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The Foreign Minister of Japan has stated that Tokyo is committed to providing support to Ukraine.
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The Foreign Minister of Japan has stated that Tokyo is committed to providing support to Ukraine.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa made an unexpected trip to Kyiv on Sunday, expressing Tokyo’s unwavering commitment to stand by Ukraine as the second anniversary of Moscow’s invasion approaches.

Kamikawa, the first high-level foreign official to visit Kyiv this year, announced new deliveries of defense equipment and discussed Tokyo’s plans to host a February conference to promote Ukraine’s economic reconstruction.

Kamikawa stated during a press conference with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, that Japan is committed to assisting Ukraine in achieving peace. The conference took place in a bomb shelter while an air raid siren sounded.

“The current situation in Ukraine feels very tense to me.”

Her arrival coincided with an increase in hostile actions from both parties involved in the dispute.

Kamikawa stated her strong disapproval for Russia’s missile and drone attacks, specifically on New Year’s Day.

She announced that Tokyo plans to allocate $37 million to fund a drone detection system for Ukraine. Additionally, they will provide five generators to assist Ukraine in surviving another winter.

Kamikawa traveled to the outskirts of Kyiv in Bucha, where the 2022 killing of innocent civilians was attributed to Russian forces. She expressed her surprise at what she witnessed there. She also visited Irpin, a site of intense battles in the past.

‘Comprehensive support’

Her unannounced visit is part of a two-week tour starting Friday that was planned to take in Poland, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Germany and Turkey.

Kuleba expressed gratitude for Japan’s decision in the previous year to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. However, he also emphasized the need for air defense systems in the country.

He stated that Russian missiles and drones are destroying Ukrainian cities on a daily basis. Their attempts to capture us have failed, so they are resorting to destruction.

Kuleba mentioned that they also talked about “dangers from North Korea” and he showed support after the recent earthquake in Japan.

Later on, Kamikawa had a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The president expressed gratitude to Tokyo for providing “support” in terms of security, economy, and humanitarian aid to Kyiv.

On social media, Zelenskyy stated that Japan is a crucial and powerful ally for us.

Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, also expressed his appreciation for the “significant meeting” with Kamikawa, extending gratitude to Japan for its extensive aid, both in terms of humanitarian aid and financial assistance.

He commended Japan in a Telegram message for setting aside $1 billion for humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, and expressed a willingness to raise this amount to $4.5 billion using international institutions.

According to him, the discussions during the meeting also addressed the peace requirements set by the Ukrainian president, the progress made in implementing reforms, and the collaboration on infrastructure projects.

Shmyhal mentioned that Kyiv and Tokyo are increasing their trade connections.

He mentioned that discussions have taken place with two groups of business representatives from Japan and there is an interest in establishing production facilities for major Japanese companies in Ukraine.