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Boosting mine clearance efforts: Ukraine receives 22 demining vehicles from Japan

The recent aid highlights Japan’s solidarity with Ukraine amidst Russia’s ongoing war.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Bohdan Drapiatyi in Japan, on 12 April, 2024. Source: The Ministry of Internal Affairs
Boosting mine clearance efforts: Ukraine receives 22 demining vehicles from Japan

Explosive ordnance disposal units of Ukraine’s State Emergency Service will receive 22 mechanized demining vehicles from the Japanese government, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said after a meeting with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Last year, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that Ukraine needs $37 billion and over 10,000 deminers to complete the mine clearance of its territory. The country currently has only 3,000 specialists. Ukrainian partners have already allocated $250 million for demining efforts.

In February 2024, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine revealed that 156,000 square kilometers of land across Ukraine remained contaminated, as per Suspilne.

Following the statement, in early March, Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy signed an agreement with Palantir, a data analytics company, on collaboration in the humanitarian demining. Specifically, the deal entails employing artificial intelligence technologies in the process.

“By the end of this year, Ukraine will receive 14 mechanized demining vehicles from the Japanese government and JICA.

Another eight vehicles will be delivered to the country by April of next year. NIKKEN company manufactured 12 of those vehicles, while another Japanese manufacturer produces the remaining ten,” Ukraine’s ministry’s statement reads.

Japan has added that the demining machines, yet to be possessed by Ukraine, have proved to be successful in clearing explosives in the fields of Cambodia.

“We are grateful to the Japanese government and JICA for supporting the capabilities of Ukrainian sappers. During the full-scale war, the State Emergency Service received technical assistance from JICA totaling over $30 million. It includes specialized crane trucks, vehicles for personnel transport, modern metal detectors, and protective gear.

But our most significant joint project is the development of the Training Center for the State Emergency Service, which will train sappers and test cutting-edge equipment,” stated Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Bohdan Drapiatyi.

During the meeting with the Ukrainian delegation, Senior Vice President of JICA Katsura Miyazaki expressed her support for the people of Ukraine in the disastrous war unleashed by Russia. She also emphasized Japan’s readiness to provide long-term assistance to Ukraine in the field of mine action and reconstruction.

Another representative of JICA, Junko Masuda, Director General of the Governance and Peacebuilding Department, noted that Ukraine and Japan have a successful history of cooperation and mutual understanding.

“Ukraine has shown its resilience and commitment to development. We support and contribute to this. JICA has prepared a project that identifies the basic directions for the restoration and development of Ukraine. We also focused on strengthening the demining capabilities of the State Emergency Service explosive ordnance disposal specialists,” Masuda emphasized.

While the US Congress continues halting crucial aid for Ukraine, Japan has increased its assistance to the war-torn country, becoming one of the prominent supporters of Kyiv.

In the early months of 2024, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that the total aid pledged and already provided by Japan would exceed $12 billion.

According to the German Institute for Economic Research, as of January 2024, Japan ranked sixth in the list of the countries that provide the most extensive assistance packages, contributing over seven billion euros, said Deutsche Welle.

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