Thousands swamp immigration

Spooked by the radiation leak at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, thousands of people this week have been applying for re-entry permits in preparation for evacuation from Japan.

On Wednesday, the number of applicants at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau appeared to surpass the nearly 5,000 who lined up Tuesday, according to a bureau official.

The Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau Wednesday also began accepting inquiries about whether foreigners registered in Disaster Relief Act-applicable areas in Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are still in Japan.

To make an inquiry, the nationality, name, birth date, sex and address of both applicant and foreigner must be provided.

For more info, contact the Immigration Bureau at (03) 3592-8120. Inquiries are accepted Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Inquiries can also be sent by fax at (03) 3592-7368 or by e-mail: