the five member team returned to ohi to inspect a trench the nra had ordered plant operator kansai electric to double the length of the trench after the first onsite inspection in november. crews dug it to 100 meters. representatives of the nuclear watchdog say they will ask kansai electric to shut down the plant if inspectors conclude an active fault runs underneath it. kansai electric executives insist land slips and not a fault caused the fissures below ohi. >> translator: we'll carefully analyze what we saw today. it won't be an easy task determining what it is. >> the team of experts will be back at the plant on saturday.
then they will meet early next year to produce an assessment based on the results of their inspection. nra experts are checking the ground beneath a number of power plants in this earthquake prone country. their reports on some of them could keep the facilities off line for the future or forever. nra teams say they found one active fault under sturuga nuclear compound. and another fracture intersects with it under reactor two. they revealed their assessment of higashidori plant. there were two faults running under the compound are active. the possibility of active faults under nuclear plants anticipate the accident in fukushima last year have prompted many japanese to question the use of atomic energy. the former government said it would aim to take all react ors
off line within a couple of decades but now a new government is in power and promising a different approach. >> reporter: kaho izumitani is putting everything on the table when it comes to energy policy. they will explore possibilities including restarting nuclear reactors. >> translator: we need to decide our energy policy based on technical assessments. we will not start with the conclusion of halting nuclear power generation by the 2030s. >> reporter: the previous administration led by former prime minister yoshihko noda drafted an energy policy that stated the government would aim to shut down all nuclear plants by the 2030s. before last year's accident in fukushima, nuclear power accounted for 26% of the total
energy supply in japan. currently only two out of 50 reactors in the country are online adding a mere 3% to the supply. fossil fuels are taking up the slack. utilities are paying more to import liquified natural gas to fire thermal plants. many are planning to raise electricity rates to make up for losses. japanese aren't happy about that. and they are also anxious to hear about their new government's energy plans. >> translator: we have 50 nuclear reactors in japan. we should start decommissioning the ones we can within the next three years. >> translator: i'm from fukushima so although i want to decommission the nuclear power plants i know it's hard for the community to live without them. >> translator: i don't care how long it takes, i want to hear a safe and long lasting energy
policy. >> reporter: the abe administration needs to define the legal role of the nuclear regulation authority created by the former government. the nra oversees nuclear safety but the full extent of its power and independence is unclear. >> translator: we'll check whether nuclear plants satisfy safety standards. but it's up to the utilities and the government to decide whether or not to restart facilities. >> reporter: prime minister abe's energy pledges currently lack detail. he says he'll decide within three years whether to restart reactors but he doesn't explain why he needs that much time. nor does he explain who will bear the cost of decommissioning nuclear plants if that happens. he also hasn't outlined a time frame and budget to expand the
renewable energy market. >> translator:. most important issue is to restore governance on nuclear safety. it is a chance for japan to rebuild trust. the new administration should swiftly present a clear direction. they need to quickly state the energy portfolio and decide on the use of nuclear energy in the first half of next year. >> reporter: people in japan are frustrated because they don't know where their country's energy policy is headed and what the future holds for nuclear power. they want clarity. prime minister abe's decision on this issue will face plenty of scrutiny and will be among the first of many tests for his administration. stocks rallied here in tokyo, fukushima from the business team.
they are here with more. >> the core index advanced for the fourth session in a row mainly on back of weaker yen, the japanese yen. the tokyo stock market closed the final session of 2012 at the year's highest level. investors are hoping prime minister shinzo abe's administration will tackle inflation and spur economic growth. a festive mood dominated at a ceremony that marked the end of trading for the year at the tokyo stock exchange. it topped the previous high for the previous year recorded on thursday. for the entire year the nikkei advanced 23%. this is the first time in three years that the key index has climbed above the previous year's closing level.
>> we got a boost on february 14th, valentine's day when the bank of japan set in motion asset easing. that weakened the yen and pushed the nikkei to its initial year high at the end of march. greek debt worries and overall eurozone debt issues really began to come to nature in early april, gradually cutting into earlier gains and pushing the nikkei to its year low on june 4th. the nikkei was also hit by concerns over the u.s. fiscal cliff in early november and it plunged nearly 400 points, it was down for seven trading sessions in a row. still another turn for the nikkei this time positive. when prime minister noda dissolved lower house of parliament in mid-november and then the possibility of a
victory for the ldp led by shinzo abe really gave a boost to the markets because of his pledge to seek strong monetary easing measures and we did see the yen actually shed a lot of its strength that it had seen earlier in the year sending exporter and financial stocks to their highs. the inauguration of shinzo abe as prime minister also gave a last push to stocks and really we saw the nikkei driving 0 above that 10,000 level to a fresh high today of 10,395. now to see how stock markets here in japan are going to fare in 2013 i interviewed the senior strategist at daiwa securities. >> i think there will be some risk factors related to u.s. and china and europe.
and fiscal cliff issue in the u.s. is one of top concerns. that's, i think, just a matter of time. obama administration will be able to overcome the difficulty of this situation sooner or later. so i don't care about it. and regarding china, china economic trend is another big concern. but, we think china has already achieved soft landing. >> so he's optimistic about those risk factors and he expects the nikkei to hit 13,000 by this time next year. so we'll keep you updated on the markets as we move into 2013. for most investors this is also the last trading day in
currencies in tokyo. the dollar continues to gain strength against the yen. $buying intensified during the day sending the u.s. currency above the 76 yen level. dollar changed hands at its highest levels in two years and five months. it's now nearly ten yen higher than at the beginning of this year. the yen has been losing strength since october. that's because the market speculation, the bank of japan would take further monetary easing measures. the yen came under pressure against the euro on friday, the currency rose to the 114 yen level. that's more than 14 yen higher than when the year started. analysts predict the yen's decline is likely to continue for some time. investors are now focusing their attention on what japan's central bank will do when it's policy making panel meets next month. now let's check on the stock markets in other parts of the world. european stocks are trading in a tight range, investors are keeping an eye on the ongoing
u.s. budget talks. london's ftse 100 is trading at 5945. in frankfurt the dax is down about .4 percent at 7625. in paris the index there is down about.8% trading at 3644. earlier in the day asia stocks were higher almost across the board. today was the last trading day the year in many markets. south korean shares ended 0 high pressure 49% higher. mainland china stocks rose touching higher levels in more than six months. the hang seng closed at its peak for 2012. here in japan business leaders have urged prime minister shinzo abe to join negotiations for a transpacific partnership trade agreement as soon as possible. a letter was handed to abe to
request the government action. in the letter, okamura said japan's participation is essentially to make the hopes of people reflected. he called on abe to beef up the competitiveness of the country's farming sector. one of the industries that could be affected by the tpp. some members of the ruling liberal democratic party have voiced opposition to japan's participation in the tpp talks. about 100 members opposing the tpp held a meeting on friday. they said japan's participation could hurt agriculture and health care and insurance. leader of the group said the party should keep its election pledge that it will not accept an accord that would require partners to lift import tariffs without exception. that is all for me. it's back to the main news with gene otani. gene. >> japanese media report is
casting doubt on chinese claims to the senkaku islands in the east china sea. chinese government recognized the islands as part of japan in a document more than 60 years ago. the wire service obtained a copy of a draft outline on territorial issues for a peace treaty with japan. the draft was produced in 1950. the document refers to the islands by their names senkaku islands not their chinese name. the article says the document contains descriptions recognizing them as part of what is now okinawa. chinese leaders have referred to the islands by their chinese name. >> translator: we're not aware of the details of the report but i want to emphasize that the islands have long been china's territory. we also have sufficient historical grounds that china has sovereignty over them.
japan's chief cabinet secretary says they will pay close attention to the matter. another territorial dispute with south korea-japan is taking the initiative. japanese official say the islands in the waters between the two nations belong to japan but south koreans control them. members of shinzo abe's new administration said they won't let the issue undermine relations. foreign minister fumio kishida said he talked to his counter part by telephone. >> translator: various disputes could occur over specific issues over our relationship as neighbors but we hope we can overcome these challenges and strengthen our ties. >> prime minister shinzo abe is sending former finance minister taro aso next week.
he's expected to meet with park geun-hye and deliver a letter to her from abe. relations between the neighbors have been strained since the south korean president visited the disputed islands in august. it's been more than a month since israel and its almost jake movement hamas agreed a cease-fire in the gaza strip. more than 170 palestinians and six israelis died in the fighting. many were traumatized including children. >> reporter: one month into the cease-fire resentment against israel runs deep in gaza strip. militants are showing wreckage of a car in which a hamas commander was killed during an air strike. they are also displaying pictures of women and children who were killed or injured in the violence.
>> translator: this exhibition is meant to show the barbaric action of israel against women and children. >> reporter: hamas leaders have presented the cease-fire as a concession imposed on israel. tens of thousands of their supporters gathered to celebrate in early december. >> translator: the armed struggle against israel is our path to freedom. >> reporter: a new perfume called m-75 has hit the stands selling more than 2,000 bottles. it's named after the rockets fired by militants against israeli citizens. >> translator: i'm proud that our rockets can target israel in naming a perfume after them was a great idea.
>> reporter: the violence left deep scars in the minds of children. nearly 50 received counselling at this facility. they are encouraged to write down or draw pictures of their anxieties. then the children put their messages into what counselors call a box. >> translator: what stands out the most is picture of air strikes or tanks. they illustrate the children's fears. >> reporter: 12 years old boy survived an israeli air strike that destroyed his home. his father was killed and his twin brother died before his very eyes. he lives in a rented apartment with his wounded mother and his sister. >> translator: my son has become
defiant. he refuses to study. and spends all his time wandering outside. >> reporter: counselors invited the children to blow all their fears into a balloon to get rid of them. he was the fastest. but his fears don't subside. >> translator: i'm scared. that's all i can tell you. >> reporter: instead of healing, his grief is turning to hatred. >> translator: i wanted to be a teacher, but not any more. i want to take revenge on israel for bombing my house and killing my father and brother. >> reporter: on both sides of the border each side of violence
renews animosity and with it diminished prospects for peace. japanese sports star hideki matsui has announced his retirement from professional baseball. the former yankees player says he's ending a two decade career because he couldn't meet his performance targets. >> translator: i couldn't get the results any more. so it's time to end my career, which i've devoted my life to. >> the 38-year-old slugger joined the new york yankees in 2003. fans called him godzilla for his
power. the team won the world series in 2009 and he got the mvp for three homers in the series. he batted more than 500 homers in 20 years in japan and in the u.s. >> translator: my seven years with the yankees was the best thing in my life. they were my happiest days. >> sad. >> i'm sad. he was one of my favorite yankees. i've been a yankees fan forever. he was great. he was wonderful. he's one of the best players in the past decade. >> he has a lot to give to baseball fans. he should come back to the yanks. >> hideki matsui says he doesn't want to call it a retirement,
says he'll still play as an amateur. it's now official, guinness world records has confirmed that a 115-year-old japanese man is the world's oldest living person. not only that he's also the oldest man in history. he lives in kyoto prefecture, western japan. he reached the age of 115 years and 253 days on friday. he was born in april 1897. he worked at a post office for his whole career. after he retired he took up farming. he has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
he was hospitalized about two weeks ago but is recovering. on wednesday he expressed his gratitude both in japanese and english when he was given a bouquet of flowers at the hospital. another winter storm is hitting the southern u.s. >> we're watching this next storm come through. this is on the wake of the powerful storm that went through all week basically. that one pushing off through new england. bringing flurries there. then this one moving across the lower mississippi river valley. this is bringing rain showers here. it will start to change over to snow as it works off here towards the northeast and some thunderstorm activity along the gulf coast. then across portions of appalachians where you don't want any more snow. it looks like going over the weekend more of that stuff will be coming down. travel across this area will be rough as that continues to push off to the east. in the northern plains things
are remaining on the dry side. we're seeing another storm move into the pacific northwest. this will bring us snow showers into the higher elevation. main threat temperatures are cooling off. that's combining with the moist air and what that's bringing is fog across this region. if you have any plans flying out of vancouver or seattle check on the flights there as that fog could be delaying them. denver with a high of only minus 1. chicago at 1 here on your friday. let's take a look at the european continent. first the british isles. all this cloud cover is moving towards the east. what's that bringing is very gusty winds and even some heavy rainfall as that system continues to push overhead. south of that, though, i to cross iberian peninsula, things are dry. high pressure there and keeps that system to the north and over much of central europe. rear decent here although we're watching this system. now the balkans continuing to linger. this will bring gusty winds, 100
kilometer winds. could see strong thunderstorms as it works its way off there towards the eastern mediterranean. your temperatures in athens 16 for your high. to start off your weekend milder in the west in london and paris. that system comes in moving warm air from the south both looking at 11 for your high on your friday. let's take a look over towards japan here first where we have this system pushing overhead. bringing rain across much of the country. seeing showers around tokyo. heavy rain showers and do not be surprised if through the overnight hours some of the higher elevations you see some flyers, snow that rain changes over to snow even in the tokyo metro area. might be a flake or two coming down the system. nothing accumulating. on saturday a break in the activity but then on sunday another system is going to be working its way out of china.
first move over corre korea. then working its way into japan. seoul on saturday 3 degrees for your high. beijing at minus 4. japan is the holiday week coming up here going into your new year. let's see what it will look like. saturday cloudy skies. sunday rain moving in. at least on new year's eve here and going into new year's day partly cloudy skies. double digits in the overnight hours. bundle up. i want will get cold, 3 degrees right above the freezing mark. here's a look at the extended forecast.