Japan ambassador to Afghanistan Okada Takashi on Wednesday held talks with Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister from the Taliban government, Amir Khan Muttaqi, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported. The Japanese envoy sought the Taliban leader's support in realising the necessity of swift and safe exit of Japanese nationals from the country. It is to mention that the meeting was the first official talk between Japan and the outfit group.
During the meeting, Ambassador Takashi asked for cooperation from the Taliban to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals employed in the temporary embassy opened in Afghanistan. As per NHK, he also urged the Taliban's foreign minister to render protection to Japanese citizens who are waiting to be evacuated from the war-torn country.
Takashi, who was appointed as an envoy to Afghanistan in 2020, asked the Taliban leader to respect the rights of women and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan. He also highlighted the need for the outfit-led government to comply with the calls of creating an inclusive cabinet that includes diverse ethnic and religious groups. Lastly, the ambassador sought a safe passage of personnel for the successful delivery of humanitarian aid from Japan to the war-torn country.
The aid will be disbursed among Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries that are undergoing migration crises. Speaking at the press briefing, the FM also noted the harrowing humanitarian crisis fuelled by internal displacement and a failing economy has pushed Afghan citizens into their lowest. “Based on these circumstances and in response to the UN emergency appeal as of today the government of Japan has decided to offer Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries…a total of USD65 million of emergency grant aid through international organisations,” FM Motegi said, as per Sputnik. Following this, the total allocation to Afghanistan from Japan will reach $200 million by the end of the year, the minister added.
Japan has continued to help evacuate Afghans from the war-torn nation. As of 12 October, Japan evacuated 300 Afghans since the Taliban overtook Kabul in mid-August. Last week, another 140 were awaiting an airlift from Qatar, Kyodo news reported, quoting FM Motegi. On the same day, the Japanese FM asserted that Tokyo “will continue diplomatic efforts, including negotiations with the Taliban, to ensure safety of Japanese nationals and local staff and to evacuate them if necessary while working closely with relevant countries including the United States and Qatar,” he said, as per Kyodo news.