Ten Afghan evacuees have arrived in Japan from Afghanistan to take refuge following the Taliban's return to power, with the Japanese government arranging for more evacuees to enter the country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The government is also considering long-term support measures for such evacuees to settle in Japan, including helping them find jobs, sources close to the matter said.
On Sunday, four evacuees -- a local worker for the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Afghanistan and the worker's family members -- arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo, becoming the first Afghans to take refuge in Japan after the Taliban's takeover last month. An additional six touched down at the airport on Monday.
They are quarantined as part of Japan's measures against the novel coronavirus. They will be asked to decide whether to continue staying in Japan or leave for another country.
The 10 Afghans arrived in Japan via Doha in the Gulf state of Qatar and arrangements are being made for further Afghan evacuees to arrive in Japan soon, with the Japanese government and JICA shouldering travel and accommodation expenses, the ministry and other sources said.
Japan will continue to seek the safe evacuation of Afghan staff of Japanese organizations and others from the country qualifying for refuge by air and other means through negotiations with the Taliban while sheltering those who have evacuated on their own, the ministry said.
Former Afghan students who studied in Japan are also subject to Japan's assistance if they have a guarantor in Japan, the ministry said.
"We have offered necessary assistance such as issuing a visa and arranging airline tickets," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference in Tokyo, adding the government will continue to provide support for other evacuees.
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to the region in late August 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.
A temporary office that Japan set up for its Kabul embassy in Qatar on Sept. 1 is expected to be responsible for evacuation support.