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Shmyhal-led delegation arrives in Tokyo for Ukraine reconstruction conference

by Martin Fornusek February 19, 2024 8:43 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (R) and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, in Tokyo, Japan, during the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction on Feb. 19, 2024. (PM Denys Shmyhal/Telegram)
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A Ukrainian delegation led by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal arrived in Tokyo for a conference focused on Ukraine's reconstruction efforts, Shmyhal announced on Telegram on Feb. 19.

The Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction, gathering around 300 people and 80 companies, aims to foster dialogue between government officials and business sectors from both countries.

"We invite Japanese businesses to become part of the Ukrainian economic miracle," Shmyhal said, according to his Telegram channel.

Ukraine's head of government invited Japanese companies to invest in key sectors of the Ukrainian economy and industry, namely energy, agriculture, infrastructure, automotive, mineral extraction, and IT.

"Everyone who invests in our economy today will reap incredible rewards and opportunities in the years to come," Shmyhal added.

The Ukrainian prime minister met with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, who pledged Japan's long-term commitment to Ukraine's reconstruction during his keynote speech.

"The war in Ukraine is still going on at this very moment, and the situation is not easy. The promotion of economic reconstruction, however, is not only an investment for the future of Ukraine but also investing in Japan and the whole globe," Kishida said.

Given Japan's legal constraints on supplying military aid abroad, Tokyo's support for Ukraine has instead focused on boosting recovery efforts.

According to Shmyhal, Japan's experience with the post-World War II reconstruction and its economic miracle provided an inspiration to Ukraine.

As the full-scale Russian invasion nears its two-year mark, Ukraine's expected reconstruction costs amount to $486 billion over the next decade, according to an assessment by the World Bank, the Ukrainian government, and the EU.

Japan has contributed around $8 billion to Ukraine in humanitarian and financial assistance since the start of the all-out war, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

During the conference, the East Asian country is expected to pledge an additional 15.8 billion yen ($105 million) for Ukraine's reconstruction in several spheres, including demining and rebuilding infrastructure, according to Kyodo News.

Ukraine wants to make reconstruction transparent. Will it work?
Inside a bare apartment littered with concrete blocks and slabs of plywood, construction site manager Serhiy Yerokhin points to a large balcony overlooking the treetops of Irpin, a suburb outside of Kyiv occupied and heavily damaged during the first month of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Almost two…
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