hello, i hello, lam philippa hello, i am philippa thomas with bbc world news. japan's prime minister arrives in hawaii for an historic visit to pearl harbor. 75 years after the ports suffered a devastating surprise attack by japanese warplanes was the tributes from fans and fellow artists alike for george michael following his death at the age of 53. his partner says he will never stop missing him. dozens of ships continue the search for what remains of a russian military plane that crashed into the black sea on sunday with 92 people on board. hello. the japanese prime minister shinzo abe it has begun an historic visit to hawaii, 75 years after the japanese attack on pearl harbor that
brought the united states into the second world war. he and president obama are due to visit a memorial that honours the sailors and marines killed in the 1941 attack. before his departure from tokyo, mr abe said he wanted to send a message that japan would never repeat the atrocities of past wars. the bbc‘s laura bickerjoins us from washington. what do we know about the form of this visit? first of all, he has arrived in hawaii. he will meet with president obama over the next few hours. it will be their finalsummit the next few hours. it will be their final summit together and then the pairof them, final summit together and then the pair of them, both presidents, will visit the memorial, the uss arizona, where shinzo abe abbey will take pa rt where shinzo abe abbey will take part ina where shinzo abe abbey will take part in a ceremony to remember the lives lost there, the majority of them were killed on that battleship, them were killed on that battleship, the uss arizona. shinzo abe they
will become the first sitting prime minister of japan to take will become the first sitting prime minister ofjapan to take part in the ceremony at that memorial. minister ofjapan to take part in the ceremony at that memorialm this in any sense an apology?m won't be an apology, that is what we are told not to effect from officials in japan first we are told not to effect from officials injapan first we are are told not to effect from officials in japan first we are told he will expect regret and condolences, just as mr obama did when he became the first sitting resident to visit hiroshima in may. he again expressed his regret for those actions and said it should not be repeated, and that is just what we are expecting from shinzo abe in the next few hours. worth noting he is visiting with president obama in the last few days really of barack obama's time in office. this is a very delicate time for what has become a strong alliance. first war had the transpacific partnership, something mr obama has worked very ha rd something mr obama has worked very hard with shinzo abe to get in
motion. then the president elect who will take office onjanuary motion. then the president elect who will take office on january 21 motion. then the president elect who will take office onjanuary 21 has said that japan should pay to have us troops on its soil. should pay to have that extra defence. he also suggested that japan should develop its own nuclear weapons to defend itself from north korea. it is worth noting that shinzo abe flew to new york, he was the first prime minister, the first leader, to visit with mr calm after he was elected. and it was a symbol then of how important this us japanese alliance is tojapan, important this us japanese alliance is to japan, who has found itself quite isolated in asia with a strengthening north korea and a strengthening north korea and a strengthening china. so the last summit with mrobama strengthening china. so the last summit with mr obama and this view that he hopes to express will be important to the american people, because he wants it to look at
shinzo abe, like an act of friendship to america before donald trump takes office. laura bicker in washington, thank you. the music world has been paying tribute to george michael, who died yesterday, from heart failure, at the age of 53. the singer sold more than 100 million albums in a career spanning nearly four decades. his partner has made a brief comment on twitter, saying he will ever stop missing him. our arts editor will gompertz looks back at his life. # wham bam, i am a man #. wearing a bikerjacket and a white tee, george michael takes his first steps into the limelight as one half of the pop duo, wham. back then, he had big hair and a perma—tan — it was his idea of early ‘80s glam. the reality was a little different. they stuck us in this hotel that must‘ve been about 80p a night. i was sleeping the night before my first top of the pops
in polystyrene sheets and it was a childsize bed! i was sat with my feet over the end, thinking, this is not how it's supposed to be. no matter. he continued to live the dream with feel—good chart hits. # but don't worry, you can suntan #. then came a change of tone and direction. # i'm never gonna dance again. guilty feet have got no rhythm # leading to a career as a soulful solo artist. his first album, faith, sold over 25 million copies, garnered awards galore, and sealed his reputation as a major international artist. it was, oh my god.
i'm a massive star. and i think i may be a poof, what am i going to do?! this is not going to end well! i would just like to say... that was the turning point for me. that was the point at which i had to negotiate some new relationship with celebrity that was not going to destroy me, you know? on stage, that was no problem. his talents were widely admired. but his private life was a different matter. the homophobia was just flying! they were loving it. to be able to say that this man who had hidden from them for the best part of six years,
by then, or seven years, the idea that he had been this tragic, old—fashioned, stereotypical cottager, theyjust loved it! the whole experience led to this song, and its ironic, seedy video, too. cheeky video, too. there were other problems with drugs, addiction and a spell in prison after crashing his car into a shop in london. his sense of humour remained, however. whatever you get up to in your spare time is up to you. then why can't i come to comic relief? because you are a joke, george! comic relief is about helping people like you! he collaborated with many other singers, including elton john, who today wrote, i have lost the kindest, most generous soul and brilliant artist.
madonna also bade him farewell. his old wham partner, andrew ridgely, said he was heartbroken at the loss of his beloved friend. that george michael was one of britain's biggest pop stars is without question. the hundred million—plus albums he sold and the continual presence of his music on our radios and the sold—out arena tours stands out as testaments to his talent. he made life—affirming music that touched, and w and continues to touch millions of fans the world over. martin lewis is a british music & film producer based in los angeles.
he first met george michael in 1984 — and was asked to produce the documentary film of wham's historic visit to china the next year i understand you got that commissioned to produce the documentary pretty much the night you met him? i did indeed. the wham arrived in 1983, in new york, afterwards i went to dinner with george after the concert. george was chatting about things, and i said what are you doing next? george said we have a plan to go to china. i immediately said, that sounds like a great film, that is a documentary. we got chatting and the next thing i knew he said you should make the film. that was it, he went on his impulse, he had an instinct that it would work. lo and behold, in april of the following year, 1985, i was off to china with george to make that phone. martin, we arejust
showing our viewers some of that film, foreign skies, wham in china. people are looking very bemused as the singer tore a market and go on walkabout. it was a bizarre juxtaposition, the chinese government at that time wanted to send out a message that they were liberalising, open to western culture, but they hadn't really prepared the people that well for it. just even the sight of western folks wandering around, particularly dressed in colourful attire, was unusualfor dressed in colourful attire, was unusual for the chinese, and frankly it was also unusual and interesting for george to encounter a different culture. he had originally gone along with the idea of going to china because his managers wanted it asa china because his managers wanted it as a publicity stunt to draw attention to the band and help them break through in america, but it took on a life of its own. wham was the first western pop group to go into china at a time when people
we re into china at a time when people were that traumatised, when they? they had just come out of the cultural revolution, they didn't really dare to be different or individual, and here come these two individuals, who, as you say, were very distinctive, very colourful.m was quite interesting. the director i picked to direct the documentary was the great lindsay anderson, and the night before the first concert i call him saying to george and andrew, you are the apostles of the new materialism, which george was particularly tickled by. it was a cultural revolution if you like. but during the making of the film and while we were there i did start to see the seeds of what was a challenge for george. he loved to make music, that was his big thing, and then suddenly he was finding himself having to play the fame game, having to appease the british tabloid media, and to have to do all the things that they wanted. and he was resentful that he couldn't
survive on the meritocracy of his music, but had to play like a performing flea to satisfy the media in order to reach the public. performing flea to satisfy the media in order to reach the publiclj performing flea to satisfy the media in order to reach the public. i know you kept in touch with him over the yea rs stop you kept in touch with him over the years stop did you sense any more of that anguish? yes, anguish may be too strong a word, certainly at the time when i best knew him. it was certainly a challenge that he was co nsta ntly certainly a challenge that he was constantly going through, but he a lwa ys constantly going through, but he always retained a sense of humour about things, and i remember in particular when the unfortunate incident occurred in 1998, and he was caught in beverly hills in an awkward situation that led to a legal situation, and he that point out at himself as gay. i saw him a few months later, and i said by gosh, that was a bit difficult, being caught by a plainclothes detective, and george immediately said to me, well, i don't think he
was really plain clothes, he was wearing a $2000 gucci jacket. and that was typical of george's sardonic humour, and why he is so beloved by not just sardonic humour, and why he is so beloved by notjust the sardonic humour, and why he is so beloved by not just the fans, obviously, but by his fans, because he was a really warm and loyal friend, and very much a family man. we are speaking to you in los angeles, and there they must be a lot of love and affection for a man of such charisma and talent? very much so. he was very much taken to the bosom of the entertainment community because one thing in america, for all that sense, and there are plenty of them, they are open to real talent, and there is far less of the pettiness that u nfortu nately far less of the pettiness that unfortunately is very much a part of the british tabloid media. so, yesterday there was some coverage of his difficult runs in with the law on different things with drugs and
so on different things with drugs and so on, but people looked at the bigger picture here. that is why he was always very welcome in america, and yet he stayed loyal to britain. he did not leave and stay as a tax ex aisle, you took the slings and arrows of the outrageous british tabloid media and stayed in britain. a pleasure to speak to you. i have just tweeted a link to martin's documentary about wham's appearance as the first western pop group in china. if you want to find out more about george michael's legacy, you will find all of the later stories on our website, including a special photo gallery. russia is holding a day of national mourning for the 92 people who were killed when a military plane crashed in the black sea.
at the crash site in the black sea, forty ships and more than three thousand people are involved in the search operation. one of the main objectives is to find the aircraft's ‘black box' flight recorder which is likely to contain information about the cause. steve rosenberg reports from moscow. across russia, they prayed for the dead — for the 92 victims of yesterday's plane crash. there was a special service today in every orthodox church in russia. this is a day of national mourning. asa sign as a sign of respect, flags were flown at half—mast. this may be the last picture ever taken of the tupolev 154. a few hours later it crashed into the black sea. the search continued today, not
force arrives, there were none, but force arrives, there were none, but for bodies and the plane's mac box recorder. translation: divers have already retrieved parts of the missing plane. russia's transport minister said that technical failure or pilot error may have caused the crash. terrorism is thought less likely. killed in the crash, more than 60 members of the russian army's song and dance troupe. they'd been on their way to syria for a new year's concert. outside the musicians' headquarters in moscow, there is now a shrine, which grows bigger by the hour. as well as bringing flowers, and icons and candles here, people have been leaving messages. this one says, "you were killed on take—off, farewell, friends. "you won't be returning, we couldn't save you".
natalia's son used to work in the ensemble, but left. we mourn with everybody else, she says, there is pain deep in my soul. officially, there is one day of national mourning but for many russians the sense of loss from this disaster will last much longer. in other news, turkey has appealed for their support from the us—led coalition in syria to help in the battle to drive so—called islamic state fighters, after the key town in the north east of the country. a spokesman for the turkish president said it was not acceptable for the coalition to withhold such backing. turkey suffered substantial losses around al bab last week but says it has inflicted far heavier damage on is. the syrian authorities have accused
rebel fighters of killing more than 20 civilians, including women and children, as they left eastern aleppo last week. russia has also said it has found mass graves in the city. meanwhile, iraqi forces are due to resume their advance on the city of mosul, which is still held by is. a us city of mosul, which is still held by is. a us commander said the operation would resume in the next few days. the fighting involves iraqi troops, shia militias and kurdish acuity forces as well as us advisers. we visit a village in southern russia, birthplace of the man who became the last leader of the soviet union, which ceased to exist 25 years ago today. a former governor of the bank of england says the uk should leave the european single market when it exits the eu. mervyn king told radio 4's today programme that trading under the same conditions as countries on the continent could stop britain from taking full advantage of the opportunities of brexit.
i think the challenges we face mean that it i think the challenges we face mean thatitis i think the challenges we face mean that it is not a bed of roses, no one should pretend that, but equally it is not the end of the world, and there are real opportunities that arise from the fact brexit that we might take. we could totally redesigned our subsidies to agriculture. we have a chance to recreate a new relationship with the republic of ireland to deal with northern ireland. there are many opportunities, and i think we should look at it in a much more self—confident way than either side is approaching it at present. a more positive way? yes, i think we should. there are real opportunities andi should. there are real opportunities and i think being out of what is a rather unsuccessful european union, particularly in the economic sense, gives us opportunities, as well as obviously great political difficulties. this is bbc news. our latest headlines. japan's prime minister has arrived in hawaii, where he is due to make an historic visit to the naval port of pearl harbor, 75 years after it was bombed
bya harbor, 75 years after it was bombed by a japanese warplane, drawing the united states into the second world war. there have been tributes from fa ns war. there have been tributes from fans and fellow artists alike for george michael, following his death at the age of 53. his partner says he will never stop missing him. rallies for and against same—sex marriage have been held in taiwan as politicians there consider legalising gay weddings. if the plans are approved next year, taiwan would be the first place in asia to allow such unions. our correspondent cindy sui is in taipei with more on the background to the debate. while the protesters have left the street outside parliament building, but they were out there in the thousands this morning i should say. many of them are quite emotional to get into the parliament building and disrupt a legislative committee building review of the proposed bills that would legalise same—sex marriage, and there were a lot of
scuffles between the police and the protesters. these opponents to the bills say they feel quite opposed to this because they believe that it would change the nature of families, and the institution of marriage, and that they are afraid that schools will begin teaching kids about homosexuality, and that more young people will experiment with being 93v- people will experiment with being gay. now many of these opponents are religious groups, including buddhist and taoist groups, but mainly christian groups. what is interesting, despite the strong opposition, the surveys showed that in taiwan about half the people here actually support legalising same—sex marriage, and that is very significant, given the fact that in many countries in asia, being gay is still a crime. so in taiwan, it is not only legal to be gay, but now for the first time the ruling party and the opposition parties are both proposing bills to recognise same—sex marriage as legal, and to give gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. it's 25 years today since
the soviet union collapsed, following the resignation of mikhail gorbachev. he's admired in the west for ending the cold war without bloodshed, but many russians still blame mr gorbachev for the loss of an empire. a quarter of a century after he stepped down, sarah rainsford has been to the hometown of the former soviet leader. with a gorbachev impression and a song, we are welcomed to privolnoye. this is the southern russian village where the former soviet leader grew up. the child from a family of farmers who went on from here to end the cold war. to this woman, he was just a boy, called misha. we met at her home, down the street from the school that she and mikhail gorbachev went to. she remembers him as a star pupil, who climbed to the communist party ranks to launch the reforms that
changed their lives. translation: he was a simple, approachable lad, from an ordinary village. and in front of our eyes, he rose to become general secretary. he was very clever. so, 25 years ago, she remembers watching this broadcast and worrying, as gorbachev was forced to resign. it was the end of an empire. it's strange to think that gorbachev, such an important historical figure, came from this remote russian village. people here have told us they are very proud of that fact. and yet many russians have extremely mixed feelings about gorbachev‘s legacy. and particularly about the collapse of the ussr. some reminders of the old days remain intact here. lenin was restored only recently. but there is now a church alongside him. part—funded by the man who once led an atheist state.
the right to worship was one change the villagers here welcomed. over tea, they told me they liked gorbachev‘s economic reforms, too. but an increasing number of russians now regret the loss of the ussr. and that's true even here. translation: germany is united now, but our country fell apart. that's the mistake of our leaders, they could have saved it. of course, gorbachev did a lot for our village, a lot. but as for the ussr, we are upset about that. at the village centre for patriotic education, there is a section devoted to gorbachev. but for the young generation here, the ussr now seems like ancient history. this boy tells me russia has democracy now. he can't even say socialism. mikhail gorbachev never
meant his reforms to go so far. and, even in his own village, russians are still wrestling with the consequences of losing their status as a superpower overnight. sarah rainsford, bbc news, privolnoye. leaving you with some irresistible pictures. newborn giant panda twins at the gwaang joh chimelong safari park in south china's guangdong province have started to meet visitors today. over the past two months, the mother and two male cubs have been under the care of breeders. the 14—year—old mother is named meiqing. the panda twins have yet to be named — there's a campaign under way to collect suggestions. you can always catch up on our website or the news app. thank you for being with us on bbc news. the temperature is falling, getting
cold up there, the worst of the strong winds is a way across the north of scotland but a few showers left behind across the north west of scotland primarily, rain showers. most of us will have a dry night, clear skies further south, temperatures falling away very quickly, in fact in the suburbs and more rule areas, quite a widespread frost, a sharp frost across parts of the midlands, but most of us will have a bright, sunny, crisp day with light winds, still a bit of a breeze across northern ireland and the north of scotland, carrying the odd shower. a touch of frost further north, but generally temperatures somewhat higher through northern england, northern ireland and scotland, a bit more cloud around and a few more showers to the west of scotland but not as widespread as today and they will be falling as rain. the vast
majority of us will have a dry day with a lot of sunshine the further south you are across the uk. any freezing fog patches should soon disperse and stop it will feel chilly out there. typically around five or 6 degrees, peaking about the early afternoon. they will soon fall away early afternoon. they will soon fall r early afternoon. they will soon fall away very quickly as the sun goes down in the evening, the high pressure remains in control for the most part, keeping the rain bearing weather fronts at bay as we had through the middle of the week. underneath that high area pressure, we will have a problem, which will be folk. i am expecting it to turning creasing we widespread across parts of england and wales through the middle part of this week, and i think there will be some disruption at times. it will be a foggy start of the day on wednesday across many central and southern parts of the uk and in some places it will linger or day. outside of that, plenty of crisp sunshine, more breeze across northern ireland and scotland, and that will help to keep the temperature is up here relatively speaking. eight to 10
degrees. further south and east, despite some sunshine, it will be chillier, and where that fog a very long, temperatures will be even lower than this. i'm expecting that to be across parts of the midlands and down into some southern counties. whether fog does and down into some southern counties. whetherfog does all—day, zero i think it could well be more typical. this is bbc news. the headlines: the japanese prime minister has arrived in hawaii, 75 years before the japanese bombing of pearl harbor brought america into world more ii. he is visiting the memorial that honours the sailors and marines killed in the 1941 attack. there have been tributes from fans and fellow artists for george michael following his death at the age of 53. his partner says we will never stop missing him. dozens of ships are continuing the search for what remains for martian