Up to the minute ...

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 15, 2011

This page has been updated.
See the latest postings here.

Stars and Stripes reporters across Japan and the world are sending disaster dispatches as they gather new facts, updated in real time. All times are local Tokyo time.



First fixed-wing aircraft since quake lands at Sendai Airport

11:15 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

A U.S. Air Force MC-130H Combat Talon II landed at Sendai Airport on Wednesday, the first fixed-wing aircraft to land at the airport since an earthquake and tsunami crippled much of the Japanese eastern seaboard Friday.

A team of specialists from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron out of Kadena Air Base, along with Japanese emergency management organizations, cleared a section of the runway and re-established the control tower to direct flights in and out of the airfield.

Read more and see images at: http://tinyurl.com/65zd2xx

-- Dave Ornauer

Col. Michael Rothstein's radio address

11:15 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

Posted on Misawa Air Base on Facebook:

3/MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Col. Michael Rothstein, 35th Fighter Wing commander, made a radio broadcast Mar.15 at the American Forces Network Studio. Read the full transcript here: http://www.misawa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123246960
-- Dave Ornauer

Miracles in Japan: 4-month old baby, 70-year-old woman found alive

11:10 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out - and Japan met its tiniest miracle, reports William Lee Adams in Time.

On Monday, 14 soldiers from the Japanese Defense Force were going door-to-door, pulling bodies from homes flattened by the earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki City, a coastal town northeast of Senda. More accustomed to the crunching of rubble and the sloshing of mud than to the sound of life, they dismissed the baby's cry as a mistake. Until they heard it again.

Read more at http://tinyurl.com/45oemkj

-- Dave Ornauer

Zoo display of pandas postponed

11:00 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

TOKYO - Tokyo's Ueno Zoo announced that the public displaying of two Giant Pandas will be postponed. It was postponed since the zoo will be closed starting Thursday due to power savings, Asahi Shimbun reported.

The pandas are expected to be shown to the public on the first day the zoo reopens, according to Asahi. The two new pandas arrived from China on February 21.

-- Hana Kusumoto

Army radiation guidelines

10:23 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The 20 millirem radiation exposure that the Defense Department announced yesterday had been recorded at Naval Air Facility Atsugi over the previous 12 hours is not in itself a health risk, medical authorities agree.
But exposure is measured cumulatively, so if another 18 hours at that rate were recorded, it could potentially push anyone at the base who soaked up the whole dose over a threshhold of 50 millirems.

That's what a 1998 Army low-level radiation exposure guideline set as the point to begin individual radiation dose monitoring. That level of exposure is believed to eventually cause fatal cancer in one person in 4000, considered a minor risk since around 900 of those 4,000 will die of cancer anyway.

At the next cumulative exposure threshold, 500 millirems, the Army table recommends taking steps to avoid exposure. At that level, one in 400 people will die of cancer as a result of exposure.

-- Chris Carroll

Japan Has Shifted 13 Feet!

10:15 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

Does that mean GPS doesn't work anymore? Brian Palmer from Slate asks.

Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake was so powerful that it actually widened Japan. While parts of the country barely moved, other regions are now 13 feet closer to the United States. The earthquake may also have tilted the earth's axis and shortened the day by 1.8 millionths of a second. Does this mean that GPS navigation systems in Japan are broken?

Read more here http://www.slate.com/id/2288382/?from=rss

-- Dave Ornauer

Ground transport and flights are close to normal again

10:10 p.m Wednesday local Tokyo time

Most train companies are running near-full services, but air travel to Tokyo still not recommended, CNN reports on its Japan travel updates.

Warnings by governments around the world to avoid traveling to Japan are still in place, although airports are operating almost normally again after the devastating earthquake and tsunami Friday.

The U.S. State Department is requesting all non-emergency government personnel to defer travel to Japan, and is urging U.S. citizens to avoid tourism to Japan at this time.

-- Sandra Jontz

Core group of workers remain at plant

8:39 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The New York Times’ Hiroko Tabuchi reports that a small group of workers remains at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, contrary to what an English translation of the chief cabinet secretary’s remarks had implied.

The foreign press misunderstood the remarks and started reporting that the TEPCO staff had evacuated the reactor causing a broad panic, blogger Joi Ito notes. Tabuchi then contacted the Nuclear Industry Safety Agency and TEPCO directly to clarify and confirmed that they had not in fact been evacuated, but just moved temporarily to a safer area inside the plant during the spike.

Japan's public broadcasting agency NHK then reported that the staff were back to work.

Hat-tip to former Stars and Stripes editor Sid Acker.

-- Patrick Dickson

Low-level radiation probably 'a fact of life' for air crews

8:17 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

Low levels of radiation exposure probably will become “a fact of life” for U.S. military forces flying relief and rescue missions to aid victims of Japan’s earthquake as they near areas affected by leaks from a damaged nuclear plant, a U.S. Navy spokesman told Bloomberg News.

“Having crews return with detectable levels of radiation is going to be a fact of life with this mission for the foreseeable future,” said Lt. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet in Japan. “As long as we take every precaution to ensure that the risk is contained and mitigated, these folks will be just fine.”

The Navy treated two 7th Fleet air crew members with potassium iodide pills as a precaution this week after they became contaminated with radiation emitted from the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima, the wire service reported.

-- Patrick Dickson

Rebuilding northeast Japan to take years, billions

7:15 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

It took only minutes for the earthquake and tsunami to devastate Japan's northeast. Rebuilding will take years - if it can be afforded, The Associated Press is reporting.

The relentless wall of water that the quake unleashed killed thousands, swept away whole towns, inundated roads and knocked ports, oil refineries, steel plants and factories out of action.

Experts say the cost of the destruction likely exceeds that of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake - estimated by Standard & Poor's to have totaled $159 billion.

Read more ... http://tinyurl.com/6dx7w5d

-- Sandra Jontz

Obama reviews Japan disaster aid

7 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

President Barack Obama is reviewing the aid the U.S. is providing Japan; along with examining U.S. humanitarian aid efforts in many other parts of the world, including Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa, according to The Associated Press.

Obama is meeting Wednesday with U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Raj Shah to discuss the disaster assistance.

read more at: http://tinyurl.com/63srdgf

-- Sandra Jontz

It's all hands on deck for State Department quake response

5:39 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

Kevin Maher, the U.S. State Department official removed from his post last week over his reported remarks disparaging the people of Okinawa, is helping lead the U.S. response to Japan's quake-tsunami disaster, according to a Web report by the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy.

Maher was sacked last Thursday as head of the department's Office of Japanese Affairs, a day before the magnitude 9.0 quake and ensuring tsunami devastated areas in Japan centering on the Pacific side of its northeastern region.

Maher is coordinator for the night shift, which operates during daytime in Japan, while the coordinator for the day shift is Rust Deming, who succeeded Maher as head of the Japan office, the report said. The 14-member task force coordinates the U.S. government and military response.

"Maher is uniquely qualified to help in the response, and not just because he led the Japan Affairs office until the day before the quake. He has served in Japan multiple times during his career, and was the U.S. embassy's minister-counselor for environment, science and technology affairs in Tokyo from 2001 to 2005, during which time he covered the nuclear industry," the report noted.

Maher reportedly described people in Okinawa as "lazy" and "masters of manipulation and extortion" in a briefing to American University students in December, according to notes taken by some of the students.


-- Patrick Dickson

Misawa schools to remain closed Thursday

5:15 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

This from Charly Hoff, DODEA-Pacific spokeman:  Misawa schools will remain closed tomorrow, Thurs. (3/17) due to limited power availability. All Misawa school employees are asked to check-in with their school administrator or supervisor via phone or e-mail tomorrow.

- Chris Carlson

Japanese official asks residents not to hoard goods

4:50 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

TOKYO - Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Wednesday asked citizens not to hoard goods, such as fuel, in order to secure goods for those in earthquake stricken area in northern Japan.

"We are currently doing everything we can to send daily commodities to the people in the disaster-stricken area," Edano said. "There are no shortage of goods where people's lives will be troubled greatly when looking at it on the national level."

In Tokyo, drivers found long lines at gas stations. They also found some gas stations that closed early, with signs stating, "out of gas for the day".

Also in stores, shoppers found empty shelves in super markets and convenience stores. Stores were out of items, such as large bottles of water, toilet paper, rice, batteries and bread, due to shoppers stocking up for another possible disaster and shortage of goods delivered to stores.

-- Hana Kusumoto

Marines set up refueling point near Sendai

4:07 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From a Marine Corps news release:

Two III MEF KC-130s based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma flew forklifts, life support systems and personnel to Yamagata Airfield, which has been chosen as a site for a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP). 

Another flight is scheduled to depart this evening with a Helicopter Expedient Refueling System (HERS).  The FARP and HERS allows aircraft to quickly refuel and maintain continuous operations, which greatly increases the ability of U.S. and Japanese helicopters to provide fast relief to disaster-stricken areas.

Additional FARP sites have been identified in Sendai and Hanamaki to increase the flexibility of U.S. and Japanese relief efforts, and planning efforts are underway to establish FARPs at these airfields as soon as possible.

The Marine Corps command element has been established in mainland Japan, and is responsible for coordinating Marine Corps relief efforts with U.S. Forces Japan, the lead U.S. military command coordinating relief efforts with the Government of Japan, and the Japan Self-Defense Force.

The command element is conducting planning for the establishment of a Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC) to supervise relief efforts.

-- Patrick Dickson

Indonesia still plans to build nuclear reactors near fault

3:40 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From The Associated Press:  Indonesia says four nuclear reactors it plans to build near a volatile fault will be safe and more modern than the Japanese plant critically damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.

Ferhat Aziz, a spokesman for Indonesia’s Nuclear Energy, says the nation of 237 million badly needs alternative energy sources.

The four reactors will be built on Bangka island by 2022. Bangka is near Sumatra, the heavily populated island where a 2004 earthquake caused the massive tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen nations.

Aziz insists the Indonesian reactors will be safe, saying they will use technology 40 years more modern than the Fukushima plant leaking radiation in Japan.
Both countries are on the “Rim of Fire,” an arc of active faults encircling the Pacific Basin.

- Chris Carlson

China jumps into relief efforts, signaling new Pacific reality

3:20 p.m. local Tokyo time

The folks at Wired Magazine's superb "Danger Room" blog had this overnight:

"As Japan’s needs mount in the aftermath of its earthquake, tsunami and radiological disasters, the United States and China are putting aside their regional differences to help the Japanese recover, offering up military and emergency services for assistance.

"... But since the earthquake hit on Friday, tensions have given way to cooperation, as Japan’s closest ally and biggest rival have pitched in to help. While the two big Pacific powers aren’t launching any joint relief operations in Japan at the moment, their aid efforts point to the hopeful prospect for some regional confidence-building in the future — or, at the least, what Pacific disaster assistance looks like in an age where both China and the United States dominate the area.

"At the moment, the U.S. Navy has a number of ships operating off the coast of Japan ....

"The military also dispatched a Global Hawk spy drone to Japan ”at the request of the Japanese government,” according to an Air Force representative.

"... In Ofunato, the L.A. and Fairfax teams are joined by their counterparts from China. China reached out to Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami and sent a search-and-rescue team by charter plane on Sunday.The 15 member Chinese team arrived in hard-hit Ofunato on Sunday night and has since been conducting search operations.

"In a statement from its defense ministry released Tuesday, China also floated the possibility that it could send a hospital ship to Japan. China has a number of such ships – basically floating hospitals — including the purpose-built “Peace Ark,” a 10,000-ton vessel with a crew of 428 capable of rendering medical assistance anywhere it docks.

"... China’s 15-member team is hardly the largest international contribution to relief efforts in Japan. And the forces that have driven Sino-Japanese conflict in the region certainly aren’t going away overnight because of their presence. Still, gestures can still be important. Maybe in the future it won’t take a massive human tragedy to compel great-power cooperation in the Pacific."

—Patrick Dickson

Japan’s neighbors monitor shipments for radiation

   3 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time.

From The Associated Press:

Japan’s neighbors have ordered strengthened radiation monitoring of shipments from Japan, but said they don’t foresee their countries having any immediate effects of contamination from the Japan ese nuclear crisis.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued an order Wednesday calling for radiation monitoring to track any goods contaminated by leaks from the nuclear plants damaged by Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

China is Japan’s largest trading partner, and two-way trade rose 30 percent in 2010 over the previous year to reach $300 billion Japan’s exports to China rose 36 percent during the year to almost $150 billion.

Besides China, far eastern Russia and the Korean peninsula are Japan’s closest neighbors.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said Tuesday it had detected no increase in radiation levels.

South Korean officials said Wednesday they had strengthened radiation monitoring. Officials began to inspect all livestock and fisheries products imported from Japan for radiation contamination on Monday, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In the past, only random samples were inspected.

—  Chris Carlson


Another aftershock rattles Japan

   1:50 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time
From the Associated Press:

A new aftershock of 6.0 magnitude has rattled northeast Japan. Scores of strong aftershocks have followed the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Friday and caused a devastating tsunami. The U.S. Geological Survey said the new aftershock struck about 1 p.m. Wednesday near the coast of Honshu in northeast Japan. That’s about 59 miles (95 kilometers) from the capital, Tokyo. Two aftershocks Tuesday afternoon caused buildings in Tokyo to sway. They were measured at 6.0 and 6.2 magnitude.
— Chris Carlson

Japan abandons stricken nuke plant

   1:10 p.m. local Tokyo time.

From the Associated Press:

Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said work on dousing reactors with water was disrupted by the need to withdraw.

Read more here.

— Chris Carlson


Japanese police updated casualty count

   12:47 p.m. local Tokyo time.

Japanese Police Agency said that the earthquake claimed more than 11,000 people, died or missing, as of Wednesday. The agency updated the fatality to 3,676 people, while 7,558 are still missing and 1,990 people were injured as of Wednesday morning.  
In Miyagi prefecture alone, 1,816 people died and 2,100 are missing, according to the prefectural police headquarters. NHK reported that about 100 unidentified bodies were found at different locations on the Ojika peninsula. According to the media report, in Miyagi prefecture, Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi, about 8,000 people, nearly half of the population, have not been heard from since the tsunami in Minamisanrikucho. In Onagawacho, whereabouts of 5,000 people, also half of the town’s population are unknown as of Wednesday.

— Chiyomi Sumida

Gasoline being delivered to Yokosuka's NEX station; five-gallon limit in effect.

   12:20 p.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time.

From AFN-Tokyo's Facebook page an hour ago:

YOKOSUKA Naval Base UPDATE: Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka:
Gas is being delivered to the base NEX autoport. It is recommended to wait until later in the day due to long lines. Please do not rush to the base gas station. 5 gallon limit is now in effect.

— Dave Ornauer

Mike Petty track, Kubasaki Spring Fling sports festival canceled.

   11:50 a.m. Wednesday Tokyo time.

The ninth Alva W. "Mike" Petty Memorial track and field meet scheduled for April 8-9, part of the annual Kubasaki Spring Fling sports festival including baseball, softball and soccer, has been canceled, DODDS Pacific officials announced Wednesday morning. Also, the DODDS Pacific spring athletics directors meeting scheduled for April 4-5, originally for Yokota and more recently at Kadena, has been postponed indefinitely. Both were scratched due to the aftereffects of Friday's earthquake.

— Dave Ornauer

Peta begins animal rescue work in Japan

   11 a.m. Wednesday Tokyo time.

From a PETA new release:

PETA Asia Is the First International Group to Reach Disaster Zone

Sendai — Veteran animal rescuer Ashley Fruno, a senior campaigner with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia, has joined Animal Friends Niigata on the ground in devastated areas of Sendai, where she is available to offer vital food, water, and care to animals who were abandoned when citizens fled to evacuation centers following ravaging earthquakes and flooding. PETA is the first international animal rights group to reach affected areas in Japan.

PETA urges anyone with information about animals in need to call Fruno at 080-6662-8686.

— Dave Ornauer


Watch out for scams and phishing

   10: 43 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From Oki News Today, e-mail update from Marine Corps Base PAO on Okinawa:

Beware earthquake scams and phishing e-mails.

The earthquake off the coast of Japan has generated numerous Scams, Spam and Phishing emails throughout the internet. Users should be on the lookout for unsolicited emails pertaining to the Earthquake, Nuclear Reactors or Tsunamis. These scams circulate malware and scam users into donations. Users are reminded not to click on suspicious links, or forward emails with suspicious links of this manner to other users. For further information, please contact your local IAM or call DSN 645-5015.

— Dave Ornauer

DoD polices on iodine and Prussian blue

   10:20 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The Department of Defense has policies for two key medicines that can help "military personnel, their families, U.S. Government civilian workers, and U.S. Government contractors" in the event of nuclear exposure.

Prussian blue is a pigment that can block the uptake of cesium, a primary contaminant from damaged nuclear reactors. The 2005 policy requires it be stockpiled at four military medical facilities, including Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, and for Geographic Combatant Commanders to develop plans for delivery and administration of the drug. It works best within 24 hours of cesium exposure, and should only be given to patients suspected of an undefined "significant" exposure, the policy states. One expert in radiobiology has said the low levels of radiation experienced by U.S. military personnel so far are "almost nothing," so outside of workers at the damaged power plant, it's unlikely anyone in Japan needs a dose at the moment.

The 2004 policy for potassium iodide, which can block uptake of radioactive iodine from a damaged reactor, states commanders "shall develop plans to protect personnel and potentially use KI for appropriately selected personnel as a supplement to evacuation and shelter," but doesn't mention stockpiling or timing of doses.

— Chris Carroll

Rolling blackouts to continue Wednesday on Kanto Plain

   10:00 Wednesday local Tokyo time

TOKYO — Rolling blackouts continues Wednesday in greater Tokyo Metropolitan area.

Here is the list of cities near U.S. military bases that could be effected by the blackouts. Rolling blackouts will be conducted for about three hours during the time slots assigned to each group. Only part of the areas listed will be effected by the blackouts. This is not the complete list.

Group 4: from 6:20 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tokyo — Akishima city, Machida city, Hachioji city, Tachikawa city and Higashimurayama city
Kanagawa prefecture — Tsurumi-ku and Kohoku-ku in Yokohama city, Chuo-ku, Minami-ku and Midori-ku in Sagamihara city, Atsugi city, Isehara city, Zama city and Aikawa town.

Group 5: From 9:20 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4:50 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tokyo — Machida city
Kanagawa prefecture — Minami-ku, Isogo-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Midori-ku, Sakae-ku, Aoba-ku and Tsuzuki-ku in Yokohama city, Midori-ku, Chuo-ku and Minato-ku in Sagamihara city, Hiratsuka city, Kamakura city, Fujisawa city, Chigasaki city, Hadano city, Atsugi city, Isesaki city, Ebina city, Zama city, Samukawa town and Oiso town.

Group 1: from 12:20 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tokyo — Higashimurayama city
Kanagawa prefecture — Isogo-ku, Kanazawa-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Sakae-ku and Izumi-ku in Yokohama city, Sagamihara city, Yokosuka city, Totsuka city, Kamakura city, Fujisawa city, Chigasaki city, Zushi city, Sagamihara city, Atsugi city, Yamato city, Isehara city, Ebina city, Zama city, Ayase city, Hayama town and Samukawa town.
Shizuoka prefecture — Gotemba city

Group 2: From 3:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tokyo — Akishima city, Machida city and Hachioji city
Kanagawa prefecture — Hodogaya-ku, Asahi-ku, Midori-ku and Seta-ku in Yokohama city, Chuo-ku, Midori-ku and Minami-ku in Sagamihara city, Hiratsuka city, Chigasaki city, Hadano city, Yamato city, Zama city, Ayase city, Samikawa town, Oiso town, Ninomiya town and Nakai town.
Shizuoka prefecture — Gotemba city

Group 3: from 6:20 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Tokyo — Hamura city, Akishima city, Musashimurayama city, Higashiyamato city, Hachioji city, Higashimurayama city, Tachikawa city and Fussa city.
Kanagawa prefecture — Tsurumi-ku, Kanagawa-ku, Naka-ku, Minami-ku, Hodogaya-ku, Kohoku-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Sakae-ku and Izumi-ku in Yokohama city, Yokosuka city, Zushi city, Miura city, Hadano city and Hayama town.
Some information in English is available at TEPCO website at: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

—Hana Kusumoto

Another fire at nuclear reactor

   9:20 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From The Associated Press:

A fire broke out at a nuclear reactor again Wednesday, a day after the power plant emitted a burst of radiation that panicked an already edgy Japan and left the government struggling to contain a spiraling crisis caused by last week's earthquake and tsunami. The outer housing of the containment vessel at the No. 4 unit at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex erupted in flames early Wednesday, said Hajimi Motujuku, a spokesman for the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Read more here.

—Chris Carlson 

Nuclear plant in Japan poses little threat to U.S.

    9:10 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From The Associated Press:

It's a big ocean between northeastern Japan and the United States and thousands of miles from the crippled nuclear power plant to much of Asia. That means there's little chance - at least for now - that radiation from the shattered reactors could pose a serious threat to the wider world. Experts say the amount of radioactivity emitted by the facility has been relatively minor and should dissipate quickly over the Pacific Ocean.

--Chris Carlson

U.S. military revises plans amid nuclear plant fears

   7:00 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From the New York Times:

The United States military revised its plans as radiation from the plant worsened. Some American warships due to arrive at the tsunami-shattered northeast coast of Honshu Island were diverted to the west coast instead because of radiological concerns, the Navy said. The Navy also promised to continue relief missions even though several more helicopter crews were testing positive for low-level exposure to radiation, and even as American military personnel and their families at the Yokosuka and Atsugi bases were encouraged to take precautions against radiation exposure.

Full story  (U.S. military angle is a few paragraphs down)

Expert takes question on meltdowns 

   5:48 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The Washington Post held a question-and-answer session on Tuesday with Nuclear Energy Institute's Executive Director of Strategic Programs about nuclear meltdowns.

Read more here.

--Jeff Schogol

China prepares to pull its citizens from northeast Japan

   5:09 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time



Interactive graphic: Japan's nuclear emergency

   4:32 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

From The Washington Post: An interactive graphic showing how the nuclear crisis unfolded.

Click here

White House not recommending that U.S. citizens leave Tokyo

   3:51 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The White House says that unlike some other countries the U.S. is not recommending that American citizens leave Tokyo over radiation concerns.

Read more here.

Japan soccer cancellations extended to early April

   12:01 a.m. Wednesday local Tokyo time

The cancellation of soccer games in Japan has been extended into early April because of the devastation from the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks, The Associated Press reported.

Japanese soccer authorities already had decided that the nation's two top leagues would not play for the rest of March. Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that clubs from those leagues met Tuesday in Tokyo and decided to call of games for April 2 and 3.

Aftershock hits

   10:30 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time.

Temblor with preliminary magnitude of 6.0 reported near Shizuoka, about 100 miles southwest of Tokyo.

See a map of the latest aftershock from the Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20110315223637391-152231.html (click on map to zoom in for better view)

-- Dave Ornauer

Misawa commander dispels evacuation rumors

   10:34 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Col. Michael Rothstein, 35th Fighter Wing commander, took to AFN radio Tuesday evening to dispel rumors that Misawa Air Base personnel and families were  pending evacuation because of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Rothstein stressed that Misawa was far enough away from Fukushima that it wouldn’t be impacted by any emergency at the nuclear facilities.

Rothstein said rumors had spread across Misawa, but promised he was not planning an evacuation.

Read previous postings here.



China became the first government to organize a mass evacuation of its citizens from Japan's northeast on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. Austria, meanwhile, said it is moving its embassy from Tokyo to Osaka, 250 miles away, and France recommended that its citizens leave the Japanese capital.

Read more here.

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