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Japan. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Ukraine. He paid tribute to the victims of Russian crimes against the civilian population in Bucza

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday. The Japanese leader visited Bucha near Kiev, which has become a symbol of Russian cruelty, and also talked with President Volodymyr Zelensky. On the occasion of Kishida’s visit to Kiev, the BBC noted that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was in Moscow at the same time. According to the British broadcaster, this is an example of how the war in Ukraine echoes in Asian countries.

Fumio Kishida he stayed in Bucza, where the Russians brutally murdered several hundred civilians at the beginning of the invasion. He expressed condolences to the families of the victims on behalf of Japan. – The world was amazed to hear about the innocent civilians killed in Bucza a year ago. I really feel great anger about this cruelty after visiting these places,” Kishida said. The Prime Minister of Japan laid a wreath in front of the local church, and then held a minute’s silence in memory of the victims.

During a joint press conference with Kishida, Zelensky announced that, at the invitation of the Japanese prime minister, he would remotely participate in the May G7 summit in Hiroshima.

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida in BuczaPAP/EPA/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

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First visit since the beginning of the war in Ukraine

This is the first visit of a Japanese prime minister to Kiev since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Kishida is also the last G7 leader to travel to Ukraine since the war broke out. It is also the first visit of a Japanese leader to a country torn by armed conflict since the end of World War II, Japanese media emphasize.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo announced that in Kiev, Kishida would emphasize solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, and would show “respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people defending their homeland.”

Kishida would also demonstrate “Russia’s absolute rejection of unilaterally changing the status quo through invasion and the use of force, and would reaffirm its commitment to defending the rules-based international order,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Fumio Kishida in KievPAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

The ministry announced that after the talks in Kiev, Kishida would meet with the prime minister Mateusz Morawieckibefore returning to Japan on Thursday.

Unannounced journey, changeover in Poland

Kyodo news agency points out that Japanese leaders rarely make unannounced visits to other countries, and Kishida’s visit was kept secret until the last minute.

According to sources from the NHK station, Kishida, after visiting India and meeting with the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi, instead of returning to Tokyo on a government plane, he went to Rzeszów in a small private jet. Then at approx. At 1:30 am, local time, he boarded a train to Kiev in Przemyśl.

Prime Minister of Japan in BuchaPAP/EPA/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kishida in Kiev, Xi in Moscow

Kishida arrived in the capital of Ukraine at a time when the leader of China Xi Jinping pays a visit to Moscow and meets there with Vladimir Putin, who is being pursued by International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes.

According to the BBC, the converging schedule of visits by Chinese and Japanese leaders is a “perfect example” of how war in Ukraine resonates in Asian countries, marking that Xi and Kishida have visited opposing sides of the conflict.

The British broadcaster’s website noted that the Japanese prime minister was under increasing pressure from his political environment to visit Ukraine. There were voices that he should do it before the G7 summit in Hiroshima scheduled for May, we read.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir PutinPAP/EPA/VLADIMIR ASTAPKOVICH / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Russian planes over the Sea of ​​Japan

While the Japanese Prime Minister was beginning his visit to Ukraine, Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers appeared over the Sea of ​​Japan. These planes, which are capable of carrying nuclear missiles, make regular flights over international waters in the Arctic, North Atlantic and Pacific as a show of force, Reuters reported.

The Russian defense ministry said the bombers made a “scheduled flight” while being escorted by fighter jets. According to Moscow, this was done in accordance with international law, over neutral waters.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine



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