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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid