A crisis over contaminated water at Japan's stricken nuclear plant worsened on Saturday when the plant's operator said it had detected high radiation levels near storage tanks, a finding that raised the possibility of additional leaks.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said it had found the high levels of radiation at four separate spots on the ground, near some of the hundreds of tanks used to store toxic water produced by makeshift efforts to cool the Fukushima Daiichi plant's three damaged reactors. The highest reading was 1,800 millisieverts per hour, or enough to give a lethal dose in about four hours, Tepco said.
The contaminated spots were found as Tepco employees checked the integrity of the tanks after a leak two weeks ago released 300 tons of toxic water into the Pacific. That leak prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to announce that the government would step in at the plant, which was crippled two years ago by a huge earthquake and tsunami, to help get it under control amid rising public fears of a second environmental disaster.
Saturday's discoveries suggested that there may have been other leaks from the tanks, many of which appear to have been shoddily built as Tepco has scrambled to find enough storage space for the contaminated water being produced by the plant. However, Tepco said that it had found no evidence of fallen water levels in nearby tanks, making it unclear how much water, if any, may have leaked out, and whether any reached the Pacific, about 1,500 feet away.
Investigators have found 7.85 million passwords, credit card numbers and other pieces of stolen personal information on an Internet server seized last year from a Tokyo-based firm that provided proxy servers for Chinese users, Tokyo police said Friday. (Japan Times)
Time magazine has named two Japanese among its list of the world's 100 most influential people of 2015: novelist Haruki Murakami and Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant whose book introducing her art of tidying up became a best-seller. (NHK)
Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, said Thursday its magnetic levitation Shinkansen train achieved the world's fastest train speed of 590 kilometers per hour on a test line in central Japan. (Jiji Press)
Police in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, are investigating the murder of an 84-year-old woman whose body was found in the Tatara River on April 15. She had a plastic bag over her head and a scarf pulled tightly around her neck when she was found. (Japan Today)
A movie by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has been shortlisted in competition for best picture at the Cannes International Film Festival in France. Cannes is one of the world's 3 major film festivals. (NHK)
Police in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Thursday they are questioning a 36-year-old man over an incident on Wednesday morning in which a 47-year-old man was shot in the calf by an arrow from a crossbow as he was riding his bike home. (Japan Today)
The Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department said Wednesday that its emergency 119 line was down for about four hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. It was the second time in two months that the 119 had been inaccessible. (Japan Today)