Japan Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi urged Japanese citizens to leave Ethiopia due to the rising military tensions.
“Currently, commercial flights continue to fly. We urge Japanese citizens to leave this country,” Hayashi said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida authorized the dispatch of a small team to Djibouti to assess the situation in Ethiopia and collect data, and prepare for any potential evacuation effort that could require an SDF aircraft.
Hayashi said a few dozen more citizens remain in the country that might require evacuation, adding that time would tell if a non-combatant evacuation operation will be necessary.
The violence between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces started in November last year and has killed thousands, displaced more than two million, and driven hundreds into hunger.
On Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asked the Tigrayan rebels to surrender as the government forces were nearing victory.
“The enemy has been defeated. We scored an unthinkable victory with the eastern command in one day… Now in the west, we will repeat this victory,” Abiy said.
Fears of an escalation of the fight in Addis Ababa also prompted the United States, France, Britain, and other countries to urge their citizens to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible.
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