Japanese PM says country facing worst crisis since WWII

03/13/2011 09:17


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Sunday he was confident that the nation could overcome the crisis caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami disaster, which he termed the biggest crisis Japan has faced since the end of World War Two.

Kan, however, made a distinction saying that the nuclear crisis in the northeast of the country was not the same as the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

"Radiation has been released in the air, but there are no reports that a large amount was released," Jiji news agency quoted him as saying.

"This is fundamentally different from the Chernobyl accident. We are working to prevent damage from spreading."

"There are so many people who are still isolated and waiting for assistance," Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said, adding, "this reality is very stark."

Strong aftershocks continued to shake Japan's main island as the desperate search pressed on for survivors from Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said Sunday that it has upgraded to 9.0 the magnitude of the massive earthquake that struck Japan over the weekend.

State broadcaster NHK said more than 10,000 people may have been killed as the wall of water hit, reducing whole towns to rubble.

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