Moscow: The toll from the magnitude-9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami which struck north-east Japan on March 11 has risen to 15,500, police said on Sunday.

Another 7,306 people remain missing after the twin disasters which destroyed infrastructure and triggered a major crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.  Work is continuing to stabilise the crippled plant which is still leaking radioactive material. 

Last month, Japan's parliament passed a USD 49 billion emergency budget for reconstruction following the March disaster. A small extra budget is due to be submitted to parliament next month. 

In a statement last week, Japan's government said the direct material damage from the disaster stood at USD 210 billion.