China Moves to Help Nationals leaves
Japan’s Quake-razed Areas
Chinese nationals are waiting at Narita airport in Tokyo on Tuesday March 15, 2011. More than 400 Chinese people have arrived at Narita International Airport at night and will fly back back to China on Wednesday. [Photo: Xinhua] China is rapidly withdrawing its nationals from the areas worst hit by a devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunamis in Japan as severely damaged nuclear power plants there are posing a safety threat.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a notice Tuesday, advising Chinese citizens to avoid traveling to Japan's quake-hit areas for the time being, while stressing that the ministry, the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan will do everything possible to help those Chinese nationals in the disaster-hit areas leave in an orderly manner. The Chinese embassy in Japan also posted an urgent notice on its website Tuesday, saying that the Chinese embassy and the Chinese consulate general in Niigata have taken immediate measures and will use all means possible to help
Chinese nationals who are willing leave the areas worst hit by the quake.
The Chinese embassy and the Chinese consulate general in Niigata have designated some locations in Miyako, Iwate, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures to pick up Chinese nationals and take them to airports by bus.
The embassy said it was organizing the evacuation "due to the seriousness of and uncertainty surrounding the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant at present."
The Japanese government said levels of radiation released by damaged reactors at the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were high enough to threaten human health.
Four of the complex's six reactors have been damaged by explosions. Japan's nuclear safety agency has urged residents living around the nuclear power plant to stay indoors and avoid exposure to possible radioactive substances.
There were at least 22,000 Chinese citizens in Japan after the 9-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunamis occurred, including some 2,900 in Iwate prefecture.
On Wednesday morning, Hu Shengcai, consul general of the Chinese consulate general in Sapporo, confirmed that most of the Chinese nationals in Iwate, one of the worst-hit prefectures, were safe.
Hu told Xinhua over the phone that the consulate general in Sapporo was trying its best to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals and help them move to safe places.
China's Red Cross Society has launched a free service on its website to help family members reunite with those who have gone missing after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunamis in Japan.
As of 3:45 p.m. (0645 GMT) Monday, some 10,746 Chinese nationals were confirmed safe in Japan, the Chinese embassy's figures showed.
China's major airlines were also quick to boost their capability to evacuate Chinese citizens stranded in Japan.