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SDF planes head for Kabul to evacuate Japanese aid workers, Afghan allies  

  • August 26, 2021
  • , Asahi, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi wrote that SDF cargo aircraft departed Islamabad for Kabul last night to ferry Japanese aid workers and staff members of the Japanese Embassy and the JICA and their family members. While the Japanese planes are expected to shuttle between the two cities to transport evacuees, the flights’ frequency is unknown due to multiple factors, including the number of Afghan dependents wishing to leave and how long the planes can park at the Kabul airport. Afghan citizens who have been involved in aid operations conducted by Japanese NGOs and Japanese ODA projects may also be evacuated. The evacuees will reportedly be airlifted from Islamabad to Japan and sheltered at several locations, including a JICA facility in Tokyo. The SDF reportedly assumes that the evacuation operation will need to be wrapped up by tomorrow as the U.S. apparently intends to adhere to its Aug. 31 deadline for the military drawdown.  


Meanwhile, Nikkei claimed that the GOJ is set to grant Afghan evacuees residency status, saying that as many as several hundred Afghan citizens will be allowed to stay here on humanitarian grounds. They will probably be given short-term visas for up to 90 days at first, followed by “special activities” status for up to five years that will allow them to seek employment. They may eventually be given permanent residency if a request for refugee status is approved.  

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