The government on Thursday ordered the Air Self-Defense Force to dispatch aircraft to Djibouti in preparation for the evacuation of Japanese nationals from Sudan, where military clashes are intensifying.

The ASDF planes are expected to leave for Djibouti this weekend, from where they will fly to Sudan to evacuate around 60 Japanese nationals living there, a government source said.

For the mission, the SDF will organize a joint task force headed by the commander of the Air SDF's Air Support Command.

The task force will work out evacuation routes and other details of the mission, together with existing SDF troops in Djibouti who have been deployed to the African country for operations against pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia.

It remains unclear when the planes will head to Sudan. Multiple C-130 and C-2 transport planes are expected to be dispatched.

Fighting between Sudan's armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has escalated, including at the airport in the country's capital Khartoum, making it difficult for people to evacuate.

The conflict has left more than 270 people dead and over 2,600 others injured, the World Health Organization said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference Thursday that the government is in touch with all of the Japanese citizens currently in Sudan. "We'll work closely with other major countries, including Group of Seven nations, and do our best to secure the safety of Japanese citizens," the top government spokesman said.

In the past, SDF aircraft were sent overseas to evacuate Japanese nationals five times. No cabinet approval is needed for such a dispatch of SDF aircraft.