it's the top of the hour, and this is nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. south korea's president has been stripped of her duties. the country's parliament approved a motion to impeach her over a long simmering political scandal. after the news broke, park geun-hye appeared at a cabinet meeting to apologize. >> translator: i am so sorry to all the people that i created such chaos with my carelessness when our country is facing challenges in its security and economy. >> park asked her ministers to make sure that people's lives will not be affected. the impeachment motion was
submitted by three opposition parties, but some of the ruling party members supported it. 234 lawmakers voted in favor, 56 voted against. park is now suspended from office and the prime minister temporarily takes over the presidential duties. the constitutional court in seoul has to rule on the legality of the impeachment. the process could take up to six months. park has been dogged for weeks by an influence peddling scandal involving her longtime friend and former presidential aides. opposition lawmakers say she leaked state secrets to her friend through her aides. they say she is not fit as the head of state. park is the second south korean president to be impeached following roh moo-hyun in 2004. he was eventually cleared by the constitutional court. south korea's prime minister hwang kyo-ahn is taking over president park's duties following her suspension.
after an emergency cabinet meeting, hwang said there will be difficulties both inside and outside the country, and he pledged to manage state affairs without any disruption. >> translator: this year north korea carried out nuclear experiments and missile provocations. we will strengthen national defense and cooperate closely with the international community. >> he also said he'll strengthen the relationship with the united states in order to maintain domestic stability. hwang said the government will do all it can to help the people through any economic difficulties. park geun-hye is the 11th president of south korea and the first woman to lead the country. no stranger to political life, her father was the third president. >> park was sworn in in february 2013, and she was then ranked 11th on the forbes list of the world's most powerful women.
but a year after taking office, her administration was rocked for its handling of a deadly ferry accident. 295 people were killed when the sewol sank. nine others have never been found. many of the victims were students on a high school trip. park apologized for failing to prevent the accident and for her poor initial response. but public criticism of her government grew. on the diplomatic front, her administration courted china. park attended a military parade in beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. and she held the first official summit with japan after more than two years. park welcomed prime minister shinzo abe to seoul. the two governments then reached
an agreement on the issue of those referred to as comfort women. japan agreed to provide about $9.2 million to a foundation that supports the women and to finally and irreversibly resolve the matter. but not all was calm in the region. north korea's repeated missile launches and nuclear tests increased the strain on relations between seoul and pyongyang. park took a tough stance against the provocation. south korea halted operation of the kaesong industrial complex, a symbolic joint venture between the two koreas. south korea also agreed with the u.s. to deploy an advanced anti-missile system known as thaad to south korea.
the move drew strong criticism, not only from the north, but also from china. and on home soil there were also growing challenges. park's ruling party lost its parliamentary majority in a general election this past spring. and her standing weakened rapidly after the unexpected loss. the biggest threat against her presidency came in late october. park apologized to the people of her nation amid claims of influence peddling. she took personal responsibility for the scandal, and she vowed to cooperate with any investigation. but the public's persistent calls for her resignation haven't stopped. >> park geun-hye has been embroiled in this political scandal and was facing mounting calls to step down. now she's just one decision away from officially being booted from office. nhk has the story.
>> translator: now i announce that impeachment bill has been passed. >> reporter: the motion passed. now impeached, president park geun-hye has been suspended from her duties. the scandal that has forced her from office started weeks ago. news broke that park had been allowing a friend of 40 years and long-time confidant to wield enormous and inappropriate power. that friend is choi soon-sil. she was accused of receiving confidential government documents from park. furthermore, it was alleged choi used her relationship with park to pressure conglomerates to donate money to two non-profits she's connected to. choi, along with two of park's aides and even a music video director, has since been indicted on numerous charges including coercion and
conspiring to abuse the president's power. the scandal led to weekly protests across the country, the biggest since south korea democratized in 1987. it crippled park's ability to governor and led to her making three national public apologies. now that park is suspended, the country's prime minister will take over her duties. the next step is for the constitutional court to weigh in. it will have 180 days to decide whether to overturn the motion or to follow through with kicking her out of office. if she's forced to step down, an election to choose her successor will be held within 60 days. then there's the issue of the special prosecutor. park is being criminally investigated for her role in the scandal. while she can't be charged while
president, she can be charged once she's out of office. the scandal isn't just about problems involving park, her office, and her inner circle. the root of it lies in the cozy relationship between the president and the conglomerates that dominates the country's wealth. while they deny criminal wrongdoing, they say it was impossible to say no to requests from the government. the scandal has fueled public demand for politicians and for businesses to sever their close ties and to bring about a drastic change in the country's structure. for south korea to overcome the crisis, it depends on what happens next. the focus needs to shift from public outrage to looking at what changes needed to be made and how to get them done.
nhk world, seoul. protesters had been gathering for weeks demanding park step down, and friday was no exception. we met with some of them outside the national assembly in seoul. >> reporter: there are hundreds of protesters here who were waiting for the news that park was impeached. once word got out that the motion was passed, people shouted and started applauding. you could sense a break in the tension. the mood now is more of a festive one. many people are smiling and saying democracy is still alive and well in south korea. >> translator: this result is because of our power. we are so happy. >> translator: i hope the truth will be disclosed through the investigation. i have mixed feelings about this. >> reporter: many anti-park members of the ruling party were interviewed by local media after the result. they said it was a difficult
decision for them to make, but it was the right thing to do to follow the voice of the people. a world anti doping report identifies more than 1,000 russian athletes in a doping investigation. the report was released in london on friday. >> over 1,000 athletes can be identified as being involved in manipulation to conceal positive doping tests. >> he said that the team has evidence showing that from at least 2011 to 2015 more than 700 doping samples that were first reported as negative tested as positive.
he says well-known top level athletes were involved. he also said athletes in more than 30 sports, including soccer, were involved in hiding positive doping samples. the report cited evidence that four samples had been swapped at the 2013 world athletic championships in moscow. it revealed that samples taken from two women ice hockey players at the 2014 winter olympics included male dna. six winners of 21 paralympic athletes had their samples tampered with. he called it a cover up on an unprecedented scale adding for years international sports competitions have been unknowingly been hijacked by the russians. japan's space agency launched a rocket from its southwestern facility on a double mission to restock the international space station and test a method to get rid of
space junk. jaxa says its h2b rocket lifted off from the tanegashima space center in kagoshima late friday night. it's expected to arrive at the iss late on tuesday of next week. the spacecraft will deliver nearly six tons of food, water, and other supplies, including new lithium ion batteries made by a japanese company for the station's solar power system. jaxa will also conduct an experiment using a tether to nudge hazardous space junk into a low orbit so that it can eventually burn up safely in the earth's atmosphere. indonesian president joko widodo visited the western province of aceh two days after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit the area, which is regularly struck by violent tremors. patchari raksawong at our bureau in bangkok has the details.
>> wednesday's quake killed at least 100 people and injured several hundred more. more than 110,000 buildings were destroyed and about 23,000 people are living in temporary shelters. joko pledged to rebuild the affected areas including the pidie jaya district near the epicenter. survivors performed friday prayers in the district which was one of the worst hit in the quake. >> translator: we muslims should pray to god frequently so these disasters don't happen again. >> joko inspected a mosque there that was rocked by the quake. >> translator: i have seen the damage at the mosque, and i have ordered that it be repaired immediately. but we must work together. yes?
the restoration will start tomorrow. we will rebuild the mosque. >> joko met over 130 patients being treated in a hospital in pidie jaya. rescuers focused search on a market complex where most of the buildings were flattened by the quake. the earthquake is the worst disaster to hit the province since the devastating quake and tsunami that struck on december 26, 2004, and is embedded in the memories of the people. indonesian military officials are boosting their hardware capabilities in the face of rising uncertainty in the south china sea. this could mean more sales for japanese makers of defense equipment. nhk world's yusuke ota reports. >> reporter: organizers of indonesia's largest defense trade show staged this event in november. more than 570 companies participated from 45 countries.
japanese makers displayed some advanced hardware. this portable water purifier is for rugged locations such as jungles. it runs off solar power. the company is supplying it to the indonesian military. this model of a lightbulb by a major rubber manufacturer is drawing attention. it is also heavy duty and can carry large loads. >> maximum 101. >> 101? >> reporter: also here is the maker of amphibious rescue aircraft for japan's self-defense forces. the company hopes to sell similar planes to indonesia. >> translator: indonesia is a maritime nation made of islands. these amphibious aircraft can be very useful to access islands without landing strips.
>> translator: it can land on water without excessive shaking. it's wonderful technology. indonesia should buy these. >> reporter: indonesian authorities are eyeing new equipment to strengthen naval patrols against illegal fishing. they aim to stop chinese boats in indonesia's exclusive economic zone in the south china sea. japan's government also wants to strengthen security ties with indonesia and other southeast asian countries to balance china's growing presence. japan and indonesia agreed to continue discussions on transfers of the defense equipment and technology. indonesia's defense industry has high hopes for enhanced cooperation with japan. this is a military truck made by an indonesian company. this vehicle was made from
japanese commercial truck parts. the manufacturer is a state-run indonesian defense contractor with a japanese government permit. it began producing the truck in 2014. company officials are hoping to cooperate in other areas, too. >> translator: it's really advantageous for us to expand our cooperation with japan to make better military equipment. i hope we can deepen our ties with japan. >> reporter: indonesia and japan share a similar view when it comes to the south china sea issue. the strengthening of defense ties seems likely to accelerate. yusuke ota, nhk world, jakarta. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok.
japan's cabinet has decided to tighten sanctions on north korea. any ships that have stopped there will be banned from entering japanese ports. the decision comes in response to the north's nuclear and missile tests. the ban will apply to all vessels even if they visited north korea for humanitarian purposes. tokyo will also freeze the assets of more people and organizations with links to the nuclear and missile programs. after the cabinet announced its decision, relatives of japanese nationals abducted to north korea decades ago met the minister in charge of the abduction issue. they asked him to use the sanctions as leverage. >> translator: we hope the government will take the next step soon before the momentum is lost. >> japan's government says north korean agents abducted at least 17 citizens in the 1970s and '80s. 12 are still unaccounted for. japan's upper house has passed a bill to ratify the transpacific partnership free
trade deal, a pact that would cover 12 pacific rim nations. the ruling coalition of the liberal democratic party and komeito voted in favor, so too did the nippon ishin innovation party and the party for japanese kokoro. the tpp calls for japan to scrap tariffs on 95% of imports. including agricultural. it also stipulates a wide range of trade and investment rules. these cover issues such as protection of intellectual property rights and settlement of investment disputes. the tpp is a product of years of negotiations, but the deal is in doubt now that u.s. president-elect donald trump is vowing to pull america out. japanese prime minister shinzo abe continues to champion the deal. he says it would help to clarify labor conditions and environmental rules. before the diet vote, there was
one last question and answer session at a special committee. abe said despite trump's comments, the other 11 countries that are party to the deal have pressed on with their domestic procedures. >> translator: each member nation needs to get parliamentary approval concerning the strategic and economic value of the tpp. and then show the outcome to be the national will. >> there are concerns that if the tpp falls apart, china could take the lead in making trade rules in the pacific region. legislatures of other member countries have also been debating the deal. new zealand became the first to complete domestic procedures last month. discussions are taking place now in mexico, peru, and australia. the pact requires at least six member nations to complete domestic procedures, and between them they must also have gdp equal to at least 85% of the bloc. the u.s. accounts for about 60%
of the total gdp, so the deal can't take effect without ratification by congress. but there's no time limit for putting it into force. the japanese government plans to continue pushing the tpp even after trump enters the white house next year. japan wants to get its workers to leave the office early at least one day a month. the aim is to boost consumption and the economy. government and business leaders will call on firms to let workers go at 3:00 p.m. on the last friday of each month. the premium friday campaign will try to get more people out of the office and into shops and restaurants. retailers would reciprocate by offering discounts. the economy ministry is working on the specifics with the japan business federation and industry groups. it wants to launch the campaign in february. the government is aiming to increase gdp to 600 trillion yen or $5.2 trillion by 2020.
personal spending will be key to that. it accounts for more than half of japan's gdp. it's nobel week, the time when this year's prize winners gather in stockholm to receive their awards. one nobel laureate was awarded last year for her writing about human suffering through the testimonies of witnesses. she has been highly praised for her oral history of the chernobyl disaster. she recently visited japan with an important goal. nhk world reports. >> reporter: she headed to fukushima prefecture in the tohoku region. since the nuclear disaster five years ago, many former residents are still living as evacuees. she visited people living in temporary housing and listened
to their stories. >> translator: do you remember when the accident took place? >> translator: i couldn't forget it if i tried. >> reporter: her books are written collages of testimonies by ordinary people. her book "chernobyl prayer," a chronicle of the future, published in 1997, is representative of her work. it's a collection of statements from the victims of the chernobyl nuclear disaster 30 years ago. she spent more than ten years interviewing over 300 people, sometimes on camera. she then wrote about their deep shock and continual sadness. >> translator: in the last few days, whenever i lifted my husband's body, his skin would peel off and stick to my hand.
>> reporter: last year she won the nobel prize in literature for what the committee calls a monument to suffering and courage in our time. >> translator: i try to listen to people no one sees or hears. there's much more power in their emotions than in economic or medical data. so i think it's important to remember their lives. >> reporter: she came to japan to hear what people in fukushima prefecture have to say. she met with a man whose town is still under an evacuation order. before the earthquake he had about 50 cows. he was living with seven members of his family spanning four generations.
he drove her to his former home. it's still empty. after the accident, all of his cows had to be put down or let go. unable to continue dairy farming due to radiation, he decided to demolish the cow shed. his family is now scattered. >> translator: wasn't it difficult to leave home? >> translator: yes, it was. we can't live the way we did before the accident because of the radiation. >> reporter: she was also told a story of a dairy farmer who committed suicide. a close friend of the farmer took her to the place where he died. >> translator: he left a note
saying i wish there would be no nuclear power plants here. >> translator: no one completely understands the horror of nuclear power. literature should communicate it and so should philosophers. it's not a job for politicians alone. in other words, we need to look at what happened in chernobyl and fukushima and put them together to form new knowledge. i saw the future, not the past, and we need to work on that future. >> reporter: the future depends on never letting the voices of ordinary people go unheard. that's the message from the nobel laureate. here is a quick look at the world weather.
>> this week on "global 3000," we head to kyrgyzstan to the largest walnut forest in the world. but, changes to this unique area are posing challenges for locals. we go to singapore where foreign domestic workers suffer frequent ill-treatment at the hands of their employers. and life is tough for migrant workers in qatar, too. loneliness, homesickness -- is it really worth it? the world is a global village. goods and data move seamlessly between countries. and it's the same with labor -- jobs and workers have become global commodities. there are about 150 million migrant workers worldwide, many