Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa visited Kyiv on Sunday, expressing Tokyo’s unwavering determination to support Ukraine on the eve of the second anniversary of Moscow’s invasion. Kamikawa, who joined Western sanctions against Russia, held a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a Kyiv bomb shelter amidst escalating conflict.

She condemned Russia’s recent missile and drone attacks and announced Japan’s allocation of $37 million for a drone detection system, along with supplying generators to help Ukraine endure another winter.

During the visit, Kamikawa toured Bucha, the site of a 2022 massacre attributed to Russian forces, expressing shock at the aftermath. She also visited Irpin, a location with a history of intense fighting. The impromptu visit disrupted Kamikawa’s original two-week tour plan covering multiple countries, highlighting Japan’s prioritization of its support for Ukraine.

The foreign ministers discussed Japan’s upcoming conference in February, aimed at promoting Ukraine’s economic reconstruction, and Kuleba expressed gratitude for Japan’s support, including F-16 jets provided last year. However, he emphasized the need for air defense systems to counter daily attacks on Ukrainian cities by Russian missiles and drones.

Kamikawa and Kuleba also addressed the threat from North Korea during their discussions. The Japanese foreign ministry stated that Kamikawa aimed to demonstrate Japan’s commitment to upholding the international order based on the rule of law, denouncing unilateral changes by force, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal praised the meeting as “meaningful,” thanking Japan for comprehensive support, including humanitarian and financial assistance. Shmygal highlighted Japan’s decision to allocate $1 billion for humanitarian projects and reconstruction, with potential increases through international institutions. The discussions also touched upon Ukraine’s peace formula, ongoing reforms, and collaboration in infrastructure. Shmygal expressed interest in strengthening trade relations and attracting Japanese companies to establish production facilities in Ukraine.

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