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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  April 20, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." the effectiveness of a united nations monitoring mission in syria is coming under question. a u.n. led truce went into force in the country about a week ago. but government troops continue to shell residential areas and major cities. the cease-fire was supposed to take effect on april 12th. an advanced party of u.n. monitors has been in syria for days. however, local human rights activists say indiscriminate mortar and tank shelling by president bashar al assad's forces has battered homes in central syria and in the north.
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in deir al-zor, there are violent clashes. a syrian human rights group says more than 200 civilians have been killed in the past week. president assad insists that the fighting is not a crackdown, but is merely in response to attacks by rebels. he says he wants to cooperate with the u.n. team. the march 11th disaster and nuclear crisis caused a sharp drop in the number of foreign visitors to japan, but now they're starting to come back. authorities say last month saw the first year on year increase since the catastrophe. it was also a record for visitors from china. the national tourism organization says 679,000 foreigners visited japan in march. the figure was up 92.4% from march 2011, the first annual increase since the disaster. but it remains 4.4% below the level recorded two years ago. travellers from china rose to
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more than 130,000, a record for the month of march. visitors from taiwan and britain are also on the rise. the european union has agreed to ease sanctions against myanmar. it is a reward for political reforms that saw prodemocracy leader aung san suu kyi elected to parliament. let's get the details from patchari raksawong in bangkok. >> eu officials have chosen not to end sanctions altogether, but to suspend most of them for one year. eu countries agreed to the suspension in principle at a meeting on thursday. and arms embargo will remain in place. the eu initially considered lifting sanctions but the plan changed after british prime
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minister david cameron met last week with pro democracy leader aung san suu kyi and she suggested a suspension. the conditional easing shows the international community intends to keep pressing myanmar to make further progress with democratization. reforms over the past year culminated in the nobel peace laureate's landslide victory and bielections on april 1st. eu foreign ministers are expected to make a formal announcement on the issue at a meeting in luxembourg on monday. and that will be followed by a visit to myanmar by eu foreign policy chief catherine ashton on april 28th. ashton is expected to meet with president thein sein and aung san suu kyi. aung san suu kyi and other recently elected members may not make their parliamentary debut when the lower house session resumes on monday. the nld says the main obstacle
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is the constitution which a lots a quarter of the seats in parliament to the military. each newly elected mp has to take an oath to safeguard the constitution. but amending that constitution was one of the nld's main election pledges. >> translator: i don't think we can resolve this issue in time. it is almost impossible for us to attend parliament on april 23rd. >> the nld says it sent a letter to thein sein to try to find a way forward. but it says there has been no progress so far. to afghanistan, the latest scandal involving foreign troops has become more than just an embarrassment for the u.s. government. it is already influencing discussions over the long-term role of international forces in the country. photographs of two u.s. soldiers posing with body parts of dead suicide bombers were published in wednesday's los angeles times.
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hamid karzai issued a statement on thursday calling for a quickened comprehensive transfer of security responsibility to afghanistan's own forces. he said that was the only way to stop the scandals. and to u.s. sentiment is rising amid revelations of serious misdeeds by american troops. they include the burning of copies of the koran and a deadly shooting rampage. in recent days, taliban militants staged a massive series of attacks in kabul. the offense appeared designed to convince them that they have the ability to stand up to foreign forces. karzai met u.s. defense secretary leon panetta last month after the shooting rampage. karzai called for the handover of security to be completed earlier than the current plan of 2014. but some observers are skeptical
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that afghanistan's military and police forces are ready. calling for a quicker handover of security control is a gamble and the stakes for the karzai government are high. and that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. emergency officials in japan are showing for the first time how they prepare for chemical terrorist attacks. ground self-defense forces personnel granted nhk access to their annual training program for police, firefighters and coast guard officers. the gsdf chemical school is in saitama, north of tokyo. some 40 police officers, firefighters and coast guard members from across the nation took part in the training session. they put on protective gear and masks, detected chemicals using equipment or special equipment and clean contaminated vehicles. japanese authorities learned to prepare for the worst in 1995, members of the aum shinrikyo religious cult released deadly
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sarin gas in tokyo's subway system during the morning rush hour. 13 people died, 6300 others became sick. >> translator: at the time i watched news coverage of the sarin gas attack on television. if another incident happens, i will use the knowledge and techniques i've acquired during this training session. >> trainers at the gsdf chemical school say their program can help strengthen cooperation between defense forces, police, firefighters and the coast guard. the head of the united nations is urging north korean leaders to think twice about their next move. secretary-general ban ki-moon spoke about the latest international concern that the reclusive nation would go ahead with a nuclear test as a follow-up to its failed missile launch last week. ban says north korean authorities should instead focus on helping their citizens get access to the basics.
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>> i renew my call to authorities to improve neighboring countries and improve the lives of its people who face serious food and nutrition needs. >> north korean space officials launched a missile on april 13th. they called it a rocket designed to send a satellite into space. it broke up soon after takeoff. the u.n. security council released a presidential statement condemning the launch. ban is warning north korean leaders against further provocations, nuclear tests or launches using ballistic missile technology. north korea's neighbors are understandably concerned about what will happen next. we got some insight on this from a professor who teaches security studies and international relations at the national defense academy of japan. i started by asking him why north korea went ahead with the launch on april 13th when they had so much to lose including tons of food aid from the united states.
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>> we should remember that north korea has had remarkable consistency since the kim il-sung years. behind north korea's nuclear missile development, three basic motivations can be discerned. one is a tool to enhance its national security, second, as a diplomatic move to attract attention of the international society to itself. and third as an instrument to enhance the legitimacy of the kim dynasty. for years the community has offered various incentives for pyongyang to put its nuclear missile programs, including food aid. however, such efforts failed to do pass on those programs. at the time when the new young leader kim jong-un needs to consolidate his base, north korea's motivation to conduct nuclear missile tests should be stronger, not weaker than usual. >> officials in pyongyang announced they would scrap the agreement they reached with the americans.
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they were upset with the u.n. criticism of the missile launch. what do you think they'll be doing next? >> in fact, the international community has seen a consistent pattern in the history of the talks, of the negotiations to halt nuclear am big ambitions of north korea. north korea includes brinkmanship and they provide compensation for halting its nuclear weapons and missile programs. second, the country is concerned to provide compensation to north korea and the negotiations seemed to be settled. however, sooner or later, pyongyang's defiance of the agreement becomes apparent and finally the north korea provokes another crisis and makes new demands for further concessions from the country's concern for returning to the dialogue table. north korea's behavior in recent months has fit this pattern quite well. so it can be predicted that pyongyang will escalate the crisis.
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in order to get concessions. >> countries have been doing everything for a military exercise, among others. what, if anything, can other countries do to stop any further provocations by north korea? >> according to an official who is a friend and quite knowledgeable of the ongoing north korea dialogue process, when the united states reached the agreement with north korea, washington told pyong in a clear language that it would take a tough stance against any rule breaking. however, past experience tells us that it is quite effectively against north korea. north korea's past behavior has clearly demonstrated that the leaders in pyongyang understand the logical force very well. to put it in other words, they know that if they use the nuclear weapons or missiles, it will surely be suicide for them. so north korea may hold another missile nuclear test, but japan should maintain cooperation with
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the united states on south korea to deter north korea's provocation. the hunt for a group of bears that mauled two women to death at a tourist park in northern japan is over. hunters managed to shoot the six bears dead on friday afternoon after they fled their enclosure into the surrounding forest. the drama at the bear park in kazuno began on friday morning when park officials made an emergency call to report that one of the workers had been attacked. rescuers found a female employee lying outside an enclosure, but were unable to reach her for several hours because there were still bears milling about. when they did finally reach her, she was already dead. the body of another female worker was found nearby. the park had 38 bears including brown bears and asiatic black bears. following reports of the escape, the national road near the park was cordoned off and outdoor
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activities and nearby elementary and junior high schools were suspended. the bear enclosure is surrounded by a fence measuring about ten meters high. a hunter says the gates were locked, but snow had accumulated against parts of the fence. >> translator: the gates were locked, but the bears could have climbed up the snowbank and over the fence. if one bear climbs over, the others may have followed. >> experts say it is unusual for captive bears to attack people. >> translator: wild bears are most often scared of humans. but may attack people out of fear. bears in captivity are used to people and rarely attack. >> police are investigating how the bears escaped and the reason for the attack. japan's scandal hit olympus is making a fresh start under a new leadership. the company's new management team won approval at an
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extraordinary shareholders meeting on friday. a record number of 900 stock holders attended the meeting held after olympus admitted to hiding more than a billion dollars in losses over the years. the company also got shareholder approval for corrected statements for the past five years. >> translator: we would like to apologize to all of our shareholders for causing concerns and inconveniences. >> the proposals on the new management was approved by a majority vote. the team included hiroyuki sasa promoted to president. he had been in charge of the company's main line medical equipment unit. eight of the 11 directors have been invited from outside. among them is yasuyuki kimoto. some participants at the meeting including foreign stake holders expressed opposition to the new management team.
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they said the company's proposal risked putting the interest of banks before those of shareholders. >> translator: i felt the meeting was conducted one sidedly by the company. they chose mainly those who approved the proposals to speak. >> translator: the company hasn't paid dividends and the value of its shares have been halved. as a shareholder, i want the company to improve its performance and manage nlt. . >> even before the fresh board members were selected, officials of olympus' main lender banking and foreign investors had already started clashing. assume tomby mitsui insisted on its involvement in the management. the bank wanted to make sure the new team would smoothly restructure its business. major foreign shareholders strongly opposed this. they said olympus should get top executives from outside the company. they pointed out that if the
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managers are related to the main banks, the views of those lenders would be strongly reflected on decision-making, like the issuance of additional sthirz beef up its capital. with the new team in place, the firm will begin rebuilding its business. the major focus is whether the firm will tie up with another company. after olympus corrected its past earnings statement, its capital to equity ratio came to 4.4% at the end of last year, generally a company needs to have a capital ratio of 20% to 30% to stay financially healthy. olympus is reportedly considering a possible tie-up with sony, fuji film. it hinted at same time time that an option to reconstruct the company on its own was also on the table. now all eyes are on the regular shareholders meeting scheduled for late june. by then, the firm will decide on its future direction. now here are the latest market figures.
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a japanese stem cell pioneer has won one of the world's most prestigious awards for technology. a committee in finland named shinya yamanaka co-winner of the millennium technology prize. it is awarded every two years for innovations that improve the quality of human life. yamanaka discovered a method to produce ips cells from ordinary cell tissue. they have the potential to develop into any tissue or organ. members of the selection committee called yamanaka the father of the innovation. they say his work has had great impact on research and medicine and biotechnology. yamanaka said in a statement
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that his mission is to cooperate with scientists around the world to make the technology available for medical treatment as soon as possible. yamanaka shares the prize with linus torvalds, the engineer from finland who developed the open source software known as linux. traditional japanese haiku poetry has fans across the world. one of them, european counselor president herman van rompuy dropped his favorite haiku into a box in belgium. japan's eu office in brussels set up a post box for collecting haiku on thursday. the first of its kind outside japan. the move is part of efforts to promote cultural exchanges. the box is shaped like an old hot spring building in matsuyama city. the best writer wins a trip to the city. at the ceremony, japan's u.n. ambassador kojiro shiojiri said he hoped to get exchanges between the people of japan and the eu.
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herman van rompuy also attended. he recited his favorite english haiku and dropped it in the box. >> flowering orchards, born again every year, i welcome the blossoms. >> van rompuy said his -- said the poems suit his character as he loves nature and the seasons. he hopes the post box will help increase the number of haiku lovers and deepen ties between japan and the eu. a curator of an art museum in hiroshima solved the mystery. a portrait by the acclaimed dutch painter vincent van gogh hangs on their walls. it has been restored twice and that gives rise to the puzzle. >> reporter: here she sits, the peasant woman, unaware of the mystery that surrounded her.
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it dealt with the picture's appearance. the museum wanted to know if the restorations had changed the way the picture looks. so it contacted this professor. he and his researchers have experienced examining art works at their lab in okayama prefecture. they use x-ray technology that reveals the layers of paint without damaging them. the museum thought this technology might be the key to solving the mystery. what the researchers found looked promising. x-rays of the painting show many black spots. the white color is the paint applied as the base. the black marks on it gave him his first clue.
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>> translator: a lot of the lead base was missing. i hadn't expected this much damage. >> reporter: the professor found the worst damage near the lips and nose. next, the group used a flores end x-ray microscope to measure the volume of iron, calcium and other compounds in the paint. the amount varies depending on the color. this enables the researchers to find out what the original shades were. they discovered flecks of red paint near the lips. the team compares the two images of the damaged area. they note that red paint covers the base paint in the area that is not damaged.
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so van gogh had to use the vermilion red paint around the woman's lips. the team went on to identify the exact shading of all of the original colors that van gogh had painted. this exhibit opened in late march at the museum in hiroshima. the museum is showing what the picture looked like when van gogh painted it. van gogh had used brighter colors, not only on the woman's head covering, but also on the face and clothing. >> translator: i had no idea he used such bright colors. what a discovery. >> translator: now i look at other paintings with a new perspective. >> translator: it is very clear now that van gogh used bright
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colors for strong effect. he used blue as the basic color, and to complement it, he used orange on her face. i think our research was valuable. >> reporter: more than 120 years after van gogh painted peasant woman, we see her exactly the way he did. wakako takada, nhk world. mai shoji now joins us with the latest weather forecast. mai? >> yes, gene. well, there is a very intense rainstorm that is battering southeastern china. we already have a report of 151 millimeters of precipitation accumulation in guangdong province, north of hong kong. let me start off with a video coming out from this guangdong province. this video is taken thursday where rainfall submerged roads, fields and residential areas. the storm system caused travel headaches, 70 flights were canceled or delayed in the
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capital on thursday morning. on friday, a tornado accompanied by straight line winds exasperated the situation in the province. we're going to be having a short break over the weekend in these regions, but this will be followed by the rainy season in early may. it looks like this is going to be earlier than the previous years. we can pull back, i can show you the system will be tapering off over the regions of guangdong province. this is going to be a short break as i mentioned, because early next week, another round of heavy torrential rainfall will be impacting the similar areas where the river levels are already very high. and the land is very, very saturated. the system will then be intensifying over yellow sea and moving toward the korean peninsula, bringing that torrential amount of rainfall and accumulation of 246 millimeters already has been reported in okinawa, japan. in the next 48 hours, looks like
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we may even see up to 100 to 150 in south korea, and then towards southwestern islands of japan, as much as 150 millimeters as well in the next 24 hours span. the system will then next take aim toward central japan and bringing some showers, but it will be less stronger than the ones we will be seeing on saturday. we'll keep you updated. temperaturewise, in tokyo, 16 degrees for our saturday. mainly overcast coverage. ulan batur, 18 degrees. that's quite a jump from what we saw yesterday, that was in the single digits for the high on friday. all right, let's take a look at what will be happening here in the americas. we have a low pressure system that will be traveling across the great lakes region in towards quebec. and wisconsin, michigan, you have been seeing snow. this is april. so that will be tapering off, but northern areas still making appearance with that snow.
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the front stretching all the way down towards eastern texas and this is the area where we will be finding some few thunderstormic activity which could be accompanied with hail and very strong gusts. along the front as well, we may see some few thunderstormic activity. out towards the west, this is where things are very hot. we have a warming trend out there. 32 degrees in las vegas. this is above 10 degrees of the norm. please do stay hydrated under those beating sun. looks like you'll be having some nice weather out towards the eastern coast, sunny and warm for your earth day weekend. i listed some of the things you can do every day on our monday. on this day, we should be reminded to appreciate our earth and our atmosphere. all right, i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
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we'll be back with more news in 30 mutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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