The Australian navy on Saturday morning evacuated 21 Japanese nationals from Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, where a coup erupted Monday, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Some of the 15 women and six men who were evacuated were taking part in youth overseas assistance programs. They were reportedly put aboard an Australian navy ship, the officials said, quoting a communication sent by the Japanese Embassy there.

The Japanese government had asked the Australian government to evacuate its citizens. Canberra mounted an evacuation due to the deteriorating security situation on the islands, where armed groups have clashed during the past week.

The Japanese government said 127 Japanese are still in the Solomon Islands — 42 in the capital.

The Solomon Islands consist of a chain of 10 islands northeast of Australia.