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Two Air Self-Defense Force transport planes were dispatched early July 12 to Thailand via Manila to prepare for the evacuation of Japanese nationals from Cambodia, where political uncertainty continues, government officials said July 11.

It will be the first time Japan has dispatched military aircraft on a mission that is not a training flight since the end of World War II. Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda told a news conference that the government started preparations and will consult with the Thai government about the dispatch of the C-130 Hercules aircraft. Defense Agency sources said the planes could be sent within two hours of the issue of a formal order and could reach Thailand within seven hours.

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