Fukushima nuclear disaster
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 which claimed nearly 19,000 lives. It is the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 and only the second disaster to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Briefs, November 8, 2012
Fukushima clean-up cost may be US$125b
TOKYO - The cost of the clean-up and compensation after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster may double to US$125 billion, the plant's operator said. Tokyo Electric Power Company said decontamination of irradiated areas and compensating those affected would cost more than the 5 trillion yen (HK$482 billion) it estimated in April. The utility received 1 trillion yen of public cash in April in exchange for granting the government a controlling stake. But the company said it was looking at a bill of up to 10 trillion yen, adding it would need more government help. AFP
Four family members held in murder case
TOKYO - Police arrested four members of the same extended family in a multiple-murder investigation that has transfixed Japan, an official said. Three decaying corpses were found in an empty house in western Japan several weeks ago. A fourth body was pulled out of the sea in the area this week as police said more people were missing. The main suspect in the case - a 64-year-old woman called Miyoko - has been in custody since early in the probe, which began last year. Officers re-arrested Sumida and arrested her 62-year-old common-law husband and her two sons, aged 30 and 25. They also arrested a 42-year-old man married to one of the women whose body was found in her house. AFP
Nepali acquitted after 15 years in prison
TOKYO - A Nepalese man who spent 15 years in a Japanese jail for a murder he did not commit was formally acquitted after a retrial. Govinda Prasad Mainali, 46, was declared not guilty by the Tokyo High Court at a hearing held despite his having been deported to Nepal weeks ago, after his conviction was quashed. The same court had in 2000 found him guilty of killing a 39-year-old woman and sentenced him to life in prison, overturning a lower court's not-guilty verdict. AFP
Opposition's campaign merger a 'circus'
SEOUL - South Korea's presidential frontrunner Park Geun-hye dismissed the decision of her two left-leaning rivals to merge their campaigns as a political "circus". Moon Jae-in from the main opposition Democratic United Party and Ahn Cheol-soo, a software mogul running as an independent, announced an alliance with a single candidate. Although Moon and Ahn agreed to merge their campaigns, they have yet to decide which one will drop out of the race in favour of the other. AFP
Suicide bomber kills senior policeman
PESHAWAR - A suicide bomber blew himself up in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least six people including a senior police officer. The blast ripped through a congested part of the city, which lay close to Pakistan's lawless tribal areas and was frequently hit by bombings, witnesses said. Police said the bomber targeted the officer's vehicle. AFP