Japan is preparing to take home about 20 South Koreans, along with its own nationals, on a special flight from Israel, local media have reported, apparently returning the favor after Seoul brought back dozens of Japanese people from the war-torn region last week.
Japan has offered to provide South Korea with a limited number of available seats for South Koreans as it is working to determine the demand for the emergency transport among its own people, Kyodo News has reported, citing government officials.
Tokyo has sent an Air Self-Defense Force transport aircraft to Jordan for the transportation of its citizens.
The plane is expected to leave Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv at around 8 p.m. Thursday and arrive at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo early Saturday.
The flight will apparently be provided for free.
Japan's plan is seen as returning the favor to Seoul after a South Korean military aircraft brought back 51 Japanese citizens, together with 163 South Koreans, from Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Soon after the arrival, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa had a phone call with her South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, and thanked Seoul for helping the Japanese nationals safely return home.
The mutual cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo comes against the backdrop of a significant warming of bilateral relations as South Korea decided not to seek compensation from Japanese companies for the harsh labor many Koreans were forced into under Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
About 470 South Korean nationals are staying in Israel, up from the previous tally earlier this week, as those staying on missionary purposes have newly been added, the foreign ministry said. (Yonhap)