Japan’s Self-Defense Forces personnel dispatched to Djibouti

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main building of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, in November 2020.

The government has dispatched several Self-Defense Forces an other personnel to Djibouti to help Japanese nationals in neighboring Ethiopia evacuate if necessary, as armed conflicts have been escalating in that country, government sources said.

Conflicts between government and antigovernment forces in Ethiopia have been increasingly fierce. The SDF personnel were to gather information and coordinate evacuation efforts from Djibouti.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday raised its four-stage danger ranking to the highest level, at which evacuation is recommended, for all of Ethiopia. The ministry said several dozen Japanese nationals, not including staff of the Japanese Embassy, were still in the nation.

The government held a meeting Friday of four ministers of the National Security Council at the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss the situation.

Government forces in Ethiopia have battled fiercely with forces of the Tigray people. The antigovernment forces mainly comprise the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which was formerly a ruling power in the government.