0000: Welcome to day nine of our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
0001: US Ambassador John Roos in Tokyo tweets: "If we determine that radiation poses a threat to public health, we will immediately share that information and provide relevant guidance."
0016: Joseph Tame in Meguro, Tokyo tweets: "Every day more emails of support for Japan from around the world - many from folks I've not had contact with for years. Appreciated."
0031: Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he will bring opposition politicians into his cabinet, Reuters reports, quoting the Japanese news agency Jiji.
0037: Engineers are accelerating efforts to restore cooling functions to reactors at the damaged Fukushima plant on Saturday, reports Kyodo news agency. They are hoping to reconnect the electricity to reactor number 2 later today.
0040: Dave in Tokyo writes: "I am in Tokyo without a passport...it's in Hong Kong being proceesed at their regional passport office and I cannot get an emergency travel document until Tuesday because the embassy is closed for the weekend and then on Monday they have a national holiday here which the embassy is observing. They are telling me to go there during normal office hours. This is unbelievable." Have Your Say
0044: Members of Tokyo Fire Department's 'hyper rescue team' have joined the operation to cool down reactor 3 by spraying it with 90 tonnes of water, according to Kyodo.
0051: English language paper The Daily Yomiuri tweets: "Ibaraki Pref's agriculture industry has started radiation checks on produce in a bid to dispel any harmful rumors that could hurt business."
0107: If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
0110: Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will not be carrying out area-by-area power rationing today, according to Kyodo. The company expects electricity demand to stay low since most businesses are not operating at the weekend and there is warm weather expected.
0113: A survivor of the earthquake and tsunami has been found eight days after the disaster, Reuters reports, citing NHK. There have been very few people brought out from the rubble alive in recent days.
0125: More on that survivor - Kyodo reports that it is a man who has been rescued in the town of Kesennuma.
0115: Christopher Jones writing on his personal blog, says: "An interesting tidbit about dinner that you won't hear on Report from the Gates of Hell is that we had salad that came from Disneyland. During the tsunami that followed the earthquake last Friday the parking lot of Tokyo Disneyland was flooded and the park has been closed since. (They are scheduled to reopen on the March 21 from what I hear.) Because they closed unexpectedly they had all of this green salad that they could not use. So it has been distributed to grocery stores and a large bag is being sold for around ¥100 (around US $1.23)."
0131: The confirmed death toll from the quake and tsunami has risen to 7,197, according to Japan's National Police Agency, and another 10,905 people are listed as missing.
0135: Back to the story of the survivor - a relatively young man was rescued from a wrecked house, according to NHK. He is reported to be in a stable physical condition, but in a state of shock and unable to speak.
0137: US expat Ryan McDonald in Kitakata town, Fukushima Prefecture says: "It's a calm, beautiful day here today but people start lining up for petrol at 4am and the stations open at noon. I'm thinking about possibly volunteering at a shelter today. We are getting cabin fever and want to get out and volunteering would be good since we would be out and helping people. We've been stuck inside since Sunday - minus a few times going out for food." Have Your Say
0149: Danny Choo in Tokyo tweets: "Looks like they will be able to restore electricity to power the cooling systems at the reactors today."
0156: BritishEmbassy Tokyo tweets: "The British Embassy is open for emergencies around the clock. See http://ow.ly/4hFPR
0201: Tokyo fire department is to resume water spraying operations at Fukushima nuclear plant at noon, local time, NHK reports. The operation to cool fuel rods at the plant comes as workers continue operations to restore electricity to the plant.
0212: Building of some 200 temporary housing units has started in the coastal city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate prefecture, which was severely damaged in the earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo reports.
0216: The Daily Yomiuri tweets: "Govt says a cooling pump is now operating at the spent fuel pool at the No 5 reactor at the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant."
0223: "The plight of the thousands still stranded in areas near the stricken reactors, many too old or infirm to move, has underscored what residents say is a striking lack of help from the national government," writes Martin Fackler in a new piece for the New York Times newspaper.
0227: Japan has started using a cooling pump at the Fukushima plant's stricken reactor 5, according to several reports quoting the Japanese government. It is thought to be a diesel-powered pump, rather than a device powered by the still-to-be-reconnected electricity supply.
0242: Ken Mogi tweets: "According to NHK, the name of man rescued from broken house in Kesennuma on the 9th day is Katsuharu Moriya."
0255: Lee Thomas in Tokyo says: "We feel there has been a lot of scaremongering - especially by foreign media. The problem is this then makes our families back in the UK and elsewhere worry. My family doesn't understand why I don't leave. But I've got responsibilities - a wife and a child. It's not that easy to get away. We are trying to get on with our lives. I'm having a meeting with a financial advisor at the moment about mortgages. Yes, there are blackouts and delayed trains but these are inconveniences." Have Your Say
0301: If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
0303: Engineers have yet to attach a cable to the damaged reactors but the plant operator says they hope to be successful either on Saturday or Sunday, Reuters reports.
0326: Japan's Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations Noriyuki Shikata tweets: "On-site workers continue their utmost efforts to re-connect power to the Fukushima nuclear power plant today."
0340: Earlier reports of a survivor being pulled from the rubble eight days after the quake appear to be incorrect. Kyodo news agency has withdrawn its story, saying the young man in question had been in an evacuation centre but then returned to see his ruined home, where he was 'discovered' by rescue workers.
0349: The operator of the Fukushima power plant says engineers have bored holes in the roofs of the buildings housing reactors 5 and 6 to avoid a potential gas explosion, reports AFP.
0350: Fukushima International Organisation has updated information on its website about what people in the area can do and where they can go: http://www.worldvillage.org/fia/kinkyu_english.php
0356: yankeereview tweets: "gas stations in #fukushima have $20 limits so they don't run out of change, typical japanese common sense!"
0359: Alex Shute in Misawa says: My wife and I are in Misawa, north of Sendai in Japan. We were evacuated here on Monday. Some of the group are currently flying back to the US, some are on the US Air force base in Misawa in the north, and some of us - including my wife and I - are in a hotel waiting for clearance to go back to Sendai to help in relief there. Many of the families on the military base have been donating clothing and other items and sending the supplies back. I was worried at first but I'm not any longer. I feel it is safe enough for us. Since we've been here in Misawa, we've been trying to get in touch with people we know who were living on the coast. We haven't heard back from everyone.." Have Your Say
0403: Tepco says temperatures have fallen in the spent nuclear fuel pool at reactor 5, reports Kyodo.
0409: The Yomiuri Shimbun claims the Japanese government did turn down a US offer of technical help to cool the overheating nuclear reactors, soon after the earthquake. The paper, citing an anonymous senior member of the Democratic Party, said the offer was refused because it was felt to be "premature". Last week Tokyo denied turning down an American offer of help.
0422: The US State Department is strongly urging Americans in Japan to consider leaving and advising those who were planning to go to Japan to defer the trip. The US is also expanding the area for voluntary evacuations for family members of US personnel in Japan.
0434: The BBC's Japan correspondent Roland Buerk says the government is asking local authorities to prepare to receive survivors from disaster-hit areas. He says a stadium near Tokyo which normally hosts pop concerts may be used to house around 5,000 people made homeless by the quake. Nearly 400,000 people are living in evacuation centres amid shortages of food and power blackouts. And rebuilding work in the affected areas is expected to take some time.
0438: Richard Knobbs in Tokyo says: "Like many foreign residents I know, I am staying in Japan until there is no other option but to leave, and I don't believe it will come to that. My house is here, my family is here and my work is here. I have loved living here for over 11 years - it's my home and I still love it. I want to stay and offer the Japanese people the same support they've shown me since I arrived. I can't just pack up and leave." Have Your Say
0441: Sandor Benko in Anjo, Japan, blogs: "There is no running water in most places, which means no showers and issues with flushing the toilets. Not to mention laundry. In a culture that has the same word for 'nice' and 'clean' these are big issues. For the Japanese people I know it would be a pain beyond measure not to take a shower and wear freshly washed clothes every day, or not to have an impeccably clean toilet. I've no doubt this further adds to the stress of the evacuees."
0442: The website UK in Japan has advice on potential food and drink contamination within the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant: http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news
0451: Companies in other Asian countries are having to consider other sources for parts and products they would normally get from Japan, due to the severe damage suffered by Japanese production bases since last week's earthquake, reports the Daily Yomiuri.
0452: The Japan Times is reporting that an innkeeper is opening up his hotel to displaced people: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110319b2.html
0510: Morgues and crematoriums in quake-hit areas are overwhelmed with the numbers of dead bodies that are being brought to them, the Daily Yomiuri reports. The paper says some local governments are considering burials - a practice that is not common in Japan.
0514: Martin Hollamby in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, says: "I live in an apartment block and although a lot of the foreigners have left, a group of us are staying. We've been taking the things the people have left behind and redistributed them so they go to those in need. We have a lot of research centres in this area and people with geiger counters and ways of measuring. I feel safe here, so I don't see there being much point in moving." Have Your Say
0521: Rember earlier reports that the Prime Minister was planning to invite opposition politicians into his cabinet to help deal with the crisis? Well, the leader of the main opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, said he would not accept any such request, though he hasn't received one yet, according to Kyodo News.
0524: If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
0531: The Yomiuri reports that last week's tsunami reached heights of around 20 metres on the Sanriku coast, according to investigations by the Port and Airport Research Institute. The Sanriku coastline is jagged, a factor which apparently increased the height of the tsunami. Among their investigations, researchers found wreckage on top of a three-storey building near the ocean.
0545: Dozens of US citizens have been evacuated by bus from the city of Sendai, one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami, Reuters reports. One evacuee, Austin Lantez, said: "we are 100 kilometers away from the radiation and Sendai is starting to register some radiation already. And that is a major concern for me and many of our friends and family".
0555: The Japan Times reports on islanders who have been cut off from the mainland since the tsunami destroyed their bridge. Many of the residents of Miyatojima island are reported to be camped out at a school on a hill, having brought food, blankets and kerosene with them. Sanae Katahira was quoted as saying "it's like people are going back to the old way, to the time they had to sustain themselves as islanders when isolated."
0605: US Ambassador John Roos in Tokyo tweets: "The US Military has conducted 132 helicopter and 641 aircraft missions to assist with recovery and relief efforts in Japan."
0619: Government officials say spinach near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has been found to contain high radiation levels, Kyodo news agency reports.
0623: The government plans to lend up to $122bn (£75bn) to help quake-damaged businesses get back on their feet, AP reports, citing the Nihon Kezai newspaper.
0631: Officials say three or four kinds of farm produce have been found to be contaminated, reports Kyodo. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano is reportedly due to talk about the contaminated food issue around 1600 local time (0700GMT).
0651: Exhausted engineers at the Fukushima have now successfully attached a power cable to the outside of Japan's stricken nuclear plant, Reuters reports, in a first step towards helping cool reactors and stop the spread of radiation.
0654: If engineers are unable to cool the reactor, Reuters says, the last option would be entombing the plant with concrete and sand to prevent a catastrophic radiation leak, the method used at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.
0704: The Japanese army and firemen will aim to douse the nuclear plant with water "round the clock", the government says according to AFP.
0716: Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano is giving a news conference. He tells reporters that he believes the situation has been stabilised for the time being at number 3 reactor, where emergency workers have been able capture some water inside.
0720: Mr Edano confirms that abnormally high radiation levels have been detected in samples of milk and spinach from the region close to the nuclear plant.
0721: Mr Edano said emergency workers at the plant were still working on the restoration of power to the plant.
0723: To clarify, Mr Edano said radiation in spinach and milk from near Fukushima power plant broke limits mandated by food safety laws.
0725: Jessica Lynn Simpson in Tokushima, Japan, writes: "I live well outside the evacuation zone, but the fear of radiation is still very strong here. Some of my foreign friends have returned to their home countries, but most of us don't know what to think because of our distance from the crisis and strong ties to our Japanese friends and colleagues. At the moment we're just waiting." Have Your Say
0740: Expat Sophie Knight in Tokyo, writing for Heso magazine, urges foreign media to look at the facts in a balanced and measured way rather than, as she says, "sensationalising" by for example referring to a "toxic cloud" hanging over Tokyo.
0741: Joseph Tame in Tokyo tweets: "Staff at housing office told us that quite a lot of their tenants had left the country - nearly all of them foreigners!"
0748: Water-spraying operations have resumed at the number 3 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant, NHK reports. AFP quotes Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa as saying: "Instead of dumping water in phases we would like to set up an operation that will allow us to continuously inject water." So far such efforts to cool the reactors at the stricken plant have taken place intermittently, AFP explains.
0759: While levels of radiation were found in milk from Fukushima prefecture and spinach from Ibaraki prefecture that broke food safety limits, Mr Edano said, he also added that they posed no immediate threat to humans. That is unlikely to reassure many Japanese.
0801: Mr Edano said the health ministry had ordered authorities in both prefectures to investigate where the products came from, how they were distributed and - depending on their findings - suspend sales. He urged consumers to remain calm, noting that even if a consumer were to drink the contaminated milk for a year, the radiation level would be the equivalent of one CT scan, AFP says.
0819: An interesting article in Slate magazine suggests that instead of attributing the order and restraint shown by disaster-hit Japanese on circular "cultural" explanations, structural factors - "a robust system of laws that reinforce honesty, a strong police presence, and, ironically, active crime organizations" - may be more pertinent.
0825: The foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea are due to discuss co-operation in ensuring disaster preparedness and the safety of nuclear power generation in East Asia in Kyoto, Kyodo reports.
0829: The US Defense Department is preparing to dispatch an expert team trained to operate in areas contaminated with radiation, should the situation deteriorate at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Yomiuri reports.
0842: Red Cross spokesman Patrick Fuller tells BBC radio's Today programme that the organisation is struggling to cope with the number of people displaced by the twin disasters in Japan. "They have over 700 personnel on the ground, medical teams going out to the evacuation centres, and we have teams down in Fukushima where the evacuation shelters are bursting at the seams. We had a call from one of the Red Cross teams yesterday, saying 'we desperately need more staff'. They were in a sports stadium with 2,400 people and there was just one team of 12 people dealing with the sick and the elderly there."
0850: Peter Payne, an American living in Gunma prefecture, also thinks some journalists have been overdramatising events in Japan. He tells the BBC: "There's a big difference between how some outside journalists have been presenting the situation and the reality here is. Some US journalists in particular have been using the most sensationalist language as if an imminent catastrophe is going to affect the whole country. People in Japan are concerned of course, but life goes on. We are running a business, shipping bento boxes. We've been in touch with all our distributors across the country - they are all open to business. The post office has been functioning every day."
0851: Peter Payne adds: "The main issue for have been the blackouts, but we try to adjust our working lives to them. There are bulletins about the blackouts, trying to be very positive about them - in a very Japanese way - like saying: 'Isn't it good that when there's no TV, the families can sit together and talk?' They are always trying to be positive, the NHK broadcasts feel like a calm hand on your shoulder."
0858: Clint Eastwood and Sandra Bullock are each to donate about $1m (£616,000) to the quake relief efforts in Japan, reports Japan Today. Lady Gaga also raised $250,000 by selling wristbands.
0902: Engineers have attached a power cable to a reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant but electricity has yet to be switched on, the nuclear safety agency said according to Reuters.
0907: Despite encouraging reports about progressing reconnecting power to cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, the BBC's Tim Willcox cautions that they are still nowhere near the process of restarting the pumps as it is unclear whether - given quake and tsunami damage - they even still work. Even if they do initially work, they could quickly short out.
0917: Is Japan's disaster warming often frosty bilateral relations with South Korea and China? As the three countries' foreign ministers prepare to meet in Kyoto, AFP quotes Japan's Takeaki Matsumoto as calling Seoul a "true neighbour" and saying he hoped Tokyo and Beijing could move forward after a bitter row last September sparked by maritime collisions. Both sent rescue teams to Japan.
0928: Jason Fullington in Tokyo tweets: "Latest news about Spinach and Milk already blown out of proportion by US media! They act as if it affects the whole country! #japan #wrong"
0933: Outside the exclusion zone around Fukushima nuclear plant, radiation levels are absolutely miniscule and nothing to worry about, points out the BBC's Tim Willcox in Tokyo. That's interesting, he says, given how many foreign nationals have left Tokyo and other parts of the country.
0942: A warm front in north-east Japan is bringing some respite to hundreds of thousands of homeless tsunami victims after days of freezing temperatures carpeted the region in snow and ice, reports AFP.
1006: Another earthquake has hit Japan, Reuters flashes - Tokyo buildings shook
1010: The quake which has just struck hit Ibaraki prefecture and registered magnitude 6.1, AFP says
1012: There is no tsunami threat and no immediate reports of injuries or damage, NHK says.
1025: There are still no reports of damage following the 6.1-magnitude quake that hit Ibaraki prefecture. Japan has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since 11 March, many strong, but this one may cause additional concern as its epicentre is close to the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima.
1041: Efforts by Prime Minister Naoto Kan to form a grand coalition with the conservative opposition in the wake of the disasters that have hit the country have failed after opposition leader Sadakazu Tanigaki refused the offer. But Mr Tanigaki reportedly said he would "spare no efforts to co-operate".
1043: Ben Griffiths from Koriyama city, Fukushima prefecture tells the BBC: "I am confident the [nuclear] situation will be resolved. I had a radiation check yesterday and I'm fine. I think there's too much focus on the nuclear situation and not enough on the humanitarian disaster in the foreign media."
1047: In contrast James Steward, a Canadian who runs an international school in tsunami-hit Sendai, tells the BBC: "The nuclear threat is hanging over people's heads. People here have learnt to cope with earthquakes and tsunami, but it's the not knowing what's happening with the nuclear reactors, which is the most difficult thing to cope with."
1056: There has been a rise in the number of known casualties from the quake and tsunami. Japan's National Police Agency now says 7,348 people have died and 10,947 are missing.
1117: During talks in Kyoto, the foreign ministers of Japan and China agreed to boost bilateral ties, Kyodo reports. Japan's Takeaki Matsumoto told China's Yang Jiechi at the outset of their meeting, "I hope we can take this opportunity to build a relationship of trust and work together to further deepen mutually beneficial and strategic Japan-China ties," it says. Bilateral ties have been strained since maritime collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard vessels last September near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
1118: Dan Castellano in Tokyo tweets: "#NHK returns to scheduled programming, first time no #quake related news on any channel. Still have news update banners on screen. #jishin_e"
1121: The Oshika peninsula in Miyagi prefecture has moved 5.3m (17.4 feet) and dropped 1.2m since the devastating March 11 quake - both records for land mass movements in Japan - government data show, according to Kyodo.
1138: Russia is testing Pacific Ocean fish and other sea life for radiation as Japan battles the crisis at the Fukushima plant, AFP reports - but so far no increase has been detected.
1142 : The effects of the quake and tsunami are likely to push down gross domestic product (GDP) by a net 0.2% or more in fiscal 2011, which starts next month, Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd says according to Kyodo. The institute said factors including a slump in economic activity in affected areas, a reduction in production due to power rationing and a decline in personal consumption triggered by deteriorating consumer sentiment were likely to pull down GDP by at least 0.7%. But demand for reconstruction work would also buoy GDP by about 0.5%, it said.
1158: Midori Horikawa in Tokyo, writes: "Ungrounded panic and paranoia about the situation in Fukushima are making Tokyo a less than liveable place at the moment. I fear that the alarmist media and reactions of foreign governments are mostly to blame for this mass paranoia. Much of the non-Japanese media's reporting is based on pure speculations, prompting foreigners to leave Tokyo... With foreigners leaving the country, however, even the Japanese are growing distrustful of 'the government stories'. I feel that the whole nuclear scare is just a side show to the very real damage brought by the earthquake and tsunami. Have Your Say
1200: Power lines have been connected to the Fukushima nuclear plant's reactor 2 but electricity has not been restored yet, a spokesman for Japan's nuclear safety agency has said according to AFP. "If the power is turned on without checks it may malfunction. They are checking the facility now. If no problem is found at the facility today, the power will resume as early as tomorrow [Sunday]."
1211: The UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA says Japan has ordered a halt to all sales of food products from Fukushima prefecture, Reuters reports. It comes after the chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said radiation levels in milk and spinach from the region of Fukushima nuclear plant exceeded safety standards - though the radiation levels recorded still pose no serious risk to human health.
1216: A doctor at a clinic in the city of Rikuzentakataat, in the north-east of Japan, Usui Tomomichi, says patients there are calming down after the shock of the quake and tsunami. But he added: "I think the numbers of patients with mental illness will increase from now on. They've lost their house, they've lost their family members, and they survived somehow. But they'll think 'how am I going to live from now on? What has happened to my goals for the future?' They will wonder, 'What's the purpose of my life?'"
1238: Power has now been restored to some parts of the Fukushima plant, reports the BBC's Chris Hogg - though reports suggest the power lines to the cooling systems will only now be switched on on Sunday, after system tests.
1250: If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
1300: More on that IAEA statement confirming the presence of radioactive iodine in food products from Fukushima prefecture. The statement says: "There is a short-term risk to human health if radioactive iodine in food is absorbed into the human body... Children and young people are particularly at risk of thyroid damage." But the IAEA stresses that radioactive iodine decays naturally within a matter of weeks, and the Japanese authorities have taken steps to counter any risks. You can find more here.
1305: AFP reports that the foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to increase co-operation on nuclear power safety and disaster preparedness.
1316: South Korea's foreign minister Kim Sung Hwan has promised ''maximum support'' to people in Japan, Kyodo reports. South Korea will provide additional relief supplies of 100 tonnes of water and 6,000 blankets, a Japanese official is quoted as saying.
1321: Trace amounts of radioactive iodine have also been detected in tap water in Tokyo and five other areas, according to the Associated Press. The Japanese government says the amounts did not exceed government safety limits - but usual tests show no iodine.
1340: Reiko, from Nagoya in Japan, writes: "We Japanese are calm as usual, or at least we are trying. We are thinking about what we can do for the victims. We are trying to help each other. People from foreign countries are running away from Japan now. I understand their fear but I am Japanese. I trust Japan. I trust my country. I trust that we will get over all difficulties." Have Your Say
1345: Yukiko, from Kanazawa in Japan, writes: "My parents, my sisters and their families, and many of my relatives live in north-eastern Ibaraki, about 50 miles from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They are suffering from continuous aftershocks and the fear of the radiation. They are also in need food or petrol which will enable them to go and search for food. I am trying to find some way to help people there, but cannot access the area because of disruption." Have Your Say
1401: Many Twitterers got flustered about a Wall St Journal report which suggested CNN was assembling a 400-strong team to cover April's British royal wedding - in contrast to the 50 on the ground in Japan. Richard Adams disputes this: "Seriously, that 400 CNN staff for royal wedding number is wrong. It's 125 tops, 50 from US + 75 UK-based staff." He says he has spoken to CNN himself.
1407: Hong Kong will hold a comprehensive nuclear emergency drill early in 2012, prompted by the crisis in Japan, the government says according to AFP.
1421: Japan's nuclear safety agency has told a news conference that cooling systems at two of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are now operable, NHK reoprts. An emergency diesel generator at reactor 6 has resumed operation and a cooling pump at reactor 5 is confirmed to be usable.
1438: "The power of nuclear fission and fusion belong in the stars. And that is where they should stay. The recent catastrophe in Fukushima is a strong vindication of this truth," argues Tilman Ruff - chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons - in an opinion piece published by Kyodo News.
1444: The UK's foreign office has issued advice to UK nationals in Japan "on what action you should take if radiation levels increase in any significant way" - including taking shelter, decontaminating, and taking stable iodine tablets. But it cautions that a "significant increase in the radiation levels in Tokyo, well outside the exclusion zone, would only occur in a worst case scenario".
1450: Matthew Reinschmidt tweets: "Whatever happens the 'Fukushima 50' deserve @Time Magazine's person(s) of the year for 2011. 'Prepared to die to prevent meltdown' #Japan"
1456: The coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, became the first among quake-hit municipalities to get temporary housing for evacuees on Saturday as construction of about 200 30-sq-m (323 sq feet) prefabricated housing units started on the grounds of a junior high school, Kyodo reports.
1515: Chris Salzberg at the Global Voices blog translates a series of tweets by @kir_imperial, a member of the Japanese army who was among the first on the scene following the giant tsunami of 11 March. The detail of his experience is fascinating, if horrifying - and he is also capable of humour despite witnessing such devastation: "Does insurance cover exposure to radiation? Hmm..."
1520: The UN has been tracking radiation from the Fukushima plant, showing that levels taken elsewhere in the country, as well as in Russia and California, are minuscule, a diplomat with access to the readings has told AP.
1525: Carsten, from Osaka, Japan, writes: "I am wondering how I can help the people in the disaster areas. I am living in Osaka and life here is as usual. But you can see more foreigners from Tokyo and the hotels are almost booked up. Last week I donated 30,000 yen, but next week I have days off and I am thinking about going to the North East in order to help people." Have Your Say
1536: The British embassy in Tokyo has posted some advice on its website on the risk of food contamination around the Fukushima nuclear plant. It says "the most significant risk from drinking water is microbiological not radiological" but recommends people use bottled water if that is available.
1543: The IAEA is giving a press conference on the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It hopes that power will be restored to reactor 2 today, which will then act as a hub to restore power to reactor 1. However it is not clear if water pumps have been damaged and if they will even work once power has been restored.
1547: Radiation levels in major Japanese cities have not changed since yesterday. The UN nuclear agency took measurements at seven different locations in Tokyo and in the Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures. However, while radiation has been detected, these levels are well below those dangerous to human health, the IAEA spokesman says.
1550: Lee Jay Walker, from Tokyo, Ikebukuro, writes: "Reports in some media outlets are not based on reality and instead they have helped to create mass uncertainty. Tokyoites in general are getting on with it and during the day you will see fashion shops full and the usual daily life - however, at night it does go quiet early because companies are preserving energy and trying to help the government." Have Your Say
1556: Japan's level of nuclear alert was raised on Friday, drawing parallels with the nuclear crisis at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979. But there are stark differences argues this report from the Associated Press which quotes one nuclear engineer who says: "It's probably not politically correct to say it, but TMI was a piece of cake compared to what they're facing over there in Fukushima, in terms of the problem".
1602: Minuscule levels of radiation from Japan's stricken nuclear plant have been detected on the western coast of the US, but officials say it poses no health risk, the Associated Press news agency reports.
1606: The PM's Office of Japan tweets:For people living in Tohoku and Kanto regions - How to protect from radioactive rainfall (Japanese Atomic Energy Commission). "Try not to go out unless it is an emergency. Make sure of covering up hair and skin as much as possible. In case your clothes or skin is exposed to rain, wash it carefully with running water. "
1613: Aid workers in the quake-affected areas have been sharing their experiences: World Vision News tweets: World Vision #Japan aid worker in Miyagi: moved by "many affected people caring for&helping e/o in such an unprecedented crisis"
1620: The IAEA has issued a correction to its earlier statement that Japan had banned food originating from Fukushima prefecture because of the risk of radioactive contamination. It now says that the authorities are merely considering a ban.
1629: If you're just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.
1632: The key development so far: Engineers are trying to reconnect some of the plant's six reactors to a power grid. They have made managed to lay down connect one cable but electricity is not yet restored and it is still unclear if their cooling systems will work once power does return.
1635: The US Pacific Command based in Hawaii has just updated its website with the latest details on the relief effort in Japan. Its ships "report sighting much less debris at sea now, unlike a week ago when large debris fields [were spotted] as far as 20 nautical miles offshore."
1639: Eri Fumoto, from Tokyo, writes: "I am an 18 year old girl living with my family in Tokyo. Everyday I see heartbreaking pictures on tv and newspapers. I still cannot believe this is happening here in Japan. Events such as graduation ceremony have been called off. It is very unfortunate but we have to put up with it. I cannot help to hope that people in #Tohoku get back to their normal lives as soon as possible. I will do what I can for example energy saving." Have Your Say
1646: Officials are keen to put the amount of radiation present in tap water in perspective. Drinking one litre of watre with iodine at Thursday's levels [when levels were highest] is the equivalent of receiving 1/88th of the radiation from a chest x-ray, Kazuma Yokota, a spokesman for the Fukushima prefecture disaster response is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.
1659: China's foreign minister has said China will provide "maximum support" to Japan for relief and reconstruction, according to China's Xinhua news agency. His comments came at the trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea held in Kyoto Saturday.
1713: ITN has this footage of the giant tsunami swell while it was out at sea, shot by the Japan Coast Guard. The coast guard ship, the Matsushima, was apparently five kilometres out at sea at the time. Crew members can be heard gasping and urging each other to hold on to something.
1719: This National Geographic photo gallery of the 20 most unforgettable pictures from the Japanese disaster is making the rounds on twitter.
1734: Notes from a Japan aid worker is the blog by World Vision's Mitsuko Sobata who is on the ground and blogging from the shelters and the ruins of the quake-affected areas .
1753: Six workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts of radiation (Japan's normal limit for those involved in emergency operations) the AP news agency reports. As the crisis escalated, the government raised that limit to 250 millisieverts.
1800: Death tolls have been updated as well: The latest figures say 7,600 people died and more than 11,000 people are still missing.
1803: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada tweets: "Canadians in #Japan who are not yet registered with our Embassy in #Tokyo should do so now (register online)"
1808: UKinJapan BritishEmbassy tweets: "#Japan: FAQs on the nuclear situation and travel advice to British nationals in Japan - http://ow.ly/4hTxr
1812: US Nationals were moved by bus from Sendai to Narita airport. English teacher Steven Hatfield told the AP news agency: "I am very thankful to the American embassy, but I have mixed feelings leaving friends and family in Sendai."
1817: Relatives of the 50 workers left at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been describing the conditions under which their loved ones are toiling to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. One relative quoted a worker who was evacuated earlier this week as saying: "I thought I would never meet you again. But I also feel bad about walking away alone." The "Fukushima 50" as the workers have come to be known have been the object of profound gratitude and admiration in Japan.
1828: An update on the six workers exposed to more than 100 millisieverts of radiation at the nuclear plant: "There has been no adverse effect on their health," one official from the Tokyo Electric Power Company told the AFP news agency. They are apparently still working at the plant but it is not known if they had been given different tasks.
1830: torque10 tweets: "#WHO Western Pacific Regional Office has issued this latest Situation Report: http://tinyurl.com/4rgeelc
1838: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Russian Far East to chair a meeting on the development of the country's nuclear power sector in the wake of events in Japan. He said there was no immediate danger from the Japanese plant. "The work is being done properly, in the right way -- 24 hours a day," he said of radiation monitoring efforts by Russian authorities, according to the Reuters news agency.
1841: The cloud plume from Fukushima has now reached the western Atlantic, but radioactivity is likely to be "extremely low" with no impact on health or the environment, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) says, according to the AFP news agency.
1842: Victoria F, from Tokyo, writes: "The somewhat shameful mass exodus of foreigners from Tokyo may not be such a bad thing after all. Less people in Tokyo = less electricity being used + less people trying to buy food + less gas guzzlers filling up at the petrol station, and so on." Have Your Say
1854: Some experts say the situation at the nuclear power plant may be stabilising: "We more or less do not expect to see anything worse than what we are seeing now," Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.
1908: John Loynes is a British citizen with a young child living in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture, just 50 km south of the reactor. He told the BBC about conditions there: "Here in Iwaki city it is difficult to get necessary supplies - food is running low...We are not too worried about radiation exposure - we are just staying away from that part of the city."
1920: Some cities in north-eastern Japan are beginning the long process of reconstruction eight days on from the devastating quake and tsunami. In the badly-damaged coastal city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate prefecture construction has begun on 200 temporary housing units, Japan's Kyodo news agency says.
1933: Another smaller quake, possibly an aftershock, has struck off the eastern coast of Honshu, the coastline worst affected by the quake and tsunami on 11 March, the United States Geological Survey reports.
2000: This map purports to show in staggering detail the amount of radiation in the air in each prefecture of Japan.
2005: Fox News is covering the unusual story of animal rescue groups who are trying to reunite pets with their owners after the tsunami.
2011: The UK's Energy Secretary Chris Huhne tells the Observer newspaper that events in Japan may force a rethink of Britain's nuclear strategy.
2017: The UN's nuclear chief Yukiya Amano has arrived in Vienna after his trip to Japan. He tells reporters that the Japanese authorities are strengthening their efforts to deal with the nuclear issue.
2021: Reuters quotes Mr Amano as saying: "My impression is that the Japanese side is strengthening activities to overcome, to stabilise the reactors. I hope that safety, stability will be recovered as soon as possible. But I still don't think it is time to say that I think they are going in a good direction or not."
2024: A reminder that Mr Amano and a team of experts have been in Japan monitoring radiation levels and the actions being taken to sort out the Fukushima reactors. He is set to brief the IAEA's board of governors on Monday.
2030: Esri.com is another site with a remarkable array of maps covering events in Japan.
2035: The New York Times has a thought-provoking piece on the plight of Japan's food industry, with one sushi expert commenting that the seafood industry might face a battle to prove the safety of its produce, "not unlike the challenges faced by gulf fishermen in the US after the BP oil spill".
2042: Russia's Vladimir Putin offers an energy swap deal that he says will help Japan. He wants to boost pipeline gas supplies to Europe, and divert Europe-bound tankers carrying liquid natural gas to Japan.
2044: Alexander Ananenkov, boss of Russian energy firm Gazprom, says supplying Europe with 60m cubic metres of pipeline gas will free up 40,000 tonnes of LNG. Reuters quoted him as saying: "It is possible to do immediately, right now. Such large scale swap operation between Russia and the European Union will provide real help for Japan."
2047: In response to Victoria F's e-mail (see 1842), James, from Tokyo, writes: "I think it is unfair to characterise those who have chosen to leave Tokyo for a short break as 'shameful' or having 'panicked'. Most people who have left understand that of course there is no radiation in Tokyo. They also know that the risk from the reactors in their current state is low. The difference is that most of those who have left Tokyo have taken the time to understand that TEPCO's admissions over the suspected multiple open-air fuel rod fires are very serious, and that the situation could get further out of hand very quickly. " Have Your Say
2049: More on Russia's offer of help: Mr Putin is also saying that Japanese firms can buy stakes in eastern Siberia's huge gas fields. Reuters quote him as saying: "We are offering Japanese companies the opportunity to enter some of the biggest energy projects of the Far East and Siberia, to invest capital and technology to develop large scale deposits such as Kovykta and Chayanda."
2059: Burma has also announced that it will be scanning passengers returning from Japan for radioactivity, Kyodo news agency reports.
2102: Russell Bowley from Kasukabe, Japan writes: "Leaving Tokyo yesterday on a planned trip to see a sick relative, I felt like I wanted to tell everyone that I wasn't another foreigner running away. The situation in Tokyo is showing the early signs of recovery. Supermarket and convenience store stocks are rising; trains are running more frequently. I'll be back for the new school term in April, confident that Japanese efficiency will be winning the battle." Have Your Say
2105: Thirteen long hours after they began spraying water at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, fire fighters have ended their operation, the Kyodo news agency reports.
2109: Three Japanese artists publish their work in the wake of the tsunami in the New York Times.
2114: The financial toll of the earthquake is being assessed by companies with a stake in Japan. General Motors has announced that it will cut spending across the company in an effort to preserve cash - it has a shortage of parts made in Japan, according to the Associated Press news agency.
2125: Foreign businesses have been moving out of Tokyo as a result of the quake, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports. It follows an earlier report from the Japan Times that Osaka was the destination of choice for a number of businesses uncertain about the effects of radiation and affected by frequent electricity blackouts.
2130: The Huffington Post has this article about the experiences of Hollywood band Black Veil Brides who were touring in Japan at the time of the earthquake.
2141: Homeless people - about half a million of them - in the north-east of Japan are struggling to stay warm with diminishing supplies of food and fuel, the AFP news agency reports.
2147: Jun Morikawa from Tokyo, writes: "Never was so much owed by so many to so few." Sir Winston Churchill praised those brave and noble soldiers who were at the time fighting the Battle of Britain. His famous speech applies to those few courageous folks (technicians, fire-fighters and Self-Defense Forces officers) fighting the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant. No one could ever find the words to thank them for their incredible determination and commitment to save the nation at their own peril." Have Your Say
2158: The impact of the earthquake in figures: At least 1.04 million households were without running water; at least 1170,000 buildings were damaged with at least 14,623 completely destroyed; about 257,000 homes were without electricity and about About 362,580 people have been evacuated and are staying at shelters the Reuters news agency reports.
2208: Japan's 9.0 magnitude earthquake was so poweful that it sent ripples through the ground water in South Floria in the US, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reports. Gauges used by the South Florida Water Management District picked up unusual activity about 30 minutes after the quake, the paper reported.