Shipping and airline companies, already hurt by high fuel prices and lost business to Japan, have a new worry: radiation checks back home.
Governments across the world are testing ships and airplanes arriving from Japan for radiation stemming from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster.
Most planes and ships appear to be fine, but time spent undergoing checks and risks of delays at ports and airports have some operators nervous.
"We know some places are screening for radioactivity," says Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, according to The New York Times.
|Ships and containers at a wharf in the Tokyo Port. (Getty photo)
"But often, we don’t know what exactly they are screening, and what levels of radioactivity would be considered abnormal by the various officials."
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has said that "out of an abundance of caution," it is directing field personnel to monitor maritime and air traffic from Japan, the Times adds.
Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and other countries are keeping an eye out for radiation at their ports of entry.
Weeks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant and sparked the crisis, Tokyo Electric Power is still struggling to bring the plant under control.
"We must do everything we can to end this situation as soon as possible for the sake of everyone who has been affected," says Yuhei Sato, governor of Fukushima prefecture, according to the Associated Press.
"I am extremely disappointed and saddened by the suggestion that this might drag out longer."
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