Travel Warnings After Japan’s Earthquake
Published: March 17, 2011
Following are travel warnings from several countries after Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing explosions and radiation leaks.
“All Austrians, especially families with children in the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area, are advised to leave the country temporarily or leave the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area,” the Foreign Ministry website says.
Austrian diplomatic staff have moved to the consulate in Osaka from the embassy in Tokyo, which is being operated by local staff for now.
Australia has raised its travel alert for Tokyo and surrounding areas to the highest level — “do not travel” — and urged Australians to leave Tokyo, its surrounds and the northern part of Honshu island.
“Australians should not travel to Tokyo and northern Honshu unless their presence in Japan is essential. Australians in these areas should leave unless their presence in Japan is essential,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Information on radiation levels appears unchanged, but the situation at the power plant is not stable and it is increasingly unclear how things will evolve.”
Bangladesh has instructed its mission in Tokyo to relocate its citizens to a safer place free from radiation, the government said on Tuesday.
Belgium recommends that people avoid going to Japan.
Belgium said on Wednesday it was sending an army plane to Japan to evacuate Belgian nationals from the country. The plane will arrive in Japan on Friday, the foreign ministry said. Before the crisis there were around 1,000 Belgian nationals in Japan, but some have already left.
Britain has advised its citizens in Japan to stay at least 80 km (50 miles) from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Britain had advised its citizens on Wednesday to consider leaving Tokyo and the area north of the capital.
“The UK government is also chartering flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong to supplement commercially available options for those wishing to leave Japan,” the Foreign Office said.
Canada warned its citizens to avoid all travel within 80 km (50 miles) of the Fukushima nuclear plant, citing what it called the “evolving situation.” Canadians were told to avoid non-essential travel to northeast Japan, as well as the Tokyo area.
It said there was no radiation health risk to Canadians going into or out of Japan “provided they have not been within the evacuation zone established by Japan.”
The Croatian foreign ministry recommended Croatian citizens leave the country or move south if their stay is essential. The Croatian embassy will be temporarily transferred to Osaka.
The Finnish foreign ministry recommends that Finns staying in Japan’s capital Tokyo or north of it, leave the area and go to the south. Finland said on Tuesday all travel to Japan, especially to Tokyo and northeastern Japan, should be avoided.
The Foreign Ministry said in addition to Air France ramping up its capacity to Japan, the government was sending two planes to repatriate its nationals.
France urged its citizens in Tokyo to leave the country or head for southern Japan. The French ambassador, Philippe Faure, said he was staying in Tokyo for now with a reduced staff of 30 to 40 people, but will decide later if they need to move.
“Non-essential travel to Japan is inadvisable,” the Foreign Ministry website says.
Hungarian news channel Hirtv’s website quoted Erno Bohar, Hungary’s ambassador to Tokyo as saying that the embassy had asked all Hungarian citizens in Japan to register at the embassy. “Those who can get home, should go home,” he said.
The embassy will help Hungarian citizens book flight tickets and accommodation, he said. “We don’t know what will happen. The situation is unpredictable, it cannot be ruled out that there will be bigger trouble and that worries everybody,” Bohar said.
Earlier on Thursday, Hungary’s foreign ministry recommended on that Hungarian citizens should postpone travel to Japan unless they had compelling reasons to go.
The Italian Foreign Ministry has issued a notice advising Italians to leave Japan. Officials are meeting Alitalia to work out plans for extra flights if existing capacity is insufficient.
The Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry is advising its citizens not to travel to the Kantei region, including Tokyo, and areas to the north and northeast, and to leave this part of Japan if currently there.
New Zealand’s foreign ministry continues to advise avoiding all non-essential travel to Tokyo and the affected northeastern regions.
The Norwegian foreign ministry put out a bulletin on Tuesday advising against travel to Japan.
Non-essential embassy personnel and dependents are being sent home, said the Philippines’ ambassador to Tokyo, Manuel Lopez. Lopez said Filipinos in Japan who want to go home can do so, with the embassy helping them make arrangements for their flights home.
The Polish Foreign Ministry has issued a statement urging Polish citizens to avoid all unnecessary travel to Japan at present.
Portugal’s Foreign Ministry website said on Wednesday “given the situation in Japan, all Portuguese citizens without essential reasons to remain in the country are advised to consider the possibility of leaving Japan temporarily or moving to the south of the country, especially families with children and pregnant women. All non-essential trips to Japan are inadvisable.”
SERBIA – Serbia called on all nationals to leave Japan on regular flights, or contact the embassy in Tokyo and follow local emergency procedures.
Slovakia has recommended citizens not to travel to affected regions in Japan and delay planned trips to other regions, including Tokyo.
Slovenia has warned its nationals not to travel to Japan unless necessary. Prime Minister Borut Pahor said on Thursday that Slovenia plans to move its diplomats from Tokyo to Osaka.
The South Korean foreign ministry has issued a travel advisory advising against travel to the Fukushima area and other areas north of Tokyo.
The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that over the next 24 hours, it will make flights available to Spaniards who wish to leave Japan. The ministry also recommended that nationals in Japan, around 2,000 in total, should stay at least 120 km (75 miles) from Fukushima.
Sweden has put out a bulletin advising against any non-essential travel to Japan. The foreign ministry bulletin highlighted travel to Tokyo and northeastern Japan and expanded a previous recommendation cautioning against voyages to the Japanese prefectures hardest hit by the quake and tsunami.
Switzerland has issued an advisory recommending that all Swiss nationals should temporarily leave the crisis areas in the northeast of Japan as well as the wider Tokyo/Yokohama area.
Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said on television on Wednesday that authorities had informed most of the estimated 1,900 Swiss nationals registered in Japan that it stood ready to repatriate them. “We await the responses,” she said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday that elderly, children and female Taiwanese expatriates should consider leaving Japan due to rising radiation risks, though it is not offering charter flights out as yet. The ministry also urged people to avoid non-essential trips to Japan for the time being.
Turkey warned its citizens against non-essential travel to Japan.
The United States recommended on Wednesday that its citizens living within 80 km (50 miles) of the Fukushima plant evacuate the area or take shelter indoors.
The State Department earlier urged US citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan.
Venezuela said it had prepared an evacuation plan for its citizens in Japan.
Venezuela’s ambassador in Tokyo, Seiko Ishikawa, said all Venezuelans in the country were well, including those who were in the areas of highest risk.
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