the greek prime minister's proposed referendum on the eurozone bailout plan is creating turmoil in global stock markets. welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. let's go straight to ai uchida who has been following this story and has the details. >> greece is back. greek lawmakers are chrisicizing the prime minister george papandreou for calling for a national referendum on the eu plan to bail out the debt-ridden country. papandreou announced on monday he would hold a referendum on the eu debt deal after holding a vote of confidence on his
cabinet and parliament on friday. the leader of the opposition new democratic party samaras, criticized papandreou for bringing greece and its future into crisis. samaras demanded the entire cabinet resign and called for a general election. some members of the ruling party are also demanding the prime minister's resignation saying it's irresponsible to hold a referendum after concluding an agreement with other nations. now there is a possibility that the bailout deal will be rejected in the greek referendum due to strong public opposition. this is spreading concern throughout europe. >> translator: the greek announcement has surprised europe. >> on tuesday, french president nicolas sarkozy and german chanceler angela merkel had a telephone meeting. they said in a joint statement the two countries are going to ensure the full implementation
of the eurozone bailout deal. sarkozy and merkel will meet papandreou on wednesday in cannes ahead of the g-20 sumit to seek implementation of the eu bailout deal. now stock markets nosedived on tuesday following the news of papandreou's national referendum plan. in new york, shares fell across the board with the dow jones falling more than 300 points at one time. investors are increasingly worried about what they see as a threat to the latest eu agreement. the dow closed the day at 11,657. that is down 2.5% from monday. sources say investors are closely watching what will come out of papandreou's meeting with the french president and the german chancellor. the benchmark stock index in paris plunged more than 5%. in frankfurt, the key index dropped 5% even while the london market saw a decline of 2%. now let's get a check on tokyo markets. to see how things are kicking
off here we go to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. markets were upbeat last week on the good news and now the same concerns are back again. how are stocks here reacting in tokyo? >> exactly, ai. very good morning to you. and this latest twist by the greek prime minister to put the latest bailout for greece to a referendum speaks volumes in the markets about greece's plans and efforts to really come through after that agreement was made in europe just last week. let's have a look now at the reaction for the nikkei and the topix. you can see there, pretty negative. it's down almost 130 points there. the nikkei, 8,708, and the topix down 11 points or 743. now the big question really is today how all of this is going to play through the markets. especially with the concern for weaker eurozone economies such as italy and spain. and also the major banks in the
region which have already been asked to take a 50% cut in their exposure to greece's debt. so all of this is coming right back into the markets and we're seeing that playing through the markets as well. now just some of the fallout has also been the eu leaders coming out very quickly and saying that the agreements that they set up last week is still the way forward. so there are ongoing talks there. we'll see how it plays out in the markets. but let's have a look at the currency markets as well. you can see the reaction there. the dollar really being the biggest gainer against the euro. but the dollar/yen holding around 78.27-31 but you can see the euro/yen back to 106.97 to 107.03. so the yen gaining there against the euro a touch. also, the question is how all of this might play through with the federal reserve meeting, fomc meeting and chairman bernanke is going to have a news conference later today. we're going to see if any extra
measures might be taken because of all of this -- all of these events in the eurozone. domestically in japan, though, the strong yen, the flooding in thailand and weaker earnings have played into the markets. we've heard from numera holdings that it swung to a net loss. and also hitachi saying that net profits fell nearly 70% for the april to september period. now tomorrow is going to be a public holiday in japan so i'll be back on friday with more earnings reports from sony and nissan and any follow-through from the eurozone debt issues. but for now, back to you. >> thanks a lot, ramin. now both the nikkei and topix down 1.6%. ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. let's take a look at some other market figures now.
all right. back to catherine now. >> thanks, ai. the operator of the fukushima daiichi plant poured boric acid into the reactor for one hour from shortly before 3:00 a.m. on wednesday. the move followed the detection of a radioactive substance xenon in the reactor's containment vessel indkath that nuclear fission may have resumed. last friday, tokyo electric power began operating equipment to remove radioactive substances from the number two reactor. the device sucks out gas from the containment vessel and filters out radioactive materials. the company has been analyzing the types of radioactive substances and their density near the outlet of the device. on tuesday, tepco detected xenon
133 and xenon 135. substances that are produced during the nuclear fission of uranium 235. the company says the half life of xenon 133 is five days and the possibility of nuclear fission inside the reactor cannot be excluded. tepco says even if nuclear fission has resumed, it should be on a small scale as there have been no major changes in the temperature or pressure of the reactor or radiation levels at monitoring posts around the compound. the government's nuclear and industrial safety agency says it's unlikely that nuclear fuel has begun melting again as the density of the xenon is low and the reactor temperatures have not changed. the operator of a nuclear plant in southwestern japan has restarted one of its reactors. it became the first react norjapan to go back online since the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant.
the operator plans to resume power generation on wednesday afternoon. the number four reactor of the genkai nuclear plant in sanga prefecture was halted due to abnormalities with its cooling system in early october. the plant's operator kyushu electric power told the government's new clear safety agency the stoppage was caused by a procedural error. the agency approved the measures taken by the company. this type of stoppage does not require kyushu tlok conduct a so-called stress test before restarting the reactor. the government introduced the tests for idle reactors after the march disaster. the vice president of kyushu electric, yamamoto visited the genkai town mayor on tuesday. yamamoto told him he would like operations to restart as soon as preparations are completed. he then told reporters he wants the reactor to operate normally by the end of the week. mayor kishimoto has no objection
to the restart if the government has confirmed the reactor's safety. >> translator: i have asked kyushu electric to put a system in place that will eliminate human errors and win public trust. now the final report in our series about how the march 11th disaster transformed the thinking and lives of people who were not directly affected. many of these japanese are choosing something they were reluctant to do before the disaster. they are getting married. in this next report, we find out how the earthquake and tsunami turned them toward marriage. >> reporter: this is a popular singles gathering near tokyo. it's a regular event attended by men and women looking for a life mate. since the disaster, their number has increased. compared to last year, requests for brochures have gone up by over 40%.
more and more people are finding a partner through this gathering. >> translator: i was scared after the disaster. i decided that i needed someone i could depend on in my daily life. >> reporter: since the disaster, many people have had second thoughts about their attitude toward marriage. in ibaraki prefecture, the number of marriages had decreased by about 20% over the last ten years. but after the quake, there's been an upsurge. amid the boom, sales of engagement rings have gone through the roof. sales in april jumped 190% over the same month last year. this ring is one of the biggest sellers. the link in the center signifies
unity. >> translator: i think a lot of customers buy this ring because it represents strong ties and reminds them of their partner at all times. >> reporter: after the quake, this woman changed her mind about a suitor she had decided not to marry. 24-year-old minako married takahashi in august. they started dating after friends had introduced them. but at minako's request, they split up in january. though she felt that takahashi was considerate, she didn't feel he was the right man to marry. >> translator: the quake and tsunami hit two months after the pair split up. the city where she lives was heavily damaged. takahashi's first concern was minako's safety.
>> we were in big trouble. our whole area was affected. knowing even a minor earthquake frightens minako, i was worried about her. >> reporter: takashi left his workplace right away to find minako but highway traffic was gridlocked. takashi abandoned his car and walked along the damaged road for over an hour. he rang her cell phone several times but there was no answer. >> translator: i was really moved he walked all the way in dangerous conditions. you came really quickly. >> translator: i couldn't wait. >> reporter: the next day, takashi helped her family clean up the mess from the disaster. >> translato i didn't think many people are so kind. not only to their partners, but also to their partner's parents.
>> reporter: takashi's actions made minako realize how much she appreciated his deep love. the earthquake was a turning point for minako. she realized their bond was so strong that they should marry. >> translator: i thought, he's the only one i want to marry. did you think so, too? >> translator: i've always thought so. in other cases, many couples who had never formalized their partnership with a wedding ceremony held one after the disaster. the couples say that life is unpredictable. so more than ever, they want to strengthen their life-long commitment. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post-march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and
tsuna tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on newsline. in thailand, measures to protect central bangkok from flooding are succeed bug water is being trapped in areas to the north. the floodwater had threatened e to reach central bangkok. the bangkok metropolitan authority closed flood gates and canals to the north of the central commercial district. the water cannot escape anywhere and houses upstream of the gate remain inundated. on monday, about 200 residents demanded that the government open a gate and some of them tried to break it to release the water. >> translator: the water has been trapped for 15 days while
the government did nothing. it's a health hazard. >> the water is now threatening an industrial complex in a downstream area south of central bangkok where about 20 japanese companies are operating. a new fact has surfaced concerning north korea's nuclear ambitions. they demanded lightwater reactors in exchange for halting enrichment in its recent talks with the united states. during the two-day meeting in geneva last week, north korean's negotiator repeated his country's stance that its uranium enrichment is for peaceful power generation. speaking to reporters after the talks, kim implied he made a demand that could lead to a halt of the uranium enrichment. u.s. negotiator steven bossworth said to have rejected the request. it stipulates the relevant countries will discuss providing
a power station with lightwater reactors at an appropriate time if north korea dismantles all its nuclear facilities and renounces nuclear weapons. the six-party talks were later suspended and north korea began to construct a nuclear power plant by itself. the people at japan's space anxiety have begun work on a challenging task. they are trying to change the course of a spacecraft head forward venus. they want to put the katsuki probe around the plan net four years. the japan aerospace exploration agency jaxa failed last december to redirect akatsuki. it's now circling the sun. engineers thought they could make another attempt at putting it into orbit. they discovered the probe's main engine was more badly damaged than they thought. nuthey hope to use smaller engines to drive the probe into a different orbit that also
circles venus. engineers at a control center near tokyo thrust four smaller engines tuesday for about ten minutes. they'll do the same thing two more times this month. >> translator: i think we could thrust the probe's engines as scheduled. everything seemed completely normal. we're united in trying to make akatsuki japan's first spacecraft to enter the venus orbit. >> project members say akatsuki won't be able to observe venus as originally planned. still, they'll push ahead to enable observations with some scientific significance. women across india are fighting to find their place in politics. we'll have that story next on "behind the headlines" with michio. >> investors around the world
are watching india's rapidly growing economy. the country's remarkable rise draws comparisons to china. indwhy's population now tops 1.. some say it's time women played a bigger role in politics and the economy. but issues such as poverty and unequal access to education are getting in the way of that goal. we wanted to get some perspective on the role of women in india's political and economic life. our senior commentator hiromi interviewed maria komar. so how did she get interested in politics in the first place? >> well, she is from a political family, and her father was a well respected indian leader. former deputy prime minister. during our interview, she explained to us her father's approach.
>> he was freedom fighter, and he especially devoted all his efforts towards upliftment of the marginalized and suppressed section of the society. and he worked for them. and also he was a minister for many, many years and was holding very challenging portfolios. and when there was a severe drought and famine, he was given the portfolio of food ministry and that is the time his foresight and hard work. >> kumar's father sounds like he was a dynamic politician. what about kumar herself? >> as we mentioned, she is
speaker of the lower house of parliament. it's the power structure after the president and the prime minister. she became speaker in 2009. it gives relief to those who are oppressed. >> women do not have equal opportunities in india's society. how much power do they have in the political sphere? >> their politician is gradually gaining importance. sonia gandhi chairs the ruling coalition which is known as the upa. uma leads the opposition in the lower house. meira kumar is the speaker of the lower house and women head the governments of four indian states. despite this, kumar says india still has a long way to go. she explained what she believes
is a key to raising the status of women. >> the most important factor for empowering women is their education. education of women will empower them, and that would really help because it's the woman who is the father. so if she is an empowered and enlightened mother, it makes a lot of difference to the next generation of the society. and also in my country there are very important people. people with a lot of wealth and very powerful. and there are also people very humble, very isolated and suppressed and weak. i would want that when we are progressing, those people are
carried with the rest and they are not left behind. they don't get marginalized. so this should be our motto. >> so what are the main challenges kumar faces as speaker of the lower house? >> india is a cumbersome democracy. it brings together leaders from different religions, languages and the political sensibilities. in this context, the speaker of the lower house plays a difficult role. kumar and her female colleagues efforts to enhance the status of women could strengthen the indian economy. >> thank you, hiromi. now let's take a look at the global weather forecast wi. >> hello. welcome to your weather update. in japan, a high pressure system is gradually moving out to sea,
and a trough of low pressure is bringing heavy showers as well as thunderstorms across the southern islands of japan. the rain will also spread to the southern tip of the korean peninsula and the east coast of china today. for inland china, some light precipitation is falling, and some of the rain will move northward and turn to snow. moving on to the indochina peninsula, a northeasterly monsoonal flow continues to bring rain and thunderstorms across the southern half of vietnam, cambodia, thailand as well as much of malaysia. but central and northern parts of the peninsula are looking at very stable and dry conditions, including the bangkok area. temperaturewise, we are expecting 20 degrees in tokyo and the same in seoul. it will remain in the 20s for the next several days. it's going to be a bit warmer than yesterday in ulumbatur. heading over to the americas then, it's mostly dry in the east, but a winter storm is
hitting the rockies spreading snow showers and strong winds. the severest weather can be found in and around colorado. we have a blizzard warnings in effect across this area. up to 25 centimeters of snow are possible in the mountain areas into wednesday. and that will move southeastward and will affect the central plains in the next 24 hours. meanwhile, another system is bringing rain across southern ontario and that will also spread to southern quebec and could change snow in the higher elevations. out towards the west, winter storm is hitting across british columbia with locally heavy rain as well as scattered thunderstorms. the rain will also spread to parts of the pacific northwest on wednesday. for the rest of west coast, strong southerly winds are prevailing, raising temperatures in los angeles. we're expecting 29 degrees. the very cool in denver with
only 1 degrees with heavy snow and 6 degrees in winnipeg. finally, let's go over to europe. a rain band is stretching from the west coast of norway down to france. but that is gradually easing as we head into wednesday. but more of a concern is this large low pressure system. this is bringing heavy rain as well as strong winds across the british isles as well as the ibeerian peninsula. the strong winds could create high winds along the east coast of the peninsula on wednesday. and some thunderstorms are erupting across eastern -- or southern italy ishould say. on the other hand, a central and eastern europe are looking very stable and dry under a high pressure system. temperatures are as follows. we're expecting 14 degrees in berlin and 12 in vienna and 17 degrees in paris. very warm in rome with 23 degrees. that's all for me now, and here's your extended forecast.
a surprise move by the greek prime minister has put the country back in the headlines. ai spuchida has more on that. >> stock markets nose-dived following the news from greek prime minister papandreou's plan for a referendum. in new york, shares fell across the board with the dow jones falling more than 300 points at one time.
investors are increasingly worried about what they see as a threat to the latest eu agreement. the dow closed at 11,657. that is a loss of 2.5% on the day. sources say investors are closely watching what will come out of papandreou's meet with french president nicolas sarkozy and german chancellor angela merkel. the benchmark stock index in paris plunged more than 5%. in frankfurt, the key index dropped by 5% even while in london, the stock market saw a decline of 2.2%. in tokyo, the benchmark nikkei is extending its losses. it's currently trading down nearly 2% at 8661. the topix is down over 2%. and that is the latest from the business team. back to catherine. >> thanks, ai. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us. ????ovív"dd