Mar 13, 2011 11:43 AM by AP
WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department is advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Japan at this time.
The Asian nation, a close American ally, was struck by devastating earthquakes, a deadly tsunami and is now threatened by possible radiation leaks from several nuclear reactors damaged in the natural disaster. Japan's prime minister says his country is facing its worst crisis since the end of World War II.
In a travel alert issued Sunday, the State Department urged all non-essential U.S. government personnel to defer travel to Japan.
The State Department also says Americans should avoid tourism and other unnecessary visits to Japan for now.
Updated information on travel and security in Japan can be obtained from the State Department by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the United States and Canada. For callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line is 1-202-501-4444.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)