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Embassies closing, moving south of Tokyo, Japan reports

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Carriers cleaned for radiation exposure
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan's Foreign Ministry said 25 missions have shut down or left Tokyo
  • The embassies are largely from European, African and Latin American countries
RELATED TOPICS
  • Tokyo
  • Japan
  • 2011 Japan Disaster

Tokyo (CNN) -- Embassies from more than two dozen countries have either closed down or moved operations to cities south of Tokyo since the March 11 earthquake and the resulting nuclear crisis in northern Japan, the country's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

"There are 25 embassies which either temporary shut down or moved its function outside of Tokyo," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hidenori Sobashima told CNN. Seven of those 25 have moved to cities such as Osaka, Hiroshima and Kobe, Sobashima said.

Those closing or moving included embassies from five European countries, including Germany and Switzerland; 14 African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana; and four from Latin America.

The news came as Japanese authorities reported that radioactive iodine had turned up in the capital's tap water at levels above those considered safe for infants. Tokyo's water agency said the likely source was the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, 240 kilometers (150 miles) to the north.

The news sparked a run on bottled water in Tokyo despite calls by government officials to avoid hoarding.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.

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