Japan to help evacuate Taiwanese from India

Japanese charter jets to carry Taiwanese out of India amid coronavirus lockdown

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JAL Boeing 787. (pxfuel photo)

JAL Boeing 787. (pxfuel photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Tuesday (March 31) that Japan will be taking some Taiwanese passengers on jets that it is chartering to evacuate its own citizens.

In an effort to stem the tide of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in India, the country announced a nationwide lockdown on March 25, seriously affecting the lives of Taiwanese expatriates. On Tuesday, MOFA announced that in order to facilitate the return of Taiwanese citizens living in India, Taiwan's representative office in India, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (TECC), contacted the Japanese embassy and it agreed to assist Taiwan's evacuation, provided there are available seats.

During a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) announced that some Taiwanese living in India had called TECC to inquire about quarantine procedures, finances, accommodations, food, and whether they could assist them in returning home, reported Liberty Times. Taiwan's representative office then contacted the Japanese embassy in India for assistance in evacuating its citizens.

Japan and India had already been negotiating the details on evacuation flights to Japan for a number of days. Thus far, Japan has arranged for charter jets to be flown by Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) to assist Japanese nationals in leaving the country from March 30 to April 4 via the "Delhi-Tokyo" route.

Ou said that after contacting the Japanese embassy, it agreed to provide reservations for Taiwanese nationals, on the condition that there are seats available. JAL will assist in providing reservations for the Tokyo to Taipei segment, according to Ou.

She then explained that the TECC would inform citizens living in India about the details of the flights. Ou added that MOFA and TECC would continue to monitor developments with the charter flights.