55 Filipinos to be repatriated from Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant

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An April 13, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today that to date, there are 55 Filipinos, including children, within the 100-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant who have confirmed to the Embassy their interest to be repatriated in view of the possible effects of the long-term accumulation of and exposure to radioactive particles in the northeastern region of Japan.
The Embassy has also identified Omiya in Saitama prefecture as a rendezvous area for Filipinos where their travel documents will be processed prior to their repatriation.
The DFA has targeted the departure of the Filipinos on Sunday, April 17.
The Embassy has likewise arranged for their accommodations in Saitama while awaiting repatriation.
This follows the reclassification by the Japanese Government of the crisis level of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident from 5 to 7 in the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).
Level 7 is the most serious level on the INES and is used to describe a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.
Earlier, the Japanese Government declared the area within the 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant as an exclusion zone. Those residing or working in this area have already evacuated.
Prior to their departure for the Philippines, these Filipinos will undergo proper health screening at radiation screening facilities run by the Japanese Government in the area.
There are some 2,000 Filipinos, not counting children, who are within the 100-kilometer radius of the nuclear power plant. Most of these Filipinos are long-term residents in the area, notably spouses of Japanese nationals and their children.
The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) has set up hotline numbers and an e-mail address for those who would like to inquire about the conditions of Filipino relatives in Japan.
The hotline numbers at the DFA-OUMWA’s Crisis Management Center are 834-3245 and 834-3240.  Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.com.
The Philippine Government, through the DFA, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, its Consulate General in Osaka and the Honorary Consulates in Morioka, Sapporo, Nagoya and Naha, is fully committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of Filipino nationals in Japan.