TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Japanese expatriates in Taiwan may have to organize their evacuation in the event of a cross-strait conflict as China steps up military pressure.

Kyodo News reported Wednesday (December 29) that the Japanese community in Taiwan is preparing for the potential fallout from a possible attack from Beijing. The Japanese government is committed to ensuring the safety of all its nationals in the country.

A Japanese bank headquartered in Taiwan has established an emergency liaison network and organized evacuation drills for such events. The company is closely monitoring political dynamics and will quickly pull its employees and their families out of the country in a “high-risk scenario.”

Citing members of Japanese groups in Taiwan, the report suggests that a more viable evacuation option will occur on the country’s east coast, which faces the Pacific. Expats are expected to be evacuated by ships, but it could prove difficult to move Japan’s 19,000 expatriates, based on September’s figure, eastward.

According to the protocol, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will send planes to pick up their overseas citizens in the event of an emergency. The practice may not work for Taiwan, as the two do not have diplomatic relations.

Whether to bring home the “non-citizen” families of Japanese nationals is still under debate, the report writes. The Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, which deals with bilateral affairs in the absence of diplomatic ties, said it urges those who stay in Taiwan for three months or more to provide their contact details, but the bottom line is that “People better rely on themselves.”