a very warm welcome to nhk "newsline." it is 10:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. our top story this hour -- south korea's constitutional court will announce on friday whether to uphold or reject the impeachment of president park geun-hye. if she is forced to leave office, it will be the first such case in the nation's history. parliament voted in december to impeach park over an influence-peddling scandal involving her longtime friend and others. she's been suspended from her duties. the court now has eight judges. if six or more rule in favor of impeachment, park will be
immediately impeached. a presidential elections will be held in 60 days. if three or more judges rule against it, it will be rejected allowing park to resume her duties. whether park could stay in office until her term expires in february remains unclear. opposition parties would likely push her to resign. on thursday, park's supporters converged in an area near the court chanting the president is innocent. >> translator: things are proceeding as though the impeach was a foregone conclusion. >> later that day her critics gathered in central seoul. >> translator: the president should never have allowed her civilian friend to intervene in national politics decisions or operations.
>> results of a recent opinion poll suggest more than 70% of respondents support her impeachment. in november, prosecutors indicted park's friend choi soon-sil and two former aides on charges include abuse of power. here's a look back on all that's transpired. >> reporter: the prosecutors also concluded that the president had conspired with the three in many aspects of the crime. they said president park had directly urged the head of business conglomerates to donate to foundations linked to choi. it fueled the opposition-led campaign to unseat park. in december a motion to impeach president park was approved by parliament. a constitutional court then began hearings on the parliamentary decision. meanwhile, park young-soo, a
special prosecutor authorized to act independently of the government to go over the investigation into park's alleged influence-peddling for 90 days. >> translator: the targets of this investigation were people who abused their governmental power for internal interest. we are also looking at the deep rooted corruption relationships between political and business circles. >> reporter: he concluded that president park had conspired with choi to receive bribes of about $25 million from the samsung group in the form of investments in foundations linked to choi. he also said that park colluded with the former minister of culture to blacklist cultural figures considered critical of her administration and cut off state support. the former minister has been indicted on charges of abuse of power. the results of the special prosecutor's investigations are not directly linked with the constitutional court's proceedings. but opposition parties say the judges should take the results into consideration. both the prosecutors and the
special prosecutor had wanted to question park face-to-face. but although she expressed a willingness to cooperate with the investigators, she never met with them. in south korea, an incumbent president is exempt from criminal prosecution. but if the constitutional court upholds park's impeachment, she could face arrest and indictment. on to other stories now -- north korean military officials have commented on their latest ballistic launch. they said it was in response to u.s. military drills. it was simulated attacks on u.s. bases in japan opinion the military wing responsible for ballistic missiles released a statement through state run tv. >> translator: we are armed with precision missiles and will
further perfect or attack strategy. >> military fired four missiles monday toward the sea of japan. they criticized the deployment of a u.s. advanced missile system. it take aim at the u.n. security council for condemning the launches. it say it's absurds to say routine training poses a threat to peace. lawmakers in kuala lumpur are making moves to try to get malaysians out of north korea. they banned each other's nationals from leaving over the killing of the north korean leader's half-brother. there were 11 malaysians in north korea but two of them, u.n. workers, left on thursday. it is unclear why their exit was allowed. those remaining are diplomats and their family members. a cabinet meeting friday is expected to discuss how to get them out and possibly review economic relations. the malaysian government says it hopes to resolve the situation through dialogue.
kim jong-nam was attacked last month at kuala lumpur international airport. he died on the way to a hospital. officials say he was poisoned with a nerve agent. malaysia has not directly blamed north korea but is investigating links to the country. pyongyang said the ban would be in place until the incident in malaysia was resolved in a fair manner. malaysia and north korea have enjoyed friendly relations for more than 40 years granting visa tr free travel. that's all changed. they say the spy agency took advantage of that by engaging in activities that violated u.n. sanctions. >> reporter: build iing is linked to north korea's spy agency.
it's now empty. we tracked down one man who knows about the firm. mustapha is a director of one of its affiliate companies. he is also a staff member of the main governing party. >> i was introduced by a party, >> i was introduce d by a party, if i may recall, from north korean embassy. we decided to form a company. >> reporter: the firm in question imported and -- that could be used for military purposes. >> that is a radio product. radio communication for army, police. i know north korea is very good in communication products. >> reporter: but the firm's
business violated u.n. security council resolutions. they banned north korea from trading weapons, including radio equipment. investigators suspect the firm brought equipment from the north and sold it to other countries. that isn't the only allegation that has surfaced. >> yes, my son. >> reporter: north korea registered his son as the director of the company. >> we purely meant business so i set a partner from north korea
as a businessman. without further investigate on the ground. >> reporter: malaysian officials are stepping in. >> are we investigating it? >> we will investigate any incidents that happened. >> reporter: the killing of kim jong-nam has perhaps had an unexpected result for north korea as malaysia takes a closer look at its activities and cracks down on any violations. the north is likely to lose a key hub for its spy activity. kazuhiro yamao, nhk world, kuala lumpur. business officials are speaking out. they want to talk trade with counterparts. we are joined from the business desk. what are you hearing? >> american officials have been very vocal about make things in their words, fair. they have accused japan of having easy access to the u.s. automarket while the japanese one is hard to crack. director of the white house national trade council said he's going to urge other countries to buy more u.s. made products. he was speaking to the wall street journal on wednesday.
navarro said any country running a large trade surplus with the u.s. needs to work with it on a product by product, sector by sector level. this goal would be to fix the situation over a specific time frame. he mentioned japan and germany saying buying more chemical products and aircraft would give america a healthier trade balance. in a related move, japanese senior officials are preparing to visit the u.s. ahead of a economic dialogue scheduled next month. they will be sitting down with members of the trump administration. they will be focusing on fiscal and monetary policies, economic cooperation and bilateral rules on trade and investment. as for cooperation, the japanese officials say they going to propose putting the development of robot technology and energies including shale gas on the agenda. another topic would be
infrastructure projects like high speed railways. the country decided to launch the dialogue between japan's deputy prime minister and u.s. vice president mike pence. the two governments are arranging the first round in mid-april in japan. european yun union leaders have decided to accelerate trade deals. union leaders have decided to accelerate trade deals.union leaders have decided to accelerate trade deals. >> europe remains the champion of open trade. >> tra trade is central to our economic success. >> japan and the eu are seeking to reach a broad agreement on an economic partnership pact.
the remaining stumbling blocks are tariffs on farm produce and cars. eu leaders renewed their commitment on trade in review of protectionist policies of the u.s. trump administration. a far right party advocating protection of domestic industries is gaining ground in france. the eu leaders are expected to spend the final day to discuss ways of deepening integration. we are going to check on markets now. tokyo stock prices opened higher. a weaker yen is boosting sentiment. export related shares are higher. the pharmaceutical and financial sectors are also boosting the index. let's look at currencies. the dollar shooting above 115. that's the highest since the end of january.
that's the dollar yen. many market players are expecting the federal reserve to raise its key interest rate at next week's policy meeting. the euro spiked two 1.06 on upbeat comments by mario dragi. he said there was less of a need to further measures and boost inflation. it's pulled back a little bit now at 1.05 level. let's check on oil and see what's going on there. wti crude futures continue to fall and dropped to the lowest level since late november. moving onto markets open this hour in the asia pacific, we're seeing a mixed picture. seoul's kospi down. australia is higher by quarter of a percent. china will open in under half
hour. the carp are still jumping in koriyama city. proper is business is not. fishermen say sales have fallen steadily since the 2011 disaster. >> translator: fukushima carp used to be the best known and fetch the highst prices but now they are the cheapest. we won't be able to survive unless we get back the brand power we once had. >> reporter: city officials decided it was time to get outside help. they teamed up with businesses from around japan to promote the fresh water fish. >> so delicious.
>> people will love them. >> reporter: one of the compa companies take part is a leading beer maker. they assemble a carp promotion team. it's developing dishes that go well with beer and supplying the recipes to restaurants in fukushima. >> translator: in this project, we're helping to reinvigorate carp farming while trying to raise our brand value. >> reporter: carp farms aren't the only breeding grounds for business in the region. doctors at this clinic are using a new system to access patients' medical records. it's loaded on tablet computers. a quick tab brings up information on 4,000 patients any time, anywhere. this system was developed by an office equipment maker. until recently they had little
kpeern experience in the medical field. it all started when the company donated copy machines to hospitals. staff heard about a challenge facing hospitals in the disaster hit communities. many patients lost their home in the disaster and are still living in temporary housing. >> translator: i visited elderly people but i didn't have access to their blood test results, clinical history and so on. that made me less confident about my diagnosis. >> reporter: the office equipment maker used its software know how to come up with a solution. it gives doctors internet access to their patients medical records when ever and where ever they need it. >> translator: the system allows me to do my job accurately and helps me save time. it has become indespeinsable fo me. >> reporter: other medical institutions have adopted the system generating contracts worth $5.3 million for the
march 11th marks six years since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit north eastern japan. this week our serious "confronting challenges" looks at the region and its people. some of the evacuation orders will be lifted by the end of march. former residents are now being confronted with a difficult choice, move home or move on. rodrigue maillard has that story. >> reporter: a community newsletter is being delivered to people living in temporary housing. it's written for and by the villagers of iitate forced out of their homes after the 2011 nuclear disaster. >> translator: it says a lot about the village, about how each person feels. >> reporter: today these pages show a struggle, whether or not to return home. the loudest call for returning come from the elderly.
>> translator: things will never move forward unless someone returns to the village to live. >> reporter: that message was written by 64-year-old yoshito kanno. in front of his house, giant bags filled with radioactive soil and waste from the nuclear cleanup all stored on his farmland, a wasteland. that was once filled with beautiful scenery. this was kind of like 30 years ago. he was running a cattle farm with his wife and son, three generations living under the same roof. >> reporter: in preparation for
the return, kanno renovated his house after it sat empty for six years. he kept the century-old wooden pillars. >> translator: i want to convey my forefather's thoughts to my children. this is the only tangible evidence of that heritage. >> reporter: kanno's son and his family will raise cattle in northern japan. last year they visited the farm for the first time since the disaster. one small mark meant so much to kanno. >> reporter: marking the height of my grandchildren isn't really a big deal, but for my family, it's the first and most significant step towards true reconstruction. >> reporter: and a bit later wrote about his desireor the young people's return.
79-year-old suno akaishizawa visits his farm daily. he feels he needs to set the example so he plans to sell flowers. >> translator: someone has to show the way. if i succeed, young people will know it's all right to come back. >> reporter: last month, he fell and hurt himself. >> translator: i broke nine ribs and a shoulder blade bone. it took the ambulance 40 minutes to reach the hospital. >> reporter: there is no hospital in the village. the nearest pharmacy, an hour away. >> translator: our children worry for us. but this land is where we were born and raised. this is our home and we just can't let it go. >> reporter: akaishizawa's son refuses to live in the village. he says he is worried about
radiation. >> translator: we don't know the effects of being exposed to low doses of radiation. i can't take my family back to iitate because i don't want them to take the risk. >> reporter: and that has left him feeling torn between his parents and his children. >> translator: it's not that i abandoned the village. i want to stay connected with the village in various ways. i think there are ways to cooperate even though i live far away. >> reporter: what is left today is a struggle of separated families trying to rebuild their lives under the community. some will return, some will not. what remains for all of them is a deep attachment. rodrigue maillard, nhk world.
march 11th, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami devastated japan. six years later, workers are still struggling to contain the radiation. in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, new ideas and help for disaster recovery are shedding light and hope. don't miss "confronting challenges." shifting gears now for a check of the weather with our meteorologist robert speta. >> across the tokyo area throughout the weekend we're going to continue to see these clear conditions, but not all of japan is feeling that good weather. in fact, back here towards the west we have this area of low pressure. kind or more of less a trough that's swinging on shore there.
some of these areas still could see an additional 30 centimeters of snow especially in the higher levels of elevation as we head into friday and saturday morning. maybe a few rumbles of thunder mixed in with that as well. do remember this is the sea effect snow machine with the northwesterly winds picking up the moisture and dropping that snow out here across the mountains. tokyo stays clear. also up and down the pacific coastline. that's very important because there'sgoing to going to be a memorial sfervices going on thi year. as far as the forecast out here, pretty clear skies but do bundle up if you're out doors. temperatures still lingering into the mid single digits, amid the high single digits along the pacific coastline. the snow over towards the sea of japan is going to taper off
heading through afternoon. much of western japan will see the cherry blossom, the most famous of the cherry blossoms bloom out across much of this area. you really have to wait until april. maybe you want to see the flower viewings with your friends at the parks there. you'll probably have to wait until may. two months later than tokyo. all right, let's take a look at what's going on out across europe. this storm system out across the balkan peninsula has been swirling here. some rough weather circulating in from the south. a few strong thunderstorms might filter in with that as well. that drifts toward the east and back towards the west we'll be looking at damp conditions into parts of germany extending over
towards poland. if you're in the british isles, london you'll be looking at partly cloudy skies. temperatures relatively cool. about 11 for your high but off towar towards scotland, you'll be looking at some passing showers here on your friday. take a look at your temperatures. a high of 11. paris at 14. athens, you have that low down there towards the south. thunderstorms there in your forecast here across the americas. talking about thunderstorms. we have this frontal area blowing up right there. that's going to continue to bring some strong storms. maybe some damaging winds coming out of this as well as hail which has already been reported as it rolls towards the east. even mixing in with snow across upstate new york into pennsylvania. new york city be ready for some snow in your forecast. on the opposite side note l.a. beautiful weather there for you. 28 for your high. sunny skies on friday. here is your extended outlook.
we view the infrared photography of erv schleufer. we visit the spokane, washington, american indian community center. and we attend the national congress of american indians mid year conference. we also learn something new about healthy living and hear from our elders on this edition of native report. announcer: production of native report is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community, the blandin foundation, and the duluth superior area community foundation. [music playing]