Japanese PM arrives in Kyiv to meet with Zelenskyy
Tokyo, Mar 21 (EFE) .- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived Tuesday in Kyiv, on a surprise visit to the country, to meet with his Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to Japanese state broadcaster NHK.
Kishida arrived in the Ukrainian capital around 10 GMT by train from Poland, and was received by a Ukrainian delegation.
The Japanese leader had met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the previous day and was due to return to Tokyo Tuesday, according to his official schedule.
However, he decided to extend his trip to visit Ukraine after saying in a parliamentary session in January that he would visit the war-torn country under the right circumstances.
It is not customary for a Japanese leader to make an official visit to a foreign country without prior announcement.
Kishida had been planning a possible trip to Ukraine since the beginning of the year, according to local media, which also noted that the trip could not be scheduled well in advance or made public for security reasons.
The Japanese leader’s visit to Ukraine coincides with that of China’s Xi Jinping to Moscow, which Tokyo has said it would closely watch.
This trip also serves to reinforce Japan’s position as a supporter of Ukraine, especially given that it holds the presidency of the G7 this year.
Kishida has also been approving a series of sanctions against Russia, such as the freezing of assets of senior government officials, including the country’s Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin.
The Japanese prime minister is the only G7 leader who had not met Zelenskyy in person since the Russian invasion began more than a year ago.
The G7 is made up of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, France and Japan. EFE