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SDF able to evacuate only 1 Japanese national from Afghanistan

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"Things would have turned out differently if only (Japan was able) to act faster," said a senior ministry official.

Looks like this is the way Japan is run by the government in many aspects.

27 ( +33 / -6 )

Japan evacuates only 1 national from Afghanistan

Japan always accept only few refugee from time to time.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/19/national/world-refugee-day-well-japan-fulfilling-obligations-2019/

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

I also heard in that the Jgov will evacuate Afghanis that worked for and assisted the Japanese there but only them and not their families, which makes the likelihood that these Afghanis will take Japan up on its offer to evacuate highly unlikely.

This policy and the slow action by Japan, makes me feel as if Japan doesn't really want any Afghans to come to Japan. Also the limited amount of news coverage here, unlike in other countries around the world, will make it less likely for the public and NPOs to build up sympathy and request action for these people.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Unfortunately, acting too slowly in international crises has become a post-WWII trademark for Japan. Recently the Taliban made some comment about wanting to maintain good relations with Japan. If so, they could probably attain it by using their goons to secure passage of J-nationals to the airport.

One C-2 and two C-130s for one evacuee would by funny if the situation weren't so serious now with the attack on the airport.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Here’s me thinking the ‘national’ was an Afghani….stupid me!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"Things would have turned out differently if only (Japan was able) to act faster," said a senior ministry official.

But you are well aware Japan dies not act fast. It’s like asking a dog to climb a tree.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Like everything, a day late and a dollar short. They only deployed while other countries were wrapping up. They were more preoccupied with the olympics. All that time Motegi was in the mid-east hobnobbing around doing nothing.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

part of a mission of evacuating up to about 500 people including several of its citizens,

OK, sound good.

Except...

According to government officials, a small number of Japanese remain in Afghanistan as they did not wish to leave the country.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

To be fair there is no need to be acting so scared. First off the taliban do not want to worsen relationship with japan and had made promise not to target japanese. They need japan investment too much. Secondly they only hate the US. Japan spend a lot helping out Afghanistan these last 2 decades with building infrastructures. So why the diplomats had to flee is still beyond me. People need to chill out.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Aah, what better way to start a day than a Kyodo-riddle article in the morning.

This time it's all about reconciling:

."one evacuated Japanese national"

. "3 planes" sent to evacuate "500 people due for evacuation"

. "a small number" of Japanese wishing to remain in the country (500 is not small in my book, but again, those are my own standard when it comes to something as trivial as human lives.

One can only guess that: 3 planes came for an estimated total of 500, got only one as all the others got caught in Taliban check-points while a small number decided to stay. Fair enough, but...

...in what is a pretty rate move:

"Defense Ministry and SDF officials expressed frustration over the unexpected turn of events that has put at risk the security of the SDF personnel involved, with one calling it a "wrong political decision" at a time when Japan is unaware of the situation on the ground."

It would definitely not be a "wrong political decision" to try to evacuate embassy personal and human relief / support workers like JICA, especially 500 of them, so what exactly are they talking about? Me thinks there is, as usual with pretty much any recent Kyodo piece, more than meets the eye.

Especially when considering that "Japanese diplomats were evacuated to Dubai last week after the embassy in Kabul was shut on Aug. 15" which was 8 days before the 3 planes were sent to Kabul.

There were also talks about Afghan workers to be evacuated which...are not clearly mentioned anywhere in this piece ("500 people including several of its citizens" = a lot of Afghans and a few Japanese, I guess???). Maybe this TBS (from Friday 22:49) piece will help:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/8199816bd74bc09037dbbf1c4a167d726726141d

Here the mission is called "finished" and the Afghans (no number given) as "evacuated to Islamabad" (Pakistan) with no mention of the planes remaining, on the contrary the JSDF forces have left "the region" (現地), whatever country territory that is supposed to mean...

Maybe the TBS piece will not help as much a this TV Asahi-piece (from Saturday 6:34 (more recent) ) ...

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/ec1129781dcf95317f6e6181a64cb40a71080bfc

...mentions 1 Japanese female (non-related to the embassy been the person having been evacuated as per her wish with the 500 Afghans wishing to be evacuated as not having been evacuated...at all...as they could not get to the airport and only embassy personal and...JSDF personal having left for Islamabad with the 3 planes waiting in Islamabad (one can guess for the 500 Afghans then). News on the Afghans coming from the Gaimusho (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

As of Saturday 7:15, there is also this Jiji-piece...

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/1bcf8a80436b77589b37486dc91b4f62d63bec5a

...which only gives one figure: the number of JSDF personal sent as a part of the mission (260) (never miss out on a chance for some banzai-posturing and selling the heroics of the J-(military) boyz ).

The article also highlights that "all persons wishing to leave are to reach the airport" and the Ministry of Defense indicating that "should they have been sent earlier, the results may have been different", "that they local conditions were difficult" and that they "have to insure the security of their (military) personal" which basically translates into them disliking their own governments' sit-on-their-hands-approach as well as having been sent to a place with targets on their backs. Who could blame them?

Funny to see so many articles (with some time-lag in publishing) giving so many different accounts of one same mission. While one can only agree that local situation is one of complete chaos, the J-military on-site does know who and how many they did evacuate (especially if there was only...one) and the gaimusho was informed, so enough details should be known.

Anyway, educated guess: the 500 (or so) Aghans chose the wrong embassy to work for...

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Hiro, here's the deal. In a time of crisis, just as with this pandemic, the government has failed to act decisively and in a timely manner. That is the problem. You go tell the people hiding in their homes to chill when IS has claimed the bombing, not the Taliban...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

ONE!!!! Good job, Japan!!!! ONE out of thousands!!! Other countries are evacuating thousands, but JAPAN can ONLY manage ONE!!!! It can't possibly get any more pathetic than that! And Japan is saying it is going to stop Afghanistan becoming a hotbed of terrorism!!!??? HHHHhhhhhaaaaaaaahhhaaaahhhhhaaahhhaaa!!!!!

2 ( +13 / -11 )

According to government officials, a small number of Japanese remain in Afghanistan as they did not wish to leave the country.

LOL! They don’t want to come back to all the overtime and Japanese society rules. Says a lot!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I've heard Japanese nationals and Afghan worker staffs themselves have to come to the airport whatever, otherwise they are not be evacuated from Afghanistan. It seems to me most of them did not make it to come to the airport.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This policy and the slow action by Japan, makes me feel as if Japan doesn't really want any Afghans to come to Japan. 

Why would they, have you ever thought why you live in such a safe country. It's because of strict vetting, they don't bring anyone in unless they contribute positively to Japanese society. I have two degrees and it took the best part of 6 months processing and back and forth to get accepted into Japan when I already had a high paying job accepted and a company sponsorship.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

That’s already too many IMO.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Those who did not make to the airport for j evacuation would have to wait for another chance as long as Taliban (leaders) said at press interview they continue to want good relation with Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The government is lacking in intelligence.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

How sad, I can't even imagine the feelings of the thousands of people waiting at the airport when they see a military cargo plane leave with only one on board, this is really disturbing, OEN UP YOU HEART Japan and help the these people, they are just as humans as the one Japanese you rescued.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Japan evacuates only 1 national from Afghanistan

(...) The plane, which arrived in Islamabad on Friday, carried Hiromi Yasui, a 57-year-old Kyodo News staff member who lives in Kabul and runs a business there. 

It's ironic to see Kyodo issuing this report in a somewhat cynical or teasing manner about the ongoing evacuation effort although its agency staff member was the "only 1 Japanese national" being able to leave the country safely thanks to the mission. Please don't take it for granted, Kyodo. You owe the government one.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Open Up Your Heart Japan.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Wherever the Afghans were finally settled, every plane should have left full.

-The SDF officer said it is rare for such a mission to be conducted in a tense atmosphere.

The SDF are trained for this, just like any other military force. It comes with the job. You don't put on a service uniform on condition that you will only do completely safe things in completely safe places.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This outcome has a great security ramification for Japan.

Each military's competency is judged by its ability to react to and manage sudden unexpected security challenges like this.

Japan failed this test miserably, while Korea aced it admirably, was able to extract more than 400 Afghans out in one shot.(380 went to Korea while 30 decided to take other evacuation opportunity at a 3rd country)

Now, China's going to conclude that Japan will almost certainly fall into a disarray and be unable to react properly when a similar sudden security challenge develops around Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands, incentivizing Beijing to go ahead with their plans to take Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Seriously?

J- govt asked the UK to evacuate Japanese diplomats on a RAF plane to Dubai when the airlift started a week ago...there are thousands of people trying to get out and time is running out...why couldn't Japan do the same favor and put some other country nationals on the plane and at least fly them to Islamabad out of harm's way? And if it's true they only offered to airlift their Afghan staffers but not their families then that's beyond words.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Agree with you blue.

I can't make head nor tail of this article.

1, 500, The evacuation for its nationals and local staff at its embassy and other Japanese entities came after a few failed attempts.........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can see why some Japanese prefer to stay .

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How many japanese are left there?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really effective use of resources. Guess if they'd filled the plane with refugees, Japan would just have had to make arrangements to repatriate those of them that survived its internment facilities.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@GBR48Today  09:54 am JST

Wherever the Afghans were finally settled, every plane should have left full.

100% agree. Especially if as other commentators stated the embassy staff were airlifted by allied forces. Japan had to reciprocate.

-The SDF officer said it is rare for such a mission to be conducted in a tense atmosphere.

The SDF are trained for this, just like any other military force. It comes with the job. You don't put on a service uniform on condition that you will only do completely safe things in completely safe places.

I would say that the JSDF would agree, the problem being here:

a. timing of the mission; why did Japan wait another week (oh yeah, elections coming up and politicians' agendas full of "discreet" meetings in Ginza steakhouse backrooms)

b. ultimately what exactly was the job this time?? get one single Kyodo staff out, get some JICA/humanitarian organization-staff out, get tons of Afghan staff out, or...just some chest-thumping banzai posturing for Kyodo and Jiji to print?

Some articles state the "mission is over", some that the JSDF is, like, "waiting in Islamabad"? I get that Kabul airport must look like any airport in the movie World War Z, but there should be some spot for 1,2 or 3 J-planes to wait for other evacuees to reach the airport instead of having the JSDF wait in a neighboring country, then fly again to Kabul airport. This is just a waste of time putting both evacuee and JSDF personal at risk. But again, they could airlift allied staff and Afghan personal if their own mission is over...

The JSDF is on-site (or close enough) but asked to sit on their hands...I'm sure they love every effing single minute of it...and that this was exactly what they signed up for, eh?

Even if some people did / do get evacuated and none of the personal involved got injured, this mission is a total fiasco: from a political point of view (i.e. the decision-process and time-line), from a logistics point of view (i.e. what was to achieve vs what was effectively achieved), (like Samit Basu indicated) from a military/strategic point of view (I'm sure the other members of the QUAD have personal to evacuate as well, why not help?), from a PR point of view (i.e.every country trying to get "their" Afghans and famillies out...except Japan).

Long story short: again, the J-government has failed its duties (i.e. humanitarian, strategic, military, political, etc), it failed its population, its allies and its friends. Yet another day, yet another failure. Oh yeah, vote LDP for some more of it in Fall...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How many japanese are left there?

About 500 such as JICAs, NGOs, volunteers and a few officials are probably still there. All embassy officials and staffs had already left there before the chaos.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Things would have turned out differently if only (Japan was able) to act faster," said a senior ministry official.

Just-in-time business practices have served many manufacturers well, but when applied to healthcare, evacuations and other areas have been shown to be not quite so effective. Good job, nevertheless SDF for getting one person out. Bush and his fellow neoConservative's (both Republican and Democrat) invasion was a mess that keeps on taking.

The invasion was a malefit for all but the globe's .01% who most likely did benefit financially, after all wars throughout history typically have made the rich even richer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kwatt

Officials? I really doubt japanese officials are in Afghanistan.

You must mean afghani working for japanese, no? Not even the chinese have such an entourage.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And no, I believe Japan does the right thing by leaving the afghani out of it.

Not even Pakistan is allowing afghani refugees for now, because there's no "vetting".

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Officials? I really doubt japanese officials are in Afghanistan.

Believe or not doesn't matter. There are one or two officials there to report information to its government. They have to communicate with Japanese citizens left there. One may be Afghan staff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kwatt

Isn't that the embassy job? Shouldn't these guys be in the embassy?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bravo. Evacuated one Japanese national. Does this mean Japan will start accepting thousands of Afghan refugees like the rest of G7 nations? Japan is all bark and no bite.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Iron Lad

I really don't know. They may be remaining in the embassy where there are computers and communication tools there. I don't think Talibans destroy the embassy as Taliban leaders said and want to maintain good relations with Japan ever at press interview and hope they come back again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gaijinland

Of course, that's why they only rescue one japanese national. The korean can boast about rescuing afghanis, I don't think the public want to compete in that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Of course not*

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Afghani = unit of currency.

Afghan = denizen of Afghanistan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Latest News

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210828/k10013228451000.html

On the 26th, the SDF was found to have evacuated more than a dozen Afghans to Pakistan in a transport plane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is pathetic

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

igfklin

So they are able to evacuate more, they just drop them on Pakistan instead.

Meh, not a bad deal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@lgfklin

On the 26th, the SDF was found to have evacuated more than a dozen Afghans to Pakistan in a transport plane.

And SDF left Afghanistan, concluding the evacuation mission with a total of 11 evacuees.

@Iron Lad

So they are able to evacuate more, they just drop them on Pakistan instead.

Military cargo planes don't have a great range so most of them fly to Islamabad, where evacuees take another longer-range airliner to get to their final destinations.

Right now, military cargo planes are used instead of civilian airliners to fly in and out of Kabul because of terror threats(Portable SAM missile) that require planes to make specific evasive maneuvers not possible with civilian airliners.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Samit Basu

That ain't so bad. Pakistan will know how to deal with them.

I wouldn't envy the koreans for flying the afghans to their home country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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