13 September 2018
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit Iburi-chiho, Chutobu at 3 am local time in Hokkaido on 6 September 2018, triggering landslides, power outages and damage to buildings. As of 13 September 2018, New Chitose Airport and shinkansen (bullet trains) services in Hokkaido have resumed normal operations.
As there have been reports of tremors and aftershocks in the area following the strong earthquake, we advise Singaporeans who are either travelling to or already in Hokkaido to exercise caution, remain vigilant, and take the necessary precautions for their personal safety. You should also heed the instructions of the local authorities and closely monitor the local news. Singaporeans whose flights have been affected should check with your airlines or tour operators for up-to-date flight schedules, and may wish to consider alternative travel arrangements.
Singaporeans are encouraged to e-Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/. You are also advised to stay in touch with family and friends so that they know you are safe, purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage. Those in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore – Tokyo
5-12-3- Roppongi Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-0032 Japan
Tel: +81-3-35869111, 81-3-35869112 / +81-90-32084122 (24 hours)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tanglin, Singapore 248163
Tel: 6379 8800, 6379 8855
Japan is generally a safe country to visit, with low crime and violence. However, we advise Singaporeans travelling or living in Japan to take the necessary precautions and exercise personal responsibility at all times.
Japan is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, snowstorms, flooding, etc.
There were several major disasters in 2018; 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Hokkaido in September, typhoon “Jebi” in Osaka in September, torrential rain in West Japan in July, 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Osaka in June. These have caused power outage, landslides, flood and disruptions to the local transportations in the affected areas. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has also warned that there could be further tremors and aftershocks in the region affected by the major earthquakes.
In the event of an emergency, please follow the advice and instructions of the local authorities. As transportation could be affected in such situations, Singaporeans should check with the respective airlines or tour operators for up-to-date flight schedules, and may wish to consider alternative transport arrangements.
Singaporeans travelling to the affected areas are advised to monitor the local situation at the following websites.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) for travel notice: https://www.japan.travel/en/travel-directory/latest-news/travel-advisories-news/
Please stay up to date on the latest weather conditions by checking the JMA’s website. For instance, winter in Japan is known for heavy snowfalls and avalanches, especially in northern parts like Hokkaido. Travellers are advised to make appropriate preparations for driving in winter and possible flight/train delays or cancellations due to adverse weather conditions. These include having adequate medication, food and other necessities, etc.
There has been a series of nuclear and missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Some of the missiles had entered Japanese airspace. Singaporeans travelling to Japan should remain vigilant and monitor the news to stay updated on the latest developments. In addition to announcements made via public sirens, Japan has introduced a J-Alert system which provides emergency information through local telco. However, please note that J-Alert messages are currently only in Japanese language. For more details on emergency protection measures in the event of a missile attack, please refer to the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat’s Civil Protection Portal (http://www.kokuminhogo.go.jp/en/pc-index_e.html).