In response to growing criticism that his government has not been prompt and forthright in releasing information to the public about the grave nuclear crisis, Japan’s embattled Prime Minister Naoto Kan said his administration has been revealing all the information that it has access to regarding the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

We have been honestly saying that the situation with the nuclear plant accident remains very serious, he said on television.

Kan himself had previously blasted the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), for not disclosing information quickly and completely.

Kan also expressed his confidence that the government and nuclear energy authorities will be able to get a grip of the crisis and avert a radioactive catastrophe. However, he cautioned that there are “huge difficulties” to be faced at Fukushima.

Although we cannot let our guard down, we will take firm control of the situation and we will be able to emerge from this situation, he said.

The Prime Minister also vowed that Japan will rebuild and recover from this unimaginable tragedy.

We will overcome this tragedy and recover, he said.

We will once more rebuild Japan. We are in a situation in which this crisis is truly testing us as a people. While we have been called a small island country, we were able to miraculously rebuild after the war. With the power of the people, we will rebuild this country. Because of this quake and tsunami, we cannot falter at any cost. We will rebuild Japan again from scratch. We will face this crisis with determination.

Kan said he may visit the badly-damaged northeastern region of Japan next week.

We are considering it, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

The significance of [Prime Minister Kan] directly seeing conditions there and listening [to the evacuees] is growing.

Japan’s National Police Department has confirmed that 6,539 people have died and 10,354 people are missing.