• Kyodo

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Japanese airlines plan to put on special flights to allow Japanese residents in Indonesia to return home amid a surge of infections of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta said Wednesday night.

The embassy has started contacting residents to see if they want to take the Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways flights to return to Japan, it said.

An increasing number of Japanese expatriates and family members in Indonesia are returning home amid the surge and a shortage of hospital beds. But many have found it difficult to reserve flights to Japan.

About 50 expatriates working for Japanese major general contractor Shimizu Corp. and their family members were repatriated Wednesday from Indonesia on a chartered plane.

According to the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta, at least 330 Japanese nationals in Indonesia had contracted the virus as of Wednesday, of which 14 died.

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