Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi made an unannounced visit to Ukraine in a show of support for the country’s efforts to defend itself against Russia’s invasion. During the visit, Hayashi held talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss Japan’s plans for holding a conference in Japan regarding the economic reconstruction of Ukraine.
One of Hayashi’s objectives during his visit was to pay a visit to Bucha, a town that suffered significant civilian casualties under Russian occupation. He inspected a mass grave located outside a church, symbolizing the devastating consequences of the invasion.
Furthermore, Hayashi participated in a ceremony that marked the provision of Japanese crane trucks to help remove unexploded munitions and support winter preparations in Ukraine. This gesture showcases Japan’s commitment to assisting Ukraine in its time of need.
Hayashi’s visit follows Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s trip to Ukraine in March, during which he promised grant aid and nonlethal equipment support. Japan has already pledged an impressive $7.6 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, which includes contributions towards debris removal and infrastructure reconstruction.
To further strengthen the country’s engagement with Ukraine, e-commerce giant Rakuten Group Inc. Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, along with other business leaders, joined Hayashi on this significant visit. Their presence aimed to encourage private sector involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts.
This visit by the Japanese foreign minister holds immense significance as it marks the first time a Japanese foreign minister has visited Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion. Japan becomes the last member of the Group of Seven to send such high-level representation to the embattled nation.
With its unwavering support, both financially and diplomatically, Japan stands firmly beside Ukraine as it continues to face challenges posed by Russian aggression. The visit by Hayashi and the accompanying business leaders not only reinforces Japan’s commitment to Ukraine’s reconstruction but also demonstrates the importance of international solidarity in times of crisis.
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