Japanese nationals in Ukraine told ‘to prepare for unforeseen circumstances,’ says official
ISTANBUL (AA) – After the US told families of American officials to start leaving Ukraine, Japan announced on Monday that it could soon follow suit.
“Japan is also moving in that direction,” an unnamed Foreign Ministry official told Kyodo News, referring to the US order for the “departure of eligible family members” of embassy staff in Kyiv amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
“The situation is changing rapidly,” said the official.
Hirokazu Matsuno, the government’s chief Cabinet secretary, said Japanese nationals in Ukraine have been asked “to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.”
Japan has around 250 nationals, including family members of embassy staff, in the Eastern European country.
“We will continue to closely monitor the changes in the situation and take necessary measures promptly, while working closely with the United States and other related countries,” he said.
Earlier, Washington told its citizens in Ukraine to “consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”
The security situation around “Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice,” read a statement, adding that there are reports that Moscow is planning “significant military action against Ukraine.”
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014, a move that has never received international recognition and decried as illegal under international law.
Moscow recently amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s eastern border, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive.
However, Russia has denied allegations levelled by Western countries, asserting that its troops are only there for exercises.