‘Most difficult crisis’ since WWII

Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Sunday, the BBC informs. In a televised statement, Kan warned of sweeping power cuts to come. He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave.

The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II,” Kan said. “Whether we Japanese can overcome this crisis depends on each of us. “I strongly believe that we can get over this great earthquake and tsunami by joining together.”

Kan said the shutting down of the Fukushima plant and other power stations meant that electricity supplies were limited. He said that from Monday there would be a programme of rolling power cuts that would also affect water and gas supplies and some medical facilities. Meanwhile, scores of ships and aircraft are struggling to reach areas worst-hit by the tsunami.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has instructed to supply fuel to Japan and check readiness by all forces and means in the Russian Far East, Itar Tass reports. In his meeting with Vice-Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko and Emergency Situations Minister First Deputy Minister Ruslan Tsalikov on Saturday, Putin said he had instructed “to increase supplies of raw hydro carbons in the form of liquefied gas to Japan from Saklalin-2 if Japan requests this.” Japan “is our neighbor, a friendly neighbor and, despite different problems, we should be reliable partners and do everything possible to help supply energy feedstock due to decreasing capacities affected by the earthquake and the tsunami”, Putin said. At the same time, the prime minister said it was necessary “to seriously monitor the situation in the whole Far East and check readiness of all forces and means that we have to use under current circumstances”. “The situation should be under control day and night,” he added. Vice-Prime Minister Igor Sechin told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that Japan asked Russia to increase energy feedstock supplies. “Japan asked for us to increase supplies of energy feedstock due to the fact that nuclear power plants produce 30 percent of energy,” Sechin said. In addition, Sechin said the existing underwater cable could help supply additional generating capacities.

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