|Statement on Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Event|
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My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake on the eastern coast of Japan, and the resulting catastrophic tsunami that struck Japan. President Obama has stated that the United States stands ready to help, and I join the President and the American people in pledging our assistance to the people of Japan as they recover from this terrible disaster.
The United States Congress must stand united with our ally Japan and provide it with the resources it needs to respond and recover. I will work with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to ensure that we make available the resources necessary to assist the Japanese Government and the Japanese people during this time of suffering and distress. While we mourn the massive loss of lives, we recognize this is a time for action and a time for Congress to commit ourselves to assisting our friend and ally Japan.
The most recent information posted on the Embassy Tokyo website is at http://japan.usembassy.gov/ and http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-arch.html. Online information with the latest updates on Japan is at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1148.html.
The Department of State has issued a travel warning for Japan. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Japan at this time. This Travel Alert expires on April 1, 2011. Full text of the travel alert is at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5382.html.
USAID is coordinating the overall U.S. government efforts in support of the Japanese government’s response to the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami. Visit www.usaid.gov for information about supporting the response efforts.
The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) – www.cidi.org – is a clearing house for putting people who want to donate to disaster relief missions (in either in case or kind) in contact with NGOs like Interaction. CIDI has the expertise to match up quickly individual U.S. citizens, i.e. congressional constituents, with public and private entities that can provide transport
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE UPDATE 16 (Might not be fully up-to-date, posted 3/21/11)
GENERAL OVERVIEW ON AFTERMATH
The National Police Agency reported the death toll stands at 8450, with 2701 injured and 12,909 still missing.
Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, and Osaka ports are experiencing congestion due to inconsistent power and extra cargo from diverted ships.
Japanese Ambassador Fujisaki and a USAID representative greeted the Fairfax County USAR team upon arrival in the United States at 0415 EDT March 20.
Japan announced the creation of a task force under the prime minister’s office for improved coordination of humanitarian assistance.
Japanese Self Defense Force delivered more than seven tons of kerosene airlifted by U.S. military helicopters to Kusennuma City, Miyagi prefecture.
FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR ISSUES
Aerial monitoring flights conducted March 19 showed the 50-mile evacuation zone remains adequate. Air samples do not indicate any further melting of the reactor cores.
The IAEA began measuring radiation in air and soil in the Tokyo metropolitan area March 19.
Prime Minister Kan will visit Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures by helicopter March 21 but will remain outside the 12-mile exclusion zone.
The Government of Japan said power was restored to the No. 2 reactor, and other reactors were expected to regain power early the week of March 21, media report. The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed the power is back on at the No. 2 reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reports there is water in the spent fuel pools at the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors, but there is no independent verification of these reports.
At the request of Japan and the United States, Australia was scheduled to transport pumping equipment to Japan from Perth beginning March 20. The Self Defense Forces (SDF) and Tokyo Fire Department will continue spraying water onto the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors until the equipment arrives. Local pumping equipment is also being sent from Mie prefecture.
TEPCO reports cooling systems are working in the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors, and the temperature of the spent fuel pools has decreased to a safe level.
TEPCO stated the radiation level within the Fukushima facility declined since water spraying began March 19.
TEPCO reported one additional worker was exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, bringing the total number of TEPCO employees exposed to dangerous levels to seven.
The Fukushima prefecture city of Iwaki distributed iodine tablets to 150,000 residents.
Japan’s Self Defense Force will send two tanks to Fukushima to help remove radiation-contaminated debris obstructing fire trucks’ access.
As of 1200 EDT March 20 winds were currently blowing out to sea but are expected to shift counter-clockwise toward the south the evening of March 21.
U.S. airline representatives report Narita airport will install radiation measuring equipment and publish the measurements on their web sites.
The Japan Health Ministry identified additional types of radiation-tainted vegetables in Chiba, Gunma, and Tochigi prefectures.
Taiwan authorities discovered a shipment of fava beans from Japan were “very slightly contaminated” but within Taiwan’s legal safety limits. The beans will be destroyed.
Department of Defense dependents will depart Japan en route to the United States over the next several days under the authorized voluntary departure. Flights are expected to be at capacity.
The Miyagi Consular Assistance Field Team (CAFT) returned to Tokyo. The Sapporo component of the Iwate CAFT returned to Sapporo, while the Tokyo component will remain until March 21.
INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND RESPONSE
China will suspend approval of new nuclear power stations and reassess all nuclear projects. The Chinese search and rescue team returned to China March 20 after completing operations.
Bill Name (i.e. HR 1776)
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