Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations Held in Japan

Posted June 11th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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Thousands of people staged anti-nuclear rallies in Tokyo and other Japanese cities Saturday, as radiation continued to leak from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, three months after a powerful earthquake and tsunami triggered one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.

Also Saturday, embattled Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited part of the tsunami-damaged region in northern Iwate prefecture.

Three months after the March 11 disaster, which killed more than 23,000 people, 90,000 still live in shelters.

On Friday, the government said survivors of the March disaster need long-term mental health care.

In its annual paper on suicide prevention, the government said survivors may be undergoing shock, stress and depression from the overwhelming losses. The paper said they may also feel guilty for escaping death.

Also on Friday, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said two emergency workers at the Fukushima plant have been exposed to more than twice the legally permitted level of radiation and a third worker is undergoing further tests after initial findings showed high exposure.

The agency issued a warning against the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, for violating the government-set limit on radiation exposure and ordered the company to draft measures to prevent similar incidents.

Only in recent days has the Tokyo Electric Power Company admitted that nuclear fuel in three reactors at the plant appears to have melted down and burned through the bottom of their primary pressure chambers.