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Japanese Emperor Akihito deeply worried

16. March 2011. | 14:40

Source: Tanjug

Japanese Emperor Akihito addressed the nation, pointing out he was deeply worried by nuclear crisis in Fukushima, urging people to help each in difficult times. Workers, which were forced to temporarily abandon Fukushima NP, returned to work.

Japanese Emperor Akihito addressed the nation, pointing out he was deeply worried by nuclear crisis in Fukushima, urging people to help each in difficult times. Workers, which were forced to temporarily abandon Fukushima NP, returned to work.

In an unprecedented televised address on Wednesday, broadcasted by main TV networks that interrupted their regular programme, Emperor Akihito, 77, said that the problems at Japan's nuclear-power reactors, where authorities are struggling to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, were unpredictable and that he was "deeply worried" following the devastating earthquake.

"I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people will, hand in hand, treat each other with compassion and overcome these difficult times," Akihito said, and Reuters reported.

This was Emperor Akihito’s first public addressing after last week’s quake and tsunami. He thanked everyone who participates in saving citizens, including foreign governments.

Staff returns to Fukushima NP

Workers, which were forced to temporarily abandon the facility and works in cooling the overheated reactors in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, returned to work, Japanese NP’s management stated.

“At 10.43 a.m. an order was issued for workers to evacuate, due to a rapid increase in radiation levels. That information was not accurate and they continued working at 11.30 a.m.”, the statement read.

Meanwhile, Japanese Self-Defense Forces stated they will not conduct a planned operation to drop water from helicopters on the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima nuclear power plant because of the high radiation level around the plant, Defense Ministry officials said, and Kyodo reported.

Earlier, another fire started in reactor four at for the second time in two days, but three hours later Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported that flames are not longer visible.

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano stated in a press conference on Wednesday that workers withdrew from the plant following the sudden rise in radiation levels.

Edano also said that the radiation levels were now falling from 1,000 millisieverts per hour on Wednesday morning to 600-800, but that was still more than average.

“Workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now. Because of the radiation risk, we are on standby”, Edano said, and BBC reported.

Later, 50 technicians were allowed to return to the facility, located 220km north of Tokyo, who are trying to cool the plant's four reactors and avert a meltdown.

Officials are investigating the cause of both incidents and the damage done, and Edano said the smoke was probably steam from the evaporation of water, which caused the higher radiation.

Explosions and fires damages cooling systems in Fukushima NP.

Number of victims more than 11,000

The National Police Agency stated it confirmed 3,676 deaths in 12 prefectures, while 7,843 people remained unaccounted for in six prefectures after the devastating quake on Friday.

The death toll, however, will inevitably rise higher as the recovery of bodies mainly in the coastal areas hit by tsunami started in full intensity after waters there held back and tsunami warnings were lifted, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

Rescue operations continued on Wednesday, when 80,000 Self-Defense Forces personnel and police officers were mobilized in the devastated areas, where temperatures have dropped to midwinter levels.

In more than 2,600 shelters some 530,000 people are staying, and the severely-hit prefectural governments of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima requested from Japan Prefabricated Construction Suppliers & Manufacturers Association to build 32,800 temporary housing in total.

Meanwhile, the immigration authorities decided to provide information about foreign nationals staying in Japan to local governments to check their location or identify them.

Another strong quake shakes eastern Japan

A strong earthquake of a preliminary magnitude 6.0 on Richter scale shook the Kanto region in eastern Japan and swayed buildings in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.

The quake struck in the Pacific Ocean off shore in Chiba prefecture - 96 kilometres east of the capital - and was felt across large areas of eastern Japan, the USGS said.

There were no reports of injuries or damage after the latest tremor, which struck at a shallow depth of 25 km, police and local government officials said.

No tsunami warnings were issued, but the Japan meteorological agency warned there is a possibility of change in sea levels.

A series of strong quakes have shaken the country since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated northern Japan on Friday. That catastrophe left more than 11,000 people dead or missing, AFP reports.

Dacic: Serbia offers assistance to Japan

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated Wednesday that, on behalf of the Serbian government and in agreement with Serbian President Boris Tadic, he offered assistance to Japan in repairing the damages caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Dacic told the reporters at the parliament that Serbia offered assistance in the form of one rescue team, and that the Japanese government thanked Serbia for the offer.

He said that Serbia also offered its assistance within international organizations and institutions which participate in the repairing of damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and has also offered to help through other countries such as Russia and Turkey.

According to him, at this point there is no need for Serbia's assistance, but Serbia is on the list of countries on standby to help.

Dacic reiterated that he paid a visit to Japan several months ago, during which he visited the country's well-equipped and well-prepared centers for emergency situations, which could serve as a good example for Serbia in dealing with possible natural disasters even before they occur.

Head of the Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP) Emergency Management Sector Predrag Maric specified that the Japanese government was offered help in the form of a 25-member rescue team, with three tons of accompanying equipment and two tracker dogs.

Maric stressed that 102 countries offered assistance to Japan, and that Japan so far accepted 12 offers, mainly from large forces such as the U.S., South Corea, Russia, Australia, etc.


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