New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
Emergency Planning and Preparedness
The New Zealand Government, through its overseas diplomatic missions, tries to assist New Zealand citizens where possible in emergency situations such as natural disasters or civil unrest. This does not diminish the obligation of New Zealanders overseas to provide for their welfare themselves, for example by taking out medical insurance, making adequate preparations, keeping themselves informed of a situation likely to affect their safety, or being prepared to meet costs incurred in rendering assistance.
Japan is a seismically active country therefore New Zealanders residing here are advised to take steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of a major earthquake or tsunami. Preparations should include arrangement of an emergency supply of food, water and other essentials enough to last several days, familiarising oneself with the location of local evacuation assembly points, and obtaining information from your local city/town office on disaster preparedness.
Earthquake and tsunami casualties in Japan in recent years have included people caught inside collapsed older houses and buildings, people inside buildings in hilly areas struck by sudden landslides or low-lying coastal areas struck by tsunamis, and people struck by heavy toppling unsecured furniture or equipment. New Zealanders are advised to keep these risk factors in mind, for example, when selecting and setting up permanent or temporary accommodation.
The Embassy in Tokyo is not equipped to serve as a refuge for large numbers of displaced people following a major natural disaster like an earthquake. Foreigners in Japan come under the control of the local authorities and are expected to seek assistance and refuge from them in the first instance.
For useful information on earthquake preparedness and response, see the Earthquake Survival Manual under the Guide for Foreign Residents section of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website at http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide_eng/kinkyu/05.html.
In the event of a major disaster occurring in your locality, family and friends in Japan and abroad are likely to hear about it in the media and will be concerned for your welfare. Try and make contact with them as soon as you are able to.