Tokyo, August 23: Japan will send three military jets to Afghanistan from Monday to evacuate Japanese citizens and local personnel as security deteriorates after the Taliban takeover, officials said.
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the planes would pick up Japanese nationals and Afghans who worked for the Japanese embassy and development agencies.
“The local situation is quickly becoming fluid (…) and we are doing everything we can to get them out of the country,” Kishi said. The Taliban will soon announce a new government with Afghan political leaders, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
The area around Kabul International Airport remains filled with thousands of people trying to flee the country after the Taliban took control.
Japan closed its embassy in Kabul on August 15 and opened a temporary office in neighboring Turkey two days later, but local employees of the embassy and other organizations linked to Japan remain in Afghanistan.
Kishi declined to say how many people will be evacuated, citing security concerns.
He said Japan plans to complete the evacuation before the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Earlier Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said US troops in Afghanistan were conducting air controls and flights were operating safely.
He said there was no sign of Taliban interference so far.
Japan sent a military transport plane to South Sudan to evacuate Japanese diplomats during the unrest there in 2016.