Foreigners again flood immigration

Foreign residents flooded the Tokyo Immigration Bureau early Thursday seeking re-entry permits as fears of a nuclear crisis prompted them to make plans to leave temporarily if needed.

More than 2,500 foreign residents had formed a long line stretching outside the immigration office as of noon, apparently due to fears of the unfolding crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

The bureau, part of the Justice Ministry, said it had received re-entry permit requests from about 10,000 foreign residents as of Wednesday and that Thursday’s figure could exceed it.

The bureau said it would issue permission to those who arrived by 4 p.m., even if the process takes extra hours and goes into the middle of the night.