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Japanese shares down 10% as nuclear leak fears grow

Japanese shares slumped a further 10 per cent today as concern mounted over nuclear radiation leaks in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster.

The Nikkei 225 closed on 8,605.15, a fall of 10.55 per cent. This follows a 6 per cent decrease in value yesterday. The Bank of Japan has injected £114bn into the banking system in an effort to stabilise markets.

Panic has since spread in the Fukushima region after a nuclear power plant was hit by a third explosion. People living up to six miles beyond a 12 mile exclusion zone around the nuclear facility have been advised to stay indoors.

In a televised news conference, Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan told the nation that “the danger of further radiation leaks is increasing”. He said “all possible measures” are being taken to contain the leaks. Kan said: “I implore the Japanese people from my heart to behave calmly.”

Over 10,000 people are feared dead after an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck the North-East of Japan, triggering the Tsunami on Friday afternoon.

The FTSE fell sharply this morning. At 8.20 it was down 1.24 per cent to 5,703.

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