The world’s biggest firms have started to evacuate Japan after fears that the radiation leaks at the damaged nuclear plant, Fukushima Daiichi, look set to get worse.
Both BMW and Continental of Germany have pulled employees out of the country, and SAP and Infineon have moved staff south within the country, with the view to evacuating them if the winds change or the situation gets worse.
The nuclear plants workers have now suspended operations as the radiation levels increased, as Japanese residents in Tokyo resorted to panic buying and started to flee the city upon reports that radiation levels in the capital were safe, but higher than normal.
“We’ve offered to move staff to the South but only a small amount have decided to go,” said a spokesperson for Infineon.
SAP also announced it was to evacuate offices in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
They added that around 1100 employees had been put up in hotels in the south with their families.
Other firms who have closed their offices in Tokyo included private equity firm Blackstone, although the International Bankers Association of Japan, who represents Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan claimed that business was continuing as normal.
The airlines were being more wary however with Deutsche Lufthansa diverting flights away from Tokyo to Osaka and Nagoya and Air China cancelled flights to the Japanese capital from Beijing and Shanghai.