UPDATE: President Obama will make his statement from the Rose Garden at 3:30pm ET.  After having a St. Patrick's Day lunch on Capitol Hill, he also stopped by the Japanese Embassy in Washington to sign a condolence book.-------------------------------

BREAKING -- President Obama will be speaking on the crisis situation in Japan this afternoon, he just announced after an Oval Office meeting with the Irish Prime Minister.

He addressed the earthquake and its aftermath in various settings, but this is the first full-fledge event on the incident.

Last Friday he gave a scheduled press conference about energy, and gave a substantial amount of time to the earthquake.

He then made reference to the quake in remarks about education on Monday and during a taped interview on ESPN about his NCAA brackets where he encouraged people to give to USAID.

Critics have said the president hasn't been engaged enough, at least publicly, by golfing over the weekend and filling out his brackets.

The White House has rejected that notion. Tuesday evening the president also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The United States has begun assisting evacuations of U.S. citizens and giving suggestions on how far to stay away from the nuclear reactors, but there has been controversy over its guidance and if they are on the same message and why their advice differs from that of the Japanese government.