Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 2 August 2013, 10:08 NZST
  • Still current at: 6 December 2016

Security

New Zealanders travelling in North Asia should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, especially in commercial and public areas, such as shopping malls, bars, markets, on public transport and in other places frequented by foreigners.

Petty theft such as pick-pocketing and bag snatching is common in parts of North Asia especially at tourist sites. Scams also operate in parts of North Asia. You should familiarise yourself with the types of crime that may occur and locations where you may be particularly at risk.

You should be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by New Zealand standards, do apply to you. Penalties for drug offences can be severe. If you are arrested or jailed the New Zealand Government will do what it can to help you but cannot get you out of trouble or jail.

Terrorism is an ongoing global threat. No country is immune from terrorist attack and no person is immune from becoming a victim of an attack. Terrorists may attack official or civilian targets. Although New Zealanders may not be targeted deliberately they could be caught up in attacks targeted at others or at western interests.

Typhoons can occur all year round in North Asia and can result in flooding, landslides and disruptions to essential services in affected areas. New Zealanders are advised to monitor local and international weather reports to keep up with developments.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in North Asia should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in North Asia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Extreme Risk

Destinations in North Asia where we advise against all travel.

Japan

There is extreme risk associated with travel to Area 3 near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, as identified on the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website.  We advise against all travel to this area due to the risk of radiation. 

High Risk

Destinations in North Asia where we advise against tourist and other non-essential travel.

Japan

There is high risk associated with travel to Areas 1 and 2 near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, as identified on the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website.  We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these areas due to the potential risk of radiation. 

Some Risk

Destinations in North Asia where we advise caution.

China

There is some risk to your security in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region due to the potential for violent civil unrest and we advise caution. 

There are no significant security issues elsewhere in China but normal precautions should be taken to ensure personal safety. 

North Korea

There is some risk to your security in North Korea due to the extensive restrictions placed on foreigners and international tensions. We advise a high degree of caution.

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