46 People Leave Israel Aboard Japan SDF Plane

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press)— Forty-six Japanese and foreign nationals have left Israel aboard the Air Self-Defense Force’s KC-767 aerial refueling and transport aircraft, the Defense Ministry said early Friday.

They will be transported to Japan. This is the second evacuation of Japanese nationals from Israel using an SDF aircraft since the clash between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas began in early October.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the evacuees left Israel on Thursday evening local time. They were 20 Japanese nationals, two family members with foreign nationality, 15 South Koreans, four Vietnamese, one Taiwanese and four family members of such foreigners.

In preparation for evacuations, the Defense Ministry put three SDF planes, namely the KC-767 and two C-2 transport aircraft, on standby in Jordan, which neighbors Israel.

As of Thursday, a total of about 800 Japanese nationals were in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Direct passenger flights between Israel and Japan have been suspended since Monday.

In the first evacuation using an SDF plane, 83 people, mainly Japanese and South Korean nationals, left Israel on Oct. 19.

On Oct. 14, eight Japanese nationals were evacuated on a flight chartered by the Japanese government and 51 Japanese nationals and family members boarded a South Korean military aircraft to leave Israel.