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  • Travel update : Japan

    The terrible earthquake that hit Japan on Friday was a shock for everyone, and although a few days have passed since the quake, the country is unfortunately still not safe. It’s sad when you find out that another country and its people are hit by a disaster, natural or otherwise, and just as sad when you think of all the natural beauty that was destroyed.

    Luckily, Japan is a country that’s advanced both economically and technologically, and hopefully it will recover as fast as possible. Here are some travel updates for those who were planning on visiting this amazing country in the near future.

    Flights were cancelled after the quake, but it seems that now the situation is returning to normal. As of today, flights to and from Tokyo resumed their normal schedules. Haneda and Narita airports, two of the largest and busiest airports in Japan, are now open for traffic, but the situation in Japan is still critical and travel is not advisable.

    Various national governments have issued warnings against traveling to Japan, and although it is up to you whether you want to go, it’s best to keep in mind the advice of your local government, especially if you are going to the north-eastern part of the country.

    Over 400 aftershocks have been felt in Japan since Friday, and according to the Japan Metropolitan Agency, there are very high chances or a 7.0 magnitude or higher replica in the days following March 11. If you have any business to attend to in Japan, you can now travel to Tokyo, but if you were going to fly there for a holiday, it’s probably best to put off your plans for now.

    Not only is the country in a state of emergency and busy recovering from the damage (and  travel can disrupt essential services), but the Fukushima reactor is still in danger of a meltdown that can result in a worse disaster than the one at Chernobyl.

    If you want to cancel your flight, you should check with your airline. Many airlines issued waivers and refunds for flight to Japan, so you can probably get some ( if not all) of your money back. In the meantime, you can help Japan by donating to the Red Cross (go to their website or or text “Red Cross” to 90999 to donate $10 for each text message).

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