Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is on his way to kyiv for a surprise visit and meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, Japan's foreign ministry said.
Mr. Kishida will
"convey to President Zelensky his respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people who defend their homeland under his command, as well as the solidarity and unfailing support for Ukraine from Japan and the G7", whose
country of Asia is hosting this year, the ministry said in a statement.
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Fumio Kishida was the only leader member of the group not to have been to Kyiv since the Russian invasion in February 2022. He was regularly called upon to visit Ukraine.
In February, US President Joe Biden also made a surprise visit to kyiv.
Japanese television NHK said its reporters in Poland filmed a car carrying the prime minister to the town of Przemysl, from where foreign officials often boarded a train to Ukraine.
“The convoy entered Przemysl station and parked in front of a platform used by international trains to Ukraine. Prime Minister Kishida alighted from the first car of the convoy and boarded the last carriage of the train
“The convoy entered Przemysl station and parked in front of a platform used by international trains to Ukraine.
Prime Minister Kishida alighted from the first car of the convoy and boarded the last carriage of the train
,” she added.
According to the channel, the train left at 01:30 (00:30 GMT).
$5.5 billion aid
Mr. Kishida had repeated that this trip was “under study”, government sources mentioning to Japanese media concerns in terms of security and logistical challenges.
He becomes the first Japanese prime minister to visit a war zone since the end of World War II.
His visit comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Moscow for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and, at the center of discussions, the conflict in Ukraine.
Tokyo has joined Western sanctions against Russia and offered help to Kyiv.
In February, Japan announced new aid of 5.5 billion dollars (5.1 billion euros) to Ukraine.
Tokyo also sent him defensive equipment and offered to welcome those fleeing the conflict.
Japan, however, did not provide military aid, its pacifist constitution obliging it to limit its military capabilities to defensive measures.