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tv   Witness History  BBC News  July 3, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm BST

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a warm, muggy night to come. many of the downpours easing, but pepping up again later in the night across southern south—western parts. tomorrow, outbreaks of rain clearing northern scotland, some sunny spells developing, further heavy and thundery showers to contend with, so certainly bear that in mind if you have got outdoor plans. there are some met office weather warnings, so it is certainly worth having a look at those. for the most part, winds are light, so some of these downpours are going to be quite slow—moving. but, as ever, some places will avoid them and stay dry. feeling quite humid out there, temperatures into the high teens and just the low 20s.
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hello, this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines: the countdown is on as england prepare to take on ukraine in the hope of winning a place in the euro semifinals for the first time in a quarter of a century. the opportunity is there, the confidence is there and the belief. and, yeah, i think they're looking forward to the challenge. meanwhile, england fans have been told not to travel to italy for the match but for those already in the country, the excitement is building. supermarket chain morrisons accepts a multi—billion pound takeover bid by a us investment group, led by the owner of majestic wine. britain's main doctors�* union urges the government to keep some measures in place after the 19th ofjuly when all covid restrictions are due to be removed.
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at least two bodies have been found and around 20 people remain missing injapan, after a landslide sent mud cascading down a hillside, smashing into homes and sweeping away cars. cheering she's done it — teenager emma raducanu becomes the youngest british woman to reach round 4 of wimbledon after beating romanian world no 45 sorana cirstea in two straight sets. and the sexism row in ukraine — criticism as women soldiers parade in high—heeled shoes. now on bbc news, witness history presented from japan introduces us to five important moments injapan�*s history including the royal wedding that broke over
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2,600 years of tradition. a warning — the programme contains images some viewers may find distressing. hello, i'm carmen roberts. thank you forjoining me here injapan�*s capital, tokyo, for this special edition of witness history, celebrating five extraordinary moments in japanese history, as told to us by people who were there. coming up: the trees that survived the atomic bombing in hiroshima and stand as beacons of hope. the campaign to make the contraceptive pill available in japan. and an imperial wedding that broke with tradition. but first we head back to 1964, ahead of the first olympic games here in tokyo when the fastest train the world had ever seen was launched.
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the shinkansen, or bullet train, ran between tokyo and osaka and reached a top speed of 210 kilometres an hour. witness history spoke to one of the train�*s first drivers. it looks like a bullet, this super express that thrusts aside all existing ideas on train speed. it runs on rail links a mile long on which it has reached 150 miles an hour on a trial run. even then it was not flat out. translation: nobody had ever gone that fast, - maybe on a plane taking off but no one had ever experienced it on land. it wasjust incredible, i can't explain it.
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well, when i got a job at japan railways, it was sort of a dream come true because before that, i did not really have a job so once i started working there, i felt like it meant i could become part of society. after a few years, the president ofjapan railways, mr sogo, started the bullet train project and i asked the company to move me to tokaido which was the bullet train line so i could be a driver. of course i remember the first time i saw it. ijust said, "wow!" and i got to drive it on one of the testjourneys. i leaned forward towards the windscreen and i took the controls up to maximum, so 160 kilometres an hour. and on that test drive the train wasn't sealed properly so the window was making a noise. and then it was up to 200 kilometres an hour.
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there were five or six of us drivers in the cabin taking turns on the test drive and we were alljust saying to each other, this is amazing. the new tokaido line express has its route controlled and programmed by computer. it links the most heavily populated and industrialised areas of japan between tokyo and osaka. it cost £380 million to build, and it's set a new standard in passenger comfort. translation: also as we were out driving, there were children waving | to us along the route and that really gave us an amazing feeling. you know, for regular trains, people do not come out to watch it go by or wave. so... i felt a lot of expectation from people. the arrival time is guaranteed. and if it is late for any reason, part of the fare is refunded as a matter of course. but the £380 million spent on the route is already helping to relieve overcrowded adjoining routes where the traffic is expected to double within the next ten years. translation: yes,
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i do feel proud of it. and the way that everyone in society has recognised our accomplishment. remembering the bullet train. next, we head back to 1999 whenjapanese women finally got the right to control the number of children they had by using the oral contraceptive pill. in contrast, the male impotency drug viagra was approved for use injapan and legalised before the pill for women. witness history has been speaking to yoriko madoka who has made it her life's work to fight for the right forjapanese women to access contraception.
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translation: the reason i started pushing for the legalisation - of the pill was because before i became an mp, i ran what i called a happy divorce class for women. i wasn't a professional counsellor or anything, i was a journalist but i volunteered to help people going through a divorce. many women wanted to talk a lot about their abortions. divorce and abortion are actually closely related. if you have good communication with your husband you can say, i don't want to have sex today or i'd like to use contraception. but many women told me they were not having any conversations like that with their husbands at all. so they ended up becoming pregnant and not wanting to be, and so then having abortions. and this would't be just be once but twice, even three times.
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it puts a lot of stress on a marriage. i thought women have got to be able to control their own reproduction, not rely on men for contraception. women should be able to decide when they want children. but japanese women have been taught for generations that it is better to know nothing about sex or even about their own bodies. it was all considered shameful. even now, some women don't believe contraception is a female issue. in the 80s, i became an mp and changing the law to allow the contraceptive pill became my big issue. i couldn't understand why it still wasn't allowed.
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so i wrote to the health minister. i said it's time to legalise the pill. but he told me, "miss madoka, the pill is allowed in western countries. not here because the body of a japanese woman is different to a western woman." and i wanted to say, "are you crazy? !" then in the late 90s, viagra arrived. the bill to kill impotency in men. it was approved injapan withinjust six months. that made us women angry. of course, the japanese parliament is dominated by men, that's why a medication for impotency was approved straightaway and why we had to fight for decades for the pill.
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japan's population is shrinking. the birth rate is among the lowest in the world. translation: the government says| we have a low birth rate and we need to have more babies but the japanese system still doesn't support women to have babies. it is directly related. people don't want more children because they can't afford them. education, it's so expensive. i went into politics because i wanted to change the law so a woman can live a life she wants. and marry who she loves and raise the children she wants to have and be financially independent. there are still not enough women in politics, but better representation is the only way to make sure women's
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issues get addressed. yoriko madoka highlighting the need for more women injapanese politics. let's head to 1945 now and the second world war when an atomic bomb was detonated over the japanese city of hiroshima and hundreds of thousands of people were killed and injured. despite many survivors thinking that nothing would grow in their city for decades, 170 trees survived and are still growing. green legacy hiroshima, is a project that sends seedlings from these trees all around the world spreading a message of hope. tomoko watanabe is a co—founder of this project and she spoke to us at witness history. translation: these | are the real witnesses. these trees have seen everything.
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at 8:15 in the morning on august 6th, 1945, enola gay, the american bomber plane dropped an atomic bomb on hiroshima. it exploded 600 metres above the hospital. it didn't explode on the ground but in the air. i have heard that the bomb was dropped from this height to kill as many people as possible. the radiation burned all living things in hiroshima. particularly in the two kilometre radius of the epicentre. people were burnt alive.
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this garden is about 1.5 kilometres from the epicentre of the bomb. i heard from many people that at the time there was no colour in hiroshima. there was only black, white or grey. some people say that no plants would grow here for the next 75 years and everybody believed that rumour. they thought this town was dead. at the time, the trees looked like charcoal, a stick of charcoal, like this. but on some of the trees, buds emerged. when people saw that the green buds had come out, they thought that they could survive as well. it was comforting. i can just imagine the vividness of the tiny green bud in that colourless world. it must have given people some comfort and hope.
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my friend nassrine azzimi and i established the green legacy her hiroshima project as co—founders. i am so grateful to nassrine. i was born and raised in hiroshima but i lived here without really seeing these trees because they were so normal and nothing special to me. thanks to an outsider�*s perspective i was able to see them properly for the first time. the trees taught me many things. i began to love them and wanted to tell other people and the next generation about them. green legacy hiroshima tries to plant the seedlings of these trees in places with nuclear power.
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places and other nuclear umbrella in those places that have experienced various natural disasters. we hope the trees can deliver the message that we as a people have the power to recover and survive. trees have a magical power to tell each person what they need to hear. they speak to each human being as well as the whole of humankind across the world. tomoko watanabe from the project green legacy hiroshima. remember, you can watch witness history every month on the bbc news channel or you can catch up on all our films along with over 1000 radio programmes on our online archive. now let's head post warjapan
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and a shocking example of the environmental damage that can be caused by lax regulations on big business. in the 1950s, thousands of people in the town of minamata were poisoned by industrial waste. a factory was pumping heavy metals into a river that led to the sea. witness history has been speaking to fujie sakamoto who lost one daughter to what has been called minamata disease, while her second daughter was born severely disabled. translation: | can't tell. you exactly how much i hate that chemical factory. the chisso corporation devastated our ocean and our people. i just hate it. people used to say that life in minamata was wonderful. chisso corporation was the only company in minamata.
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we are still frightened by the mercury that was leaked by the factory. it poisoned the fish, then people who ate the seafood got the minimata disease. there had been no poisoning before a chemical factory was built in the bay. but the company, the chisso corporation, denied all responsibility and continued to pump its waste into the sea. translation: cats got. the disease before people. they went blind and danced round and round like crazy. soon it was clear people were suffering as well.
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translation: mayumi was my first daughter, | she could not eat fish well because she was only three years old. but she could eat prawns by herself so i let her eat prawns. we thought that something might be wrong with mayumi. we thought she might have the strange disease. when her hands started shaking, i realised she had the disease. she became unable to walk properly, unable to speak. doctors from the local university filmed the shaking fits. they suspected metal poisoning. translation: when | visited her| in hospital, she had lost her sight. but she could still hear. i said to her, "mayumi, your mummy is here, you don't have to cry any more." she gave me a sweet smile. it was her last smile.
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onjanuary the 3rd of 1958, she died. by 1958, we knew it was caused by chisso. we also knew it was caused by waste water pumped into the bay by the factory. they tried to hide it. my second child contracted the disease in the womb. i didn't think it was possible. but three months after she was born, i noticed that something was wrong with her. she is now 59 years old.
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in 1959, the chisso corporation offered us some consolation money. human life cannot be replaced by money. fujie sakamoto remembering the tragedy in minamata. for our final film today we are staying with postwarjapan and in 1959, breaking with over 2000 years of tradition, japan's crown prince akihito married a nonroyal bride, michiko yoshoda. the wedding was broadcast live on tv and millions watched from home while hundreds of thousands lined the streets of tokyo on the wedding day. witness history spoke to shiego suzuki, a former director of tokyo broadcasting system who oversaw the live broadcast. crown prince akihito has married a commoner, michiko shoda, so breaking japanese tradition of more than 2600 years. translation:
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the marriage ceremony, lasting only 15 minutes, took place in a wooden shrine within the walls of the imperial palace. there was no hint of any western influence in the wedding ritual. in sumptious robes, such as the members of the imperial family have worn for centuries, the crown prince and his bride were made man and wife. burdended by no fewer than 12
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kimonos, it took princess michiko three hours to dress. the total weight was 33le.
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cheers accompanied them all the way as they began their drive through tokyo.
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shiego suzuki remembering a turning point injapanese society. that's it for this specialjapan edition of witness history. we will be back very soon with some more first—hand accounts of extraordinary stories from the past. but for now from me and the rest of the witness history team, goodbye.
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hello. plenty of heavy downpours as we go on through the rest of today. threatening skies, varied rain totals, but some spots will see a lot of rain in a short space of time. notjust today but into tomorrow with this area of low pressure staying close by. it's high pressure in italy, and its heat and humidity for the england players to contend with in rome for that match later on. temperatures just slowly edging down towards the mid 20s by the time we get to kick—off. now, as we go into our evening, it is showers, thunderstorms, could be some quite nasty downpours stretching from cornwall, devon, somerset into the cotswolds. outbreaks of rain pushing north across scotland overnight. some clear spells elsewhere, but will keep a good deal of cloud, and actually, after using for a time, the showers pep up again later across southern parts. a warm, muggy night to come. quite a bit of dry weather to start
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the day tomorrow away from some outbreaks of rain clearing northern scotland and heavy showers towards part of south wales and southern england. now, these showers and thunderstorms break out more widely again during the day, with the few warm, sunny spells around them. not everybody will catch a downpour, but if you do, could have quite an impact. bear that in mind if you have got travel plans or outdoor plans, and keep in touch with the latest met office weather warnings, there are some in force this weekend. you can look at those online. some of the showers and thunderstorms will still be around as we go on into sunday evening. by monday, we are left with really just an area of cloud and some outbreaks of rain, some heavy bursts possible, just pushing further north across scotland. within that, there could still be some thundery downpours. elsewhere, drier, still the chance of a shower, but in another weather system bearing down on the south—west later in the day, bringing more rain in and strengthening winds, as well. so it is notjust wet, potentially very windy with this next area of low pressure as it swings in across england and wales as we go on into tuesday.
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further showers following on behind that. during tuesday, could well be left with an area of rain affecting parts of england and wales. showers to the north of that, that all begins to clear away northwards as we go on through the rest of the week, leaving us with a flow of air coming in from the atlantic with, yes, some sunny spells, showers around, turning a bit drier later in the week but not much warmer.
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this is bbc news, the headlines at six. the countdown is on as england prepare to take on ukraine in the hope of winning a place in the euro semi—finals for the first time in a quarter of a century. the opportunity�*s there. the confidence is there. and the belief. and, yeah, i think they are looking forward to the challenge. meanwhile, england fans have been told not to travel to italy for the match but for those already in the country, the excitement is building. for the future of england, it's going to be european champions 2021 and world champions 2022 in qatar. we will be there in dubai as well. come on, england. come on, the boys!


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