Japanese Prime Minister Kishida pledges $105 million in aid to Ukraine's reconstruction

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his country’s long-term commitment to Ukraine’s reconstruction, considering it a future investment.
  • Kishida said the partnership will be based on inclusivity, humanitarianism, technology and knowledge in cooperation between Japan and Ukraine.
  • Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanked Kishida, calling the conference the start of a new cooperation era between the two nations.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged Monday his country’s long-term commitment to Ukraine’s reconstruction, calling it a future investment, while stressing support for the war-torn country about to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

In his keynote speech at The Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction, Kishida said Japanese public and private cooperation will be a long-term partnership based on inclusivity, humanitarianism as well as technology and knowledge.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who led his country’s delegation of more than 100 people, thanked Kishida and said that “today is the new start of cooperation between the two countries.”

JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS POLAND, PLEDGES SUPPORT AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

The conference was organized by the Japanese and Ukrainian governments as well as business organizations and Japan External Trade Organization. About 300 people and 130 companies from the two sides were in attendance, according to Japanese officials.

Denys Shmyhal shakes hands with Fumio Kishida

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction at Keidanren Kaikan building in Tokyo, on Feb. 19, 2024. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)

Kishida stressed the importance of investment across industries for the future of Ukraine’s development in a way that caters to its needs. Japanese and Ukrainian government agencies and companies signed more than 50 deals, vowing cooperation.

Kishida also announced the opening of a new government trade office in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Moreover, Japan pledged 15.8 billion yen ($105 million) in new aid for Ukraine to fund demining and other urgently needed reconstruction projects in the energy and transportation sectors, the Foreign Ministry said.

Support for Ukraine’s reconstruction is about “investing in the future,” Kishida said. “The war in Ukraine is still going on at this very moment and the situation is not easy. The promotion of economic reconstruction, however, is not only an investment for the future of Ukraine,” but also an investment for Japan and the world, he said.

Japan hopes to build momentum for global support for Ukraine as the war drags on and attention has diverted to the war in Gaza. Japan’s focus on reconstruction — in part due to its legal restraints on providing lethal weapons — contrasts with many Western countries, whose largely military support faces increasing scrutiny over costs. The U.S. has provided Ukraine with about $111 billion in weapons, equipment, as well as humanitarian assistance, and a new aid package is stalled in Congress.

“By combining our powers … we can change this challenge into an opportunity for future growth and prosperity,” the Ukranian premier said. “Japan’s experiences in reconstruction (from World War II) and its economic miracle provide us with inspiration.”

All eyes are on Ukraine, and “dictators and potential invaders” are also turning their eyes to see how Russia’s violation of international law is seen and how the world will react to it, Shmyhal said.

Shmyhal said Ukraine’s reconstruction goes far beyond the removal of landmines and debris. He emphasized his country’s vast experience in the farming sector and how rich it is in natural resources. He also expressed Ukarinae’s ambition of becoming a European digital hub with its information and cybersecurity expertise. The prime minister also urged Japanese automakers to open factories in Ukraine.

In a joint statement, the Japanese and Ukrainian governments reaffirmed the first’s commitment to helping the war-ravaged European country achieve economic stability and stressed the importance of maintaining tough sanctions against Russia. Japan also stated it was in talks to revise a previous bilateral investment pact, as well as to help ease travel restrictions on Japanese business visitors to Ukraine.

Later Monday, Kishida and Shmyhal held talks. In a joint news conference, Japan’s premier renewed his promise to stand by Ukraine until it attained peace. Kishida also announced both sides would discuss an intelligence agreement, as Japan seeks to reinforce its national security by stepping up defense ties with Ukraine.

Kishida has repeatedly said that “Ukraine today could be East Asia tomorrow,” and it is crucial for Japan to advocate its objection to Russia’s invasion and to the one-sided change of the status quo by force. Japan’s support of Ukraine comes amid fear of China’s increasingly assertive military actions in the region.

JAPAN SET TO DONATE 100 MILITARY VEHICLES TO UKRAINE

“It is extremely important that we demonstrate our solidarity with Ukraine in our uniquely Japanese way,” Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told reporters Friday.

Japan’s $12.1 billion contribution to Ukraine over the past two years is mostly financial and humanitarian as its military equipment provisions are limited to non-lethal weapons.

Japan’s government has chosen seven goals to help Ukraine with: removal of mines and debris; improvement of humanitarian and living conditions; farming; biochemical manufacturing; digital and information industry; infrastructure in power and transportation sectors; and anti-corruption measures.

Japan, in cooperation with other Group of Seven members, hopes to link the Tokyo conference to a separate Ukraine reconstruction conference to be held in Germany in June.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *