Tokyo, March 21 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan Monday called off a scheduled trip to an area 20 km away from the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant due to bad weather, officials said.
Kan planned to meet and talk with the people affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomak town of Miyagi prefecture after arriving there by helicopter, Xinhua reported.
Officials said weather conditions, however, were not suitable for a helicopter flight as the Japan Meteorological Agency forecast rain in the area, they said.
The Fukushima power plant, about 220 km northeast of Tokyo, was stricken by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that led to explosions in three reactors while a fire engulfed the fourth one.
Authorities have advised residents living within 20-30 km radius of the plant to stay indoors.
Over 8,600 people were confirmed dead by Monday morning, while nearly 12,900 were missing, according to the National Police Agency.