Japan Racing against Time to Evacuate Expatriates from Afghanistan
Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)--Ahead of the deadline at the end of this month for the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan, it is a race against time to evacuate Japanese people and others, using Japan Air Self-Defense Force aircraft.
The Japanese government will begin the transfer of Japanese expatriates, local embassy staff and others from the international airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, now surrounded by Taliban fighters.
"It's uncertain how many people we'll be able to transfer while the U.S. military manages the airport and safety is ensured," a senior official of the Defense Ministry said. "It'll be a very difficult operation."
On Sunday, the government sent an information-gathering team of the foreign and defense ministries to examine the situation at Kabul airport.
On Monday afternoon, the government issued an order to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces for the evacuation mission in Afghanistan. And only about six hours later, a C-2 transporter of the ASDF departed for the mission. Two C-130 transport planes took off later.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]