Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Avoid Saitama - Swedish government advises!
Now, slowly, one by one the countries are starting to lift their recommendations to avoid "non-essential" travel to Tokyo. The Brits lifted it earlier in the week and now opens up for visits to Tokyo even of "non-essential" nature, which I, wrongly or not, interpret as that they're saying that "it's ok to go there as a tourist". The Brits still keep the recommendation to avoid going to the affected regions "north-east of Tokyo". The US are still keeping their recommendation of avoiding non-essential travel to Tokyo, but I would be surprised if this wasn't changed too in the coming days. Now, Sweden have also opened up for travel to Tokyo, but the Swedes are a lot more precis in which areas to not go to and still recommends people to avoid going to the prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Yamagata, Niigata, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki and Saitama... Mind you, this is the same government that refered to Fukushima as "Fukuchima" on the offical homepage of the foreign ministry.
I like how this precis division of which prefectures are "safe" and which should be avoided so clearly shows a complete ignorance of how the greater Kanto region actually looks. Northern Chiba prefecture is for instance actually much closer to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant than most parts of Saitama, but Chiba prefecture is not mentioned and is apparently with the same standards considered completely "safe" to go to.
Or maybe, just maybe, this is actually a strategic thing they starting to do here. Perhaps they will lift restrictions a little by little until only Saitama is remaining and then just keep a permanent recommendation to avoid "non-essential travel" there? Considering that Saitama is a sad and barren place compared to the lushness of Chiba? I would fully support this since it makes perfect sense!