Japan’s Kishida pledges continuing support to Ukraine during surprise visit

Tokyo, Mar 22 (EFE).- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged continuing support to Ukraine and extended an invitation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to participate virtually in the upcoming G7 summit in Hiroshima.

Kishida and Zelenskyy “condemned in the strongest possible terms the illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked aggression by Russia against Ukraine,” according to a joint statement, released by the Japanese foreign ministry on Wednesday.

“The leaders shared the view that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine undermines the very foundation of the international order based on the rule of law, constitutes a grave violation of the basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter…and it presents a direct threat to security, peace and stability not only in the Euro-Atlantic area, but also in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” the statement added.

The leaders also expressed their commitment to the “policy of non-recognition of attempted illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories by Russia” and urged Moscow to “immediately cease hostilities and withdraw all forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally.”

Kishida arrived in Kyiv at around 7 pm Japanese time on Tuesday after taking a train from Poland hours earlier, and was received by a Ukrainian delegation.

Later, the Japanese president visited the city of Bucha on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital to see first-hand the effects of the Russian war, the foreign ministry said in a separate statement.

The leader then paid a visit to the power generator provided to the city by the Japanese government, following which he laid a wreath for the victims of the Russian invasion at the war memorial in Kyiv.

In the summit with Zelenskyy that followed, Kishida also promised to intensify sanctions to “constrain Russia’s war effort” and stressed that “there must be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities.”

Kishida’s visit to Kyiv coincides with Japan’s presidency of the G7, so this trip is seen as a way of reinforcing support for Ukraine, as well as sending a message to China, as the meeting coincided with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow.

Kishida invited Zelenskyy to participate online in the G7 summit to be held in Hiroshima in May and promised to provide some $30 million in non-lethal equipment to Ukraine.

“As the G7 Presidency, Japan would maintain the unity of the G7 in imposing strict sanctions against Russia and providing support to Ukraine, making use of international frameworks,” Kishida said, according to the joint statement.

Tokyo also reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s post-war recovery and reconstruction by involving the private sector in areas such as judicial reform, law enforcement and the fight against corruption.

“The leaders affirmed that Ukraine and Japan have a rich history of cooperation, friendship and mutual solidarity. They underscored that Ukraine and Japan share the same fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for international law and human rights,” the statement said.

Kishida left for Poland on Wednesday morning to coordinate efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, according to the Japanese foreign ministry. EFE


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