Japan accepts Ukrainian evacuees using commercial flight for first time


Japan on Saturday accepted for the first time Ukrainian evacuees using government-secured seats on a direct commercial flight from Poland.

The six people aged between 6 and 55, including five women, arrived at Narita Airport near Tokyo from Warsaw, according to the Japan Immigration Services Agency.

A Japanese government plane arrives at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from Poland on April 5, 2022, carrying 20 Ukrainian evacuees fleeing the Russian invasion. (Kyodo)

As Japan pledged to play a more active role in providing humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people after the Russian invasion, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday the government would guarantee weekly seats on flights direct from Poland to Japan for those fleeing the war-torn country. .

This free assistance, which Japan plans to continue for some time, will be available to “people who have strong hopes of evacuating to Japan but are having difficulty finding a way to travel on their own,” the agency said, so the war was raging. by Russia drags on and millions of refugees have fled Ukraine.

If they have no acquaintances or relatives in Japan, they can stay in hotel rooms to be arranged by the government after entering the country.

Until now, Ukrainian evacuees have been arriving in Japan on their own or by a Japanese government plane, which arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday carrying 20 of them from Poland, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi visited to learn about the refugee crisis.

On Wednesday, Japan, known for its strict immigration and refugee policy, allowed the entry of 437 people from Ukraine.

The number of Japanese since March 2, about a week after the start of the war, is still low given that 4.44 million refugees had fled Ukraine, including about 2.56 million to Poland and about 678,000 to Romania, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. .

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