Leaders of Japan and China visit rival warring capitals of Ukraine

Kishida will meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Ukrainian capital as the Far Eastern rivals hold competing diplomatic offensives.

He will “show respect for the courage and patience of the Ukrainian people rising up to defend their homeland under the leadership of President Zelensky, and show solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine as head of Japan and chairman of the G7,” the Foreign Ministry said. Foreign of Japan. saying.

At the talks in Kiev, Kishida will show his “absolute rejection of Russia’s unilateral change to the status quo through invasion and force, and affirm his commitment to upholding the rules-based international order,” the ministry statement added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had warmly welcomed Xi to the Kremlin on a visit the two nations described as an opportunity to deepen their “boundless friendship.”

Japanese public television channel NTV showed Kishida traveling by train from Poland to Kiev, hours after meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and a week after a revolutionary summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yoel.

In New Delhi, Mr. Kishida called on developing countries and countries in the global south to speak up for the rules-based international order and help stop Russia’s war.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (Press Information Bureau/AP)

Tokyo, which has territorial disputes over islands with China and Russia, is especially concerned about the close relationship between Beijing and Moscow, which have held joint military exercises off the coast of Japan.

Kishida, who will chair the G7 summit in May, was the only leader of the group who had not visited Ukraine and was under pressure to do so at home.

US President Joe Biden took a similar route to visit kyiv last month, just before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Due to the limitations of Japan’s pacifist constitution, Mr. Kishida’s trip was arranged in secret. He is the first post-war leader of Japan to enter a war zone.

Kishida, invited by Zelensky in January to visit Kiev, was asked before his trip to India about a rumor of his possible trip at the end of March, but denied it, saying nothing concrete had been decided.

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Joe Biden walks with Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv (Evan Vucci/AP)

Japan has joined American and European nations in sanctioning Russia for its invasion and providing humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine.

Tokyo reacted quickly because it fears the potential impact of a war in East Asia, where China’s military has become increasingly assertive and heightened tensions over self-rule Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory.

Kishida is expected to offer continued support to Ukraine when he meets with Zelensky.

Television footage on NTV showed him boarding a train from the Polish Przemysl station, near the Ukrainian border, with several officials.

Due to its pacifist principles, Japan’s support for Ukraine has also been limited to non-combat military equipment such as helmets, body armor and drones, and humanitarian supplies, including generators.

Japan has contributed more than £5.7 billion to Ukraine and has taken in more than 2,000 displaced Ukrainians and helped them with housing assistance, employment and education support, an unusual measure in a country known for its strict immigration policy.


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