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An all-new program for a rapidly changing region, NHK World's Newsroom Tokyo puts the spotlight on Japan and the rest of Asia. Get all major news, the latest developments, and learn what drives them. See expert reports and analysis. Enjoy sharp insights and probing interviews with a diverse range of newsmakers. And… what's happening in the entertainment world. Newsroom Tokyo brings the focus back home. It's where we excel.
The Yemeni capital of Sana'a is said to be one of the world's oldest cities. UNESCO has named its old town a World Heritage site. But the city is now the focal point of a brutal civil war. The conflict is threatening to divide not just the country but the entire region. We look at how the situation developed and hear from an expert about what the future might hold.
Many countries will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two this year. In Japan as well, it's a time to remember the events that unfolded during the closing stages of the conflict.
South Koreans have taken time to reflect on a tragedy that shook their nation. On April 16th last year, the ferry Sewol capsized off the southern coast in one of the nation's worst accidents in decades. 295 people died and 9 others are still listed as missing. Most of the victims were high school students on a school trip.
Under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore flourished into one of the region's most successful economies. That's partly because it's been able to attract foreign investment, and foreign workers. But people have started to complain that living costs are rising too fast. They also say that infrastructure hasn't kept up, so the roads and trains are getting too crowded.
On The Focus tonight, we're looking at a love story for the ages. Newlyweds divided by war, then death...and a widow devoted to her late husband for decades. The story begins about 70 years ago, during World War Two. A Japanese man went to fight in Burma, but never returned. His widow spent her life trying to find out what happened to him. Now nearly 90 years old, she decided to take one last journey to the place where her husband rests. NHK WORLD's Miki Ebara joined her.
On The Focus today we're looking at the threat of climate change and the people trying to address it. We've all seen images of melting glaciers and polar bears drifting on ice. But scientists say the problems aren't just in the Arctic anymore. A violent cyclone devastated the island of Vanuatu last month. Researchers say the surface of the sea has gotten warmer, and that gave the cyclone its deadly power.
One woman who's seen the worst that man and nature can do is putting her experience to good use. Marie Louise Towari grew up in Rwanda, where she worked teaching people to make clothes. But her life changed forever in April 1994, when genocide left more than 800,000 people dead in the country. Towari lost many friends and relatives before fleeing the country with her husband and children.
Leaders at the Asian-African Summit have called for change in the international order. The biggest nation pushing for this has been China. Speaking at the Summit's final day, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed his willingness to contribute to Asian and African development. He said China will do this by creating a large framework for multinational economic growth. He was referring to China's proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB.
One of Japan's most popular meals is not only an appealing lunch option - it is a barometer of the local economy. Beef bowl, or gyudon as it's called in Japan, is a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a sweet flavored sauce.
Today's focus is on a trailblazing Japanese scientist. Shuji Nakamura won last year's Nobel Prize in Physics with two other scientists for contributing to the development of the blue light-emitting diode, or LED. That goal was once regarded as impossible to achieve. Nakamura used to work at a Japanese firm. He later moved to the United States and co-founded a venture company. He visited Japan recently to promote his firm's latest products.
NHK World's Miki Yamamoto spoke to him about his passion for invention.
High school students in Fukushima started a discussion group with a twist. They are exploring the nuclear disaster that poisoned their prefecture in 2011, as well as how accidents can be prevented in the future.
Delegates from around the world have gathered in New York to talk about the most dangerous weapons on the planet. They are at work at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty review conference. The agreement took effect in 1970, but 45 years on, thousands of nuclear warheads are still in existence.
A magazine dedicated to all things Japanese is thriving in China. Zhi Japan means "Knowing Japan". It is published monthly in Beijing. Each issue takes one aspect of Japanese culture and looks at it in depth.
Some South Korean residents are revealing a secret past. They're former North Koreans who have managed to escape the country. They've risked everything to find a better life in the South. But they've faced prejudice and other difficulties in their new home. This has driven many of them to hide their backgrounds. Now, they're opening up more and more, even speaking on TV, and the world stage.
NHK World's Jihae Hwang has the story.
Entrepreneurs from across the world got together recently in Tokyo to showcase their ideas and look for support. Japanese startups face many challenges as they strive to turn new concepts into viable products. We examine the state of play and why young entrepreneurs are eager to shake things up.
The leaders of Japan and the United States have been discussing how to take their relationship into a new era. Shinzo Abe and Barack Obama want to work more closely in the Asia Pacific region on issues such as trade and security. We hear from one of the key figures of this alliance. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, is the US Ambassador to Japan.
NHK's senior commentator Aiko Doden sat down with her to talk about where the US-Japan alliance is heading and what we can learn from her father's legacy.
The founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have been busy hammering out a framework for the institution. They're aiming to have an agreement on its establishment in place by the end of next month. The 57 members from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere have to figure out the ratio of their contributions and set governance rules, among other tasks.
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are just five years away - and ahead of the event Tokyo is making plans to turn itself into a truly global city. Standing in the way of Tokyo's aim is the challenge posed by the English language. Many people are eager to learn English, and both the public and private sectors are offering English study programs. But the reality is harsh.
Monks, pilgrims and tourists have been flocking to a remote mountain in western Japan to celebrate a big anniversary. It's 1,200 years since a monk settled on Koyasan and founded a major school of Buddhism there. The mountain has always been a popular destination. In the past, UNESCO gave it World Heritage Status, and Michelin made it a 3-star attraction. But in this landmark year, people are turning up in record numbers. NHK World's Kimberly Gale reports.
Business people tend to be seen as a conservative lot, politically and socially. But they aren't always. In Japan, some managers are throwing their support behind a minority group that's long's been in the shadows. They're known as LGBTs: L stands for lesbian, G for gay, B for bisexual, and T for transgender. A recent survey suggests one in 14 people belong to this group. They've long been marginalized, but that may be starting to change. In March, Tokyo's Shibuya Ward decided to recognize same-sex partnerships.
We look at sexual diversity and big business; They're coming together, and NHK World's Nahoko Yamada explains why.
More than 10,000 children in Japan have been conceived through what's called donor insemination. It's a kind of assisted reproductive technology that allows couples to have children using donated sperm. It was introduced in Japan more than 60 years ago. Donors remain anonymous, and most children are not informed they were conceived in this way. Japan's ruling party is preparing the country's first bill on assisted reproductive technology. The draft says access to information about donors is to be decided at a later time. But some people say they want to know their genetic origins now.
NHK World's Atsuko Iwasaki has the story.
World War Two is making headlines this year as people commemorate 70 years since the end of the deadliest conflict in history. For many, the war is a distant event that belongs to history books. But others are still struggling to make sense of what happened, including a brother and sister who recently came to Japan to learn about their father's past.
Medical authorities say China is in the grip of a health crisis that rarely makes the headlines. They say close to a hundred million people there suffer from diabetes. And millions more are at risk. Health officials call it the silent killer and they're struggling to stop it.
Japan and South Korea are marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties. But lately, relations between the 2 nations have been strained. Ties date back over a thousand years. In the 17th century, Korean kings sent representatives to Japan to strengthen ties. The practice lasted for 2-and-a-half centuries.
Now a group of Japanese and South Koreans has retraced the steps of one of the early diplomatic missions in an effort to promote peace and reinforce their bond. The participants covered about 1,200 kilometers in 52 days. They traveled by foot, ferry and bus. Others joined along the way, with a total of 2,600 people taking part. On Friday, they arrived in Tokyo, completing their journey.
The people of Yemen are living in fear and hunger as rival forces battle for control of the country. Houthi rebels have pushed the government into exile and seized major cities. Saudi Arabia has stepped in, orchestrating air strikes on Houthi targets. More than 1,800 people have been killed in the last 2 months. At least half a million have fled their homes. We'll meet a man who's helping some of those most at risk-- Yemen's children. But first, a look at life in a country ravaged by war.
India's Prime Minister is celebrating a year in office by highlighting some of his achievements. Narendra Modi says his policies have helped turn India's economy around. We look at what he's accomplished so far and the challenges that lay ahead.
Some young Japanese are losing their taste for adventure. Fewer and fewer are going abroad to study or take vacations. Their generation is getting a reputation for being inward-looking, but one Japanese manga artist is trying to change that mindset. Misako Rocks made her name in New York and is one of the few Japanese to break through in the United States with English-language manga. But she is hoping to encourage young people in her home country to get out into the world.
Newsroom Tokyo examines how Japan is dealing with hate speech and the debate about freedom of expression. We advise readers and viewers that this story contains some disturbing comments and images. NHK does not endorse the views expressed by the demonstrators but included their content to provide context.
Defense Ministers and military chiefs from the Asia Pacific are meeting in Singapore over the weekend to discuss the region's most pressing security issues. The Asia Security Summit, better known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, will have a great influence on stability in the region. This year's talks are taking place at a crucial time with territorial disputes heating up.
There were tense moments at last weekend's Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. A conference designed to defuse tensions only highlighted how deep they are. Newsroom Tokyo explores where US-China relations are headed - and what that means for Japan. As tension builds in the South China Sea, NHK senior commentator Aiko Doden sits down with Kurt Campbell, a former US assistant secretary of state. She asks him about the United States' strategy in Asia and the future of its alliance with Japan.
People around the world are turning their attention to Hiroshima as the 70th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing approaches. One of them is Monica Braw. Over the years, the Swedish writer has helped survivors share their stories with people outside Japan. The anniversary reminded Braw it was time to reconnect with Hiroshima and again tell the world of the horror of nuclear weapons.
Japan's international aid program has reached a milestone. It's now 50 years since the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sent its first group of aid workers overseas. Since then, about 40,000 volunteers have helped out, in fields ranging from farming to medicine.
NHK World's Miki Matsumoto spoke to some of them about what they achieved and how it changed them.
Thursday marked the 26th anniversary of the Chinese government's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. It's a day neither China nor the international community can forget.
With cyber-attacks on the rise, officials in Japan and the United States are seeking ways to fight back. Japan's pension service was recently hacked resulting in one of the biggest thefts ever of personal data from a public institution. US officials, meanwhile, say hackers may have stolen the personal data of up to 4 million federal workers. Security experts on both sides of the Pacific are trying to figure out who breached these government computer systems and how.
A growing volume of plastic waste is killing off ocean life across the world. Fish, sea mammals, seabirds and many other forms of marine life are all threatened. A team of American and Australian researchers estimates that about eight million metric tons of plastic waste ended up in oceans during 2010 alone. Five countries in Asia are the biggest sources of the waste: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
The 2015 Women's World Cup is underway in Canada and defending champions Japan are off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory in their opening match against Switzerland. Hopes are high for the Japanese women whose rise to the top has not always been smooth. They have fought hard to get where they are, and now they have fans' hopes and dreams resting on their shoulders.
People in Iraq's second largest city have spent a year living under the control of the Islamic State militant group. Residents of Mosul are facing oppression, persecution and the threat of execution, and the militants have expanded their areas of control in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Tadao Ando is one of Japan's most successful architects. He is entirely self-taught. A former boxer, he is a winner of the architecture world's top honor, the Pritzker Prize. NHK World's Minori Takao met him for Newsroom Tokyo.
One of the biggest policy challenges facing Japanese leaders: inflation. They're determined to get it going. They say generating a healthy climate of rising prices is essential for reviving the economy. It's been more than 2 years since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his program to slay deflation. A key objective from the start was to push down the value of the yen. Recent data shows this strategy is having an effect. A weaker yen has pushed up the cost of imports, and that trend is now spreading to other products. I've been talking to retailers and consumers to find out more. One thing I've discovered is that inflation isn't just a case of rising costs. It's actually a new way of thinking.
South Korean tourists are flocking to a small Japanese island that has a key role to play in building a bridge between the two nations. Tsushima, in southwest Japan, is a historical hub for trade and cultural exchanges. Fresh efforts to attract South Korean visitors have been successful despite strained diplomatic ties.
A cosmos in a bowl. Japanese comfort food is going global. People around the world have been taking to ramen. And now, even in Japan, the noodles are becoming international. NHK World's Aki Shibuya has the story.
Nearly 70 years have passed since the last shots were fired in World War Two. One man has used much of that time to share his experiences from the frontlines. His goal is to make younger generations understand the tragedy of war. Kaname Harada has long spoken of the fierce battles he fought in. But old age is catching up with him, leading him to decide to stop speaking to large audiences.
Indonesian people are seeking the truth about a dark chapter in their country's history. Supporters of Indonesia's Communist Party were the victims of a series of crackdowns and massacres starting in 1965. An attempted coup against the country's first president, Sukarno, triggered those bloody events. They have been a taboo subject for nearly half a century. Two documentary films about the violence are drawing worldwide attention. They're helping members of victims' families speak out.
Japan and South Korea have an important relationship, but it's going through a rough patch. Historical issues and territorial disputes have overshadowed general sentiment. July 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties. We look at the development of the ties, and touch on views to solve weakening relations.
NHK World's Hiroki Yajima joins Aki Shibuya and Sho Beppu in the studio. He's spent years covering the Korean Peninsula.
Thailand's Buddhist temples are giving their visitors hell in a hair-raising approach to the teaching of morals and good virtue. The number of so-called hell temples has increased, and they are attracting droves of visitors. Dozens of hideous sculptures are dotted around some temple precincts. They are hard to look at, but parents say taking their children to see the imagery can be beneficial.
Peace Memorial Park is a place that was built by the will of local residents. 70 years ago, many people, not just soldiers but also civilians, found themselves trapped in the area, near the southern tip of Okinawa. In fact it is a place where thousands of civilians lost their lives. Some dived off cliffs to kill themselves. Others committed suicide with hand grenades.
In the far reaches of the vast region of Siberia is the world's deepest freshwater lake. Baikal has depths of over 1,600 meters and is home to a complex ecosystem and unique wildlife. The lake is a source of pride for the Russian people, who call it "the Pearl of Siberia." Ahead of the Sochi Winter Games last year, the Olympic Torch Relay was routed through the lake, with divers carrying the flame under water. And Baikal has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today's Focus is on challenges in Myanmar. A general election is scheduled for November. Now, crucial negotiations which hold the keys to success for democratization are approaching the home strait. We'll see what's needed for Myanmar to end the armed conflicts between government forces and ethnic minorities.
The global market for drones is taking off. Chinese manufacturers are now the leading sellers of unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial use. They're developing cheaper, easier-to-use drones, and competing to carve out bigger slices of the market.
China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is closer to launch after an official signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Officials from 57 nations took part in the event that marks a significant step for the world's second-largest economy.
The Greek crisis began when the country hid how much it owed, which was above the permitted level to join the Eurozone. Turning to Japan, it has the world's highest debt-to-GDP ratio. Our focus today is Japan's deficit. The government presented a policy for fiscal reform today. Yuko Fukushima joins us with the details.
Authorities in Hong Kong put on a show Wednesday to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the territory's return to Chinese rule. But tens of thousands of people took the opportunity to stage a rally calling for more democracy. Students were prominent among the protestors, just as they were a year ago at the start of what became known as the Umbrella Revolution. We look at some of the reasons the young generation is so politically active.
Myanmar has been the focus of an international outcry over the Rohingya boat people crisis. Myanmar does not acknowledge the Rohingyas as an ethnic minority and refers to the group by their residency in Rakhine State, in the nation's west.
A new networking system is improving medical treatment in Japan by helping doctors share their knowledge and expertise. The mobile-based app called JOIN has been developed to address some of the challenges facing the medical field as demand increases for its services.
People in Okinawa have been living alongside the US military for the past 70 years. The islands hold more US bases than anywhere else in Japan. Locals argue they're shouldering too much of the burden, and many feel their voices aren't being heard in the rest of Japan. On The Focus tonight, we'll meet the young people who are trying to shine a light on the issues in a rather unusual way.
Indonesia is enjoying rapid economic growth that has spurred new trends. One has people snapping up jewelry made with gemstones in what has been called "the stone rush." It's good news for rural areas of the country, where gemstones are found, but the rush to mine them is also causing problems.
A young Filipino teacher finds inspiration in Tokyo. By using Japanese popular culture, he hopes to pass on the same opportunities he had.
Japan's leader wants to change the way the country does business. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is urging corporate reform. Without it, Abe says the economy won't improve. A key plank of the reform program is a code of corporate governance. It took effect last month.
Efforts are underway to foster female enterprise in Japan. Women have been called the untapped resource that can fire up Japan's economic revitalization. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Monetary Fund both say the country needs to bring more women into the workforce.
Today, we return to the issue dominating headlines in Japan this week -- the national security bills. As the debate reaches a critical point, we'll look at the people at the center of the discussions -- the members of the Self-Defense Forces.
Working at a Japanese company can mean putting in hour after hour of overtime. But many young workers are starting to prioritize their hours outside the office. The annual job hunting season, when most Japanese companies hold interviews, has begun. Around the country, senior college students are lining up at career fairs dressed in simple business attire known as "recruit suits."
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends on Thursday in most regions. It's a time of fasting, when people are prohibited from drinking and eating in public from dawn to dusk. Muslims are instructed to pray to deepen their faith, while also thinking about the difficulties of others.
China is the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide. It's one legacy of the country's rapid economic expansion, and leaders have pledged to drastically reduce emissions. However, some analysts wonder whether the quest for continued growth will overshadow the commitment to the global environment.
The Japanese kimono industry faces an uncertain future. Fewer people in Japan are wearing traditional clothes. Sales are 1/6 of what they were 30 years ago. Today, we look at how a kimono retailer is trying to revive the industry. He hit on the idea of producing kimonos that express cultural diversity.
An artist named Sisyu creates a unique style by combining the traditional techniques of Japanese calligraphy with digital technology. She is generating buzz at the current Milan Expo.
The closing stages of the Vietnam War were marked by high drama and desperation. A little-known incident involved a team of US scientists on a top-secret mission. Their job was to remove fuel from a nuclear reactor -- before North Vietnamese forces could get to it. It was a race against time, and the price of failure would be nuclear devastation. We spoke with one of the mission's members, and reviewed the operation's logbook.
Japan is renowned for selling high-quality products like cars and electronics overseas. Now it's also exporting medical expertise. China has the world's largest population. It also has the most diabetics. Officials at the International Diabetes Federation say more than 380 million people worldwide have the disease. About a quarter are Chinese.
Today we look at the situation in Nepal three months after a major earthquake there. Sho Beppu reports from the capital, Kathmandu.
Foreign ministers from Southeast Asian countries will meet in Malaysia from this weekend to discuss the region's future. The 10 nations hope to establish a single market. One key step toward achieving that goal will be the launch later this year of the ASEAN Economic Community, or AEC. With a freer flow of capital, goods, and services, the AEC is expected to bring growth to a region where more than 600 million people live.
The ministers will hold another key meeting -- the ASEAN Regional Forum -- together with important players such as Japan, the US, China, and North Korea. The significance of these meetings is increasing because they bring together representatives of 2 global powers -- the US and China. Our anchor Sho Beppu reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital.
India's economy is soaring, and so its demand for electricity. The aging infrastructure isn't keeping up. This summer's heatwave and the frequent blackouts showed just how fragile the system is. Leaders have come up with a plan they hope will dramatically cut the demand for power. They want to introduce LED bulbs on a massive scale.
The rose garden of Futaba Town, Fukushima prefecture, was a source of local pride. Foreign visitors praised it, including Britain's Prince William. It was highly regarded by The World Federation of Rose Societies. But the garden also happened to lie near the Fukushima nuclear plant. Four years ago, disaster struck. In the aftermath, with no one to care for them, the roses began to perish. The wonderland became a wasteland.
People who survived the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 face unique challenges as they age. The average age of the survivors, known as Hibakusha, is now over 80. There are special nursing homes for them in the two cities. But the facilities have long waiting lists.
Today we begin a series of special reports to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. In this week in 1945 the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not many people know about the practice runs before the atomic attacks, when American air crews dropped stand-ins for the real thing. Survivors and a team of researchers are working to tell people about these lethal rehearsals and the damage they caused.
Tomomi Hashimoto begins our series, "The War, 70 Years On," with this special report on the so-called "pumpkin bombs."
One year after the bombing of Hiroshima, a masterpiece of 20th century journalism was born. "Hiroshima," written by American John Hersey, shocked readers with its detailed account told from the perspective of the survivors. Hersey's grandson, Cannon, has retraced his grandfather's footsteps to uncover the hidden secrets behind that groundbreaking story.
American writer John Hersey's description of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was a sensation when it came out in 1946. His grandson, Cannon Hersey has been digging into the archives to learn more. He is also turning his talents to the story of Hiroshima, and taking up where his grandfather left off.
The Atomic Bomb Dome was once an industrial promotion hall in a busy commercial district. Then the bomb exploded above the building, killing everyone inside. The building's ruins became an icon of the anti-nuclear movement. People in Hiroshima hoped their experience would convince the world to renounce the weapons.
Anime fans will recognize characters from the sci-fi series, Mobile Suit Gundam. It's one of the most successful animes to air. For 36 years viewers have been watching the giant space robots do battle. And the most dedicated fans have been splashing out on figurines and creating works of art. They're even taking part in a Gundam Builders' World Cup.
Marie Yanaka joined Aki Shibuya and Sho Beppu in the studio to talk about the world of Gundam.
In the closing days of the war, the Soviet Union entered Manchuria in northeastern China and captured about 570,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians. They sent the captives to labor camps in Siberia or Mongolia. At least 55,000 people are believed to have died from cold, starvation or disease.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet the road to abolish nuclear weapons remains a long one. The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, or APLN, is trying to advance the cause. The members are former foreign and defense ministers and academics from Asia-Pacific countries. Though they are no longer in office, they still act on behalf of their respective governments.
People who make sake -- Japan's national alcoholic drink -- have been battling an image problem. Consumption of the traditional rice brew is only a third what it was at its peak 40 years ago. And the number of breweries is down by half. Against this background, brewers are boosting the quality of their product.
It's been 2 weeks since massive explosions rocked Tianjin in northern China. Chinese authorities say they'll beef up the country's industrial safety measures in response to the chemical blasts in warehouses at the port. The explosions shortly before midnight on August 12th shocked the nation. At least 146 people have been confirmed dead and 27 are missing.
A dark chapter from World War Two has left people in China with a toxic legacy. Large quantities of chemical weapons abandoned by Imperial Japanese forces at the war's end continue to cause suffering. The weapons were manufactured secretly, and used illegally. After Japan's surrender, troops discarded the bombs around China, dumping them in rivers or burying them.
Leaders from around the world will sit down later this month to endorse a set of targets that could mean life or death for billions of people. They'll gather at the United Nations headquarters to adopt a new package of development goals.
On September 2, 1945, Japan surrendered to the allied forces at a ceremony in Tokyo Bay, officially closing World War 2. Officials from the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and China observed the signing of the instrument of surrender aboard the USS Missouri.
Seventy years ago, on August 6th, an atomic bomb turned Hiroshima into a burning wasteland. There was a rumor that radioactivity would stop any grass or flowers from growing there for 75 years. Today, over one-million people call Hiroshima home. The city has shown the world how it came back from almost total devastation.
A photo taken on a beach in Turkey sent shockwaves around the world. It showed a dead Syrian refugee boy washed up on the shore. The multitudes of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean pose an increasingly serious problem for Europe. More than 350,000 people have arrived this year, and an estimated 2,600 died on the way.
The changing role of women in Japanese society plays an integral part of the nation's future. But significant obstacles exist that make it particularly difficult for women in Japan to balance work and family.
The campaign began on Tuesday for the general election scheduled for November 8th in Myanmar. It's the first general election since the end of military rule. Candidates and supporters will spend 2 months drumming up votes.
The Popular Mobilization Forces is an Iraqi militia that could hold the key to defeating the Islamic State militant group.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang is trying to alleviate concerns about his economy. Li spoke at the World Economic Forum's summer meeting in Dalian, where he told business leaders from the world's fastest growing economies that his country is on the right track.
Refugees from Syria are abandoning a country torn apart. Their heart-breaking plight has hit headlines as the crisis deepens. Back where was once home for the refugees, militants are taking sledgehammers to history. Syria's famous archaeological treasures have been preserved for thousands of years. But as civil war rages, cultural heritage sites are being flattened.
The global economic slowdown is hurting Asia's emerging economies. As China's economy loses steam - and investors brace for a rate hike in the US - there are concerns about the withdrawal of foreign capital that some countries rely upon to fuel growth.
Yuko Fukushima joins Aki Shibuya and Sho Beppu for the second time this week to discuss the problems Indonesia is facing.
Japanese Prime Minister Abe has long aimed to change national security policies. He says he wants to enhance the country's defense as well as contribute more proactively to global peace.
A young American man whose grandfather took part in both the atomic bombings of Japan is visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki on a personal mission. Seventy years after the devastating attack, Ari Beser is connecting with survivors and sharing their stories with the world.
One of the world's most acclaimed conductors, Seiji Ozawa, is fostering a new generation of talent, as well as fans. At the age of 80, the maestro is inspiring people to follow in his legendary footsteps.
People in Hokkaido are celebrating 10 years since the Shiretoko peninsula became a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. Crowds come for the unspoiled nature, and wildlife.
The election campaign in Myanmar, which began on September 8th, is generating a lot of enthusiasm in the country and abroad. The November general election will be the first since the end of military rule and the introduction of democratic reforms.
NEWSROOM TOKYO anchor Sho Beppu is broadcasting live from the United Nations' New York headquarters this week as the 70th general assembly is underway. In a special four-day series, he will look at the role the UN plays in modern diplomacy, as well as the challenges it now faces.
Today, Beppu examines the fight against poverty, discussing development goals and how they can be met with a senior UN official.
Aki Shibuya: The United Nations General Assembly is in full swing. World leaders are meeting in New York to talk about various global issues ranging from development to security. This is the second day of our 4-part series focusing on the 70th anniversary of the UN.
The UN started with 51 member nations after the end of World War Two in 1945. It faced the challenge of reuniting a world divided by conflict. With 193 members today, it is the biggest international organization in the world.
World leaders celebrated a historic moment at the Rose Garden in the United Nations. They raised a Palestinian flag for the first time in UN headquarters' history. The act happened because a great majority of the General Assembly voted for it.
Myanmar has been drawing the world's attention as it moves toward a general election in November. It will be the first of its kind since military rule ended 4 years ago. As campaigning begins, NHK senior commentator Aiko Doden spoke with a prominent figure in Myanmar about the election and his country's future.
Some booksellers in Hong Kong are experiencing what they say is a challenge to the freedom of the press. They are finding it harder to distribute publications that are politically sensitive, and attribute blame to the influence of the government in Beijing. The moves are forcing businesses to look for new ways to keep afloat.
The word "selfie" might make you think of celebrities on social media, or tourists wielding smartphones at the end of a long stick. But on The Focus tonight, we'll meet the man from a village in northern India who's using them to bring about important social change.
North Korea's leaders are preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea. They've hinted at plans to mark the occasion by sending a satellite into orbit. Leaders of other countries are concerned that may be a cover for the launch of a long-range ballistic missile.
In this week of the Nobel announcements, we look at last year's winner of the Peace Prize. Malala Yousafzai is campaigning as hard as ever for girls' education. NHK's senior commentator Aiko Doden met her for an exclusive interview. She learns that what keeps Malala going is her family.
Security in Afghanistan is worsening as the role of the United States comes under fresh scrutiny. President Barack Obama has apologized for a tragic airstrike on a hospital during the battle for the northern city of Kunduz.
Troops in the Philippines have been training with partners from the United States. Members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces observed. The exercises played out through Friday on a Philippine coastline that faces disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Those islands are the focal point of tension over an increasingly assertive Chinese presence. NHK World's Charmaine Deogracias reports on the joint military drills and the message they likely send to Beijing.
On The Focus tonight we look into the civil war in Syria, where Russian airstrikes have transformed the conflict and made a complex situation even more complicated. As the turmoil enters a new phase after four and a half years, we ask whether what began as a domestic conflict is turning into a proxy war between two of the most powerful nations in the world.
Japanese people face the urgent issue of an ageing society. But it's not only people who suffer. The problem extends to the abandonment of pets. More animals are left behind as owners become too old to care for them, or pass away.
Japanese film director Naomi Kawase is renowned for making independent movies that take on difficult social issues. Kawase has won many awards, including at the Cannes Film festival. Her latest work, "An" is set to be released in over 40 countries. It focuses on the social prejudice that affects a Japanese community. NHK looks at the themes of Kawase's films and the inspiration she takes from her own lifestyle.
Families across Japan are still struggling with the pain and sorrow caused by one of the world's worst plane crashes. When a Japan Airlines jumbo jet crashed into a mountain ridge northwest of Tokyo in 1985, 520 people lost their lives. Thirty years on, some of the victims' loved ones are only just starting to talk publicly.
A Japan Airlines jetliner slammed into a mountain in August 1985, killing more than 500 people. It remains the world's deadliest single-plane accident. The plane departed from Tokyo bound for Osaka. But trouble began just 12 minutes after takeoff. The cockpit voice recorder caught JAL Flight 123 Captain Masami Takahama saying that something exploded, and the crew fighting desperately to bring the Boeing 747 under control.
It's been a day of tears and laughter in one North Korean mountain resort. Hundreds of people who've been separated from their relatives for decades have finally come face to face again. They were the lucky ones selected to go to the foot of Mount Kumgang and briefly reunite with their kin.
After years of war, there are now more than 600,000 people with disabilities in Afghanistan. Workers at one aid group have been trying to help them through sport. And they've made a difference in the lives of many Afghans living with disabilities.
The Japan Prize is the world's only competition for educational programs. The prize was developed by NHK in 1965 to give international creators of educational programming a place to showcase their work. Producers from around the world gathered in Tokyo recently for this year's 50th anniversary ceremony.
Distressed jeans with their unique wear and tear are a hot item in Japan - and they're helping to revive a local textile industry. A retailer in Hiroshima Prefecture has come up with a unique way to produce pre-loved denim with the help of locals. A range of people, from monks to mechanics, are helping to wear in the jeans that attracting shoppers far and wide once they are ready for sale.
At the start of the program, we reported on the rising tensions in the South China Sea. China has been raising territorial issues in the region including the Spratly Islands. One country that claims those islands is the Philippines. On The Focus today, we look at the upcoming Philippine presidential election. The constitution fixes the president's term, so Benigno Aquino will have to step down -- even with his high approval rating. The outcome won't just affect Filipinos. The international community will be watching the result as well. The notifications of candidacy closed this month, and the 3 main contenders took the first steps in their campaigns.
70 years have passed since the end of the World War 2, but the trade in war memorabilia in Japan is hotter than ever. Dealers say they're being offered more and more items for sale, and they think it indicates the country is going through a generational shift.
The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, one of the premier events for the global auto industry, kicked off on Thursday. And the focus for many Japanese automakers this time around appears to be on eco-friendly vehicles and stylish luxury cars.
Japanese automaker Mazda has come up with a new approach to making eco-friendly clean diesel cars. With all the negative publicity surrounding the Volkswagen emissions scandal, diesel cars were in the spotlight at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.
It's been 3-and-a-half years since the leaders of Japan and South Korea held a summit. But every year, people in Osaka have celebrated the history of friendly relations between the countries.
NHK's Aki Shibuya went to the "Wasso" festival on Sunday to see how residents of the city have preserved a legacy of neighborly hospitality.
The South Korean government plans to start using state-issued history textbooks in schools, touting it as a way to promote what it considers the correct view of history. The decision has divided public opinion, with critics saying the government should let educators choose what learning materials to use in the classroom.
The Tokyo International Film Festival has been going for 30 years and is the largest such event in Asia. This year's Festival drew more than 60,000 visitors over 10 days in late October. They watched more than 200 films from around the world. The Grand Prix went to a film from Brazil. But the festival is also an opportunity for people in Tokyo to see the latest trends in Asian films.
COP21, a major UN conference on climate change, will open later this month in Paris. Its success will depend partly on China, which has in the past opposed binding CO2 emissions cuts for developing countries. But anticipation is mounting, as China has set its very first emission reduction target.
NHK World's Masashi Yamaguchi visited a remote desert in the country to find out whether that goal is achievable.
Voters in Myanmar are eagerly awaiting the final results of Sunday's landmark general election, the first since decades of military rule ended in 2011. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi appears confident her party is on the cusp of victory.
The documentary "Nowhere to Call Home: A Tibetan in Beijing" is attracting attention worldwide. Over 6 million Tibetans live in China's Tibet Autonomous Region and 4 adjacent provinces. Chinese government authorities tightened control over Tibetan religious activities after clashes between monks and police in the region erupted into violence in 2008.
The number of cyclists in Japan is rising, as more people become concerned about fitness and the environment. The trend is also presenting some challenges, not the least of which is the need to compete with cars for space on the road. There are over 71 million bicycles on the road in Japan, which ranks 6th in the world in terms of ownership per capita.
Election officials in Myanmar say Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), is heading for victory in the nationwide elections. The party leader is laying the groundwork for the transfer of power.
China has announced it is scrapping its decades-old one-child policy. Under the old law, couples paid a heavy fine if they had a second child. That restriction is being swept away. But the new freedom also has a cost.
New government data on Japan's economy shows it is continuing to lose steam. While personal spending is marginally up, companies are investing less and the the economy shrank between July and September. It is the second consecutive quarter of contraction.
Cheonggye Stream, which flows through the center of Seoul, is a popular place to relax. Its clean water is home to many birds and fish. But just 12 years ago, it was an eyesore. Its polluted, filthy water was more of a trickle than a flow. Now, 10 years after it was completed, it's an internationally recognized regeneration project.
Every year, a few thousand young people from around the world arrive in Japan to help students learn English at schools across the country. They're part of the government's Japan Exchange and Teaching program, better known as JET. Since the first recruits arrived in 1987, more than 60,000 people from 65 countries have been part of the program.
Scientists are at work deep in the mountains of central Japan. They hope to prove a theory of Albert Einstein's. Two hundred meters underground, inside an abandoned zinc mine, the researchers have laid two pipes in tunnels at right angles, each three kilometers long. The tunnels are so long it's impossible to see light at the ends. The tunnels are also so long that on this job, the scientists move around by bicycle.
Japanese electronics-makers like Sony, Sharp and Panasonic once reigned supreme in global markets. But today, they're facing stiff competition from Korean and Chinese rivals in a wide range of sectors, from TV sets to mobile phones.
Young Japanese urbanites' growing interest in country living is pushing them out of the city to follow family ties in their grandparents' hometowns. It is a reversal of a trend that began in the 1960s, when big cities were booming as people flocked to metropolises for a taste of the urban lifestyle.
There is ongoing political debate about the future of Osaka, which is second only to Tokyo as a hub of the Japanese economy. The region was once at the center of the national economy. It was home to Japan's first world's fair in 1970, as well as the headquarters of many corporate giants. Things are changing and its importance on the national economic scene has dwindled. The gap between gross regional production in Osaka and Tokyo has been widening for 60 years.
The Japanese government has been trying to lift the status of women. A recent study tour by women from the Middle East highlighted some similarities and differences between the two societies.
Japan is grappling with some new trends in the tourism industry. While some of the new features benefit visitors not everyone is finding it easy to adjust. Japan is expected to welcome more than 19 million foreign visitors this year. That's more than ever. They'll all be looking for a place to stay which is driving a surging demand in private lodging services.
Leaders from across the world have gathered in Paris to discuss the future of our planet. Delegates to the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change are negotiating a new framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and slow the pace of global warming. Newsroom Tokyo has special coverage this week on climate change, including why it is happening, and what is being done to tackle the problem.
Delegates from around the world are in Paris to discuss the future of the planet. Government leaders and heads of state from nearly 150 countries opened the UN Conference on Climate Change on Monday with speeches that underlined how serious climate change is.
The UN Conference on Climate Change is in its third days. We look at what Japan is doing to cut greenhouse gas emissions and how it's helping other countries move to clean energy.
Japan has public baths, called "sento", scattered everywhere, from small towns to the biggest cities. The sento are not just for bathing -- since ancient times local people have used them as places to gather and socialize.
The Hong Kong democracy activists who spearheaded last year's street protests are taking their fight to a new arena. They ran in recent district elections and some of them won their campaigns.
Japan's space agency is making a second attempt at putting a space probe into orbit around Venus. Scientists hope the Akatsuki probe will help them learn about the nature of climate change.
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 74 years ago, thrusting the US into World War Two. Shaking with anger, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made an emotional speech to Congress.
This year, we have aired several special reports in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Today, we'll share our final installment in the series.
South Koreans are among the biggest fans of author Haruki Murakami. This reflects a change in attitudes in a country where Japanese culture used to be viewed negatively. As Nobel laureates gather in Stockholm, many Japanese regret that author Haruki Murakami isn't among them. And so do his fans in South Korea, who are among Murakami's most fervent admirers.
Delegates in Paris are scrambling to reach a framework agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. As the deadline approached, NHK World spoke exclusively with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Voters in Saudi Arabia made history last weekend. They took part in the first ever poll that allowed women to participate both as candidates and voters. Saudis live under a strict interpretation of Islam. Women traditionally have a male guardian, and need his permission to talk with men who are not relatives.
Japanese castles are a popular destination for foreign visitors, and an important cultural resource. There are many castles across the country. But few remain in the condition they were in several hundred years ago. Most have had their towers renovated.
On this edition of The Focus we look at Iran, where officials are trying to drum up business as it becomes clear that sanctions against the country could soon be lifted.
Last year on December 16th, gunmen from the Pakistani Taliban stormed an army-run school in the city of Peshawar. More than 140 people were killed, mostly students.
UN experts say India will have the world's biggest population in 7 years. Its economy is growing faster than China's, and the World Bank projects the pace will pick up in the years ahead. Prime Minister Narenda Modi sees foreign investment playing a key role in powering India's growth. The Indian government has put 800 million dollars into a mega-project called the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor hoping to attract foreign investors. NHK Senior Commentator Aiko Doden has the story.
A remark by the US Ambassador to Thailand has provoked such an angry response it could affect Thai foreign policy. Some groups in Thailand are questioning their country's relationship with the United States as the nation finds itself moving closer to China.
Presidential candidates in Taiwan have less than a month left to sell their messages to voters. For the two main rivals, the race is boiling down to a debate on ties with mainland China.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Brothers. The video game has legions of fans around the world. Players help Mario run and jump over obstacles and enemies to rescue a princess. The game's look has changed over the years, but the basics are the same. Even after three decades, its popularity shows no signs of waning.
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