Japan’s prime minister visits Ukraine in show of ‘solidarity’ at same time China’s Xi is in Russia
By JD Heyes // Mar 23, 2023

For students of global conflict, what we are currently witnessing in the world appears to be the formation of alliances in advance of what will likely become the Third World War -- and the last conflict ever fought on this planet because it will be destroyed and become unlivable for humans.

On the same day this week that Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia for a state-to-state meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida made a surprise visit to Ukraine.

Kishida arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday afternoon local time and also visited Bucha, a town just north of the Ukrainian capital that is associated with alleged war crimes and atrocities committed by Russia. Emine Dzheppa, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, said the nation "is happy to welcome" the Japanese premier to Ukraine, according to CNN.

“This historic visit is a sign of solidarity and strong cooperation between Ukraine and Japan,” she tweeted Tuesday along with photos of Kishida’s arrival.

“We are grateful to Japan for its strong support and contribution to our future victory,” added Dzheppa.

According to NHK, this is the first time a Japanese prime minister has visited a country or region with ongoing conflict since World War II. Additionally, Kishida's visit marks the first time an Asian member of the G7 has visited Ukraine and the first visit to Ukraine by a US ally in the region.

"The dual visits by Kishida and Xi underscore deep divisions in northeast Asia toward the war in Ukraine, with Japan pledging substantial aid for Kyiv, while China remains a lone voice supporting an increasingly isolated Putin – now a global pariah and suspected war criminal," CNN noted further.

In recent years, Japan and the United States have strengthened their relationship in the face of China's increasing assertiveness and global reach, particularly in regional security and intelligence cooperation. Japan is also a member of the Quad, an informal group focused on security that includes India, Australia, and the United States.

According to a statement released by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Zelensky extended an invitation to Kishida to visit Ukraine, and the Japanese Prime Minister's trip is scheduled to end on Thursday, CNN noted.

During the Japanese leader's visit, he will “directly convey our solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine” and “resolutely reject Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” said the statement.

Kishida has previously had some harsh words for Russia following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor in February 2022, warning last year that “Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow."

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is not just a European matter, but a challenge to the rules and principles of the entire international community,” Kishida said at the time, pledging $5.5 billion in aid for Ukraine.

Japan and Russia have historic disagreements over some islands north of Japan that Russia has long claimed.

Sources include:



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