TOKYO: A total of 53 Afghans who have fled their country arrived in Japan on Friday night, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in the early hours of Saturday.
According to the ministry, the Afghans, including local workers of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, as well as their family members, left Afghanistan aboard a civilian aircraft that was arranged by the Qatari government as requested by the Japanese government.
It was the first time for Japan to evacuate Afghans by air from their country since Japanese Self-Defense Force aircraft withdrew from Afghanistan.
The Taliban took control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in mid-August. Later that month, the Japanese government sent Air SDF planes for an evacuation mission, but was only able to rescue one Japanese national and 14 Afghans.
After that, the Japanese government helped the evacuation of some 50 people–JICA officials and students wanting to study in Japan–who escaped to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries by land on their own.
In Afghanistan, there still remain local staff of Japan-related bodies and others totaling several hundred who are wishing to flee their country. Japan will continue to support such people via cooperation with the United States, Qatar and other countries.