Is It Safe To Go To or Live in Japan?
Whether a visit to Japan has been a lifelong dream, or your company is relocating you to Japan, chances are the radiation levels and possibility of future natural disasters have been looming on your mind. How safe is Japan now, anyway? Can you visit or move there now? Will it be safe to visit in the future?
• Travel to Japan
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations associated health regulators have stated that travel to Japan is safe.
While general travel to Japan has been deemed safe at this time, it is important to note that some areas should still be avoided. Besides areas directly surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, most areas have now recovered the use of most essential services. Travel to Tokyo is acceptable, but travel to more rural areas should be approached with caution.
Be aware that many travel insurance companies are denying coverage for recently booked travel to Japan. Trips booked since the earthquake on March 11 will likely not be covered, so it is important to make sure you'll be completing travel before spending money on the trip.
Verdict: With the exception of heavily affected areas, travel to Japan is safe.
• Moving to Japan
Unless you are planning on moving to a rural area of Japan very close to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, or near the epicenter of the March 11 earthquake, moving to Japan is safe at this time. Despite media reports of increased radiation in food even as far as Tokyo, it's important to remember that the levels of radiation found in these foods were not unlike levels found naturally in other foods. Keep in mind, also, that foods that have been deemed to have unsafe levels of radiation in Japan are now restricted from distribution, so irradiated spinach or milk aren't going to accidentally hit the shelves of Japanese grocery stores.
If you are being relocated to Japan for business purposes, it is unlikely that your business would not be informed of the current conditions in the relevant area. If you feel unsure about the situation, it is best to contact the hotel or apartment manager. They will be well informed of the situation, and will be able to advise you as to whether the move would be wise at this time.
Verdict: Don't move to Fukushima or coastal areas close to the epicenter of the recent earthquake. Most other areas, aside from very rural areas heavily affected, are now safe.
My name is Christina Embree and I blog about radiation sickness.