Japan's top government spokesman says Tokyo is willing to accept U.S. help in dealing with the country's nuclear crisis, and is discussing the matter with Washington.
Top government spokesman Yukio Edano says that "We are coordinating with the U.S. government as to what the U.S. can provide and what people really need."
He says: "We have repeatedly asked for specific support, and indeed, they are responding to that."
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
YAMAGATA, Japan (AP) _ Japan's nuclear safety agency says smoke is rising from a building housing a damaged nuclear reactor at a power plant crippled by last week's tsunami.
A spokesman for Japan's nuclear safety agency said the smoke was seen rising from Unit 2 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Friday morning. The spokesman says the agency does not know the cause, but an explosion occurred in Unit 2 earlier in the week, possibly damaging a chamber next to the reactor core.
Meanwhile, the utility that runs the nuclear plant says workers are laying a cable to restore power to the cooling systems. The military is also preparing to spray more water on the plant by helicopter and fire trucks.