Six Israelis unaccounted for in Japan following quake

Problems with country's communications system in aftermath of disaster may be preventing Israelis from calling home, Foreign Ministry says.

japan earthquake 2_311 reuters (photo credit: KYODO Kyodo / Reuters)
japan earthquake 2_311 reuters
(photo credit: KYODO Kyodo / Reuters)
Six Israelis, five business people and a tourist, remained unaccounted for in Japan Saturday night, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The spokesman said that there are enormous problems with the country's communications system as a result of the devastating earthquake, and that it is possible the six Israelis have been unable to call home.
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While the telecommunications system was badly damaged, it is possible to make contact via e-mail, and the embassy – relying on a recently drawn up list of the few hundred Israelis living In Japan on a permanent basis -- succeeded in making contact with the vast majority of them.  On Friday afternoon the number of Israelis who had not yet been contacted stood at 28, a number that dropped to six in 24 hours.
In addition to the Israelis living in the country for an extended period of time, there are also believed to be about 300-400 Israeli tourists in the country.
Israel was one of some 45 countries that offered the Japanese assistance, offering specifically assistance in identifying victims of the earthquake and in providing water sanitation systems. The Japanese have not yet said that they need the assistance.