Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Japanese Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu held a press conference on Tuesday and in an oblique way suggested that there is no free pass for refugees seeking asylum in Japan.
“Afghanistan is facing numerous challenges and the top priority at this moment is to ensure the safety of the local hires and to ensure their swift and safe evacuation,” he said in reply to Arab News Japan’s question.
“For those Afghanistan people who wish to enter Japan we would need to take into account the individual situations they are facing. The first and utmost priority is to ensure their safe evacuation from the country,” he added.
While other countries have fought hard to evacuate their citizens and Afghan workers from Afghanistan, Japan was late to the game and most of their local hires and some of their citizens were left after the evacuation had ended. Japan is now trying to resolve the situation but the circumstances on the ground are making it difficult to organize flights, visas, etc.
Motegi also would not be drawn on what might happen in the upcoming Liberal Democratic Party presidential election after the news that Prime Minister Suga will step down from his post. The new president will almost certainly become Japan’s next prime minister.
“The LDP believes that no matter who becomes the president of LDP or the prime minister, there will be no significant or major change in diplomatic issues and security issues,” Motegi said.
High on the agenda of any Japanese prime minister is the alliance with the United States. Motegi commented: “With regard to the international situation, I think we are on the same page but the US-Japan alliance will face numerous challenges, particularly to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”