Japan studying ways to help Afghan evacuees

Japan's government says it is considering how best to support evacuees arriving in the country from Afghanistan while trying to confirm what they are hoping for.

Four Afghan evacuees flew into Japan on Sunday. They were among 10 people who fled Afghanistan by land to neighboring Pakistan. They are two Afghan staffers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and their family members.

Japan's Foreign Ministry issued them with short-term visas and arranged their tickets to Japan. Ministry officials say the four are now under a 14-day quarantine for the coronavirus, but have tested negative with no health problems confirmed. The remaining six are expected to arrive in Japan on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said on Monday if they want to leave for a third country, the government will deal with them on an individual basis.

He also said the government will carefully study ways to support them if they wish to stay in Japan.

Foreign ministry officials say the 10 evacuees arrived in Pakistan's capital Islamabad in late August. The Japanese government had planned to airlift some 500 people from Afghanistan by Self-Defense Force aircraft around that time.