In rare move, Japan prepares to offer refuge to Afghans

Nikkei -- Aug 26
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.

"The government as a whole will need to consider" whether to accept Afghan refugees, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa had told reporters on Friday. She said Japan will not deport Afghans against their will for the time being.

The Japanese government plans to initially allow these Afghan staffers and their families to stay in Japan for up to 90 days on humanitarian grounds, and to later grant them visas that will allow them to stay and work in Japan for up to five years.

Japan could grant further extensions depending on developments in Afghanistan. Afghan nationals could also apply for refugee status after a certain amount of time, which would open the door for long-term residency.

It is unclear how many would sign up for the program, though there are estimates within the Japanese government that roughly 500 could qualify. - Nikkei





輸送機は周辺国を拠点にして、アフガニスタンの首都・カブールの空港との間を行き来しながら、国際機関の日本人職員や日本大使館の現地スタッフなどを退避させる予定。 - FNNプライムオンライン