tough sale. japan wants to get back to exporting its nuclear technology, even as it continues to deal with fallout from the fukushima daiichi accident. welcome to "newsline." i'm michio kijima in tokyo. before the march 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis in japan, the government was focused on technology. that stance has not changed. but there is a new sense of caution.
on the one hand, the government is considering future deals with other countries. on the other hand, it is honoring what it has already signed. a foreign affairs committee gave the go ahead on friday to several nuclear cooperation treaties with georgia, russia, vietnam and south korea. it will allow exportation and transfer related technology. >> translator: it would be meaningful for japan to offer safe nuclear technology to countries that request it. japan could also monitor conditions in the recipient countries and ensure the nonproliferation and peaceful use of nuclear power. >> japan also has a duty to share the lessons learned from the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant. the lower house of japan the diet will vote on the agreement next week. now let's take a look at why the government is still focusing on exporting civil nuclear technologies even after the fukushima crisis. the export of nuclear power technologies is a pillar of the
country's new growth strategy. since the march nuclear accident, it has become extremely difficult to get local acceptance to build new nuclear power plants in japan. so greater focus is being placed overseas where emerging economies are eager to build the plants to keep up with the growing demand for power. the industry ministry says jordan is seeking to build its first nuclear plant. the country is expected to mak final decision on who will win the contract in the next four months. russia and canada are accelerating efforts to win the bid. that's why japanese makers called for an early approval of a treaty with jordan, a necessary step towards winning the order. however, noda remained vague friday on the idea of concluding more nuclear cooperation pacts with more countries. >> translator: we'll study how international nuclear cooperation should be pursued while investigating details of
the fukushima accident. >> we're finding out more about what happened on march 11. tepco released its first report on the causes. the document is based on interviews with more than 250 employees. it sheds a partial light on what led to the melt downs. it also gives details on why workers were unable to contain the situation. however, tepco defended its actions before and after the disaster, calling them appropriate. the utilities report also yut lines measures to prevent future accidents at nuclear plants but the document fails to answer several questions. one of the workers on site said that he manually stopped the
system because it appeared to have run out of water. further investigations showed that was not the case. but the report did not provide a clear explanation as to why the cooling system failed to operate properly. another point of contention is why they neglected to update the tsunami predicts years ago. it was predicted the maximum wave heights could top ten meters. the company was waiting for feed back from experts. we asked for an opinion on the report. he is a nuclear expert at the tokyo institute of technology. >> translator: the utility should explain to what degree the chain of command and communications remained
functional at the plant. only tepco could provide this information and by doing so it will demonstrate its willingness to be more transparent. this is necessary to establish trust and reassure the public. >> the municipality around fukushima provided a different perspective. it is said that tepco needs to dig deeper. >> if something happens again, it will be the end of everything. i want the utility to look into how the accident occurred and allow my constituents to return home in peace. >> they will brief officials on the report starting next week. >> a government panel wants a third party watch dog set up to monitor the performance of
japan's knew nuclear safety agency. in a report released on friday, the panel said the existing monitoring system is inadequate because it involves two different governmental bodies both checking nuclear safety. the panel proposed merging the two under a new agency. it also proposed creating a third party commission to oversee the regulatory performance. they want to ensure the latest technologies are adopted in nuclear plants and utilities. >> it's crucial to introduce new safety regulations based on our experience from the march 11th disaster. the japanese defense minister has visited okinawa and an inappropriate remark was made abouthe planned relocation of the u.s. air base in okinawa.
he was forced to make the trip. in the wake of scandal. earlier in the week, the bureau chief used an expression that is often take on the mean sexual assault when he referred to the central government submission of a report to okinawa. he was later dismissed. >> the officials hurt the feeling of the okinawa people. it may harm the relationship between the central government and okinawa. >> it will be not easy to win back the trust of the government. he seeks the prefecture's understanding about the duties
of the self-defense forces and ministry. the central government should do all they can to restore confidence but that it will be difficult to make that happen. >> translator: it is extremely regrettable. >> the meeting wound up after only eight minutes, highlighting a deep divide between the central government and okinawa. >> next we go to bangkock to find out what's going on in the region. >> u.s. scientist hillary clinton has held extensive talks with myanmar's pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi. they pledged to work together to achieve democracy in myanmar. nhk world's reporter has this report from yangon.
>> reporter: there were smiles all around when clinton met with aung san suu kyi on friday, very different to the secretary of state's previous discussion with president thein sein a day earlier. they spent two hours together at the home where aung san suu kyi was kept under house arrest. their discussions lasted much longer than planned and ended with them both outlining share aids. >> the united states wants to be a partner with burma. we want to work with you. as you further democratization, as you release all political prisoners. >> if we go forward together, i am confident that there will be no turning back from the road to democracy. we are not on that road yet, but we hope to get there as soon as
possible with the help and understanding of our friends. >> reporter: clinton told thein sein on thursday the u.s. would consider lifting sanctions if myanmar continued to move towards democracy. the government released some political prisoners in october, and has opened the door for aung san suu kyi and her party to enter progress. but more than 80% of the members of myanmar's parliament have ties to the former military government. so the united states remains cautious that the country could easily slip back to its autocratic ways. lifting sanctions wod also be a complicated political process.
the u.s. congress would need to approve it, and many politicians in washington are not convinced myanmar has done enough. clinton has spent a lot of time during her visit getting to know aung san suu kyi. they even had dinner together on thursday night. it hasn't been long since the u.s. considered myanmar a rogue nation. that showed progress in civil rights. forming a close relationship with aung san suu kyi will be critical if the obama administration is to build a successful new policy towards myanmar. that, also, has support at home. for nhk world, yangon. >> the release of political prisoners was one of the
conditions that clinton set out before considering lifting sanction. about 200risoners were released in october but hundreds more are believed to remain in detention. nhk world was there and filed this report. >> reporter: this gallery in central bangkok is exhibiting photographs of 50 former political prisoners released by myanmar. they have been to different parts of the world, including the united states, europe, and japan. the photos show the palm of their hands where they have written the names of other political prisoners still behind
bars. prodemocracy leader, aung san suu kyi, also features in the exhibition, she has on her palm the name of a young man, serving a seven-year prison sentence. she says the man was detained for campaigning for her release from house arrest. >> reporter: they regret the fact that the current political situation in myanmar is still serious. >> reporter: zin linn is a writer from myanmar. he was a photographer of the prisoners to feature in the exhibition. we expose to the world and in some way he helps us to highlight the political prisoners in burma. >> reporter: linn himself spent seven years in prison.
he fled to thailand where he continues to campaign for democracy in myanmar. he says he hopes clinton's visit will lead more prisoners to be released. he checks over the internet with a friend in myanmar to get the latest information but the lack of news leaves him disappointed. aung san suu kyi's decision to hold dialogue with myanmar's government has left some prodemocracy activists perplexed but linn believes it is the only way to reach a breakthrough. >> we have to walk a lot. we have to struggle a lot. we have to use the opportunity to get to our goal. >> reporter: whether the government of myanmar rises to the challenge and releases
political prisoners remains unclear. the friends who are already free hope fort best. nhk world, bangkok. and in other news, ousted former thai prime minister, thaksin shinawatra looks to get his passport back. the government says it is taking steps to reissue the travel document to tucksin who currently lives in self-imposed exile. thai foreign minister said friday that the process of reissuing the passport is already underway. thaksin was ousted by a military cue in 2006 and later sentenced to two years in prison for corruption and other offenses.
his thai passport has been invalid ever since and he has been living in dubai. after his sister was elected prime minister in august, he has once again become involved in thai politics. yingluck has saved criticism alleging that her government has held a secret cabinet meeting for her brother. whether he will come back to thailand when he gets his new passport is still uncertain. but, such moves to clear the path for his possible return will likely galvanize anti-toxin groups around could destabilize thai society once again. that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. >> thanks. german chancellor, angela merkel has indicated she will seek revision of the eu treaty to tighten fiscal regulations
she is calling it a fiscal union. merkel says countries that don't follow the rules should face discipline. >> translator: the principles of economic and fiscal integration stipulated under the eu treaty have not been followed. politics have lost trust over the years. >> merkel will deliver a speech in germany's parliament ahead of an eu summit scheduled for next week. she stressed fiscal regulations need to be tightened to resolve europe's credit problems and added that the european court justice should be given the authority to punish countries that would not follow the fiscal standards. she rejected the idea of issuing joint bonds that some other nations have proposed. she said it would be unthinkable
for different countries to jointly guarantee one another's sovereign debt. it will require approval by the eu nations to resolve a treaty. the process is expected to take time. merkel is meeting with french president, nicolas sarkozy, about the eu. she says it needs better financial discipline if it is supposed to survive. sarkozy said the crisis facing the euro currency requires a structural response. he wants to rebuild the foundation. he noted a revision is necessary to address european credit uncertainties. he also said deciding issues with the majority rather than a unanimous vote would promote faster decision-making among eu members. christmas season is in full swing in japan and the stores
are glittering with festive decorations. thee are simple designs that come with an inspirational story. all the decorations were made by a group of women who lost their jobs to the march 11 earthquake and tsunami. on the road ahead we look at how these ornaments help the women overcome their loss and dispair. >> this area was devastated by the march tsunami. in this district, 80% of fishing boats were swept away. the local industry was wiped out. this woman survived the tragedy, but everything she owned was gone. her home, two boats, and the small processing plant for seaweed and scallops that she owned with her husband. after the disaster, yoko and her husband moved into temporary housing. yoko's husband volunteered to
give out supplies, but she was left with nothing to do. >> translator: one day i was standing on a cliff top looking down. i thought if i take one step forward, all the pain and worry will disappear. >> reporter: insecurity and dispair kept her awake at night unable to picture any kind of positive future. things first began to turn around when the support group arrived to help people that had lost their jobs. the group had an idea. it suggested that the women take up sewing using off cuts of material from a clothing factory. yoko had her doubts what did sewing have to do with what she knows.
>> at first i just couldn't stop crying. i kept telling myself why do i have to do this kind of thing? >> one month later the group received its first order. 3,000 sets of tree decorations to be delivered by christmas. >> your stitches should be bigger. >> it's far from easy. >> they gradually started to enjoy their work. >> now their christmas decorations are on display and on sale in department stores across japan. joko and her colleagues received lots of encouraging messages.
>> your ornaments are so cute and convey a warm feeling. i really respect for you making a new step forward while suffering such a disaster. >> eight months after the tsunami, yoko has turned her life around and is back where she belongs. >> these clothes are my uniform. they suit me better than any stylish outfit. >> reporter: for the first time
since the disaster. yoko sails out to the ocean. >> translator: if i hadn't had my sewing job, i wouldn't think >> these clothes are my uniform. they suit me better than any stylish outfit. >> reporter: for the first time since the disaster. yoko sails out to the ocean. >> translator: if i hadn't had my sewing job, i wouldn't think to go back to the water. the ocean has given me life again. >> we have a christmas tree ornament here in studio. >> >> hello there. let's take a last look at our weekend forecast as we head into eastern asia. most of the precipitation is going to be focused towards the north and east, and that would be japan. we're getting ready for quite a wet weekend.
you can see this low pressure system sitting over the country at the moment is going to be bringing a fair amount of rain. maybe at much as 110 millimeters to have areas along the pacific coast here, and it's going to be spreading up towards the north where it's quite dry at the moment, and that will turn to snow, accompanied by a strong wind as well i should say. so waves at the pacific coast could reach 6 meters. it's going to be fairly stormy in places. the good news is it's moving fairly quickly, and temperatures are on the increase. maybe just incrementally into saturday, but sunday should show us a bit of a difference and more comfortable temperatures for locations in the east and
also up towards the north. elsewhere, something very dry across much of the continent. a knew rain showers here in vietnam and as for the philippines, unfortunately the rain does continue. the thunderstorms here, too. it will be heavy in some places as we head into saturday. temperaturewise, manila seeing 32 degrees. 34 in bangkok. a cooler day for you in hong kong. in the upper teen there's. 10 in shanghai. a chilly day here as well. 4 for beijing with minus 11 in kuala lumpor and 9 in tokyo. into north america, looking at a snowstorm here in the four corners. we've also got another snowstorm dropping out of canada. so widespread snowfall. let's take a look at the big picture, in fact. i want to show you how this storm here is going to be stretching up towards the great lakes region, turning to rain as it pushes further towards the east. so the darker shades of gray show where the heaviest snow will be falling. wyoming, down into colorado and also much of new mexico picking up some of the heavier precipitation, and just along the border here where snow is turning to rain, we'll also find ice, making for very dangerous driving conditions. any of cold air is filters here as well to make some of that snow appear in panhandles of
oklahoma as well as texas. further out towards the east, things looking more settled. temperatures not too bad. d.c., 14 for pup 18 in atlanta. just in double figures in new york at 11. 5 in toronto and a warm day in winnipeg at. 2 in denver and low 20s in houston as well as mexico city. okay. now to europe. storm after storm keeps coming through the british isles. and during your day on friday, you can see there is a very well-developed system just about to move into the british isles and you can just tell how strong that wind is going to be. so gaels continuing since last week, really, right across the north. as for the precipitation in the baltic states, rain changing over to snow by the time it hits western russia, and down to the southeast, not too bad here actually. a little warmer than it has been in the past weeks. athens up to 18 degrees on your saturday. 17 for rome, and 12 in paris. 12 in london as well. and vienna, meanwhile, looking a lot cooler. 69 in berlin and 5 for the high