THE 40 Bruneians living in Japan face negligible threat of exposure to harmful levels of radiation, as radiation levels in Tokyo and other parts of Japan are too low to be detrimental to their health, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT) in a statement yesterday.
MoFAT has reported that all 40 Brunei nationals are safe and none are known to be staying in Fukushima where three explosions were witnessed from a nuclear power plant following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on Friday.
The statement follows widespread panic after rumours about the radiation leak reaching Brunei, circulated through SMS, email and social networking sites.
"Apart from areas within a 30km radius from the power plant, the Japanese authorities have reported that the level of radiation in other parts of Japan, including Tokyo, remain low and are not harmful to people's health," the statement read.
Fukishima is located approximately 260km northeast of Tokyo.
On Monday, a hoax text message purporting to be a BBC News Flash claimed that Asian countries should take necessary precautions in the aftermath of the Fukishima leak as radiation particles could be spread through rain causing burns, alopecia and cancer.
In response, the news organisation issued a statement on its website saying: "The BBC has issued no such flash but the hoax has caused particular panic in the Philippines."
The Ministry of Health (MoH) also came out with a statement yesterday saying the radiation leak does not affect any other Asian countries besides Japan.
"At present, the threat of harmful radiation is limited to areas near the nuclear reactor and does not affect Brunei," said the MoH.
The ministry added it will continue to monitor the situation with the cooperation of the World Health Organisation and health agencies from neighbouring countries.
MoFAT said it will continue to monitor the situation closely and that all known Brunei nationals have been evacuated from disaster-affected areas.
The Ministry also urges all Brunei nationals in Japan who have yet to register with the embassy to do so immediately.
-The Brunei Times/Asia News Network
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