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Zelensky meets Japanese Foreign Minister: 'Japan is important and strong partner for us'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 7, 2024 10:51 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in Kyiv on Jan. 7. (President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa for her country’s support for Ukraine, voicing hopes for further relations in 2024 during their meeting in Kyiv on Jan. 7.

"Japan is a very important and strong partner for us. I am confident that this year will be meaningful for our relations," Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

"One of our best international achievements is our relationship with Japan," he wrote.

Kamikawa arrived in Kyiv earlier in the day, as part of a larger visit to Europe. She already promised to provide $37 million to a NATO fund for anti-drone equipment for Ukraine.

Japan will host a conference promoting Ukraine's economic reconstruction on Feb. 19. Kamikawa's visit involves discussions with Ukrainian representatives on preparations for the event.

Zelensky said that choosing Ukraine for her first international visit in 2024 "is a very important signal of support for the Ukrainian people," according to the president’s office.

During their meeting, Zelensky emphasized the importance of the Ukrainian-Japanese agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine.

"The initiation of negotiations with Japan on a bilateral security agreement is an important step. We are committed to actively work to sign this document as soon as possible," he said, as quoted by his office.

The two also discussed "intensifying cooperation with Japan in the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine." Zelensky also thanked Kamikawa for her country’s support for Ukraine.

"This includes security assistance, strong leadership in the G7, and overall contributions to international politics, economic support, and humanitarian strengthening of Ukraine," Zelensky said.

In December, the Japanese Foreign Ministry reported that it was changing its laws regarding arms exports to allow for the transfer of weapons and would send the U.S. Patriot missiles.

Japanese law still prohibits sending weapons to countries actively at war, but the move could pave the way for the U.S. to replenish its own stocks while sending Ukraine additional missiles.

Japan pledges $37 million for anti-drone equipment for Ukraine
Along with the funds for anti-drone equipment, Japan will also provide five mobile gas turbine generators and seven generators to help Ukraine through the winter and likely increase in Russian strikes on energy infrastructure.

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