TOKYO: The Japanese government plans to dispatch a Self-Defense Forces airplane to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese nationals and others in the country, now under the control of the Taliban, informed sources said Sunday.
The government is expected to make a formal decision at a meeting of the National Security Council on Monday, according to the sources.
An SDF plane will leave for Afghanistan as soon as it is ready, the sources said.
The dispatch is based on the SDF law, which allows SDF planes to transport Japanese nationals overseas in times of emergency.
The SDF plane will evacuate Japanese personnel working for international organizations and local staff members of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul.
The foreign and defense ministries plan to send teams of personnel to Afghanistan to gather information.
On Sunday, Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide held a meeting with Takeo Akiba, secretary-general of the National Security Secretariat, Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and Vice Defense Minister Kazuhisa Shimada to discuss response to the situation in Afghanistan.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said there are a few Japanese nationals in Afghanistan including personnel of international organizations, adding that the government will provide necessary support, including for their return to Japan.