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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 5 August 2021

Irish warned against non-essential travel to Japan

French government urging its citizens to leave Tokyo and move to the south of the country or return to France, while British embassy is organising transport to help people leave tsunami-struck Sendai.

Snow falls over the debris in Sendai, Japan, today.
Snow falls over the debris in Sendai, Japan, today.
Image: AP Photo/Kyodo News

IRISH PEOPLE ARE BEING ADVISED not to travel to Japan unless their journey is essential, and to avoid the north-eastern part of the country which is worst affected by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that following the third explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant in the east of the country, the Japanese authorities had advised anyone living within 20-30km to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

In a statement posted online, the DFA said:

Given the situation, we would encourage Irish citizens to consider the necessity for their presence in the north east of Japan and the Tokyo region.  This is particularly the case for people with small children. Those seeking to leave these areas should make a travel reservation as soon as possible.

It adds that the department is monitoring developments at the Fukushima plant and will be taking statements from Japanese authorities and independent health experts into account when updating its advice.

Although Narita International Airport in Tokyo is open, flights have been seriously delayed and disrupted.

Aftershocks continue in Japan following Friday’s earthquake and yesterday a 6.1 magnitude quake struck about 72 miles south-west of Tokyo, at a depth of just one kilometre.

The French government has urged its citizens to leave Japan, while Britain is scheduling a bus to take its citizens from Sendai to Tokyo tomorrow.

The French Embassy in Japan said any French citizens who do not have to stay in Tokyo should return to France or move to the south of Japan. Prime Minister Francois Fillon has asked Air France to mobilise aircraft in the region to respond to requests from French people in Japan who want to get back to France.

The British Embassy is organising a bus to take people from the tsunami-affected region in the north to Tokyo, but anyone who wants to get a seat needs to register their interest with the embassy in Tokyo.

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