hello. thank you for joining us on this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. newly released data shows u.s. economic growth slowed in the last quarter of 2016. gross domestic product grew at a annualized rate of just 1.9% in the october to december quarter. the commerce department released its preliminary gdp figure on friday. the u.s. economy has seen moderate expansion from an increase in jobs an higher
wages, but the pace was slower than market expectations. consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of gdp, rose 2.5%. corporate investment on equipment was also up 2.4% and housing construction gained 10.2%. but exports shrank 4.3%. its first contraction in three quarters. for the 2016 calendar year, the economy grew 1.6%. that's down from 2.6% in 2015. president donald trump says his administration will try to achieve 4% annual growth through infrastructure spending. russian president vladimir putin and u.s. president trump are expected to hold their first talks by telephone on saturday. putin told reporters last week he will congratulate trump on his inauguration. he added they may discuss when to have their first meeting face to face. u.s. and russian talks deteriorated after u.s. president barack obama imposed sanctions against the country over the situation in ukraine. but trump is showing his willingness to cooperate with
putin on military operations against islamic state militants in syria. attention is focused on whether the leaders can mend the strained relation between their countries. japanese prime minister abe has indicated he may discuss bilateral trade when he meets the u.s. president. earlier this week trump signed an order to withdraw the united states from the trans-pacific partnership free trade deal. the japanese and u.s. governments are now trying to schedule a summit for next month. abe spoke at a question and answer session in the lower house budget committee. an opposition lawmaker said the u.s. withdrawal from the tpp is a given for president trump, who has clearly stated he will pursue bilateral trade negotiations with many countries. the lawmaker went on to say that if japan raises the possibility of bilateral trade negotiations with the u.s. from the beginning, that would be playing right into trump's hands. abe disagreed. >> translator: as i've already
said, while pursuing the tpp, japan has concluded a bilateral trade deal with australia and is in talks with canada, so bilateral trade negotiations with the u.s. will not contradict japan's policy. >> abe then says he intends to stand firm and take the best path towards maximizing japan's national interest and there is no change in that stance. trump is wrapping up his first week in office. he spent much of it trying to make good on the list of promises he made on the campaign trail and his actions are drawing both praise and protest. nhk world's yuri ito has more. >> we are transferring power from washington, d.c., and giving it back to you, the people. >> reporter: on day one, trump pledged to keep every one of his campaign promises and drain the washington swamp.
if anyone thought trump would be a golf course president, this week is proving otherwise. the reset of the obama era is was noticeable as soon as he sat down in the oval office. the curtains had been redecorated to fit his aesthetics, his trademark color, gold. then within hours came trump's first executive order. he directed his agencies to phase out on the predecessor's health care law, obamacare. and it didn't stop there. he signed more than a dozen executive actions so far to roll back obama's policies. they include backing out of the transpacific partnership. >> great thing for the american worker, what we just did. >> reporter: the moves led the markets to rally. the dow hit the 20,000 mark for the first time ever wednesday on expectations trump would help american companies. but it's not just the markets that are rallying. protests are taking place across the country.
>> this is definitely a blow to immigrants and refugees. and i hope that he will hear the cries and the pleas and the concerns of his citizens. >> reporter: and in mexico, the reaction to the planned border wall? anger. >> translator: he thinks only about himself and doesn't care about other people. >> translator: the wall doesn't have anything to do with us. why do mexicans have to pay for it? he probably just wants to take our taxes. i think that's bad. he's crazy. >> reporter: the rest of the world is also watching waiting to see plans that could affect them. one possibility, moving the embassy in israel from tel aviv to jerusalem. the city's status is disputed between israelis and palestinians. such a move is likely to anger palestinians and heighten tensions in the middle east. and many u.s. allies are nervous about statements like this. >> our allies are not paying their fair share.
and i've been talking about this recently a lot. our allies must contribute toward their financial, political, and human costs. have to do it. of our tremendous security burden. >> reporter: defense secretary, james mattis is scheduled to visit japan and south korea next week. it will give the asia pacific region a sense of what trump actually has in store. yuri ito, nhk world. an american civilian worker at a u.s. military base has admitted he's responsible for the death of a woman in japan's southern prefecture of okinawa last april. the case has triggered massive protests and led to a review of the status of u.s. base workers. kenneth franklin shinzato has been indicted on several charges including killing a 20-year-old woman. investigators said he had stood mute about the charges.
but his lawyer said on friday shinzato admitted to causing her death after trying to rape her and then dumping her body. earlier this month tokyo and washington signed a pact limiting the scope of legal protection given to u.s. civilians working on military bases. in other news, there are more and more foreign workers in japan. the number employed by japanese companies alone has topped 1 million for the first time. the labor ministry found the number of foreign workers japanese firms have on their books was 1,080,000 as of the end of october. that's up nearly 20% from a year earlier. as more companies turn to foreigners with professional qualifications as well as international students. workers from china made up more than 30% followed by those from vietnam and the philippines. the manufacturing sector accounted for 30% of jobs. many foreigners also found work in the service sector and wholesale retail sector. people around asia are ready
to celebrate the lunar new year starting saturday and many chinese use the holiday period to travel. nhk world has a report on how japanese businesses are shifting gears to keep customers. >> reporter: at tokyo's hand da airport, chinese tourists have been arriving in droves. japan has been a population destination for them. almost 6.5 million visited japan last year. so catering to them is big business. the number of applications this year is higher than last. >> translator: i would like to go skiing and shopping in tokyo. >> translator: i want to visit historical sites, not just shop. >> reporter: shops like this one in tokyo's neighborhood is already starting to see waves of chinese tourists. in recent years japan has gotten used to seeing tourists for a flock to shops.
they're still spending a lot, but in a different way. one shop says the chinese tourists are buying fewer expensive electronics and turning more to cosmetics and daily goods. >> translator: each of them is spending less individually. but we see about the same amounts of visitors as in the past. and they buy roughly the same amount of product. >> reporter: that much is what the latest survey by the japan tourism agency says. it estimates that even though the total spending of chinese visitors was higher, individually each person spent roughly 20% less. businesses point to a higher tax on goods brought back to the country. they also say people who have been to japan several times are more interested in sightseeing and eating. so some people in japan are trying to create other opportunities.
officials in one tokyo district have put up photos and maps in different languages introducing tourist sites. and on the northern island of hokkaido, a ski resort has outfitted itself with flashy new rental equipment to try to appeal to visitors. as demands of chinese tourists change, japanese businesses are going to be busy trying to keep up. nhk world, tokyo. japanese business leaders have called on aung san suu kyi. to do more to improve her country's infrastructure and deregulate capital. more than 30 business leaders from japan met her on friday in the capital. chairman of the japan chamber of
commerce said a greater number of japanese companies have been focusing on myanmar over the past several years. but he added myanmar has weak infrastructure with frequent power outages and restrictions remain on foreign capital. he asked for swift reform. aung san suu kyi reportedly said they have the same views and they'll work to fulfill the requests. she said myanmar wants japanese companies to invest more in infrastructu infrastructure. >> translator: we have made suggestions and the question is whether the myanmar government can really carry out those suggestions. that will be one of the key factors in attracting japanese investment. >> myanmar has rapid economic growth of about 8% a year, but development is expanding imports and generating a trade deficit. the country is now seeking to enlarge its export sector. people in the philippines have gathered outside the national police headquarters in
manila to protest the killing of a south korean businessman by police officers. patchari raksawong at our bureau in bangkok has the details. >> officials say he was kidnapped by police who intended to demand a ransom but ended up dead. they have tied the gruesome incident to the apparent immunity enjoyed by local security forces in president duterte's bloody war. over 100 protesters called for justice for the korean businessman and other victims of what they call extra judicial killings. police in the philippines have killed thousands of people in the campaign duterte launched against drugs after he took office in june. >> we are protesting because we believe that impunity is the norm here in the police force. you can be killed inside the police camp. you can be killed inside jail. this is really, really bad. the drug war is spinning out of control.
and the police think they can get away with anything. >> according to the philippine justice department, jee was kidnapped by the police inside his home in october last year. he was killed later inside the national police headquarters. police say the officers accused of kidnapping and murdering jee were anti-narcotic officers who went to the house on the pretext of a drug raid. amid mounting criticism, duterte apologized on thursday in a ceremony that was attended by the south korean ambassador. >> i apologize for the death of your compatriot, but i can assure you those responsible are known to us already, and they will have to go to prison. >> the ngo human rights watch said the revelation about jee's murder is an ominous indicator of the breakdown of the rule of law under duterte. duterte has expressed support
for the police and pledged to defend them against potential legal actions in the anti-drug campaign. the indonesian finance ministry confirmed on friday that one of its former officials has been detained on his return from turkey over his suspected links to the islamic state militant group raising concerns that radical beliefs are spreading among government employees. the former civil servant was detained in bali on tuesday with his four family members. local media say he was deported by turkish authorities for allegedly trying to join the jihadists. the 39-year-old gained his master's degree in australia. he resigned from his job in the ministry's fiscal policy office february of last year. police estimate that more than 600 people from indonesia have flocked to join the islamic state group in the middle east. police officers and even a senior public servant were among them.
in thailand, a slightly built soccer player has been in the limelight dubbed the messi of thailand. he is about to realize his dream of playing in japan. nhk world's karnbodi ngambit reports. >> reporter: in early january, japan's pro soccer team introduced one of its new players to the media. >> translator: i want to assist with as many goals as possible and also score myself. >> reporter: 23-year-old chanathip songkrasin is just 158 centimeters tall and weighs 56 kilograms, which is on the small side even for a nonathlete, but his fast dribble and clever ball control has made him one of thailand's top players.
he made his professional debut at 18 and won the award for the year's most valuable young player. he has been called the messi of thailand as his small stature and his playing style resemble those of lionel messi, the argentinean superstar. >> translator: he's a superstar in thailand. >> reporter: chanathip lives in bangkok. he showed us something that inspired him to play overseas. it was a japanese comic series about soccer. it's about a boy aspiring to become a top class soccer player. he leaves his home on a remote japanese island to hone his skills abroad. the story convinced chanathip to take on the challenge of moving to a higher level.
>> translator: the hero is small for a soccer player, so he trains hard. at first his teammates don't accept him, but he always leads the team to victory and they gradually come to embrace him. >> reporter: chanathip's father showed us the first soccer boots he bought for his son when he was 5 years old. he recognized his son's talent when he was a small boy and trained him hard. he made his son practice dribbling in front of the house every day. >> translator: i didn't let him run around and play like other kids. i made him practice. >> reporter: he took notes on how the world's top players moved and taught his son to do the same. he saw the argentine superstar
diego maradona, with a small stature would be a good model for his son. >> translator: my son and maradona have a lot in common. both born in october and both short. chanathip is lucky. >> translator: soccer in japan is a new challenge for me. i need to play at a higher level than i did in thailand. i want to study soccer and hone my skills in japan. i'll do my best to prove myself there. >> reporter: chanathip is entering japanese soccer with great determination and the expectations of the thai people on his shoulders. nhk world, bangkok. and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok.
tokyo police are investigating whether an international jewel thief network is targeting japan. they have arrested two more chinese nationals they believe are members of a gang known as pink panda. investigators suspect the two stole at least one diamond at a trade fair earlier this week. the suspects deny the allegation. police had already arrested three others they believed belonged to the same group. they showed up at the event this year and last year. that's when police suspect they stole a diamond ring. all the suspects came to japan a few days before the fair started. police believed they were targeting it because security is less tight there than in jewelry shops. that type of theft is typical for the pink panda network that's been active in europe. an international team of scientists has reportedly succeeded in growing human cells
inside pig embryos. researchers at the salk institute in california and others published the announcement in the journal "cell." the scientists inserted ips cells into pig embryos. then they implanted them into sows. after four weeks, they confirmed human cells were present in the embryos. the embryos generated precursors of organs, including liver and heart tissue. the researchers say that they did not find any capable of transforming into brain cells. human and pig embryos grow at different rates. but the scientists say they were able to develop the pig embryos by using multiple ips cells cultured in different ways. human animal research has raised ethical concerns. in california, research on human animal embryos is allowed for up to four weeks after implantation.
the researchers hope to develop a method for growing human organs that can be used for transplants that complies with ethical guidelines. an international forum to discuss a new framework for global cooperation in space exploration will be held in japan next year. japan's science ministry announced on friday the international space exploration forum will take place in tokyo on march 3rd, 2018. >> translator: ministerial level officials from around the world will be attending. we'll discuss international cooperation in space exploration. >> the forum hopes to come up with ways to cede a framework for global cooperation in lunar and asteroid exploration initiatives beyond the space program scheduled to end in 2024. japan plans to have about 40 countries take part. they would include not only iss program participants such as the united states and russia, but also nations promoting their own space programs such as china and
india. today anyone with a digital camera or smartphone can take beautiful photos, but there are some occasions when only a professional portrait will do. new kinds of photo services are popping up here in japan that are a far cry from the formal studios of the past. nhk's world's reporter has the story. >> reporter: they are on a date. but this time, it's a little different. they've brought someone else along, a photographer. >> translator: great. very nice. now cheek to cheek, please. >> reporter: the professional behind the camera accompanies families on outings and takes their pictures for a fee. he shoots about 200 pictures over a couple hours. prices start at about $100. >> translator: wow.
it's amazing. this is the first time to me. the pictures are more natural and informal than the traditional kind. we want him to capture what we are really like. >> translator: of course i'll post them on twitter. i can't wait to hear what people have to say. >> reporter: the service has attracted lots of young customers through word of mouth. the company that provides it receives about 200 orders a month. people who want more natural-looking portraits of their kids can now visit a special kind of studios like the ones at this ordinary-looking house. >> reporter: conventional studios often youths harsh light, you but here a professional photographer trying to capture a child's expression in the natural light, surrounded by lovely furniture. at the studios, creating the right atmosphere is just as important as understanding how to use the camera.
>> translator: thank you. i'm so happy. >> reporter: professional photographers can capture a child's changing expressions when they're smiling or surprised. that's something i can't do. >> reporter: japan's portrait studio industry is undergoing a transformation. in tokyo, the number of children is on the rise and that presents an opportunity. >> translator: parents and grandparents tend to spend more money on kids these days. so i think this market will continue to grow. >> reporter: getting into the business is easy. all you need is money to rent a house and to hire someone to shoot the pictures. many firms not normally associated with the photography
industry are now getting into the act. this woman took advantage of the opportunity to expand into this area. >> translator: i didn't know anything about this business or about how to use cameras, either, but they taught us everything, so i don't need to worry. that's very important. >> reporter: people used to have formal portraits taken to document key events in their lives, but these new services allows them to capture more personal moments whenever and wherever they like. nhk world, tokyo. and next here's the three-day outlook on the weather for selected cities around the globe.
grand champion, kisenosato has performed his first ring entering ceremony at meiji shrine in tokyo before throngs of fans. nearly 20,000 people packed in on friday to watch the ceremony. kisenosato is first japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to reach the sport's highest ranks. he wore a braided white robe around her waste, a symbol of grand champion. kisenosato performed in the style which is said to represent sumo offense and defense. spectators cheered as he stomped the ground. that's all for now on this edition of nhk "newsline." i'm raja pradhan in tokyo. from all of us at nhk world, thanks for watching.
♪welcome to "global 3000." this week, we're off to switzerland to find out what migrants need to learn in order to live and work there. then in india, we meet a young woman giving a voice to the untouchables. but first, we head to japan, where women often lose their jobs when they get pregnant. japan has been ranked at position 101 on the global gender gap index, a study of the status of women in 145 different countries. this puts the highly-developed country far