Japanese DM encourages SDF personnel at troubled Fukushima nuke plant
Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on Thursday gave encouragement to Self-Defense Forces ( SDF) personnel struggling to ease the nuclear crisis at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Xinhua reported.
According to local media reports, Kitazawa met the SDF personnel at the J-Village soccer training facility where operations are based, around 20 km from the Fukushima Daiichi power station after arriving at the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima earlier in the day by helicopter.
Kitazawa expressed appreciation to the SDF unit for their efforts to cool down overheated reactors at the plant.
The defense chief was also briefed about measures to protect them against radiation.
Katazawa was scheduled to visit a tsunami-hit area in Fukushima Prefecture and an SDF base in Miyagi Prefecture to inspect relief operations, but his plan was canceled due to forecasts of bad weather.
Radioactive leaks were detected after a series of explosions and fires at four of the plant's six reactors following the failure of their cooling functions due to the damaged power supplies in the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on March 11.
The authorities advised residents living within 20-30 km radius of the plant to stay indoors and set the area 20 km around the plant as an exclusion zone where residents have been evacuated.