22:17 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russia to boost energy supplies to Japan (Update 1)

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MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti)

Earthquake-stricken Japan asked Russia on Saturday to increase energy supplies and Moscow is ready to deliver up to 150,000 tons of liquefied natural gas and increase gas supplies, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said.

Sechin said Russia's Suek and Mechel companies would meet next week to consider the possibility of boosting coal supplies by 3-4 million tons.

Additional electricity could also be supplied via the existing underwater cable, he said.

Russia is ready to provide any - energy, rescue and psychological - support, Sechin added.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier in the day liquefied natural gas supplies to Japan should be stepped up if requested.

Japan "is our neighbor, a friendly neighbor and...we should do all we can to help with energy supplies due to [Japan's] waning capacities as a result of an earthquake and tsunami," he said at a meeting with Sechin and Emergency Situations Deputy Minister Ruslan Tsalikov.

Northern Japan was hit by a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and a ten-meter tsunami wave on Friday. Authorities said the death toll could exceed 1,000 with 784 people still missing. Over 1,130 people were injured.

Rescuers have recovered 400-500 bodies in the Miyagi prefecture.

The official death toll currently stands at 599.