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Message from the Prime Minister

Tuesday, March 15 at 11:00am, 2011
[Provisional Translation]

PRIME MINISTER KAN: I want to inform the people of Japan about the situation regarding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations. I urge you to please listen calmly to this information.

As I explained previously, the reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was shut off following the earthquake and tsunami, but none of the diesel engines that would normally power the emergency cooling system are in a functioning state. We have been using every means at our disposal to cool the nuclear reactors. However, the concentration of radioactivity being leaked into the vicinity of the station has risen considerably following hydrogen explosions caused by hydrogen produced at the Unit 1 and Unit 3 reactors, and a fire in the Unit 4 reactor. There is a heightened risk of even further leakage of radioactive material.

Most residents have already evacuated beyond the 20km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, but let me reiterate the need for everyone living within that radius to evacuate to a point outside of it.

Moreover, in view of the developing situation, those who are outside the 20km radius but still within a 30km radius should remain indoors in their house, office, or other structure, and not go outside. Further, with regard to the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station, most people have already evacuated beyond a 10km radius but we are calling for everyone who remains within that radius to fully evacuate to a point beyond it.

At present we are doing everything possible to prevent further explosions or leakage of radioactive material. At this moment, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) workers in particular are taking great personal risks in their tireless efforts to supply water to the reactor. I realize that people in Japan are greatly concerned about the situation but I sincerely urge everyone to act in a calm manner, bearing in mind the tremendous efforts underway to prevent further radiation leaks.

This concludes my request to the people of Japan at this moment.