Political Analysis

Japan closes embassy in strife-torn Yemen

National Yemen

FEB 16, 2015, The Foreign Ministry closed the Japanese Embassy in Yemen Sunday, citing deteriorating security, NHK reported Monday morning. The move, which is considered temporary, follows the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen last week, followed by those of European powers. Yemen has seen its security rapidly deteriorate in recent months, with the Houthi rebels seizing control of its capital Sanaa. The Foreign Ministry has evacuated the five Japanese Embassy officials in Yemen, including Ambassador Katsuyoshi Hayashi, out of the country, NHK said. Some of the embassy staff have moved to Doha, where the Japanese Embassy in Qatar is, and continue to operate from there, according to the public broadcaster. Political unrest has escalated in Yemen recently, where attacks on and kidnappings of foreigners are on the rise. The Foreign Ministry says Japanese nationals have higher risks of being harmed. The ministry recommends that all nationals postpone any trips there, regardless of the purpose of their visits.