Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japan 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami — U.S. Government Information

USA.gov, the U.S. Government’s official web site, has set up a general information and status page for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The page includes links to a number of resources:

    *Updates on air quality and food safety in the United States.
    *Information about Potassium Iodide (KI).
    *Monitoring of food, mail, and cargo from Japan.
    *Information about evacuations for Americans in Japan.
    *Advisories on travel to Japan.
    *Information about donations and relief efforts.
    *Disaster preparedness resources.

See the Japan 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami — U.S. Government Information page at http://www.usa.gov/Japan2011.shtml

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival Logo Unveiled

uchinanchu-taikai.jpg On March 11th Nakaima Hirokazu, the Governor of Okinawa, unveiled the logo symbol for this year’s 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival.

The logo was selected from over 200 submissions and features a combination of Okinawan “Kachashi” dancing and the character “kokoro” (”heart”). The colors represent each of the five continents.

The Uchinanchu Taikai is a rare opportunity developed to allow Uchinanchu from all over the world to return to the islands and reconnect with their heritage and culture. The First Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival was held in 1990, and the Fifth Uchinanchu Taikai will be held from October 13-16, 2011 in Okinawa, Japan.

Naka’s Travel Service will be escorting a special tour to the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu festival from Honolulu.

Monday, March 21, 2011

WHO: No restrictions on travel to Japan

The World Health Organization, the directing and coordinating authority on international health
within the United Nations’ system, is not advising restrictions on travel to Japan.

According to the March 18th news release:

International flight and maritime operations can continue normally into and out of Japan’s major airports and sea ports, excluding those damaged by the tsunami, according to the latest information available from the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

While there is currently no medical basis for imposing restrictions, the United Nations organizations are monitoring the situation closely and will advise of any changes.

Screening for radiation of international passengers from Japan is not considered necessary at this time. Currently available information indicates that increased levels have been detected at some airports, but these do not represent any health risk.

Further information is available on the website of the World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en/

Friday, March 18, 2011

2011 Japan Crisis Page on Google

Google has set up a Google Crisis Response page containing resources and information related to the massive earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami.

The most prominent feature on the Google Crisis Response page is Person Finder 2011: Japan Earthquake, which allows users to either search for information about people in the area, or to post information about people for others to see.

The page also includes a list of resources, maps, and breaking news, including information on scheduled blackouts, transportation (train, buse, airplane), shelter locations and much more.

Please see the Google Crisis Response page for more information:

http://www.google.co … /japanquake2011.html

The page is also available in Japanese:

http://www.google.co … /japanquake2011.html

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Better Safe than Sorry - Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Any traveler planning a trip abroad would be well advised to make all of the necessary preparations before leaving on their trip, and now there is a way to be even better prepared! You may not have heard of a program recommended by the US State Department for travelers abroad - the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, but this simple online registration can prove invaluable in case of an emergency while traveling or living abroad.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.

STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

See the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program page on the U.S. State Department website for more information, or to enroll online:

https://travelregist … n.state.gov/ibrs/ui/