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Japanese PM meets Zelensky in Kyiv, pledges more aid to Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova March 21, 2023 9:42 PM 2 min read
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky shake hands during their meeting in Kyiv on March 21, 2023. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with President Volodymyr Zelensky during his unannounced visit to Kyiv on March 21.

At a joint news conference following the meeting, Kishida said Japan would allocate $30 million to purchase non-lethal weaponry for Ukraine through the NATO trust fund, Suspilne news outlet reported.

Tokyo will also provide Ukraine with $470 million in grant aid for the country's energy sector and other industries, according to Kishida, cited by Suspilne.

Japan will host a G7 summit in May in the city of Hiroshima. Zelensky told reporters he had accepted Kishida's invitation to join the summit via an online link.

According to Ukraine's Presidential Office, the two leaders discussed further sanctions against Russia over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"Japan has introduced 18 packages of sanctions against Russian aggression, and the new ones should continue this path of restoring global security and reducing the potential of Russian terror," Zelensky said. "Sanctions should be faster than Russia's ability to adapt to them."

Zelensky and Kishida also touched on Japan's involvement in the reconstruction of Ukraine, to which Tokyo has committed over $7 billion since the start of Russia's all-out war.

"Today, I suggested that Japan focus on supporting our medical facilities and recovering some sectors of the economy. This is the automotive industry, a 'green' transformation, in particular, the production of hydrogen equipment and lithium batteries, where Japan is one of the technological leaders," said Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president thanked Japan for its "willingness to cooperate" in implementing the Ukrainian peace formula, which his office called "the only comprehensive and realistic plan to stop Russian aggression and restore the full force of the UN Charter."

Before the meeting, the Japanese prime minister traveled to Kyiv Oblast's city of Bucha, where Russian troops had killed 458 civilians during the occupation in the spring of last year, according to Ukrainian authorities.

"I would like to give condolence to all victims and the wounded on behalf of the Japanese nationals. Japan will keep aiding Ukraine with the greatest effort to regain peace," Kishida said at the conference, cited by Reuters.

The Japanese leader's trip to Kyiv coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia, where he and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin pledged to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Japan sanctions head of concern Kalashnikov, Rosbank
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