Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

New government gaffe on Fukushima anniversary

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-11

Japan marked six months since the tsunami that triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis Sunday, a day after the trade minister resigned over remarks deemed insensitive to victims of the disaster, further embarrassing the government.

AFP - Black-clad mourners fell silent in a devastated Japanese coastal town Sunday, six months after an earthquake and tsunami left 20,000 dead or missing and sparked a nuclear crisis.

About 2,000 people observed a moment's silence at a public gymnasium in Minamisanriku in memory of 900 people who were killed in the March disaster, which also destroyed 60 percent of the town's buildings.

It was one of a string of events planned along the Pacific Coast which was ravaged by huge waves following the 9.0-magnitude tremor that struck 130 kilometres (80 miles) offshore at 2:46 pm on March 11.

"We never give up hope and vow to unite as one in building a new town so that we can make up for the sacrifice of precious lives of many people," Minamisanriku mayor Hitoshi Sato said at the remembrance service.

The destructive waves also sparked meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, sparking an ongoing nuclear crisis.

In Tokyo and elsewhere, rallies were planned to protest against nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis, the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The six-month anniversary of the quake-tsunami came amid embarrassment for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's new government after trade minister Yoshio Hachiro resigned on Saturday over remarks deemed insensitive to Fukushima evacuees.

After touring the Fukushima plant and the no-go zone with Noda on Thursday, Hachiro described the plant's neighbourhood as a "town of death."

Noda has pledged to boost recovery efforts but the resignation of one of his cabinet ministers will do little to stem a widespread erosion of faith in Japan's leaders following the March disasters.

The prime minister on Saturday travelled to ravaged Miyagi and Iwate prefectures for the first time since taking office last month, when he replaced Naoto Kan, who resigned amid criticism over his handling of the crisis.

The government has been criticised for its response to the disasters, amid suspicions it underplayed the full scale of the nuclear crisis, and as political infighting overshadowed recovery efforts.

Rebuilding the muddy wastelands of the northeastern "Tohoku" region is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars and take up to a decade. Areas close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may be uninhabitable for longer.

Radiation fears are a daily fact of life after cases of contaminated water, beef, vegetables, tea and seafood due to the Fukushima crisis. The government has been at pains to stress the lack of an "immediate" health risk.

The towering wall of water battered cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, 220 kilometres (138 miles) northeast of Tokyo, leading to reactor meltdowns and the spewing of radiation, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.

 

Date created : 2011-09-11

  • JAPAN

    Japan's prime minister resigns over quake backlash

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Japan to sack top nuclear energy officials over Fukushima

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Fukushima area may be off limits for 'a long time'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)