Japan is considering sending a Self-Defense Forces aircraft to its operating base in Djibouti as part of efforts to evacuate its citizens in Israel, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday, amid the fierce conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

While Japan plans to evacuate its citizens on a charter flight Saturday from Tel Aviv to Dubai, it will also keep the SDF aircraft on standby in Djibouti in case the crisis further intensifies and the contracted plane becomes unavailable, Kishida said.

The SDF has an operating base in Djibouti in Africa, around 2,000 kilometers south of Israel, as part of an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.