Egypt is in the midst of a popular uprising and no-one knows what end is in sight. This has led to the Israeli embassy being evacuated from Cairo by helicopter, and countless others trying to determine whether they should or not, and how they will take care of their citizens in the country. Japan is one of these countries.

A protester flashes a victory sign as a police truck burns in Cairo.

A protester flashes a victory sign as a police truck burns in Cairo. (Source: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alongside the UK, US and Sweden, have advised “those planning to travel or stay in any part of Egypt to postpone the plan for whatever the purpose is,” and for those already in the country ”to leave if they can do so, or to stay away from demonstrations and rallies, “never try to take photos of protesters or police officers”, and “to avoid going out alone and to stay away from local government offices, religious institutions or places where many people are gathering.”

MoFA also established an emergency taskforce under Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to maintain the safety of Japanese citizens in the region. A possible chartered airlift has been floated, according to a Daily Yomiuri tweet.

Japan called on Mubarak’s government “to refrain from any violence against peaceful demonstrators,” and asked the people of Egypt to act responsibly.

Maehara stressed that Japan “attaches great importance to the role of Egypt for peace and stability in the whole Middle Eastern and African region and strongly hopes that the Government of Egypt will start urgently to engage with its people and restore the political stability and the calm daily life of the people through advancing reforms in a way that gains support from a wide range of the people.”

Speaking from the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Kan added that he hoped “the government of Egypt will restore security and peace.

In Tokyo, about 50 Egyptians held an hour-long demonstration in front of the Egyptian embassy shouting “Go Out Mubarak” and “The Game is Over,” demanding free elections and the dissolution of the Parliament.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch