DNA database planned to help identify bodies

Kyodo

To speed up the identification process of corpses, police in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures plan to compile a database of DNA samples from relatives of people still missing following the March 11 disaster, according to police sources.

The police will likely start collecting the DNA samples in mid-May, the sources said.

The need to identify bodies quickly is growing because most of them will be in a state of advanced decomposition.

The police will ask close relatives of the missing to submit cells from the mouth, the sources said, adding the number of samples is expected to reach the tens of thousands.