Four arrive in Japan after fleeing Afghanistan

Four evacuees from Afghanistan have landed in Japan. They are the first group among the roughly 500 people the Japanese government has been seeking to help evacuate from Afghanistan.

An aircraft carrying the four touched down at Narita Airport near Tokyo on Sunday night after a stopover in Qatar. Upon landing, they were taken to the airport's coronavirus testing section.

The evacuees were among 10 people who made their way to neighboring Pakistan by land last week. They're Afghan staffers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and their family members.

Six others are expected to arrive in Japan on Monday.

The 10 people are the first of those on Japan's list who are known to have escaped Afghanistan since the withdrawal of Japanese Self-Defense Force planes sent to evacuate such people.

Last month, the SDF mission airlifted one Japanese national and 14 Afghans to Pakistan. But about 500 others, including Afghan staffers of the Japanese Embassy, are still trying to flee Afghanistan.

The Japanese government plans to call on the Taliban to cooperate in securing the safe passage of people wanting to leave Afghanistan.