Japanese man, 102, kills self

2011-04-14 09:51
Tokyo - A 102-year-old man has killed himself in a newly-declared no-go zone around Japan's crippled nuclear plant because he was depressed at having to leave his home, a report said on Thursday.

The centenarian, the oldest resident of Iitate village, 40km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, took his own life after talking to his family about evacuation, Jiji Press reported, citing local officials.

"Before the suicide, the oldest resident of the community discussed evacuation plans with his family, municipal officials said, adding that they suspect the man was depressed at the idea that he would have to leave his place," Jiji reported.

Iitate was one of a number of areas the central government declared off-limits earlier this week because of concerns over the effect of long-term exposure to radiation from the leaking nuclear plant.

Thousands had already been evacuated from a 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the plant, which began spewing toxic radiation after its cooling systems were disabled by the March 11 tsunami that hit Japan.

The amended order, which the government said would take effect within the next month, will leave many thousands more homeless.

An official from Iitate village confirmed that a 102-year-old man living in the area had died.

"However, we have not confirmed how he was found dead or if he actually committed suicide," the official said.

Read more on:    japan  |  nuclear  |  japan earthquake

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