As if Japan had not suffered enough from the 11 March mega earthquake-tsunami tandem, which left more than 12,000 dead and 14,000 missing, the island nation was hit by a 7.1 after shock Thursday night not far from heavily damaged nuclear reactors.
Originally reported as 7.4, the magnitude 7.1 temblor that struck 66 kilometers east of Sendai city at 23:32 on 7 April—four weeks after the twin disasters—left three people dead and 132 others hurt according to police and hospital officials, in a report by Kyodo News.
Yesterday's tremor was the first to measure in the 6+ level on Japan's 7-level seismic intensity scale since last month's magnitude 9.0 earthquake. The country has been having a series of after shocks since.
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Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako on Wednesday visited 130 evacuees who were sheltered at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu, Tokyo, said Asahi News.
The royal couple kneeled on the floor and talked with the Fukushima residents who were displaced due to the faulty nuclear plant.
The humanitarian act was a rare public appearance of the princess who has been ill for many years.
Emperor and Empress Michiko plan to visit Saitama Prefecture on Friday where some 1,200 Futaba residents are staying.
On 30 March, the royal couple reached out to evacuees at a Tokyo temporary shelter.
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A top government spokesman said on Friday that the restrictions on some produce from areas near the troubled Fukushima power station will be lifted because they had been found to be safe for consumption, in a report by Kyodo News.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano in a news conference said that the ban on Kitakata's raw milk and Fukushima's kakina leafy vegetable and spinach will be lifted.
The government has imposed delivery restrictions of some agricultural products from four prefectures around the nuclear plant after it was found to be spewing radioactive materials.
A modified method of food restriction was announced early this week. The government will now apply a new rule on a town-by-town basis. Ban will be lifted if the radioactivity levels of the area fall below the standard limits for three consecutive weeks.
Farmers are not allowed to plant rice around the nuclear plant. They will be compensated by the State if radioactivity will remain high in their area.
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The Foreign Ministry has requested foreign media to be objective in their reporting particularly on the developing nuclear crisis, reported by Japan Today.
The reports that have been coming out of international media are thought to be sensationalized versions of the truth and are based on incorrect data. They have heightened public anxiety and resulted to import restrictions on Japanese products.
Japan officials believe that some reports by foreign media were "excessive" and have urged media organizations to disseminate information correctly and objectively.
Examples of erroneous news were the focus on the extreme projections of radioactivity levels from the Fukushima plant and the inaccurate report that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has hired homeless people to work on the troubled plant.
There were also wrong reports that five nuclear workers had died at the site, which gave the wrong impression that they were killed due to exposure to high radiation levels despite intensive efforts to bring the situation under control.
As a matter of fact, the workers who perished died shortly after the double disasters hit the plant and those who remained missing in some nearby areas.
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