Swedes advised not to travel to Japan

The Swedish Foreign Ministry is now advising Swedes against any non-essential travel to all parts of Japan, expanding a previous recommendation cautioning against trips to the areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami which damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry estimates that there are around 2,000 Swedes living in Japan and following advice from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, officials are asking Swedes living inside an area of 80 kilometres from the nuclear plant to leave the area. The SSM says that there is now a risk of meltdown at the plant.

"It is a very dangerous situation," Josefine Päiviö Jonsson told the Expressen newspaper.

Journalists and freelancers working for Swedish television (SVT) today decided the situation was too unsafe and left the country.

On Thursday an official from the Swedish Defence Research Institute said that low concentrations of radioactive particles are heading eastwards from Japan's disaster-hit nuclear power plant towards North America.

Lars-Erik De Geer, research director at the government agency, said that the particles, picked up from a network of international monitoring stations, were at a level not dangerous to human health.

Scandinavian airlines SAS said flights were operating to Japan as normal, but a stopover in Beijing would be added for flights between Wednesday and Friday due to a need for extra crew members to help establish a temporary base in Beijing.

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