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Tokyo has been asking foreign media to report objectively on the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday, as sensationalist or factually incorrect reports are believed to have fanned fears and led to import restrictions on Japanese products.

State Foreign Secretary Chiaki Takahashi told a news conference that the government believes some reports by foreign media were “excessive,” and through Japanese diplomatic missions abroad has urged the news organizations responsible to correctly and objectively disseminate information.

Ministry officials said some foreign media, especially tabloids, have overemphasized the danger of radioactive materials leaking from the Fukushima plant by focusing on extreme projections, and have even erroneously reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co. has hired homeless people to tackle the ongoing crisis.

Other examples include a report that five nuclear workers died at the site, giving the impression that they perished due to high-level radiation during the crisis.

The reported casualties in fact consisted of workers who died when the March 11 quake and tsunami hit the plant and those missing in Ibaraki Prefecture, the officials said.

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