north to waters off alaska. an estimated 3 million tons of debris from the tsunami is said to be drifting east in the pacific ocean and most expected to reach the west coast of north america next year. iran's foreign minister said that his country is considering asking neighboring iraq or china to serve as the venue for the next round of nuclear negotiations. talks between iran and six western countries over its nuclear program are scheduled for april 13th. the last round was held 15 months ago. an iranian proposal to hold the talks in istanbul, turkey, collapsed because of differences between the two sides over syria. iran is closely allied with the syrian government but turkey backs the western nations which are demanding that syrian president bashar all assad step down. meanwhile, tensions continue to
rise in the persian gulf where the u.s. navy is keeping a close eye on iran. it's main concern is to keep opened the strait of. we have this report from dubai. >> reporter: u.s. navy personnel have feared two aircraft carrier into the gulf. they're watching iran's movements. the iranian authorities know it and they recently ordered high speedboats to harass the u.s. vessels by repeatedly approaching them. the boats are believed to be able to go faster than 100 kilometers per hour. iran can't match the u.s. navy in terms of strength but its managed to put the americans on high alert. >> the main reason? the memory of the attack on the
uss coal and it was off the coast of yemen. 17 sailors died. u.s. navy commanders are worried iran might use high-speed boats to do the same thing should another emergency arise. >> the use of small boats, especially if they're suicidal and they do number in the hundreds, is very difficult to defend against. traditional naval battles have been fought between large ships. >> and so, the u.s. navy is doing something it's never done before. it's using several state-of-the-art unmanned aircraft to survey the persian gulf. the planes keep around the clock watch for suspicious activity at sea. the navy's also equipping all its vessels in the gulf with precision cannons capable of
shooting approaching high speedboats. and the preparations don't end there. the u.s. military leaders have a contingency plan in place, should iran's revolutionary guard navy try to block the strait. experts believe iran yan authorities have stockpiled about 5,000 underwater mines. to counter the threat, more u.s. navy vessels are now equipped with robots that can dive and search for the explosives. last month, u.s. navy brass announced they will double the number of this type of ship in the gulf to eight. >> we will monitor the situation with their exercise carefully and act professionally at sea. and we don't go looking for trouble but if trouble finds us
we know what to do. >> reporter: and so the u.s. navy will stay prepared. and stay vigilant. right now, this is the persian gulf between two long-time foes. but if the tension turns to conflict, lives, regional security and the status of tet . nhk world, dubai. gulf states are also making plans to deal with the situation. they see no sign that tension will subside soon. so they're strengthening their militaries. people gathered in qatar last week for the largest arms' fair in the middle east. different types of equipment for navy vesselses were among the exhibits. more than 100 weapons' makers from around the world took part and representatives from countries in the region visited booths and held negotiations.
the. >> translator: we have on display the latest cutting edge weapons. >> saudi arabia defense officials bought 84 new advanced fighter jets from, u.s. for about $29 billion. the buyers representing the united arab emirates purchased the system that were can shoot ko down missiles when they're high above the earth and we'll keep you updated on the iranian nuclear issue. raising japan's consumption tax continues to be an issue among law makers. the ongoing debate between the ruling and opposition parties expected to escalate as the japanese parliament enacted on thursday the budget for this fiscal year through march 2013. tr primes calling for a meeting with opposition leaders starting
discussions on bills such as raising the consumption tax and issuing debt-covering bonds. >> translator: i'd like to call for discussions between the ruling and opposition camps on how to proceed. and when to start. >> however, for the time being the opposition liberal democratic and new matters are kre projecting the top-level meeting. the ldp says the ruling democrats should unify the view on consumption tax hike and other pending issues within the party and then hold discussions with the opposition. toyota motor has unveiled their new avalon, the first car ever to be entirely made in the united states. the sedan was introduced at the new york international auto show on thursday. this is toyota's first car that was designed, developed and manufactured all in the u.s. the new avalon has a different style. it has a wider grill and
conspicuous line on the side. toyota also announced a plan to hire 250 engineers in the u.s. over the next five years to bolster its development. >> this is the first vehicle that was developed here exclusively for the u.s. market. and we have more to follow. >> the avalon is due to hit the north american market later this year. toyota's move shows japanese automakers are speeding up their shift to the united states. that's because the japanese currency continues at near record high levels making exports more expensive. toyota motor is now to move the production of sports utility vehicles from its plant in southern japan to the u.s. in 2013. the relocation will include hybrid models currently made at the facility. in the meantime, honda motor will start its first u.s. production of hybrid vehicles later this year.
the maker had formerly made hybrids only in japan. as china's economy grows, middle class families are earning more. many are finding new ways to spend their disposable income on leisure and other things. ken has this report from beijing. i'm in the north part of beijing about an hour and a half drive from the city center. this is a place called little donkey farm covering more than 15 hectors. local government opened it four years ago together with the university. anyone with $240 can rent a plot of land for a year to farm. it measures 30 square meters. and renters can grow any
vegetable they want. the number of renters surges each year. 400 groups, mostly residents of beijing, signed up last year. >> translator: it's tiring but fun. >> translator: it's a great opportunity for family and friends to get together. >> translator: farming is really interesting. you like working here, don't you? >> translator: yes, i brought this here. >> he and his wife have just started farming for the first time. they hope to teach their son to. he is in grade six. on this day, the family had only intended to register. >> translator: the shoes are not suited for farming. we didn't mean to farm today. >> the three hobby farmers live in beijing with the wife's
parents. four years ago, he quit the state-run farm and started up his own business. now he runs it with his wife. most of the time, the business runs smoothly. but from time to time, volatility in the exchange rate eat into profits. the couple doesn't have many employees so the amount of care for their daily transactions can be painstaking and dressful. >> translator: i'm very busy with my work and i'm always under quite a bit of pressure. >> translator: we all live in concrete buildings in the city so it's only natural for us to pine for nature. >> reporter: the day after they registered, the family returns to plant seedlings. the farming equipment is provided free.
they have no farming experience but the staff advises them. the boy turned 12 today. the farming experience made this year's birthday one he won't forget. >> translator: normally on my birthday mom and dad buy me a cake but today we planted vegetable seedlings together and i really enjoyed that. >> reporter: the family planted seedlings to grow cauliflower and four other kinds of vegetables. this farm promotes organic farming so the family doesn't plan to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. >> translator: we can breathe in plenty of fresh air and at the same time, strengthen our bodies. also, we get to eat better food. we can get quite a lot out of farming. >> translator: this is a great opportunity for our son to get in touch with nature. we adults also benefit as
farming reduces stress from our jobs. >> reporter: as china's economy booms, people in the city are becoming and they are beginning to look for something to nation their lives more satisfying. many find what they are looking for in hobby farming. >> so, how widespread are these hobby farms? >> >> reporter: there are about ten others like those in beijing and nationwide, there are about 80 and the number is rising. the farms are reported and it is part of the community supported agricultural program to help revitalize farming villages. they expect to earn enough income from member fees to support alternate farming and under this scheme, farmers are paid for growing organic vegetables and delivering their
produce once a week to registered households. >> translator: we hope more resources will be invested in farming villages and then farmers wouldn't have to go to cities to find jobs and they could continue to live in their hometowntion and make a living. this is how we hope to regenerate rural communities. >> nearly after of the 1.3 billion chinese live in rural areas. the country faces a serious problem in developing their communities and resolving their problems. the farming program may offer a way forward. >> thanks, from beijing.
some other stories rear following. unesco is placing the wreck of the titanic under its protection later this month. the cultural agency says the ship will fall under a convention safeguarding underwater cultural heritage. it prohibits unscientific or unethical exploration or recovery of artifacts. this come into effect on april 15th, the 100th anniversary of the sinking. it went down off the east coast of an da and is lying in waters 4,000 meters deep. another rupert murdoch outlet said it twice authorized journalists to access illegally obtained e-mails of the suspects. "sky news" said in 2008, it hacked the e-mails of people involved of insurance fraud,
suspected of insurance fraud involving a husband and wife in britain who fakes a man's death. last year, "news of the world" a popular british tabloids with was forced to close after a phone message hacking scandal came to light. a grammy award-winning singer and iconic figure in africa has been named minister for culture and tourism in senegal. he contributed last month to the election of the president by opposing the bid of the incumbent. the incumbent was running for a third term against the term set by the constitution. the ministerial appointment is gaining attention across africa. senegal is often singled out as a country with a democracy. every year, thousands of people in the u.s. take part in an age-old japanese custom. they view cherry blossoms in
potomac national park in washington, d.c. many trees come from japan. they were a gift of friendship in the japanese people 100 years ago. but if it hadn't have been for an american botanist, that gift may not have survived. we have this story. >> reporter: to commemorate the cherry trees, many jooirp-related events are held in washington. the first lady, michelle obama, planted a cherry tree late in march. >> for so many years, these trees have served as a symbol of the great friendship between the united states and japan. >> every year, people from all over the u.s. come to view the spectacular sight. in 1912, the japanese send about 3,000 cherry trees to washington
as a gift of friendship. the americans planted them in powe to mack's national parpoto. the cherry trees have become a living symbol of friendship between the two nations. however, those hundred years have not been smooth. during world war ii, american feelings towards japanese turned bitter. some americans took out their hostility on the cherry trees. now a symbol of the enemy. >> flood and aging have also reduced the number of the trees. only 5% of the original trees
were left standing. >> flowers are very, very beautiful. >> botanist rollin jefferson spent years preserving them. in the 1970s, jefferson became the first botanist to research how to preserve the cherry trees. he also raised awareness about their origin. to save the trees, jefferson tried a new method. he cut branches off of the asian trees to grow new ones. the idea wasn't accepted right away. it required more money and time. but he continued anyway, to preserve the tree's 'japanese origin. the white house heard about jefferson's efforts. nancy reagan, the first lady at the time, recognized the proponents of saving the -- the pornls of saving the original
trees. later, the public also became aware. it's been 30 years since jefferson's started the work. others are continuing his mission. thanks to more than 700 trees adorn the mark. >> i know how important those trees are. i thought, by all means with original trees should be maintained and kept. >> jefferson's next step was to spread is cherry blossoms across the u.s. in all over japan, he collected specimens that can grow in any u.s. climate. jefferson gathered 400 kinds of cherry trees and they now are standing in the national arboretum. based on his collection they research hybrids that can grow
anywhere in the country. so far, various kinds of cherry seeds and cuttings have been sent to over 50 locations. >> people can look and see those trees in bloom and know they came from japan. this friendship has gone on for 100 years now. and so it probably will continue to go on. i hope the next 100 years. >> reporter: people on both sides of the pacific hope the cherry trees live for another century. an emblem of the strong and resilient friendship between the two peoples. nhk world, washington. >> it's time to go to our world weather forecast. >> hello and thank you. heavy thunder showers are ongoing across much of the peninsula, indochina and the
southern coast of china and an additional 100 millimeters is expected in the next 24 hours. it has been raining here over the past several days. the ground is already very well sach rated so the risk of flooding and landslides are very high. eastern china peninsula will stay dry and as for japan, a wintry mix is continuing in northern japan and the west coast of the country and heavy snow will continue in the northwestern portion of the nation into tomorrow. on the other hand, the southern half of japan will stay largely dry. i know many of you in tokyo are planning on cherry blossom screwing over the weekend. how about the weather? sunny with partly cloudy skies. but there's a chance of showers on your saturday afternoon. with a high of 12 degrees. so a little bit chilly on your saturday. but on sunday, it will be warming up to 14 degrees with
precipitation-free weather with nice southerly winds. you'll feel much warmer than these actual numbers. moving over to the americas, a powerful storm is now startinging much of the southeastern portion of u.s. the threat of severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds and even tornados still continuing over e overnight and it's actually affecting the weather in augusta where the masters golf tournament is taking place. but by friday evening, the system will out to sea. so over the weekend, it's going to be sunny with a high of 24 degrees. so a very pleasant conditions ahead. out towards the west, a winter storm is spreading heavy snow in much of the northern rockies. that will move into central canada over the weekend. as for the highs, getting up to 12 degrees in seattle. 11 in vancouver. winnipeg coming in at 20 degrees, which is about 10 degrees higher than average.
and out toward the east, we turning to more seasonal levels. getting up to 14 degrees in washington, d.c. finally, let's go over to europe and unstable conditions in the southern half of the continent will continue over the weekend. but if things will get clearer across much of the iberian peninsula on your saturday. up towards the north, a band of wintry mixes is sagging southward and that will affect the low countries, northern germany and up into northwestern russia in the next 24 hours and as the system comes in temperatures will drop significantly cooling down to 2 degrees and not too bad in berlin on your friday but if you're cooling down to 6 degrees on your saturday. and as for warsaw, 8 degrees with rain and rain could change over to snow on your sunday and out towards the west, stay on the chilly side in the iberian peninsula but temperatures will be moderating into more typical levels as we head into sunday.
the unmanned vessel on thursday using a 25 millimeter machine gun. the ship has been deemed a threat to navigation. the ship was ripped from its moorings in the port of hachinohe after the tsunami and was spotted on march 20th drifting off the queen's island and if vessel has floated north to waters off of alaska. an estimated 3 million tons of debris from the tsunami is said to be drifting east in the pacific ocean. most of the debris is expected to reach the west coast of north america next year. let's go back and take another look at that beautiful cherry blossom. the japan meteorological agency says the cherry blossom here in tokyo is in full bloom today. we'll be back with more news at the top of the hour. from here in tokyo, thanks for joining us.