Travel Advice from UK Foreign Office

Thu, Mar 17, 2011

foreign policy

Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for updated information.

17 March 2011

·       We advise against all non essential travel to Tokyo and north eastern Japan given the damage caused by the 11 March earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunami. Due to the evolving situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility and potential disruptions to the supply of goods, transport, communications, power and other infrastructure, British nationals currently in Tokyo and to the north of Tokyo should consider leaving the area.

·       The most recent advice from the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser remains that for those outside the exclusion zone set up by the Japanese authorities there is currently no real human health issue that people should be concerned about. This advice is kept under constant review.

·       The Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE), chaired by the Chief Scientific Adviser, has been examining possible worst case scenarios.  Even in these worst cases, it considers that the risks to human health beyond a radius of 80km from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be managed by precautionary measures, in particular staying indoors to avoid exposure.

·       We urge British nationals to observe the advice being given by Japanese authorities.  The Japanese Government has put in place an exclusion zone of 20km around the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which must be observed, and they are advising people between 20km and 30km of the plant to remain indoors.

·       As an additional precautionary measure, British nationals are advised to remain outside an 80km radius of the Fukushima nuclear facility.  This is in line with the advice issued by the US Government to its citizens.

·       Any British nationals currently within 80km of the facility are advised to leave the area or take shelter indoors if they are unable to travel. For people within 80km of the Fukushima nuclear facility, please contact the Foreign Office Japan emergency hotline on +44 20 7008 0000 for further advice.

Flights

 

·       The UK government is chartering flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong to supplement commercially available options for those wishing to leave Japan.

·       The first option for leaving Japan should remain commercial routes.  Commercial flights continue to operate to and from Japan.  British nationals

with commercial flight bookings should continue to use these flights and you should continue to make reservation and other arrangements with your airline as usual.

·       If you wish to leave and cannot secure tickets for a commercial flight, you can register your interest in using our charter option to leave Japan by calling +44 20 7008 6900.  We will take your details and contact you as soon as possible to confirm places on the flight and details of departure (we may call at inconvenient times).

·       For those British nationals and their immediate families directly affected by the tsunami there will be no charge.  FCO staff will be available in Hong Kong to help you with onward bookings.

·       For British nationals and their immediate families who were not directly affected by the tsunami, and who want to make use of this option, there will be a charge of £600 per person, in line with commercial flight options.

·       Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China which operates its own immigration controls distinct from those of mainland China.  British nationals can stay in Hong Kong for up to six months without a visa provided the passport is valid for the duration of the stay in Hong Kong.  For further details about Hong Kong entry requirements including the requirements for non-British nationals please check the website of the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas_4.htm

·       The most recent advice from the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser remains that for those outside the exclusion zone set up by the Japanese authorities there is currently no real human health issue that people should be concerned about. This advice is kept under constant review.

·       As an additional precautionary measure, British nationals are advised to remain outside an 80km radius of the Fukushima nuclear facility.  This is in line with the advice issued by the US Government to its citizens.

·       We 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 to use ventilation if you are between 20km and 30km from the facility.  If you are currently between 30km and 80km from the facility, we advise you to leave the area or take shelter indoors if you are unable to travel.  For people within 80km of the Fukushima nuclear facility, please contact the Foreign Office Japan emergency hotline on +44 20 7008 0000 for further advice.
Those in areas directly affected by the tsunami
 

 

·       In response to requests for assistance to leave the area affected by the tsunami, the British Embassy will be operating two coaches from Sendai to Tokyo on 18 March.  The coaches will be at our Consular Reponse Centre in Sendai at the ANA Holiday Inn, 1-4-1 Shintera Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, 984-0051 Japan at 12:00 (midday) on 18 March.  All those interested in making this journey should register passengers by contacting the British Embassy in Tokyo on (+81) 35 211 1356 if calling from the UK or 035 211 1356 if calling within Japan.  We must limit baggage to one piece of luggage per person.

·       To enable us to gauge the level of interest in further coach services, those interested should call us on +44 20 7008 0000 (from Japan) or 020 7008 0000 (in the UK).  You can also e-mail the Foreign Office at: japan.earthquake@fco.gov.uk or Skype (text not call) on “fcojapan”. You will be asked for details about the number of people in your party wishing to travel, your whereabouts and your contact details. We will then follow up contact with you to advise of the precise transport options available as these details are confirmed.

British nationals in the vicinity of Sendai

·       The British Embassy has established a Consular Response Centre in Sendai, at the ANA Holiday Inn, located at 1-4-1 Shintera Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, 984-0051 Japan.  The Holiday Inn’s telephone number is (+81) 22 256 5111, if calling from the UK, or 022 256 5111, if calling within Japan.

British nationals in the vicinity of Morioka

·       The British embassy has also established a Consular Response Centre at the Daiwa Roynet Hotel Morioka, located at 1-8-10 O-dori Morioka-shi, Iwate.  The hotel’s telephone number is +81 19 604 2155, if calling from the UK or 019 604 2155 if calling from within Japan (please ask for room 219).

·       British nationals in Japan should contact the Foreign Office helpline in London both if they require assistance and to report that they are safe: +44 20 7008 0000 (from Japan) or 020 7008 0000 (in the UK). You can also e-mail the Foreign Office on  japan.earthquake@fco.gov.uk or skype (text not call) on “fcojapan”.  British nationals currently in Japan should also contact family and friends in the UK to confirm their well-being at the earliest opportunity. Where telephone services are not available, it may be possible to contact people using e-mail or social media such as Twitter or Facebook. 

·       We urge all British nationals in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami to remain alert to gas leaks, broken glass and other hazards; and open doors and/or windows to avoid being locked in if there are aftershocks. 

·       Please also monitor local TV and radio for information. Radio stations in the Tokyo area that have emergency information in English include the US Armed Forces station at 810Am and InterFM (76.1FM).

Travel Documents

·       If your passport is invalid or currently unavailable, you may apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) or Emergency Passport (EP) at the British Embassy in Tokyo.  The British Consulate-General in Osaka is unable to issue ETDs, but can process applications for one-way EPs.

·       In order to handle the increase in demand for travel documents from those people who have been directly affected by recent events, the Embassy in Tokyo and Consulate-General in Osaka will be operating extended service hours as follows for travel documents:

 

British Embassy Tokyo:  08:00 - 19:00
British Consulate-General:  09:30 - 20:30

To apply for an ETD or an EP, you will need to supply the following:
  

- A completed application form (available to download from our website or in paper copy at the Embassy or Consulate-General.

- Proof of identity (Japanese alien registration card, Japanese driving licence, UK driving licence etc)

- Two passport photos.

- A flight itinerary if travel plans are already known.

- A fee of Y12360   

·       There is no need to make an appointment for your application. You should try to visit the Embassy or Consulate-General during normal working hours, when consular staff will be able to issue the emergency document. 

·       Consular staff are however also available on a 24-hour basis for consular assistance to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. 

Transport

·       Travellers should be aware that Japan’s transport systems are experiencing continued disruption.   We understand that:

- Long distance trains from Tokyo station heading north are either not operating or are subject to severe delays. 

The Tokyo metro is operating a reduced service on some lines.

- The Bullet trains and the Tokyo monorail remain in full service.  The Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet trains that run to Osaka, Kyoto and other destinations in the south of Japan) is in normal service, though tickets are in high demand. 

- Narita Express is suspended but Airport Narita (Rapid Service) is operating as scheduled.  The Keisei Skyliner is operating to a Saturday and Holiday schedule.

 

·       Airports: 

-        NRT/Tokyo Narita – Open

-       HND/Tokyo Haneda – Open

-        Sendai – Closed

-        Sado – Closed

-        Iwate-Hanamaki – Partially Open

-        UKB/Kobe – Open

-        KIX/Osaka – Open

-        KIJ/Niigata – Open

-        Amori – Partially Open

-        Akita – Partially Open

-        Misawa – Partially Open

-        Yamagata – Open

-        Shonai – Open

-        Odate Noshiro – Open

-        Fukushima – Partially Open  

 

·       British nationals wishing to leave Japan by air should contact their airline to check for details of flight times.  Further general advice can be found on the British Embassy website.

 

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