March 16 (Reuters) - Following are travel warnings from several countries following an earthquake and tsunami and subsequent crisis at a nuclear power complex.
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-- Australia has upgraded its travel warning for Japan, with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd urging its citizens with non-essential roles in Japan to consider leaving Tokyo and the eight prefectures most damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.
Rudd said the advice was due to problems with Japan’s infrastructure, such as its power and water supplies and transport system, and was not related to concerns with Japan’s nuclear reactors.
“Given all these problems with, frankly, just basic infrastructure on the ground and water supply questions and food distribution questions that if your presence is not essential than you should consider, if you’re in Tokyo or in those affected prefectures, departing those locations,” Rudd told Australian television.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said 94 Australians remained unaccounted for in the areas worst affected by the quake and tsunami.
-- Britain’s Foreign Office advised against all non-essential travel to Tokyo and the northeast of Japan.
“We are actively monitoring the situation at nuclear facilities and urge British nationals to observe the advice being given by Japanese authorities, including the 20km exclusion zone around the Fukushima facility and to remain indoors, keep windows and doors closed and not use ventilation if you are between 20km and 30km from the facility,” the British embassy in Tokyo said on its website.
-- Canada warned its citizens to avoid all travel within 20 km (12 miles) of the Fukushima nuclear power Plant, and to avoid non-essential travel to areas of northern Japan that were near the quake and hit by the subsequent tsunami.
-- Canadians were also warned to “exercise a high degree of caution” in travelling to the Tokyo region because of damage suffered by its transportation, power and telecommunication systems.
-- Croatia recommended that citizens postpone any journeys to Japan. It advised Croatian citizens currently in Japan not to travel to the areas affected by the disaster and to remain in contact with the embassy in Tokyo for further notice.
-- The French embassy in Tokyo urged its citizens in Tokyo to leave the country or head to southern Japan. It said it had asked Air France to mobilise planes for the evacuation of French nationals from Japan, and two were already on their way.
Industry Minister Eric Besson said the situation at the Fukushima plant appeared to be getting out of control.
Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet branded the situation in Japan a “catastrophe” and said the latest information on Wednesday “does not lead to optimism”.
“We recommend that all French citizens who do not have a good reason to stay in Tokyo either take a plane or, if they absolutely insist on staying, head south,” Kosciusko-Morizet said.
-- The foreign ministry advised Germans to consider if their travel to the Yokohama/Tokyo region was necessary.
-- “Given the current situation, the foreign ministry warns against staying in the crisis region and advises all Germans near nuclear plants or in the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area to consider whether staying in Japan is necessary,” it said on its website.
-- Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to advise avoiding all non-essential travel to Tokyo and the affected north-east regions.
“There is a high risk to your safety in prefectures in Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami and we advise against all tourist and non-essential travel to those affected areas in the north east of Japan until the situation becomes clear,” the New Zealand embassy in Tokyo said on its website.
-- The Philippines has advised people to defer non-essential travel to Japan, but had not issued a travel ban.
“Our fear is that they will be stranded there,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis told reporters. “There are still aftershocks and there is this nuclear meltdown threat. We are asking them to postpone their trip if not necessary.”
The government is not evacuating citizens from Japan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says there are more than 200,000 Filipinos in Japan, including about 4,500 in the worst-affected area.
-- Slovakia has recommended 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.
-- “We advise against any non-urgent travels to the troubled areas of Japan. To those Slovenian citizens that cannot postpone their travel to Japan, we advise extreme caution and additional checking of conditions in areas to which they are travelling,” the foreign ministry said on its website.
-- The South Korean foreign ministry has issued a travel advisory for Japan. It advised against travel to the Fukushima area and other areas north of Tokyo.
-- Taiwan‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued its highest level of warning for 13 Japanese prefectures in view of potential widespread radiation release.
-- Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has warned Turkish citizens against travelling to Japan following the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
“It is recommended that our citizens postpone their travel to Japan at this stage if it is not essential,” the ministry said in a statement.
-- The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time and also requests all non-essential official U.S. government personnel defer travel to Japan.
(Compiled by Asiadesk +65 6870 3815