Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake
and Tsunami News updates
for April 9-15, 2011
This page is a continuation of my main Strongest
Earthquake and Tsunami
page, reflecting April 9-15, 2011 news updates for the
5th 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
News Updates for
5th Week after Japan Earthquake and Tsunami -- April
(JST=UT+9 hrs., or CDT+14 hrs., e.g. 8 am in Houston = 10 pm in Tokyo):
2011, 23:35 (JST): U.S. government allowing families to
return to Japan - The U.S. State Department is lifting
the voluntary departure order issued for dependents of U.S. government
employees in Japan, allowing families to return to the country.
In the April 14 travel alert posted on its
website, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said
that while the situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility "remains
serious and dynamic," the radiation dangers outside a 50-mile radius
evacuation zone are low and "do not pose significant risks to U.S.
"Based on the much reduced rate of heat generation in the reactor fuel
after one month of cooling and the corresponding decay of short-lived
radioactive isotopes, even in the event of an unexpected disruption at
the Fukushima Daiichi plant, harmful exposures to people beyond the
50-mile evacuation zone are highly unlikely," the embassy statement
Military families arrive at Travis Air Force Base
in California after leaving Japan last month.
2011 11:01 (JST): More SDF and police personnel in relief
mission - Japan's government says Self-Defense Force
personnel will remain in the earthquake-hit areas for up to 6 months.
It is also sending more police officers to the disaster zone.
The Defense Ministry says the 100,000-strong SDF relief mission needs
to continue its work. It says a significant number of people are still
missing after the March 11th quake and tsunami, while the Fukushima
nuclear plant has yet to be brought under control.
The ministry is requesting about 2.3 billion dollars in a draft
supplementary budget that will be compiled soon to finance the 6-month
SDF mission. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 6:15 (JST): Actor Watanabe determined to offer long-term
support to quake-hit areas
- Japanese actor Ken Watanabe said Thursday he is determined to engage
in long-term support for the victims of the massive March 11 earthquake
and tsunami after visiting hard-hit areas in northeastern Japan.
The 51-year-old actor, who visited evacuation centers in Onagawa,
Ayukawa and Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture with aid supplies earlier
in the day, said during an Ishinomaki community radio program that he
was struck by the sight of both the horrible destruction in coastal
communities and how local people are ''putting forth all their
vitality,'' in spite of it. (Source: Kyodo News)
2011 4:40 (JST): U.S. sends water storage tanks, trailer to
Fukushima nuclear plant -
The U.S. Department of Energy is shipping five large stainless steel
tanks for storing water contaminated with radioactive materials and a
tractor trailer with a shielded tank to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant as part of its assistance, the U.S. Embassy in
Tokyo said Thursday.
The stainless steel tanks are expected to be used to store contaminated
water from the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings
and connecting trenches, while the tractor trailer equipped with the
shielded tank will allow for contaminated water characterization.
(Source: Kyodo News)
2011 0:25 (JST): Convenience stores to work on power saving
- Two leading Japanese convenience store chains have announced plans to
cut their electricity consumption by 25 percent this summer.
Lawson and Seven-Eleven Japan made the announcements amid expectations
of a sharp power shortage in summer due to the accident at the
Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The announcements follow a request by the Japan Franchise Association
that its members work to reduce power consumption in summer by 25
percent. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 22:30 (JST): Fukushima-produced milk returns to stores
- Milk from farms in inland regions of Fukushima Prefecture has
returned to supermarket shelves after clearing weeks of safety checks
The shipment of raw milk from the prefecture was banned in late March
in the wake of problems at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
But the restriction was lifted last Friday for farms in 7 cities and
towns in the Aizu region, over 100 kilometers west of the damaged
plant. The move came after three separate tests found that milk
produced there contained radiation levels below the government's
acceptable limit. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 19:35 (JST): Gov't lifts ban on shipments of 'kakina'
vegetable from Tochigi -
The government has lifted the ban on shipments of ''kakina'' leafy
vegetables from Tochigi Prefecture after the level of radioactive
materials detected stabilized below the safety limit, its top spokesman
Yukio Edano said Thursday.
The ban on shipments of the vegetable from Tochigi, southwest of the
crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was lifted for the
first time in around three weeks. But shipment restrictions on Tochigi
spinach will remain in place, the chief Cabinet secretary said.
(Source: Kyodo News)
2011 6:05 (JST): Temperatures rise at No. 4 spent fuel
- The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the water
temperature in the spent fuel storage pool at the No. 4 reactor in the
crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has risen to about 90 degrees Celsius.
It fears the spent fuel rods may be damaged.
TEPCO took the temperature on Tuesday using an extending arm on a
special vehicle. It found the temperature was much higher than the
normal level of under 40 degrees.
To cool the fuel, TEPCO sprayed 195 tons of water for 6 hours on
Wednesday morning. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 2:25 (JST): Toyota to cut back on European production
- Toyota is to stop production at five plants in Europe for several
days in April and May because component supplies from Japan remain
The announcement comes a day after the Japanese car maker announced
similar shutdowns in North America.
Last month's earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan damaged machinery
and electricity supplies at Toyota's component factories.
The European plants affected are in the UK, Turkey, France and Poland.
2011 22:15 (JST): U.S. Experts Discuss Health &
Ms. Jana Telfer, Centers for Disease Control:
Health and Radiation (video)
Dr. Norm Coleman, National Cancer Institute:
Understanding Radiation (video)
Captain Michael Noska, PhD, U.S. Food and Drug
and Water Safety (video)
Dr. Steve Simon, National Cancer Institute:
Radiation Risk (video)
2011 20:30 (JST): Immigration issues special landing permits
to foreign workers - There are not that many
permanent residents of Japan. The figure hovers between 1.5 to 2
million, many of them Chinese. When the earthquake and tsunami hit many
of them packed up and went home, without even bothering to pick up
their paycheck or say good-bye. This same scenario has been
played out time and time again throughout Japan.
Although the number of Chinese and Koreans in Japan is not too large,
most of them were young and working either part-time or full-time in
Japanese industries where there are not enough young Japanese workers.
The situation is so desperate in some industries, such as farming, that
the Department of Immigration is willing to let them back in whether
they have a re-entry permit or not.
2011 16:53 (JST): French firm Areva boosts staff in Japan to
help resolve nuke crisis - The Japanese arm of
French nuclear-engineering firm Areva SA said Wednesday it has
increased the number of its Japan-based experts by eight to some 15 to
provide more technical assistance in containing the ongoing nuclear
disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.
The eight include those specialized in nuclear fuel used in boiling
water reactors, the same type that have sustained damage and leaked
radioactive materials at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
after the March 11 quake and tsunami. (Source: Kyodo News)
2011 14:48 (JST): Japan says quake rebuilding to cost as much
as 25 trillion yen - Japan has said it will cost as much
as 25 trillion yen ($309 billion) to rebuild the country after the
deadly earthquake and tsunami.
The cost is about 6% of Japan's total economic output in 2010 and is
the biggest estimate so far.
According to the World Bank, Japan will need up to five years to
rebuild and recover from the damage caused.
2011 9:30 (JST): How does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl? -
Japanese authorities have raised the severity rating of the nuclear
crisis at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the highest
The decision reflects the ongoing release of radiation, rather than a
sudden deterioration. Level seven previously only applied to the 1986
Chernobyl disaster, where 10 times as much radiation was emitted.
But most experts agree the two nuclear incidents are very different.
Explore the table below to find out how they compare. (Source: bbc.com)
Fukushima and Chernobyl compared
2011 6:57 (JST): Japan confirms deaths of 23 foreigners in
March 11 quake, tsunami - Japan has confirmed the deaths
of 23 foreigners in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck
eastern and northeastern Japan on March 11, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yukio Edano said Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry has so far listed the dead as nationals of China,
Canada, South and North Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan and
the United States. As of Tuesday, the death toll from the disaster has
surpassed 13,200, with more than 14,500 people still unaccounted for.
(Source: Japan Today)
2011 6:05 (JST): More than 560,000 hotel reservations
canceled after quake - As many as 560,000 people have
canceled hotel reservations nationwide since the March 11 earthquake
and tsunami, the Japan Tourism Agency said Tuesday.
As the figure as of April 8 does not include the cancellations in the
disaster-hit Iwate and Chiba prefectures, the total number must be even
greater, it said.
The agency's Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata said at a news conference
the number of foreign travelers to Japan in March might have declined
substantially from about 710,000 a year earlier, suggesting to revise
the agency's goal of attracting 11 million foreign travelers this year.
(Source: Japan Today)
2011 4:15 (JST): Japan residents speak out on raised nuclear
threat level - Japan has raised the emergency at the
Fukushima nuclear plant to level seven - the highest on the
international scale of nuclear accidents. On this page, residents
across Japan reflect on the revised threat.
2011 1:10 (JST): As of April 9, Tokyo radiation levels still
2011 22:50 (JST): Residency, property among post-quake
concerns for foreign nationals
- Residency status and property rights are among the legal
causing concern for foreign nationals directly affected by the March 11
earthquake and tsunami, lawyers assisting them with their inquiries
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations and a local lawyers' group in
Tokyo launched a toll-free telephone consultation service for foreign
nationals in late March in the wake of the quake and ensuing tsunami.
It received nearly 50 inquiries during the first two weeks, according
to Masako Suzuki, a Tokyo-based lawyer.
"In cases where callers lost their Japanese spouses, they wanted to
know if they could continue staying in Japan or if they could inherit
properties," Suzuki said. (Source: Mainichi Daily News)
2011 21:10 (JST): Yamagata Shinkansen fully resumes operations
- The quake-hit Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train has resumed full
service between Tokyo and Shinjo in Yamagata Prefecture, a month after
the massive March 11th quake and tsunami.
On Tuesday, East Japan Railways reopened the full route for the first
time since the disaster. The operator had partly resumed services
between Shinjo and Fukushima on March 31st.
Some 50 people, mostly business passengers, queued for the Tokyo-bound
train at JR Yamagata station at around 8 AM local time. One passenger
said that he can now make a return trip to Tokyo within a day. (Source:
2011 14:55 (JST): Philippines to repatriate Filipinos near
Japan nuclear plant - Philippine President
Benigno Aquino on Tuesday ordered the repatriation of Filipinos living
within 50 kilometers of the quake-stricken nuclear plant in Japan to
avoid long-term radiation exposure.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Aquino's order
came in the wake of Japan's move to raise the severity level of the
accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggered by the March
11 earthquake and tsunami, to the maximum 7 on an international scale,
up from 5 and matching that of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. (Source:
2011 10:35 (JST): Anatomy of a ghost town - It
looks like any other town, except for one thing. It's devoid of life.
It's a town in the shadow of a crippled nuclear power plant, which
promised residents a bright future, but has in fact destroyed their
lives. Earthquake and tsunami damage forced so many of these residents
homes. All that's left now are empty ghost towns with the subtle signs
of how fast residents evacuated and elevated radiation levels.
(source) April 12,
2011 7:05 (JST): Tokyo Disneyland to reopen Friday, DisneySea
before end of April -
Tokyo Disneyland is set to reopen
Friday following the suspension of
its operations due to the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and the
ensuing tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan, sources close
to the matter said Monday.
After seeing how Disneyland fares, Oriental Land Co., which operates
the amusement park in Chiba Prefecture, hopes to resume operations of
the neighboring Tokyo DisneySea by April 28 before
the Golden Week
holidays, the sources said. (Source: Kyodo News)
Mickey and Minnie Mouse, dressed in kimonos,
perform at Tokyo Disneyland during the New Year's holidays. The park
celebrates the New Year in Japanese style
every year with Disney characters dressed up in traditional Japanese
2011 5:47 (JST): Japan to raise Fukushima crisis level to
worst - The Japanese government's nuclear safety agency
has decided to raise the crisis level of the Fukushima Daiichi power
plant accident from 5 to 7, the worst on the international scale.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the decision on Monday.
It says the damaged facilities have been releasing a massive amount of
radioactive substances, which are posing a threat to human health and
the environment over a wide area. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 1:26 (JST): Tokyo Tower bears electronic encouragement
- The Tokyo Tower has been decorated with an electronic message wishing
a quick recovery for quake-hit Japan.
The phrase, "Ganbaro Nippon", or "Let's hang in there, Japan", appeared
on the 150-meter-high observatory of the TV tower on Monday evening,
one month after the March 11th quake and tsunami.
8,400 bulbs of solar-powered LEDs were used for the sign. (Source:
2011 0:30 (JST): Mother Nature is angry AGAIN !!
75 earthquakes are more than the last 6 days combined, and are a stark
contrast to yesterday's 8 quakes and Friday's 7 quakes.
2011 22:10 (JST): Restoration work at Fukushima plant suffers
setback in Monday quake - Restoration work at the
crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered another setback
as the area was hit by a strong earthquake Monday evening, but the
government's nuclear safety agency said no major safety problem is
believed to have occurred at the troubled reactors due to the latest
Injection of coolant water to the already-troubled Nos. 1 to 3 reactors
halted for about 50 minutes because external power was cut off, but
injection resumed after the power was restored, the Nuclear and
Industrial Safety Agency said. (Source: Kyodo News)
2011 21:20 (JST): Tokyo liquefaction survey - A
geotechnical expert has determined that the March 11th earthquake
caused liquefaction in at least 4,200 hectares of land along Tokyo Bay.
Professor Susumu Yasuda of Tokyo Denki University conducted a survey on
the extent of liquefaction in areas around the bay. Tokyo lies at a
distance of about 370 kilometers from the quake's epicenter.
He says the liquefaction was concentrated in land that was reclaimed
relatively recently, or after 1966.
Liquefaction severely damaged residential areas built on reclaimed land
in Urayasu and Narashino cities in Chiba Prefecture. (Source:
2011 20:25 (JST): TEPCO struggles to regain control of
nuclear plant one month after disaster - One
month after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was crippled by the
quake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeastern coast, the
plant's operator is still struggling to regain control.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been striving to restore reactor
cooling systems since the March 11th disaster knocked out electricity
at the plant. The power station continues to release radioactive
substances into the air and sea. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 19:35 (JST): M7.0 quake hits northeastern Japan
- A strong earthquake struck northeastern Japan at 5:16 PM, local time,
on Monday. The Meteorological Agency at one time issued tsunami
warnings for the coastal areas of Ibaraki Prefecture.
The agency said the earthquake's magnitude was 7.0, and that its focus
was in Fukushima Prefecture at a depth of 10 kilometers.
Intensities of 6 minus on the Japanese scale of 0 to 7 were registered
in some areas of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures, including Furudono
Town, Nakajima Village and Hokota City. An intensity of 5 plus was
registered in many areas in the southern Tohoku and northern Kanto
regions. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
April 11, 2011 18:10
Three strong quakes strike within 10 min. period
- After the initial M7.1 Intensity 6- quake @ 17:16, another M6.0
Intensity 5- quake @ 17:17 and a M5.6 Intensity 5- quake @ 17:26 were
The epicenters of all 3 are almost in the exact location in Fukushima
17:16 - 36.9 degrees N, 140.7 degrees E
17:17 - 36.9 degrees N, 140.8 degrees E
17:26 - 37.0 degrees N, 140.7 degrees E
(this is about 65 km (~40 mi) south-southwest from the crippled nuclear
power plant) April 11, 2011
Magnitude 7.1 Intensity 6- aftershock strikes Japan on April
11, 2011 @ 5:16 pm - A tsunami warning has been issued.
More details as they develop...
2011 8:10 (JST): MEXT Seawater Monitoring Programme
- As reported in the brief of 8th April, MEXT
(Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology)
initiated the off-shore monitoring program on 23rd March and
subsequently points 9 and 10 added to the off-shore sampling scheme. On
4th April, MEXT added two sampling points to the north and west of
sampling point 1. These are referred to as points A and B on the map
below. On 10th April new data have been reported (7th April sampling
day) for the sampling points MEXT6 and MEXT10. At MEXT6 sampling point
an increase in I-131 (from about 18 Bq/l on 3rd April to about 57Bq/l)
and Cs-137 (from about 10Bq/l on 3rd April to about 20 Bq/l) has been
measured. At MEXT10 the level of I-131 remains about 35 Bq/l as on the
3rd of April; Cs-137 is no longer detectable.
MEXT seawater sampling locations
2011 5:16 (JST): 150,000 taking refuge 1 month after tsunami -
On Monday, exactly one month passed since a massive earthquake and
tsunami hit northeastern Japan, but nearly 151,150 people from
disaster-hit areas are still living in evacuation centers in 18
prefectures. Many have lost their homes, jobs and family members, and
are facing the challenge of rebuilding their lives.
A total of 450,000 were taking shelter at one point, with many living
in difficult conditions. They faced severe shortages of water, food,
heating fuel and other basic supplies, due to disrupted roads, gasoline
shortages, and damaged utility facilities. Many evacuees returned to
their homes after water, gas, and electricity were restored in their
cities. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 0:40 (JST): SDF, US forces conducting search operations -
Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US military conducted massive
search operations on Sunday for victims who are still missing after the
March 11th earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan.
Sunday's search operations covered coastal and inland areas from Iwate
to Fukushima prefectures, and involved 22,000 personnel from both
countries, and 50 vessels and 90 aircraft are deployed.
The joint operations follow similar ones conducted for 3 days from
April 1st that recovered 339 bodies. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 21:05 (JST): 82 children orphaned in March 11 disaster -
Japan's health ministry says a total of 82 children in 3 northeastern
prefectures lost parents in the massive quake and tsunami on March
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry says that as of Saturday, 44
children in Iwate, 33 in Miyagi, and 8 in Fukushima had been orphaned
by the disaster.
It says the number could rise as there are many children whose parents
are still unaccounted for.
The ministry, together with the education ministry, has instructed
education boards and school officials across the country to notify
child consultation centers about children orphaned by the disaster.
2011 18:40 (JST): TEPCO uses unmanned equipment to remove
rubble - Tokyo Electric Power Company has bugun using
unmanned heavy equipment to remove radioactive rubble at the
tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Hydrogen explosions blew off the ceilings and walls of the Number One
and Number Three reactor buildings. The debris is emitting hundreds of
millisieverts of radiation per hour in some places, hindering the
The utility started using remote-controlled power shovels and
bulldozers to remove the rubble on Sunday afternoon. (Source:
2011 13:07 (JST): Kan pledges to build 70,000 temporary
houses - Prime Minister Naoto Kan has told the governor
of quake-hit Miyagi Prefecture that the central government will build
70,000 temporary houses as quickly as possible.
Kan arrived in the prefecture on board a Self-Defense Force aircraft on
Sunday morning. He visited Ishinomaki city hall for talks with Miyagi
Governor Yoshihiro Murai and Ishinomaki Mayor Hiroshi Kameyama.
Governor Murai asked for sufficient assistance for people who are going
through immense suffering following the March 11th earthquake and
tsunami. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
2011 11:15 (JST): Reeling from quake, Japan automakers cut
output in U.S. plants
- Ripple effects from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continued to
be felt by the U.S. work force this week as Japanese automakers
announced cuts in plant production at North American factories.
While the cuts were expected, the news signals the long road ahead for
Japan's economy, the world's third largest, and how other nations will
Japan's big three - Honda, Nissan and Toyota - and the global auto
industry are increasingly hampered by parts suppliers in Japan who are
struggling in the aftermath of the worst disaster to strike the island
nation since World War II.
A team member at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant
works on a Civic a week after the Japan earthquake.
2011 6:52 (JST): Cherry trees bloom in quake-hit areas
- Cherry trees have begun to bloom and bring solace to local people, in
coastal areas of Fukushima Prefecture that were ravaged by the March
On Saturday, a local civic group spotted some blossoms on a
Somei-Yoshino cherry tree at an unmanned weather station in Iwaki city.
The group monitors the tree, which has long been used by local weather
authorities as a benchmark for cherry blossoms.
The tree stands about 300 meters from the shoreline and is still
surrounded by the remains of destroyed houses and other debris.
2011 1:05 (JST): Memorial service held for unidentified people
- A memorial service for 39 unidentified earthquake and tsunami victims
was held in Minami Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.
Four-hundred-twenty-five bodies have been found in the town, but 80 of
them remain unidentified almost one month after a massive earthquake
hit the region.
Police handed over to the town 39 bodies found during the first 10 days
after the quake, and a memorial service was held in front of one of the
community's evacuation centers. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
April 9, 2011
21:45 (JST): Man stranded in empty Japanese town since
tsunami - 75-year-old Kunio
Shiga cannot walk very far and doesn't know what happened to
His neighbors have all left because the area is 12 miles (20
kilometers) from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant -- just
within the zone where authorities have told everyone to get out because
of concerns about leaking radiation.
No rescuer ever came for him.
When a reporter and two photographers from The Associated Press arrived
at Shiga's doorstep Friday, the scared and disoriented farmer said:
"You are the first people I have spoken to" since the earthquake and
"Do you have any food?" he asked. "I will pay you."
(AP photo/Hiro Komae)
April 9, 2011
16:32 (JST): U.S. Marine nuclear rescue team stands ready in
- Wearing gas masks and baggy gray suits, a special U.S. Marine Corps
unit trained to rescue people in chemical, biological or nuclear
emergencies held drills Saturday with Japanese counterparts, standing
ready to help out if needed around the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi
The 145-member Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, based at a
naval support facility in Indian Head, Maryland, near Washington D.C.,
flew to Japan on April 2 to offer its assistance to Japan, officials
It is the unit's first overseas deployment, but it does not signal
heightened alarm in Washington about the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant,
members said. More...
April 9, 2011
13:23 (JST): People begin to enter newly built temporary
houses - Earthquake and tsunami survivors began
to move into temporary housing in the city of Rikuzen-takata in Iwate
Prefecture, northern Japan, on Saturday. They are the first people to
use temporary housing in the areas hit by the March 11th disaster.
The first 36 temporary houses were completed in the city by the end of
last month. The city needs about 4,000 temporary houses for those who
have stayed in evacuation centers.
On Saturday morning, people chosen by lot entered the newly built
houses with futons and daily necessities. (Source: nhk.or.jp)
April 9, 2011
12:30 (JST): U.S. mulls reducing 80-km evacuation zone for
Americans in Japan
- U.S. nuclear regulators are considering
reviewing its evacuation advisory for Americans living within an
80-kilometer radius of the stricken nuclear plant in Japan's Fukushima
Prefecture as radioactive substances in areas beyond 40 km of the plant
have subdued to levels that require no evacuation. The U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission's Mar. 16 evacuation advisory was based on an
assumption of complete reactor fuel damage, not on observational data.
As a result, the NRC apparently overestimated the levels of radioactive
substances that would leak from the nuclear plant. (Source: Kyodo News)
April 9, 2011
9:50 (JST): Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa to donate all his
earnings to homeland - The 19-year-old native of Japan
says he will donate all the money he wins on the PGA Tour this year,
including this weekend's Masters, to his earthquake- and
tsunami-ravaged homeland. This would be close to $2 million if he
equals his earnings of last year. Even though his heart is there, he
believes he can inspire his countrymen by playing well.
"I understand that people, especially in Sendai, they are living in
hell," he said, "and I would love to show the energy and power of what
golf can bring to those people." (Source: Philly.com)
April 9, 2011
7:35 (JST): Tsunami-hit Sendai airport to reopen next week
Disaster-hit Sendai Airport, which was closed after being inundated by
the March 11 tsunami, will reopen next week, more than a month after
the biggest recorded earthquake ever to hit Japan.
The opening will provide a boost to an area constrained by road
closures and the suspension of bullet train services to Sendai.
All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines on Friday said they would restart
flights next week to and from the airport, which will reopen to some
commercial services on Wednesday.
Sendai Airport was slammed by the wall of water
that ravaged Japan's northeast coastline
April 9, 2011
2:05 (JST): Japan eases restrictions on milk, spinach near
nuclear plant - Japan's government has lifted restrictions
on vegetables and milk from some parts of the country's north after
inspections found radiation levels below legal limits for three
straight weeks, a top government official announced Friday.
The move lifts a ban on spinach and kakina, another leafy green
vegetable, from Gunma Prefecture, southwest of the quake-damaged
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Milk from the Aizu area of
Fukushima Prefecture, inland from the plant, will also be allowed for
sale, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.
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