Japan to recall Afghanistan evacuation aircraft

Japan's government plans to soon recall Self-Defense Forces aircraft that have been sent to help airlift evacuees from Afghanistan.

The government has kept the aircraft on standby in neighboring Pakistan since last week, when a Japanese national and 14 Afghans were airlifted to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Officials say they are aware of more than 500 people still stranded in Afghanistan, including Afghans working for the Japanese Embassy and other organizations.

Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu discussed the matter at an online ministerial-level meeting on Monday with countries including the US and Britain.

Motegi stressed the need for governments to closely coordinate their evacuation operations.

The Japanese government will keep foreign ministry officials in neighboring countries to continue helping the evacuation efforts. It also plans to seek cooperation from Qatar and other countries that have connections with the Taliban.