Japan tells nationals in Ukraine to ‘immediately’ leave country
Tokyo, Feb 14 (EFE).- Japan on Monday told its citizens residing in Ukraine to leave the country and said it would evacuate a large part of the embassy staff due to the increase in tensions over conflict with Russia.
Government Spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said its 150 nationals in Ukraine should “immediately” leave the country, and that embassy staff would be repatriated Monday.
“Japanese citizens are urged to leave the country using commercial aircraft, as some flights have been suspended and there is a possibility that they will be totally suspended in the coming days,” the spokesman told the media.
As said by the government spokesman, the Japanese embassy in Kiev told its nationals via email, after raising the maximum security alert in the country Friday.
“Friday we raised the security alert level to four, not only in the capital but also throughout the country,” said Matsuno, who added that the Japanese government has formed an internal team to monitor the crisis in the European country.
From Monday, a large part of the staff of the Japanese Embassy in Kiev will be evacuated and only a minimal consular service will be maintained.
“We will prioritize the security of our nationals and will continue to communicate individually by mail and by phone,” the spokesman said.
Japan’s announcement comes days after several countries and international organizations advised their citizens to leave the country or issued warnings not to travel to Ukraine, including the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
The United States urged its citizens Friday to leave Ukraine, considering that “there is a clear possibility” that Moscow launches an attack.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the same day of the “real risk” that “an armed conflict” could soon break out.
Singapore also told its nationals to leave Ukraine “as soon as possible” because it could not guarantee being able to assist them “if a conflict breaks out” with Russia. EFE