Japan's Emperor Akihito addresses nation in crisis

Daiichi plant radiation levels spike as workers evacuate

In a rare TV appearance marking his first public comments since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on Friday, Emperor Akihito expressed both worry and hope about the crisis facing his country. Saying he was “deeply worried,” Emperor Akihito urged an all-out rescue effort in the midst of a crisis that is “unprecedented in scale.” He spoke after nuclear technicians temporarily abandoned Fukushima’s Daiichi plant on Wednesday, where radiation levels spiked at 1,000 millisieverts, enough to cause temporary radiation sickness. The skeleton crew of about 50 workers were evacuated after ground radiation levels rose and helicopters dumped water on the facility. Yuhei Sato, the governor of Fukushima prefecture, criticized the handling of the nuclear crisis, telling Japan’s NHK TV that the “anxiety and anger being felt by people in Fukushima have reached a boiling point.” 140,000 people living within the 30-km exclusion zone around the nuclear plant have been told not to leave their homes.


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