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Sweden to evacuate citizens from Japan

TT/The Local/dl · 18 Mar 2011, 07:21

Published: 18 Mar 2011 07:21 GMT+01:00

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The ministry has arranged for two extra airplanes to depart from Tokyo to the Thai capital, with the first plane set to depart on Friday evening and a second scheduled to leave on Saturday morning.

"There aren't many options for leaving, that's why we're helping with extra planes," foreign ministry spokesperson Tobias Nilsson told the TT news agency.

According to foreign ministry estimates, there are no more than 2,000 Swedes in Japan, although it remains unclear how many of them might be interested in the extra flights arranged by the ministry.

"We hope it's enough but it's hard to know of it's too little or too much," said Nilsson.

If the need ends up being greater than expected, the foreign ministry will review options for additional measures.

Swedes interested in booking a spot on the flights have been instructed to contact the Swedish embassy in Tokyo.

Those who choose to take the flights will be expected to pay their own way.

The decision to evacuate, made late Thursday evening Swedish time, came after the foreign ministry had extended its warning against "non-essential" travel to cover all of Japan.

Story continues below…

Furthermore the ministry recommends that all those within a 80 kilometre radius of the Fukushima nuclear power plant should leave the area.

"It's not a pointed demand to leave the country, but a request for people to take stock of their situation," foreign ministry spokesperson Cecilia Juhlin told TT.

In addition, Ikea has also offered all of its foreign employees in Japan to leave the country and travel to Hong Kong with their families.

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TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:02 March 18, 2011 by byke
Monkey see, Monkey do?

So lets get this straight, first sweden didn't feel it was necessary to evacuate its citizens .... then following other countries it has followed suit and simply copied other civilized nations, right down to advice on danger radius ... and then setting up a chartered evacuation airline, with open arms to all scandinavian nations and then to charge anyone who wishes to escape

Nice ..... thats not a evacuation plan in the interest of its citizens, its a fricken business plan.
09:26 March 18, 2011 by JulieLou40
Greedy b******s!!
12:15 March 18, 2011 by karex
It's a means not to appear like they're doing nothing, by the looks of it. But if falls short of real and effective support. The private companies seem to be handling the situation in a much better and realistic way.
13:55 March 18, 2011 by Nemesis
The flights should be free and immediate. It will also take more than two flights to get 2000 out of Japan.

If the Swedish government can organise free flights from Jordan and Iraq to Malmö, Göteborg and Stockholm for over 100,000 Iraqi's, they sure as hell can lay on four or five large passenger jets for 2000 native Swedes.

The neo-liberal imbeciles in charge of the Swedish government should be taken to task for this.
14:40 March 18, 2011 by byke
I like it how the planes are open to all scandic neighbors, as part of a relief effort yet the cost hasnt been disclosed LOL ... so the price will depend on how successful this enterprise is LOL ....

Not even airlines operate in such shady manners
16:56 March 18, 2011 by Frobobbles
Cowards! If I was living and working in Japan, I would be ashamed to leave them at this hour of adversity.
21:41 March 18, 2011 by EP
In Bolivia there is a saying: As cowardly as a Swede
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