This was the strongest quake yet to hit Japan since March 11th and by the end of it, 2 people were reported killed and a further 132 injured. Thankfully, the nuclear power plant in Fukushima was OK and things in Tokyo and the immediate area quickly returned to normal.
Elsewhere, worries persist in regards the radiation leak into the Pacific Ocean – part of the measures that TEPCO and the emergency authorities used to help bring the plant under control. Overall, it seems the radiation in Fukushima is declining. There is also growing concern for those living in temporary housing as more and more information on their plight comes out.
This week’s top stories:
2 killed, 132 injured after 7.4 quake hits Miyagi Pref, vicinity. There were many emergency calls about injured people, fires and gas leakages, according to local police and fire departments, while the quake caused all expressways to be closed in Miyagi Prefecture and most train services to be suspended in the Tohoku region.
Japanese police began searching Thursday for people missing within a 10-20 kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, which was crippled by the March 11 killer earthquake and tsunami.
In an 11-minute video recording, mayor Katsunobu Sakurai of Minamisoma, described the dire situation facing his town, whose residents were still reeling from a devastating earthquake and 60-foot tsunami when they were ordered to stay indoors because of radiation leaks from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, 15 miles away. That recording was uploaded to YouTube where for the first time he was able to get his message out.
The government plans to ask households to reduce electricity use by 15-20% from a year earlier to cope with power shortages expected in Japan’s eastern and northeastern regions this summer, a draft of the plan’s outline showed Thursday.
This year’s hanami in Tokyo is set to be one of unprecedented sobriety. In respect to the recent tragedy in the Tohoku region, the cherry-blossom-viewing parties traditionally lubricated with liberal amounts of alcohol are being discouraged by park authorities. Many officials are calling for citizens to show self-restraint (jishuku).
Japan Internet conglomerate Softbank Corp. said Monday its CEO Masayoshi Son will donate 10 billion yen of his personal wealth plus his salary until he retires to help tsunami victims.
A Democratic Party of Japan study commission asked the government Wednesday to slash the foreign aid budget for fiscal 2011 by 114.5 billion yen ($1.34 billion), a full 20 percent, to finance reconstruction for areas affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Which leads us to the economic front…
Growing concerns about the economic outlook for Japan in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake have driven the yen to its weakest level against the dollar in more than six months.
After the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, Japan’s auto makers aren’t just facing a struggle to scramble for parts from troubled suppliers to try to get their factories working again. They’re also having to retool their whole marketing strategies.
Japan Airlines Corp said Wednesday it will solicit its employees to take voluntary leaves of absence in May and June without pay amid declining demand for passenger flights following the massive March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
There are plenty of companies hiring on GaijinPot right now and the number is expected to grow. We would like to show employers and businesses in Japan that foreign residents have not abandoned the country and are asking people to share their voice.
Image credit: 多摩に暇人 / Wikimedia