An Air Self-Defense Force plane has evacuated 46 people, including Japanese and other Asians, from Israel to Jordan, the Japanese government said Friday, in its second such operation since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war last month.

A KC-767 refueling and transport airplane carrying the 46 evacuees, including 20 Japanese, 15 South Koreans, four Vietnamese and one Taiwanese, left Israel on Thursday night and is now heading for Japan, according to the foreign and defense ministries.

The conflict in the Middle East has been intensifying as the Palestinian militant group's surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 has triggered large-scale retaliatory bombardments by the Jewish state on the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

A Japanese Air Self-Defense Force airplane carrying evacuees from Israel arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Oct. 21, 2023. (Kyodo)

Late last month, a KC-767 of the ASDF arrived in Tokyo with 60 Japanese, 18 South Koreans and five foreign family members on board from Tel Aviv by way of a Jordanian airport.

Japan has dispatched ASDF aircraft to the Middle East since mid-October, and currently two C-2 transport planes are on standby in Jordan in preparation for additional airlifts of Japanese citizens, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

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