Sunday, April 03, 2011

Evacuees give thumbs down to Japan PM

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan spent Saturday visiting the devastated Iwate and Fukushima—two of the worst-hit prefectures—following the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Criticized for not anticipating the worst-case scenario of the critical situation of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station, the Japanese leader is keen in showing he has the command of the grave situation, Kyodo News said.
"I want you to fight with the conviction that you absolutely cannot lose this battle," Kan told the plant personnel and workers at the operation base at the J-village soccer training facility about 20 kilometers away from the nuclear plant.
"We have to work hard until we reach a point where we can say our country has overcome the quake and the tsunami disaster."
The prime minister also visited Yonesaki Elementary School in Iwate Prefecture that shelters 160 people. He listened to the stories of some of the evacuees at the school gym who aired their present conditions and requests. He also gave words of encouragement.
During his 20-minute visit at the school, the premier cheered on an elderly man and promised that the government will firmly address their problems.
Wearing blue protective clothing, Kan also promised to expedite the construction of temporary homes after deciding its location.
But the leader's visit that came three weeks after the disaster was not appreciated by all the nearly 60 people who were present.
Kazuo Sato, 54, fisherman said, "I wonder how well he can grasp the situation facing victims...There are shelters still without electricity or water. Some people haven't even been able to begin searching for bodies. I want (the premier) to turn his attention to those matters."
A 50-year-old evacuee said, "The situation would not change even if (the prime minister) comes." The man added that the state must focus on compensation and the problems of the Fukushima crisis.
Details of this report here.

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