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Afghanistan turmoil

In rare move, Japan prepares to offer refuge to Afghans

Hundreds who worked at embassy and aid group could qualify for resettlement

A C-2 transporter leaves the Air Self-Defense Force's Iruma Air Base on Aug. 23 to evacuate Japanese nationals and Afghan staffers from Afghanistan. (Photo by Koji Uema)

TOKYO -- Japan has begun preparations to take in Afghans who worked for its embassy and aid organization, an unusual opening of doors to war refugees amid mounting concerns of Taliban retribution against locals who worked with foreign governments.

As Afghans and foreign nationals alike desperately try to flee the country after the Taliban's lightning assault took over the country, including the capital Kabul, Japan this week sent a Self-Defense Forces transport plane to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staffers at its embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency to a neighboring country.

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