Japanese Government: Radiation Exposure Remains Extremely Low Near Airports, Seaports

NEW YORK CITY, New YorkTravel Agent was on site at the Consulate General of Japan in New York Friday morning for a press briefing on the effects of radiation on U.S. clients visiting the country in the aftermath of what is now commonly referred to as the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The bottom line is your clients heading to Japan are more subject to radiation during a routine stomach X-ray than they are when taking a roundtrip flight from New York to Tokyo, according to the Japanese Government.

To give you an idea of how small the dangers of radiation is surrounding the airports and seaports, you first need to know that a millisievert (mSv) is used to measure doses of radiation. One chest X-ray results is 0.05 mSv while a stomach X-ray is 0.6 mSv. A roundtrip flight from New York to Tokyo will result in a radiation dosage of a mere 0.2 mSv.

In fact, as of April 1, Tokyo’s radiation level was only slightly higher than New York’s. In New York, there was an average of 0.095 mSv an hour record during a seven-day span, ending on April 1. The level in Tokyo the day before the accident averaged 0.0338.

The reconstruction of Sendai Airport, which was badly damaged by the tsunami showed surprisingly rapid progress thanks to the cooperation between the U.S. Armed Forces and Japanese Self-Defense Forces. The entire runway was restored and became useable by March 28. Passenger flights from Haneda-Sendai and Isaka (Itami)-Miyagi resumed operation on April 13, roughly a month after the earthquake.

Quays of all major ports in the quake-hit pacific coast from Aomori to Ibaraki became useable by May 24. The ports damaged by the tsunami are gradually recovering function.

None of the 26 trains operating at the time of the earthquake derailed, nor was there any serious damage to elevated bridges and stations, or collapse of tunnels. The entire Tohoku Shinkansen resumed operation on April 29.

The most-powerful earthquake in Japan's recorded history struck off the country's northeast coast in early March, leaving hundreds of people dead, injured or missing. The 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a deadly tsunami that resulted in major devastation including severe damage to nuclear plants.

Be sure to continue monitoring the situation in Japan by visiting www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/index.html.