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British charity worker disgusted about Japan travel ban

A British rescue worker is said to be disgusted that they are unable to travel to the disaster in Japan.

Willie McMartin, a member of the International Rescue Corps (IRC) , spoke about his “sheer disbelief” regarding the refusal of the British embassy to provide a covering letter that would confirm that the UK charity was genuine. In order to get a permit from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the document is a requirement. It would mean that that they were able to buy petrol which is currently being rationed in the area.

Mr McMartin continued that his team had received permission to join the effort in Japan by the Japanese embassy in London, after the country was left devastated by a huge scale earthquake, a tsunami and a potentially life-threatening nuclear crisis.

Mr McMartin said that Tokyo’s UK embassy had refused to issue the charity with a letter, despite the fact that they had spoken to the Japanese embassy in London. They gave the reason that it would mean that they were then responsible for the team. He continued that the team were not asking them to take responsibility for them, only to provide a letter to say that they were a genuine UK organisation.

However, Foreign Secretary William Hague has blamed the cancelled mission on the fact that the IRC has failed to show that they are properly equipped. He added that they have used UK red tape as a “convenient” scape goat.



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