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

Japan crisis drags, France wants global nuclear reform

TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) – France called for new global
nuclear rules as Japan’s atomic crisis reached three weeks on
Friday with widening radiation from its crippled power plant but
scant hope of a quick resolution.

President Nicolas Sarkozy — whose nation is the most
nuclear-dependent in the world — paid a quick visit to Tokyo to
show support and also propose a global conference in France for
May to fix new international atomic regulations.

Mar 31, 2011

IAEA suggests Japan widen exclusion zone near nuclear plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog suggested Japan consider widening an evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant as French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to arrive on Thursday, the first leader to visit since a devastating earthquake and tsunami sparked the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

Concerns over radiation spreading beyond Japan grew again after Singapore detected radiation nine times the limit in cabbages imported from Japan while the United States reported small levels of radiation in milk samples on its west coast.

Mar 30, 2011

Japan tsunami survivors at loss to restore life

TOKYO (Reuters) – “How was it?”

Many people asked me that when I came back to Tokyo from a week reporting in Japan’s tsunami-stricken coastal towns.

I tried to find the proper words to explain, but couldn’t. Instead, faces of people I met on the street and at evacuation centres in the devastated northeast came to mind.

Mar 30, 2011

Witness: Japan tsunami survivors at loss to restore life

TOKYO (Reuters) – “How was it?”

Many people asked me that when I came back to Tokyo from a week reporting in Japan’s tsunami-stricken coastal towns.

I tried to find the proper words to explain, but couldn’t. Instead, faces of people I met on the street and at evacuation centres in the devastated northeast came to mind.

Mar 29, 2011

France, U.S. to help Japan in nuclear crisis

TOKYO, March 30 (Reuters) – France and the United States are
to help Japan in its battle to contain radiation from a crippled
nuclear complex where plutonium finds have raised public alarm
over the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

The high-stakes operation at the Fukushima plant has added
to Japan’s unprecedented humanitarian disaster with 27,500
people dead or missing from a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Mar 29, 2011

Japan finds plutonium at stricken nuclear plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Plutonium found in soil at the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex heightened alarm on Tuesday over Japan’s protracted battle to contain the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the radioactive material – a by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs – had been found at low-risk levels in five places at the plant, hit by a March 11 quake and tsunami.

Mar 28, 2011

Plutonium found, problems mount at Japan nuclear plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Plutonium found in soil around the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex added to mounting problems on Tuesday in Japan’s battle to contain the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the radioactive material, which is used in nuclear bombs, was traced in soil at five locations at the plant, hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Mar 28, 2011

Plutonium found, problems mount at Japan n-plant

TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) – Plutonium found in soil around
the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex added to mounting
problems on Tuesday in Japan’s battle to contain the world’s
worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (TEPCO) said
the radioactive material, which is used in nuclear bombs, was
traced in soil at five locations at the plant, hit by an
earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Mar 25, 2011

Isolated Japanese island tries to fend for itself after tsunami

OSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Susumu Sugawara steers his boat “Himawari” past burned-out ships and through flotsam to the small island of Oshima, providing residents with their only link to the outside world, two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan. The 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami killed more than 10,000 people and about 17,500 are missing. With the cost of damage estimated at $300 billion, it is the world’s costliest natural disaster. Two weeks on, residents beset with grief and shock in communities along the coast are showing signs of picking up the pieces of their lives. But for tiny communities on outlying islands such as Oshima, the job is going to be that much harder, largely because, with many ferries and other boats smashed by the tsunami, the islands are more isolated than ever. Oshima’s regular ferries were lost in the disaster so Sugawara, 69, has stepped in to help. He transported about 60 people, and numerous bundles of food and clothing between the island and the city of Kesennuma on Friday. “Without this boat, people on the island can’t go anywhere,” he said. “My house is still damaged … but unless I do this, people on the island wouldn’t know what to do.” Oshima, famous for its beautiful beaches and fishing industry, used to be home to about 3,200 people. The tsunami killed at least 31 people of them. No one is quite sure how many people might be missing. The waves demolished guest houses and fishing sheds on the coast, sparked a forest fire, and destroyed more than a quarter of the island’s 1,121 houses.

“NOT GETTING MUCH” It is only a 25 minute boat ride to Kesennuma city, but many islanders feel abandoned. “There is no real transportation for us, so the island is not getting much of anything,” said Yuji Shirahata, who heads the island’s disaster relief team. “We can’t clean up rubble because we no longer have heavy equipment.” Food and supplies have been are gradually arriving but the island has no running water or electricity. “Our tourism and fishing industries were picking before the quake hit,” said Shirahata. “Now, they are completely destroyed. I am worried that they will never recover.”

Mar 23, 2011

Japanese woman opens her home to tsunami survivors

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (Reuters) – On a hill overlooking her town that was washed away by Japan’s March 11 tsunami, 64-year-old Toshie Fukuda has turned her house into a refuge for those the disaster left homeless.

“I feel like closing my eyes,” Fukuda said, referring to the view of utter destruction stretching out below her house. “But those who survived need to work together and try to move forward.”

    • 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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