deals on wheels. japan's mazda is in talks with italy's fiat about a possible partnership. mazda has been on a bumpy road of late. the japanese automaker just posted a fourth consecutive annual loss. signs suggest things may be better up ahead. executives are discussing a number of deals with italian counterparts at fiat. sources close to the talks told nhk about the link with fiat which is affiliated with the u.s. automaker chrysler. their plan called for mazda to
supply its sports car sold as the roadster in japan to fiat. fiat which market their model under alfa romeo. the executives may also consider working together on eco-friendly technology. that could include improvements to fuel efficient engines developed by mazda. managers at mazda are looking to expand sales overseas, a tie-up with fiat would help. fiat was the world's seventh largest automaker by sales in 2011. on to our next news now. north korean officials indicate they have no intention of carrying out a nuclear test. western diplomats have warned of that possibility for weeks. but state media reports the north koreans are focused instead on putting a satellite into space.
>> the korean central news agency quoted a spokesperson for the foreign ministry. the official warned north korean officials will have to take countermeasures if the u.s. continues to press for tougher sanctions. and the senior u.s. diplomat for korea is leaning on chinese leadership for their help. glenn davis wants them to use their influence with officials in pyongyang to stop further provocations. davis made the comments after meet with china's special representative for the korean peninsula. dawei chairs the six-party talks on the nuclear program. davis says he and wu share concern about recent events. >> both china and the united states really have the same fundamental interests when it comes to the peninsula and in north korea which is peace, stability and the pursuit of denuclearization. >> davies will head to tokyo later in the day for talks with japanese officis. and u.n. spokesperson martin
nesirky gave a cautious response to north korea's claim that it is not planning a nuclear test. >> there are varying descriptions of the latest statements from the dprk, so i think we would need to wait a little bit to clarify things. >> he said the u.n. secretary-general has urged north korea to avoid any acts that will heighten tension in the region. u.s. researchers say north korean workers are building a new launch pad at an old site. they say the facility could support rockets bigger than the ones scientists tested last month. researchers at johns hopkins university analyzed satellite photos of the site in the northeastern part of the country. the photos were taken late last month. the researchers say the work to upgrade the site began last summer. they say the images show the concrete foundations of a launch pad and buildings designed to house the fuel.
they say the workers have finished building a structure that could be used to assemble rockets in a former residential area near the site. and the researchers say north korean officials ordered the upgrade in order to launch larger ballistic missiles. they say the new facility could go into operation within four years. joining us now is professor izimi from the university of shizuka. he specializes in security issues and the korean peninsula. north koreans have been reporting that it's not planning a nuclear test. it seems to be a reversal of what it's been saying so far. what do you make of this latest statement now? >> well, quite interesting statement. especially the last sentence which the -- actually they said only if the case, u.s. will continue to tougher sanctions and the pressure on them. they would be left wit no options but to take
corresponding measures. only if is quite important. likely that north korea will see another possibility. if the u.s. will move toward the start of negotiations or the talks with the dprk, maybe they can change their course or direction or they will not take corresponding measures. >> north korea also says it may take countermeasures for defense purposes. what kind of measures do you think that is? is there going to be another ballistic missile launch? >> oh, yes. first of all, we have to say that the -- for the time being, it's almost no possibility north korea will take on as a nuclear test but missile launching is quite possible but maybe the missile launching is two different type of deal. because of one of the -- the
name of the -- they are going to make some missile test, but the other -- also that they will launch the missiles. >> on purpose. >> that's right, yes. >> one last question. what do you expect in the near future? will there actually be a dialogue with the u.s. it seems to be a tug of war there now. >> just for the time being. maybe one month or a couple of months. nothing happens because both sides are now quite clear. they want to wait and see and both side of the u.s. and dprk like to see that the counterpart will take some first actions. so, therefore, the one month or couple months, nothing will happen. but after that, maybe north korea will move fast. because of the u.s., has a presidential election so very much hard to do, but north korea has two options.
on the other hand, so they can launch another missile. they have two options but at the moment we don't know which options they will take. >> we'll have to wait and see what happens there. thank you very much, professor. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster. but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." japanese scientists say cooling water may be look leaking from another reactor at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. they say the water level of the reactor's containment vessel far shallower than they previously thought. researchers at the government-backed japan nuclear energy safety organization analyzed the internal pressure and other data from the number one reactor. they say the water inside is
about 40 centimeters deep. that's 160 centimeters shallower than officials at tokyo electric power company believed. the researchers say water may be leaking from a hole in a pipe. still, tepco spokespersons say nuclear fuel is being cooled sufficiently with water temperatures at about 30 degrees celsius. in march, workers found the water level inside another reactor had fallen to 60 centimeters. water appears to be leaking there, too. the leaks could make the task of decommissioning the plant more difficult. the operator hopes to fill the vessels with water in order to remove melted fuel within ten years. western diplomats are hoping to break a stalemate over iran's nuclear program. representatives iran and six other countries resumed their talks in baghdad later in the day. the european union's foreign policy chief kathryn ashton will represent world powers. she and other delegates are expected to tell iranian nuclear negotiators jalili that
scientists must stop producing 20% enriched uranium. experts fear scientists could further concentrate the uranium to levels that are weapons grade. western negotiators are also expected to urge the iranians to close some underground nuclear facilities. iranian officials are expected to ask their counterparts to lift economic sanctions targeting their exports of crude oil. the talks resumed in istanbul in april after a 15-month break. the people of egypt are choosing a president in the first freely contested election in the country's history. voters are going to the polls during the day. pro-democracy protesters last year forced former president hosni mubarak to step down. the voting takes place over two days. public support is sharply divided between islamist candidates and former officials of the mubarak regime. front runners include muhammad mosi of the muslim brotherhood, an islamic fundamentalist
movement and a moderate islamist who left the group. other strong contenders are former prime minister ahmed shafik and ama musa. both were members of the mubarak administration. a parliamentary election took place in january. islamic parties won the largest share of votes. tension is rising ahead of the presidential election. supporters of rival parties fought across the country ahead of the balloting. leaders of the ruling military council say they will deploy 120,000 troops to prevent further turmoil. team misawa may not be familiar to many around the world but in areas hit by last year's disaster, it's a household word. on "the road ahead," today we take you to see the team at
work. nhk world tomoya reports. >> reporter: -- to the nearby prefecture of miyagi to help survivors. he holds an event for children in the damaged area with american support group from amori prefecture. he lives in misawa city. more than 10,000 americans live there. most are military personnel and their families who live in and around the air base. simon has been in japan for 25 years. he broadcasts a radio show for americans about japanese news. after the disaster, americans at
the base helped in the crisis area. simon was an interpreter. victims told him their stories so he had a good understanding of what they are going through. when they receive food supplies from amori, he saw how grateful they were. that inspired him to keep on helping. >> of course they cleared it but now we need to build new houses and build new businesses and get people back to work. people care. whether it's american or japanese or whatever. people care about them. we haven't forgotten. and we want to continue to help. >> reporter: three months after the disaster, simon organized team misawa, made up of americans from the military base. they started supporting the children in minamisanduku.
to raise money they planned online auctions. every item sold is a donation. this cake sold for $225. with generous donation like this, the group raised about $5,000 in april alone. >> we had people stateside participating in it as well. so if we did it just locally, only a few people could participate from around here, but since we do it online, people back stateside that want to participate can do as well. >> reporter: late april, simon's group organized this event to introduce american culture to the children in the devastated area. they ate cakes made by people at the air base. about 50 japanese showed up to enjoy the snack and learn american culture. >> translator: i am grateful they prepared this for us.
>> because i speak japanese and i know the people who i'm helping and that need help. i can share the need with americans who still want to help. >> reporter: simon is getting even more americans to pitch in. as a result, american japanese in the area are having closer ties. tomoya yashigawa, nhk world, misawa. japan's trade balance in april was in the red for a second straight month. the finance ministry said in its preliminary report on wednesday that japan's trade deficit was about $6.5 billion last month. exports are up for a second month in a row. that's almost an 8% rise from a year earlier in yen terms. this is mainly due to an increase in shipments of autos
to the united states and asia. imports, meanwhile, rose 8% due to a rise in liquefied natural gas for thermal power plants. the high price of crude oil were also a factor. that follows the shutdown of nuclear power plants across the country in the wake of the fukushima daiichi accident last year. the organization for economic cooperation and development says the eurozone economy will shrink 0.1% in 2012. that's down from the previous forecast of a 0.2% growth announced six months ago. the oecd urged the euro area to balance fiscal reform with economic growth. it said the recent election results in the block indicate people becoming impatient about austerity measures which are making their lives difficult. the oecd also suggested that the eurozone should issue common bonds to finance infrastructure projects and boost the capital of commercial banks. now on the u.s. economy, the oecd said it will expand 2.4%
this year. that's better than the previous forecast. and as with japan, the oecd maintained its growth prediction of 2%. u.s. federal regulators shed light on the investigation on p jpmorgan chase which suffered a $2 billion loss from derivatives trading. following the bank's announcement of the loss earlier in may, the senate banking committee held a hearing on the case on tuesday. securities and exchange commission chairman mary schapiro said that many trades in question were mostly handled by jpmorgan's british subsidiary in london. she said the commission is investigating whether the bank's earnings report for the first quarter this year had false statements or mistakes. >> our focus right now is on whether the company's public disclosure and financial reporting is accurate. >> commodity futures trading commission chairman gary gensler
also testified and stressed the need to strengthen rulss to prevent risky trading. the senate banking committee called for the bank's cop executive jamie dimon to attend a hearing. and now we bring you the weekly report from south korea. our reporter in seoul, sue choi, filed the following stories. >> reporter: business people are spending their lunch hours differently these days. they are not only enjoying time away from work but are pursuing hobbies or learning something useful for themselves. behind the change are some unique corporate strategies. this language school is located in seoul's main business district. during lunchtime, the school offers english and japanese conversation and other classes that are popular with business people. since this lunchtime program started last year, it has proven more popular than the morning and evening classes. every day as many as 130
students take these lunchtime courses. here office workers who have come to study on their lunch break can enjoy free food and drinks. today it's rice balls and fruit juice. to rival with others, the school provides the students not only with lunchtime classes but also with free meals. >> translator: i can save up my lunch money and use it to pay tuition. i can even use my lunch break to brush up on my english. >> translator: compared with last year, we now have 53% more students taking our lunchtime courses. the number of applicants reaches the limit quickly. the food is very well received so we plan to improve our services in variety and volume.
♪ >> reporter: here in the lobby of the seoul museum of history, a classical concert is being held. it's lunchtime on a weekday, but the seats are filled with businesspeople working in the area. the event is popular because they can get easy to understand explanations about classical music from an expert. >> translator: i am a working mother, and it's hard to find time for myself. so i use my lunchtime to enjoy concerts like this one. i also visit the museum and stroll around it. i'm having a good time. >> translator: many people think classical music is difficult to understand and they often get intimidated. that's why we try not to put a heavy burden on them and hold a concert only once a month.
>> although business people use their lunch break to stay fit. this is a fitness club at a major telecommunications company. the 3,300-square-meter facility is located in the basement. between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. every day, about 130 employees work out in the gym, trimming down and releasing stress, free of charge. >> translator: when our people manage their health properly, it helps improve our business performance. we have facilities and various programs they can use to stay fit. we plan to introduce more yoga and other training courses during lunchtime. >> reporter: one of the programs popular among the employees is a traditional korean stretching class. the workers can relax their muscles, calm their nerves and get ready for the afternoon
work. >> translator: when we build our physical strength, we don't easily get tired working in the afternoon. and i can do a better job. >> reporter: other companies are springing up to provide aesthetic courses, match-making parties and other services. with better use of their lunch hour, businesspeople hope to become a more efficient workforce to support the country's economy. and let's take a look at other economic news. the city of taigu, one of south korea's medical tourism hubs is attracting more patients. those patients increased 22.3% in 2011 from the previous year to nearly 5,500. daegu has enjoyed a steady increase in the number of medical tourists since 2009 when it began a full-fledged attempt to attract them.
an energy-saving campaign dubbed supercool biz will start next month in seoul. officials say municipal employees can wear t-shirts, shorts and sandals through august. the city is launching the drive because the government is considering raising electricity rates this summer as it did last year. that wraps up today's report from seoul. back to you in tokyo. and that was sue choi in seoul. and next, time to check the world weather forecast with sayaka mori. >> people in tokyo are enjoying gorgeous blue skies with warm temperatures. the good news is the nice weather will likely remain into the weekend. the rest of the southern half of japan will see clear conditions for the later part -- for the next several days as well. meanwhile, northern japan is still under the influence of this low pressure system so rain is continuing in parts of hokkaido as well as the northern
islands of the country. meanwhile, another lovely day for you across the korean peninsula and northeastern china down towards the south. a rain band is starting to extend into the shanghai area. rain will likely continue for the next few days down towards the south, wet in southern china and northern indochina, particularly wet in northern vietnam. out towards the east, we can see the pink showing up. that will be tropical storm sanvu. continues to move away from the mariana islands but could become a severe tropical storm tomorrow. and affect the southern islands of japan, including iwo jima by your friday morning local time. now heading over to the americas, we are still monitoring tropical storm south of mexico. it's packing sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour moving in a northwesterly direction. but it could veer towards the northeast and get close to the
south coast of mexico by your saturday morning local time. and then it could make a u-turn and become a remanent low by your sunday. there are no warnings and watches in effect along the coast at this moment, but stormy conditions are in the forecast from friday or so. so we'll keep you posted on its progress. right now some pop-up thundershowers are affecting the southwestern corner of mexico. meanwhile, a long frontal line is still stretching over the eastern seaboard of the u.s. and canada producing thundershowers. hail had been reported in the northeast coast. over the next 24 hours, things will get clear across most of the area, but the mid-atlantic region will continue to see light showers. down towards the south, there's another low pressure system bringing to rential rain and thunderstorms across the southern tip of florida and the caribbean islands. up towards the north, developing low pressure systems are
producing messy fixture across canada. the northwestern section of the u.s. and the midwestern states. conditions will turn quite severe in parts across the areas from southern minnesota down towards northern kansas. tornadoes are not out of the question but to the southwest, things are different. dry, warm and windy. conditions are ideal for wildfires across the four corners region on your wednesday. temperaturewise, 40 degrees in phoenix, but it will finally drop into the 30s starting thursday. 32 degrees in oklahoma city. 29 in atlanta and looking mild in new york with a high of 24. finally, let's go over to europe. messy picture is still ongoing across parts of italy. the balkan peninsula and in and around the black sea region unstable weather will likely remain for the next few days. as for the highs, 21 in rome. 27 degrees in vienna and another warm day for you in london with
let me give you our exclusive story once again. executeives at japan's mazda are in talks with italian counterpart fiat about a number of deals. sources close to the discussions told nhk about the link with fiat. it's also affiliated with the u.s. automaker chrysler. their plan calls for mazda to supply its sports car sold as a roader? japan to fiat. they'd mark tet under their alfa romeo brand. the executives may also consider working together on eco-friendly technology. that could include improvements to fuel efficient engines developed by mazda. and managers at mazda are looking to expand sales overseas. an alliance with fiat would help. fiat was the world's seventh largest automaker by sales last year. and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm yuko aotani in tokyo. we'll be back with more news at the top of the hour, so do join