draft u.n. security council resolution that if adopted would break new ground and represent the strongest set of sanctions imposed by the security council in more than two decades. >> the proposed measures include a ban of exports of aviation fuel to north korea, they also prohibit exports of gold, titanium and rare earth metals. in addition, countries are to inspect any cargo ships leaving or entering the country. beijing was pyongyang's main ally and was reluctant to impose sanctions, but now it aggrieves. >> we hope that the sanctions will obtain the objective of peace and security. >> translator: we should note that although china is a close neighbor to the north, it is
fulfilling its obligation as a responsible world power. >> officials in seoul also commended the draft. they say it is a stern warning that the international community will not allow pyongyang to obtain more weapons of mass destruction. they say the sanctions don't target its people but its leadership, the most oppressive regime on earth. it still needs to be scrutinized by the other council members, including russia. almost five years since japan's worst nuclear accident, three executives are set to face a trial. it will be the first time to face criminal responsibility for the accident. court-appointed lawyers announced that they will indict the three former tepco executives on monday. they are former chairman and former vice presidents. the three are expected to be charged with professional
negligence, resulting in deaths and injuries. the lawyers claim the three failed to implement necessary measures, despite being told that tsunami could cause flooding at the plant. and they say the accident listed the deaths and injuries of hospital patients of when they had to evacuate. the defendants are expected to enter a plea of not guilty, saying they could not have predicted a massive tsunami. japan's latest census officially confirmed what's long believed. the country's population is declining. the preliminary report says it's the first-recorded decline in the nearly 100 year history of the census. the survey says the country's population was just above 127 million as of october last year. that's a fall of almost 1 million people since the 2010 census. officials say the main reason is that the number of deaths has surpassed the number of births. japan's population as a whole is getting older.
that outweighed the population growth by an increase in foreign residents. out of 47 prefectures only eight saw an increase. osaka saw a decline for the first time in decades. three prefectures which were severely affected by the march 2011 earthquake and tsunami experienced a decline in the people living there as well. fukushima saw the largest drop of 115,000 people. the leaders of two japanese opposition parties have officially agreed to merge next month. they aim to better compete with the ruling coalition in the upper house election this summer. the democratic party is the biggest opposition group. the japan innovation party is the third largest. their leaders decided to launch a working group to discuss the name and platform of a united party. >> translator: our party will
respond to the voices of people who have various concerns and questions about the policies of prime minister shinzo abe. we will be an alternative to the government. >> translator: we will stop wasting tax money which the governing liberal democratic party is unable to do. we will drastically reform the administration and prevent taxes from rising. >> they agreed to hold a vote to choose a leader soon after the upper house election. they also say they will call on other political groups to join forces with them. five opposition parties have been discussing ways to work together in the coming election. that includes running only one candidate in single-seat constituencies. they hope that will help them compete better with the ldp komeito opposition. it holds a majority in the upper house and more than two-thirds of the seats in the more
powerful lower house. delegates are meeting to discuss financial issues. finance leaders from the group of 20 nations are gathering in shanghai to tackle issues that are preventing global growth. the discussions are expect the to focus on how to calm the turbulence. chinese sdeg delegates will chair the meeting for the first time. japan's finance minister taro aso says leaders need to agree on the causes of the problems before they can fix them. aso is accompanied by bank of japan governor kuroda. he will work hard to implement the policy to the other delegates. a senior commentator joins us in the studio for more on this subject. he's been covering international finance for 20 years.
so the meeting comes at a time of a lot of global turbulence. what do you think will be the focus? >> there will be three main topics. one, the decline in crude oil prices. two, u.s. monetary policy. the federal reserve's decision to raise key interest rates has triggered a natural advance from emerging economies. some experts are warning this development could even tip off another economic crisis. and the international monetary fund has asked the g-20 to create a framework to provide emergency financial aid to these countries if oil producers and emerging economies get into serious trouble. >> you said three. what would be the third focus? >> well, china's throw down is definitely a focal point of this meeting. its currency has been depreciating, and it's been causing volatility in the
markets. g-20 member countries that want to question china, which is acting unsure on how it will deal with these problems. >> translator: excess production in many of china's industries will certainly be a topic that the delegates will discuss. >> and in an apparent reference to china, aso also mentioned that capital controls will be on the agenda. >> how do you think china will respond to this? >> chinese officials try to keep everyone happy by saying they're deliberately keeping the growth rate down. they will say they've learned their lessons from the past. that rapid expansion led to severe environmental pollution and income inequality. beijing will also stress that the domestic job market is stable. and that the country is enjoying growth that remains very high, compared to other countries.
the chief of the central bank also countered concerns that the capital outflows are increasing as foreign exchanges slide. he stressed that the reserves can't be expected to go up forever. the global economy is losing steam. if it continues, the wheels could come right off. so everyone is watching to see if the g-20 delegates can map out a path through this difficult period. >> thank you, akihiro mikota. japanese stocks edged up as investors looked ahead to the g-20 meetings. for details we go to mayu yoshida. >> tokyo shares once again gained in line with wall street. now comments from the chinese
central bank chief that they still have room for monetary action lifted sentiment across asia, plus oil prices held on to gain. so here in tokyo, both the nikkei and the broader topix briefly hit two and a half week highs. the nikkei closed at a one-week high. those indeces close the up .3%. the nikkei edged up, the first weekly gain since mid november. a lot of focus was definitely on sharp. shares of the japanese electronics maker slumped 11% after hon hai delayed signing the possible takeover deals, and sharp shares are down 25% in just two sessions. and while invest eors dumped sharp, they were looking at hitachi and panasonic. panasonic has been winning back
investors, same thing goes for hitachi. we saw a fall off in banking stocks as a result of japan's negative rate policies. we saw the ten-year japanese government bond yield hit a fresh low again. for next week, market players will probably move on the outcome of the g-20 meetings. so focus on whether the gathering can produce something that will address the market turmoil and something that supports the global economy. let's see how that goes. i'm mayu yoshida reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. moving on to other markets, the shanghai composite gained nearly 1% as we see there, finish being at 2767. the index rebounded after plunging 6% on thursday. comments by china's central bank governor eased fears about further weakening of the yuan.
singapore was up by almost 1.8%. most markets in the region ended in positive territory. hong kong up by 2.5% after hitting a two-week low on thursday. indonesia gaining by 1.6% as we see there. sydney ended up down by a fraction, slightly lower, volatile oil prices weighed on that index. skiing's popularity in japan has been sliding for years. for one thing, there are fewer young people to take up the sport. to help fill their slopes, ski resorts have started wooing foreign customers. nhk world has more. >> reporter: this resort is in the town of yuzawa in niigata prefecture. foreign tourists are sliding down the mountain on sleds. where are you from? >> thailand. >> indonesia. >> reporter: have you seen snow before? >> no. it is so cold, but it's so cool. >> translator: we'd like to go
all over the world to enjoy the snow and the skiing, among other things that yuzawa has to offer. >> reporter: the '90s were the peak years for the ski resorts. back then, around 8 million snow lovers flocked to the slopes every winter. these days only about a quarter of that number come. town officials decided they needed to attract foreigners to revive the local economy. >> translator: you look like a snow fairy. >> reporter: they focussed on tourists from southeast asia who might never have even touched the snow before. this winter, they put snowshoes
on visitors from abroad. you don't have to be a skier to have a good time in the snow. >> it's amazing. >> it's really soft. >> reporter: after the fun, it's time to snap photos with smartphones. the pictures are a pr bonanza. and the town is ready to promote it. >> translator: this is a sim card. >> reporter: the tourist association rents them out to visitors so they can access the internet in japan. the town uses facebook to pitch itself to people in indonesia. southeast asia's most populous nation. >> translator: when visitors experience our wonderful snow first hand, they share their pictures with friends on facebook and twitter. their friends may decide to
officials fr officials from soccer's world governing body fifa are about to choose a new leader. they're hoping to give the organization a fresh start. outgoing president sepp blatter has been banned from football over allegations of corruption. more than 200 member associations will cast their votes in zurich. five candidates are vying for the top job, and two are considered front runners. one of them is sheikh ebrahim al khalifa from bahrain. he's the head of the asian football confederation. the 46-member confederation has promised him the votes. africa's coalition with 54 members is also backing him. >> so far, so good. so far, so good. there is little time left. >> the other main contender is gianni infantino from switzerland. 's the general secretary of
uefa's governing body. the group of 53 members has pledged its numbers to him. >> i met many federations. i'm very confident, because i'm football. and everyone loves football. >> also in the running is jordanian prince ali bin al hussain. he lost to blatter in the election last may. another is jerome champagne. he had various roles with fifa over a decade including deputy senior general. south african business tycoon tokyo sexwale is also in the race. he was sent to prison along with nelson mandela for 13 years for his political activities. it will be the fourth president-elected in over 50 years.
one of the legends of japanese soccer has turned 49. he is the oldest player in japanese j-league. he is prepare for his 31st season. he is currently on the second division team, yokohama fc. he proved his stamina during training for the season nthat starts this weekend. during the previous season, he scored three goals. he broke the record for the oldest scorer in the league. his fans celebrated his birthday. >> translator: i'd like to contribute to the team's success. i hopeque all celebrate getting another goal and another victory. >> he started his professional
career in santos, brazil in 1986. he went on to play for clubs around the globe including italy, australia and croatia. he says he still wants to be a professional player when he turns 50. acrobatic gymnastics in japan are considered the highlight of sporting events at many schools. but the safety of these feats is raising concerns around the country, and the government is considering drafting guidelines intended to prevent injuries. nhk world reports. >> reporter: this is a gymnastics formation. it's usually seen at a sporting event and is a long-standing tradition at japanese schools. it's meant to foster a sense of accomplishment and the teamwork in students. the practice started in western countries as part of training
for soldiers. in japan, it was first taken up as a university sporting event and gradually spread to schools nationwide. the human pyramid may be the st well-known, and it's the formation that has officials worried. osaka's city government has decided to ban some acrobatic formations at public schools when the new school year starts in april. >> translator: forming human pyramids poses risks to children. so the responsible government agency should decide whether human pyramids should be allowed at schools or not. >> reporter:ust in stember, a pyrami collaps at a public school in osaka. six students suffered injuries, including broken bones.
and it's not the only case. the japan sports council reported more than 8,000 injuries in elementary and junior high schools in the last three years. some included broken spinal chords. the board of education in a city east of tokyo is taking the precautions one step further. officials are banning all gymnastic formations in public elementary and junior high schools from this april. this is the first time this has happened in japan. other cities are considering following suit. some rule makers have weighed in. they're urging education ministers to take measures to put a stop to the process so that safety can be guaranteed. >> translator: we will come up with guidelines after consulting with experts.
>> reporter: one expert pointed out accidents happen when the exercises are not properly performed. >> translator: there could be accidents if pupils on the bottom lose their balance. children on upper layers could fall. students can deal with these risks if teachers instruct them correctl but notf they're just shown pictures. >> reporter: he says these formations are dangerous if the aim is to form as high a pyramid as possible, but he doesn't think they should be totally banned. >> translator: a ten-tier pyramid is definitely risky, but there are other types that are safer and look nicer. i don't think we should say no to all types of human pyramids. there are many children who
enjoy them. so it's best to tell children how to avoid risks to ensure safety. >> reporter: some studies show more than 90% of elementary and junior high students are in favor of gymnastic formations. so the question is, how to balance safety with fun. nhk world. >> thanks. "newsline" comes to you live from tokyo. sayaka mori comes to you with this hour's weather update starting with the eastern u.s. >> yes. many tornados batter the south and eastern portions of the united states on tuesday as well as wednesday. about 16 tornados were reported. that's twice more than the monthly average for february. now we have some video from pennsylvania where a tornado battered on wednesday. dozens of buildings, including a school, were damaged when a massive tornado rolled through
the community north of washington d.c. overnight wednesday and thursday. no injuries or fatalities were reported from this specific tornado, but during the whole outbreak, at least eight people have been killed nationwide. severe flooding from the powerful storms also submerged roadways and homes in the same area. and in fact, hail the size of a softball was reported in some parts of the united states. now the system is pulling away from the united states. right now located over eastern canada, bringing stormy conditions to labrador as well as newfoundland with heavy rainfall, powerful winds and snowy conditions on your friday. but, again, much of the eastern united states will see conditions looking up. and then across the opposite side of the united states, it's calm at this moment, but on your friday, things will turn wet. there's a cold front approaching the area. so we're looking at heavy rainfall for the coastal locations and heavy mountain snow for much of british columbia. now temperatures are going to be as follows. seattle at 16 degrees, still on the warmer side. and across l.a., 27 degrees for
the high. weather has been abnormally high over the past few days. heavy rain fell in the desert southwest last week, and that caused a very rare phenomenon. take a look at this video from death valley, california. the death valley holds the world's hottest temperature on record, and it's one of the most arid places in north america, so you probably wouldn't expect to find a massive bloom of flowers, but that's exactly happening right now. the national park service said the flowers started blooming a few days ago and are expected to stay as long as it rains. so the desert turned like a flower garden in southern california. now let's go to hawaii then. giant waves battered the north coast of hawaii on thursday. and in fact, a legendary surfing contest takes place on thursday in oahu. so many people were excited about the news.
however, things will remain quite dangerous across the coastal locations. waves will be quite high on thursday as well as friday. waves could hit up to 17 meters. so very high conditions. so stay away from the coastal locations. then across japan, heavy snow is still falling from hokkaido to westerjapan. about 30 centimeters of snow has fallen in parts of hokkaido as well as tohoku region. and temperatures will be warming up. and according to the japan meteorological agency, it's going to be a very warm spring in many portions, especially in the western side of the country. all right, that's it for me now. up next is your three-day forecast.
>> welcome to the newsroom. you are watching "france 24." 55 million iranians head to the polls. hardliners are vying to leave the country for more close or distant relations with the west. a new fifa president. members of the international football federation are set to vote on sepp blatter's successor