KOMPAS.com – As Indonesia battles a resurgence of Covid-19 driven by the Delta variant, the government of Japan is starting to bring their citizens home by using a special flight on Wednesday, July 14.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said the step was taken to protect the safety of the Japanese citizens from being infected with the coronavirus. According to Nikkei Asia on Tuesday, July 13, Japan has prepared the government-funded special aircraft to evacuate their citizens who wish to go home.
"To protect the safety of Japanese nationals, we will take various efforts so that our citizens who wish to return home can go as soon as possible and as many people as possible," Kato said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Indonesia Teuku Faizasyah said that so far there was no information regarding the repatriation of the Japanese nationals.
"There has been no communication between the two governments regarding the matter," said Faizasyah told Kompas.com, Wednesday, July 14.
Faizasyah added that government-funded repatriation is different from voluntary repatriation which is done independently by the people who will charter a flight collectively.
“If people leave together independently by chartering a flight home, it should not be called repatriation,” Faizasyah said.
He said that the Indonesian government had previously facilitated Indonesian citizens who wished to return home independently after they were stranded in foreign countries due to flight restrictions amid the pandemic.
As of Tuesday, July 13, Indonesia recorded 47,899 new Covid-19 cases with 865 deaths. Indonesia’s Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the increasing number of new cases is affected by the increasing number of people get tested.
(Writer: Jawahir Gustav Rizal | Editor: Rizal Setyo Nugroho)