All Australians found safe in Japan

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019 by
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Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said consular officials had contacted or otherwise confirmed the safety of everyone on its “unaccounted for” list.


“It’s possible that more names may emerge,” Mr Rudd told parliament on Monday.

“But in terms of the current unaccounted for list that number has now by officials been reduced to zero.

“I would commend publicly the work of our consular officials who have worked around the clock for the last 10 days in the most arduous of circumstances.”

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop welcomed the “extremely good news”.

Earlier, the government announced it would donate $10 million to help Japan get back on its feet after the March 11 earthquake and tsunamis believed to have killed an estimated 20,000 people.

The money will be given to the Red Cross to provide emergency relief and equipment to devastated communities.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to sign a condolence book at Japan’s embassy in Canberra on Monday. Ms Gillard later led a condolence motion in parliament.

“It is hard for any of us to come to grips with the scale of this disaster,” she said.

Mr Abbott said Australians were “united in grief” for the people of Japan. Mr Rudd rejected criticism of Japan’s handling of the disaster, saying the government was responding to appalling circumstances.

“If we were in their position … that would go beyond the normal planning parameters of any disaster relief agency in most countries,” he said.

DFAT says up to 1500 Australians remain in the greater Tokyo area.

It has advised Australians to leave the area unless their presence is essential.

The department said it was aware the UK had updated its travel advice and was distributing iodine tablets as a contingency measure against nuclear contamination.

“We will of course continue to closely monitor all potential health impacts caused by the current situation and are keeping all options under close review,” it said.

A full-scale nuclear disaster at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant appears to have been averted after authorities succeeded in restoring electricity to two of its reactors.

But experts warn the situation at the reactor remains uncertain.

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