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An aerial view of tsunami-ravaged Sendai on March 14. Ottawa is warning Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to Japan, including to Tokyo. (The Associated Press/DLR-ZKI/The Associated Press/DLR-ZKI)
An aerial view of tsunami-ravaged Sendai on March 14. Ottawa is warning Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to Japan, including to Tokyo. (The Associated Press/DLR-ZKI/The Associated Press/DLR-ZKI)

Avoid travelling to Tokyo, Ottawa warns Canadians Add to ...

The Canadian government is now warning Canadians to stay away from Tokyo and surrounding areas if at all possible as Japan's capital struggles with aftershocks from last week's massive earthquake.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is telling Canadians to avoid "non-essential travel" to the Tokyo area as well as more northerly coastal Japanese prefectures hit hard by Friday's huge quake and subsequent tsunamis.

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The death toll from the natural disasters is expected to well exceed 10,000.

"Reports indicate that the earthquake caused extensive damage to infrastructure in the northeastern prefectures of the country," the Foreign Affairs warning says.

"Power and telecommunications have been disrupted. Transportation routes, emergency and medical care, as well as water, food, and fuel supplies may also be affected."

The Canadian government joins the French, German and Swiss in warning their citizens to steer clear of the Kanto region, where Tokyo is located.

Ottawa cautions that a string of coastal prefectures should be avoided, including Chiba, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Iwate, Aomori and Fukushima. "Sendai City, Fukushima City and Aomori City have been hardest hit."

It said that Tokyo, although a bit farther south, is also risky.

"The Tokyo region also experienced significant shaking. Travellers should be aware that transportation routes, power and telecommunications systems could be affected in some areas. Travel to and from Narita International Airport may be difficult," the Canadian government warned.

"Temporary rolling blackouts in Tokyo and neighbouring areas are occurring."

The Canadian government advised citizens to stay well away from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, hard hit by the earthquake and where operators are fighting to prevent a meltdown.

The plant is about 250 kilometres north of Toyko.

"Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima nuclear power plant," the governments says, urging Canadians are to follow the advice issued by the Japanese authorities.

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