Kyodo news agency reports that approximately 2,000 bodies were found Monday in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's northeast coast. CNN notes that “if confirmed, the discovery would be the largest yet of victims from last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.”
CNN reports: “Tokyo Electric Power Company says a core meltdown might have occurred in the No. 2 nuclear reactor of its Fukushima No. 1 power plant.”
According to The Mainichi Daily News, “experts have issued warnings that the explosion at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 14 could be far more serious than initially predicted.”
Oil prices fell Monday “as the earthquake in Japan raised concerns about the worldwide economy. The price of light crude for April delivery fell $1.53 per barrel to $99.63.”
And the Nikkei plunged over 6, closing at a four-month low, “pressured by concerns about the adverse economic impact from Friday's deadly quake and tsunami as well as a subsequent explosion at a nuclear power plant.”
CNN reports: “Numerous U.S. rescue and assistance teams arrived Sunday in Japan and are helping lead a broad international effort to bring relief to areas ravaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami. The United States, the United Kingdom, China and South Korea are among 69 governments that have offered to help, Kyodo News Agency reported, citing the Japanese foreign ministry.”
And CNNMoney reports that Japanese officials will “backstop the country's financial system with a cash injection of more than $60 billion to buffer it against the impact of last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The aim is to make sure the banks have enough cash on hand to meet demands of panicky investors and cover withdrawal demands of bank customers.”
Japan’s Asahi newspaper editorial board writes that “failures at nuclear plants in the quake raises a fundamental question: How can earthquake-prone Japan coexist with nuclear power plants?
Over in the United States, the difficulty the Japanese are facing in controlling their plants is raising red flags about the safety of U.S. facilities. "The tragic events now unfolding in Japan could very easily occur in the United States," Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who sits on the House committee overseeing nuclear power, said in a statement. He calls for “stronger safety systems in plants located near fault lines, emergency response drills that model instances when more than one disaster unfolds simultaneously, and the distribution of radiation-blocking potassium iodide pills to everyone living within 20 miles of a reactor. (Such pills are now disbursed to people within 10 miles of a reactor.)” CNN offers more information on Japan’s nuclear industry.
Asahi also notes that “the disaster has finally created political momentum for bipartisan cooperation for the well-being of the nation.” As Steve Clemons and other experts explain on the “Global Public Square,” Japan’s political and economic climate have been dire for years.
Finally, the editorial board of The Mainichi Daily News writes to the world: “Japan now faces its most serious crisis since World War II. Amid such a dire situation, we are extremely grateful for the heartwarming messages of support to Japan.”