By Nishimura Keishi, staff writer
Japan has arranged a chartered flight to evacuate Japanese expatriates from Ukraine in the face of escalating tensions with Russia, the government said on Feb. 21.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced the evacuation arrangement, which would fly from nearby countries, adding that about 120 Japanese remained in Ukraine as of Feb. 19.
“It is crucial for us to ensure that Japanese who want to flee Ukraine can expediently take refuge at a safer place,” he said at a news conference.
The government has been urging Japanese there to evacuate since Feb. 11, when it raised its travel warning for Ukraine to the highest level, as Russian troops were massing on the border in the possibility of an invasion.
Matsuno also said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will participate in a teleconference of leaders of the Group of Seven nations to be held on the Ukrainian crisis on Feb. 24.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi attended an emergency meeting of his G-7 counterparts on the Ukraine situation in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 19.
Matsuno said what will happen in Ukraine affects the international community, going beyond Europe and having implications for Asia, as well.
“It is extremely important for G-7 countries to tighten their unity and show leadership to the world,” he said. “(Japan) will actively participate in the discussion.”