Japanese employees leaving construction sites in Algeria

JIJI

JGC Corp. employees have started to temporarily leave two construction sites in Algeria in the wake of the hostage crisis at Ain Amenas gas facility, officials of the major Japanese plant engineering company said Tuesday.

They are moving to Hassi Messaoud, a nearby city where the situation is relatively stable, the officials said. Still, some Japanese workers will remain at the two sites to maintain management of the facilities, the officials said.

The company is building natural gas plants at three locations in Algeria, including the Ain Amenas facility.

JGC plans to return the evacuated employees to the two sites after their safety can be assured, according to the officials.

Seven Japanese employees of the company have been confirmed dead in the hostage crisis, while another seven are safe. Three Japanese remain unaccounted for.

Other Japanese companies have also taken measures in response to the hostage crisis.

Marubeni Corp. has imposed a ban on travel to Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and the border areas of Algeria. It has also alerted employees in Algeria who have to visit the southern part of the country to make detail lists of their travel itinerary.

Sumitomo Corp. has issued a travel alert for Algeria to its employees.

Panasonic Corp. has prohibited business travel to Algeria and four other African countries — Mali, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger.