• Kyodo


A plane carrying Japanese expatriates and others left Yangon on Friday in the first direct flight to Japan since the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar, as Japanese businesses face uncertainty amid rising tensions in the Southeast Asian country.

The passengers on the All Nippon Airways flight, bound for Narita Airport near Tokyo, included many businesspeople who had been ordered to return by their superiors in Japan out of concern for their safety.

Among them was a man in his 40s involved in manufacturing, who said he was supposed to spend a few more years in Myanmar but that the coup had created uncertainty.

He said it was difficult to leave behind co-workers who “went out to protest and fight (the coup) while also coming to work.”

A 49-year-old man in the real estate business said he was determined to return to Myanmar.

ANA operated a daily flight between Yangon and Narita before the COVID-19 pandemic. It reduced services following the spread of the virus, and suspended them after the coup.

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