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Japan’s Foreign Minister visited Kyiv for the first time, discussed cooperation, and commemorated victims of Russian crimes in Bucha

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on 9 September 2023. This was the first time he visited Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Hayashi met with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, and Minister of Digital Transformations Mykhailo Fedorov. He also visited the memorial to victims of Russian war crimes in Bucha.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Bucha, 9 September 2023. Photo: Kyiv Oblast administration
Japan’s Foreign Minister visited Kyiv for the first time, discussed cooperation, and commemorated victims of Russian crimes in Bucha

The success of Russian aggression would send a signal not only to Europe but also to Asian countries, Hayashi warned at a joint briefing with the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, in Kyiv. That is why it is crucial to support Ukraine now, he added.

Russian aggression is also an act that destroys international rule-based law and spreads violence. Our consistent position is to categorically not recognize such actions by the Russian Federation. If we allow such actions to succeed, it will send a message to the whole world – not only to Europe but also Asian countries,” he said.

Hayashi announced that Japan will provide Ukraine with two large transformers for electricity substations and 24 trucks with cranes for humanitarian demining.

Last year, Russian attacks on the energy infrastructure forced many Ukrainians to live without electricity and heating. In this context, preparing well for this winter is extremely important. Therefore, I announced that Japan is providing two large transformers until the end of September to help prepare for winter,” he said.

He also visited the memorial to the victims of Russian war crimes committed in Bucha near Kyiv and commemorated killed civilians.

A broader Japanese delegation, including the foreign minister, met with Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformations Ivan Fedorov. They discussed cooperation in the sphere of technology.

“Japan was presented by members of the Ministry of Economy, businessmen, including CEO of Rakuten technology giant Hiroshi Mikitani. Telecom, agricultural business, and telemedicine shared with us technological solutions that will help during reconstruction. A separate track is deepening cooperation with Rakuten. The company has been supporting Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale war, and this support is growing,” Fedorov said.

A broader Japanese delegation, including the foreign minister, meeting with Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformations Ivan Fedorov. Photo via Fedorov

Finally, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, presented the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Hayashi Yoshimasa, with the Order of Merit of the III degree “as a sign of gratitude to him personally and to the entire Japanese people for helping Ukraine.”

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