We all recognize the enormous impact the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and corresponding dangerous situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has had on Japan and the Canadian citizens residing in Japan. The Embassy of Canada in Tokyo is working to provide the best possible guidance to Canadian citizens in Japan. To this end, we are updating Canadian citizens in Japan on current advice and information.
The travel warnings for Japan were updated on April 8, 2011:
Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and surrounding areas:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) advises against all travel within 80 km of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
Following damage to the Fukushima nuclear power station in Okumacho, Canadians are strongly advised to follow the advice issued by the Japanese authorities. An evacuation order is in effect for the zone within 20 km of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Japanese authorities recommend that people between 20 km and 30 km from the plant remain indoors with windows and doors closed and refrain from using ventilation systems.
Given the evolving situation, Canadians located within 80 km of the plant are advised that they should, as a further precautionary measure, evacuate this area. The directions of the Japanese government and local emergency response personnel should also be followed by all Canadians in Japan.
Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures:
DFAIT advises against non-essential travel to Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
The earthquake and tsunami caused extensive damage to infrastructure in these prefectures. Ongoing reconstruction efforts are affecting telecommunications, transportation routes, emergency and medical care, as well as power, water, food and fuel supplies. Canadians in these prefectures should exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.
Canadians should exercise a high degree of caution in northern Honshu.
In areas of northern Honshu less affected by the earthquake and tsunami, commercial means of transportation are available for travel. Canadians are advised to verify the availability of transport and other services, and confirm their reservations prior to departure, as there may be limitations in some regions. Water, food, and fuel supplies may be disrupted in some areas.
Canadians are urged to monitor our travel report for Japan for travel advice and advisories: http://voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=140000
Information on radiation levels in Japan:
Following consultations with Government of Canada experts, and based on information available from the Government of Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Government of Canada has assessed that at this stage there is no indication that there is a radiation health risk to Canadian citizens in Japan (outside the evacuation zone) and in other countries in Asia.
Based on current information, areas outside the Japanese evacuation zone are not subject to radiation levels associated with a health risk. Health risks still exist within the Japanese evacuation zone; therefore, Canadians should not enter this area and should continue to follow the instructions of local authorities.
On April 12, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan raised the alert level of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from a 5 to a 7, according to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. While there has been some media comparison to the Chernobyl event, which had been put at the same level, this comparison should be viewed with extreme caution. Japanese authorities confirmed that this is a backward-looking assessment based on better estimates of the amount of radioactive contamination released in the early days of the crisis. It is not meant to imply that there has been a sudden change to the levels of radioactive contamination. Environmental radioactivity levels continue to remain very low outside the immediate vicinity of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Information on the status of nuclear facilities in Japan can also be obtained on the websites of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Potassium iodide (KI) is only needed in a worst case situation where there is a large amount of radiactive iodine in the environment. At this time, only people in the immediate areas of the Fukushima Power Plant might need this medication. The Government of Canada does not advise anyone to take KI. KI will be available from local health authorities in Japan if the need arises and should only be taken on instruction from the Japanese authorities.
Please visit DFAIT’s information fact sheet on Japan’s radiation levels for further information on health, potassium iodide and food safety: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/issues_enjeux/article-eng.asp?id=1106
Are you and your family prepared? Learn more about emergency preparedness and how to create an emergency plan and kit at www.getprepared.gc.ca.
Connect with us:
Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information on the evolving situation in Japan at: http://twitter.com/#!/DFAIT_MAECI
If your contact information has changed, or if your location has changed, please update your profile in the Registration of Canadians Abroad service on www.voyage.gc.ca/register or send an email to the Consular Section of the Embassy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct any questions you may have to the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo:
or to the 24 hour Emergency Operations Office in Ottawa at:
Take care and stay safe,
Embassy of Canada