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Top Japanese officials comment on collapse of Afghan government

All national papers took up remarks made to the press last night by Prime Minister Suga concerning the Taliban’s effective control of Afghanistan. “The Taliban is expected to take the helm,” he was quoted as saying. “The Japanese government is collecting up-to-date information on the local situation in close coordination with the United States and others.” Foreign Minister Motegi, who is currently touring the Middle East, told the press in Cairo on Tuesday: “We would like to call on all concerned parties in Afghanistan to restore law and order and ensure that lives and property are protected.”

 

The dailies said the approximately 12 Japanese diplomats in Afghanistan will be evacuated by plane soon and the Japanese Embassy in Kabul will be closed temporarily. The GOJ has also reportedly arranged to help Japanese NGO staff leave the country. According to the articles, the GOJ has yet to decide whether to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan, with an unnamed senior diplomat predicting that a final decision will not be made until a consensus emerges within the international community. The GOJ has committed some $6.8 billion in aid to the war-torn country in the past two decades. Asahi noted that GOJ officials were shocked by the abrupt collapse of the U.S.-backed government, with an unnamed MOFA official calling the situation an “unprecedented abyss,” since Tokyo has extended substantial financial and other support for Washington’s efforts to rebuild the nation.

 

Sankei wrote that while the planned launch of the Taliban government will not have a direct impact on Japanese businesses since there are almost no Japanese companies operating in Afghanistan, analysts are concerned that the country may become a hotbed of international terrorism again. Such a prospect may rattle the global oil and financial markets, potentially having repercussions for the Japanese economy. As Afghanistan is close to the Xinjiang region of China, instability in the area may undermine the Chinese economy, which would deal a blow to many Japanese firms.

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