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Depression hits 7% of Miyagi coastal residents, 3 times nat'l average

A study of more than 3,700 adults in coastal communities in Miyagi Prefecture has shown just over 7 percent may be having depression or strong anxiety, while 5 percent are suspected to have post-traumatic stress disorder due to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, according to Tohoku University. The depression rate in Ishinomaki and six other coastal municipalities in the study released Thursday was three times higher than the average registered in a national survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2004.

Nuclear disaster evacuee expressway toll waiver program to be extended

The government plans to extend another year the expressway toll waiver program for people forced to evacuate due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the transport minister said Saturday. The program had been due to expire March 31. "I instructed (ministry officials) to arrange a one-year extension of the program," said Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota at a ceremony for the reopening of a highway section in Fukushima Prefecture.

EU to ease restrictions on Japanese food imports except from Fukushima

The European Commission is set to ease restrictions in April on Japanese food imports, except for products from nuclear disaster hit Fukushima Prefecture, Japan's mission to the European Union said Friday. The European Union will no longer require radiation checks on food products made in Tokyo and adjacent Kanagawa Prefecture, nor inspection certificates for tea, vegetables, fruits and beef from places other than Fukushima, according to the mission.

Post-tsunami deaths outnumber disaster toll in one Japan area

Health complications stemming from Japan's 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said Thursday. Data compiled by officials and police show that almost three years after the huge waves smashed ashore, 1,656 people living in Fukushima prefecture have died from stress and other illnesses related to the disaster, compared with 1,607 who were killed in the initial calamity.

Post-tsunami deaths outnumber disaster toll in one Japan area

Health complications stemming from Japan's 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said Thursday. Data compiled by officials and police show that almost three years after the huge waves smashed ashore, 1,656 people living in Fukushima prefecture have died from stress and other illnesses related to the disaster, compared with 1,607 who were killed in the initial calamity.

Post-tsunami deaths outnumber disaster toll in one Japan area

Health complications stemming from Japan's 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said Thursday. Data compiled by officials and police show that almost three years after the huge waves smashed ashore, 1,656 people living in Fukushima prefecture have died from stress and other illnesses related to the disaster, compared with 1,607 who were killed in the initial calamity.

Prefectures hardest hit by 2011 quake woefully short of personnel

Fifty municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures hardest hit by the March 2011 earthquake in northeastern Japan are likely to have a personnel shortage of more than 2,500 in fiscal 2014 beginning in April, raising concerns about delay in reconstruction work, the municipalities said Thursday. The municipalities expect to make up for about 70 percent of the shortage by asking other local governments across the country to dispatch some of their staff and hiring fixed-term personnel.

Fukushima signs renewable energy pact with German state

Fukushima Prefecture has signed an agreement with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to work together to promote the use of renewable energy. The prefecture, which hosts Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by the 2011 quake and tsunami, aims to introduce renewable energy technologies from Germany, a leader in the field, to realize a society not dependent on nuclear power.

Heavy snow continues to hinder Tokyo traffic, hits northeastern Japan

Heavy snow continued to disrupt transportation systems Sunday in Tokyo and surrounding areas, forcing the cancellation of several Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen bullet train services as well as more than 300 domestic flights mainly to and from Tokyo's Haneda airport. At Narita international airport near Tokyo, around 8,200 people were forced to spend Saturday night in the terminal, as expressway buses and railways connecting it to Tokyo became inoperative, isolating the airport.

Heavy snow continues to hinder Tokyo traffic, hits northeastern Japan

Heavy snow continued to disrupt transportation systems Sunday in Tokyo and surrounding areas a day after blanketing eastern Japan, with the weather system moving to northeastern Japan and dumping snow on the region's Pacific side. The heaviest snow in the Japanese capital in two decades caused some train services to be canceled in the morning, including on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, and some flights at Haneda airport, according to their operators.
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