Japan ends Afghan evacuation mission

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo has ordered an end to the mission to evacuate people from Afghanistan, due to worsening security conditions there.

Japan sent Self-Defense Force aircraft last week to evacuate Japanese nationals and their Afghan co-workers.

They ferried one Japanese woman and 14 Afghans to Islamabad, the capital of neighboring Pakistan.

The government kept the aircraft on standby in Islamabad to deal with possible changes in the situation.

But it decided on Tuesday to have the aircraft fly back to Japan, now that the last US troops have left Afghanistan.

More than 500 people, including Afghan staff members of the Japanese Embassy and a Japanese international aid agency, are seeking to leave Afghanistan.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials in neighboring countries will continue to make efforts to help get them out.