Public trust in the Japanese government faces its biggest test since World War Two over the handling of the nation's nuclear crisis, raising concerns that a breakdown in confidence could fuel panic and chaos if appeals for calm go unheeded.
Foreigners are leaving Tokyo, or shutting themselves indoors, and supermarket shelves are running empty despite authorities assuring citizens there is no need to panic from the crisis unfolding at a quake-stricken nuclear power plant.
The government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan was already unpopular before the disasters.
"This government is useless," Masako Kitajima, a Tokyo office worker in her 50s, said as radiation levels ticked up in the city of around 12 million people, more than 200 km south of the nuclear plant where officials battled to avert disaster. More...