Japan Orders SDF to End Afghan Evacuation Mission
Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi ordered the Self-Defense Forces on Tuesday to end their mission to evacuate Japanese citizens and others from Afghanistan.
The Japanese government found it difficult to continue the evacuation mission as safety is no longer guaranteed after the U.S. military, which had been managing the airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul, withdrew from the country, where the Taliban has returned to power.
In the mission, three SDF transport aircraft sent from Japan were flying back and forth between Kabul and the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, where the base for the mission is located, in the three days through Friday.
The SDF unit transported one Japanese national and 14 Afghan people from Afghanistan. The unit is currently on standby in Pakistan and is expected to return home soon.
At a press conference on Monday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi pointed out that last week's terror attack in Afghanistan made it difficult for evacuees to reach the airport.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]