the Japanese Embassy in Baghdad contacted each of its citizens residing in Iraq on Friday and urged them to evacuate the country as soon as possible, ahead of any potential U.S.-led strike, a Foreign Ministry official said.
The move Friday came one day after Tokyo issued
an advisory for Japanese citizens to leave Baghdad
for others to postpone traveling there. The government already had an evacuation advisory for areas of Iraq outside the capital.
There are currently 34 Japanese, including nine long-term residents and 14 media personnel, residing in Iraq, the Foreign Ministry said.
The Japanese Embassy in Baghdad contacted each
of those residents to make the recommendation
Friday, a ministry official said. The sooner they
leave Iraq the better, the official said on condition
Japan’s embassy in Baghdad will remain open as usual. Kyodo News agency said the embassy told
Japanese in Iraq they should leave the country by
next Wednesday, when the U.N. Security Council is
scheduled to hold an unofficial meeting on the country.
The United States has threatened to attack Iraq if
United Nations inspectors discover Baghdad has been hiding a program to build weapons of mass destruction.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry has also warned Japanese
to be cautious about traveling to Bahrain, Kuwait,
and Saudi Arabia.