Taliban ask Japan envoy to reopen embassy in Afghanistan


A deputy prime minister of the Taliban's interim government in Afghanistan called on Japan's ambassador to reopen the country's embassy in Kabul when the two met in the capital of the war-torn nation on Wednesday.

The request was made when Abdul Ghani Baradar met Ambassador Takashi Okada, the Taliban said. Japan temporarily closed its embassy in Kabul on Aug 15, the day the Taliban took effective control of the country as the United States prepared to withdraw its forces.

Japan evacuated its embassy staff from Afghanistan and moved diplomatic operations to the Qatari capital Doha.

The Taliban also said Okada conveyed Tokyo's intention to reopen its embassy if safety is assured when he met Abdul Kabir, another deputy prime minister who is in charge of political affairs, on Tuesday.

A senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the government is considering an option of resuming the embassy's functions with only local staff, but the timing of the resumption "needs to be coordinated with other countries."

Tokyo has made no official reference to the issue so far, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno telling a news conference Thursday in Tokyo, "We have no specific plans at present."

Regarding whether the Japanese government will recognize the Taliban government, Matsuno declined to comment, saying the situation in Afghanistan "remains fluid."

The Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that Okada took a four-day trip to Kabul from Sunday to meet senior Taliban officials including Baradar.

Japan will continue communicating with the Taliban "at practical levels," the ministry said in a statement, adding that Okada asked the interim government to secure the safety of Japanese nationals and local staff in Afghanistan as well as to allow their "swift and safe departure" if they request it.

Okada also sought that the Taliban respect the rights of "all Afghans including women and ethnic minorities" and build an "inclusive political system," stressing that Tokyo expects the government to take "positive action" on these issues, according to the ministry.

It was the first time such high-level talks between Japan and the Taliban in Kabul have come to light since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August ahead of the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops later that month.

Tokyo added that the Japanese ambassador met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Abdullah Abdullah, former head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, without elaborating.

Japan has apparently found it necessary to hold discussions with Taliban officials from the viewpoint of providing humanitarian assistance while remaining reluctant to recognize the interim government.

Last month, Okada held talks with acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Doha and asked that the safety of Afghans who worked at the embassy and organizations linked to Japan be ensured.


©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Don't do it, they are just looking for aid you'll only be providing them with potential hostages to be taken if there is ever any kind of confrontation between Japan and the Taliban. Get all Japanese nationals out of there now and then leave the Taliban to their own devices.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Just say no. They want Japanese money. And they think Japanese are a push over.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

They highly probably get our ransom money anyway, but that doesn’t mean they in addition also deserve to gain any international reputation by re-openings of foreign embassies.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ask them to hand over the murders of Dr Nakamura and his assistants first.

That should be a reasonable request after all.


16 ( +18 / -2 )

Wow, so many foreign affairs specialists here.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Okada also sought that the Taliban respect the rights of "all Afghans including women and ethnic minorities" and build an "inclusive political system," 

Well,coming this from Japan and from an LDP politican doesn’t really sound good.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I guess they can’t threaten to kill people at the embassy if there’s no embassy to begin with huh?

Let’s open one! A very good idea indeed, right?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And they think Japanese are a push over.

What could have given them that idea?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't see why not. There is nothing wrong to open the embassy again and continue corporations. Japan never got involve in the fighting. This was US and NATO mess anyway. And the fact is there was never any danger to any Japanese citizens. Because the taliban would not dare to worsen relationship with Japan when it now need allies the most to keep their country going. In fact Japan has so many embassy in other dangerous countries.

Let's be honest. Taliban are to stay in Afghanistan. This is their own internal affairs. Refusing to talk to them is not gonna do anyone any good except makes the citizens there suffer more. Is not like the US is going to return to aid them anyway. Might as well just accept the truth and resume operations. Both sides knows there is no conflict between each other and there can only be benefits instead. Only problem is that Japan cannot do it too openly without being called out by US for not standing with it's allies.

The US might be willing to make enemies out of the whole middle east now ( because it no longer need oil from there as much since they started their own domestic productions), but Japan should stay neutral from all of this. The middle east has been figting each other for thousands of years because of countless reasons. It's not our business to decide who is right or wrong. All this meddling is other countries affairs is what started this whole mess anyway.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Nice, do it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

You guys are crazy. Let's not do it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nice, don’t do it!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Alex, no just lots of people expressing the common sense view where dealing with a terrorist organisation that has seized a country and is busy inflicting their primitive dark age religious fanaticism on the population is concerned.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

the rights of "all Afghans including women and ethnic minorities"

Ha! In what world does this guy live in? This is the Taliban. For them, women are nothing but a thing to pop babies.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

After reading all the comments; and having been in AfghanLand for a year, as a Non-Combatitant, I would have to agree: DON'T do it...."Just Say No". :|

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In the case of Iran it was oil, so Japan let in a lot of Iranians into Japan.

In the case of Afghanistan it’s rare earth metals so Japan will let in a lot of Afghanis

Japan knows when there is an advantage in doing something…

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

By all means, open the embassy, and then reciprocate.

Initiate cultural exchanges so that both countries can learn from each other and enrich their respective cultures.

A Japanese branch of the Taliban would send a message to the world that Japan is the new center of progressive fundamentalism.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Too dangerous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Taliban killed Kazuya Ito in 2008 and disavows killing Tetsu Nakamura in 2019. Taliban and Taliban-controlled areas aren't safe for Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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