Chinese tour groups reported safe in Japan after earthquake

18:18, March 12, 2011      

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China's National Tourism Administration (NTA) said Saturday that 215 Chinese tour groups in Japan had confirmed to be safe after a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the country's eastern coast Friday.

A total of 4,578 Chinese tourists were staying in Japan at the time of the quake. By Saturday noon, all the 215 tour groups that they booked with had contacted domestic travel agencies, with no death or injury reported, said the NTA upon information from local tourism authorities.

The NTA has activated the emergency response system and issued a travel alert for Japan and countries along the Pacific Rim, it said in a statement on its website.

The NTA has also called for travel agencies to protect the security of Chinese tourists in Japan and keep in touch with the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan, as well as China's tourism authorities.

Chinese tour agencies had started to bring back tourists from the quake-hit Japan and many trips had been called off.

China CYTS Tours, one of China's major travel agencies, had promised a full refund for trip cancellation and offered to bear the extra expense for tourist protection in disasters and unrest.

A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Japan's main Honshu Island at 1:46 p.m. Beijing Time Friday, which had triggered huge tsunami along Japan's Pacific coast and caused hundreds of deaths and catastrophic damage.

Source: Xinhua

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