Measures have been discussed at the Japan’s National Security Council (NSC) for a plan to evacuate 57,000 citizens from South Korea in case of war.
This comes as a result of tension escalating over a possible nuclear test by North Korea and a US Navy aircraft carrier group steamed into the region.
Tokyo would seek approval from Seoul to send military aircraft and warships, along with civilian transport, if it became necessary to remove its citizens, possibility of large numbers of seaborne refugees from North Korea, among them possible spies, was also discussed by Japanese ministers.
Japan’s chief secretary to the cabinet Yoshihide Suga told a news conference it was always collecting and analysing information about North Korea’s moves but would not discuss details. “At present, we are in close contact with the United States and South Korea and in addition to urging [the North] to refrain from provocative actions and observe relevant UN Security Council resolutions, we will take all necessary steps to protect our people’s lives and assets,” he said.
Japan began working on plans to respond to a potential crisis on the Korean peninsula in February, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met US President Donald Trump, the Kyodo news agency said.