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Okinawa patrol boat dispatched to Indonesia

Date Posted: 1998-05-24

An Okinawa-based Maritime Safety Agency patrol boat "Mizuho" was dispatched to waters off Jakarta, Indonesia, to assist in a possible evacuation of Japanese nationals from the riot torn country.

According to Japanese official sources there are about 15,000 Japanese nationals living in Indonesia of whom 3,000 have returned mostly on chartered flights since the riots began. Officials say that Mizuho is equipped to evacuate 500 people if the need arises.

There are a number of Okinawans living in Indonesia. According to Nozomi Yamazato, 37, who arrived at Naha with his family, Monday, everyone is safe and accounted for. He said that Tsutomu Ota, an unofficial Okinawan ambassador to Indonesia, is assisting Japanese officials in evacuation efforts.

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