Berlin advises Germans to leave Tokyo region

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Germany advised on Wednesday its citizens to leave the greater Tokyo region because of the crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.

"We call on all Germans to leave the region of Tokyo and Yokohama via Osaka," German foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke told a regular government briefing.

The Fukushima plant, in the north of the country, has been hit by a series of explosions after Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami knocked out vital systems cooling the reactors.

Radiation levels in Tokyo's vast urban sprawl of 30 million people have see-sawed without ever reaching harmful levels, according to the Japanese government.

But the government has warned people living up to 10 kilometres (six miles) beyond a 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant to stay indoors. More than 200,000 people have already been evacuated from the zone.

German flag carrier Lufthansa on Tuesday began diverting all Tokyo flights to other Japanese cities.

© 2011 AFP

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