The Foreign Ministry has said that 54 Afghan nationals, mainly local staff members of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, have arrived in Japan via Qatar.

Although Japan currently bans new entries by foreigners as part of its border controls against the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the ministry decided that the Afghans were exceptions to the rule due to humanitarian considerations, ministry officials said Friday.

Since the tighter border controls came into force, they were the first group of arrivals who escaped Afghanistan, which is now under the control of the Taliban.

The 54 Afghans will undergo infection control measures, including PCR tests and isolation for 14 days.

They took the number of Afghans who have taken shelter in Japan to 488.

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