Taliban to accept Japan SDF evacuation flights

The Taliban say they will accept Japan's deployment of Air Self-Defense Force transport aircraft to evacuate Japanese nationals and others from Afghanistan.

NHK spoke to Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousaf Ahmadi on the matter on Tuesday. Speaking in Pashtun, he said that if the Japanese government "can make arrangements on their own and can evacuate their nationals, we don't have any problem." He said, "They are allowed to evacuate them."

Three SDF aircraft left Japan on Tuesday on a mission to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staff of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul and other organizations.

There has been chaos in and around the airport in Kabul, with crowds of people seeking to flee Afghanistan. Foreign governments have been sending aircraft to evacuate their citizens and Afghans. But the worsening security situation in Kabul has been hampering the smooth evacuation of civilians.

The United States set August 31 as the deadline for US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden's administration is considering extending the deadline. But the Taliban have warned against it.

Leaders from the Group of Seven nations are expected to hold an online meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to cooperate to carry out safe evacuations.