Senior Correspondent, Japan Political and General News
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May 31, 2011

Japan PM, facing no-confidence vote, says won’t quit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Unpopular Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday refused to step down in the face of a no-confidence motion in parliament this week, saying he wanted first to resolve the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Analysts say Kan would probably survive the vote, which could be submitted on Wednesday, but add he would still face big hurdles pushing policies through a divided parliament, including an extra budget to help pay for the recovery from damage caused by the March earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant and devastated northeast Japan.

May 30, 2011

Japan voters want PM to go as no-confidence vote looms

TOKYO (Reuters) – Seventy percent of Japanese voters want to get rid of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, a survey showed Monday, marking more bad news for the unpopular government chief likely to face a no-confidence vote as early as this week.

Kan is under fire for his handling of the humanitarian aid to victims of an earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast on March 11 and the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years triggered by the disaster.

May 26, 2011

Japan slammed for nuclear crisis response, new leak feared

TOKYO (Reuters) – Environmental group Greenpeace slammed Japan’s “inadequate response” to the nuclear disaster at a quake-crippled power plant on Thursday as the plant operator revealed an apparent new leak of radioactive water.

Greenpeace said seaweed had been found with radiation levels 60 times higher than official limits, raising “serious concerns” about long-term risks from contaminated seawater more than two months after the Fukushima-Daiichi plant was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami.

May 26, 2011

New leak feared at stricken Japan nuclear plant

TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters) – Radioactive water appears to be
leaking from a waste disposal building at Japan’s Fukushima
nuclear complex, operator Tokyo Electric Power said on Thursday,
in a new setback to the battle to contain radiation from the
crippled power plant.

The disclosure by Tepco raises the stakes in a race to
complete by next month a system to decontaminate a massive pool
of radioactive water at the site that critics see as a growing
risk to both the nearby Pacific and groundwater.

May 23, 2011

Libya oil chief may have quit Gaddafi government: Tunisia

TOKYO/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Libya’s top oil official is in neighboring Tunisia and believed to be no longer working for Muammar Gaddafi, Tunisia said on Monday, following rebel assertions that he defected in the country’s civil war.

Tunisia’s foreign minister stopped short of confirming that Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s NOC state energy firm and a central figure in Gaddafi’s government, had swapped sides.

May 23, 2011

Libya oil chief may have quit Gaddafi govt-Tunisia

TOKYO/BENGHAZI, Libya, May 23 (Reuters) – Libya’s top oil
official is in neighbouring Tunisia and believed to be no longer
working for Muammar Gaddafi, Tunisia said on Monday, following
rebel assertions that he defected in the country’s civil war.

Tunisia’s foreign minister stopped short of confirming that
Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s NOC state energy firm and a
central figure in Gaddafi’s government, had swapped sides.

May 12, 2011

Japan delays unveiling of Tepco compensation scheme: PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan delayed the announcement on Thursday of a scheme to help Tokyo Electric Power compensate victims of the crisis at its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant and save Asia’s largest utility from financial ruin.

The scheme had been expected to be approved by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s cabinet but the prime minister said he wanted further discussion by the cabinet on Friday.

Apr 12, 2011

Japan says nuclear crisis stabilising, time to rebuild

TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear crisis is slowly
stabilising and the country must now focus on repairing the
damage wrought by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that
struck the northeast coast a month ago, Prime Minister Naoto Kan
said.

He was speaking shortly after new data showed more radiation
leaked from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
in the early days of the crisis than first thought.

Apr 12, 2011

Japan raises nuclear crisis to same level as Chernobyl

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) – Japan put its nuclear calamity
on a par with the world’s worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, on
Tuesday after new data showed that more radiation leaked from
its earthquake-crippled power plant in the early days of the
crisis than first thought.

Japanese officials said it had taken time to measure
radiation from the plant after it was smashed by March 11′s
massive quake and tsunami, and the upgrade in its severity
rating to the highest level on a globally recognised scale did
not mean the situation had suddenly become more critical.

Apr 11, 2011

Japan expands nuclear evacuation, stops radiated water dumping

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) – Japan expanded the evacuation
zone around a crippled nuclear plant to avoid exposing residents
to high levels of accumulated radiation, as the struggle to
contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl entered its
second month.

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
complex said it had stopped the discharge of low-level
radioactive water into the sea that had drawn complaints from
neighbouring China and South Korea.

    • About Yoko

      "I am based in Tokyo, covering Japan's political and general news, ranging from politics, diplomacy/defence to cultural and social issues. Before moving to my current position, I specialised in Japan's economic policy and macroeconomic news for about 10 years, with a concentration in reporting daily policy developments at Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan and other economic agencies."
      Joined Reuters:
      1996
      Languages:
      English, Japanese
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