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Japanese PM visits devastated city

Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 01:32

Apr 10 - Prime Minister Naoto Kan visits the devastated northern port on the eve of the one month anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, as Japanese voters head to the polls for local elections. Nick Rowlands reports.

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visits the devastated city of Ishinomaki. His visit comes almost one month after the deadly earthquake that destroyed the livelihood of thousands and wiped out entire industries. Kan says the government is ready to help. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER NAOTO KAN: "The government will do its best to rebuild the fishing industry along the northern coast." Kan also thanked the U.S. military for its help in the reconstruction process. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER NAOTO KAN: "I'm very moved and glad to see the US military officials working together with the Japanese Self-defense Force to rebuild this school." The visit comes at a critical time when Japanese voters are expected to vent their anger at the government during local elections Sunday. Kan has been criticized for his handling of the ongoing nuclear crisis, which is likely to drag on for months. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 70-YEAR-OLD ISHINOMAKI RESIDENT WHO LOST HER HOUSE IN THE TSUNAMI, KAZUE ENDO: "I think his visit can help the rebuilding efforts here; well, maybe. I'm not sure though." On Saturday Japan's National Police Agency said a total of nearly 13,000 have been confirmed dead so far, with nearly 15,000 still missing. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Japanese PM visits devastated city

Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 01:32