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The dispatch of government or Self-Defense Forces aircraft to India and Pakistan will be considered an option if rising tensions there pose a danger to Japanese nationals, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.

“If commercial flights become filled to capacity, we will charter planes,” to evacuate Japanese, Hitoshi Tanaka, chief of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, told a session of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. “If chartered planes cannot fly there, we are making preparations for all possibilities for evacuating Japanese, including using a government plane or an SDF plane.”

There are an estimated 2,500 Japanese in India and Pakistan, and the Foreign Ministry has issued warnings to Japanese travelers to stay away from the hotly disputed Kashmir region, where military forces from the two countries are facing off.

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