Japan airlifts 14 Afghans from Kabul to Islamabad
Written by tokyoclub on August 28, 2021
Japan has transported 14 Afghans aboard a Self-Defense Forces aircraft from Kabul to Islamabad in neighboring Pakistan as part of its operation to evacuate Japanese nationals and others from Afghanistan, government sources said Saturday.
The airlift took place on Thursday, a day before the evacuation of a Japanese national aboard an SDF plane from the war-torn country, where the Taliban militant group has returned to power. It was the first SDF airlift of foreign nationals to another country as part of a mission to evacuate Japanese citizens.
A Japan Air Self-Defense Force C-130 transport plane is pictured before its departure from the ASDF’s Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture, eastern Japan, on Aug. 24, 2021. (Kyodo)
Two C-130 aircraft and a C-2 transporter sent by Japan for the mission made several round trips between Kabul and the Pakistani capital on Wednesday and Thursday, but none of the Japanese nationals wishing to board the planes were able to reach the airport.
Japan’s evacuation mission is for local staff of the Japanese Embassy and Japan International Cooperation Agency as well as their families, in addition to Japanese nationals. It was not immediately known whether the Afghan evacuees were staff of the government-related entities.
On Friday, one of the SDF aircraft transported a Japanese national to Islamabad.
Japanese government officials have said the SDF planes will remain on standby as developments in Kabul are assessed.