2 Japanese SDF Transport Planes Arrive in Jordan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Air Self-Defense Force KC-767 aerial refueling and transport plane departing Saturday from the Air Self-Defense Force’s Komaki Air Base in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Two Japanese Air Self-Defense Force transport planes arrived in Jordan on Tuesday afternoon Japan time to prepare for the possible evacuation of Japanese nationals from Israel amid the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

At a press conference on the day, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hideki Murai said that Japan is currently asking Japanese nationals in Israel if they wish to leave the country, with a view to evacuating them as early as this week.

Following Defense Minister Minoru Kihara’s order to prepare for a possible evacuation, two C-2 transport aircraft and one KC-767 aerial refueling and transport plane left Japan on Saturday for Djibouti in eastern Africa, where Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have a base.

While one C-2 transporter has already landed in Djibouti, the other two planes changed their destination to an airport in Jordan, according to the ministry. The C-2 plane currently on standby in Djibouti would also move to Jordan if necessary, the ministry said.

As Djibouti is located more than 2,000 kilometers from Israel, the ministry has decided to keep SDF planes on standby closer to Israel to prepare for any sudden changes in the current situation, such as Israel launching a ground invasion in Gaza.

The ministry is believed to have picked Jordan, which borders Israel, as the SDF and others conducted an evacuation drill there last year.