Japan is open for business

Tokyo, Japan, is ready for you.

Two months following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, officials are now spreading the word that the island nation is safe for visitors traveling on business and pleasure.

“The health and safety risks to areas beyond the 50-mile evacuation zone, and particularly to Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama, nearby U.S. military facilities … and to prefectures which are outside a 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are low and do not pose significant risks to U.S. citizens,” the most recent travel alert from the U.S. State Department says.

While flights into Tokyo have been adjusted due to lessened demand, there are still ample options — and the new route direct from New York to downtown Haneda Airport will resume this summer. Despite ongoing recovery in Northern Japan, experts say there is no radiation concern in Tokyo and other areas outside the area of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Attractions such as “the food scene, noodle shops, Izakayas and Tsukiji market are all open and remain just as exciting today as they were before the day of earthquake,” says Theo Panagiotoulias, an American Airlines executive based in Tokyo.

There is no shortage of food or water, and products distributed to the public are all safe.

GUEST EDITOR LADY GAGA

Lady Gaga has been supportive of the country since disaster struck: After participating in the “Songs for Japan” charity album and donating the proceeds of the sale of her “We Pray for Japan” wristband, she will visit the country in June to perform at the annual Video Music Awards. “I am writing about Japan, not only because we did the Japan bracelet and to highlight the way that pop culture can be used to provoke change, but to create awareness and not allow the media to perpetuate falseties about the conditions in Japan, so we can say everything’s OK, everyone’s rebuilding,” she says. “Go to Japan, it’s safe, continue to support the relief efforts but know that it’s only 0.1 percent of the country that was affected and that we’re doing more harm to Japan by staying away than by going. Enjoy their beautiful cities and landscapes. Always looking forward and not looking back, never operating from a place of fear.”


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