Japan’s defense ministry said that around 18,000 Self-Defense Forces (SDF) crew members and 7,000 US military forces were deployed in a three-day thorough search for those who are still missing from the twin disasters that knocked down the country's northeast Pacific coast on 11 March.
In addition, the Coast Guard, fire personnel and the police are also being mobilized in the intensive search using dozens of helicopters and sea vessels, in a report by the Kyodo News.
The search team will cover the submerged areas that are around 18 kilometers from the shoreline of worst-hit areas of Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.
As of Friday morning, the quake-triggered tsunami waves caused the death of at least 11,578 people with 16,451 still missing and believed to have been taken to the seaside after 10-meter tsunamis wiped out several areas following the magnitude 9.0 quake.
The search operation was scheduled in time with a spring tide that started on Friday and thus making it manageable to find victims.
Japan will utilize about 100 aircrafts and 50 ships while the US forces will use 20 aircrafts and 15 ships for the operation.
The search is limited to the 30-kilometer "stay indoors" zone from the faulty Fukushima I nuclear power station, which is leaking radioactive materials.
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About 30 jazz artists from the Philippines stage a benefit concert on Friday in support of the victims of the tragedy that struck Japan, said Kyodo news.
The fundraising concert titled "Jam for Japan" was organized by the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival Foundation for those "who want to help but don't know how to or where to go," according to Sandra Viray, chair of the group.
"It's a humanitarian cause. They are in trouble. And I think, they would do the same for us if it happened to us," Viray told the media shortly before the concert started at the Ayala Museum in Manila's financial capital district, Makati City.
Japanese jazz crooner, Aisaku Yokogawa, will be hosting and performing in the show.
The funds from the concert will proceed to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Details of this report here.