Honda Motor Co. and Aeon Co. will bring home Japanese workers from Wuhan, China, due to the spread of pneumonia caused by a new strain of coronavirus, officials at the two Japanese companies said Monday.
The companies will use flights chartered by the Japanese government for the evacuation from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, the officials said.
A chartered flight will leave for Wuhan as early as Tuesday, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters. The new virus is believed to have originated in the inland Chinese city.
Honda has an auto assembly plant in Wuhan. Japanese workers and their family members, totaling some 30, will be brought back home, company officials said. A few Japanese workers who oversee the plant will stay there, they said.
Aeon, which runs five supermarket stores in Wuhan, will allow workers who hope to go back to Japan to do so, company officials said.
The retailer has 12 Japanese workers there. Their family members have already returned home. Some workers will stay in Wuhan as the company plans to continue operations there.