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Afghanistan turmoil

First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Japan

Local workers of JICA and family members enter via Qatar

Several Afghan evacuees arrived at Narita airport, Chiba, Japan, Sept. 12.    © Kyodo

CHIBA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Several Afghan evacuees arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo on Sunday night, the first confirmed group of people from Afghanistan to take refuge in Japan following the Taliban's return to power in mid-August.

The evacuees were among around 10 Afghans who entered neighboring Pakistan by land last week. The four were a local worker of the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Afghanistan and family members, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Afghans arrived via Doha in the Gulf state of Qatar, diplomatic sources said earlier, adding that arrangements are being made for the remainder of the group to head to Japan in the near future.

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to the region to evacuate around 500 people wishing to leave Afghanistan.

By the end of the evacuation mission on Aug. 31, the SDF had only evacuated one Japanese as well as 14 Afghans at the request of the United States.

The Japanese government set up a temporary office of its Kabul embassy in Qatar on Sept. 1 that is expected to be responsible for evacuation support.

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