Philippine embassy team proceeding to Japan’s quake-hit northeast region

Philippine embassy in tokyoImage via WikipediaA March 13 press release by the Department of Foreign affairs

The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo stated that an embassy team is headed today, Sunday, by land to the northeast region of Japan to check on the condition of Filipinos there and to extend them assistance in light of the 8.9 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunamis that hit the area.


“We are sending a team there to contact local authorities and our own community leaders and to inquire if there are Filipino casualties,” Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez said Sunday in interviews with Philippine media.

Ambassador Lopez also stated that Filipinos in Tokyo, Osaka and the western regions of Japan are relatively safe. The embassy’s attention is focused on the 4,500 Filipinos in the northeast region, including Sendai city.

The embassy team is in a convoy with representatives from the Indonesian, Thai and Malaysian embassies.

Some 30 Filipino seafarers brought to Fukushima by their company after the quake, are safely housed in a hotel. They are duly cared for.

“Our embassy team will link up with them shortly,” Ambassador Lopez said.

Earlier, the Embassy issued an advisory to the Filipino community to take necessary precautions and report to the embassy or the Philippine consulates nearest them any incident of injuries or fatalities among Filipinos.

The advisory also reiterated the advice of Japanese authorities for them to proceed to city halls or fire stations in cases of emergency so they can receive immediate instructions and care.

Subways and trains in Tokyo are back to normal operations starting Saturday. Elevated highways are likewise passable. Most communication services are still down, but internet services remain operational.

In Manila, upon the direction of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs has activated a Crisis Management team for families who have Filipino relatives in Japan.

Undersecretary Esteban B. Conejos is leading the efforts in support of the embassy in Tokyo and the consulates in Japan.

Philippine embassy officers and staff in Tokyo, as well as those in the Consulate General in Osaka headed by Consul General Maria Lourdes Ramiro-Lopez and the Honorary Consulates in Sapporo, Morioka, Nagoya and Naha, are reaching out to Filipino community leaders and members, as well as quickly responding to request for assistance or information.

In Osaka, the Consulate General there reported that as of date there are no reports of any casualty or injury among Filipino nationals in the 28 prefectures under its jurisdiction.

The Consulate covers Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Nara, Oita, Okayama, Osaka, Saga, Shiga, Shimane, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama and Yamaguchi.

The Embassy and the Consulates are maintaining close contact with city and prefectural governments, and have full personnel complement in place to undertake needed actions.

The Embassy hotline numbers are (00813) 5562-1570, (00813) 5562-1577 and (00813) 5562-1590. Its email address is emergency@philembassy.net.

The consulates’ hotlines are as follows: (06) 6910-7881 for the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, (011) 614-8090 for the Honorary Consulate in Sapporo, and (019) 629-9139 for the Honorary Consulate in Morioka.

The hotline numbers at the DFA-OUMWA’s Crisis Management Center are 834-4646 and 834-4580. Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.com.