News

  • 16 Mar 2011 8:06 AM | Anonymous
    From the DFAT Crisis Centre

    This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information in
    the Summary and under Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March (latest advice
    from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency on
    exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan). It contains
    a link to the ARPANSA website. The overall level of the advice has not
    changed.

    Advice on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan
    The Department of Health and Ageing and Australian Radiation Protection and
    Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued the following advice on exposure
    to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan, based on information
    from Japanese authorities:
    The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has
    caused major damage to a number of nuclear reactors on the east coast of
    Japan. The Japanese Government has established an evacuation zone around
    the affected reactors.
    The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has
    been closely monitoring the situation, in particular the potential exposure
    to radiation of Australians in Japan.
    Based on advice from the Japanese government and the International Atomic
    Energy Agency, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
    Agency (ARPANSA) reports that, although unlikely, there is a small chance
    of exposure to radiation, at very low levels, for people who were in the
    Fukushima area and for people who were in the Fukushima area or areas
    affected by radioactive releases since 12 March 2011. The health effects
    from exposure at these low levels are considered very low to negligible.
    For those Australians in Japan but outside the affected areas, based on
    current information, ARPANSA advises that since the winds are presently
    blowing off shore from the Fukushima area they are extremely unlikely to be
    contaminated and the health risks are negligible. As the situation
    develops, all Australians in Japan are strongly encouraged to continue to
    follow the protective measures recommended by the Japanese Government.
    Given the very low risk of exposure, ARPANSA advises that people should
    have no physical symptoms. If there is any doubt about contamination this
    contamination is easily removed by washing your body and clothes.
    Australians returning home from Japan are highly unlikely to be
    contaminated or exposed to significant radiation and will not require
    checks for radioactivity. However, if people wish to seek medical advice
    they should contact their local GP.
    Meetings are being held with GP representatives, the Department of Health
    and Ageing, and ARPANSA to discuss the provision of consistent advice to
    those who present with inquiries about radiation exposure.
    Discussions are ongoing between jurisdictions. Further information will be
    provided as the situation develops.
    Advice to Australians remaining in Japan
    Current Situation
    The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has
    damaged a number of nuclear reactors on the east coast of Japan. The
    Japanese Government has imposed evacuation zones and shelter in place zones
    around affected reactors in Fukushima prefecture. These protective action
    zones may be revised by the Japanese government as circumstances change.
    ARPANSA will update its advice as events develop.
    What do I do?
    Australians remaining in Japan should follow any protective measures
    recommended by the Japanese government. This may include evacuation or
    shelter in place orders.
    Australians remaining in Japan should not travel to the exclusion zones.
    ARPANSA and the Chief Medical Officer advise that iodine prophylaxis is
    only required when exposed to substantial radiation doses. It is not
    considered necessary for Australians remaining outside protective action
    zones.
    What are the symptoms of radiation exposure?
    Radiation health effects are related to the magnitude and duration of
    exposure. Low level radiation exposure produces no physical symptoms. There
    is no specific test available for low level exposure and no treatment is
    required.
    Australians in Japan may find www.mofa.go.jp/ an helpful English language
    website with local information.
    Advice to Australians returning from Japan who have concerns about possible
    exposure to radiation
    Current Situation
    The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has
    damaged a number of nuclear reactors on the east coast of Japan. The
    Japanese Government has established evacuation zones around the affected
    reactors in Fukushima prefecture. The Japanese government is providing
    regular updates on required exclusion zones.
    Based on advice from the Japanese government the Australian Radiation
    Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) reports that, although
    unlikely, there is a small chance of exposure to radiation, at very low
    levels, for people who were in the Fukushima area or areas affected by
    radioactive releases since 12 March 2011.
    The health effects from exposure at these low levels are considered very
    low to negligible.
    If you were in Japan, but outside these areas ARPANSA advises that you are
    extremely unlikely to have been exposed to even low levels of radiation.
    What to do if you are worried?
    The Japanese government have been screening people where they believe this
    is necessary. Residual contamination from low levels of exposure is readily
    removed by showering, washing your body, hair and clothes.
    For very low levels of radiation exposure there is no specific test
    available and no treatment is required. However, if on return to Australia
    you and your family are concerned you should visit your local GP and let
    them know where in Japan you were.
    What are the symptoms of radiation exposure?
    Given the low levels of possible exposure no physical symptoms of radiation
    exposure are expected to be observed.
    Again, if on your return you feel unwell, you should visit your local GP.
    Current as at 2200 hrs (AEDST) on 16 March 2011. This information will be
    updated every six hours or more frequently as required.
  • 15 Mar 2011 11:54 PM | Anonymous
    The travel advice for Japan has been reviewed and reissued. It contains the latest advice from the Australians Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan.
    The text is repeated below. You can also access the travel advice at www.smartraveller.gov.au

    The Department of Health and Ageing and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued the following advice on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan, based on information from Japanese authorities:

    The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has caused major damage to a number of nuclear reactors on the east coast of Japan. The Japanese Government has established an evacuation zone around the affected reactors.

    ARPANSA has been closely monitoring the situation, in particular the potential exposure to radiation of Australians in Japan.

    ARPANSA advises that there is a small chance of contamination at very low levels for Australians who were in the Fukushima area at the time of the incident. The risk of health effects from exposure at these low levels is considered very low to negligible. Australians who were in the affected area at the time of the incident should continue to follow the advice of Japanese authorities.

    For those Australians in Japan but outside the affected areas, based on current information, ARPANSA advises that they are extremely unlikely to be contaminated and the health risks are negligible. As the situation develops, all Australians in Japan are strongly encouraged to continue to follow the protective measures recommended by the Japanese Government.

    Given the very low risk of exposure, ARPANSA advises that people should have no physical symptoms. If there is any doubt about contamination this contamination is easily removed by washing your body and clothes.

    Australians returning home from Japan are highly unlikely to be contaminated or exposed to significant radiation and will not require checks for radioactivity. However, if people wish to seek medical advice they should contact their local GP.

    Meetings are being held with GP representatives, the Department of Health and Ageing, and ARPANSA to discuss the provision of consistent advice to those who present with inquiries about radiation exposure.

    Discussions are ongoing between jurisdictions. Further information will be provided as the situation develops.

    *Current as at 2200 hours (AEDST) on 15 March 2011.  This information will be updated every six hours or more frequently as required.*

    If you require consular assistance you can contact the Australian Embassy in Tokyo on 03 5323 4144 and you will be transferred to the Crisis Centre.



    DFAT Crisis Centre
  • 12 Mar 2011 9:39 PM | Anonymous
    All Australians in Japan should register their contact details with DFAT on the following website
    https://www.orao.dfat.gov.au/orao/weborao.nsf/homepage?Openpage
    Please pass this message on to family and friends. The process will only take minutes to complete.

    Earthquake advice from the Tokyo International Communication Committee
    including Survival Kit.
    http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide_eng/kinkyu/05.html

    Our thoughts are with all affected by this devastating event.
    Please take care and stay safe.

    Beynon Louey
    AST Webmaster

    News below has been taken from the News Centre of the Australian Embassy Tokyo
    http://www.australia.or.jp/en/news/

    Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

    On 11 March 2011, a large earthquake off the east coast of Japan generated a tsunami. Australians in affected areas should monitor the media for safety information and follow the instructions of local authorities.

    If you have concerns for the welfare of family and friends who you believe to have been in the affected areas, you should first attempt to contact them directly.

    If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (Within Australia) or +61 2 6261 3305 (Outside Australia).

    Australian in areas that have been badly affected by the earthquakes and tsunami are requested to call or email the Australian Embassy in Tokyo if you have not already done so. Please call 03-5232-4111 or email auscitzreg.tokyo@dfat.gov.au.


  • 22 Feb 2011 10:36 PM | Anonymous
    Please find below six items that may be of interest to Australians registered with the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.

    1.  NSW State Election – Saturday 26 March 2011
    2.   Preparing for Emergencies
    3.   Emergency Assistance outside Business Hours
    4.   Public Holidays
    5.   Smartraveller website
    6.   Contact Details

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1.        NSW STATE ELECTION - SATURDAY 26 MARCH 2011

    Australians visiting or residing overseas are advised that there will be a State General Election in New South Wales on Saturday 26 March 2011.

    If you are enrolled for an electorate in NSW, and you will be out of Australia on polling day, you may vote over the internet, complete a pre-poll vote in person at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo or submit a postal vote.


    ENROLMENT

    Enrolment for the 2011 State Election closes at 6:00pm on Monday 7 March.

    Residents, and former residents, of NSW are encouraged to check their enrolment status at www.votensw.info before Monday 7 March.

    Please note the Australian Embassy Tokyo cannot process an application for enrolment – you must apply directly to the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC).


    VOTING WITH iVOTE

    A Remote Electronic Voting System called iVote will be introduced at the NSW State Election 2011 to enable eligible electors to vote using the internet.

    Voters who chose to iVote will firstly need to register as an iVoter.  You can register on the internet or by calling an iVote call centre.  Registration is available from Thursday 17 February until Wednesday 23 March.

    iVoting will be available every day from Monday 14 March until 6:00pm Friday 25 March.  iVoting will not be available on election day, Saturday 26 March.

    For more information on iVoting please refer to the following website: http://votensw.info/early_voting/ivote


    VOTING IN PERSON

    Facilities to submit a pre-poll vote in person will be available at the Australian Embassy Tokyo during business hours from Wednesday 16 March to Thursday 24 March 2011.  

    Please note on Election Day, Saturday 26 March 2011, the Australian Embassy Tokyo will not be open for voting.  

    Please also note that voting facilities will not be available at the Australian Consulates-General in Osaka and Fukuoka, or the Australian Consulate in Sapporo.  Australians living in these regions who wish to vote can vote via the internet or apply for a postal vote.

    For more information on voting in person please refer to the following website: http://votensw.info/early_voting/pre-poll


    POSTAL VOTE

    Australian citizens unable to visit the Australian Embassy Tokyo in person or access iVote may cast a vote by post.  Postal votes will be processed by the NSWEC, not the Embassy.

    Online Postal Voting Applications are available from Monday 28 February.  Applications from outside Australia must be received at the NSWEC by 6pm Monday, 21 March.

    For more information on postal votes please refer to the following website: http://votensw.info/early_voting/postal


    CONTACT DETAILS

    Contact details for the NSW State Election in Tokyo are:

    Consular Section
    Australian Embassy Tokyo
    2-1-14 Mita
    Minato-Ku TOKYO 108-8361
    Telephone: (03) 5232 4111
    Fax: (03) 5232 4057

    For further information in regard to your enrolment and voting options, please go to www.votensw.info or call the NSW Electoral Commission call centre on +61 1300 135 736 or +61 2 9290 5999 from Monday 7 February.  General enquiries can also be sent by email to enquiries@elections.nsw.gov.au.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2.        PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES

    Japan is prone to natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and in some months, typhoons and mudslides.  

    Your chances of surviving a severe earthquake are enhanced if you make necessary preparations, including assembling an emergency kit to help you through the first days until Japanese Government assistance becomes available.  For more information and suggestions about the contents of emergency kits, please refer to: http://consular.australia.or.jp/pdf/preparing_for_emergencies.pdf

    In the event of an emergency in the Tokyo area, radio stations that will have emergency information in English include the US Armed Forces station at 810AM and InterFM (76.1FM).

    In winter months snow-related accidents are common, including motor vehicle accidents, avalanches and heavy snow and ice falls from roofs.  Avalanches are common outside the marked runs in ski areas and the number of deaths among off-piste enthusiasts is increasing with the rising popularity of back country and off-piste skiing and boarding.  Snow conditions can change quickly, and veering off marked trails can be dangerous.  Australians who are considering visiting areas where it snows should make themselves aware of the potential dangers by checking websites that provide regular updates on snow conditions.

    The Australian Government, through its consular officers, endeavours to assist Australians in emergency situations.  This does not, however, diminish the obligation of citizens to prepare for their own welfare.  The Embassy and Consulates are not evacuation centres and are not equipped to serve as refuges for significant numbers of Australians.  

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3.        EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE OUTSIDE BUSINESS HOURS

    Australian Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents who require urgent consular or passport assistance outside normal working hours can call the Australian Embassy Tokyo on 03-5232-4111 and select the menu option to be directed to the Consular Emergency Centre in Australia.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4.        PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

    The Australian Embassy Tokyo, Australian Consulates-General in Osaka and Fukuoka and the Australian Consulate in Sapporo will be closed on the following days in 2011:

    Monday 14 March
    Friday 22 April
    Monday 25 April
    Friday 6 May
    Monday 13 June
    Monday 18 July
    Monday 15 August
    Monday 19 September
    Monday 10 October
    Friday 23 December
    Monday 26 December
    Tuesday 27 December

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5.        REGISTRATION - SMARTRAVELLER WEBSITE

    To keep our records up to date, please remember to notify us of any change of address, phone number, or when leaving Japan permanently.  You can update your information by emailing us at auscitzreg.tokyo@dfat.gov.au with your details (your passport number and full name, your previous address in Japan etc) to identify your data.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice on www.smartraveller.gov.au provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas, enabling you to make well-informed decisions about whether, where and when to travel.

    We recommend you visit www.smartraveller.gov.au before every trip.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6.      CONTACT DETAILS

    Australian Embassy Tokyo
    2-1-14 Mita
    Minato-ku
    Tokyo 108-8361
    Tel: 03-5232-4111
    Fax: 03-5232-4057
    Web: http://australia.or.jp/en/
    Jurisdictions: Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Fukui, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kanagawa, Mie, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokyo, Toyama, Yamagata, Yamanashi Prefectures

    Australian Consulate-General Osaka
    16F Twin 21 MID Tower
    2-1-61 Shiromi, Chuo-ku
    Osaka 540-6116
    Tel: 06-6941-9448
    Fax: 06-6920-4543
    Web: http://australia.or.jp/en/consular/osaka/
    Jurisdictions: Ehime, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Nara, Okayama, Osaka, Shiga, Shimane, Tokushima, Tottori, Wakayama Prefectures

    Australian Consulate-General Fukuoka
    7th Floor, Tenjin Twin Building
    1-6-8 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
    Fukuoka 810-0001
    Tel: 092-734-5055
    Fax: 092-734-5058
    Web: http://australia.or.jp/en/consular/fukuoka/
    Jurisdictions: Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Okinawa, Saga, Yamaguchi Prefectures

    Australian Consulate Sapporo
    17th Floor, Sapporo Centre Building
    North 5, West 6-2, Chuo-ku
    Sapporo 060-0005
    Tel: 011-242-4381
    Fax: 011-242-4383
    Web: http://australia.or.jp/en/consular/sapporo/
    Jurisdictions: Hokkaido

    For useful information and answers to many of your questions, please refer to the Australian Embassy Consular Section website: http://australia.or.jp/en/consular/

    Yours sincerely
    Consular Section
    Australian Embassy Tokyo
  • 06 Jan 2011 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    How about playing Touch Footy in 2011?
     
    Are you interested in playing touch footy this year?  If you are interested in playing either social or competitive touch, we would like to hear from you.  Visit our site:www.funwithtouch.com.
     
    Social touch offers:
     
    -          Weekend games (March – November)
    -          Social tournaments throughout the year
    -          Social parties
     
    Competitive touch offers:
     
    -          Weekly trainings 
    -          Top tournaments in the Kanto region and beyond

    -          Potential road trip to Korea 
     
    Whether or not you have a background in rugby or have ever played touch footy before, join us!
     
    Contact us at funwithtouch@gmail.com

  • 10 Nov 2010 9:30 PM | Anonymous
    Our new sponsors Jeroboam Fine Wine Club are offering members of the Australia Society huge discounts on their next wine purchase.

  • 10 Nov 2010 9:01 PM | Anonymous

    Please click on the following link to view the great photos taken at the BBQ held in the Australian Embassy gardens on Saturday, the 2nd of October 2010.


    Photos by Keyshots.com  

    Photographer: Kerry Raftis


  • 03 Oct 2010 10:05 PM | Anonymous
     


    If you can name one thing that is truly Australian what would it be?

    The Melbourne Cup which is huge in Australia; dubbed the “Race that stops the Nation” and it is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year making the event more special. Australians all around the world will get together and organize a lunch or a get together, whether they are in Seoul, Beijing, America, England, Thailand, to name just a few places we know hold events. The Place to be in Tokyo On race day Nov 2nd is The Grand Hyatt come and watch the Melbourne Cup LIVE undefinedThe following day is a Holiday in Japan (Culture Day).

  • 19 Sep 2010 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    Presidents Report September 2010

    Hello Everyone,

    The summer is over; however someone forgot to turn down the heat . . . another week or so and we will be back to better temperatures as this was certainly a hot one.

    I hope you all had a great summer and managed to get some rest and relaxation as well as a bit of a respite from this heat. We had a good summer here at AST with a couple of events well subscribed even though many were away. The Wine Challenge in June was a great success with over 75 people attending, so thanks to all those who came along as well to sponsors of the event; Global Dining, Ashley Thredgold at Stellato’s for helping us put it all together with a great menu selection and of course Ned Goodwin, Master of wine for choosing our wines and directing us through.

    We also had a well attended Beer Fest organised by Team Saphin, Craig and Mary, where old friends and new downed a few cold beers in the best Japanese tradition to help beat the heat.

                

    Now we are all back and we have the planning hats on we have a load of things happening this autumn. We kick off with the Adults BBQ October 2nd from 5pm to 9pm. We would like to thank the Ambassador for allowing us access to the Embassy gardens and we look forward to a great afternoon. We have live music from singers Kat McDowell and Sorcha Chisholm. We have to leave the Embassy at 9 so please leave promptly and quietly to ensure we are able to continue with the privilege of using the garden. There will be an after party at ____________ for all of you who want to continue on a bit.  We have had good sign ups and for those of you who want join and bring friends, sign up now as this usually sells out! The BBQ is being run by Jacquie, Meredith and Tony so please join me in saying a big thank you to them as this is not as easy as you think.  If anyone would like to volunteer please contact Meredith or Jacqui at adultbbq@australiasocietytokyo.com .


    Next we have the AST Golf Day on October 9th at Kanagawa Country Club only a few places remain so dust off the clubs and join in.


    November 2nd is the 150th Melbourne Cup!

    Registrations will open for members only for one week from September 27th. Non-members will be able to register from October 4th. Numbers are strictly limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.

                                                                                                                    

    A bit of History about the Melbourne Cup:

    This year commemorates the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup, known as “The Race that Stops a Nation”.  During the afternoon of the first Tuesday in November every year (other than 1942-1944 during the war when it ran on Saturday) it is said that it is safe to shoot a cannon down the main street of every town in Australia (because everyone’s either watching or listening to the race).

    The Australia Society proudly continues this Australian tradition once again by holding the famous “Melbourne Cup Luncheon”.  In addition to the 150th celebration, this year is even more special for us in Tokyo because two horses from Japan have been cleared to race again after brief hiatus due to equine flu. The last time Japanese horses ran was in 2006 and Delta Blue and Pop Rock finished first and second. So all in all we are looking forward to a really exciting event.

    Australians around the nation signify this special event every year.  In the State of Victoria it is a public holiday and many people head to Flemington Race course for the day, or attend their own parties.  Wherever you are in Australia there will be an event, whether it is a Luncheon as we hold or a simple pie and beer at the pub to watch and enjoy the ‘Race that Stops the Nation’ there is something in every town.

    This year unfortunately, the Melbourne Cup does not coincide with a public holiday in Japan.  The following day however is Culture Day.  So put the date in your diary now as an annual leave day or half day and get your friends and colleagues together and get ready to register. Come out and celebrate something truly Australian!

    The Melbourne Cup is not just about the race and the horses, the betting and the sweepstakes or the Calcutta, there is the Fashion with a capital F. It is a chance for the Ladies to dress up in the latest fashions and top it off with a hat or other hair decoration and the men put on their finery too. Each year we have a prize for the best dressed Lady, best dressed Man and a prize for the Best Hat.

    Please remember that The Australia Society Tokyo is not just about having fun, it also shares its time, talent and funds with the less fortunate in Japan and Australia. We raise money through auctions at our annual Australia Day ball and through the generous support of sponsors and individual members. Currently we are supporting Fukudenkai, www.fukudenkai.or.jp  (Japanese), a social welfare corporation which manages two children’s homes located in Hiroo. 

    For further more information on the Australia Society Tokyo, our other events and becoming a member of the society, please visit the Australia Society Tokyo website; www.australiasocietytokyo.com    All nationalities and friends of Australia welcome!

    Finally I leave you with a question:  Would you like to have another Wine night?  The last one in May had 75 join in and all comments back was it was great fun.  If you would like to have one in the last week of November please let me know and we will get it organized.   president@australiasocietytokyo.com 

      

    Cheers

    Trevor Reynolds

    AST President

  • 15 Sep 2010 9:59 PM | Anonymous

    Australia Society Tokyo is pleased to announce a tie-up with the Tokyo Playgroup for Australians & New Zealanders (Tokyo PLANZ)


    Tokyo PLANZ a friendly playgroup made up mostly of mothers from Australia and New Zealand. They catch up over a coffee to discuss parenting and life in Tokyo in general while the kids play in a relaxed environment.  Whilst there is no set age group, most of the kids range between new born and about 3 ½ and older siblings come along on occasion.  

    They meet most Thursdays between 9.30 – 11.30am generally at someone’s home.  Hosting the playgroup is voluntary, and the host typically provides simple refreshments. So if you’re new to Tokyo or new to parenting and would like to join Tokyo PLANZ contact Abbey at hadlow@australia.or.jp for more info and details of when and where the next group will be held or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TokyoPLANZ/ for more information

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