TAIPEI–All 67 Taiwanese students that remained in quake-stricken northeastern areas of Japan’s main island of Honshu have been accounted for, the Ministry of Education announced Monday. The ministry said it had managed to get in touch with all the students still in the area and all had reported that they were safe after the chaos that ensued in the wake of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and powerful tsunami that devastated northeastern areas of the main island. The ministry said the Japanese authorities has provided free shuttle buses in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture located close to the epicenter of the quake, for people seeking to get out of the city. John Feng, Taiwan’s representative to Japan, has also asked the head of an association of Taiwanese students in the area to find out the wishes of students wishing to leave and to provide them with necessary assistance. The ministry also said that an earlier report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that 11 Taiwanese students were still unaccounted for could have been due to the difficulty of obtaining up-to-date information in the wake of the disaster.
A ministry official earlier reported that among the 80 Taiwanese students in the worst-affected area, 31 Taiwanese students who took shelter in the gymnasium of Tohoku University in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the epicenter of the massive quake, had left for Tokyo via Yamagata Prefecture by bus. “Other students are leaving the quake-affected areas by themselves, but 11 have yet to be reached,” according to Huang Ming-lung, secretary-general of the Association of the East Asian Relations.