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Sweden to evacuate citizens from Japan

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Sweden to evacuate citizens from Japan
07:21 CET+01:00
The Swedish foreign ministry has offered to fly Swedes and other Scandinavians wishing to leave Japan out of the country via Bangkok.

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.

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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