Japan To Evacuate Nationals From ‘Wuhan City’- Abe

A passenger wearing a facemask to help stop the spread of a deadly virus which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, arrives at the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Blang Bintang in Aceh Besar, 13 kms south of Banda Aceh on January 27, 2020. At least 80 people have died since the new strain of coronavirus emerged in China’s Wuhan, and millions are now under an effective quarantine in the country, with all flights in and out of Wuhan grounded and a ban on Chinese tour groups domestically and abroad.
CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP

Japan will evacuate all its nationals from China’s quarantined city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday.

“We have decided to send back all (Japanese citizens in Wuhan) to Japan if they wish so, by every means including a chartered flight,” Abe told reporters.

“We are coordinating with the Chinese government at various levels, and we will accelerate the process to realise a swift implementation” of the evacuation from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, Abe said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a joint press conference
FRANCK ROBICHON / POOL / AFP

Earlier, a foreign ministry official told AFP that 430 Japanese were in Hubei province.

The move comes as several other countries are arranging plans to evacuate their personnel and citizens.

The outbreak, which has killed 56 people and infected nearly 2,000 across China, is believed to have originated in a live animal market in Wuhan.

China is one of Tokyo’s biggest trading partners and around 160 Japan-linked companies have offices in the region’s central city of Wuhan.

Japan’s health authorities confirmed the country’s third case on Saturday — all in patients that had visited Wuhan recently.

AFP

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