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Japanese Foreign Minister visits Kyiv before joint conference in Tokyo on rebuilding Ukraine

Yoko Kamikawa arrived in Ukraine by train from Poland to reiterate that Japan’s support for Ukraine “remains unchanged.” She’ll also meet with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in Kyiv
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa arrived in Kyiv, 7 January 2024. Credit: Japanese Embassy in Ukraine via X (Twiteer)

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on 7 January for the first time since taking the post in September 2023, the Japanese Foreign Ministry reported.

The visit comes ahead of a conference that Japan and Ukraine will jointly host in Tokyo on 19 February to discuss Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is to attend the conference in Japan in person.

“Minister Kamikawa will convey that Japan will strongly demonstrate its commitment to the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine under the close public-private partnership through hosting the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction in Japan on 19 February this year,” the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

Yoko Kamikawa arrived in Ukraine by train from Poland to reiterate that Japan’s support for Ukraine “remains unchanged,” Japanese outlet Kyodo News reported.

The Japanese Foreign Minister has already visited the memorial to the victims of the Russian occupation in Bucha, the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine said on X (Twitter).

Kamikawa has also visited Irpin, a city on the front line of the attack on the capital, the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine said on X (Twitter). She also visited the Irpin Bridge, which Ukraine was forced to blow up in defense.

In Kyiv, Kamikawa will meet with her counterpart, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Yoko Kamikawa plans to stress “the importance of upholding the international order based on the rule of law from the standpoint of not tolerating any attempts to change the status quo by force,” according to the Japanese Ministry’s statement.

Earlier, Japan announced the provision of Patriot missiles to the US, “bolstering global stocks,” the Wall Street Journal reported on 22 December. This is a significant step for Japan, which has had a self-imposed ban on weapons exports for decades as a legacy of its desire to stay out of global conflicts following World War II.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Ukraine in March, while former Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also made a trip in September 2023.

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