NGOs ask govt. to help evacuate Afghan associates

Four non-governmental organizations in Japan have called on the Japanese government to offer help to Afghans who assisted in aid activities and now wish to evacuate.

The government is working to evacuate about 500 people still stranded in Afghanistan, including local staffers of the Japanese Embassy. Foreign Ministry officials in neighboring countries continue to make efforts to get them out.

Officials from Pathways Japan and three other NGOs held an online news conference on Tuesday. They noted that the government's evacuation efforts thus far have been focused on people related to the embassy or the government.

They said that they lodged a request with the government on Thursday to widen the scope of their efforts. The NGOs called on the government to offer support to Afghans who helped private entities and those who have some connection to Japan, including those who have studied in Japan, and their family members.

They also asked the government to create a liaison office to foster communications between the government and private organizations with an interest in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministry says it will help to facilitate the evacuation of Afghans with people who can vouch for them in Japan.

Orii Norimasa from Pathways Japan said that many individuals and organizations have received requests for help from Afghans with a connection to Japan. He has called for immediate action to deal with the matter.