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In north-east Japan: The FDFA advises against any type of stay or stop-over in the zones designated by the Japanese authorities as evacuation and exclusion zones around the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant (cf. following section “Damaged nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi”).
The data in the description of the danger zones is approximate since the risks cannot be confined to clearly outlined areas.
Further information: FDFA travel advice (in German / in French / in Italian)
The earthquake and resultant tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. A series of explosions in the plant destroyed the external walls of several reactor blocks causing radioactive substances to leak out.
Emergency procedures are in place and people have been evacuated from an area within a 20 km radius of Fukushima-Daiichi. The Japanese authorities have also ordered protective measures for those within a radius of 20-30 km. In addition, the authorities have decided to extend the evacuation zone beyond the original 20 km zone for certain areas (Deliberate Evacuation Areas) in which the population will have been exposed to a radiation dosage exceeding 20 mSv by March 2012. The municipalities affected by this are Katsurao, Namie, Iitate, and parts of Kawamata and Minami-Soma. To a certain part, these municipalities extend up to 40 km in a north-west direction from the nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi. The 20 km zone surrounding the Fukushima-Daiichi plant has been turned into an exclusion zone. In other adjacent areas, the authorities have recommend that those persons living in certain spots at which a dosage of over 20 mSv is said to have been accumulated (so-called “Specific Spots Recommended for Evacuation”, e.g., in the community of Date), observe special precautionary measures or leave the area in question. A large-scale radiation-measurement operation has begun, covering an area within a radius of over 100 km around Fukushima-Daiichi, for the purpose of indentifying any possible additional such spots lying beyond the current evacuation zones.
On 16 December 2011, the Japanese supervisory authority NISA announced that a state of cold shutdown had been reached. This means that in the view of NISA the reactors are in a safe condition. The danger that large amounts of radioactivity could be released has been reduced further.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NAZ) in Switzerland regularly publishes its most recent assessment of the nuclear situation on its website (in German/French/Italian): National Emergency Operations Centre - Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP
A leaflet regarding the radiological situation and safety measures for Swiss citizens in Japan is available under:
Leaflet regarding the radiological situation and safety measures (pdf, 122 Kb)
Please note that the leaflet is for information only and that information and instructions provided by the Japanese authorities prevail.
The situation at all other initially affected nuclear power plants is considered stable at the moment.
In the latter half of March 2011, the levels of radioactive iodine in drinking water in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the prefectures of Chiba, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Saitama, and Tochigi temporarily exceeded the threshold considered safe for infants. In the meanwhile, these levels dropped below the threshold in all of the initially affected areas, so that currently no restrictions apply for the consumption of tap water.
The Japanese government regularly tests food products for radioactive contamination, especially in the prefectures which were affected by the nuclear fallout. Food products which exceed the strict Japanese thresholds are banned by the authorities from entering the market. At present, in parts of the prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, and Tochigi, certain bans on vegetables, mushrooms, fish, raw milk, freshwater fish, tea, and beef are in vigour. The test results are updated daily and regularly made available under the following English-language websites:
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (all foods and drinking water)
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (for meat, livestock products, fish and seafood)
All Swiss citizens in Japan are advised to regularly follow the news updates and adhere to any advice issued by the competent Japanese authorities in this matter.
Swiss citizens in Japan are invited to regularly update themselves on information concerning the situation and evolution of the radiation level in Fukushima. The instructions and recommendations of the competent Japanese authorities should be followed at all times.
The Swiss Embassy is following the situation very attentively and remains in contact with the Japanese authorities and with experts in Switzerland. All Swiss citizens in Japan are invited to update the Swiss Embassy on their current whereabouts and contact details. The online date collection form here-below can be used for this purpose:
Data collection form for Swiss nationals in Japan - Online form
Swiss citizens can also contact the Embassy directly as follows:
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, Tokyo
Tel. : +81 (0)3 5449 8400
Fax : +81 (0)3 3473 6090
Please remember as a general precaution in the event of a disaster, to keep the following items in close reach: emergency food, water, first-aid kit, mobile phone, and pocket lamp.