Britain downgrades Tokyo travel warning

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Britain Wednesday downgraded its warning over travel to Tokyo but advised its citizens against visiting northeastern Japan following last month's earthquake and crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

"We no longer advise against non-essential travel to Tokyo," a statement from the Foreign Office (FCO) said.

"However, we continue to advise against all non-essential travel to those areas north east of Tokyo," it added.

The decision was taken on Tuesday on the recommendation of John Beddington, the government's chief scientific advisor.

"The risks are gradually declining as the reactors cool and as facilities to stabilise them are established," explained the government statement.

The quake and resultant tsunami left more than 12,000 people dead or missing and wiped out the nuclear reactors' cooling systems.

Radiation levels rose sharply at the plant, 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, in the aftermath of the disaster, making it the world's worst nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

© 2011 AFP

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