SDF and US Joint Search Turn Up 20 More Bodies

The Self-Defense Forces, the U.S. military and other rescue workers recovered 20 bodies Saturday as their three-day intensive search for the missing in tsunami-hit coastal areas of Tohoku continued.

During two days of searching by some 18,000 SDF personnel and about 7,000 U.S. military personnel, as well as members of the police, the Japan Coast Guard and fire departments, the total number of bodies recovered stands at 53.

The bulk of Saturday’s operation was held in and around Ishinomaki, one of the worst-affected cities in Miyagi Prefecture. A search was conducted around an elementary school where many pupils were reported missing after the tsunami, while some 50 divers from the SDF, the Japan Coast Guard and other entities were deployed to nearby Kitakami River, the largest in northeastern Japan.

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