Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu

Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 12:46 p.m. 2nd Floor Minister's Room, Main Building, Diet Building

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening Remarks

Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Coordination is being conducted to dispatch the fourth chartered plane tomorrow. I anticipate it will be flown tomorrow. So far 565 Japanese nationals living in Wuhan City have been repatriated to Japan on three chartered flights. At present, there are about 140 Japanese nationals who wish to return to Japan, although they wish for repatriation at different timings. While listening to the requests of these Japanese nationals, coordination has been advanced on all sides including with the Government of China, for flying additional chartered planes. While many of the people in Wuhan City have already been repatriated, there are still Japanese nationals living outside of Wuhan City who wish to return to Japan. To ensure the repatriation of all of them, we have coordinated closely with the Government of China, including the means of moving them to Wuhan. In addition, from a humanitarian perspective, we have coordinated earnestly with China to obtain its authorization for boarding people who have some form of relationship with Japanese citizens such as Chinese spouses. Such coordination is also under way.

Given that, coordination is being conducted to dispatch the fourth chartered plane tomorrow, February 6. We hope that as many people as possible who wish to return to Japan will use this fourth flight. Beyond that, we will of course continue to take further responses for those wishing to return to Japan.

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: About how many people will be on the fourth flight?

Minister MOTEGI: We believe that it will be around 200 people. However, they have to travel to Wuhan, and for example, on a day-to-day basis, there are a few people who change their mind and say they want to remain in China. So the number may change, but this is the approximate number we anticipate.

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