Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Tokyo [Japan], March 21 (ANI): Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit Ukraine on Tuesday and hold talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Japan-based Kyodo News reported citing a government source.

The meeting comes after the Japan's premier's India visit where he held delegation level bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in New Delhi.

The surprise visit by Kishida according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK marks the first visit to Ukraine by a Japanese leader since the start of the Russian invasion.

Kishida was shown boarding a train in Przemysl in Poland, near the border with Ukraine, at around 1:30 a.m (local time) on Tuesday. Kishida is expected to arrive in Ukraine later in the day, and meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, NHK reported.

Japan holds the presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) countries and Kishida is scheduled to chair a three day meeting of the G-7 this May in Hiroshima, which was decimated by an American atomic bomb in August 1945, reported Kyodo News.

Kishida is expected to show in Ukraine that Japan is committed to aiding the war-torn nation, as per Kyodo News.

Following Russia's invasion of its neighbour in February 2022, Kishida was the only G-7 leader who had yet to travel to Ukraine.

The Japanese Prime Minister delivering a lecture at Sapru House in Delhi on Monday, stated, "Japan will expand cooperation for the Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Russia's aggression against Ukraine obliges us to face the most fundamental challenge defending peace."Kishida stressed that the vision will be nurtured by the voices of different nations and can be characterised as a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. He called it important to lead the international community in the direction of cooperation rather than confrontation and division.

The Japanese PM said that the international community has entered an era in which cooperation and division are "intricately intertwined." He condemned the Russian offensive against Ukraine. He said that PM Narendra Modi also told Russian President Putin that "today's era is not of war.""In the International community, a big balance of power change is occurring, shifting dramatically. The International community has entered an era in which cooperation and division are intricately intertwined," Kishida said.

"I reiterate that Japan strongly condemns Russia's aggression against Ukraine and will never recognize it. PM Modi too expressed to President Putin that today's era is not of war. Japan opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by force anywhere in the world," he said.

PM Kishida also called India an "indispensable partner" and said that Japan will expand cooperation for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. (ANI)

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