Iran's retaliatory missile attacks against Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops have sparked security fears among Japanese firms operating in the Middle East, with some choosing to evacuate staff from offices in the region.

Japan's three biggest commercial banks — MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) and Mizuho Bank — each said they had moved Japanese employees stationed at their representative offices in Tehran to locations outside the country. The lenders' Tehran offices are also manned by local staff members.

An SMBC spokesman said the employee relocation was "a temporary measure," and that the employee was continuing information-gathering operations at a new location.