Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made a surprise visit to Ukraine. Kishida arrived in the capital Kiev on Tuesday for talks with Volodymyr Zelenskyj, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported. The Foreign Ministry in Tokyo had previously confirmed the travel plans.
The head of government wanted to convey the "solidarity and unwavering support" of Tokyo and the G7, a group of economically strong democracies, for the country invaded by Russia.
Japan currently chairs the G7, which also includes Germany, the US, France, the UK, Italy and Canada. The next G7 summit will take place in Hiroshima, Japan, in May.
Support, but no weapon deliveries
At the meeting with Zelenskyy, according to the Foreign Ministry, Kishida wants to firmly condemn "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine and the unilateral change in the status quo. He will express his determination to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.
Japan, in line with the West, has imposed sanctions on Russia and supports Ukraine. However, the pacifist constitution does not allow Japan to supply arms to Ukraine.
Kishida continued to Ukraine after completing a visit to India. According to Kyodo, the onward journey was initially kept secret. It is rare for a Japanese head of government to make an unannounced trip to another country.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, Kishida is also expected in Poland on Wednesday. In addition to bilateral relations, Poland will also be concerned with the joint response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.