The Foreign Ministry said Sunday afternoon that all Japanese who were staying at hotels inside the commercial complex in Manila at the center of rebellion there have been safely evacuated.

The complex in Manila’s financial district of Mataki was seized earlier in the day by renegade Philippine soldiers.

The Philippine government has informed Tokyo that all guests at the Oakwood hotel-condominium, where employees of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japanese staff of the World Health Organization were staying, have been moved outside the building, ministry officials said.

The operator of the adjacent Intercontinental Hotel has also told the Japanese government that all 24 Japanese guests there have been safely evacuated, they added.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said 18 Japanese were among the roughly 50 hostages released around 8:30 a.m. local time by the rogue soldiers.

“I was initially scared because I was told that the rebels had placed bombs around the hotel,” said a 24-year-old Japanese man who lives on the 24th floor of the Oakwood building. “But the soldiers never came to my room. I saw them for the first time when I came down to the sixth-floor lobby before I left the hotel.

“There were not many soldiers, and they were polite to us.”

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