Embassies launch emergency measures

Embassies in Tokyo have started emergency steps such as moving their functions to the Kansai region or flying diplomats’ families out of Japan amid concern over radiation from the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

While the government expressed understanding over their decisions, officials urged the embassies and foreigners living in Japan to stay calm.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Thursday morning he understood their actions because foreign governments are not in control of dealing with the stricken reactors, but he stressed that Japan is issuing its information and warnings based on scientific data.

“I understand to a certain extent that (foreign governments) are making conservative decisions from the viewpoint of protecting their own people because they have no direct control over the situation,” Edano said, adding that Japan would probably do the same if a crisis — nuclear-related or not — broke out abroad.

“But on the other hand . . . we have been and we will continue to give orders of evacuation to protect the health of people based on” radiation levels taken near the Fukushima plant, he said.