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Foreign Office tells Britons to leave Tokyo and Bahrain

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As the situations in both Japan and Bahrain move to critical levels, the Foreign Office is warning British citizens to get out of Tokyo and Bahrain.

While international nuclear experts attempt to interpret the conflicting information being given out by the Japanese authorities over the exact state of the four stricken Fukushima reactors, the Foreign Office is now advising all Britons to leave Tokyo as soon as possible. The FO is also chartering aircraft to make sure those who need to leave are able to do so using free-of-charge rescue flights.

With experts warning the situation is fast approaching a Chernobyl-style scenario as regard the risk of extremely high radiation levels spreading across the region, most foreigners working in Tokyo are crowding Narita and Haneda airports as well as the Shinkansen line stations in an attempt to get away from the toxic contamination due to result if the worst scenario takes place.

A number of other countries are advising their citizens to flee, including Switzerland, Taiwan, Serbia, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Austria and Finland. Belgium, France, Italy and the Philippines are all arranging evacuation flights in spite of the Japanese Red Cross's statement yesterday Tokyo was still safe. An estimated 17,000 Britons live and work in Japan, with the majority in the threatened area, including Tokyo.

The FO has also told Britons living or working in Bahrain to head for the airport today and attempt to get flights out of the country. Those who were unable to secure tickets, it said, will be catered for with evacuation charter flights. Foreign Secretary William Hague stated he had grave concerns over the escalation of violence in the country after Saudi troops were invited in the Bahraini ruler. According to British officials, the number of UK citizens in Bahrain is known, but is estimated to be several thousand.