Watching NHK Japanese news via the Internet since last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan- I had come to the conclusion only a day after the disaster that Japanese officials were "downplaying' the extent and gravity of damage at a stricken nuclear power plant.
A week later- officials in Japan were asking for international help in dealing with the badly-damaged reactors at the Fukushima 1 power plant.
In addition- those officials have upgraded the severity of the nuclear emergency to the same scale as America's 1979 Three Mile Island incident.
Japan is sacrificing helicopters- fire engines and more importantly- people- in trying to prevent a complete meltdown in 4 of the six reactors at the plant.
News source JAPAN TODAY reported early Friday morning Kansas City time that more than 16000 people are dead or remain missing in the massive 9.0-magnitude quake that struck the northeast coast of Japan just over a week ago.
Many of the survivors still await basic living necessities and almost 2 dozen survivors- mostly displaced hospital patients- have already died.