Japanese PM visits Bucha ahead of Zelenskyy meeting on surprise Ukraine trip

Kyiv, Mar 21 (EFE).- Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida visited the town of Bucha outside Kyiv on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Kishida, making a surprise visit to Ukraine, saw firsthand the devastation left in the wake of the Russian occupation, which ended when Bucha was liberated by Ukrainian troops on 31 March 2022.

“Together with the Prime Minister of Japan we have visited Bucha, which survived the occupation last year,” Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar, who accompanied Kishida, said on Twitter.

Dzheppar also thanked Japan for donating generators that helped Ukrainians get through the winter amid sustained Russian shelling of Ukraine’s power grid.

“With partners like Japan we will rebuild our country,” Dzheppar added, who posted several photos of Kishida honoring victims of Russian war crimes in Bucha, which was occupied during the early days of the war and liberated by Ukraine last April.

The visit to Bucha is the first event in Ukraine for Kishida, who arrived in Kyiv Tuesday morning by train from Poland.

Kishida and Dzheppar also visited the mural in central Kyiv commemorating fallen Ukrainian soldiers who died fighting against Russia.

According to a Japanese Foreign Ministry statement, Kishida plans to express “his respects to Zelenskyy for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people.”

“As a member of the G7, the prime minister will directly convey our solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine,” the statement added.

The Japanese leader’s visit to Ukraine coincides with that of regional rival China’s Xi Jinping to Moscow, which Tokyo has said it would closely watch. EFE


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