Japanese ambassador to Afghanistan meets Taliban official

The Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Staff members from the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan are among the arrivals at Narita Airport on Oct. 19.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese Ambassador to Afghanistan Takashi Okada held talks with Abdul Ghani Baradar, a senior official of an interim government in Afghanistan named by the Islamist group Taliban, in the Afghan capital of Kabul, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Okada sought the Taliban’s cooperation to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and local staff members who worked with Japanese people in Afghanistan and evacuate those willing to leave the country. The Taliban side showed understanding over the request.

The Japanese ambassador also called on the Taliban to respect the human rights of women and ethnic minorities and sought the establishment of an inclusive political system.

The Japanese embassy in Afghanistan was moved to Doha, Qatar, after the Taliban seized Kabul in August this year.

Okada visited Kabul for four days through Wednesday.

He also exchanged opinions with the Taliban side on the possible reopening of the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan. A Japanese government official said, however, “There’s no plan at the moment to reopen the embassy.”

On Wednesday, a Taliban press official said on Twitter that Okada indicated in the talks with the Taliban side Japan’s intention to reopen its embassy after safety is assured.

The Taliban press official also claimed that Okada said Japan will maintain its relations with the new Afghan government and will boost aid to Afghanistan to build trust as the first step.