Japanese expats weigh leaving Bangladesh after Dhaka massacre

Japanese expatriates in Dhaka were shocked by the deadly hostage siege last week and are wondering how to ensure the safety of their families while minimizing the impact on their work and daily lives.

“We were advised to be careful by the Japanese embassy in Dhaka, but I’d never thought a terror attack would actually happen,” said Hideki Tanaka, 41, who runs a company that supports Japanese firms doing business in Bangladesh.

Tanaka’s house in Dhaka, where he lives with his family of three, is about 10 kilometers from the restaurant where the attackers tortured and killed diners and staff, including seven Japanese nationals.

The Japanese school in the city, attended by Tanaka’s son, 9, and daughter, 5, remains closed since the siege started on Friday local time. The incident ended on Saturday when Bangladeshi security forces stormed the restaurant, rescuing one Japanese man and 12 other hostages and killing most of the attackers.