Statement by Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on the Hijacking of the Indian Airlines Airplane

December 31, 1999

  1. Today, according to a report from Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado, Counsellor at the Japanese Embassy in Pakistan, who was responsible for covering this incident in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the hostages on board the Indian Airlines airplane which was hijacked on December 24 were safely released as a result of negotiations between India and the hijackers. Counsellor Iwado also confirmed the release of a Japanese woman who was on the plane, at 4:50 p.m., December 31 (Japan time: 9:20 p.m. on December 31). I feel relieved to hear the report and would like to express heartfelt congratulations to her, her family and all the others concerned. I hear that she will fly to Delhi on a plane provided by the Government of India.

  2. The Government of Japan has involved itself in this incident by keeping in close contact with the parties concerned including the Japanese Embassies in India and Pakistan, making efforts for the rescue of the hostages. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Indian Foreign Minister Singh and officials of the Government of India, the Taliban, and all others who made every effort to protect the victims' safety.


Back to Index