welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. the wife of britain's prince william has checked into a hospital in london, where she's expected to give birth to the couple's first child. rescuers in northwestern china are searching for survivors after an earthquake.
japan's prime minister pledges to push ahead with his economic policies now that his governing coalition has more political control following an election win. the moment royal watchers around the world have been waiting for might arrive at any time. catherine, duchess of cambridge, wife of prince william, has checked into a hospital in london where she is expected to give birth to her first child with prince william. spokespersons say the duchess was admitted to st. mary's hospital. that's where princess diana gave birth to prince william 31 years ago. the prince is with his wife. he's on vacation from the royal air force and he's taking a short paternity leave once the baby is born. the future king or queen will be delivered in a section of st. mary's called the lindo wing. the hospital's website says rooms there are equipped with satellite tv, internet access and a refrigerator. an extensive wine list including champagne is offered to patients and visitors who want a little
something to help them celebrate the new arrival. the child will be third in line to the throne after prince charles and prince william. earlier this year britain's parliament changed the laws of royal succession. now monarch's first born can inherent the crown whether it's a boy or a girl. royal baby hype grew during the pregnancy. now with the baby expected any minute, it's hit fever pitch. >> i think most people live in london are now starting to embrace the royal family and very excited for the new arrival. >> i'm a great believer in the monarchy. i always have been. it's very exciting for the country. >> speculation continues to fly over the baby's gender and the name they will choose. royal spokespersons say even the couple doesn't know whether the baby is a he or a she. search and rescue crews are looking for people who went missing after an earthquake in
northwestern china. the powerful tremor struck a rural area killing more than 70 people and injuring hundreds of others. analysts with china's earthquake monitoring center say the magnitude 6.6 tremor shook the inland province of gansu and surrounding areas. they estimate it occurred at a depth of 20 kilometers. state-run cc tv reports at least 75 people are dead and more than 580 injured. it says at least 14 people are missing. the quake destroyed buildings and cut power and telephone lines in some areas. cctv reports people felt it in a major city in gansu province. a team of united nations experts will arrive in panama next month to inspect a north korean ship. the experts will determine whether the cargo violated a u.n. arms embargo against the north. pa panamanian officials intercepted the vessel earlier this month. inspectors found two mig 21
fighters jets and possible missile components on bort. north korea and cuban officials say they were being sent to the north for repair. they say no laws or embargoes have been broken. authorities in panama have charged north korean captain and 35 crew members with attempting to smuggle undeclared weapons through the panama canal. they asked the united nations to look into the matter. should the team confirmed the cargo violated the arms embargo, the case will likely be brought before the u.n. security council's sanctions committee. japanese prime minister shinzo abe is riding high after an election victory gave his liberal democratic party a ruli rulirule power. they control the lower house so the diet is no longer divided. abe is vowing to push ahead with his economic policies.
>> translator: with this election victory, we've been able to put an end to the divided diet which caused japanese politics to stagnate for a long time. but at the same time we have to fully appreciate the responsibilities behind the number of seats we won in this election. in particular, the public wants to regain a strong economy that can be felt in every corner of japan. the economy is the basis for the country's power. we cannot achieve diplomatic power or stable social security without a strong economy. >> abe also referred to relations between japan and china, which have been strained. >> translator: the ties we have with china make up one of our most important bilateral relationships. i think it's the same on both sides.
that is why i believe we should cooperate and make efforts to overcome various challenges. so, it is important for both of us to discuss matters without any reservations. our doors are open to dialogue. we should hold bilateral summits and foreign ministerial talks. >> abe's liberal democrats and their coalition partners now have 135 seats in the upper house. that's enough for what's called the stable majority in the chamber. that allows coalition members to chair all upper house committees and to hold half the seats on them. prime minister abe returned to power in the lower house election last december. but without control of both houses, he has been unable to do some of the things he has wanted to do. so he and his allies have been working toward this election for months. the largest opposition group, the democratic party of japan, had a disappointing showing. they secured 17 seats, the
fewest since the party was formed in 1998. now that prime minister abe has gained the power to push through legislation and implement policies, the question is how will he use that power. we got some insight from an associate professor at kao university and an expert on japanese politics. >> last night's election results completes the ldp's return to power. he now has control of both chambers of the diet, which means this problem of diet twist in which the ruling party only controls one of the houses, resulting in legislative gridlock, is resolved. at the same time ldp has become a large power and they're safely in power, in a sense. this may create the risk of infaction, infighting and factionalism which has tended to harm the ldp historically.
if president abe is serious about growing, he will also have to invest in educating the workforce. education and also getting women to enter the work force and stay in the workforce. it's often said that japan's most underused asset is women. if they're serious about long-term growth, then one has to educate the workforce to be able to deal with the new economic environment. so where is the abe administration spending on? they're spending quite a lot on public works. it's not quite clear whether all that spending is done in the most efficient manner. as you may know, ldp in the '80s and '90s was notorious for spending on public works, so-called bridges to nowhere, highways to nowhere. if that sort of thing were to be repeated -- although prime
minister abe said the ldp is new now, it's a new reformist party -- there will be a lot of doubts. tpp is always or usually discussed in the context of free trade, improving economies and structural reform. it has a lot to do with security architecture in the region. by creating a network camp of free market liberal democracies through tpp, i think the intention of the u.s. is to try to engage china to come into the tpp ultimately. if so, if the abe administration, because of back bench resistance, resistance from rank and file, fails to enter the tpp, this will not be damaging just to japan's economic reform prospects but also its security prospects. >> that was associate professor at kaio university. southeast asian media say
economic ties with japan will benefit from the victory of abe's governing coalition. a thai tv station said the election result reflects voter expectations that the prime minister's administration will revive the country's economy. the broadcaster said the result will help deepen economic ties between japan and thailand. about 4,000 japanese companies operate in the country. the vietnamese daily said the result will help abe focus on steering japan toward economic recovery, thereby benefiting its neighbors. japanese economic aid and private sector funding account for the largest part of vietnam's direct foreign investment. vietnam was the first country abe visited after taking office last december. he talked with the prime minister about maritime security. vietnam apparently hopes to strengthen ties with japan in this field. it's currently disputing with china over a group of islands in the south china sea. broadcasters in china and in south korea have been voicing their concerns over possible revisions to the constitution.
the morning news on china's state-run network, cctv, opened with the results of the election. >> translator: the abe government will accelerate moves to revise the constitution. >> the election also made the front page of the communist party affiliated newspaper "the global times." the headline says abe's victory is raising concern around the world. the results of the vote also made the major papers in south korea. the top daily says prime minister abe has gained momentum now that parties in favor of amending the constitution have increased their seats. but those forces don't have enough power to push through a constitutional amendment. so abe will have to do some negotiating. nhk world's mitsuko nishikawa reports. >> reporter: the liberal democratic party and others in favor of amending the constitution gained 81 seats. the number combined with
uncontested seats reached 143, a majority, but still short of the two-thirds needed to revise the constitution. abe's liberal democratic party wants to revise article 96 first. the article says modifying the constitution requires a two-thirds vote by lawmakers in both houses of the diet, followed by a national referendum. abe argues a simple majority in both houses should be enough. liberal democrats also want to change article 9, which prohibits japan from having a military. they want to change japan's self-defense force into a military. >> translator: i think that japanese people are starting to consider amending the constitution as a political issue for the first time.
>> reporter: but the ldp leaders face a hurdle. their longtime coalition partner new komeito, is cautious on changing the constitution. >> translator: we would like to consider how to further improve the constitution. we think the current constitution is a good one. >> reporter: but new komeito says it's willing to discuss the matter. abe wants to persuade them somehow to support the amendment. abe has also been seeking support within the opposition democratic party. some members favor a revision, despite their party's policy of opposing an amendment. meanwhile, the japanese communist party remains firm on keeping the constitution as is. and the party almost tripled its seats in this election. >> translator: we will work to
represent people who are against a revision and confront the ldp. >> reporter: japanese people have mixed feelings on the issue. nhk polling reveals that some support amending the constitution, but many remain undecided or cautious. politicians will face public questions and concerns throughout the country before they can start discussions in the diet. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world, tokyo. corporate executives are applauding the ruling coalition's victory. the leader of japan's largest business lobby expressed a strong result to revitalize the economy.
>> translator: we expect the prime minister to show strong leadership in pulling the nation out of deflation and to swiftly implement all means necessary to reenergize the economy. we business leaders will do our best to support the administration so that we can boost the economy, urge more investment and create jobs. >> the keidanren chairman urged the administration to proceed with key policy goals, including its growth strategy and bold deregulation. he called on the government to push for fiscal reform and free trade deals including the transpacific partnership framework. supermashlgts in japan did better business in june. sales rose for the first time in three months. sizzling weather helped boost sales. the japan chain stores association says supermarket sales came to about $10.6 billion last month. that's up 2.7% in yen terms from a year earlier.
hot weather pushed up the sales of cold beverages, ice cream and summer clothes. association officials say consumer appetite appears to be improving due to expectations for an economic recovery. convenience stores also reported better results for the month. the japan franchise association says sales at ten nationwide convenience store chains stood at about $7.1 billion inching up 0.1% from the same month last year. sales increased year on year for the first time in 13 months. the rise is attributed to strong sales of cold noodles and some other items. software developers creating new apps for apple smartphones and tablets are holding off on their projects for a while. the u.s. tech giant's website has come under cyber attack. apple officials say they have temporarily shut down the website for these developers after an intrusion last thursday. they say some developers names
and mailing addresses may have been compromised. but they note that customer information was encrypted and safe. apple plans to overhaul its developer system to headoff similar security threats. back in february apple was attacked by hackers and some computers of its employees were infected with a virus. japan's nec and hult packard for big data. the two computer giants say they would collaborate on creating smaller pc-based servers powerful enough to handle large amounts of data. they plan to roll out new products some time next year. in 1995, nec and h.p. formed an alliance to provide a wide range of i.t. services and systems. the latest move comes amid growing need for the use of big data. in the computer industry, cheaper pc-based servers have been becoming more powerfuthan
huge expensive systems. nec executives are hoping to take advantage of the technical expertise of h.p., which is one of the world's largest server manufacturers. here are the latest market figures. some of the toughest competitors in japan spent the weekend pushing and shoving each othe around. the july grand sumo tournament
wrapped up its 15 days of action on sunday. and our sumo guy, hiro morita, has the highlights. >> heading into day 13 on friday yokozuna grand champion hakuho had a chance to clinch the championship, however he was dealing with an upper body injury he sustained a couple of days earlier. many wondered if he'd be able to rise to the occasion. here's how it played out. with the magic number down to one for hakuho, he took on the bulgarian ozeki kotoshu. hakuho comes out quickly and keeps him at bay. yokozuna continues his relentless pressure and takes the match to clinch. nagoya tourney title. even though hakuho had the championship, he still had business to take care of going undefeated for the third straight tournament. ozeki kisenosato was ready to
block him. hakuho tries to knock kisenosato back but the ozeki refuses to budge. once he catches hakuho, he overwhelms the yokozuna and shatters his hopes for a perfect record. the defeat ended hakuho's 43-bout winning streak. hakuho lost again on the final day to finish with 13 wins and 2 losses. still, he left nagoya with the emperor's cup. the nagoya tourney was his 32nd championship. his next target, chiyonofuji's 31. he'll try to break the all-time record of 32. now, hakuho may have taken
center stage in the title race, but it was sokokurai from china. he was forced to retire after he was entangled into a bout-fixing scandal. but he made his vengeance. a lot of peoe didn't believe hetill had what it takes to compete. but sokokurai should be praised for his never say end attitude. he had a losing record of six wins and nine losses. considering he was out for more than two years, winning six top division bouts is an amazing accomplishment. now there is one more competitor i like to highlight and that's competitor from egypt, the first man from the african continent to climb to the second highest
division. he is muslim. the fasting month of ramadan coincided with the july tournament. but he overcame that hurdle to score an impressive ten wins. the hard working egyptian is aiming high, so remember his name because the best is yet to come from him. the next grand tournament is scheduled for september in tokyo. so we'll see you then. northeastern japan is in for a stormy night. rachel ferguson from the weather team has more. rachel. >> hi there, yes, things are starting to get very unsettled indeed for northeastern portions of japan and yamagata, 63 millimeters of rain fell in the span of just one hour. we have video showing you what has been going on. there's lot of moisture moving in japan, we're getting thunderstorms and heavy rain as well. that's going to be continuing
into tuesday. then a break in the daytime. wednesday night there will be another low pressure system coming in and bringing yet more of the same kind of conditions. the low pressure system is coming across from northeastern china. right now we've got this very active rain ban spread out across northeastern china, north korea down into central portions of china as well. that's of particular concern because we had of course that earthquake that happened earlier on today in gansu province. the worst hit areas are actually just north of this active rain ban. so managing to escape that very heavy rain, but still there are showers. we're expecting to see them clean up a little bit into the middle of the week. so that certainly should help the search and rescue efforts going on there. however, this very active rain band is goingbe bringing up to 100 millimeters, 120 in some places even in just the last 24 hours seen in parts of gansu and
sichuan. 100 to 200 millimeters coming off this 24-hour period. flooding, landslides a high concern into tuesday. i want to point out shanghai here on our temperature chart, 38 degrees and bright sunshine. that's going to feel very intense indeed, but you're tapping into some of those showers a little further north in seoul. on into the americas. more rain here spread out across the eastern third of the united states. a lot of heavy rain. that's going to be the main concern here. but you'll also see gusts up to about 90 kilometers an hour. further towards the north along the u.s./canada border, we have the low moving through onontari. and more wet weather out here towards the southwest. we've been talking about flash flooding happening in nevada as well as in arizona. the suburbs of phoenix we were talking about very dramatic rescue there of people being air lifted out of their vehicle that got submerged in waters. well, things are going to be wet here into your monday as well.
temperaturewise staying hot in the center of the continent. denver down through houston in the mid-30s there. little cooler up towards the northeast, new york tapping into some of those thunderstorms, 27 degrees. nice settled and cool up towards the northwest. lastly we head into europe. and it has been very hot. a lot of people really enjoying the summer weather though it's had adverse effects as well. things will be cooler in western europe, british isles, france, picking up thunderstorms as we head into tuesday. it's also ingo be fairly unsettled to the northeast. you've got thunderstorms here too. some strong gusts and potentially heavy rain. things will be more settled over central locations of europe. temperaturewise, well, let's check them out for your tuesday. 27 degrees and showers in london. paris, 33 and thunderstorms. we'll see these figures continue to drop into the middle of the week. here's your extended forecast.
restaurants serving grilled eel have been busy across japan. monday marked the day of the ox, a date on which japanese people traditionally enjoy a dish of eel over rice to beat the summer heat. the famous eel restaurant in central tokyo says it served 1,200 people, double the usual number of customers. >> translator: it's juicy and delicious. >> the restaurant raised the price of its dishes by 10% to 20% last year due to a shortage in the availability of eels. but a fall in customer attendance prompted the owners to return to their original rates. >> translator: i'd like to have risen the prices. i'm trying real hard.
♪ french documentary film maker keiko courdy was born in japan and now works in france. she visited the tohoku disaster site for the first time just after the earthquake in 2011. now she's back in the region again. >> translator: i just wanted to come here and do something. i wanted to be useful in some way.