Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Arrives In Kyiv

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday for a surprise trip. Tokyo continued to support Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last year. It is an unusual visit by a Japanese leader. It comes just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping went to Ukraine, showing how the war in eastern Europe has changed international diplomacy as countries line up behind rival parties.

Kishida, who holds the G-7 presidency this year, is expected to convey “his respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people standing up to defend their homeland,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. They added he would also extend the group’s solidarity.

He will meet with Zelenskyy, an influential figure in the country’s leadership. He will likely discuss Japanese support for the reconstruction of Ukraine, which has been under attack by Russian forces since last year.

In December, Kishida unveiled Japan’s most significant military build-up in decades, committing to double defense spending to 2% of GDP within five years. The move, encouraged by the United States, aims to reduce Japan’s reliance on China and boost its security.

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine has stoked fears in Japan that its territorial dispute with Beijing may soon become a war as China’s military continues to increase its military capacity and escalate tensions around self-ruled Taiwan, which the government claims as part of its territory. The prime minister has warned of the threat, and in December, he announced Japan’s most significant defense shake-up since World War Two, to double spending to 2.8% of GDP by 2027.

Despite his concerns, the country’s constitution restricts Japan’s ability to deploy its military force to defensive measures. That has prompted Tokyo to offer limited aid in the form of non-combative military equipment and humanitarian supplies.

He has also been keen to demonstrate Japan’s commitment to supporting Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion and is reportedly considering inviting Zelenskyy to attend a G-7 summit that Kishida will chair next month in Hiroshima, devastated by a US atomic bomb in 1945.

Kishida’s trip to Ukraine is the first by a Japanese leader since the Russian invasion. It follows a series of high-profile diplomatic successes for Japan, which has taken a unified approach in imposing sanctions on Moscow and supporting Ukraine.

His meeting with Zelenskyy is expected to focus on rebuilding Ukraine, which has suffered an economic and social crisis due to Russia’s actions, according to a statement by the foreign ministry.

Domestic and international audiences have pressured the Japanese prime minister to visit Ukraine after the invasion. His visit on Tuesday marks a major diplomatic step ahead of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in May, which he will chair. His arrival in Kyiv came just hours after he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also scheduled to attend the summit.

Most Popular

More from Walops

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

GameStop Stock Surges on Roaring Kitty’s Return

GameStop Corp. (GME) witnessed a significant surge in pre-market trading on Monday, June 3rd, 2024, following an unexpected Reddit post from Keith Gill, popularly known as 'Roaring Kitty.' Gill, a key figure during the meme stock frenzy of 2021, sparked the current surge by disclosing a staggering...

Safety vs Innovation: OpenAI Shaken by Executive Resignation

OpenAI, a leading research institute focused on artificial intelligence (AI), has been rocked by the departure of a key executive, Jan Leike. Leike, who led the company's "Superalignment" team, resigned publicly, citing concerns that the pursuit of flashy products overshadowed safety priorities.Leike's team focused on ensuring that...

LATAM Flight Makes Rough Landing in Auckland, 50 Passengers Injured

On Monday, a LATAM flight from Sydney to Auckland encountered severe turbulence, leading to the hospitalization of thirteen passengers. The airline, LATAM Airlines, stated that flight LA800 experienced a "technical event" causing significant movement during the journey. Despite not disclosing specific details about the incident, LATAM Airlines...

Escalation in Black Sea? Ukraine Says It Destroyed Russian Patrol Boat

Ukraine claimed Tuesday that its forces had destroyed a Russian military patrol boat on the Black Sea near the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia 10 years ago. The strategic waterway has become an increasingly important battleground of Russia's two-year invasion as Ukrainian forces claim a string of...

Guangzhou Bridge Disaster: Barge Crash Plunges Vehicles into Water, Two Confirmed Dead

On Thursday, Chinese state media reported a tragic incident in the Pearl River Delta near Guangzhou city, where two individuals lost their lives, and three are currently unaccounted for. The unfortunate event unfolded when a barge collided with a bridge over the Hongqili Waterway, causing a section...

Crypto Crackdown: Genesis Pays $8 Million and Loses License After AML Failures

Following an investigation that revealed substantial deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and cybersecurity programs, Genesis Global Trading, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, has agreed to pay an $8 million penalty and voluntarily surrender its license from the regulator, according to the New York Department of Financial...

Amid Epstein Revelations, New Claim: Brin and Ex-Wife Vacationed on Controversial Island

A new set of court documents unsealed on Monday have revealed that Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his ex-wife Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of genetic testing firm 23andMe, vacationed on Jeffrey Epstein's 'pedophile island'.' The new revelations stem from a 2016 email exchange between Sarah Ransome, one...

Fast Track, Higher Cost: US Raises H-1B Premium Processing Fee 12%

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced a 12% increase in visa application processing fees across a few categories. This includes the widely used H-1B visa, which permits US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The new...

Shipping in the Suez Canal Affected by Houthi Assaults in the Red Sea

The Iran-aligned group has launched drones and missile attacks at commercial ships at the southern end of the Red Sea, which connects to Egypt's Suez Canal in the north and the Mediterranean Sea. The attacks have prompted several shipping companies to divert vessels, avoiding the route that...

Siberia Shivers as Temperatures Plummet to a Bone-Chilling -58 Degrees Celsius

Arctic weather enfolded swathes of Russia on Tuesday, with temperatures in the wilds of Siberia falling to minus 58 degrees Celsius (minus 72 degrees Fahrenheit). In Yakutsk, one of the world’s coldest cities, some 5,000 km (3,100 miles) east of Moscow, residents struggled to cope with a...

Farewell to a Diplomatic Giant: Henry Kissinger Passes Away at 100

Henry Kissinger, the scholar-turned-diplomat whose cunning and ambition made him one of the world’s most influential power brokers for over half a century, has died. He was 100. His consulting firm released a statement saying that the former US secretary of state and national security adviser died...

X CEO Linda Yaccarino Faces Calls for Resignation as Elon Musk Supports Antisemitic Statements

Several advertising executives are urging the Chief Executive Officer of X (formerly Twitter) to resign from her role in the wake of an advertiser exodus and scrutiny over owner Elon Musk's antisemitic remarks on the platform. According to CNN, over the weekend, a "groundswell" of advertising executives...