Vigilance urged for those who travel in Pacific
March 25, 2003
People in the Pacific continued to travel last week despite security warnings about potential terrorism sparked by the war in Iraq.
Several airlines around the world canceled flights to the Middle East in fear of terrorist activity.
“American citizens are reminded that it is more important than ever to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness,” said an updated warning from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Friday.
U.S. citizens should increase their security awareness at most common public locations, avoid such locations or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate, according to the warning.
“Worldwide U.S. government facilities remain at a heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their dependents and/or personnel,” the statement said.
Commander, Naval Forces Japan, has not placed restrictions on domestic travel in Japan or international travel, “except for unofficial travel to Indonesia and certain parts of the Philippines,” CNFJ officials said Friday afternoon.
“Maintaining the safety and security of our personnel is a top priority, and given current world events, we have advised our personnel to be extremely vigilant if they travel anywhere throughout the region, and to be aware of their surroundings and alert to possible dangers,” CNFJ added.
The airline industry expects a 15 percent drop in business during the war in Iraq, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The decline could cost the airlines as much as $4 billion and raise this year’s loss to as much as $11 billion, according to the Air Transport Association. The industry has lost more than $18 billion since 2001.
More information is available on the Internet at www.travel.state.gov . Travelers can get up-to-date security information by dialing l-317-472-2328.
— Naoko Sekioka contributed to this report.