all the people that i created such chaos with my carelessness. when our country is facing challenges i in its security an econonomy. >> park asked her ministers to make sure people's lives will not be affected. the impeachment motion submitted by three opposition parties but some ruling parties supported it. 56 lawmakers voted against. park is suspended from office and the prime minister temporarily takes over the duties. they have to rule on the legality of the impeachment. the process could take up to six months. park has been dogged for a weeks by an influence peddling scandal involving her long time friend and former presidential aide. 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 since roh moo-hyun in 2004. he was eventually cleared by the constitutional court. the 11th president of south crea and the third 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 sewel 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 e 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 provocations. south korea halted operations 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. on home soil there were also challenges. park's ruling part 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. >> earlier i spoke with yhk world senior correspondent. >> it's no surprise that the opposition parties voted for impeachment but lawmakers from park's ruling party also voted against her. the fact shows that they decided to go with public opinion instead of party loyalty. i think they must have felt park cannot recover politically from the scandal and they need to think about the future of the party. and i think it's important to add that park's time in office has been odd in terms of south korea's democratically elected
presidents. from the beginning, her way of doing business has been criticized by lawmakers and the media. she preferred communicating with others by phone or e-mail instead of meeting face to face. there have been media reports from seoul that even her close aides had found it hard to arrange meetings with her. she's been described as a loner. the isolation has grown even worse since her close aide and her two top aides were indicted in relation to the scandal. in term of park's grip on power inside her party it really started to fade after her party lost a general election in april. park reportedly refused to give nominations to lawmakers who had distanced themselves from her. those who were left out had no choice but to run as
independents. that divided the party into pro and anti-park factions. >> president park has been suspended from office, and the prime minister is going to be taking over her duties. >> yes, that's right. the 59-year-old foreign former prosecutor previously served as justice minister before becoming prime minister in june 2015. and fhan attended the asia pacific cooperation summit in peru on behalf of president park. park will remain suspended from her duties until the constitutional court rules on her impeachment. the court can spend up to 180 days making the decision. if it rules in favor of the impeachment motion, park will be officially kicked out of the office. a new presidential election must
then be held within 60 days. if the court overturns the decision, park can resume her dudues immediaiately. and actually, this has happened before. a late former president was impeached in 2004 over a campaign funding scandal. but the court rejecteded the impeachment and he resumed his presidential duties. >> any prospects of the political situation in south korea being stabilized now that the vote is over? >> well, actually, i don't think so. some opposition parties still want park to step down immediately and even though the impeachment motion was passed. so i think you can expect to see more political pressure on park's administration. and when it comes to the ruling party, its division over the impeachment motion may lead to
the party breakup. the ruling and opposition parties must also look for candidates who could run, who could have a shot winning presidential election if things head that way. there's also the fact that the south koreans have been protesting for weeks now. i wouldn't be surprised if the protests continue. and this time perhaps outside the constitutional court calling for a quick decision, a political change that happened so fast has been because of public pressure. and i think this continued protests will have an effect on whatever happens next. >> the news that south korea's president has been in peached. spoke us to earlier about the reaction in seoul. >> reporter: there are hundreds
of protesters here who are waiting for the news that park a was impeached. once word got out that the motion had passed, people shouted and started applauding. you could sense a mood in n the tetension. 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 d difficult decision for them to make, but it was the right thing to do to follow the voice of the people. japan's top government spokesperson said the impeachment will not affect
relations with south korea. >> south koreaea is the most ponc important neighbor for japan. relations are essential t to de with northth crea and other isss and maintain the peace and stability of the region. >> there isn't any foreseeable impact on the security in the region. despite doubts on whether it will come to fruition. details from the business desk and all the other top headlines. >> japan's upper house has passed a bill to ratify the free trade deal. the ruling coalition of the liberal democratic party and so, too, did the opposition party and the party for japanese. thee tpp calls for japan to s sp tariffs inhases onn 95% of
imports, including agricultural products and industrial goods. it also stimulates a wide range of trade and investment ruleles. these cover issues suchh as protection of intellectual property rights and settlement of disputes. the deal is in doubt now that president-elect donald trump is vowing to pull america now. shinzo abe continues to champion the deal. before thehe diet vote, there w one lasast question and answerr sessioion at a special committe. 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 needs to get approval for value of the tpp and then show the outcome to be
the national will. >> china could take the lead in making trade rules in the pacific region. ledge slapers of other member countries have also been debating the deal. new zealand became the first to complete domestic procedures last month and discussion are taking place in pursue and o australia. complete domestic procedures and between them they must also have gdp equal to at least 85% of the block. the u.s. accounts for about 60% of the local of the total gdp. so, the deal can't take effect withoutt 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. turning now to the markets.
tokyo's nikkei stock index closed at a new high for the year. tracking gains our business reporter has the details from the tokyo stock exchange. >> the nikkei hit the year's peak on friday. inflation numbers and tokyo's benchmark briefly reached 19,000 for the first time in 11 months. added 1.2% closing just shy of 19,000 that brought a topix gain 1.8%. that's the fifth consecutive week of gagains. the strongest streak in more than a year. the energy sector gained ground following an overnight rise in oil prices. inpex, showa shell and jx holdings. opec will try to extend a deal limiting nonoopec oil producers. now on the flip side, shares of tokyo electric power company
fell almost 3% after government officials nearly doubled their projections for cleanup and compensation costs following the fukushima nuclear disaster. next week all eyes are on the open monetary committee. giang nguyen reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. inflation for november was this way up 2.3% from a year ago and producer prices jump 3.3%. the biggest rise in more than five years. higher coal and steel prices are behind the surge. the shanghai compozt sended this way. 3,232 the closing number there. hong kong index slipping today by 0.4%. 22,760. snapping three days of gains. shares of casino operators tumbled on media reports that
beijing. it was a mixed picture overall in the asia pacific region amid political turmoil and 200 index road 0.3% supported by higher oil prices. 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. working on specifics with the japan industry groups and they want to launch the campaign in february. the government is aiming to increase gdp to $5.2 trillion by 2020. personal spending will be key to that. it accounts for more than half of japan's gdp.
here's a look at s some of e other stories we're following. a finance ministry survey shows business sentiment at large japanese companies has remained upbeat for the current quarter. the reading is the second positive one in a row. officials asked about 16,000 companies on how they feel about the economy. a positive number indicates there are more who expect business to improve than those who see it worsening. the index of large firms in all industries came in at plus 3. autoproduction resumed after being suspended by a series of earthquakes in april gave a boost to the number. executives at two japanese power utilitieses say they're going to start importing shale gas from the united states next month. the plan is to diversify their energy imports. a joint venture between tokyo electric power company will bring in about 70,000 tons of
liquefied form in the first shipment. the firm plans to import up to 700,000 tons by january 2018. the leaders of japan and russia will meet for talks next week. the discscussions in japan will focus on a territorial issue and look at ways to strengthen economic ties. russia's economy depends heavily on energy exports and been hit by lower oil prices. its leaders want to create a bigger role for agriculture and manufacturing and they want japanese companies to help. >> reporter: a dedication led by russian industry and trade industry made a rare visit to japan last month. he spent time at the machine tool trade fair, but he wasn't shopping for lathe machines.
he invited japanese firms to builild plants in russssia. he said moscow is drawing up a package of incentives for 40 investors, including tax breaks. >> translator: we want to add a new page to ties to between russia and japan through the fields of machine tool manufacturing and robot technology. >> reporter: this machinery maker is one of the companies he talked to at the fair. it started exporting manufacturing equipment to russia more than ten years ago. the automated machines allow factories to reduce manpower and equipmpment and boosost productivityty. inquiries from russia started growing this year. and high-level diplomacy may be the reason. >> translator: we think if leaders of the countries are moving up to cooperate russian clients would be in a mood to buy more japanese machines
easily. it will provide us a lot of business opportunities. >> reporter: russia accounts for less than 2% of japan's foreign trade. business leaders blame customs procedures and other barriers. a japanese trading company, hokkaido corporation, is helping to solve those problems. it has launched an agriculture project in yakusk, in russia's far east. taking part in the project is this man, whose company makes and runs greenhouses. this is his first time doing business in russia. and hokkaido corporation is easing the way. here's one example. a customs document. it's this -- hundreds of parts and materials, down to small screws. the trading company had the packages clear customs in one
day. it normally would have taken a month. >> translator: our job is to make things. it's impossible for us to manage all the documents required. but hokkaiaido cororporationon e expertrtise for r that. together we make a good team and we're able to deliver results. > reporter: he focuses on growing g tomatoes whilele the trading company looks after marketing. they are now working on expanding the greenhouse project. >> translator: the russian far east isn't far from japan. and yet it's a market that has been left untouched for a long time. it's time we tap the business opportunities there. >> reporter: many companies talk about business opportunities in russia, but putting plans into action may well depend on what the leaders can agree to at next week's japan/russia summit.
no signs of an improvement yet going into the weekend. our meteorologist jonathan oh has the details in our world weather report. >> as we go forward, we're going to be dealing with i think the possibility of having a prolonged period of that continued low level cloud cover. the reason why is because we're not seeing a lot of winds moving around into the inland portion of china. you need at least some wind generated. but when you have a cap in place and the pollution that remains in place, you're not going to really be able to get the air moving around. let me take you further inland by taking a look at the video coming out of the region. this came out on thursday. thick fog hit various paparts o southwest china thursday. the visibility was lower than 30 meters on the motorway due to dense fog and caused major traffic disruption. nearly a hundred vehicles, mostly long distance trucks, were waiting for the road to reopen.
those foggy conditions are expected to move forward. going back to the map, high pressure really controlling the weather. so that's going to keep things calm which typically means good weather. but when you have that inversion type effect in place, you're going to see that fog continuing to dominate the weather forward in time. opposite side of the high we have cold air coming in from the north. that's what really dropped temperatures. a bit breezy from time to time. we go through friday and into the weeken s snow comemes back intoto the picture for the northern portions of japan and it's going to ststart pushing t temperatatures downward as we hd toward the weekend. precipitation mainly focused on the northern portion of japan. everything else looking relatively calm. 5 in beijing on saturday and looking at cloudy conditions. i want to also show you what's coming up for the weekend in japan. notice temperatures moderating just a bit by monday. look at the possibility of snow
sapporo into nagano. we have a cyclonic storm expected to intensify moving to the north slowly at 10 kilometers per hour. it will be in the open waters during most of the w weekend. we havave to go into theirstst part of next week before it actually impacts land on the eastern coast of india, towards the central areas. until then, relatively calm. as it gets closer around monday or so, that's when we're going to see the rain starting to pick up. meanwhile, looking at what's happening over europe, we do have a significant low pressure system spinning out over the atlantic. that's driving in a cold front and a deck of clouds into the british isles. that's going to bring a chance for clouds and rainfall depending on where you are. much drier towards the central portion of the continent, but a bit windy up toward the north and east. snow comes back into the picture for places like moscow. around freezing for the high.
rain in kiev and warsaw, and we're going to see drier conditions from vienna down toward lisbon on friday. wrapping up with a look at north america, we do have a low pressure system now moving away from canada. that was responsible for bringing some of that sisignificant snowfall, the lake-effect snow into the great lakes region. we are looking still for a northwesterly pattern for friday. you may still be dealing with some snowfall for friday. toronto looking at some snow and also into new york. drier but chilly into places like oklahoma city as we go throughout the day. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
molly: welcome to the "france 24 " newsroom. i am molly hall. hero the headlines. lawmakers in south korea impeach the president. park geun-hye suspended after weeks of antigovernment protests. the syrian government showing in aleppo, despite the russian announcement of a new pause infighting. a new report exposes the