Statement from Col. Dave Lapan, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense:
Tonight, the Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure (including relocation of safe areas within Japan) for family members and dependents of U.S. government officials who wish to leave Northeast Japan. The U.S. government is also working to facilitate the departure of private American citizens from the affected areas (50 mile radius of the Fukushima reactor) and a Travel Warning containing detailed information has been issued and is available at www.travel.state.gov.
U.S. forces remain in Japan and the U.S. has full capability to fulfill our alliance commitments to defend Japan and maintain peace and security in the region. The Department of Defense will implement the Dept of State-approved voluntary departure for eligible DoD dependents. As with State Dept dependents, these measures are temporary, and dependents will return when the situation is resolved. Eligible DoD dependents will be given travel instructions by their local commands.
Direct queries on this announcement to the Dept. of State. We will update you on DoD plans in the coming days.
President Obama Receives Briefing on the Earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami Preparedness and Response Actions in the United States
WASHINGTON—President Obama received a briefing this morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Oval Office on the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami warnings across the Pacific from a number of senior US government officials including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate via phone, and in the Oval Office with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan, National Security Advisory Tom Donilan, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor David Plouffe, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, National Security Staff Senior Director for Resilience Richard Reed and National Security Staff Director Asian Affairs Daniel Russel.
The senior officials provided the President with an update on the evolving situation stemming from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan early this morning including the actions being taken to assist U.S. states and territories that could be affected by the tsunami, as the President directed earlier this morning – as well as the work being done to be prepared to assist the people of Japan.
The US government continues to monitor the situation closely throughout the Pacific region. To support potentially impacted areas in the United States, the federal government remains in close contact and coordination with state and local officials, and stands ready to support them. The government’s message to the public is simple: listen to the instructions of state and local officials. We urge everyone in the regions who could be impacted to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
Click HERE for a photo of the briefing.
Japan Earthquake Live Blogs and Live Streams
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