25 people have been confirmed dead after a powerful storm hit izu oshima on wednesday. teams are searching for 21 others who are missing. the crew of a maritime self-defense force transporter has made its way to the island. the ship is carrying about 50 trucks and heavy machinery that will be used to remove mud, driftwood and debris. record rainfall soaked a mountainside, sending part of it sliding down toward a community. self-defense force commanders have also sent in an additional 130 personnel to help with the rescue and recovery effort. about 1,000 police, firefighters and sdf personnel are searching for the missing. the work has been tough and time consuming. another storm is expected to hit the island on saturday. residents are anxious. >> translator: i can see the fallen mountainside from my home. i can't sleep if it rains again. >> people are working at the oshima town hall to make 1,000 sandbags. municipal authorities depleted their stock trying to defend
against typhoon wipha. izu oshima is part of the tokyo metropolitan area. tokyo governor naoki inose has pledged to help prevent another disaster. he unveiled plans to build sandbags measuring hundreds of meters in length that will be used in the devastated areas. a group of japanese lawmakers has paid their respects to the country's war dead. more than 150 politicians attended an annual autumn festival at yasukuni shrine in central tokyo. the site honors japanese who have died in wars. also enshrined there are leaders who were convicted of war crimes after world war ii. the lawmakers offered prayers at the shrine's main hall. they belong to a crogroup that yasukuni. the group gathers each year in the spring and autumn, and on august 15th, the day japan
commemorates as the end of world war ii. a spokesperson says the number of lawmakers taking part this time was the second highest since 1989. the legislators included some deputy cabinet members. the internal affairs minister visited separately. prime minister abe had said he would not attend the autumn festival. one of the politicians who did attend said she personally hopes the prime minister will one day visit. officials in china's foreign ministry have expressed strong displeasure over the latest visit to yasukuni. >> translator: visits to yasukuni shrine by japanese cabinet ministers in essence glorified japan's history of military aggression. they represent a challenge to the outcome of world war ii, as well as the post-war international order. china firmly opposes such visits. >> the spokesperson says japan's
ambassador to china, masato kitera, was summoned to the ministry. embassy officials say kitera responded that the two countries should focus on building mutually beneficial and strategic ties. he said they should not let individual problems affect overall relations. south korea's foreign ministry has not released a formal comment, but an official told nhk that south korea has been consistent in its view that japanese politicians should not visit the shrine. the official urged japanese politicians to humbly reflect on history and behave in a way that's conducive to building trust with neighboring countries. prime minister abe says his cabinet's view of history is consistent with former cabinets'. he was referring to japan's colonial rule and aggression in the past. abe made the comment in response to a question by the leader of a junior coalition party in the upper house. new komeito chief natsuo yamaguchi said japan's relations with china and south korea remain unstable. he said the major obstacles are territorial disputes and
perceptions of history. yamaguchi said the three countries should continue discussions. he also said abe should seize every opportunity to carefully explain his cabinet's position. >> translator: japan caused tremendous damage and suffering in many countries in the past, particularly to people in other asian nations. my cabinet's view on history is consistent with past cabinets'. >> abe said japan reflected on its actions after world war ii, and has created a free democratic and peace-loving nation that respects basic human rights and the rule of law. he said the country intends to contribute even more to regional and global peace and stability based on international cooperation and what he calls the principles of proactive pacifism.
the global economy has been at the mercy of a fiscal impasse in the u.s. over the past few week, even though u.s. lawmakers managed to avoid a debt default. a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the u.s. economy. earlier gene otani spoke with lewis alexander, the u.s. chief economist at nomura. he shared with us his views on the u.s. economic outlook. >> lewis, this is only a temporary solution. what are some of the concerns you have about the future? >> well, there's no question that we have to get through the next round of negotiations over the next two to three months, to avoid what we've been through over the last several weeks. i'm hopeful that that can happen. negotiations actually started yesterday, and i think that will happen. in the longer term, we do face bigger budget issues over the
long run, but those aren't going to get solved in the next three months. we need a deal that basically gets us through the next year. >> how has the shutdown affected the u.s. economy, specifically in terms of job figures that's going to be out next week, as well as gdp reports going forward? >> so the job figures we are going to get next week actually pre-date the fiscal crisis. so they're for the month of september. we're looking for a headline increase of about 180,000. that's not bad. it's a little better than what it's been before, but not what it needs to be. going forward, there is going to be a drag from what we've just been through. i think it's mostly going to affect the fourth quarter. we are optimistic about next year. >> what about gdp? >> so we think we've lost about a half a point on gdp growth on the fourth quarter. we're now looking at forecasts a little less than two. we're thinking it will pick up between 2 1/2 and 3 in the first quarter. >> do you think the latest crisis will affect the federal reserve's decision on when to taper its monetary easing
policy? >> i do think it's going to have that effect for really two reasons. one is the near-term drag on the economy itself will delay the decision, but, also, there's been a delay in the production of basic data. so the data we're going to get next week actually was scheduled to be released at the beginning of this month. the normal information flow has been disrupted, and that's going to make it harder for the fed to assess what's going on. i think that pushes any decision to reduce the pace of asset purchases into the first quarter. >> in the big picture, what's the biggest risk you foresee at this point? >> i think for the u.s. economy, we've had this substantial increase in interest rates since the spring. we're beginning to see those effects flow through in the economy, most notably in the housing sector. i think there's a basic question of how robust the u.s. economy is to this higher level of rates, and i think that's the biggest risk we face right now. the external environment is a little better.
obviously, if we don't get a good resolution on this policy uncertainty, that's going to be a real issue as well, but i'm hopeful this next round won't be as bad as what we've just been through. european union leaders signed a tentative deal with canada to open all markets and drop nearly all import taxes. european commission president and canadian prime minister stephen harper announced the deal after four years of negotiations. they plan to abolish 99% of import tariffs. the few exceptions are dairy products and canadian beef. canadian leaders agree to give access to government procurement dollars at the provincial levels. they're negotiating free trade agreements with more than 18 countries. their deal with canada is the
first with a nation in the group of eight. eu leaders are pushing for closer economic ties with china. the trade ministers of member states agreed to start talks with chinese leaders in hopes of concluding an investment treaty. the ministers want to create stronger protections for investors in the eu and china. they want chinese leaders to stop requiring foreign firms to work with local joint venture partners. eu leaders hope to reach an agreement with the chinese in 2 1/2 years. analysts say the eu and china experienced friction over trade in solar panels and telecommunication equipment. they say that friction could herald difficulties in any investment talks. analysts at standard & poor's are keeping their credit rating on japanese government bonds unchanged, but they say they remain concerned about the country's fiscal situation. s&p analysts held their ratings on japan's long-term bonds steady at double "a" minus, the fourth highest of 21 levels. they say the government's
decision to raise the consumption tax from 5% to 8% next april is one important step toward cutting its debt, but analysts point out that they see no specific measures for fiscal consolidation. they say japan's fiscal situation remains weak. the japanese government plans to raise the consumption tax another notch to 10% in october 2014, but s&p analysts say that wouldn't be enough to cover expanding social security costs as the population continues to age. they say future debt ratings will depend on prime minister abe's growth strategies. the question, they say, is whether government measures will lead to improvement in the labor market and agricultural reform and an overall economic revival. take a look at the latest market figures.
leaders in two of china's biggest cities are deploying new weapons in their fight against a growing problem, air pollution. they are launching tougher measures to combat particles known as pm 2.5. state-run media say officials in beijing are preparing countermeasures based on the expected concentration of particles and how long they're likely to linger. the toughest measures will kick in if pollution is likely to hit the highest of six levels on a government scale and stay that high for three days. officials will keep cars off the
roads on alternate days based on their license plates. and they'll close elementary, middle and high schools. the highest level of pm 2.5 pollution means a daily average of at least 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air. if officials believe the pollution will stay at the next highest level for three days, they'll suspend some factory operations and stop work on construction sites. leaders in shanghai say they're trying to cut their city's pm 2.5 pollution by 20% by the year 2017. they plan to order coal-powered boilers be shut down or converted to run on natural gas. more than 2,500 of those boilers operate at factories and other facilities across the city. leaders also say they'll crack down on vehicles that spew exhaust gases in excess of environmental safety standards. wildfires raging in eastern australia have destroyed more than 100 houses and claimed their first victim. firefighters are trying to put down blazes in and around a national park about 80 kilometers west of sydney.
temperatures over 30 degrees celsius sparked fires across the region. strong winds then spread the flames. >> the wind blowing a tree onto electricity lines, and this whole street went up, just like -- very, very quickly. it was terrible. >> officials with the fire service say a man died while trying to protect his home. they say temperatures will rise again over the weekend. so they're urging residents to stay on the alert. government officials in myanmar say a man arrested for bombing a hotel in the country's biggest city revealed his motive. they say he was trying to scare away foreign investors. a homemade bomb went off in a room in a luxury hotel in yangon on monday. the blast hurt an american guest. police detained a man who occupied the room the day before. government officials say the
man's a former member of an ethnic rebel group that fought for autonomy for the eastern state of karen. they stay the man told police he opposes any increase in tourist and investment from abroad. the officials say the rebel group is denying involvement in the bombing. the group signed a cease-fire agreement in january last year. members had been fighting government forces for more than six decades. the death toll has surpassed 170 for the 7.1 magnitude quake that struck the southern philippines earlier this week. >> authorities fear that the number of reported casualties will continue to rise as rescue operations are still ongoing. the national risk reduction management council reported that 173 people have been confirmed dead as of friday. on tuesday, the quake struck the islands of bohol and cebu, which are popular with tourists. the majority of fatalities have been reported in bohol, the epicenter of the tremor.
more than 370 people have been reported as injured, and 19 people are still missing. some are believed to be buried under landslides or fallen structures. collapsed bridges, landslides and open ditches are making it difficult for government and aid groups to reach affected areas. many residents are living in tents, fearing their homes may collapse in the continued aftershocks. philippine president benigno aquino visited the war memorial in seoul on friday to offer prayers to philippine soldiers who died during the korean war in the 1950s. he is also working to boost economic ties during his visit to south korea. at the memorial, aquino paid respects to 112 philippine soldiers who lost their lives in the korean war. more than 7,000 philippine troops fought with u.s. forces for south korea. the president's father, former senator benigno aquino, covered the war as a correspondent for "the manila times" when he was
17 years old. president aquino arrived in seoul on thursday and met with south korean president park geun-hye. the two leaders come from similar backgrounds. aquino's mother was president, as was park's father. both of their fathers were assassinated. aquino and park oversaw the signing of joint agreements in several areas, including defense cooperation. on friday, aquino attended a meeting with foreign leaders of south korean economic organizations. south korea ranked fifth in direct investments to the philippines in 2012. >> we are looking for partners to sustain our momentum and invite all of you to join us as we pursue further growth. >> strong domestic demand in the philippines has helped win the country upgrades by major credit rating agencies this year. president aquino is apparently keen on attracting greater investments from south korea by emphasizing the strength of his
country's economy. the presence of an animal companion can help people cope with illness, depression or old age. therapy dogs are trained for that specific purpose, and they're in great demand in japan where society is aging quickly. nhk world's tomoko inoue followed one who's been through some struggles of his own. >> reporter: musashi is a former rescue dog. his masters perished in the tsunami of march 2011. he barely escaped on just three paws. musashi was taken to an animal shelter. finding a foster home was difficult, because he shied away from people, until he was picked
up by a man who specializes in training therapy dogs. toru oki studied animal assisted therapy in the united states. he trains 40 dogs of all ages and breeds. like musashi, all of them were adopted and saved from euthanasia. >> translator: these dogs know a lot about suffering. more so than those who lead normal, happy lives. they also know about being frightened to death. when they reconnect with people through trust and love, they understand human suffering. that's the special power of these abandoned survivor dogs. >> reporter: musashi started training six months ago. unlike guide dogs that interact with only one person, therapy dogs need to make contact with many people. that's why each one involves a
different trainer. the dogs learn 45 commands, including marching and making eye contact. the training takes more than two years. it's a time-consuming process, because trainers don't use food or physical punishment to make their points. the dogs' main reward is praise. this method is regarded as most effective to establish trust. the dogs are trained to stay quiet in any environment, be it a hospital or nursing home. >> translator: musashi was very guarded at first. he wouldn't let anybody come near him, but he gradually
started approaching people on his own. witnessing that progression made me so happy. >> reporter: in late september, musashi and six other dogs are taken to a welfare facility in central tokyo. it's the first time musashi interacted with people other than his trainers. after a little while, he's taken to meet the patients. >> translator: i hope to live a long life. >> translator: i hope so, too. and how old would that be? >> translator: 100. >> reporter: musashi's first visit is a success. >> translator: i would like to rescue every single abandoned dog. saving them and training them as
therapy dogs gives them a new purpose. i hope musashi works hard to become an outstanding therapy dog. i want him to set an example. >> that was tomoko inoue reporting. the international therapy dog association has only 31 animals registered in japan, all of them coming from animal shelters. they've been credited with getting withdrawn children back to school and helping disabled people regain partial control of their body. here is the weekend weather forecast.
skiers and snowboarders in japan started off the season in style in the shadow of the country's highest peak. 400 people slalomed down the slope at a resort located at the foot of mount fuji. many wore headpieces shaped like the peak, which is now a unesco world heritage site. the resort operator gave free entry to people in costumes. mount fuji was also dressed up covered in clouds. >> translator: i can't see mount fuji but i feel great. >> translator: i'm very happy i can enjoy snowboarding so early in the season. >> the resort operator got a head start on mother nature by spraying 6,500 tons of artificial snow on the slope. four more runs will open by late december. that's all this hour on "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo.
tavis: good evening. tonight, a conversation with writer brian jay jones about his new biography of jim jensen, creator of one of this country's most beloved characters, come at the fraud. despite his childlike wonder, he was a complex man -- kermit the frog. despite his childlike wonder, he was a complex man can and then we will talk with kathy eldon about the struggles to rebuild her life after the devastating loss of her son. we are glad you have joined us. those conversations coming up right now.
followers made have imagined. book written by brian jay jones, let's take a look first at a clip at how jim henson action created kermit the frog. >> he is one of the supposed puppets. inside of his head, there's nothing in there but my hand. so it's just a little cloth pattern here. the eyes were half spheres. but he's very simple as puppets go. some have gone a lot more completed. but he is truly a glorified sock puppet. tavis: you were telling me during the clip of that for you he was what you referred to as creatively restless during >> yeah, a guy -- restless. but yeah, guy who is constantly pitching.
even a guy with the most famous always the world was creating stuff. >> that creative restlessness was born of what? >> from the very early age, his dearmother, who he called , always encouraged him to drive to painted to so. he was always encouraged by his parents and his grandparents to go out there and find the fun in things, find the fun in life. had he been he references a wee bit and you go into it much more in this new book. in terms of talking about the way he redesigned these muppets, , whenpuppets, as it were they were at the time many still made of wood. i will let you tell more about the way he treated them. nuc kermit's face move or the other -- when you see kermit's face move or the other muppets, in the actual design of these
characters. >> his real genius in puppets on television is he figured out two things. first of all, if you are on television, the to -- the puppet has to be expressive and you have to have a mouth that moves and eyes a look focus. he figured i'd have to design and build puppets that look like that. but the two things that he did that seemed natural in our same little mole -- or seem normal is that you don't need a puppeteer. he would just film the puppet show. jim decided and realized early on you don't need that. the four sides of your tv screen are your puppet theater. that was a huge breakthrough, realizing you can just film the puppet in real space and real- time. but the other thing he also figured out was that, if that is what matters, you need to know what the camera is seeing at all times. so he put a monitor on the floor so he can always watch his performance and adjust in real- time. and they still do that