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March 13, 2011

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Japanese return home

MANY Japanese business people and tourists began flying home from Shanghai yesterday, following the 8.9-magnitute earthquake that rocked Japan on Friday.

With airports gradually resuming operations in some Japanese cities, passengers rushed to Shanghai's two airports, departing on flights that had been delayed due to the quake and tsunami.

The number of passengers flying from Japan to Shanghai declined after the quake, authorities said yesterday.

At Hongqiao International Airport, more than 900 passengers left for Japan yesterday and 800 of them were Japanese citizens, the airport authority said.

Officials said some of them "still could not contact their relatives or friends back in Japan."

Many passengers cut short business trips or holidays in the city while some Chinese were also worried about their relatives and loved ones who were in Japan when the earthquake struck.

"We just want to make sure our daughter is fine," said a Chinese couple at Hongqiao airport yesterday. The couple was trying to get a flight to Japan so they could attend their daughter's university graduation ceremony, said the man, surnamed Zhang.

Meanwhile, six of 39 flights to Japan from Shanghai Pudong International Airport were canceled yesterday, according to immigration police at the airport.


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