The worst drought in 52 years has struck Eastern Japan, where farmers are praying for rain to save their crops.
G.V. Dried up land with rice plants.
S.V. Two farmers looking at dried up plants.
C.U. Showing dried up plants.
L.V. Men digging irrigation ditch.
S.V. lowering pipe into ditch.
C.U. Joining pipes.
L.V.Pan Of dried up land.
Initials S-D A.S./P.B.
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Background: The worst drought in 52 years has struck Eastern Japan, where farmers are praying for rain to save their crops. Vast tracts of paddle fields, usually thick with mud at this time of year, are baked hard, the ground is cracking and the rice plants wilting.
It is the Chiba and Ibaraki districts that have been hit most by the drought. Even the reservoirs that supply the irrigation systems have dried up. In some parts pipe-laying is being carried out at a fierce pace, in order to bring water from the more fortunate areas.
If their prayers aren't answered, these Japanese farmers will have a lean time at harvest time, later in the year.