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No extra radiation in Japan: official

AFP | October 14 2006

JAPAN said today no abnormal radiation had been found on its territory after North Korea's declared nuclear test, despite preliminary US findings pointing to an atomic blast.

"Our latest observations up to Saturday, which are aimed at monitoring radiation levels harmful to human beings, found nothing abnormal," said Hiroshi Tsuboi, an official from the government task force dealing with possible fallout from North Korea's test.

"We've heard news reports the US government detected radioactive elements, but what we can do is to conduct our own monitoring."

However, he stressed that Japan may be using different testing procedures to the US.

Japan has been monitoring radioactive materials in dust samples collected by its military planes and shore-based facilities since North Korea's announcement on Monday it had conducted a nuclear test.

A US official earlier said initial findings found unusual levels of radiation, suggesting an atomic device.

The US has air samples taken by military drones on October 10, the day after the test, defence officials said yesterday.

Seismic readings in Japan and elsewhere confirmed an earthquake-strength blast had taken place, but there has been no verification of a nuclear blast.



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