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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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