The Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has issued the following statement regarding the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami which hit Japan on March 11th, 2011:
My fellow citizens, as you are already aware from reports on TV and on the radio, today at 2:46 PM an enormously powerful earthquake of Magnitude 8.4 struck, with its seismic center off the Sanriku coast. This has resulted in tremendous damage across a wide area, centered on the Tohoku district. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to those who have suffered.
As for our nuclear power facilities, a portion of them stopped their operations automatically. At present we have no reports of any radioactive materials or otherwise affecting the surrounding areas.
In light of these circumstances, I immediately established an emergency headquarters for response to disaster, with myself as the head. The government will make every possible effort to ensure the safety of the public and keep damage to the minimum possible extent.
I ask the public to continue to stay fully vigilant and to keep abreast of TV and radio reports, and I ask everyone to act calmly.