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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

“Special Flight” remark confuses Japanese in Indonesia

  • July 15, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:51 a.m.
  • English Press

Jakarta, July 15 (Jiji Press)–Confusion has spread in the Japanese community in Indonesia following a remark by a Japanese government official about “a special flight” to send expatriates in the Southeast Asian country back home.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato referred to the special flight at a press conference Tuesday.

The flight, operated Wednesday, was arranged by Japanese general contractor Shimizu Corp. <1803> to bring home its employees and others from Indonesia, where the novel coronavirus is raging. The Japanese government was not involved in the flight.

But many in the community mistook it as a Japanese government-chartered flight for expatriates in Indonesia. The Japanese Embassy in Jakarta was flooded with inquiring telephone calls.

After Kato’s remark, television broadcasters released news bulletins saying that a special flight will leave Japan for Indonesia. When reporting about the flight, a newspaper referred to Japanese government-chartered flights sent to Wuhan, China, last year to bring expatriates back home.

On Tuesday, the embassy received dozens of calls asking how to get on the special flight. Such calls continued to pour in on Wednesday.

The novel coronavirus is spreading in Indonesia, killing more than 800 people every day recently. Fourteen Japanese nationals living in the country had died by Tuesday.

Many expatriates are trying to return home. At All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines <9201>, all flights bound for Japan from Indonesia have been booked up for this month.

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