News / Asia

Japanese PM: Condolences and Resolve to Rebuild Nation

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (file)
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (file)

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told his nation Friday that together they would "create Japan once again from scratch."

He said that the earthquake-tsunami disaster coupled with the nuclear crisis was a "great test" for the people of Japan, but that the nation would overcome the tragedy and recover.

Japan on Friday observed a moment of silence one week after the massive earthquake and tsunami, which has killed more than 6,400 people. There are an estimated 10,000 still missing.

Crews on Friday worked to repair damaged roads and volunteers struggle to deliver food, water, blankets and medicine to survivors, but conditions are deteriorating in shelters across the country's northeast, where more than 300,000 people are taking refuge.

Japan's NHK television reported Friday that 25 people, most of them elderly and some of them bedridden, had died in the shelters. Mao Sato, who works for the Japanese relief organization Peace Winds told VOA from Tokyo that the number of deaths in shelters is increasing every day as survivors battle bitter cold weather.

Sato said some of the devastated areas have "almost run out of food" and some people are only eating two portions of rice a day. Sato said local officials also had asked her organization to provide emergency shelters to house the bodies of those killed in the magnitude nine earthquake and killer tsunami.

Fuel shortages, power outages and freezing weather have slowed relief efforts.

Mr. Kan offered his condolences to his nation, and acknowledged there had been a great deal of confusion around the delivery of relief goods. But he said there was no time to be pessimistic and called on the Japanese to work together to rebuild the nation.

Japan's Red Cross says hospitals and evacuation centers also are running out of medical supplies.

Mr. Kan called for people to be patient, and said the government would provide blankets and relief goods.

Japan's NHK television showed pictures of elderly wrapped in blankets, while some people continued to search for their missing loved ones through the rubble in northeast Japan.

Many parts of Japan are experiencing rolling blackouts as the emergency tests the country's power capacity. The government also has asked railway operators to reduce train service to lessen the strain on the electrical system.

Sato said that in Tokyo, rolling blackouts were affecting the train system and the hours that people can work. She said that restaurants and stores are not functioning properly and that supermarket shelves are getting empty as back stocks are rushed to emergency areas.

Foreign governments are pulling their citizens out of Japan, and the U.S. State Department said the first flight carrying American evacuees lifted off Thursday. The United States has warned citizens about the deteriorating situation at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, and ordered Americans to stay at least 80 kilometers away.

U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday defended the recommendation of the evacuation zone even though it is far larger than the zone recommended by Japanese officials. He told reporters the U.S. decision was based on a careful scientific evaluation.

Britain, China and France are among the other foreign governments arranging transportation out of Japan for their citizens.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid