News / Asia

US, Japanese Forces Search for Missing Tsunami Victims

Japan Self Defense Force members search for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Miyako City, Miyagi Prefecture, March 26, 2011
Japan Self Defense Force members search for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Miyako City, Miyagi Prefecture, March 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Thousands of Japanese and American military personnel joined together Friday in a final three-day sweep to search for those still missing from last month's massive earthquake and tsunami.  

The operation involves 120 aircraft and 65 ships and will cover the three prefectures hit hardest by the March 11 disaster.  More than 11,000 people are confirmed dead, with more than 16,500 still missing. But the search teams will stay out of a 30-kilometer zone around the radiation-leaking Fukushima nuclear plant.

Workers have been struggling since the quake to bring the damaged plant under control. Chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said Friday that current circumstances meant that it would be a "reasonably long" period of time before those evacuated from the nuclear-threat zone would be allowed back to their homes.

Edano also confirmed reports that the groundwater around the plant was contaminated with radiation many times higher than normal, and that testing on cattle had turned up a low-level sample of radioactive-contaminated beef.

Listen to reporter Martyn Williams discuss the effort to find Japan's missing with VOA's Sarah Williams

In an address to parliament Friday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan criticized the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, for having inadequate defenses against a tsunami.  But, the Japanese leader assured the public that there is no danger of contamination outside the exclusion zone around the nuclear plant.

Nuclear industry experts from the U.S., France and elsewhere are in Japan Friday, or heading there, to offer assistance to TEPCO. Specialized robots also are being sent to help where it is too unsafe for humans.

Authorities are considering what to do with 1,000 dead bodies near the plant, saying it may be too dangerous to collect them because of fears the corpses are too contaminated with radiation.  Police sources warn that if the families of the victims cremate the bodies, as is the tradition in Japan, it could release more radioactivity into the environment.

Prime Minister Kan was scheduled to visit several tsunami and earthquake affected areas on Saturday, April 2.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, Bloomberg and Reuters.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid