Travel organisations confirm Japan is safe

Travelers to Japan have been reassured after two major air travel organizations quelled fears over health and transportation worries.

The Geneva-based International Air Transport Association has received confirmation from six United Nations agencies monitoring the impact of Japan’s damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that there are no threats to human health or any major disruption to air travel to or within the country.

The UN statement, released on April 2, also ruled out the need for passengers arriving from Japan to undergo screening for radiation at air or seaports around the world.

The joint statement was issued by the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Tourism Organization.

Continuous monitoring around Japan’s airports confirms that radiation levels are well within safe limits from a health perspective, according to the organizations’ studies.

Travelers visiting Japan by air have been advised to consult a dedicated website established by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau: http://www.mlit.go.jp/koku/flyjapan_en/ for further updates.

Giovanni Bisingani, director general and CEO of IATA said that safety was always the top priority.

“The transparent and continuous monitoring of the situation has allowed Japanese and international authorities to confirm that Japan’s airports remain open and safe for travelers and transport workers,” he said.

“It is important that governments and industry respond to the challenges of this crisis with best practices supported by expert advice.

“We are reassured that the UN is not recommending screening measures for passengers coming from Japan”.

That assessment was supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which also concurred there is no threat to travelers from nuclear radiation from the Fukushima plant, 220 km north of Tokyo.

The organization, based in Montreal, said: “Radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is gradually spreading outside Japan into the global atmosphere but at extremely low concentrations that do not present health or transportation safety hazards.”

It also confirmed that all airports in Japan except Sendai, which was badly damaged when the March 11 tsunami swept out of the Pacific Ocean, are operating normally for both domestic and international flights.

Freya Leng