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Home: Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: News updates for April 23-29, 2011

Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake
and Tsunami
News updates for April 23-29, 2011

This page is a continuation of my main Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami page, reflecting April 23-29, 2011 news updates for the 7th week after the initial quake. Thanks so much for your concern, and please remember in your thoughts and prayers those thousands of people who are suffering right now and haven't heard from their missing family members.


News Updates for 7th Week after Japan Earthquake and Tsunami -- April 23-29, 2011 (JST=UT+9 hrs., or CDT+14 hrs., e.g. 8 am in Houston = 10 pm in Tokyo):

April 29, 2011 20:25 (JST):  Children in Japan city adjust to studying, living at school - Until 11:45 a.m., Ami Iimori, 8, goes to school on the first floor of Okaido Elementary School. Afterward, she walks to the second floor classroom that she has called home for the last six weeks. She jumps around on the blankets laid out on the floor with her brother, Yoshi, 4, and sweeps up her little sister Miu, 1, in her arms. The children from the other families living in the classroom join in the horseplay sometimes. "I'm happy here. It's fun," Ami says. Eiji Kai, 10, lives with his mother, Yoshiko, and his brother Asuka, 7, in a classroom with other families at Okaido Elementary School in Ishinomaki. Thousands were left homeless in the city following the March 11 tsunami in northeast Japan. Eiji is one of 11 children who both live in and attend class at the school. More...

Children in Japan city adjust to studying, living at school
(Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

April 29, 2011 17:00 (JST):  Singapore restaurant campaign for Japan
- A group of Japanese restaurants in Singapore is launching a Japanese food campaign to support the victims of the March 11th strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami. Consumers' avoidance of Japanese agricultural products in the country is spreading following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but people are still interested in supporting Japan. 10 Japanese restaurant chains, including sushi and noodle shops, are to join the 2-week campaign. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Singapore restaurant campaign for Japan

April 29, 2011 14:25 (JST):  U.S. Army's tsunami relief efforts winding down in Japan
- The largest remaining unit of U.S. servicemembers in the tsunami-ravaged regions of northeast Japan will be drawing down to about 20 soldiers in the coming weeks, Army officials said Thursday. The Army's I Corps Forward -- which has been clearing buildings and supplying assistance to evacuees since shortly after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan -- is sending soldiers back to Camp Zama and Okinawa as their missions end, officials said. There are currently fewer than 100 soldiers on the ground, said Army spokesman Maj. Randall Baucom. More...

April 29, 2011 10:05 (JST):  U.S. Red Cross chief making sure money going to right places
- The head of the American Red Cross, who has visited earthquake zones in Haiti and China, said Thursday at the headquarters of the Japanese Red Cross Society that she was overwhelmed by the "miles and miles" of devastation along Japan's tsunami-battered northeastern coast. Wrapping up a four-day visit to Japan, ARC president & CEO Gail McGovern said the $187 million received in donations and pledges from the American public for tsunami relief is being used initially to buy essential household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, & rice cookers for people who lost their homes and are now living in temporary housing. The project is being funded by contributions from the global Red Cross network. In the initial relief phase, U.S. donations also helped the Japanese Red Cross provide medical care for thousands of people, relief items like blankets and helped people find missing loved ones. (Source: Japan Today)

Gail McGovern, American Red Cross CEO and president
Gail McGovern (AP photo)

April 29, 2011 7:55 (JST):  Gov't warns of risk from quake-caused subsidence
- Japan's land ministry has found that areas of land below-sea-level in the Sendai plain, Miyagi Prefecture, have increased 5-fold after the March 11th earthquake. It warns that these areas are highly vulnerable to flooding from high tides and typhoons. The ministry on Thursday released the findings of its aerial probe using an ultra-sensitive, laser-equipped camera to check subsidence across the Sendai plain. The areas below sea level, shown in blue on the released map, spanned 16 square kilometers. Before the quake, the plain had only 3 square kilometers of such low-lying areas. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Below-sea-level land in Sendai plain
Before/after below-sea-level maps

April 29, 2011 5:15 (JST):  Japan Tourists Shun Hawaii as Quake Slows Golden Week Travel
- Machiko Takemura, a housewife in Kawasaki City, near Tokyo, booked a Golden Week holiday to Hawaii on March 11, hours before an earthquake rocked Japan. Takemura, 30, planned to visit the U.S. state with her husband and baby son during Golden Week, a run of four Japanese holidays in a week, beginning tomorrow. Japanese tourists, who account for about 20 percent of Hawaii's visitors, have pared overseas trips since the magnitude-9 quake, hitting bookings for Hilton Worldwide Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts World Inc. and forcing Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. to cut flights. Hawaii's visitor numbers from Japan have slumped 28 percent this month, according to the state tourism agency. More...

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

April 29, 2011 0:40 (JST):  New video footage of tsunami striking Sendai Airport
- This video, which was just released to the media today, was filmed by the Japan Coast Guard from the 2nd floor of the Sendai Airport and shows cars, planes, helicopters, and even houses being swept away in only 4 minutes. Coast Guard members survived by seeking refuge on the airport roof after the water rose up to the 2nd floor.


April 28, 2011 20 :50 (JST):   "Write for Tohoku"
- Write for Tohoku is a collection of stories about Japan, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross to help the earthquake and tsunami survivors rebuild their lives. "The ebook contains stories of Japan from over sixty writers, both Japanese and foreign. We share our memories of adjusting to Japanese culture, experiencing the kindness of strangers, forming close friendships, discovering the country's natural beauty, challenging ourselves through new experiences, and coming to feel at home in whatever corner of Japan we find ourselves. We have two goals for this project: to raise funds for disaster relief, and to share with overseas readers the beauty and warmth of Japan." The pdf book costs $9.99. You can buy it here.

"Write for Tohoku"

April 28, 2011 16:50 (JST):  Japan's household spending marks record drop
- Japanese household spending marked the largest decline on record in March in the wake of last month's quake and tsunami. The Internal Affairs Ministry says households of 2 or more people spent an average of 293,181 yen, or about 3,600 dollars, in March. That's down 8.5 percent year-on-year in real terms. There were drops in spending on a wide range of items including vehicles, clothes, travel and dining out, but spending rose on rice, instant noodles, canned food, and masks. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 28, 2011 14:20 (JST):  Qatar to give 100 million dollars to rebuild Japan
- Qatar has announced it will provide 100 million dollars to help rebuild quake-hit regions in Japan. The pledge came during a meeting between Qatar's International Cooperation Minister Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah and Japan's Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto on Wednesday. The Qatari minister expressed readiness to provide support to help Japan rebuild as soon as possible. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 28, 2011 10:05 (JST):  South Koreans rethink Japan earthquake aid - In the past several years, ties appeared to be improving between Japan & South Korea. Trade has boomed. Movies, music and other forms of pop culture that were once restricted have flowed more freely between the two countries. So when the March 11 earthquake struck, Koreans reached out. South Korea was the first country to send a rescue team to the disaster area. The Korean Red Cross has raised $40 million, one of the largest nongovernment contributions to Japan after the quake. The newspaper Chosun Ilbo, which has often been critical of Japan and its policies, raised $10 million. Then came a pair of thunderbolts out of Tokyo: On April 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released its Diplomatic Bluebook 2011 detailing developments in Japan's foreign relations -- a release that came just two days after Japan approved new school textbook content. Both reiterated Japan's claims to the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands. South Korean officials say they will not allow the territorial dispute to dampen aid to Japan. But anger persists here. Donations for Japan's cause have dropped off. One Seoul neighborhood even voted to redirect $11,000 they had raised for Japanese victims toward the Dokdo cause. (Source: L.A. Times)

WWII-era Korean sex slave condemns efforts by the South Korean government to aid the Japanese
WWII-era Korean sex slave condemns efforts
by the South Korean government to aid the Japanese
(Matt Douma, L.A. Times)

April 28, 2011 7:25 (JST):  McDonald's Japan to close a dozen outlets in 4 quake-hit prefectures
- McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) Ltd. will shut down about a dozen outlets among its 33 hamburger restaurants still closed in the four prefectures hit hardest by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster, its Chairman and President Eiko Harada said Wednesday. Stores that are unlikely to turn a profit even after their damage has been repaired will become "a drag on growth," Harada said, adding, "Customers are unlikely to visit outlets near the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture." Due to be closed are outlets in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures. Immediately after the temblor, McDonald's Japan suspended operations of 264 restaurants. (Source: Japan Today)

April 28, 2011 5:10 (JST):  Shaken Japan latches onto earthquake warning app - An emergency earthquake warning from an iPhone app lets subscribers know when quakes will come, where the epicentre will be located, and how strong the shaking will be. The app, called Yure Kuru, or shaking coming, was developed by RC Solution Co, a Tokyo-based firm that specializes in providing disaster-related information services, such as relaying warnings or letting people confirm the safety of friends and family. The app, based on technology originally developed by Japan's Meteorological Agency and railway firms, was released in November 2010. Prior to March 11, there were 100,000 subscribers. But now there are at least 1.5 million, and the company has stopped counting. More...

April 28, 2011 1:35 (JST):  Japan's tsunami waves top historic heights
- Tsunami waves topped 60 feet or more as they broke onshore following Japan's earthquake. Some waves grew to more than 100 feet high, breaking historic records, as they squeezed between fingers of land surrounding port towns. The new estimates on wave heights from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission show the biggest waves hit the hilly harbor towns north of where the quake was centered. The surge grew in between inlet hills to 124 feet high at the fishing port of Koborinai. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake lifted and then dropped a slab of seafloor 50 miles wide and more than 180 miles long. The force shifted the seafloor nearly 80 feet westward above the quake center. More...

Reporter is swept away by tsunami in port city of Kamaishi
Reporter is swept away by tsunami in port city of Kamaishi
(Kyodo News)

April 27, 2011 21:05 (JST):  Farmers protest in front of TEPCO's Tokyo headquarters
- More than 200 farmers brought two cows to Tokyo where they shouted and punched the air Tuesday in a protest to demand compensation for products contaminated by radiation spewing from Japan's crippled nuclear plant. The farmers from northeastern Japan wore green bandanas and held signs saying "Nuclear disaster is human disaster" and "Stop nuclear energy" outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the plant damaged in the March 11 tsunami. Radiation leaking from Fukushima Daiichi plant - about 220 kilometers north of Tokyo - has been found in milk, water and leafy vegetables such as spinach from around the plant. (Source: Japan Today)

Farmer with cow protests in front of TEPCO's Tokyo headquarters
(AP photo)

April 27, 2011 17:50 (JST):  'Cool Biz' to be introduced 1 month earlier in Diet
- Lower house members will start wearing casual, no-necktie clothes in parliament under the "Cool Biz" summertime energy-saving campaign on May 1, one month earlier than usual, it was determined Wednesday at a House of Representatives panel. The Cool Biz period, which usually begins in June, will run through Oct 31, one month later than usual, to counter possible electricity shortages in the wake of the nuclear emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The House of Councillors is considering the same measures. (Source: Japan Today)

April 27, 2011 13:25 (JST):  Indonesian nurse working in tsunami-hit town
- An Indonesian nurse is working in a town hit by the March 11th strongest ever earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan with a hope to bring her experience of caring for survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Suwarti began working at evacuation shelters in Yamada Town in Iwate Prefecture after arriving there with her colleagues on Sunday. The Indonesian nurse came to Japan in 2008 under a bilateral economic partnership agreement. She passed a Japanese nursing examination in March and works at the Red Cross Society hospital in Himeji, western Japan. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Indonesian nurse working in tsunami-hit town

April 27, 2011 8:40 (JST):  Work begins to remove boats sunk by tsunami
- Work has begun to remove fishing boats sunk by the March 11th tsunami at a port in northeastern Japan. The harbor at Yamada town in Iwate Prefecture is clogged with debris and sunken boats, impeding the resumption of fishing operations. On Tuesday, divers attached cables to the submerged vessels and a crane lifted them to a barge for removal to a temporary storage site. Some of the cables snapped, as the boats are heavy with seawater. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Work begins to remove boats sunk by tsunami

April 27, 2011 6:05 (JST):  Quake-hit local authorities place limits on volunteer numbers
- Nearly 90% of volunteer-staffed disaster relief operation centers in severely affected Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are limiting their intake of volunteers due in part to difficulty finding them accommodation. Some volunteer centers said they are shying away from accepting new workers as concerns grow over traffic jams ahead of Japan's Golden Week holidays from late April to early May. Of 65 operation centers, 56 are restricting the participation of volunteers, for example, by accepting only local residents. "We have an oversupply of volunteers. It's even difficult to find accommodation for them," a volunteer center official said. (Source: Japan Today)

April 27, 2011 2:10 (JST):  Governors demand transparency on Fukushima case
- Governors of Japanese prefectures that host nuclear power plants and facilities are demanding the full publication of information about the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Governors of 9 out of 13 prefectures hosting nuclear facilities held a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday. They said at the meeting that the central government's present handling of the ongoing crisis cannot quell the concerns of local residents over nuclear power stations. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 26, 2011 20:55 (JST):  Grim work
- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members search for bodies Monday in Shichigahamamachi, Miyagi Prefecture. (Source: Japan Today)

Japan Ground SDF members search for bodies
(AP photo)

April 26, 2011 17:05 (JST):  Thousands of 'volunteer evacuees' yet to return to Japan
- Thousands of family members who left Japan after last month's earthquake had yet to return as of Tuesday afternoon, even though lodging funds and allowances ended for many on Monday, according to military officials. Only 2,000 of the approximately 8,000 family members had notified the military that they had returned, although officials said some likely returned without letting the military know. The DOD lifted the voluntary departure order April 15, telling families they would stop receiving lodging and living allowances as of Monday, April 25. Fisher said it was unclear how many of the others would return or when they would arrive, although many tickets were issued. More...

April 26, 2011 13:40 (JST):  Govt was unaware of hydrogen explosion risk
- An advisor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan says no one in the government knew of the risk of a hydrogen explosion in the initial stages of the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The disclosure was made on Monday by Goshi Hosono, who is a governing party lawmaker and senior member of the government's nuclear taskforce. Hosono referred to a hydrogen blast that shattered the No.1 reactor building one day after the March 11th strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami. The blast occurred after workers began venting air from the reactor containment vessel to reduce pressure inside. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 26, 2011 9:15 (JST):  SDF personnel to have mental checkups
- Japan's Defense Ministry will provide mental health checks for Self-Defense Force personnel engaged in the recovery of bodies and other work in areas affected by the March 11th disaster. About 100,000 SDF personnel have been sent to the disaster-stricken areas. The figure is the highest ever for a disaster relief operation by the SDF. The ministry says some personnel are suffering stress-related mental disorders after retrieving and transporting bodies. It says they may develop symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

SDF personnel to have mental checkups

April 26, 2011 6:30 (JST):  TEPCO cancels 1,100 job offers, cuts remuneration for directors
- TEPCO said on Monday that it would halve the salaries of all its board members, including the chairman and the president, starting this month. Annual pay for other executive directors will be slashed by 40 percent. TEPCO has already asked its labor union to accept a 20 percent reduction in annual pay for 32,000 rank-and-file employees. Both sides reached an agreement on the matter on Monday. TEPCO will also give up its recruitment of about 1,100 new graduates for fiscal 2012 and sell off part of its stock holdings and real estate to raise money. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 25, 2011 20:55 (JST):  U.S. troops restore a train station, one dirt pile at a time
- On Thursday, 42 U.S. soldiers from both Camp Zama and Okinawa and a team of Japan Self-Defense Force ground troops arrived at Nobiru on a mission to clean out the train station. By Monday they had finished clearing another station. The U.S. soldiers are not construction workers. They are parachute riggers, Patriot missile operators, mechanics and others who have been doing the hard work of helping dig Japan out of its wreckage since March 20. More, including photo gallery...

U.S. troops restore Japan train stations
Photo by Erik Slavin, Stars and Stripes

April 25, 2011 14:02 (JST):  Abandoned farm animals
- Fukushima Prefecture has launched an operation to euthanize some of the animals left in the 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Six Fukushima officials, including veterinarians, entered the area on Monday, the first day of the mission. The no-go zone has more than 370 livestock farms containing 4,000 cattle, 30,000 pigs, 630,000 chickens and 100 horses. But many of these animals have died or are facing starvation since their owners evacuated, and some remain outdoors. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Abandoned japan farm animals

April 25, 2011 11:50 (JST):  Help orphans in Japan rebuild lives post-tsunami
- There are approximately 100,000 displaced children (according to Save the Children estimates) as a result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11, 2011. If you'd like to help children left orphaned as a result of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami, Living Dreams and Smile Kids Japan, two nonprofit organizations supporting children in orphanages, have set up a way to help through Global Giving. Our project will deliver basic necessities and services to help children regain a sense of stability in their lives. We'll provide material support such as clothing, footwear, toys, books, school supplies, and bikes. For emotional support, this includes counseling and therapeutic activities (field trips,Yoga, camps, etc.) Donate here...

Help orphans in Japan rebuild lives post-tsunami

April 25, 2011 10:40 (JST):  Home Alone
- A man talks on his cell phone as he sits on a sofa among the rubble in an area devastated by the March 11 strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami in the town of Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. (Source: Japan Today)

Japanese man home alone
(AP photo)

April 25, 2011 8:05 (JST):  Shinkansen connecting Tokyo with Sendai resumes
- The main railway line connecting Tokyo with Sendai, in northeastern Japan, resumed operation on Monday. Service between Fukushima and Sendai has started one and a half months after the March 11th strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami. The quake-hit Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train had already resumed operation on two sections, between Tokyo and Fukushima, and between Ichinoseki and Shin-Aomori. The railway line connecting Tokyo with Sendai will expand to 44 round trips per day as trains which were stuck at the depot near Sendai station have become available. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

April 25, 2011 6:50 (JST):  TEPCO map shows contaminated areas
- Tokyo Electric Power Company has created a map of radiation levels as part of its removal of radioactive debris at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO says highly radioactive debris is lying in some areas of the compound. Radioactivity of 900 millisieverts per hour was detected on a concrete fragment near the Number 3 reactor on Wednesday. TEPCO's map indicates the number of milisieverts per hour at each location. Debris removal will proceed more cautiously at highly contaminated areas. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

TEPCO map shows contaminated areas

April 25, 2011 0:30 (JST):  21 mini-FM stations help survivors in disaster areas
- A total of 21 mini FM radio stations have obtained government licenses to operate as provisional broadcasters, giving people post-disaster information in areas ravaged by last month's strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami. The ministry is authorized to issue special licenses to municipalities to set up radio stations to provide post-disaster information to the local communities. Applicant municipalities can seek licenses without official documents. (Source: Japan Today)

April 24, 2011 20:55 (JST):  SDF to conduct 3rd massive search operation
- Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US military will start a third massive search on Monday for about 12,000 people who remain unaccounted for after the March 11th strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami. The 2-day joint operation follows two similar operations earlier this month. The SDF, US military, Japanese police, and Japan Coast Guard will search coastal and inland areas as well as waters off Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures. The SDF will provide 25,000 members, 90 aircraft, and 50 navy ships. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

SDF to conduct 3rd massive search operation

April 24, 2011 15:20 (JST):  Veterinarians to enter evacuation zone to deal with abandoned animals - Agriculture officials said Sunday they plan to send a team of veterinarians into the evacuation zone around the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to check on hundreds of thousands of abandoned cows, pigs and chickens, many of which are believed to have died of starvation and neglect. The government is considering euthanizing some of the dying animals, officials said. Farmers in the area were estimated to have left 3,000 cows, 130,000 pigs and 680,000 chickens behind when they hurriedly fled the area last month when the nuclear crisis started. (Source: Japan Today)

April 24, 2011 10:15 (JST):  You Can't Appreciate The Terror Of The Tsunami Until You See This Video
- The man who filmed this in Minami-Sanriku at Shizukawa High School on the hill near his house lost his home and cat, and hesitated until April 10 before uploading this video for fear of traumatizing viewers with PTSD, similar to what happened worldwide among millions of people after 9/11. But he finally did so, hoping to share with others the horror of what they experienced in Minami-Sanriku on March 11, 2011. Video shows people scrambling up a hill to safety as the whole town washes away. And the audio is as terrifying as the video.


April 24, 2011 8:05 (JST):  Tsunami-hit aquarium in Miyagi reopens - An aquarium in Miyagi Prefecture has reopened about 6 weeks after it was hit by the massive tsunami on March 11th. The tsunami killed a pygmy sperm whale and headfish at the Marinepia Matsushima Aquarium and damaged pumps and fish pools. The aquarium in Matsushima Town repaired the damaged facilities and removed mud dumped by the tsunami. It collected fish from other aquariums around the country. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Tsunami-hit aquarium in Miyagi reopens

April 23, 2011 18:50 (JST):  Australian PM 1st foreign leader to visit tsunami-hit area
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday visited a Japanese coastal town devastated by the March 11 strongest ever earthquake and tsunami, becoming the first foreign leader to travel to the disaster-hit area. Her visit to Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, accompanied by Japan's Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, followed the deployment there from March 16-19 of 75 rescue workers and two search dogs from Australia. Gillard was briefed by Minamisanirku Mayor Jin Sato on how he survived the disaster at the town's disaster prevention office building, which was reduced to its frame by the tsunami. (Source: Japan Today)

Australian PM 1st foreign leader to visit tsunami-hit area
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, accompanied by her partner Tim Mathieson (to her right), holds baby Iori Sato, who was born in March 26, during their visit to an evacuation center in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.

April 23, 2011 14:35 (JST):  Jordanian, Thai doctors to arrive in Fukushima
- Doctors from Jordan and Thailand are to work with Japanese doctors in Fukushima to assist evacuees suffering from "economy-class syndrome" and other diseases. Fukushima Medical University says a 4-member team from Jordan will arrive in Fukushima City on Monday and another from Thailand on May 9th. The Jordanian team includes a cardiovascular specialist and an ultrasound technician and will stay 3 weeks. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Jordanian, Thai doctors to arrive in Fukushima

April 23, 2011 8:10 (JST):  Emperor, empress visit tsunami-hit Kitaibaraki city in Ibaraki
- Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko extended their sympathies to evacuees and people working in the local fishing industry in the coastal city of Kitaibaraki in Ibaraki Prefecture on Friday. The royal couple's visit to a quake-hit city is their second after visiting Asahi, Chiba Prefecture, last week. Five deaths were confirmed and one person is still missing in the disaster-hit Kitaibaraki, which is located in northern Ibaraki and neighbors Fukushima Prefecture where a nuclear power plant has been crippled by the quake and tsunami. At Otsu fishing harbor that had its quay wall destroyed by the tsunami, the emperor and the empress faced the sea and made a bow. (Source: Japan Today)

Emperor, empress visit tsunami-hit Kitaibaraki city in Ibaraki
(AP photo)

April 23, 2011 6:16 (JST):  TEPCO won't be allowed to resume reactor operations: Fukushima gov
- Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato said Friday he will never allow TEPCO to resume operations at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. "A resumption of plant operations must be impossible," Sato told Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO, who apologized for the nuclear emergency during their meeting at the prefectural government office. After the 15-minute meeting, Shimizu suggested to reporters he would step down at an appropriate time to take responsibility for the disaster. Shimizu had previously tried twice to see the governor following the outbreak of the disaster. Sato turned him down both times, saying on one occasion, "The anger and fear of people in this prefecture have reached the limit." (Source: Japan Today)

Sixth week updates continued here: Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, News updates for April 16-22, 2011



More Japan quake/tsunami news updates...
 
News updates for Mar. 19-25, 2011 (2nd week)
News updates for Mar. 12-18, 2011 (original page - 1st week 
after Mar. 11, 2011 quake)  
 

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Click for Tokyo, Japan Forecast



2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake -- All revenue from the purchase of "Quakebook" will be used to help the earthquake victims through the American Red Cross.


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