#03 #04 #05 #06#07#08#09#10#11 #01#02

The city of Nemuro in northern Japan has held an event in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi to promote fish caught in the northern Pacific Ocean.
Some 1,000 Vietnamese sampled char-grilled saury at a Japanese supermarket during the two-day event.
Nemuro is known for having the largest catches of the fish in Japan. The city has been exporting frozen saury to Vietnam since last November.
City officials view the country as a promising market with its growing population.

(Vietnamese citizen)
"I tried saury for the first time, and it's delicious. I will buy it to cook at home."

The mayor of Nemuro says the city also plans to export saury to China and Thailand.


3/22「菅井円加さん 世界の舞台へ」

A 17-year-old Japanese high school student has won the top prize in an elite ballet competition in Switzerland. The renowned annual Prix de Lausanne is viewed as a gateway to success for dancers between the ages of 15 and 18.
Madoka Sugai got the highest score in the final round, beating out 20 other contenders from around the world.
After returning to Japan on Monday, she spoke to reporters at her hometown near Tokyo.

(Madoka Sugai)
"This was my first entry in an international competition. My goal was to just relax and have fun. I challenged myself to do as well as I could, and I succeeded with a very positive outcome. I couldn't be happier."

She said she wants to become a dancer who can perform a wide range of roles and provide a moving experience for the audience. She added that she hopes her success will encourage those who experienced the March 11th disaster.

月 曜日(2月6日)に帰国した菅井さんは東京近郊の地元で記者会見を行い、「私にとっては初めての国際大会で、落ち着いて楽しんで踊ることを目標にしていま した。自分との戦いでベストを尽くすことに挑み、うまくいきましたし、良い結果もついてきてくれました。これ以上幸せなことはありません」と語りました。


The first North Korean restaurant in Europe has opened in Amsterdam.
The Pyongyang Restaurant is run by Dutch businessmen who have been to North Korea frequently for cultural and other exchanges. Its nine staff members, including the chef, are all North Koreans sent from a restaurant in Beijing.
North Korean restaurants are operating in the Chinese capital and other cities in Asia as a means of securing foreign currencies, but this is believed to be the first one in Europe.
The restaurant offers a course menu, and staff members perform dances and songs.
There are no portraits of North Korean leaders inside.
Restaurant operator Remco van Daal said the launch of the restaurant is part of cultural exchanges and it has nothing to do with political affairs.


3/20 「フェイスブック 上場へ」

Facebook is about to get some new friends.
The website that started in a Harvard University dorm room and then grew to become the world's largest social networking forum is joining the U.S. stock market.
The company is trying to raise some capital, and investors will no doubt be happy to oblige. They've been waiting years for this moment.
Facebook's total market value is expected to reach 100 billion dollars. That would make it the largest initial public offering for an IT company.
The website has more than 800 million active users worldwide. People register, then create a personal profile. From there they can add friends, upload photos, update their status, exchange messages, and more.
Facebook submitted an application on Wednesday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The paperwork shows the company intends to raise up to five billion dollars.
Facebook has not yet announced when or on what exchange it will start selling its stock.



Scientists at the European Space Agency say an ocean may once have existed on Mars.
The scientists made the announcement after analyzing data from the Mars Express orbiter.
They say the spacecraft's radar found sediments of low-density material beneath the surface of much of the red planet's northern hemisphere.
They say the sediments show that an ocean may have existed billions of years ago.
The scientists say the ocean may have been created by melted ice. They say the ocean would not have existed long enough to sustain life.


3/16「米新車販売 4年ぶりの高水準」

U.S. sales of new cars hit a four-year high in February, with sales surging more than 15 percent year-on-year. The jump came as increased momentum in the U.S. economy overshadowed rising gas prices.
U.S. market research firm Autodata says automakers sold over 1.1 million new cars last month, up 15.7 percent from a year earlier.
That translates into an annual figure of just over 15 million units. It is the highest level since February 2008, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a global financial crisis.
Among U.S. makers, Ford sales jumped more than 14 percent. Industry leader General Motors recorded a gain of just over one percent.
Japanese automakers logged double-digit growth. Their production operations have recovered from the impact of last year's disaster in Japan.
Nissan's sales soared over 15 percent. Toyota and Honda both saw their sales rise more than 12 percent.
And South Korea's Hyundai continued its expansion. Its sales climbed more than 17 percent.



U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond calmly to Iran.
The two leaders met at the White House on Monday.
There have been growing concerns in the United States that Israel may launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Israel has threatened to mount such an attack. It does not believe economic sanctions are enough to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"When I say all options are on the table, I mean it. Having said that, I know that both the prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically. We understand the costs of any military action."

(Benjamin Netanyahu / Israeli Prime Minister)
"When it comes to Israel's security, Israel has the right, the sovereign right to make its own decisions. I believe that's why you appreciate, Mr. President, that Israel must reserve the right to defend itself."

Observers say the U.S. will continue to press Israel to seek a diplomatic solution. It fears that a strike by Israel could cause confusion in the Middle East.

ア メリカでは、イスラエルがイランの核施設に対して先制的な軍事攻撃を行うのではないかという懸念が高まっています。イスラエルはそうした攻撃も辞さない姿 勢を示してきました。(なぜなら)イスラエルは、イランの核兵器開発をやめさせるためには、経済制裁では十分でないと考えているからです。
(記者 団の前で)オバマ大統領は「あらゆる選択肢が検討されていると私が言うとき、私は本気です。そのうえで言うのですが、ネタニヤフ首相も私も、この件を外交 的に解決することが望ましいと考えているのは確かです。私たちはどんな軍事行動であれ、その代価がどのようなものになるかを理解しています」と語りまし た。

3/14「中国 成長目標を引き下げ」

Premier Wen Jiabao says China will trim its annual target for growth. He outlined his government's policies in a speech to open the Chinese parliament, the National People's Congress.
He set growth this year at 7.5 percent. The government had kept the target at around eight percent for the past seven years.
Wen said the credit concerns in Europe are threatening the prospects of the Chinese economy. He says his government faces challenges in solving institutional and structural problems. He said citizens are increasingly frustrated over the gap between rich and poor.

(Wen Jiabao / Chinese Premier)
"We hope to make economic development more sustainable and efficient, so as to achieve higher-level, higher-quality development over a longer period of time."

Wen says Chinese officials will aim for more price stability and try to improve social security. Chinese leaders have apparently shifted their focus from growth to stability.
They want to overcome problems caused by rapid expansion, including corruption and environmental destruction.
Political analysts say Wen used the speech to emphasize the lives of individual citizens over growth. They say he wants to ensure a smooth transition when the new Chinese leadership takes over this fall.

温家宝首相は、中国が経済成長の年間目標を引き下げると述べました。温家宝首相は中国の国会に当たる全国人民代表大会の冒頭で政府の施政方針の概要を述べ る演説を行い、(その中で)今年の成長目標を7.5パーセントにすると語りました。中国政府は過去7年間、成長目標をおよそ8パーセントに保ってきまし た。
温家宝首相は、ヨーロッパの信用不安が中国経済の先行きを脅かしているうえ、中国政府は解決しなければならない制度的、構造的な問題に直面し ていると語りました。そして貧富の格差が広がっていることに国民の不満はますます強まっているとして、「私たちは経済発展をより持続可能で効率的なものに したいと思っています。そうすることによって、よりレベルが高く、質の良い発展を長期にわたって達成することができるのです」と述べました。


An annual ceremony has begun at Todaiji Temple in the ancient Japanese capital of Nara. It signals the arrival of spring.
Buddhist monks pray for national stability in a ceremony called "Omizutori," which dates back to the 8th century.
In the main ritual called "Otaimatsu," held on Thursday evening, 10 monks climbed the long stone stairs to the temple's hall. They were guided by six-meter-long torches weighing about 40 kilograms each.
Their assistants waved the torches and scattered sparks over spectators below. People cheered as they believe exposure to the sparks keeps them healthy during the coming year.
The ritual takes place each night for the next two weeks.


3/12「ロシア大統領選 プーチン氏当選」

Vladimir Putin's getting his old job back ... president of Russia.
The Central Election Commission says he won the country's election, and that means he's renewed his grip on power for another six years.
Opposition groups claim there was electoral fraud. Putin denies their accusations.

(Vladimir Putin / Russian Prime Minister)
"I promised that we would win, and we won. We won in an open and honest struggle."

Election workers have counted most of the ballots. The Election Commission reports Putin has a significant lead with more than 64 percent of the vote.
Putin is 59. He served two terms as president between 2000 and 2008. He spent the past four years as prime minister under current President Dmitry Medvedev.
Putin's popularity suffered from a vote-rigging scandal in the Lower House election in December. He managed to improve his support in the latter stages of the campaign by pledging stability for Russia.


3/09「エルピーダメモリ 経営破綻」

Leading Japanese chip-maker Elpida Memory has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company has been hit hard by the rising yen and a recent plunge in the price of computer chips.
Elpida Memory is Japan's sole maker of DRAM chips.
In terms of global supply, it comes third to South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor.
The company's real trouble began after the global economic crisis nearly four years ago. Its financial health began to deteriorate rapidly. It had been operating under a government-backed rehabilitation plan. That gave it access to a large amount of public funds and commercial loans.
Elpida had also been seeking to team up with rivals and receive rescue funds from clients.
The company is saddled with debts totaling 5.6 billion dollars. That's the biggest amount of liabilities in the history of Japan's manufacturing industry.
Elpida President Yukio Sakamoto apologized for his company's decision to seek bankruptcy protection.

(Yukio Sakamoto / President, Elpida Memory)
"The price of DRAM chips has plunged to one-third of what it was a year ago. The yen's unprecedented strength and last year's floods in Thailand also affected the company. The environment surrounding us has deteriorated rapidly over the past three years."

Elpida's bankruptcy filing is seen as marking another setback in Japan's declining semiconductor industry.

エ ルピーダメモリは日本で唯一のDRAM(と呼ばれる記憶用の半導体を製造する)メーカーで、世界シェアでは韓国のサムスン電子、ハイニックス半導体に次い で第3位ですが、4年近く前の世界経済危機のあと、問題が深刻化しました。経営状態は急速に悪化し、国が支援する再建計画のもとで事業を行ってきました。 そうすることで、多額の公的資金や民間からの融資を活用することができました。
エ ルピーダメモリの坂本幸雄社長は、会社更生法の適用を申請する決定をしたことについて陳謝し、「DRAM価格は1年前に比べて約3分の1になっています。 前例のない円高、そして去年のタイの洪水も影響しました。会社を取り巻く環境はこの3年間で急速に悪化しました」と語りました。

3/08「震災から何を学ぶか 〜セン教授語る〜」
"Lessons from the March 11th disaster." That was the theme of a recent forum held here in Tokyo.
Our business anchor, Ron Madison, attended the forum to meet a renowned intellectual.

The World Civilization Forum was chaired by Harvard University Professor Amartya Sen.

(Amartya Sen / Professor, Harvard University)
What the Fukushima disaster brings out with great force is the radical uncertainty that may be present in what look like completely safe enterprises of great importance to the world as a whole.

In our interview, Professor Sen says the nuclear crisis at Fukushima is not a domestic problem alone, but in fact a problem of world civilization.

(Amartya Sen)
What Fukushima established, in a way that somehow the earlier incidents like the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl had not been able to get fixed in people's minds, was that there could be a highly scientifically advanced country, namely Japan, and still end up in this situation of gigantic pollution, affecting the lives of many people. And I think it has made the nuclear option as an alternative to standard fuels very much more difficult. So that is a problem of world interest, and it's a civilizational issue.

「3月11日の震災からの教訓」 それが先日、ここ東京で開かれた公開討論会でのテーマでした。




「福 島(の事故)がはっきりさせたのは、以前に起きたスリーマイル島やチェルノブイリの事故が、なぜか人々の心に刻みつけることができなかったこと、つまり科 学的に高い進歩を遂げた日本のような国でも深刻な汚染事故は起きて、多くの人々の生活に影響を与えるということです。そしてこのことによって、従来の燃料 の代わりに原子力を使うということがこれまで以上に難しくなったと思います。ですからこれは、世界的な関心事ですし、文明の問題なのです」

3/07「グーグル 個人情報一括運用へ」

A plan by Internet search and advertising giant Google to consolidate personal information it collects from users has raised concern over a possible invasion of privacy. Google announced the plan on Friday.
The plan will see Google combine the privacy policies for its 60 services and products, starting on March 1st. The private information will include registered data, access history, smartphone numbers, and location information.
Google says the new plan will allow the company to find out users' needs and provide services that will meet their preferences. But earlier this week, 36 U.S. states and territorial attorneys general sent a letter to Google protesting the new policy. The European Union has also expressed concern.
Google's new policy comes amid the rise of the world's biggest social networking service, Facebook. After eight years in business, Facebook has more than 845 million active users worldwide. It has been increasing its value as an advertising medium, as it collects huge volumes of information on user preferences and behavior. Its users tend to spend more time on the service than those using Google's search site.
Google's new policy is seen as an effort to match the strength of Facebook by consolidating user information. Google says it will continue to thoroughly control personal information.

グー グルの新しい方針は、世界最大のソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)フェイスブックが台頭する中で打ち出されたものです。フェイスブックは 創業から8年で、世界中で8億4,500万人を超える使用中ユーザーを獲得しています。フェイスブックは利用者の好みや行動に関する膨大な情報を集めてい るうえ、利用者がグーグルの検索サイトよりも長時間利用する傾向にあることから、広告媒体としての価値を高めています。

3/06「米朝 ウラン濃縮凍結などで合意」

The leadership of North Korea has done an about-face that could ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
It's announced that it will take steps toward denuclearization. Western leaders hope the moves will end a diplomatic impasse over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
The U.S. State Department and North Korea's Foreign Ministry made the announcement almost simultaneously. The disclosure follows talks last week in Beijing on the North's nuclear issues.
The leadership announced it will suspend nuclear testing, firing long-range ballistic missiles, and enriching uranium at the nuclear complex in Nyongbyon. And it will allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect facilities.
In return, the U.S. will supply the country with 240,000 tons of food, with the prospect of more in the future. The U.S. stopped supplying the aid three years ago.
North Korean officials want to hand out food by mid-April. Residents will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung.
The officials say their U.S. counterparts have promised to drop their hostile stance and want to move forward on an equal footing.


3/5「原発 民間事故調が報告書」

A new report by an independent panel is highly critical of how Japan's leaders acted in the hours and days after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It calls their response "off-the-cuff" and "too late."
The six experts on the panel based their findings on interviews with 300 people, including top-ranking Japanese and American officials.

(Koichi Kitazawa / Committee Chairman)
"The direct causes of the nuclear accident were the unpreparedness of Tokyo Electric Power for a serious accident and the government's lack of a sense of responsibility."

The report blames the government's response on its failure to anticipate the combined impact of a quake and tsunami. That rendered its crisis management manual useless. The report says the problem was compounded by politicians' lack of basic legal knowledge.
The document also points to delays in providing the prime minister's office with accurate information, as well as insufficient support by advisors. It urges immediate debate on improving the situation.
The report condemns the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency for failing to give professionals proper safety training. It says the agency could not draw up plans to put the Fukushima plant under control because of a lack of skill and personnel.
The report blames TEPCO for initially making things worse at the facility, not better. TEPCO workers did not immediately switch to an alternative cooling system after realizing the emergency condenser was not working. Then, they took too long to start the venting procedure to avert a major crisis.

こ れは委員会の6人の専門家が日米の政府高官ら300人からの聞き取りをもとに調査結果をまとめたもので、(調査委員会の北澤宏一委員長は)「原発事故の直 接の原因は、東京電力が重大な事故に対する備えができていなかったことと、政府の責任感の欠如によるものだ」と語りました。
そ して東京電力については、事故発生直後に非常用復水器が作動していないことに気付いた職員が、直ちに代わりの冷却装置に切り替えることをせず、大きな危機 を回避するためのベント作業の開始にも手間取って、(原子炉)施設の状況を改善するどころか、むしろ悪化させたと糾弾しています。


Japanese clothing manufacturers have traveled to India to debut their latest creations at fashion week events in New Delhi.
Overseas companies are eager to enter the country's growing market.
Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry organized a Tokyo Fashion Week in India, to coincide with the semi-annual Lifestyle India Fashion Week. It's part of the Cool Japan project designed to help Japanese cultural industries launch businesses overseas.
About 600 representatives from India's fashion industry attended various events. Japanese designers showcased their collections featuring colorful dresses with exotic designs.

(Yu Yamada / Designer)
"It's important to continue promoting Japanese fashion in the Indian market."

Guests inspected the quality of hundreds of fashion items on display, such as neckties and accessories. A young office worker commented that Japanese clothes look very novel and she would feel good wearing them.
The Japanese government intends to organize more promotional events in India and capitalize on its growing fashion market.

海外の企業が 成長著しいインド市場に参入しようと躍起になっているなか、日本の経済産業省は、半年ごとに開催される「ライフスタイル インディア ファッション ウィーク」に合わせて「東京ファッション・ウィーク」を開催しました。これは日本の文化産業の海外展開を支援する「クール・ジャパン」事業の一環として行 われたもので、インドのファッション産業の代表らおよそ600人がさまざまなイベントに参加し、日本のデザイナーたちは鮮やかな色彩で異国情緒のあるデザ インの服などを呼び物とする作品を披露しました。


Japanese scientists say they have found a protein that helps burn fat following an intake of fatty meals. The discovery is likely to lead to the development of drugs to combat obesity.
A team of researchers at Kyoto University compared mice with a protein called GPR120 with those that do not have the protein. The GPR120 is known for its ability to recognize fat.
Researchers confirmed that the mice without the protein were heavier than those who had it by an average of 15 percent, and accumulated twice as much fat in their bodies.
The scientists also analyzed the genetic sequence of about 20,000 people in Europe. They found that people with mutant GPR120 genes were 1.6 times more likely to be obese.

(Gozo Tsujimoto / Prof., Kyoto University)
"The new discovery will lead to the development of drugs or foods to help prevent obesity and metabolic disorders."

The team's findings will be published in the British science journal "Nature."

京 都大学の研究チームは、GPR120と呼ばれるタンパク質を持っているマウスと、持っていないマウスを比較しました。GPR120は脂肪を感知する機能が あることが知られており、このタンパク質を持たないマウスは持っているマウスより平均15パーセント体重が重く、体内におよそ2倍の脂肪を蓄積しているこ とが確認されました。

2/29「リオのカーニバル 最高潮」

Things are heating up as people celebrate a famous festival in Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro's lavish carnival celebrations are reaching their climax with the start of the main event ? the samba competition.
Thirteen samba schools are vying to become this year's champion. The teams are judged on their music, choreography and presentation.
Every year, samba schools choose a different theme for the parades. Some portray famous figures in Brazilian history. Others offer tributes to the country's diverse peoples.
Rio officials say they expect more than five million people to enjoy the five-day festival. Among them are 850,000 tourists.



A court in southern China has ruled that the trademark for Apple's iPad tablet belongs to a Chinese firm and banned regional sales of Apple's device.
A major local newspaper, the Nanfang Daily, reports that the court in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, last Friday upheld a claim by Proview Technology that it does have rights to the iPad trademark in China.
The court also ordered electric appliance stores in Huizhou to stop selling Apple's tablet computer.
Proview Technology reportedly registered the iPad trademark worldwide around the year 2000. That's before Apple's tablet went on sale.
Apple says it bought the global trademark rights from Proview Group several years ago and accuses the group of violating the agreement made at that time.
Local media report that Proview Technology is saddled with huge debts, and raise speculation that the company may have teamed up with banks to try to squeeze money out of Apple in order to pay back its debts.


2/27「天皇陛下の手術 成功」

Japan's Emperor Akihito has successfully undergone a heart bypass operation after recently being diagnosed with angina. Doctors say the Emperor will be able to leave hospital in about two weeks.
The four-hour operation on his coronary arteries was carried out at the University of Tokyo Hospital on Saturday. He is now recovering in an intensive care unit.
His doctors spoke to reporters after the surgery.

(Ichiro Kanazawa / Imperial Household Agency medical official)
"The operation went smoothly and as planned. There was little bleeding during the surgery. The Emperor woke up from anesthesia smoothly, and was then taken to an intensive care unit shortly before 4 PM."

The doctors also said the timing of the operation was good, and that the Emperor's blood flow was found to have increased significantly after the operation.
They say the Emperor later told them that he was feeling well.
The doctors say they will be able to gauge how successful the operation was, only after the Emperor recuperates and resumes normal life.


2/24「ローマ 五輪招致を断念」

The Italian capital, Rome, has pulled out of the race to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The decision was made in light of the severe financial situation that Italy is currently facing.
The International Olympic Committee says it was notified by Rome of its withdrawal on Wednesday. That was the deadline for formal submission of documents for the bids. The IOC requires governmental financial guarantees from bidding cities.
Rome's withdrawal comes as the country struggles to deal with government debt at 120 percent of gross domestic product.
The host city will be decided at the IOC General Assembly in September 2013.
Rome's exit leaves five cities still in the 2020 race: Tokyo, Madrid, Istanbul, the Azerbaijan capital of Baku, and Doha in Qatar.

国 際オリンピック委員会によりますと、この決定は(オリンピック)招致に必要な書類を正式に提出する期限だった水曜日(2月15日)にローマから伝えられた ということです。IOC(国際オリンピック委員会)は、誘致を目指している都市に国から財政保証を取り付けるよう義務づけていますが、ローマの場合、イタ リアがGDPの120パーセントに上る債務処理に苦しんでいることから、撤退を決めたものです。

2/23「米大統領 中国副主席と会談」

U.S. President Barack Obama has welcomed China's leader-in-waiting. He greeted Vice President Xi Jinping at the White House.
Obama pressed him on some of the same issues he's stressed with other Chinese leaders.
Xi is expected to become head of the ruling Communist Party this fall.

(Xi Jinping / Chinese Vice President)
"I look forward to my in-depth discussion with you, President Obama."

Obama told Xi that China must play fair with its trade partners around the world.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"We want to work with China to make sure that everybody is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system."

Obama urged Xi to recognize the importance of human rights. He said increased responsibility goes hand in hand with power and prosperity.
Xi said he hopes his visit will deepen mutual understanding and lead to greater consensus. He said the countries should build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and interest, but he suggested the two need to acknowledge their differences.
U.S. leaders are extending an unprecedented level of hospitality to Xi. Vice President Joe Biden is accompanying him to most of his destinations.

習 近平氏が「オバマ大統領、あなたと突っ込んだ意見交換をしたいと思っています」と述べたのに対し、オバマ大統領は、中国は世界中の貿易相手国と公正に対応 しなければならないと述べ、「世界の経済システムについては、誰もが同じ交通ルールに従ってやっていけるように、中国と共に努力していきたい」と語りまし た。

2/22「原発事故の対処策 公表されず

A document submitted to the government two weeks after the Fukushima nuclear accident suggested that the Tokyo metropolitan area might have to be evacuated. But the government failed to acknowledge the existence of the document until the end of last year.
The Atomic Energy Commission report was compiled at the request of Naoto Kan, the prime minister at the time.
The commission's chief, Shunsuke Kondo, said the document explains possible contingencies following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident as well as preventive measures.
The report said massive amounts of radioactive materials could be dispersed from the plant if containment vessels were damaged, or used fuel was exposed to the air if water injection failed.
It said under such a scenario, residents would have to be evacuated from an area within 170 kilometers of the plant and within 250 kilometers on a voluntary basis. This would include the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The report recommended that various methods for cooling down the reactors should be used to avoid this serious situation.
Kan told NHK last September that his government had made a simulation based on the worst-case scenario. But the report was not treated as an official document until it was discovered in the commission's office at the end of last year.

報 告書によりますと、もし注水ができなくなって格納容器が壊れたり、使用済み燃料が露出したりした場合、大量の放射性物質が原発から放出される可能性があ り、そうなった場合には、原発から170キロ以内の住民は強制的に、250キロ以内の住民は自主的に避難させる必要があるとしています。これには首都圏も 含まれています。


We want to show you one of nature's great marvels as viewed from outer space.
NASA has released time-lapse footage of the aurora borealis as seen from the International Space Station.
These images recorded late last month show northern lights that look like green flames along the Earth's surface.
Still photos taken by a high-performance digital camera create the time-lapse sequence. NASA says the still images have higher resolution than video footage.
When charged particles released from the sun collide with the Earth's magnetic field, northern lights become visible.
Auroras were observed in Norway and much of northern Europe last month.



The cold snap that's had much of Europe in its grips since late last month has brought transportation on one of the region's key waterways to a standstill.
The Danube River flows for more than 2,800 kilometers through 10 countries, starting in southern Germany and ending in the Black Sea.
At least four countries, including Croatia and Romania, have suspended shipping on the Danube as up to 90 percent of the river's surface is covered with ice.
In northeastern Croatia on Friday, an ice breaker managed to rescue the crew of a cargo ship after it became stranded in the ice.
In Romania, where temperatures have dropped to nearly minus 30 degrees Celsius, ice up to 20 centimeters thick has forced some 30 vessels to take refuge in a southern port.


2/10「神戸ビーフ 海外へ」

High-quality Kobe beef has been shipped to China for the first time.
A truck carrying 200 kilograms of the beef left a meat-packing plant near Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, on Sunday.
Kobe beef refers to meat from the black Tajima-cattle breed grown in Hyogo Prefecture. The brand name can only be used for beef that meets the group's criteria.

(Tamio Kita / Trade group chairman)
"We pledge to expand overseas sales of Kobe beef to make it the world's most coveted brand."

Local traders say they decided to export the beef because of sluggish domestic consumption and strong sales of expensive beef overseas.
Another factor was Japan's moves toward joining negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
A meat wholesaler in Macau says Kobe beef is well known in Hong Kong and other parts of China, and the exports will be popular.
The beef will fetch about 65 dollars per 100 grams in Macau.


2/09「EU 財政規律を強化へ」

European Union leaders say they're getting serious about austerity.
They've reached yet another agreement to deal with their debt. This time, they're promising to rein in budget spending. They want to boost the confidence of investors.

(Angela Merkel / German Chancellor)
"Today, we have come to agree on a new fiscal treaty."

The agreement came at their first summit of the year in Brussels.
Twenty-five of the EU's 27 countries agreed to the fiscal compact. It would impose penalties on members whose fiscal deficit exceeds 0.5% of nominal GDP. Only Britain and the Czech Republic refused to back the new pact.
The leaders also agreed to launch a permanent bailout fund in July. That's one year earlier than planned.

(Herman Van Rompuy / EU President)
"We recognize that financial stability is in itself not enough to get out of the economic crisis. We must do more, in particular on economic growth."

The EU leaders also urged Greece to conclude negotiations with private bondholders to restructure its debt. If no deal is reached, Greece could default.
Germany proposed before the summit that Greece temporarily surrender control of its budget and fiscal authority to the European Commission, but the proposal met with strong opposition.


2/7「日本の人口 50年後は3分の2に」

A new report predicts that Japan's population will shrink dramatically.
The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research examined expected demographic trends through the year 2060. The researchers predicted the number of Japanese will shrink by about 40 million over the next half century.
The population stood at 128 million as of 2010.
The report says it will fall below 100 million by mid-century. By 2060, it is expected to drop to 86 million.
The average life expectancy for men was more than 79 years in 2010. The report says that figure is likely to rise to more than 84 years.
The average expectancy for women was more than 86 years in 2010. The average woman is expected to live longer than 90 years.
The proportion of the population aged 65 or older was about 23 percent in 2010.
The estimates suggest that proportion will reach 33 percent in 2035 and almost 40 percent in 2060.
Researchers predicted five years ago that the average number of babies born per woman by mid-century would be 1.26. This latest report says the average 50 years from now will increase slightly to 1.35.

国立社会保障・人口問題研究所は、2060年までの人口推計調査を行いました。その結果、 日本の人口は次の半世紀の間に4,000万人減少し、2010年の時点で1億2,800万人だった人口が、今世紀半ばまでには1億人を割り込んで、 2060年までには8,600万人まで落ち込むと報告書は述べています。

2/6「インドネシアデモ 賃上げで収束」
A strike by tens of thousands of workers in Indonesia is over. The Indonesian government arranged a settlement that got the workers a pay raise.
Thirty thousand workers staged walkouts at industrial parks near the Indonesian capital. They forced more than 2,000 factories to suspend operations. Nearly 1,000 of the factories were Japanese.
Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa mediated the dispute. Companies agreed to raise wages by up to 30 percent.
The Indonesian government pressed companies to make big concessions in a bid to stop the labor dispute from escalating and adversely affecting investment from overseas.


2/3「ハナミズキ 米から被災地へ」

The United States plans to give 3,000 dogwood seedlings to Japan this spring as a symbol of friendship and a sign of support.
In 1912, then Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gave the United States 3,000 cherry tree saplings. They were planted along the Potomac River in Washington D.C.
The city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival every spring. The event attracts people from across the U.S. who come to see the trees in bloom. The festival promotes friendship between Americans and Japanese.
Dogwood is native to North America. The Americans will give the trees 100 years after the gift of the cherry trees to Washington.
Dogwood flowers are white or pale pink and widely admired in the U.S.

1912年、当時の尾崎行雄・東京市 長は、アメリカに3,000本の桜の苗木を贈りました。それらの苗木は首都ワシントンのポトマック河畔に植えられ、ワシントンでは毎年春に「桜祭り」が行 われます。「桜祭り」には満開の桜を見ようと全米から人々が集まり、日米親善に一役買っています。

2/2「大相撲 把瑠都が初優勝」

Welcome to the sports report. Today we're going to sum up the New Year's sumo tournament.
Estonian Ozeki Baruto sewed up the championship on Friday, but he still came into the final day like a man with something to prove. So did his opponent.
A perfect record would be the way to silence any doubters.
On the other hand, Yokozuna Hakuho needed to demonstrate that he still was a force to be reckoned with, despite three losses.
Hakuho gets hold of Baruto's left arm and takes control. The yokozuna maintains a relentless charge and makes sure Baruto won't forget who he's dealing with. Baruto ends up with one loss, but still leaves with a smile.
Baruto's mother came from Estonia to watch him receive the Emperor's Cup. His wife was also there.

(Baruto)"I can do it if I try!"

(Interviewer)"What do you want to say to your mother?"

(Baruto)"I wouldn't be here without her, so I would like to say, 'Thank you, Mother!' "

Twenty-seven-year-old Baruto is the ninth rikishi from outside Japan to win a top division title.



Koreans will be celebrating the Lunar New Year next week, and some North Koreans are in for an unexpected treat. Defectors in the South attached chocolate cakes to balloons, and floated them across the border.
The defectors launched the balloons from an island just south of the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.
They sent up 100 kilograms of cakes called Choco Pies. These cakes are popular among South Koreans ? and among those North Koreans who can get them.
North Koreans value Choco Pies so much that they've started using them instead of foreign currency to pay for rice.

(Choco Pie launcher)
"We chose Choco Pies because they're the best way to show that the gifts are from South Korea."

The defectors are planning to float more Choco Pies into North Korea when they have a chance.


1/31「16歳の少女 ヨットで単独世界一周」

A Dutch sailor has made a solo round-the-world voyage at the age of 16.
Laura Dekker left the Caribbean island of St. Martin last January in her 11.5-meter sailboat "Guppy."
After crossing the Pacific and Indian Oceans, she sailed back to the Caribbean on Saturday from the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. Her parents and supporters gave her a warm welcome.
During her 50,000-kilometer voyage, her boat almost collided with a cargo ship and got caught in a severe storm.

(Laura Dekker)
"There were moments that I was like, what the hell am I doing out here, but I never wanted to stop. It's a dream, and I wanted to do it."

She claims to be the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat, but her achievement is not officially recognized. Guinness World Records has abolished this category to prevent minors from making reckless voyages.


1/30「オバマ大統領 一般教書演説」

U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants to lead 'an America built to last.'
Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. He dedicated much of his speech to rebuilding the U.S. economy.
He'll face voters this November in a presidential election.
Obama stressed that he wants a society where everyone is equally rewarded.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."

The president expressed his determination to raise taxes on the wealthy. His insistence flies in the face of Republicans, who oppose tax increases on the rich.
He outlined his foreign policy by recapping his successes in the war on terror.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country."

Obama had tested out some of these themes before. He's expected to repeat many of these lines during his campaign for reelection.

「私 たちは一握りの豊かな人々がどんどん減っていき、かろうじて生きていけるような(貧しい)アメリカ人がどんどん増えていくような国にすることもできれば、 経済を建て直して誰もが公平な機会を与えられ、誰もが公平な負担を担い、誰もが同じルールの下で行動できるような国にすることもできるのです」

1/27「東大 秋に入学へ」

The University of Tokyo is considering a major change to its academic term. It has proposed enrolling students in autumn, rather than spring, to bring it in line with the global norm.
A Japanese government survey found that 70 percent of the world's universities enroll students in the autumn, but Japanese students usually begin their courses in April.
A University of Tokyo panel released an interim report on Wednesday with ideas on how it can respond to globalization.
The report said shifting the academic year would make it easier for Japanese students to study abroad, but it also noted that most Japanese companies hire new employees in spring. The six-month gap after graduation could place an extra financial burden on students.
The university aims to begin autumn enrollments in 2017.



Two passengers have been rescued one day after a luxury cruise ship ran aground off central Italy. Rescue workers are searching for over 40 people who are still unaccounted for.
The Costa Concordia hit a small island near Tuscany at around 10 PM local time on Friday, then listed and became stranded.
The ship was carrying over 4,200 passengers and crew. At least three people are confirmed dead.
Early on Sunday, investigators rescued a South Korean couple trapped in the ship. Divers are searching for other people feared missing in the ocean.
Many passengers were having dinner when the ship ran aground. Witnesses said no emergency instructions were given at the time, and passengers panicked and scrambled to the lifeboats.
Investigators have detained the captain of the vessel and are looking into why the ship had deviated from its regular route.



Japan is seeking cooperation of its biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia. That's to ensure a stable supply of crude oil as sanctions on Iranian oil exports loom.
Parliamentary vice industry minister Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa met Saudi Arabia's Deputy Oil Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on Sunday.
Yanagisawa said a stable supply of crude oil is indispensable for Japan and that Saudi Arabia is a reliable supplier. Abdul Aziz responded by assuring that his country will remain a dependable supplier to Japan.
Yanagisawa's visit follows that of Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba earlier this month.
Iran threatens to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping lane, if the U.S. and European nations impose sanctions against the country over its nuclear development.

経 済産業省の柳澤光美政務官は日曜日(1月15日)、サウジアラビアの首都リヤドで、アブドルアジズ石油次官と会談し、日本にとって安定的な原油の供給は不 可欠であり、サウジアラビアは信頼する供給国だと述べました。(これに対して)アブドルアジズ次官は、サウジアラビアはこれからも日本への信頼に足る供給 国であり続けると保証しました。

1/24「日本企業 米での特許取得で躍進」

In the race for U.S. patents, Japanese companies earned six out of the top 10 spots last year. The strong showing comes as Japanese firms contend with stiffer competition in the U.S. market.
U.S. research firm IFI Claims Patent Services released its annual report on patents this week.
IBM came out on top last year with 6,180 patents, holding on to its first place finish for the 19th straight year.
Korea's Samsung was the runner-up for the second year in a row.
Japan's Canon came in third. Other top 10 finishers included Panasonic and Toshiba.
The issue for Japanese businesses is whether they can turn their R&D prowess into profit.
The total number of patents granted in the United States reached a record of over 224,000, up two percent from a year earlier. The rise was partly due to an increase in patents related to automobiles and mobile phones.


1/23「台湾 馬総統が再選」

Voters in Taiwan have reelected their president.
The incumbent Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party has won the presidential race. Ma has worked to boost the economy by improving relations with China.
Ma appeared in front of his supporters in Taipei.

(Ma Ying-jeou / Taiwanese President)
"This is a victory not only for me, but for all Taiwanese. The people of Taiwan have agreed to set aside our issues with China and strive for peace and make business opportunities out of difficulties."

Ma fought a close race with Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
Tsai thanked her supporters and admitted defeat. She told them her efforts just weren't enough, and she said she will resign as leader of the party.


1/20「専門知識持つ外国人 受け入れ促進」

Japan will introduce a point-based immigration system to allow more foreigners with professional skills to become residents.
The move is meant to maintain international competitiveness despite the country's rapidly aging population.
The Justice Ministry will install the new system in April, in line with a government decision made in 2010.
The plan would give preferential treatment to university professors and people working in academics and research. Doctors and other professionals with specific knowledge, or skills, along with corporate executives and upper managers will also be favored.
Education, working experience, Japanese language proficiency, and other qualifications will be evaluated by a point system. Those who satisfy a certain total score will qualify for preferential treatment.
If qualified, applicants can apply for permanent residency after living in Japan for five years, instead of the usual 10.
They could also bring their own domestic helpers to Japan, a perk that currently only a handful of people can obtain.
About 2,000 people are expected to qualify for preferential treatment each year once the system is in place.

計 画は、大学教授や学術研究の分野で働く人々に優遇措置を与えようというもので、医師をはじめ特殊な技能を持つ専門家、それに企業の幹部や上級管理職なども 含まれます。そして学歴や職歴、日本語の習熟度、その他の資格などをポイントで評価し、合計点が一定以上に達した人に優遇措置を与えるとしています。

1/19「米共和党 ロムニー氏連勝」

Mitt Romney has claimed victory in the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire. He also won last week's Iowa caucuses.
ABC News says that with 95 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had 39 percent of the vote. Ron Paul was a distant second with 23 percent.
Romney was widely expected to win New Hampshire, which is virtually his base. The state is next door to Massachusetts, where he served as governor.
The race now moves on to the conservative South Carolina.
In his victory speech, Romney vowed to unseat President Obama in November's election.

(Mitt Romney / Republican candidate)
"Tonight, we're asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time."

Romney is a moderate. He won the support of many local politicians. Then he rode in on the strength of his organization.


1/18「ユーロ圏の失業率 最悪のまま

For people in Europe, finding a job is not getting any easier, and in some countries, it's just getting a lot harder. The unemployment rate in eurozone nations remained at a record high of 10.3 percent in November.
It shows that the region's spreading credit worries are still having a negative impact.
The EU's statistics office, Eurostat, released the data Friday. The figures cover the 17 nations that use the euro.
Joblessness was unchanged from October. That's when the eurozone recorded its highest unemployment rate since the introduction of the single currency in 1999.
People looking for work in Spain are having the toughest go of it. The country marked the highest-ever jobless figure among member states at 22.9 percent.
Unemployment in Spain was especially high among people 25 years old and younger. It hit 49.6 percent.
The lowest unemployment rate among eurozone states was recorded in Austria at 4.0%.

ヨーロッパの人々にとって職探しは簡単にはなってきておらず、国によってはますます困難な状況になってきています。ユーロ圏の国々では、11月の失業率は 10.3パーセントと過去最悪の状態が続いており、ユーロ圏に広がる信用不安が依然として悪影響を与えていることが明らかになりました。
職 探しが最も難しいのはスペインで、失業率はユーロ圏の中でもこれまでで最悪の22.9パーセントに達しています。中でも25歳以下の若者の失業率は特に高 く、49.6パーセントに上っています。ユーロ圏の中で失業率が最も低かったのは、オーストリアの4.0パーセントでした。

12/08「在イラン英大使館 襲撃」

Iran is facing international condemnation after an attack on the British Embassy in Tehran.
Students stormed the compound to protest against Britain's new economic sanctions over their country's nuclear program.
About 1,000 people gathered outside the embassy on Tuesday. Around 50 of them entered the compound. They smashed windows, threw documents outside and burned the British flag.
Riot police removed the protesters from the embassy about four hours after the intrusion.
Iran's state-run media is reporting that protesters burst into another British Embassy compound in Tehran's north end. Six embassy officials were reportedly detained.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokespeople say their country is committed to international law. They called the attack on the embassy regrettable.


12/07「米 クリスマス商戦」
The United States is, of course, dealing with its own economic troubles, but folks there try to forget about them on this day.
The Christmas shopping season is now officially open, and shoppers are pouring into stores on the hunt for deep discounts.
This is traditionally known as Black Friday. Sales are supposed to be so good that any shop, in theory, can get into the black for the year.
Many stores open hours earlier than usual. A toy shop in New York's Times Square, for example, threw its doors open at 9 PM on Thursday. About 1,500 people lined up at a big discount appliance store in Manhattan, counting the minutes until the midnight opening.

"I've been here since 12 PM. So it's about 12 hours now."

The U.S. National Retail Federation says sales during this Black Friday will grow 2.8 percent from last year. It does note though that consumers will be spending about 700 dollars this holiday season. That is below last year's level.

多 くの店が普段より何時間も早く店を開きます。例えば、ニューヨークのタイムズスクエアのおもちゃ販売店は、(前日の)木曜日(11月24日)の午後9時に 開店しました。また、マンハッタンの大手家電量販店では、午前0時の開店を待っておよそ1,500人が列を作りました。

12/06「米パキスタン関係 岐路に」
The Pakistani government says it has closed the supply routes of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan in retaliation for the killing of 24 Pakistani troops in the country's northwest.
NATO helicopters crossed the border and attacked Pakistani military posts on Saturday.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani convened an emergency meeting of the Cabinet Defence Committee on Saturday night.
At the meeting, they decided to block shipments of fuel and other materials to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

(Yusuf Raza Gilani / Pakistani Prime Minister)
"We will not let any harm come to the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan."

They also decided to ask U.S. officials to vacate, within 15 days, a Pakistani air base in Baluchistan used by U.S. forces for drone strikes.
The Pakistani government says it will completely review all cooperative arrangements with U.S. and NATO forces.
A Pakistani government official says the closure will be indefinite, raising the possibility that this could affect military operations in Afghanistan.
NATO spokesperson Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson said it is highly likely that NATO troops engaged in an operation in eastern Afghanistan were behind the deadly attack. The U.S. government says it will thoroughly investigate the incident.


12/05「大阪維新の会 圧勝」

Grassroots movements seem to be finding their footing in Japan.
Candidates from an independent party won elections on Sunday for mayor and for prefectural governor of Osaka. Osaka is the country's second-largest business center.
The winning candidates ran on a platform of creating a metropolis with an administrative structure similar to Tokyo.
Former Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto won the election for mayor. He took over as governor in 2008. He took bold steps to cut the prefectural government's spending.
He formed a new party, the Osaka Restoration Association. Then he resigned as governor in mid-term. He said he needed the power of the mayor's post to realize his plan. Hashimoto says his program of reforms will eliminate overlapping services from the prefectural and municipal governments.
Hashimoto says his party will consider fielding candidates in the next Lower House election if the central government and major political parties do not support his reforms.
His party colleague Ichiro Matsui won the election for governor. Matsui said he will work to push through Hashimoto's program of reforms.

橋 下氏は「大阪維新の会」という新しい政党を立ち上げ、今回は任期途中で知事を辞職したもので、自分の計画(である大阪都構想)を実現するためには、市長と しての権限が必要だったと語りました。橋下氏は改革計画について、大阪府と大阪市が提供する行政サービスの重複をなくすことだと述べ、中央政府と主要政党 から改革への支持が得られない場合は、次の衆議院選挙で大阪維新の会から候補者を擁立する考えがあることを明らかにしました。

11/25「携帯用電波割り当て 競売方式へ」

Japan plans to auction bandwidth for high-speed 4th generation mobile phones. The move comes amid increased popularity of smart devices.
Until now, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has selected carriers and provided free bandwidth after screening the carriers' business plans. But with demand increasing, the ministry plans to make the procedure transparent by cutting government regulation.
The ministry believes it will earn billions of dollars in income from the auction, after observing similar bidding systems abroad. That would provide much-needed revenue for the state.
Fourth generation phones are expected to be put into practical use in 2015.


11/24「ブータン国王夫妻 歓迎」
The king and queen of the Himalayan nation of Bhutan attended a state banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema are on a six-day state visit to Japan.
At the banquet, Crown Prince Naruhito welcomed the guests on behalf of Emperor Akihito, who is now in the hospital. About 150 people, including Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, attended the banquet.
In a message read by the crown prince, the emperor said it's a pleasure to welcome Bhutan's king and queen so soon after their marriage.
The emperor also expressed gratitude to the Himalayan country for the aid extended to victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

(King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck / Bhutan)
"I saw it in the outpouring of support for Japan in March, with people from all over Bhutan visiting temples and monasteries to pray for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami."

Bhutan's royal couple will visit disaster-hit Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Friday to encourage children there.



Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says his country will start talking with countries involved with the TPP.

(Yoshihiko Noda / Japanese Prime Minister)
"We will try to gather information, including what those nations seek from Japan. The government will draw its conclusion on the TPP from the standpoint of Japan's national interests and after a sufficient public debate."

Noda says the TPP is the foundation of a future free trade zone across the region. He says Japan wants to play a leading role.
Noda says Japan wants to grow its economy to pay for social security and for recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. Japan's population is aging, and the country faces severe restrictions on energy since the disaster.
Noda says Japan needs a strategy for turning these challenges into growth.
The prime minister says his government plans to come up with a strategy for revival by the end of this year.


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been opened to reporters for the first time since the accident occurred eight months ago.
On Saturday, reporters wearing protective gear and full face masks headed to the site of the accident. They were told to stay on a bus during the one-hour tour to minimize exposure to radiation.

(Yoshihiro Nemoto / NHK World)
"It's been eight months since the nuclear accident, and the scale of destruction is all too obvious."

The entourage saw reactor buildings that were severely damaged by hydrogen explosions.
The plant was hit by a massive tsunami on March 11th. The reporters could finally see first-hand the intensity of the explosions and the overwhelming power of the tsunami.
Members of the tour were not allowed to leave the bus, but they were able to see people doing repair work outside.
The media has repeatedly asked the government and TEPCO to let them inside the plant ever since the March disaster. The request was finally granted Saturday as the government has judged that the reactors have become stable enough.


11/21「米大統領 アジア太平洋を最重点に」

President Obama is shifting his country's focus to the east.
He unveiled his plans for the Asia-Pacific in a speech before Australia's parliament. Obama is thinking about security, but he's also mindful of what Americans at home will get out of a stronger presence in this region.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"As the world's fastest growing region and home to more than half of the global economy, the Asia-Pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority, and that's creating jobs and opportunities for the American people."

Obama said the U.S. is shifting away from a long period of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region."

The president also spoke about the U.S. alliance with Japan.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"We see America's enhanced presence in the alliance that we've strengthened: In Japan, where our alliance remains a cornerstone of regional security."

Obama said reductions in U.S. defense spending will not come at the expense of the Asia-Pacific region.

オバマ大統領はオーストラリア議会で演説し、今後のアジア太平洋戦略を明ら かにしました。大統領は安全保障という問題だけでなく、この地域により強い存在感を示すことによってアメリカ国民が得る利益も考慮し、「世界で最も著しい 成長を遂げ、世界経済の半分以上を占めるアジア太平洋地域は、アメリカ国民の雇用を創出しチャンスを広げるという私の最優先課題を実現する上で、極めて重 要な地域です」と述べました。
大統領はまた、アメリカが長年に及んだイラクとアフガニスタンでの戦争の時代に別れを告げようとしているとして、 「10年にわたって多くの犠牲者を出し、多額の資金を費やした二つの戦争を終えて、アメリカは今、大きな潜在力を持つアジア太平洋地域に目を向けようとし ています」と語りました。
さらに、大統領は日米の同盟関係について、「アメリカは同盟関係を強化した国での存在感を強めています。日本との同盟関 係は地域の安全保障の(重要な)拠点であり続けます」として、アメリカの軍事費が削減されても、アジア太平洋地域にその影響が及ぶことはないと述べまし た。


Talking robots have been around for over 20 years. Now they can even communicate through sign language.
Japanese carmaker Honda Motor has released its newest humanoid model with dexterous fingers.
At a news conference on Tuesday, the new ASIMO robot demonstrated that it can communicate in sign language.

"I'm now studying sign language."

With its improved hands, ASIMO is now smarter and more flexible.
ASIMO's smoother hand movements come from an increase in knuckles from 2 to 13. Now the robot can even twist open a bottle.
ASIMO uses sensors to get a more accurate reading of its environment. This allows the humanoid to run faster and maneuver through crowds


11/17「オリンパス 損失隠しを認める」

The evidence was too damning ... The pressure too great ...
The leaders of Olympus admitted on Tuesday the company used massive payments connected with corporate buyouts to hide investment losses.
The issue of Olympus's dubious corporate takeovers has now become a question of whether the company engaged in illegal accounting. Investigators from a third-party panel found the practice began in the 1990s.
The firm was found to have used more than 1.2 billion dollars to cover up its losses. The company president earlier insisted the amount was appropriate for corporate takeovers.
Olympus paid consultants an unusually large fee of almost 700 million dollars to assist in the buyout of a British medical equipment maker. The company also purchased three domestic companies at an inflated price.
Former CEO Michael Woodford pointed out the irregularities to the firm's chairman and board. He was suddenly dismissed last month. Olympus eventually appointed the third-party committee to investigate the extraordinary expenditures.

証拠はあまりにも明白で…… 圧力はあまりにも強力でした……。
こ れによってオリンパスの不明朗な企業買収という問題は、オリンパスが違法な会計処理をしていたかどうかという問題に焦点が移ってきました。第三者委員会に よる調査の結果、(損失隠しという)慣行は1990年代から始まっており、これまでに12億ドル(1,000億円)以上が損失を隠すために使われていたこ とが判りました。
オリンパスの社長は、これまで企業買収に支払った金額は妥当なものだったと主張していましたが、イギリスの医療機器メーカーを買 収した際にオリンパスは仲介役の会社におよそ7億ドル(600億円)という非常に高い報酬を払っていたほか、国内の企業3社も法外な値段で買い取っていま した。

11/16「IAEA イラン核開発を報告」

The International Atomic Energy Agency has raised new concerns about Iran. An agency report says the country has carried out tests related to the development of nuclear weapons.
The IAEA presented its latest findings on Iran on Tuesday. According to the report, Iran has conducted tests of high-tech explosives needed to develop nuclear weapons.
It says the tests were done at a chamber built in a military facility in 2000. The experiments reportedly simulate the initial stage of a nuclear explosion.
The report also says Iran carried out a series of computer and other tests around 2003 to check the strength of warheads to be mounted on missiles.
It adds that the warheads are highly likely to carry nuclear materials.
The IAEA insists the research is relevant only to nuclear weapons. It's calling on the country to provide an explanation. The agency will take up the issue at a board meeting.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied the charge. Speaking in Teheran on Tuesday, he claimed the IAEA report was fabricated by the United States.


11/15「ダライ・ラマ 石巻で慰霊」

It has been nearly eight months since the earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan.
The Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama, has attended a memorial service for victims in one of the areas hit hardest by the disaster.
The Dalai Lama visited a temple in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday. About 1,000 people were there to welcome him.
At the temple's main hall, he chanted a Buddhist sutra dedicated to the victims.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said he wanted to share in the sorrow for the victims.

(Dalai Lama)
"With determination, with honesty, and with Japanese spirit of cooperation, you must build this town, rebuild this town."

The mayor of Ishinomaki said that he was grateful for the words of encouragement.
After the ceremony, children presented the Dalai Lama with a bouquet and a large fishing-boat flag ? a common sight in fishing ports. The flag had his name written on it.



Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised to resign after an economic reform bill has cleared parliament.
The presidential office made the announcement on Tuesday.
President Giorgio Napolitano met Berlusconi earlier in the day after the prime minister lost his parliamentary majority in a vote that was seen as a test of his leadership.
The budget bill was passed when Berlusconi's governing coalition garnered 308 votes, but failed to win a majority in the 630-member lower house. Many lawmakers abstained from voting.


11/11「ボリショイ劇場 復活」

Russia's historic Bolshoi Theater has reopened after six years of restoration work.
A concert was held on Friday to mark its reopening in Moscow with about 1,700 guests from all over the world.
The theater's main building was erected more than 150 years ago, and it had undergone renovations since 2005.
President Dmitry Medvedev hailed the reopening of the brand-new theater.

(Dmitry Medvedev / Russian President)
"The Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest symbols of Russia."

The concert featured opera and ballet pieces written by Russian composers. Performers dressed as construction workers sang of their joy.
The Bolshoi's red and white interior is decorated with gold leaf, reviving the style of the Romanov dynasty.
It also has state-of-the-art audio and stage equipment.


The Greek prime minister is now calling for a referendum.
George Papandreou has repeated that he will call on everyone in the country to vote on the EU plan to bail out Greece.
Papandreou announced on Monday that he would hold a referendum on the EU debt deal, after holding a vote of confidence on his Cabinet in parliament on Friday.
He held an emergency Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and expressed his resolve.
The Cabinet ministers supported the plan, but opposition parties are against a referendum. They are demanding a general election instead.
While the ruling camp holds a narrow majority in parliament, not all the lawmakers within the ruling party agree with the prime minister's plan. Some of them have even in fact called for his resignation.
Given these factors, it remains uncertain whether Papandreou can gain a majority in Friday's vote of confidence.

与 党陣営は国会でわずかに過半数を上回っていますが、すべての与党議員が首相の計画に同意しているわけではなく、中には首相の辞任を求めている与党議員もい るだけに、パパンドレウ首相が金曜日(11月4日)の信任投票で過半数を得(て信任され)るかどうかは微妙な情勢です。

11/09「大王製紙 前会長を告訴へ」

One of Japan's biggest paper manufacturers will file a criminal complaint against its former chairman over 140 million dollars in dubious loans from group companies.

(Masayoshi Sako / President, Daio Paper)
"We're going to consult a lawyer and file a suit in light of our own investigation."

Daio Paper found that its former chairman Mototaka Ikawa borrowed 140 million dollars from seven companies in the group from May last year to September this year.
It says Ikawa used the money for personal purposes and still hasn't paid back 78 million dollars.
It says Ikawa told group company executives to lend him the money without getting approval from the board of directors. It says Ikawa didn't put up any collateral.
The report also says Ikawa's subordinates didn't feel they could challenge him because he's a grandson of the company's founder.
Sources tell NHK that most of the 140 million dollars was transferred to overseas accounts connected with casinos.


11/08「世界人口 70億を突破」

The world population has reached 7 billion.
The United Nations says it will celebrate the births of all babies born on Monday as the 7 billionth member of the human race.
The UN says humankind has more than doubled over the past half century from 3 billion in 1959.
It adds the size of humanity is expected to continue its rapid growth and will reach 10 billion by the end of this century.
The United Nations says inhabitants of Asia, the most of any continent, are projected to reach 5.2 billion by the mid-21st century.
The African population is due to extend to 3.6 billion ? triple the current number ? by the year 2100, but the size of industrialized nations, such as those of Japan and Europe, is forecasted to fall because of low birthrates.
The average birthrate in those nations stands at 1.7, which is short of the 2.1 level required to maintain a steady population.
The United Nations warns that the growing number of people is likely to worsen problems facing the international community. They include poverty in developing countries, water shortages, and heavy urbanization, where humanity concentrates in major cities.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says while celebrating the births of the new babies, he will call on the international community to make greater efforts to address these problems.


11/07「ユネスコ パレスチナ加盟を承認」

UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural body, voted Monday to give Palestine full membership. It's the first UN organization to do so.
(Katalin Bogyay / UNESCO Assembly President)
"Ladies and gentlemen, the general conference has thus voted to adopt the draft resolution and decided to admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO."

The motion, which required two-thirds approval, passed with 107 votes in favor, 14 against and 52 abstentions.
UNESCO can grant full membership to states, whether or not they are full UN members. The Paris-based body has been classifying Palestine as an observer entity.
Palestine is also trying to win full UN membership.
Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the bid a unilateral move by Palestine that goes against the road to peace.
The United States, the closest ally of Israel, says it will halt a planned 60 million dollar payment to UNESCO. The transfer was due in November.

(Victoria Nuland / U.S. State Department spokesperson)
"Today's vote by the member states of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member is regrettable, premature and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."



A firm set up by Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, is planning to launch a civilian spacecraft within a year.
It unveiled the world's first commercial spaceport in a remote patch of desert in the western U.S. The facility includes a 3,000-meter-long runway.
NHK World's Alex Kirst starts off our coverage.

(Alex Kirst / NHK World)
"A new era of space travel is beginning. Virgin's new home moves it one step closer to its anticipated 2012 debut launch. Virgin, among other companies, hopes to transform the concept of space, turning New Mexico into the new home of private space flight and anyone into an astronaut."

About 800 guests watched a flyover by a Virgin Galactic aircraft at Monday's opening ceremony. It will ferry a rocket carrying passengers to an altitude of 16 kilometers.
Then the rocket itself will climb to more than 100 kilometers above Earth. Six passengers and two pilots will be on board. They'll be able to experience weightlessness for about five minutes during the two-and-a-half hour flight.

宇 宙旅行の新時代が始まろうとしています。ヴァージンの新拠点(の完成)によって、2012年に予定されている初打ち上げに一歩近づきました。ヴァージンを はじめとする各社は宇宙に対する発想を変え、ニューメキシコを個人的な宇宙飛行の拠点として、誰もが宇宙飛行士になれることを目指しています。


Lithium-ion batteries are used to power computers and mobile phones. The batteries contain cobalt ? a rare metal. Its price fluctuates and it is produced in only a limited number of countries.
Now, Japanese researchers say they have developed lithium-ion batteries without using cobalt.
Osaka University Associate Professor Yasushi Morita and Osaka City University Professor Takeji Takui led the research. They used an organic material produced from petroleum, instead of cobalt.
The group says the new batteries can store nearly double the amount of electricity compared with existing models.
Their discharge capacity will be reduced by about 30 percent after using the battery about 100 times, but the production method is less costly and the new batteries are lighter, too.

(Yasushi Morita / Associate Prof., Osaka University)
"The new batteries could pave the way for the development of lighter devices, such as smartphones, and they can also be used for a longer period of time.
We hope to apply the method to car batteries in the future as well. We believe we can make more improvements by working with the private sector."

森 田准教授は「この新しい電池は、従来より軽い機器の開発を可能にします。例えばスマートフォンですが、これまでより長時間使えるようにもなるでしょう。ま た、将来は自動車の電池にも応用したいと考えています。民間企業と協力すれば、さらに改良できると信じています」と話しています。


Visitors at Takabe Shrine, east of Tokyo, were treated to a special performance on Monday, when a chef prepared food for the gods.
The ritual reportedly dates back about 1,000 years to pray for a good harvest. The shrine in Chiba Prefecture is dedicated to the god of cooking.
The chef carefully cut up a 70-centimeter sea bream, using only a knife and chopsticks. It was then laid out in the shape of a chrysanthemum.
The technique was developed so that human hands don't touch the food for the gods and defile it.

"I feel like I've been purified. I'm a chef, so my attitude toward cooking will change."


10/25「英首相側近 公文書を投棄」
A British tabloid has reported that an aide to Prime Minister David Cameron disposed of work-related documents in trash cans in a London park near Downing Street.
The Daily Mirror reported on Friday that Cameron's chief policy advisor, Oliver Letwin, was seen dumping more than 100 papers in St James's Park on five separate days, from last month through October 10th.
The tabloid revealed photographs showing him throwing the documents away.
Reports say the discarded papers included a document containing constituents' personal details, such as phone numbers, and another made by a parliamentary committee on the transfer of terror suspects.
A spokesperson for Letwin says he sometimes disposed of documents in the park before going to work, but insists none of these papers carried classified information.
But the revelation has led to increased criticism of the government's handling of sensitive information.

(大 衆紙)「デイリー・ミラー」は金曜日(10月14日)、キャメロン首相の政策調整を担当する高官のオリバー・レトウィン氏が、先月から今月(10月)10 日までの間に5回にわたって、合わせて100枚以上の文書をセント・ジェームズ公園で捨てているところを目撃されたと伝え、レトウィン氏が書類を捨ててい る写真も掲載しました。


A fruit grower in Fukushima has found herself in the spotlight. The UN food agency has awarded the woman for her contribution to advances in agriculture.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization recognized 62-year-old Satoko Anzai as a model farmer. She operates a farm in Fukushima City and is the first Japanese to be awarded by the FAO.
The award ceremony was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday. Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presented the award.
Anzai grows peaches, apples and other fruit with her husband and son. She is known for her pioneering work in developing chemical-free cultivation methods with high yields.
She has also organized a nationwide network that studies agricultural management from a woman's standpoint.
The FAO says it hopes that Anzai's win will boost the spirits of those suffering from the March 11th disaster and subsequent nuclear crisis.

(Satoko Anzai)
"There are farmers who can't farm even if they want to in Fukushima. The award carries their feelings. I want to turn Fukushima back to normal."

Anzai's home and warehouse were damaged in the quake and tsunami, but she offered food and support to those who fled their homes near the crippled nuclear power plant.


10/21「ミャンマー 政治犯を釈放」

Myanmar's government began freeing prisoners on Wednesday, one day after it announced an amnesty for more than 6,300 detainees.
The government has extended the amnesty to both political and other prisoners.
President Thein Sein released a statement on Tuesday, saying his government would free exactly 6,359 detainees.
NHK filmed prisoners leaving a prison in Yangon on Wednesday.
The opposition National League for Democracy, or NLD, says it has confirmed that at least 100 political prisoners have been released so far.

(Aung San Suu Kyi)
"I want all political prisoners to be freed as soon as possible."

The move is seen as the government's attempt to appease pro-democracy groups.
Western nations have imposed economic sanctions on Myanmar, and have said the release of political prisoners is a condition for lifting the restrictions.


10/20「ジョブズ氏 世界が追悼」
Apple's co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs has died. He was 56.
Apple announced on its website on Wednesday that "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being." The company's staff also mourned its mentor by saying "his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
Born in California, Jobs founded the firm in Silicon Valley in 1976. His revolutionary products made personal computers more friendly and accessible to people, especially young adults. His strategy created a boom in personal computing worldwide.
However, at one point, Jobs was ousted from Apple due to internal conflict among executives. Jobs was away from the firm for nearly 10 years, and Apple suffered a downturn.
He surprised the world by making a comeback as the firm's consultant. With even more innovative gadgets, Jobs successfully revived Apple.

(Steve Jobs / Former Apple CEO)
"The ones who succeed are people that come ... Sometimes they don't even want to start a company. They just have an idea that they want to get out, express it out into the world. You have to be passionate about it, because it's so difficult."

His charismatic sense of management grabbed the heart of users, and it made Apple the world's largest company in terms of market capitalization.

アップルは水曜日(10月 5日)、ウェブサイト上に「アップルは先見性に富み、創造力にあふれた天才を失いました。そして世界はすばらしい人物を失いました」という告知を出しまし た。また、アップルの社員は「彼の精神は永遠にアップルの礎となるでしょう」と述べて、優れた指導者の死を悼みました。
ジョ ブズ氏は生前のインタビューの中で、「成功する人たちというのは……会社を作ろうなんて思っていないにしても、とにかくアイデイアがあってそれを表に出し たい、世界に向けて表現したいと思っている人々です。ただそれは大変なことで、情熱がなければできないと思います」と話していました。

「タイ洪水 日系企業を直撃」

Floods in Thailand are having a major impact on Japanese firms that operate there.
Thailand has had record rainfall since July. Its government says that over 260 people have died, and about 2.4 million have suffered damage, including flooding of their homes.
In Ayutthaya, about a hundred kilometers north of Bangkok, Japanese automaker Honda had to stop production at a plant that was flooded.
Other Japanese firms also had to bring their factories to a halt. These include makers of automotive parts and electrical appliances.
Toyota, located in the suburbs of Bangkok, has not been able to get some parts since last Wednesday. The automaker has had to reduce output.
More damage is feared. Thailand's meteorological authority warns that more heavy rain is forecast through the end of this month.


10/18「デクシア 分割・再編へ」
The governments of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg are paying billions of dollars to keep a troubled bank afloat.
The French and Belgian governments agreed Sunday to measures to help rebuild Dexia. The bank's board approved the plan in the early hours of Monday.
Dexia released a statement saying the bank will be split up. The Belgian government will pay four billion euros, or more than five billion dollars, to nationalize Dexia Bank Belgium, which is in relatively good health.
The bank is seeking help from two financial institutions in France to help its French division.
Dexia says a state-run investment group from Qatar has agreed to buy the Luxemburg division. It says it will hold onto its retail operations, which are left with an enormous amount of bad assets.
The three governments will guarantee up to 90 billion euros, or 120 billion dollars, in financing over the next 10 years, so Dexia can rebuild its retail arm.
Dexia's financial difficulty stems from a cash flow problem it has because it holds large volumes of Greek and Italian government bonds. Both countries are dealing with large sovereign debt.
Now, this is the first time governments have split up a major financial institution suffering from the negative impact of Europe's credit crisis.


Three women have been jointly awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize. They have contributed to achieving the full participation of women in peace activism.

(Norwegian Nobel Committee)
"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 is to be divided into three equal parts ? between Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman ? for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winners on Friday.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa's first democratically elected female president. She has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development and strengthening the position of women.
Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee worked hard to bring the long war in Liberia to an end, and to ensure a woman's right to participate in elections.
Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman played a leading part in the struggle for women's democratic rights and peace activism in Yemen.

ノルウェーのノーベル賞選考委員会は金曜日(10 月7日)に受賞者の発表を行い、代表が「ノルウェー・ノーベル賞選考委員会は2011年のノーベル平和賞をエレン・ジョンソンサーリーフ氏、レイマ・ボ ウィ氏、タワクル・カルマン氏の3人に贈ることを決定しました。(3人は)女性の安全と、女性が平和構築の活動に全面的に参加する権利を向上させること に、非暴力闘争を通じて貢献しました」と述べました。

Japan's smartphone market is heating up. Mobile carriers have begun producing models designed especially for women.
NTT Docomo is targeting female users with a small unit that's about 30 percent lighter than the previous model. The company launched the phone this summer with the claim that it is easier for women to use.
Softbank plans to launch a model with a photo-editing function. Users can touch up photos by adding virtual makeup to their faces or adjusting skin tone.
The unit will be waterproof for those who want to use it while taking a bath.
Meanwhile, KDDI will unveil a product with an extra-sensitive touch panel, aimed at users with long fingernails.
NTT Docomo says it will focus on boosting offerings for women as it sees them as an untapped market.


10/13「米経済状態への抗議デモ 拡大」

Protests continue in the United States.
Many young people are taking to the streets and voicing their dissatisfaction at the high number of people out of work. In New York, two people were taken into police custody as thousands rallied in protest.
In New York City, a park near Wall Street is serving as a stronghold for the protesters.
On Wednesday, several thousand people, including labor union members, held a rally holding signs, such as "Occupy Wall Street." Protesters included construction workers and teachers.

"It's not just young people. I mean, I'm in my forties. I worked for years in journalism actually and was barely able to afford to pay for housing and food."

Demonstrators have been gathering at the park for over two weeks. More and more people are coming to the area, getting information from Facebook and Twitter.

ニュー ヨークではウォール街近くの公園が抗議行動の拠点となっており、水曜日(10月5日)には、労働組合のメンバーなど数千人が「ウォール街を占拠せよ」など と書いたプラカードを掲げて集会を行いました。抗議行動には建設労働者や教師なども参加しており、そのうちの1人は「若者だけじゃないわ。私は40代よ。 実はジャーナリズムで何年も働いたけど、家賃と食費を払うのがやっとだったわ」と話していました。

The first images taken by the world's largest telescope were unveiled on Monday.
The ALMA radio telescope observatory was built on a Chilean desert 5,000 meters above sea level at a cost of more than 1.5 billion dollars. It's a multi-national project involving Japan, the United States, and European countries.
Eventually, 66 antenna dishes will be linked to make up the radio telescope. Each dish measures about 10 meters in diameter.
ALMA began operating after 19 of its antennas were completed this week. It captured images of a universe some 70 million light years away from Earth. The pictures show gas and dust, which cannot easily be observed by optical telescopes.
ALMA can also detect organic compounds in outer space, including amino acids.

(Satoru Iguchi / National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
"I hope the ALMA telescope will help us solve the mystery of what space is made of and how matter evolves into life."

ア ルマ望遠鏡は宇宙空間のアミノ酸など、有機化合物も感知できるということで、(このプロジェクトのマネージャーを務める)国立天文台の井口聖准教授は「宇 宙が何で出来ているかとか、物質はどのように進化して生命体になるのかという謎を、アルマ望遠鏡で解き明かしたい」と話しています。

10/11「仏で電気自動車 街角レンタル開始」

Parisians can now share eco-friendly electric cars. The city of Paris, and the French electric carmaker Bollore began a two-month pilot program on Sunday.
The test service, called Autolib, kicked off with 66 four-seater cars. Full services will be launched in December.
The city plans to expand the car-sharing service to 3,000 electric cars across the city and its vicinities. 1,100 charging stations will also be included.
The head of the car company said this was not just a car-sharing scheme, but something that could change people's way of life in urban areas.
Users will be charged an annual fee of about 200 dollars, and for every 30 minutes of driving, the charge will be about six dollars and 50 cents.

"The service is more convenient than other transportation and it's cheap. I think it's wonderful."


10/10「小沢元代表 無罪を主張」

The trial has begun for Ichiro Ozawa, one of Japan's most powerful politicians.
Ozawa is facing charges in connection with a political funding scandal. He pleaded not guilty and said he would wage an all-out battle to win acquittal.
Asked by the presiding judge about the charges, Ozawa denied all of them. He then read an eight-minute prepared statement. He said the trial should be halted immediately because the attorney who has been serving as prosecutor is basing his allegations on the flawed judgment of a citizen's inquest panel.
He said there is no basis for the charges against him. Ozawa also criticized the prosecutors, saying that the real purpose of their investigation is to end his career as a politician. But the lawyers serving as prosecutors pointed out in their opening statement that Ozawa was aware that his political aides had submitted falsified reports on his political funding organization.
The lawyers said Ozawa loaned 400 million yen, or more than 5.2 million dollars, in cash to the organization to purchase land.
The lawyers said Lower House member Tomohiro Ishikawa, who was then Ozawa's aide, thought the money should be kept away from public scrutiny. So he explained to Ozawa that the money should not appear in the financial reports.
They also said that Ozawa has said he understood the situation and asked Ishikawa to deal with it accordingly.

小 沢被告は裁判長に起訴事実について尋ねられますとそれを全面的に否定し、用意した声明を8分間にわたって読み上げました。その中で小沢被告は、検察官役を 務める指定弁護士の主張は一般市民でつくる検察審査会の誤った判断に基づくもので、この裁判は直ちに打ち切るべきだと述べ、自分が罪に問われる根拠は全く ないと主張しました。小沢氏はまた、捜査の真の目的は自分の政治生命を終わらせることだと検察を批判しました。一方、検察役の指定弁護士たちは冒頭陳述の 中で、小沢被告は自らの資金管理団体に秘書たちが虚偽の報告をしていたことを知っていたと指摘しました。
指定弁護士は、小沢被告が4億円、520 万ドル余りを土地購入資金として現金で資金管理団体に貸し付け、(そして)この金は「表に出せない」と考えた元秘書の石川知裕衆議院議員が、収支報告書に 記載すべきではないと小沢被告に説明したところ、小沢被告は了解したと述べて、しかるべく処理するよう指示したと語りました。

10/07「プーチン首相 大統領復帰へ」

In Russia, concerns are being raised about the possible extended rule of Vladimir Putin if he reclaims the presidency next year.
At a convention of the ruling United Russia party on Saturday, President Dmitry Medvedev nominated Putin as a candidate for the next presidential election in March.

(Dmitry Medvedev / Russian President)
"I want to propose that a very important decision should be taken. We should support Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election."

Putin immediately accepted the offer, saying the decision had been made by him and Medvedev.
The former president said he would appoint Medvedev as prime minister if he returns to the presidential office, which he left three years ago.
Without a powerful opposition contender, Putin's victory in the presidential race is virtually certain.
The constitution was revised in 2008 to extend the presidential term to six years and allows a second consecutive term if re-elected. Therefore, the next Russian president could rule the country for 12 years until 2024. Putin has already served for eight years during his previous two terms as president.

(ロ シアでは)2008年の憲法改正によって、大統領の任期は6年に延長され、再選されれば2期まで務めることができます。このため、ロシアの次期大統領は (最長で)2024年まで12年間国を統治することが可能になります。プーチン氏は前回すでに、2期8年にわたって大統領を務めています。

10/06「パレスチナ 国連に加盟申請」
It's a symbolic day for Palestinians. They've fought for decades to be recognized as a nation state, and now their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has applied for full membership in the United Nations.

(Mahmoud Abbas / Palestinian President)
"The support of the countries of the world for our endeavor is a victory for truth, freedom, justice, law and international legitimacy, and it provides tremendous support for the peace option and enhances the chances of success of the negotiations."

Abbas handed the membership application to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Friday. Ban will pass it to the chairman of the UN Security Council, but the U.S. government has said it would veto the application.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"Peace cannot be imposed on the parties. It's gonna have to be negotiated. One side's actions in the United Nations will achieve neither statehood nor self-determination for the Palestinians."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also criticized the Palestinian move.

(Benjamin Netanyahu / Israeli Prime Minister)
"The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel, and then get their state."

アッ バス議長は国連への加盟を申請する書類を金曜日(9月23日)、パン・ギムン国連事務総長に手渡しました。パン事務総長は(加盟手続きを進めるため)申請 書類を国連安全保障理事会の議長に回しますが、(常任理事国である)アメリカ政府は加盟申請に拒否権を行使する方針を示しています。

A newspaper which continued publishing after it had lost its printing press in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami has won a special award.
The Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, a daily newspaper in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, was awarded a special citation by the International Press Institute during its world congress and general assembly in Taipei on Sunday.
IPI, headquartered in Austria, decided to give the special award to the daily for its efforts, under difficult conditions, to provide news to the disaster victims.
The six reporters wrote the news with pens on big sheets of paper because they could not use computers as the power was out.
The handwritten newspaper was posted at various locations including shelters and a town hall.
It provided information about the extent of the damage and survival information badly needed by those who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
For six days, beginning the day after the disaster, the company released handwritten newspapers until they could use computers to print the paper.

オー ストリアに本部があるIPI(国際新聞編集者協会)が、困難な状況のもとで被災者たちにニュースを提供した石巻日日新聞の努力に対して、特別賞を贈ること を決めたものです。(石巻日日新聞では輪転機を失った後)停電でパソコンが使えなかったため、6人の記者が大きな紙にペンで記事を書いて、避難所や市役所 などさまざまな場所に貼り出し、被害の大きさや生きていくために必要な情報など、被災者にとって極めて重要な情報を届けました。

Women in Saudi Arabia will be given the right to vote and to run for office. It's the first time that women will be able to take part in politics in the conservative, Islamic, and tightly-controlled society run by men.
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that women will be allowed to vote and stand as candidates for municipal councils, beginning with the election scheduled in 2015.
He also said that for the first time women will be appointed in the Shura Council, the equivalent of the national assembly, as members.
Saudi women using the Internet have been demanding the right to participate in politics as the Arab world has seen an increasing movement toward democracy.
Local women's rights organizations welcomed the king's announcement, calling it a significant step forward in advancing women's participation in society.



China has strongly protested a decision by the United States to help Taiwan upgrade its aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets.
On Wednesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell announced that the U.S. would not sell new F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan as requested. Instead, the U.S. will sell radar systems, missiles and other equipment to Taiwan to help upgrade its existing fleet of 145 fighters.

(Kurt Campbell / U.S. Assistant Secretary of State)
"It is our strong view that these sales will make a significant contribution to Taiwan's air defense capabilities."

China's Foreign Ministry said the vice minister Zhang Zhijun had summoned U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke to deliver the protest in Beijing on Wednesday.
Zhang said the deal would gravely interfere in China's internal affairs, and may send the wrong signal to pro-Taiwan independence separatist forces.
The decision by the U.S. not to sell the F-16s to Taiwan outright is believed to be a concession to China. In 2009, arms sales to Taiwan led to a one-year suspension of U.S.-China military exchanges.

アメリカのカート・キャンベル国務 次官補は水曜日(9月21日)、アメリカ政府は台湾から要請のあった新型のF16戦闘機の売却には応じないものの、台湾が現在保有している145機の F16すべてを改良するための、レーダーやミサイルなどの装備を売却する方針を明らかにしました。

9/23「タイ 洪水でワニが大脱走」
Dozens of crocodiles have escaped from a tourist park in Thailand after heavy rain destroyed their enclosure on Monday.
The farm, just outside the beach resort of Pattaya, says more than 20 of the reptiles have been captured. Some may still be on the loose.
The tourist attraction houses as many as 400 crocodiles. About 100 workers have joined in the search.
A local newspaper says people are staying indoors as the missing creatures may be hiding in the area.
Heavy rain in Thailand over the past two months has caused mudslides and flooding, killing more than 80 people.



The United States has marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
A ceremony was held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York.
Nearly 3,000 people died when the World Trade Center's twin towers collapsed after two hijacked passenger planes were flown into them. President Obama joined victims' families at the memorial ceremony.
Obama also visited memorials for 9/11 victims in Washington and Pennsylvania. It's the first time he's visited all three places in one day.
Obama later spoke at a memorial concert in Washington. He said the United States will never wage war against Islam or any other religion, and that he hopes to see U.S. troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"Our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places; it comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace."

The United States has 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. It's planning to withdraw 10,000 of them before the end of this year.

「こ れらの場所(イラクとアフガニスタン)にとどまることのできる能力が私たちの強さを示すものではありません。私たちの強さの源泉は、それらの地を自由に なった人々と主権を持った国に委ねるという約束、そして戦争の10年に別れを告げ、平和な未来に向かおうとする強い願いにこそあるのです」

9/21「ユニクロ 海外出店を拡大へ」

Japan's Fast Retailing, the operator of casual clothing chain Uniqlo, has unveiled a pretty aggressive global expansion plan. It says it wants to open 200 to 300 outlets abroad every year.
The company chairman,Tadashi Yanai, announced on Wednesday that the markets it will enter include South America. The firm now has over 180 Uniqlo shops in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Yanai said the rise of the middle class in Asia is spurring the clothing industry, and he said the firm aims to become the world's top clothing maker and retailer.
Uniqlo's operator also plans to expand production, which has been mainly in China, to India and Cambodia as well.



Japanese researchers say they have found a substance that could potentially be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
They were able to do this after creating induced pluripotent stem cells from the skin of an affected patient for the first time. iPS cells have the potential to develop into any kind of tissue or organ.
A research team at Keio University, led by professors Hideyuki Okano and Norihiro Suzuki, added a gene to the skin cells of a patient with familial Alzheimer's disease to create iPS cells.
An abnormal protein called amyloid beta is known to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. It's thought to be related to the development of the disease.
The team says when these iPS cells were turned into nerves, double the normal amount of the protein was created.
By using these iPS-based nerve cells, they also discovered a substance which reduces the amount of amyloid beta to one-third.

(Hideyuki Okano / Professor, Keio University)
"These iPS cells and nerve cells could lead to a fundamental treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We hope to get closer to it."


9/19「新人俳優賞 日本人がダブル受賞」

Two Japanese teenagers have won the best new young actor and actress awards at the Venice International Film Festival.

"I'm pleased to present the Marcello Mastroianni Award to the two young passionate stars, Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido."

The 68th festival ended on Saturday with the awards ceremony for the international competition. Twenty-three films were vying for the prestigious Golden Lion prize.
Actor Shota Sometani and actress Fumi Nikaido were crowned the winners of this year's Marcello Mastroianni Award.
The 19-year-old Sometani and the 16-year-old Nikaido played the leading roles in the film "Himizu," directed by Shion Sono.
The film depicts the story of a junior high school boy, abused by his parents, who receives the support he needs from a girl, also living in an unhappy family environment.
The March 11th earthquake and tsunami caused director Sono to rewrite the original script just before shooting started. The setting was changed to post-disaster Japan, and part of the story was shot in Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, devastated by the tsunami.


9/16「イラン初の原発 送電を開始」

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization has announced that the country's first nuclear power plant was connected to the national power grid on Saturday.
Iran says it will send a low output of electricity for the time being and undergo regular safety inspections. It's scheduled to go into full operation at year end.
The plant is located in the southern city of Bushehr. It's the first to come into practical use in the Middle East.

"It's great that the plant is now up and running. It's beneficial for Iran."

The plant was built with Russian help. Russia will take charge of delivering nuclear fuel rods and retrieving spent fuel.
Iranian officials say the country will build 20 more nuclear plants and that it needs to enrich uranium to procure fuel on its own.
Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and Western countries are concerned that the opening of the Bushehr plant could pave the way for the Middle East nation to develop nuclear weapons.



High-resolution photos of the Moon's surface taken by a U.S. lunar probe show footprints and other marks left by Apollo astronauts about 40 years ago.
The photos, released on Tuesday, were taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter last month. They show the landing sites of Apollo 12, 14 and 17. The crafts were launched between 1969 and 1972.
Images of the Apollo 17 landing site show the astronauts' footprints, tracks left by a moon buggy, and the abandoned undercarriages of lunar landers.
NASA says the track marks have remained intact because the Moon has no atmosphere or wind on its surface.
Skeptics say the Apollo missions were a hoax, and that the astronauts' activities were filmed in a movie studio, but NASA says the images should remind the American people of the glory of the Apollo Program.



An organization of former Soviet republics has held a summit to mark the 20th anniversary of its founding. But some leaders were absent, reflecting the group's diminished importance to its member states.
The summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Saturday. Participants exchanged views on past achievements and future development of the organization.
Speaking at the meeting, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev conceded that criticism is mounting that the organization is no longer functioning. But he stressed there is no alternative to the CIS, noting that its role in maintaining the stability of former Soviet republics should not be undervalued.
The Russian president proposed inviting the leaders of member states to Moscow in December to mark the 20th anniversary of the CIS.
The summit had aimed to strengthen the organization's functions, but the presidents of Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan did not turn up, citing reasons such as economic problems at home.


「オバマ大統領 支持率最低に」
Meanwhile, the latest U.S. public opinion poll shows that President Obama's approval rating has sunk to a new low.
The poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that Obama's approval rate is 43 percent. His disapproval rating also hit a new high - 53 percent.
Obama's approval rating when he took office about two-and-a-half years ago stood at 68 percent.
The proportion of respondents who said they approve of Obama's handling of the economy was 36 percent - a new low for the president. A record-high 62 percent say they disapprove of his economic measures. The results are attributed to uncertainty about U.S. economic recovery, as unemployment in August remained at 9.1 percent.
The Washington Post says approval ratings of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton at about the same time in their first terms - following serious midterm setbacks - were above 50 percent.

(ま た)オバマ大統領の経済政策について、支持すると答えた人は過去最低の36パーセント、支持しないと答えた人はこれまでで最も多い62パーセントにのぼり ました。こうした(厳しい)結果は、アメリカの8月の失業率が9.1パーセントと高い水準にとどまるなど、景気回復の見通しが立たないことが響いているも のと見られます。

Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa has taken part in an experiment to test ahealth checkup system being developed for the International Space Station.
Furukawa, who is a medical doctor, underwent a checkup using the system in the space station's Japanese experimental module Kibo.
The new system collects data, including brain waves, electrocardiograms anddigital facial images, to create electronic health records.
Furukawa's data was displayed on earth and his heartbeat replayed. It wasconfirmed that he has no health problems.

(Satoshi Furukawa / Japanese astronaut)
"It's not easy for people without basic medical knowledge to judge their health condition."

At the moment, doctors assess the health of people on the space station once a week through interviews via videophone.
But if astronauts travel to the Moon, Mars and more distant planets in the future, they will have to check their health by themselves.



Restaurant sales in Japan posted the first increase in July, compared to the previous year, since the March disaster.
The Japan Food Service Association said on Thursday that sales at 214 restaurant chains nationwide rose by 0.4 percent from a year earlier in July.
That marked the first rise in five months, since the industry saw a 10 percent decline in March following the earthquake and tsunami.
The sense of self-restraint among consumers appears to have eased somewhat since the disaster.
The association says that there are signs that the industry as a whole is poised for recovery. However, it added that barbecue chains suffered a large decline, due to issues of beef contaminated by radioactive cesium.

日本フードサービス協会は木曜日(8月25 日)、全国214の外食チェーンの7月の売り上げが去年の同じ時期に比べて0.4パーセント増えたことを明らかにしました。(外食産業の)売り上げが(前 年より)伸びたのは、震災と津波に見舞われた3月に10パーセント減少して以来5ヶ月ぶりのことです。

Yoshihiko Noda has signed up to take on one of the toughest jobs in Japan ... a job that has a high turnover rate.
The finance minister is now the new leader of the country's ruling Democratic Party, and that means he is certain to become Japan's next prime minister ... its sixth in just five years.
The DPJ held its leadership election on Monday. Five candidates ran for the top post after Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigned.
None got a majority in the first round of voting, so there was a runoff between the two front-runners - Noda and economy minister Banri Kaieda .
Most of the lawmakers who'd voted for the three other candidates in the first round picked Noda in the runoff. Of the 395 ballots up for grabs, Noda got 215 and Kaieda 177.

These are some of the reactions from overseas.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson stifled a laugh over Japan's frequently changing leaders, when a reporter joked that the department issues similar statements every time the country elects a new prime minister.

(Victoria Nuland / U.S. State Dept. spokesperson)
"Our alliance has flourished under each and every Japanese prime minister. We look forward to our continuing close cooperation with the government of Japan and the next prime minister across a broad range of issues facing our two nations."

(Reporter)"How many prime ministers would that be?" (Victoria Nuland)"I don't know. How many prime ministers would that be?"

民 主党は、菅直人総理大臣の辞任を受けて、月曜日(8月29日)に代表選挙を行い、5人が立候補しました。第1回目の投票ではどの候補も過半数に届かなかっ たため、野田氏と海江田万里経済産業大臣の上位2人による決選投票が行われました。(その結果)1回目の投票で他の3人に投票した国会議員の大多数が、決 選投票では野田氏に投票し、全部で395票のうち、野田氏が215票、海江田氏が177票という結果になりました。


9/6「復興願い 隅田川花火大会」

Before we wrap up this hour's program, we bring you a look at one of the biggest annual fireworks displays in Japan ? the Sumida River Fireworks Festival.
Some 20,000 colorful fireworks lit up the skies over Tokyo on Saturday evening.
The first 1,100 fireworks were dedicated to the victims of the March 11th disaster with a wish for a quick recovery in the affected areas.
Among the thousands of people who showed up to enjoy the show were 550 children and adults from the quake-hit northeast.

(Invited guest)
"It's beautiful. I'm so thankful."

"The summer festival in my hometown of Kamaishi was cancelled, so I'm glad I could come and see this one."

それらの人々は 「きれいです。ありがたいですよ」とか、「故郷の釜石のお祭りが今年はなかったので、ここへ来られてよかったです」などと話していました。

9/5「節電の夏 前倒しで終了へ」

Japan's mandatory power saving for heavy users will come to an end in September, earlier than scheduled.
The government announced on Tuesday that it will lift the ban as the peak summer heat is over.
A legally mandated 15 percent cut was put in place from July 1st due to expected power shortages after the March disaster in eastern Japan. The curb covered factories and other heavy power users in the regions of Tohoku and Kanto, including Tokyo. Electricity for these areas is supplied by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company.
The cuts were originally due to last until September 22nd for areas covered by Tokyo Electric and September 9th for areas covered by Tohoku Electric.
The government now says power saving will come to an end on September 9th in Kanto and September 2nd in Tohoku and other devastated areas.
However, the government is concerned that lingering late summer heat may be more intense than expected. It's still calling on companies and households to continue to save power voluntarily.

法 律による15パーセントの節電は、3月の東日本大震災の後に予想された電力不足に対応するため、7月1日から実施されました。(電力の使用)制限の対象と なったのは、東北地方と東京を含む関東地方の工場など大口の電力利用者です。これらの地域の電力は、東京電力と東北電力によって供給されています。

Let's now take a look at a festival featuring female ninja enthusiasts.
Forty-nine female fans of samurai culture took part in the annual ninja festival on Saturday at a castle north of Kyoto City.
Participants dressed in the traditional garb of the female ninja, called "kunoichi." They competed in five events. One of the contests entails throwing stars called "shuriken."
The event reached its climax when two of the competitors raced along 25-meter panels floating in the water of the moat. The spectators applauded even those ninjas that lost their balance and tumbled into the soup.
The local tourist association organizes the contest every year to promote travel to the area.


9/1「カダフィ政権 崩壊」

Resistance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi has continued in some areas of the capital, Tripoli, after the virtual collapse of his dictatorial regime.
Anti-government forces seized control of Qadhafi's compound in the capital on Tuesday, but the leader's whereabouts remain unknown, and his troops have continued to fight on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the National Transitional Council, which consists of opposition leaders, is taking steps to launch a new government.
The council plans to transfer its base from the northeastern city of Benghazi and set up a provisional government in Tripoli.
A senior member of the council, Mahmoud Jibril, has stressed the need to rebuild Libya.
The council will meet with the U.S. and European and Arab nations in Qatar on Wednesday and ask them for financial assistance. It will also ask for cooperation in rebuilding the country from other nations at a conference to be held in Turkey on Thursday.


8/31[米HP パソコン部門を分離へ」

The world's largest personal computer maker is planning on hitting the refresh button. Hewlett-Packard says it's going to explore spinning off its PC business into a separate company.
HP says it will evaluate its low-profit personal systems group and make the decision on the spin-off within the next 18 months.
It acquired Compaq Computer in 2002, and currently holds a nearly 20 percent share in the global PC market.
But the company is re-evaluating things because the growing demand for tablet computers and smartphones is hurting personal computer sales.
Hewlett-Packard apparently plans to shift its focus to higher-profit businesses, including cloud computing and corporate software services.
The company also says it agreed to purchase the British software firm Autonomy for 10.3 billion dollar


8/30「日本国債 格下げ」

Major U.S. credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded Japan's sovereign debt by one notch, on concerns over the country's worsening fiscal standing.
On Wednesday, Moody's lowered the rating of long-term Japanese government bonds from Aa2 to Aa3. Japanese debt now ranks the same as countries like China and Chile.
The agency says the effects of the March disaster and resulting power shortages are slowing down Japan's economic growth.
It added the country has so far failed to hammer out viable plans for reforming its social security and tax system. Without a clear direction, Moody's says, Japan's fiscal health will deteriorate further, but the agency notes Japan has the largest external assets among advanced economies. It says the country will continue to garner the trust of the market, as long as it manages to improve its fiscal conditio

加 えて、日本が社会保障や税制改革に向けた実行可能な案を見出せないでいるとも述べています。ムーディーズによりますと、日本の財政状況は(赤字削減など の)明確な方向づけがされない限り、さらに悪化するとのことですが、日本は先進国最大の対外純資産を持っていることも指摘しています。

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il held talks on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Medvedev says North Korea is ready to resume, without preconditions, the six-party talks on its nuclear program.
Medvedev met Kim at a Russian military facility outside the city of Ulan-Ude in eastern Siberia. It was the first summit between the nations in nine years.

(Kim Jong Il / North Korean leader)
"I appreciate you coming all the way to see us."

(Dmitry Medvedev / Russian President)
"It's not far to go to talk with our neighboring country."

After the talks, a Russian news agency quoted the presidential spokeswoman as saying Kim is ready to impose a moratorium on the testing and production of missiles and nuclear weapons.
Medvedev later told reporters that both sides had agreed to construct a natural gas pipeline from the Russian Far East to South Korea by way of North Korea.


8/26「米 サイバー攻撃にハッカーで対抗」
Recently, many incidents have been caused by hackers attacking computer networks to steal information, ranging from personal data to state secrets.
Head-hunting of hackers is heating up in the United States because of the belief that their knowledge and experience can be put to work to block cyberattacks.
10,000 hackers around the world competed at an annual international convention that was held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

(Russian participant)
"This is very big. This is sort of like the world Olympics of hacking."

Officials of government agencies and private companies also attended the convention to recruit the sharpest hackers.
Former hacker "Priest" is one of the convention's organizers.
He is trying to be an intermediary between recruiters and hackers.

("Priest" / Convention chairman)
"The navy is here recruiting, the army is here recruiting, the CIA is here, the NSA is here, the FBI is here. They don't have the talent base that they need."

A recruiter has to find out carefully whether a hacker can be trusted.
Only when their skills are used properly can the safety of the Internet and protection of national security be ensured.

元ハッカーの"プリースト" さんは大会のまとめ役のひとりで、採用担当者とハッカーの仲介役になろうと努めていました。
"プリースト" さんは、「海軍もここで(ハッカーを)スカウトしています。陸軍もそうです。CIA、NSA(国家安全保障局)、FBIの担当者も来ています。みな、必要な能力を持った人材の基盤が無いのです」と話していました。


Acquisitions made by Japanese companies abroad have increased sharply on the back of the strong yen.
Merger and acquisition broker RECOF says 161 overseas acquisitions and equity investments were made in the four months through July, marking a year-on-year rise of 33 percent.
A total of 2.46 trillion yen, or about 32 billion dollars, was invested in these deals, more than doubling the sum for the same period last year.
Takeda Pharmaceutical made the most expensive acquisition when it purchased a Swiss firm for about 13 billion dollars, followed by Toshiba, which spent about 2.3 billion dollars, also on a Swiss company.
Analysts say as the domestic market is being hit by the economic downturn and is shrinking along with the population, Japanese companies have been trying to make inroads into emerging markets through the acquisition of foreign firms, taking advantage of the strong yen.



An orchestra made up of young Israelis and Arabs has held a concert for peace near the demilitarized zone on the Korean Peninsula.
The event took place on Liberation Day, when South Koreans mark the end of Japanese colonial rule.
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra led by renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim, who is an Israeli by nationality, performed in South Korea on Monday.
About 7,000 people attended the outdoor event.
Barenboim launched the Jewish-Arab orchestra with the late Palestinian theorist Edward Said. It was established to help create peace in the Middle East through the power of music.


8/23「オーストリア 金貨を増産」
Austria's minting authority is increasing production of gold coins to meet growing demand for gold amid concern about the global economy.
The Austrian mint issues coins made of high-purity gold as an investment.
As demand for gold has increased following a downturn on global stock markets and growing worries over the credit crisis, demand for gold coins has also expanded.
This month, following the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, sales of the coins are 10 times the figure a year ago.
The Austrian mint now produces 50,000 Austrian Gold Philharmonic coins a week. That's 60 percent more than usual.
The coins are sold mostly in Austria and neighboring Germany, with about 30 percent exported to Japan.
On Friday, sales counters near the mint were crowded with people buying the coin.
One-ounce coins weighing about 31 grams were being sold for around 1,800 dollars.



The Japanese government has endorsed a plan to set up a new nuclear watchdog under the Environment Ministry. The government wants to ensure that it doesn't have any ties with the power industry.
The plan approved by the Cabinet on Monday removes nuclear regulatory powers from the industry ministry, which also promotes nuclear energy.
The action is part of the government's efforts to improve oversight in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The new agency will be responsible for advisory functions of the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission, and radiation monitoring undertaken by the science ministry.
It will also oversee safety management at nuclear plants, check if regular inspections are being carried out appropriately, and take charge of the initial response in the event of an accident.
The current nuclear regulator under the industry ministry has been criticized for trying to influence public symposiums in favor of nuclear energy.
The government plans to submit bills to the Diet early next year and launch the new agency in April.


8/12「日立 テレビ生産から撤退へ」

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi will outsource all television production, as price competition from foreign makers heats up.
By March 2012, Hitachi will stop making television sets at its only TV-producing plant in central Japan.
The company will outsource TV production to firms based overseas, including in Taiwan, but it will continue to develop and sell TVs under the Hitachi brand.
The maker says it will make other products at the Japanese plant to keep jobs for its workers.
Hitachi came to the decision due to deteriorating earnings, stemming from intense price competition, especially from South Korean makers.
Hitachi also expects sales for TVs to decline. That's because in Japan, most consumers have replaced their TV sets in time for the switch to digital broadcasting last month.


8/11「米 債務上限を引き上げ」
The U.S. Senate has approved a bill that allows the government to raise its debt ceiling.
President Barack Obama has signed the bill into law, averting a default on America's debt obligations just hours before the deadline of midnight on Tuesday.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"Congress has now approved a compromise to reduce the deficit and avert a default that would have devastated our economy. And since you can't close the deficit with just spending cuts, we'll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table."

The bill calls for 917 billion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years. A bipartisan committee will be set up to consider ways to achieve an additional cut of 1.5 trillion dollars. In return, the bill allows the government to raise the debt limit by at least 2.1 trillion dollars.
That amount is enough to get the government through the 2012 presidential race without additional funding.
The spending reduction was much less than Obama's original target of four trillion dollars.
The political gridlock surrounding the debt ceiling deeply undermined the credibility of the world's largest economy.
The possibility of the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations had prompted global investors to sell their dollar assets, leading to a sharp decline in the value of the U.S. currency.

(こ れを受けて)オバマ大統領は、「議会は今や財政赤字を削減するための妥協案に賛成し、アメリカ経済を荒廃させかねなかったデフォルトは回避されました。た だし、赤字の解消は歳出削減だけではできません。すべてを交渉の対象とする、バランスのとれた取り組みが必要です」と述べました。

8/10「ガザの子供たち たこ揚げで世界記録」
Children living in the Gaza Strip have experienced plenty of lows in their short lives, but right now, thousands of them are on a high.
They just broke a world record.
How'd they do it? Take a look.
About 15,000 children gathered Thursday on the Gaza coast to try to fly kites in unison. A United Nations agency organizes events like this every summer to give hope to kids who have lived through war and Israel's supply blockade.
As the wind from the Mediterranean lifted the kites into the sky, at least 13,000 were able to take flight, breaking the previous record.
Guinness World Records is expected to recognize the final figure.
This kind of honor is nothing new for children in Gaza.
They've been challenging world records since 2007. They set four new records this year alone.


8/09「保安院 中部電力に“やらせ”を依頼」

The Japanese nuclear industry could be facing a second scandal involving an electric company's efforts to influence public debate.
Chubu Electric Power Company says it received instructions from the government's nuclear agency to intervene in a government-sponsored symposium in 2007.
In a report submitted to the government on Friday, Chubu Electric says the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency requested that it gather participants and have them ask prearranged questions at the forum.
The utility says it refused NISA's request. But it admits that senior officials of its only nuclear power plant sent e-mails to employees and visited affiliated companies in an effort to comply with the request.
A Chubu Electric official said on Friday the firm sent several people to the forum. He apologized, saying this could have led to the misunderstanding that the firm was trying to manipulate public opinion.
The revelation comes weeks after a scandal that involved Kyushu Electric Power Company. The firm came under fire for asking employees to post e-mails in support of the restart of idled nuclear reactors at a government-sponsored meeting for local residents in June.
Following the scandal, the industry ministry ordered all nuclear power plant operators to report any activities aimed at winning local support for nuclear power.

こ の発表は、九州電力を巻き込んだ不祥事の数週間後に行われました。九州電力は(今年)6月に政府が主催して行った地元住民への説明会の際、休止していた原 子炉の再稼働を支持するメールを送るよう、(九州電力の)社員に依頼していたことで非難を浴びていました。この(九州電力による)不祥事のあと、経済産業 省は原子力発電を行っているすべての電力会社に対し、地元から原発への支持を得るために行った行動はすべて報告するよう命じていました。


The yen's strength against the dollar and other major currencies is making overseas travel cheaper for Japanese holidaymakers.
A travel agency in Tokyo says reservations for overseas trips plunged immediately after the March 11th disaster, but demand for travel is back up to the same level as last year.
By country, the agency says the number of customers to South Korea and other Asian countries is up about 10 percent year-on-year.
It also says, the number of Japanese tourists to Hawaii and Guam is at the same level as last year.
The agency has put up posters encouraging customers to take advantage of the favorable exchange rates.


8/04「中国 埋めた車両を掘り出す」

Chinese authorities have unearthed the wreckage of a train carriage that had been buried at the site of Saturday's fatal crash. They say it will be examined to determine the cause of the accident.
Officials say 39 people died in the eastern city of Wenzhou, in Zhejiang Province, when a high-speed train crashed into another that had stopped. Some of the carriages derailed and fell from the elevated tracks.
The front carriage of the moving train was buried at the site, sparking public outrage that the authorities were trying to cover up evidence of the accident.
On Monday evening, dozens of bereaved relatives of the crash victims gathered in front of Wenzhou City Hall to protest the government's handling of the accident.

"Stop trying to run away, Railway Ministry!"

Local government officials were on hand to meet with the protesters, who demanded that the ministry properly explain the accident.
The Beijing News tabloid ran a commentary on Tuesday, asking which government division decided to bury the debris, and why.
On Tuesday, authorities used construction equipment to dig out the buried carriage.
The carriage was then hauled to a train station about seven kilometers away for closer inspection.
The operation to dig up the wreckage is seen as an attempt to refute claims that the authorities intended to destroy the evidence.
However, it remains unclear whether any further examination will take place, as the authorities did not keep the train cars intact.


8/03「ARF 南シナ海問題は平行線」

Ministerial talks on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea have failed to bridge the gap between China, ASEAN members and the United States.
Twenty-seven foreign ministers from ASEAN and countries including Japan, China, and the United States met on the Indonesian island of Bali on Saturday.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario criticized China, saying it is wrongly claiming sovereignty over the entire South China Sea region.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a multilateral approach to settle the issue. She said each country should explain why their claims are consistent with international law.
On the other hand, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi maintained the idea of a bilateral approach.

(Yang Jiechi / Chinese Foreign Minister)
"The issues must be addressed through friendly dialogue."

China and ASEAN members agreed on a set of guidelines to resolve the territorial disputes, but China remains opposed to a legally binding code of conduct, as proposed by ASEAN and the United States.


Severe drought in East Africa is forcing people in Somalia to seek refuge in neighboring countries.
About 3,000 people are fleeing Somalia every day.
The United Nations says 11 million people in five countries, including Somalia and Ethiopia, lack food due to the severe drought.
Tens of thousands of people in Somalia are believed to have died in the past few months due to disruptions of relief supplies. Islamic militants battling the interim government have prevented the UN from conducting aid activities in central and southern parts of the country.
During the past month, more than 1,300 people from Somalia have been arriving daily at the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, about 80 kilometers from the border.
Camp officials say many refugees have walked hundreds of kilometers, and that many never reach the camp. They add that 25 percent of young children arriving at the camp are seriously malnourished.
The United Nations says about 3.7 million people in Somalia will be at risk of starvation if the situation does no
t improve.


8/01「オスロ事件の容疑者 犯行を認める」

The man charged with Norway's bombing and shooting spree has suggested that two more cells exist and are prepared to launch further attacks.
NHK World's Takashi Ichinose has the story.
Anders Breivik admitted at the first closed-door hearing in Oslo Monday that he carried out the two attacks on Friday ? a bombing in central Oslo and a shooting spree at a youth camp run by the governing Labour Party on a nearby island.
The court remanded Breivik in custody for eight weeks.
At a news conference after the hearing, the judge said the suspect aimed to save Europe from a Muslim takeover and to deal a blow to the governing Labour Party.

"I think the whole nation and the whole world think he's done something wrong, and nothing can justify those murders."

An investigation will mainly focus on whether Anders Breivik acted alone or if he had help. Investigators searched a Polish company, where the suspect may have purchased explosive materials.
The horrific attacks occurred suddenly in peaceful Norway. People are anxiously hoping that there will be more information as soon as possible.
Takashi Ichinose, NHK WORLD, from Oslo.


7/29「アフガン 治安権限の移譲始まる」

With the U.S. leaving Afghanistan since last week, NATO forces have begun to transfer security control to Afghan authorities.
Bamiyan Province in central Afghanistan was the first among the 34 provinces to implement the handover.
A ceremony was held there on Sunday, with ministers of the central government and senior provincial officials in attendance.
Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak welcomed the handover, calling it a memorable day for Afghanistan as it begins to stand on its own.
Although security in Bamiyan is relatively stable, the ceremony was not announced beforehand and kept low key, over fears of Taliban attacks.
Four cities and two provinces will see the transition of security control by the end of next week.
The international forces plan to wrap up combat missions by the end of 2014.
Some observers have voiced concerns over the ability of local military and police to maintain security in the face of Taliban encroachment.


7/28「なでしこジャパン 凱旋」

Japan's world champion women's soccer team has made a triumphant return.
The team is nicknamed Nadeshiko. They defeated FIFA's top-ranked side, the U.S., 3 to 1 in a penalty shootout.
Nadeshiko arrived at Narita Airport, near Tokyo, on Tuesday morning. They flew in from Frankfurt, where the 2011 Women's World Cup final was held on Sunday night.
The 21-member squad, including tournament MVP Homare Sawa, spoke at a news conference in Tokyo.

(Homare Sawa / Japanese team MF)
"I never imagined that we could win the gold. I never thought that this day would come. This medal really means a lot."

(Azusa Iwashimizu / Japanese team DF)
"I really wanted to win the World Cup because I come from the region that was hit by the March disaster. I wanted to send them some good news. This is the best news I could give them."

U.S. team members praised Nadeshiko's victory.

(Abby Wambach / U.S. team FW)
"Obviously we're disappointed that we didn't come back champions. They were a great team and, you know, their country might've needed this win a little bit more than ours."

澤 選手は、「金メダルをとるというのは今まで考えられなかったので、こんな日がくるとは思ってもみませんでしたし、すごく重みのあるメダルです」と話しまし た。また岩清水梓選手は、「3月の震災で被害にあった地方の出身者として、ぜひワールドカップに勝ちたいと思っていました。何かいいニュースを届けたかっ たのですが、優勝という最高のニュースを届けることができました」と語りました。


Over 30 countries recognized Libya's opposition National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate governing authority on Friday.
The decision was made at a foreign ministerial-level meeting of 32 countries in Istanbul. The participating countries included Britain and France, which are leading military operations against the Libyan administration of Muammar al-Qadhafi.
After the conference, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who served as chair of the meeting, delivered a statement. It called for the immediate resignation of officials of the Qadhafi administration and their departure from Libya, stressing that the administration has no legitimacy.
The participating countries, including Japan, called for the establishment of an interim Libyan government centering on the opposition council, and a peaceful transfer of power.
Some countries proposed that diplomatic negotiations be accelerated ahead of Ramadan, but France indicated that NATO will continue air raids as long as Qadhafi stays in power.

(そ のうえで)日本を含む参加国は、反政府勢力の「国民評議会」を中心にリビア暫定政府を樹立し、平和的に政権を移行するよう呼びかけました。参加国の中から は、(イスラム教の断食月である)「ラマダン」に入る前に外交交渉を急ぐべきだという提案も出されましたが、フランスは、カダフィ大佐が政権の座にとどま る限り、NATOは空爆を続けるという考えを示しました。

7/26「米大統領 ダライ・ラマと会談」
U.S. President Barack Obama met with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday, and underscored the importance of protecting the human rights of Tibetans in China.
They met at the White House for about 45 minutes. It was their second meeting, following one in February last year.
A White House statement says the U.S. president reiterated his strong support for preservation of the religion and human rights of Tibetans in China.
The statement also said that Obama encouraged direct dialogue between China and Tibet to resolve differences.
China reacted harshly to the meeting.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry says a formal complaint was conveyed by Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai to a senior U.S. Embassy official in Beijing. The Chinese ambassador to the U.S., Zhang Yesui, also made a complaint to the American government.
China says the U.S. interfered in its internal affairs, and it hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and harmed Sino-U.S. relations.
Before the meeting, U.S.-China relations had improved as a result of their top leaders meeting this year. During the meeting with the Dalai Lama, Obama said that Tibet is part of China and the U.S. does not support independence.

中 国外務省によりますと、崔天凱外務次官が北京のアメリカ大使館の高官に正式抗議しました。また張業逐駐米中国大使も、アメリカ政府に抗議しました。(今回 の会談について)中国は、アメリカが内政に干渉し、中国国民の感情を傷つけ、米中関係を損なうものであるとしています。

The Japanese government has suspended all beef cattle shipments from Fukushima Prefecture.
This follows the discovery that the beef from Fukushima contained illegally high levels of radioactive cesium because the cows had eaten contaminated straw.
The government's nuclear disaster task force ordered the suspension on Tuesday.
The health ministry says rice straw contaminated with radioactive cesium in amounts exceeding the government standard was fed to cattle at farms in Fukushima, Yamagata, and Niigata prefectures.
The ministry says 648 head of cattle were shipped from the farms, and that beef from the cattle was distributed to 35 prefectures.
The government says beef from farms in Fukushima was found to be highly radioactive, and that one sample contained nine times the maximum legal amount of radioactive cesium.

(Yukio Edano / Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary)
"The government will properly compensate cattle farmers affected by the suspension."

Edano also said inspections will be conducted to determine whether contaminated rice straw was used at cattle farms in neighboring prefectures.


7/22「英大衆紙 『盗聴取材』で廃刊」
The world's largest news conglomerate is shutting down its most popular tabloid.
The decision by News Corporation to close News of the World comes in the wake of a phone-hacking scandal.
News of the World was founded 168 years ago. It grew to become Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper.
The paper allegedly hacked the voicemail accounts of celebrities, film stars, politicians and even the victims of crime. The illegal undercover reporting techniques are being severely criticized. Police are also investigating the hacking claims.
News Corp. announced the decision to close the paper on Thursday. The final edition of News of the World will be published this coming Sunday.



There is a new country in Africa.
Following decades of armed conflict, South Sudan became an independent nation on Saturday.
The new country's official name is the Republic of South Sudan. It becomes the 54th nation in Africa.

"I'm very, very, very happy. Very, very happy. This country is forever. We are free!"

"We are going to start from (the) beginning. We hope to be peaceful."

A ceremony to mark the independence will take place in the new capital of Juba. Leaders of African nations and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon are scheduled to attend.
Salva Kiir Mayardit will be sworn in as the first president of the newly independent country. He had been serving as president of the autonomous region of Southern Sudan.
The 10 states in the south of Sudan split from the rest of the country in line with a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than 20 years of civil war.
The fighting between the mainly Arab Muslim government in the north and the mainly African Christians in the south claimed the lives of two million people.
In a referendum in January, nearly 99 percent of voters in the south favored independence.
Despite the peace agreement, the two sides remain at odds over an oil-rich border region. Competition is also intensifying among tribes in the south over who will lead the new country.

20 年以上に及んだ内戦に終止符を打った2005年の和平協定に基づいて、スーダンの南部にある10州がスーダンの残りの部分から分離しましたが、アラブ系を 中心とした北部のイスラム政権と、アフリカ系が主体のキリスト教徒が多い南部との戦闘で、200万人が犠牲になりました。


The head of the International Monetary Fund has appointed Chinese economist Zhu Min to deputy managing director.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde made the announcement on Tuesday.
In her bid for the top IMF post, Lagarde visited China and other countries to seek their support and stressed the need to give more say to emerging economies.
Zhu is a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China. He has served as a special adviser to the IMF since May last year.
Zhu is the first Chinese official to be named an IMF deputy managing director.
China is the third largest contributor to the IMF, and the appointment is likely to increase China's say in the global lending organization.


7/19「最後のシャトル 打ち上げ成功」

America's space shuttle program has led the world into space for more than 30 years.
The program has been vital to building the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope. It all came to an end with Friday's launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

"All three engines up and burning. 2, 1, 0, and liftoff!"

After days of worries over stormy weather, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on July 8th at 11:29 AM.
Nine minutes after launching, the external tank safely separated. Atlantis's journey to orbit was completed successfully. Atlantis will dock with the International Space Station on Monday during the course of its 12-day mission.
While only flying four astronauts, Atlantis carries unique cargo. Known as the "Robotic Refueling Mission," these spare parts will allow the International Space Station's robot to perform tasks to assist the astronauts there.
Once the space shuttle program ends, NASA will pay to use Russian Soyuz rockets to reach the International Space Station.
The United States has relied on the space shuttle for exploration, scientific experimentation, and transportation for over 30 years. But as it retires, America's aerospace program enters a new and still uncertain future.

アメリカのスペースシャトル計画は30年以上にわたって世界の宇宙開発を先導し、国際宇宙ステーション(ISS)とハッブル望遠鏡の建設に重要な役割を果 たしました。その(スペースシャトル)計画も、フロリダ州のケネディ宇宙センターで金曜日(7月8日)に行われたスペースシャトル「アトランティス」の打 ち上げで、幕を下ろすことになりました。
(「ア トランティス」は)打ち上げの9分後に外部燃料タンクを無事切り離し、順調に軌道に乗りました。「アトランティス」は、12日間の任務のなかで、月曜日 (7月11日)に国際宇宙ステーションとドッキングする予定です。乗り組んでいる宇宙飛行士は4人だけですが、「アトランティス」はこれまでにない特殊な 荷物を運んでいます。「ロボットによる燃料補給ミッション」と呼ばれ、これらの予備のパーツによって、国際宇宙ステーションのロボットが、乗り組んでいる 宇宙飛行士を手助けすることが出来るようになります。


A story from one of Japan's largest fishing ports. It has reopened for business ? four months after it was wiped out in the tsunami of March 11th. Ishinomaki lies on the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, the area worst hit by the disaster.
Total catches at Ishinomaki in the last fiscal year were the third highest in the country, but the tsunami destroyed almost all the facilities, including quays and processing plants. Electricity and running water supplies have now been hooked up at the port, and the market reopened on Tuesday inside a temporary tent.
On the first day, squid and flatfish were among the seafood up for auction. Sellers say that because this was the first day of business in four months, squid was selling for double its usual price.

"It's really raised our spirits. I'm excited to see what prices we get."

"Today is a special day, so I came here to buy ? no matter what the price."

The president of the fish market says that reopening the port symbolizes the efforts to rebuild the region ? and people's hopes that their fishing business will flourish once again.


7/15「最新鋭の旅客機 公開」

The new passenger aircraft from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner, has flown to Japan for the first time.
The mid-size jetliner, which All Nippon Airways will be the first to operate in the world, arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo from the U.S. city of Seattle.
Tests will be conducted during the next five days at five airports in Japan, including Kansai and Okayama airports, to check compatibility between the aircraft and boarding bridges as well as fueling facilities.
The 787 Dreamliner uses carbon fiber in its fuselage to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent compared to equivalent-sized aircraft.
More than 500 aviation enthusiasts gathered at the viewing deck of the airport to see the aircraft on Sunday.
ANA ordered 55 Dreamliners and Japan Airlines 35, but delivery has been rescheduled seven times due to design changes and other reasons. The aircraft was completed three years behind schedule.
ANA expects to start operating the aircraft in September on domestic routes.


The opposition Pheu Thai Party, backed by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, won a majority in Thailand's lower house elections on Sunday.
Yingluck Shinawatra, who is Thaksin's younger sister, is expected to become the country's first female prime minister.

(Yingluck Shinawatra / Pheu Thai Party)
"I really appreciate the people who voted for the Pheu Thai Party. Today, Thai voters have given us the chance to work for Thai citizens."

The Pheu Thai Party competed aggressively with the ruling Democrat Party, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The Pheu Thai Party won more than 260 seats in the 500-seat lower house. The Democrat Party won around 160. Pheu Thai is expected to return to power for the first time in three years.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke to reporters.

(Abhisit Vejjajiva / Thai Prime Minister)
"The Pheu Thai Party has won the election, and the Democrat Party concedes defeat."

During the campaign the opposition party proposed to consider amnesty for banned politicians, including Thaksin, who was found guilty of corruption. Attention is focused on whether Thaksin will return from exile.


Japanese researchers say they have found areas in the mud of the Pacific Ocean floor that may contain a huge amount of rare earth minerals.
Estimated reserves under the sea are 800 times larger than those on land.
The area is expected to become a new supply source that could end China's near monopoly over the production of rare earth minerals.
Associate Professor Yasuhiro Kato of the University of Tokyo analyzed mud samples from the Pacific Ocean floor.
He found a high density of dysprosium, used in motors for electric and hybrid vehicles, and terbium for television manufacturing, in some of 2,000 samples taken in 78 places.
The elements are said to be found 3,500 meters to 6,000 meters deep in the North Pacific, and the South Pacific Ocean off Hawaii.
The mud covers 11 million square kilometers ? an area 30 times the size of Japan.
China controls over 90 percent of the world's rare earth production. It announced last July that exports to Japan in 2010 would be restricted to 60 percent of the 2009 amount.
A rare earth price hike is a big concern and a worldwide discussion is under way on how to secure supplies of these metals.
The researchers say there are still technical problems to solve to get the mud from the sea, but separating the minerals from the mud would be quite easy and profitable.


An electricity saving campaign has gone into effect in eastern Japan.
As of Friday, the government is requiring major power consumers to reduce peak-time usage by 15 percent from a year earlier.
The regulations were prompted by the threat of power shortages this summer in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company. Both utilities suffered major damage to their power stations in the March disaster.
Factories and others using 500 kilowatts or more are required to cut their consumption by 15 percent. The mandatory cuts will affect about 18,500 firms. Violators could face fines of more than 12,000 dollars.
The mandatory cuts will not apply to shelters in the disaster-hit areas or hospitals. Facilities for the elderly are also excluded.
TEPCO says it will be able to provide 53.8 million kilowatts this summer. That is lower than last summer's peak demand of 60 million kilowatts.
The expected power shortages are prompting factories to shift their operations from weekdays to weekends. Some local governments are allowing workers to start their day earlier to take advantage of sunlight.


After three attempts, a South Korean resort town is finally getting its wish.
The International Olympic Committee has chosen Pyeongchang to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea's first-ever Winter Games.

(Jacques Rogge / IOC President)
"The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in 2018 are awarded to the city of ... Pyeongchang."

The IOC announced the decision in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday.
IOC members used an electronic voting system to cast unsigned ballots for three candidate cities. Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, were the other two.
Among the attendees, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Olympic figure skating champion, Kim Yu Na were ecstatic with the result.
It was a case of third time lucky for Pyeongchang, which made unsuccessful bids for the 2010 and 2014 Games.
South Korea will be the second country in Asia after Japan to host both summer and winter Games.


7/8「北朝鮮への食糧支援 大幅不足」
UN aid agencies have appealed for more international funding for food aid to North Korea, saying donors have provided less than 20 percent of the amount needed this year.
The World Food Program and other UN bodies met in New York on Monday with officials from donors to North Korea, including Japan, South Korea and the United States.
The meeting was closed to the media. Sources say UN officials explained they need 218 million dollars to deliver food to the North this year, but international contributions so far have reached only about 17 percent of the amount.
Many of the donor countries are concerned that food supplies provided to the North are being diverted to its military, instead of reaching those in need.
The head of the Pyongyang office of a Swiss development agency, Katharina Zellweger, told reporters that the country's overall food situation is bad.
She said her office is constantly urging North Korean authorities to enhance transparency in their distribution of food aid.


7/7「『国境なき欧州』 協定を見直し」
European Union leaders have agreed to amend the EU's passport-free zone to allow countries to impose inspections at borders in emergency cases.
The move comes in response to the influx of migrants from politically unstable North Africa to Europe.
Since January, about 40,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean into Italy to flee the unrest in Libya and Tunisia. Many of them entered France, causing disputes over border controls among EU member nations.
At the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, the leaders agreed to partially amend the Schengen border treaty governing free travel within Europe.
The measure will allow countries to resume border controls temporarily when they face a greater number of migrants.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the resumption of border controls is only a last resort and will not undermine the core Schengen principle of free movement, which he called a fundamental right of citizens.


7/6「南極から漂流 NZにペンギン」
A wild emperor penguin is recovering at a New Zealand zoo after apparently having drifted more than 3,000 kilometers from the Antarctic.
The young penguin was washed ashore on a beach near Wellington, New Zealand, last week and was in poor health.
Doctors at the zoo used an endoscope to remove a large amount of debris that the penguin had swallowed during its ordeal.
The unexpected visitor is attracting much attention, as wild emperor penguins are rarely seen in New Zealand.
Zoo officials say they plan to return the penguin to the wild, when its health recovers.


UNESCO has added the Hiraizumi district in northeastern Japan to its list of World Heritage sites.
The World Heritage Committee agreed to register the district on Saturday during its annual meeting in Paris.
Hiraizumi features Buddhist temples and gardens built in the early 12th century by the Oshu Fujiwara family, who ruled the region.
Although the district is in Iwate Prefecture, which was hit by the March 11th earthquake, it's suffered no major damage. Locals hope that its new status will aid the region's recovery.
Earlier, the committee decided to recognize Japan's Pacific islands of Ogasawara as a World Natural Heritage site. The remote islands have developed a unique natural habitat with many endemic species of flora and fauna.


7/4 「東京電力 株主総会」
EPCO has held its first shareholders' meeting since the crisis began at Fukushima Daiichi.
After an unprecedented six-hour meeting with a record 9,300 attending, shareholders in the end voted down a proposal that would have forced the company to halt all nuclear power generation.
Our business reporter Mitsuko Nishikawa tells us more.

Discussion over TEPCO's handling of the nuclear crisis ran long, pushing the meeting to more than double last year's time.
Though the proposal that TEPCO abandon nuclear energy was not approved, the anti-nuclear outcry was louder than ever.
Many condemned the company's dishonest management practices, saying that's what caused the nuclear crisis. Some claimed that the company even falsified scientific seismic data to continue running unsafe nuclear plants.
The meeting is over, but criticism on TEPCO will likely continue over its lack of risk management and failure to bring the Fukushima power plant under control.
TEPCO needs to solve all these grave issues without delay if it's to take the first step in regaining the trust of its shareholders, and the public.
Mitsuko Nishikawa, NHK World.



7/01「国連パン事務総長 再任」

The UN General Assembly has reappointed Ban Ki Moon to a second term as secretary general of the 192-member organization.
The General Assembly unanimously approved Ban's appointment on Tuesday. He will serve as UN chief through the end of 2016. This follows a recommendation by the Security Council last week.
In his oath, Ban said he will work as a harmonizer and bridge-builder among UN member states.

(Ban Ki Moon / UN secretary general)
"Standing in this place, mindful of the immense legacy of my predecessors, I'm humbled by your trust and enlarged by our sense of common purpose."

The secretary general said he will continue to work on such issues as climate change, poverty, atomic energy, peace-building in the Middle East, nuclear disarmament and female empowerment.
He also said UN members must work together to deliver results that change lives and make a difference.
Ban initially became the UN chief in 2007.


Japan has regained its crown as maker of the world's fastest computer, for the first time in seven years.
The computer "K" took first place in the top 500 list at the International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany, on Monday.
The computer is a joint project between Japan's state-backed research institute RIKEN and computer maker Fujitsu.

(Ryoji Noyori / President, RIKEN)
"I'm very pleased that Japan's supercomputer has been recognized as the world's fastest, leading others by a wide margin. This recognition is proof that Japan's industrial technology is still strong."

The computer's name comes from the Chinese character "kei," which means 10 quadrillion.
Still under development, the supercomputer has succeeded in carrying out 8.16 quadrillion computing operations per second. That's more than three times faster than last year's fastest Chinese computer, and about 200 times speedier than the Japanese computer "Earth Simulator," which took first place in 2004.
RIKEN and Fujitsu plan to put "K" into full operations in November next year.


6/29 「堀江元社長 収監」
The convicted former president of Japanese Internet firm Livedoor has been taken to a detention center in Tokyo to serve a prison term of more than two years.
Takafumi Horie was convicted of fraud after the firm was found to have reported 5.3 billion yen, or around 65 million dollars, in nonexistent profit in 2004. He was also found guilty of making false statements about the acquisition of another company in violation of the Securities and Exchange Law.
Horie expressed remorse when he spoke to reporters before beginning his term of incarceration.
Horie attracted a lot of public attention while at the helm of the Internet firm in the 2000s. He branched out to appear on television panel and variety programs and made an offer to acquire a baseball team and attempted to take a stake in major TV broadcaster Fuji Television, and even made a run for a seat in parliament.
Horie was taken to the Tokyo Detention Center on Monday after judicial procedures at the Tokyo Prosecutors Office.
Horie will serve about 28 of his 30-month sentence, with time taken off for the days he spent in custody following his arrest.


6/28「米大統領 アフガン撤退計画を発表」

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a plan to withdraw a total of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012.
He made a televised speech at the White House on Wednesday.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"In Afghanistan, we've inflicted serious losses on the Taliban and taken a number of its strongholds. Along with our surge, our allies also increased their commitments, which helped stabilize more of the country."

Obama said 10,000 troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of the year and another 23,000 by September next year. About 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed there.
He stressed that he will now focus his efforts on helping the U.S. economy recover and creating jobs.
The U.S. military has been cautious about an early withdrawal from Afghanistan, but Congress has been pushing for a pullout to reduce the enormous cost of the war.
Observers say Obama appears to have made a political decision by setting the deadline immediately before the presidential election. Critics are voicing concerns that the decision may negatively affect the U.S. military's strategy in Afghanistan.


6/27 「復興基本法が成立」

A policy bill on the rebuilding of northeastern areas struck by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami has passed the Diet.
The bill passed the Upper House on Monday with support from the governing Democratic Party and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, along with approval from members of a number of other parties.
The legislation lays out tenets for the establishment of a government body to oversee reconstruction and authorizes special bond issues to fund the rebuilding.
It designates the disaster-hit region as a special zone eligible for preferential treatment.
In addition, the bill requires the establishment of a government reconstruction task force and the appointment of a minister responsible for the rebuilding effort.
The legislation means that the government can begin a full-scale reconstruction effort, but specific measures are yet to be worked out. 
The government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan was forced to make compromises with the opposition to achieve passage of the bill in the divided legislature.


6/17「米 サイバー攻撃で中国に調査を要求」

The United States has asked China to investigate Google's allegations that hackers there got into its e-mail system and stole the personal information of hundreds of users.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, has begun investigating Wednesday's alleged attacks on Gmail accounts. Among them were e-mail accounts of senior U.S. government officials and Chinese political activists.
Google says the attacks seem to have originated in Jinan City in China's Shandong Province. Initially, the U.S. government had declined to comment on whether China was involved.
But on Friday, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said the U.S. had raised concerns with China about the allegations and asked the country to look into them.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal quoted a U.S. government source as saying that White House staffers were among those targeted.
Toner said the U.S. government still has no indication of whose accounts were compromised.
The Chinese government has consistently denied any involvement.

アメリカのFBI (=連邦捜査局)は、Gメール(グーグルの電子メールシステム)のユーザーアカウントが水曜日(6月1日)に攻撃を受けたとされる事件の調査に乗り出しました。被害を受けた中には、アメリカ政府高官や中国の政治活動家のアカウントも含まれています。

6/16「ペルー大統領選 ケイコ氏惜敗」

Leftist former army officer Ollanta Humala has won Peru's presidential election. His rival, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, conceded defeat.
Humala declared victory on Sunday. The election result has generated concern that he may nationalize industries and stall the economy. On Monday, Peru's stock market tumbled by 12.5 percent, posting its largest-ever single-day decline.
Keiko Fujimori said on Monday that she accepts Humala as the winner, and wished him luck.
Fujimori expressed her determination to remain active as opposition party leader. She said her party will uphold its principles and work for Peru.
Fujimori's defeat came as her father serves a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and ordering the killing of civilians when he was president in the 1990

ウ マーラ候補は日曜日(6月5日)に勝利宣言をしました。今回の選挙結果は、ウマーラ候補が産業の国有化を進め、それによって経済を停滞させるのではないか という懸念を引き起こしました。そのため月曜日(6月6日)、ペルーの株式市場は12.5%という1日としては過去最大の下げ幅を記録しました。

6/15「沈没船のシャンパン 過去最高額で落札」

A bottle of 200-year-old champagne has been auctioned for a record-setting 30,000 euros, or 44,000 dollars, after being salvaged from a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.
More than 140 bottles of champagne and beer were discovered last year in the shipwreck.
The champagne is believed to date to the early 19th century, but it has apparently been well preserved thanks to dark and cold conditions at the sea bed.
The bottle was won by a bidder in Singapore, who took part in the Finland-based auction over the Internet.
Organizers say proceeds from the auction will be used for charity projects to protect the marine environment and for other purposes.


6/14「欧の大腸菌 感染源特定急ぐ」

The World Health Organization says the E. coli O104 bacteria spreading in Europe is a rare strain that has never been seen before.
More than 1,700 people have fallen ill from a food poisoning outbreak in 12 countries, mainly in Germany. Eighteen of them have died due to kidney failure and other problems.
The WHO said in a statement on Thursday that the E. coli strain is a rare one, never seen before in an outbreak. The organization says it is trying to identify the infection route, in order to stop the spread of the bacteria.
The WHO officials and other researchers say the bacteria is highly toxic and infectious. Some experts say it could be an entirely new strain.
The WHO says people who have developed bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain after traveling to northern Germany should go for a medical checkup.


6/13「古川さん 順調に飛行」

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft is traveling toward the International Space Station. On board are Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and two other crew. Their rocket blasted off from Kazakhstan early Wednesday.

(Control center)
"Lift-off of the Soyuz-27 rocket spacecraft carrying Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov into orbit."

The Soyuz lifted off successfully at 2:12 AM local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Nine minutes later, the Soyuz went into orbit about 200 kilometers above the Earth as scheduled.
It has deployed its solar panels and communication antennas.
The three crewmen have taken off their space suits and moved from the cockpit area into the living section.
The Soyuz is due to dock on Friday with the space station, which is orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth.
This is Furukawa's first flight since he was selected as a candidate astronaut 12 years ago.
He will stay in the space station for about five months and carry out scientific and medical experiments using his expertise as a surgeon.



Japan's Cool Biz campaign has just got a whole lot more casual.
Office workers will be encouraged to dress down this summer, getting the green light for jeans and sandals.
The Environment Ministry is responding to the acute power shortages caused by the accident of the Fukushima power plant.
The new drive, dubbed "Super Cool Biz," allows even more casual attire in the summer workplace. Hawaiian shirts, jeans, polo shirts and sandals are now all acceptable work dress.
In southwestern Japan, Takeo City in Saga Prefecture is taking the concept a step further. It launched an "Ultra Cool Biz" campaign on Wednesday, allowing employees to work in shorts.
The city is anticipating summertime power shortages due to the partial suspension of a local nuclear power plant.


Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka has collected a prestigious Wolf Prize for his groundbreaking work with stem cells.
Yamanaka was the first to create induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which have the potential to develop into any body tissue or organ.
The award ceremony took place in Jerusalem, Israel, on Sunday.
Professor Yamanaka, of Kyoto University, shared the prize in medicine with Professor Rudolf Jaenisch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Their work has paved the way for current research into regenerative medicine.
Yamanaka said that new treatments will be developed, so he wants people suffering from diseases that are currently untreatable to stay hopeful.
Wolf Prize winners are considered strong contenders to win the Nobel Prize, but Yamanaka says he isn't thinking about it.


6/08「リニア中央新幹線 建設へ」

Japan's transport ministry has ordered the construction of the country's first magnetically levitated train system.
The next-generation high-speed rail service is now on track to begin service in 2027.
On Friday, the ministry ordered the Central Japan Railway Company, or JR Tokai, to construct a maglev train system between Tokyo and Nagoya.
Maglev trains boast a maximum operating speed of 500 kilometers per hour, cutting travel time between the two cities to just 40 minutes.
The ministry told JR Tokai to build the tracks on an almost straight route, using underground tunnels to pass beneath a mountain range.
The firm plans to start an environmental assessment this year and begin construction in three years.
Maglev trains are scheduled to start operating between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 and between Tokyo and Osaka in 2045. The project is estimated to cost nearly 110 billion dollars.


6/07「IAEA 事故調査報告まとまる」
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency will submit a summary of its report to the Japanese government on Wednesday after concluding its investigation into the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
The 18-member team inspected the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other nuclear facilities beginning May 24th.
The draft of the IAEA summary report says Japan took the best possible measures immediately after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, but it had underestimated the potential danger of tsunami.
The draft says Japan did its best under the circumstances with all safety systems lost and insufficient manpower and lighting.
But the draft also indicates that Japan had not considered the full impact of the tsunami and failed to respond effectively to waves that were higher than had been expected.
The report also states the fact that four reactors were exposed to the risk of meltdowns is a major issue in the accident.
The team criticizes Japan for failing to ensure the independence of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Three years ago, the IAEA advised that the agency should be separated from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.



Tourism ministers from Japan, China, and South Korea have agreed to create an emergency management manual to prevent tourism from being affected by unfounded rumors.
Japan's transport minister, Akihiro Ohata, who is also in charge of tourism, attended Sunday's meeting in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The discussion focused primarily on the huge decline in the number of foreign visitors to Japan following the March 11th disaster.
A joint statement called on the governments and tourism industries of the three countries to take proactive measures to encourage tourists to visit Japan.
The statement also said the radiation scare caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was the primary cause of the decline in visitor numbers.
The three ministers agreed to draw up an emergency management manual to cope with such situations.
The manual would enable the sharing of accurate information among the three countries and prevent tourism from being affected by unfounded rumors stemming from natural disasters or epidemics.


6/03「ツタンカーメン側近の墓 公開」
Egypt has opened six new tombs to the public. They include the final resting place of a close aide to King Tutankhamen, who lived more than 3,300 years ago.
The tombs are located in Saqqara near the capital, Cairo. They were only recently excavated by a Dutch-led team. Tourists were allowed in for the first time on Monday.
One tomb is the burial place of Horemheb, a general under King Tutankhamen who later became king himself. It features reliefs depicting soldiers with their horses.
Egypt saw a sharp drop in the number of foreign visitors after the revolt that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
The minister of antiquities says his country is now safe. He is urging tourists to visit the tombs and enjoy the mystery of Ancient Egypt.


6/02「オバマ大統領 中東和平で新提案」

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and other territories it occupied in the 1967 war and to freeze settlement activities in those areas.
(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

In his Middle East policy speech on Thursday, Obama also criticized Palestinian leadership for its plan to seek admission to the United Nations as an independent state at the UN General Assembly in September. He added that the Palestinians should seek peace through negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama's speech, saying the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel's existence.
Obama and Netanyahu are expected to discuss the matter when they meet at the White House on Friday.
Obama's speech is seen as going further than previous U.S. leaders, who have traditionally sided with Israel.


6/01「東芝 風力発電に参入」
oshiba Corporation has decided to join the wind-power generation business by acquiring a stake in a major South Korean wind turbine maker.
Toshiba said on Monday that it has agreed to spend about 37 million dollars buying convertible bonds that South Korea's Unison will issue over a 12-month period.
That means that Toshiba will acquire about a one-third stake in the South Korean company.
Toshiba's decision to enter the wind power business signals a likely shift in its focus on renewable energy.
Toshiba has positioned the nuclear power generation business as a main pillar of its growth strategy and is aiming for sales of more than 12 billion dollars in fiscal 2015.
But the company may be forced to reconsider this goal since the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis is likely to prompt other countries to review their nuclear policies.


5/31「ムバラク前大統領 起訴」

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons have been indicted on conspiracy charges relating to the killing of anti-government protestors.
Mubarak was ousted during an uprising in February.
Egyptian prosecutors say the three are charged with ordering the then interior minister and senior police officials to kill demonstrators.
They are also accused of abusing power to amass wealth and being involved in illegal deals for natural gas.
Mubarak has been interrogated in a hospital in the eastern resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The prosecutors are considering whether to transfer him to a Cairo jail where his sons are being held.
Even after the fall of the 30-year dictatorship, rallies are being held in Egypt to demand that the former president face justice.


5/30「中国 北朝鮮に改革開放促す」

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has indicated that China invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to help promote economic reforms in the North.
Wen referred to Kim's ongoing visit to China during his meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Tokyo on Sunday.
Wen reportedly said that China invited Kim to help him learn from China's economic development and promote reforms in his own country.
It is exceptional for China to announce the North Korean leader's visit before he returns home.
It is thought that Wen is trying to win South Korea's understanding for Kim's visit, as the two nations disagree over how to address North Korea's nuclear program.
South Korea says the issue should be discussed at the UN Security Council, but China is reluctant to do so.



Pakistan's National Assembly has condemned the United States for carrying out a military operation on the country's soil without prior notification or authorization.
Members of the National Assembly met on Friday and discussed the U.S. raid in Abbottabad on May 2nd, which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The assembly unanimously adopted a resolution that condemned the unauthorized U.S. military operation and called it a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.
The resolution released after the meeting also calls on the United States to stop carrying out attacks in Pakistan using unmanned aircraft.
The assembly has come under increasing pressure to review Pakistan's relationship with the United States, amid growing anti-U.S. sentiment in the country.


5/26「AKB48 海外で定期公演」

The all-girl Japanese pop group AKB48 has set up its first international base, in Singapore, for regular live performances in a bid to gain more fans in other parts of Asia.
AKB48 kicked off their first performance there on Sunday, and will appear live twice a month.
The group, made up of girls in their teens and early 20s, rose to stardom with daily live performances in Tokyo's Akihabara district, home to a number of Japanese subcultures.
They have performed in countries where they are very popular, such as South Korea and Russia.
In Singapore, the 2,000 tickets for the concert were quickly sold out. Young fans, including those all the way from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia, came to see the show and enjoyed the performance.

AKB48 は、ティーンと20代初めの若い女性で構成され、東京・秋葉原地区での毎日のライブ公演によってスターの地位に駆け上がりました。秋葉原は、日本のいくつ ものサブカルチャーの発祥地です。AKB48は韓国やロシアなどでもすでに公演を行い、非常に人気を集めています。


Ahead of expected power shortages in the coming months, the Japanese government has set its summer energy-saving target at 15 percent for areas which are supplied by the Tokyo and Tohoku power companies.
The two utility firms suffered extensive damage from the March 11th disaster.
The plan was hammered out on Friday by the government task force. It's calling on corporate and individual users to cut their electricity consumption by a uniform 15 percent, compared to the peak shown in summer last year. That's lower than the maximum 25 percent target announced in April.
The energy-saving program will be implemented between 9 AM and 8 PM on weekdays from July through September.

(Yukio Edano / Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary)
"I am asking businesses and also households to save power in various ways."

However, for corporate users in the disaster-stricken areas, the government will consider relaxing the target, or even making the firms exempt from the plan altogether.


5/24「ノーベル賞の銀行総裁 辞任」

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has resigned as the head of the microfinance bank he founded. He stepped down following the Bangladeshi Supreme Court's ruling that his dismissal was lawful.
Yunus designed the microcredit system, through which small amounts of money are lent to poor people without collateral. He founded the Grameen Bank and became managing director.
In March, Bangladesh's central bank ordered Yunus to step down, saying he was occupying the top position without its approval.
Yunus remained at the helm and took the dispute to court, but he lost his final appeal in the Supreme Court last month.
In a statement on Thursday, he said he was stepping down to prevent interference with the bank's work.
He said he wants the bank to maintain its independence.
Some observers say the government dismissed Yunus because it feared his nationwide popularity would give him political influence.
Many Bangladeshis urged Yunus and the government to talk so that anti-poverty programs could continue uninterrupted.

ユ ヌス氏は、少額の資金を無担保で貧しい人々に貸し出すマイクロクレジット制度を考案しました。(そして)ユヌス氏はグラミン銀行を設立し、総裁に就任して いました。(しかし)今年3月にバングラデシュの中央銀行は、ユヌス氏が(中央銀行の)承認を受けることなくトップの地位についているとして、ユヌス氏に 辞職するよう命令を出しました。

5/23「英女王 百年ぶりにアイルランドへ」

Britain's Queen Elizabeth has begun a visit to Ireland, the first by a British monarch in a hundred years.
The queen was greeted by Irish President Mary McAleese in the capital Dublin on Tuesday at the start of her four-day stay in the former British colony.
She laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates the Irish who lost their lives to win independence from Britain in 1937.
Her visit to the garden was designed to signal her wish to further improve relations between the two countries.
The queen arrived in Ireland 100 years after her grandfather, King George V , visited Dublin when Ireland was part of the British Empire.
The two countries were locked in a bitter dispute for many years over the colonization of Ireland and the sovereignty of Northern Ireland.
The queen's visit follows the improvement of bilateral ties and last year's effective conclusion of the peace process for Northern Ireland.
女王は、1937年にアイルランドがイギリスから独立する際 、命を落としたアイルランド人を追悼する、ガーデン・オブ・リメンブランスで花輪を捧げました。

5/20「電力不足に備え 家庭用蓄電池」

Japanese electronics firms are moving up their schedules for sales of home-use rechargeable batteries, expecting power shortages in the summer linked to the Fukushima accident.
The batteries can be recharged from household circuits and used as an emergency power source in the event of an outage. Electricity can be stored in the batteries during the night when there's an abundant supply.
Toshiba Corporation has decided to start selling the batteries in June. Its initial schedule was sometime during the next business year.
The firm will convert to household use batteries originally designed for electric vehicles.
Panasonic Corporation also plans to bring forward sales of household rechargeable batteries to before the summer. The company is developing the batteries based on its lithium-ion ones for personal computers.


5/19「日本の借金 史上最悪に」

Japan's debt reached a record of 924 trillion yen, or over 11 trillion dollars, at the end of March this year.
That translates into nearly 90,000 dollars for each Japanese citizen.
The finance ministry says the nation's outstanding debt, including government bonds and borrowings, grew by about 500 billion dollars from a year earlier.
The record debt is due to more government bond issues. The money raised is being used to cover the growing costs of social services, as the elderly account for more and more of the Japanese population.
The ministry expects the debt to exceed over 12 trillion dollars by March 2012.
The government will draft a second supplementary budget later this year to finance the reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 11th disaster.



This year's high-level talks between the U.S. and China produced some agreement on investment and security fronts. But China wouldn't budge on human rights issues or on allowing its currency to appreciate further.
On Tuesday, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue concluded its two-day itinerary in Washington.
In the press briefing after the conference, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters that the U.S. urged China to accelerate the appreciation of the yuan.

(Timothy Geithner / U.S. treasury secretary)
"We hope that China moves to allow the exchange rate to appreciate more rapidly and more broadly against the currencies of all its trading partners."

He also said China promised to remove preferential treatment of domestic firms and step up efforts to protect intellectual property.
However, China wasn't accommodating on revaluing its yuan. It said the U.S. should try to stabilize the dollar, which is the key international currency.


5/17「エジプト 宗教対立続く」

In Egypt, clashes between Muslims and Christians continue despite the government tightening security. 12 people have been killed in the latest violence near Cairo.
Clashes that began Saturday night in front of a church in the Imbaba district northwest of Cairo escalated to gunfire and arson. A dozen people were killed and about 230 injured.
On Sunday the government detained 190 people and stepped up security near churches and mosques, but a fresh round of clashes occurred after a group of Muslim youths threw stones at thousands of Christian demonstrators protesting against the violence.
About 10 percent of Egypt's population is Christian. They've been protesting for more rights since former President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign in February.


5/14「中部電力 原発停止へ対策本部」

The operator of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant says it will set up a task force to find ways to address possible power shortages this summer.
The Chubu Electric Power Company decided on Monday to comply with Prime Minister Naoto Kan's request to suspend operations of all of the reactors in the plant.

(Akihisa Mizuno / President, Chubu Electric Power)
"We are taking the request from the prime minister very seriously. We need to prioritize safety, the very basis of nuclear power."

The Nagoya-based company says the decision will force it to stop supplying power to eastern Japan, which it started doing when the Tokyo Electric Power Company couldn't meet its needs because of the trouble at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The company estimates it will lose about 12 percent of its power supply after the Hamaoka shutdown. The firm will ask the Kansai Electric Power Company, its counterpart in western Japan, to supplement its power supplies during the period.
But TEPCO is also seeking supplies from Kansai Electric to fill a gap of one million kilowatts of power created by Chubu Electric's decision.


5/13「韓国 少子化対策で義務教育延長へ」

South Korea is coping with one of the lowest birth rates in the world. In an effort to reverse the trend, the government is seeking to ease the financial burden on families by lowering the age it offers free education, from six to five years old.
On Monday, Prime Minister Kim Hwang Sik announced that the measure will take effect from next fiscal year. The government will begin by subsidizing tuition.
It will gradually increase the contribution until 2016, when education will become free.
A survey revealed that South Korea's birth rate in 2009 was 1.15 children per woman. Many parents pay for their children to attend cram schools, in addition to kindergartens or nurseries. Officials hope that the new policy will have a positive effect on the birth rate.

調 査によりますと、韓国では、1人の女性が生涯に産む子どもの数の指標となる出生率が2009年に1.15となりました。多くの親が、学費を払って、子ども を幼稚園・保育園のみならず学習塾にも通わせています。政府は、今回の措置が出生率の回復につながることを期待しています。

5/12「英ウィリアム王子 結婚」

The wedding of the year is now over, but the festive mood continues in Britain. Prince William and Kate Middleton are now husband and wife following a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London.
The royal wedding started at 11 AM local time on Friday.
Kate's father, Michael Middleton, walked her down the aisle to the altar, where the bride joined Prince William.
The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service.
The couple exchanged vows, and then William put a ring on Kate's finger. They knelt down and offered prayers, and after that the archbishop pronounced Prince William and Kate Middleton husband and wife.
Around 1,900 guests attended the service, which lasted about an hour. Members of Britain's monarchy were accompanied by foreign royals and government officials.
After the ceremony, William and Kate rode in a carriage procession with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. Many well-wishers lined the streets to congratulate the young couple.
Then the moment everyone was waiting for ? the kiss. It happened not once, but twice.

そして、誰もが待っていた瞬間 ? キス。1度だけではなく、2度交わされました。


Sony Corporation Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai has apologized for the leaking of the personal data of millions of its online service users and urged them to change their passwords.
The move comes after the data of up to 77 million users, including names and addresses, were thought to be stolen from the PlayStation computer game network.
Hirai said the company will create a post dedicated to data protection. Concern is spreading in the United States over the company's management of personal information.
The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Sony's U.S. subsidiary on Friday, asking why the firm did not disclose the hacking attack until April 26th, although the incident happened about a week earlier.
Connecticut's Attorney General also sent a letter to Sony seeking information on the damage so far and on new measures to protect users.
U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly worried, as Sony admitted that not only users' addresses, names and e-mail addresses were leaked, but possibly their credit card information as well.


A vice president of the company says he believes the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant is a man-made disaster.
TEPCO Vice President Norio Tsuzumi visited Iitate Village in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday and apologized to about 1,000 villagers who had gathered to hear him speak.
A resident asked Tsuzumi whether he considers the nuclear crisis man-made or a natural disaster.

(Norio Tsuzumi / Vice President, TEPCO)
"A villager asked me if I thought it was a natural disaster. Personally, I think it was partially a man-made disaster."

All of the 6,000 residents were instructed to evacuate by late May based on accumulated radiation exposure levels resulting from emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

After the meeting with local residents, Tsuzumi explained to reporters why he feels it is a man-made disaster.


5/09「ビンラディン容疑者 DNAで確認」

U.S. authorities say Osama bin Laden was buried at sea. DNA testing confirmed his death.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. Finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."

Speaking to reporters on Monday, officials from the Defense Department and the CIA revealed the multiple methods used to identify the body of the al-Qaeda leader.
They said bin Laden was identified by a woman believed to be his wife, and by CIA experts, who compared his face and body to known pictures of him.
They also said a DNA test confirmed the identity using samples collected from bin Laden's family members.
A senior government official said it was difficult to find a country willing to accept the remains and bury them within 24 hours in accordance with Islamic practice.
The official said the corpse was lowered into the Arabian Sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier on Monday.


The first overseas Japanese high school has opened in Shanghai, where China's economic growth is attracting a growing number of Japanese expatriates.
The high school is part of the 35-year-old Shanghai Japanese School, the largest of all overseas Japanese schools. About 2,600 elementary and junior high students attend the school.
A ceremony to open the high school on Saturday began with a silent prayer offered for people who died in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The school's principal, Takako Yasuo, called on the 55 new students to challenge their limits in Shanghai, which she said is undergoing remarkable development.
There are 88 Japanese schools in 51 countries and territories, but the one in Shanghai is the first to have a high school. The annual tuition is about 16,800 dollars.


4/28「東電 原発事故収拾へ工程表」

The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has announced a schedule for getting the crisis under control in six to nine months.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata explained the schedule at a news conference on Sunday.
He said the plan has two stages.
In the first stage over the next three months, TEPCO aims to cool the No. 1 and 3 reactors in a stable manner.
It plans to cover fuel rods with water by injecting water into the containment vessels.
The company also plans to purify contaminated water and return it to the reactors. It will set up heat exchangers to remove heat from the reactors.
TEPCO says it will contain the radioactivity leakage from the No. 2 reactor by patching the damaged section. Then it will take the same measures as at the No. 1 and 3 reactors.
In the second stage, TEPCO plans to lower the temperature of the fuel in the reactors to below 100 degrees Celsius to stabilize its condition.


4/27「国連大使 ODA削減に反対」

Japan's envoy to the United Nations says that although the country is struggling to fund disaster reconstruction, he is opposed to reducing assistance to developing nations.
The Democratic Party-led government is looking into the possibility of cutting aid as part of a plan to cover the cost of rebuilding.
Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida said on Thursday that Japan's official assistance to developing nations covers a wide range of efforts. He said they include promoting development, enhancing security, as well as environmental projects and the removal of landmines.

(Tsuneo Nishida / Japanese Ambassador to UN)
"Official development assistance constitutes the bulk of Japan's contribution to the international community. If Japan goes ahead with substantial aid cuts, it would undermine its diplomatic activities."

Nishida added that foreign countries are paying close attention to Japan's moves ahead of an international conference next month in Turkey on assistance for the world's least developed nations.


4/26「カタール 日本へLNGを追加供給へ」
Qatar's state-run gas company says it will provide an extra four million tons of liquefied natural gas to Japan over a one-year period.
The additional supply is intended as an emergency measure to help Japan amid power shortages caused by the disaster.
The amount is equivalent to six percent of Japan's total LNG imports, and is enough to power five million households for one year.
It's believed the extra LNG will be sold mainly to Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company, which had to implement rolling blackouts after the disaster.
The Qatari gas company says Japan has been an important customer for many years, and that it's ready to respond to requests for further supplies.


4/25「キューバ カストロ時代終わる」

In Cuba, Fidel Castro has formally resigned from the top leadership of the Communist Party. The man who led the country's 1959 revolution has now stepped down from all government and party posts.
The 84-year-old former president and long-time foe of the United States attended the party congress in the capital, Havana, on Tuesday.
It was the first congress meeting in 14 years.
Castro has been suffering from a long illness. He appeared on the last day of the four-day congress.
Castro was replaced as first secretary by his brother, Raul, in a party lineup announced at the meeting.
The delegates agreed to modify Cuba's socialist economy and adopt a partial introduction of market principles.
The new policies will allow the transfer of state-owned farmland to individuals. They will also expand the scope of private businesses, allowing people to run taxi firms and restaurants.


A number of foreign musicians have canceled concerts in Japan due to the earthquake and the accidents at the nuclear plant.
One of the famed Three Tenors, Placido Domingo, held a concert in Tokyo as scheduled on Sunday.
Domingo sang the Japanese song "Furusato," or "Hometown." He has visited Japan more than 20 times to perform in concerts and operas.
He was raised in Mexico and experienced the earthquake that hit that country in 1985.
Domingo said he lost relatives in the '85 quake, and can sympathize with the Japanese survivors.
Domingo will hold another concert in Tokyo on Wednesday, and a portion of the ticket sales will be used to help the affected areas. Donations will also be collected at the venue.


4/21「オバマ大統領 赤字削減案を提示」

U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants deficits to be reduced by four trillion dollars over the next 12 years.
Obama made a speech in Washington on Wednesday.

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices. So today, I'm proposing a more balanced approach to achieve four trillion dollars in deficit reduction over 12 years."

He said three trillion dollars will be cut from public healthcare and defense spending. Obama also said the deficit will be slashed by one trillion dollars through tax reform, including an end to tax breaks for the wealthiest.
The U.S. president suggested he would make additional spending cuts and tax reforms in 2014 if the deficit reduction falls short of targets.
Republican legislators had come up with plans to reduce the deficit. But Obama said huge cuts to budgets relating to clean energy development and education were unacceptable. He also said Republican plans tried to give tax breaks to wealthy people.

(野 党である)共和党の議員団も赤字削減の計画を提案していました。しかし、これに対してオバマ大統領は、クリーンエネルギー開発や教育に関連する予算の大幅 なカットは受け入れられないと述べました。また共和党の案は、富裕層に減税を与えようとするものだとも述べています。

4/20「15歳未満の脳死判定 臓器移植へ」

In Japan, preparations are underway for the country's first organ transplants from a brain-dead donor under the age of 15. The move follows a revision of the transplant law last year, allowing organ donations from young children.

(Juntaro Ashikari / Japan Organ Transplant Network)
Message from the donor family
"Our child had always said he would like to become someone who can do a big job and be of help to society. So, we think making the organ donations so that other people live on will fulfill his wish."

The donor is described as a boy between the ages of 10 and 14 who had been undergoing treatment at a hospital in or near Tokyo.
His family had agreed to donate his organs in the event that he was confirmed brain-dead.
Several doctors with no part in the transplant procedures examined the boy twice on separate occasions.
After recording his brain waves and determining that he was unable to breathe on his own, they concluded that he was brain-dead on Tuesday morning.



At the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., various activities are underway to raise funds for disaster-hit areas in Japan.
The festival is held each spring at various sites in the U.S. capital, when more than 3,700 cherry trees bloom along the banks of the Potomac River.
On Saturday, about 5,000 people participated in the festival parade. Brass bands, dancing teams, and a Japanese college drum team were on hand to perform.
This year, visitors are being asked to pay five dollars to enter the main event site, part of which will go to Japanese recovery efforts. Women in kimono ask visitors to make a donation.
Volunteers also demonstrate how to fold paper cranes, and participants donate two dollars for each crane they make.



Japan's nuclear safety agency will raise the crisis level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from 5 to 7, the worst on the international scale.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the decision on Monday. It says the damaged facility has been releasing a massive amount of radioactive substances, which is a threat to human health and the environment over a wide area.
It used the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, or INES, to gauge the level. The scale was designed by an international group of experts to measure the gravity of nuclear events based on ratings of 0 to 7.
On March 18th, one week after the massive quake, the agency declared the Fukushima crisis a level 5. That's the same as Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979.
Level 7 has only been applied to Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union in 1986. At the time, hundreds of thousands of terabecquerels of radioactive iodine-131 were released into the air. One terabecquerel is one trillion becquerels.
It believes the cumulative amount from the Fukushima plant is less than that of Chernobyl.



Thailand is lending Japan a generating facility to help cover an electricity shortage caused by the damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The facility has two gas-turbine generators that together produce 240,000 kilowatts of electricity. That's enough for 80,000 to 240,000 households depending on demand.
The facility was built by a Japanese firm near Bangkok in 1995. It's been used for emergency generation during electricity shortages.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand is lending it to Japan after a request from Tokyo Electric Power Company.
Each of the generators and associated equipment weigh more than 500 tons.
The Thai generating authority and the Japanese manufacturer will start dismantling the plant on Saturday and ship the parts to Japan later this month.
The plant is expected to start running at a Tokyo Electric site as early as August.

(Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand)
"It's an honor for Thailand to help Japan in its crisis."


The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says it will do its utmost to restore public trust in the safety of nuclear energy.
The Convention on Nuclear Safety gathers once every three years with its 72 member nations and institutions.
Director General Yukiya Amano suggested the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant could affect the UN nuclear watchdog's future activities. The IAEA has been promoting nuclear power.

(Yukiya Amano / Director General, IAEA)
"The situation at Fukushima Daiichi remains very serious. The worries of millions of people throughout the world about whether nuclear energy is safe must be taken seriously."

Amano expressed his determination to restore public trust through steps that include ministerial talks in June.
The Japanese government and the IAEA will hold a special joint seminar during the meeting, which will run through April 14th.
Officials of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency will also give a briefing on the latest details of the Fukushima situation.


4/13「日立入社式 日本復興の決意促す」

Meanwhile, the president of Japanese electronics giant Hitachi addressed 900 new employees at a welcoming ceremony in Tokyo. Some of the company's major facilities suffered damage in the recent quake.

(Hiroaki Nakanishi / President, Hitachi)
"The domestic infrastructure faces a grave crisis because of the earthquake. We have to stay united in order to overcome this situation."

Hitachi's key factory north of Tokyo had remained off line until earlier this week, while an affiliate's plant is still closed because it is located near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


4/12「コーラン焼却への抗議デモ アフガンで拡大」

Protests continue in Afghanistan against Koran-burning by a U.S. pastor.
Clashes between demonstrators and security forces resulted in further deaths in the southern city of Kandahar on Saturday.
Protests erupted in many parts of Afghanistan, after a Christian group in the U.S. state of Florida said it had burned the Muslim holy book last month.
More than 1,000 Afghans marched through central Kandahar chanting "Death to the United States".
Some protesters turned violent, setting cars and shops on fire and clashing with security forces.
Provincial authorities say that at least nine demonstrators were killed and more than 80 people, including police officers, were injured.
On Friday, protesters attacked a UN facility in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing seven people, including foreign UN staff and security guards.
A provincial government spokesperson says the insurgent groups are stirring anti-U.S. sentiment, blaming the Taliban for the violence.


4/11「漂流する犬 3週間ぶりに救出」
The Japan Coast Guard has rescued a dog from a roof of a house drifting in waters off Miyagi Prefecture. The dog seems to have spent three weeks on the roof since the March 11th quake.
On Friday afternoon, a coast guard helicopter saw a dog drifting in the sea about 1.8 kilometers off Kesennuma City, northern Japan.
Two rescue team members got down to the roof from the helicopter, but the dog was scared by the hovering sound and ran off.
Using a small boat, rescue team members approached the dog again. One of them jumped into the sea and managed to catch it.
When moved to a patrol boat, the dog looked weak and lay down, but later it was able to get up and to eat sausages and cookies. The dog recovered enough to wag its tail and lick the face of a crew member. The coast guard is looking for the animal's owner.


4/8「東北新幹線 4月末にも全線再開」

East Japan Railways says it will resume full operations on the quake-hit Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train line between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori in about one month's time.
JR East resumed service between Tokyo and Nasu-Shiobara four days after the March 11th quake. Service between Morioka and Shin-Aomori restarted last week.
The operator says that the Tohoku Shinkansen tracks and facilities did not suffer major damage, but the route will be reopened in stages after repair work is done, and full service will resume by the end of April.
As for the Yamagata Shinkasen service between Fukushima and Shinjo, the company says normal operations will restart on Thursday.



Germany's anti-nuclear Green Party made major advances in a regional election on Sunday as voters showed their opposition to nuclear power.
The election was in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, which has several nuclear power plants. The Greens got twice as many votes as in the previous state election.
The main reason was anti-nuclear sentiment sparked by the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Christian Democrats have been the ruling party in Baden-Wuerttemberg for 58 years. They're led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to preliminary results, they got 39 percent of the vote but are still the strongest parliamentary group.
The Greens got 24.2 percent of the vote. Another opposition party, the Social Democrats, got 23.1 percent.
If the Greens form a coalition with the Social Democrats, the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg will have Germany's first Green governor.
The German government plans to extend the operating lives of the country's nuclear plants after dropping a policy of abandoning nuclear power last year. It may have to review its plans in light of Sunday's election.



In Libya, countries participating in the military offensive there have agreed to continue their operations in line with the UN Security Council resolution.
They also agreed to increase the pressure on the nation's leader Muammar al-Qadhafi to step down.

(William Hague / British Foreign Secretary)
"There is no future for Libya with Qadhafi in charge of Libya or trying to hang onto power there. That is clear to all of these nations and organizations and we've made that emphatically clear today."

Delegates from more than 40 nations and organizations met in London on Tuesday. Britain, France, the United States and Arab countries, including Qatar, took part in the conference. They were joined by representatives from the United Nations and the Arab League.
In Libya, opposition forces control northeastern cities with the help of coalition troops led by Western countries. Pro-Qadhafi forces are launching fierce counterattacks in central and western parts of Libya.
Delegates denounced the Qadhafi troops for continuing to mount brutal strikes against civilians.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague released a statement saying the coalition forces will continue their military operations. He said the relevant nations will establish a contact group to offer humanitarian assistance to civilians in Libya and provide political direction to prepare for the collapse of the Qadhafi government.

イ ギリスのヘイグ外相は声明を発表し、多国籍軍は軍事作戦を継続すると述べました。ヘイグ外相によりますと、関係国はコンタクトグループ(連絡調整グルー プ)を設置してリビアの民間人への人道援助を提供し、カダフィ政権の崩壊後に備えて政治的な方向性を用意するとしています。

France says it will send three more nuclear experts to Japan to help remove highly radioactive water from the troubled power plant.
Two other French experts are already in Japan and are holding talks with the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company. The five are from French-based Areva, one of the world's biggest nuclear energy firms.
They will help to remove the polluted water that is hampering efforts to restore the plant's cooling functions.
This is the first time that France, the world's second largest operator of nuclear plants, has dispatched experts to Japan since the Fukushima reactors were damaged by the March 11th quake and tsunami.
France has already supplied radiation-measuring vehicles and protective clothing.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Japan as chair of the Group of 20 nations on Thursday.
He will meet Prime Minister Naoto Kan to talk about the possibility of extending further technical assistance to resolve the nuclear crisis.



In the Middle East, at least 40 people have been killed in protests in Syria and neighboring Jordan.
Pro-democracy rallies were held in the two countries after Friday prayers.
In and around Syria's southern city of Daraa, clashes between protesters and security troops have taken place.
A Middle East-based satellite TV network reports that dozens of people were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters near Daraa on Friday. The death toll in Syria since last week reached over 40.
Thousands of people also staged demonstrations in central Damascus, the capital. They were chanting "Freedom for Syria!"
The country has been under dictatorship of former president Hafez al-Assad and his son, current president Bashar al-Assad, for about 40 years.
The government has proposed political reforms, including lifting the state of emergency, although the use of force has escalated opposition. It remains unclear when the situation will be resolved.
In the Jordanian capital, Amman, thousands of young people clashed with security forces calling for political reform. One person was killed and more than 100 wounded.


4/1「トヨタ 工場再開を延期」

Japanese automakers have also been hit hard by the quake.
Toyota Motor has decided to delay the restart of its production in Japan to beyond Wednesday.
The carmaker initially planned to reopen its factories on Wednesday, but it says it cannot get enough parts.
Toyota said that the unresolved problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are preventing some of its suppliers from restarting production.
The automaker is considering procuring some supplies from alternative sources, and switching emphasis to models that have sufficient parts.



The United States and some European and Arab countries began military action against Libya on Saturday.
The move is in line with a UN Security Council resolution to protect civilians from attacks by Libyan government forces.
Britain and the U.S. have launched cruise missile attacks on Libyan air defense facilities.
British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized Qadhafi, saying the military actions are to protect the Libyan people.

(David Cameron / British Prime Minister)
"What we are doing is necessary, it is legal and it is right. It is necessary because with others we should be trying to prevent him using his military against his own people."

(Barack Obama / U.S. President)
"This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought. Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qadhafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate ceasefire. But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity."

Obama added that the U.S. will not deploy any troops on the ground.
The U.S. Defense Department said that more than 110 cruise missiles were launched from U.S. and British naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack targeted more than 20 Libyan air defense facilities.
As the situation in Libya enters a critical phase, attention is now focused on Qadhafi's response.

オ バマ大統領は「これ(リビア攻撃)はアメリカにとっても、行動をともにしている他の国々にとっても、求めていた展開ではありません。国際社会は昨日(3月 19日)も、ムアンマル・カダフィに即時停戦へ進む機会を提供したのです。しかしリビア政府の(停戦するという)言葉はうわべだけで、彼(カダフィ大佐) は、その(即時停戦へ進む)機会を無視したのです」と述べました。

3/30「震災復興予算 本格検討へ」

The government and the ruling Democratic Party plan to draw up an emergency budget for the reconstruction of northeastern Japan.
They say they will prepare funds for the most urgent reconstruction projects next month, when fiscal 2011 starts. The allocation of funds for less urgent projects will follow.
The government has already allocated about 430 million dollars from a reserve fund for fiscal 2010, which ends on March 31st. The money was used to provide relief goods to survivors.
But another emergency fund is needed to clean up the debris and to repair damaged roads as well as water and sewage systems. Small- and medium-sized companies also need financial assistance to recover.
The total size of the extra budget is expected to exceed the 37 billion dollars allocated for reconstruction projects after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.


3/29「米国務長官 日本を激励」
Words of encouragement coming from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
She says she is certain Japan will overcome its difficulties and make a comeback.

(Hillary Clinton / U.S. Secretary of State)
"It's been inspiring to see how the Japanese people have responded under the most difficult of historic experiences. I really have absolute conviction that Japan will come back even stronger for the future."

Clinton spoke to NHK after visiting the Japanese Embassy in Washington on Tuesday.
Signing a condolence book, Clinton wrote that one thing that shines through is the resilient spirit of the Japanese, which is an inspiration to all Americans.
The U.S. government is advising Americans within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi plant to evacuate the area. This is a lot stricter than the Japanese advisory, a discrepancy that Clinton played down.

(Hillary Clinton / U.S. Secretary of State)
"We may have slightly different views about how to measure the danger or measure the impact, but those are not really in any way undermining the ongoing work that we're doing together."


3/28「G7 円高歯止めへ協調介入」
In the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami, the Group of Seven finance chiefs agreed on coordinated intervention in the currency markets. Japan's monetary authorities took immediate steps to stem the yen's surge.
Japanese authorities began selling the yen for the dollar at 9 A.M. local time on Friday.
In an emergency conference call earlier in the morning, other G7 members also agreed to make similar efforts through their currency markets, as the yen's rapid rise could have a negative impact on the world economy.
In a joint statement released after the call, G7 nations said they would respond to Japan's request and make coordinated interventions to stabilize the currency markets.
This marks the first coordinated currency move among the industrialized nations since 2000, when they put up a united front to stem the euro's decline.

(Masaaki Shirakawa / Bank of Japan Governor)
"The BOJ will continue with monetary easing and will supply ample funds to keep the markets stable."