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Polish, Japanese PMs to talk support for Ukraine

22.03.2023 00:30
Poland’s prime minister is set to host his Japanese counterpart in Warsaw on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations and further support for war-torn Ukraine, according to officials. 
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Andrzej Lange

Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and Japan’s Fumio Kishida are expected to talk about efforts to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when they meet in the Polish capital, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said: “On Wednesday Prime Minister Morawiecki will meet with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who will arrive on his way back from Ukraine.”

Support for Ukraine

Müller added: “The leaders will discuss the current situation in Ukraine and further, multi-dimensional support for Kyiv as it battles Russian aggression."

The spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that the talks would also focus on “the prospects for the development of Polish-Japanese cooperation, especially in business and investment.”

Müller said that “from the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Japan has been unequivocal in its condemnation of Russia.”

He added that Tokyo had imposed its own sanctions on Moscow “as well as joining forces with fellow members of the G7 group of countries, over which it is presiding this year.”

Müller added that the G7 leaders would hold a summit in Hiroshima, Japan, in May, to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, among other issues.  

He stressed that Poland “appreciates Japan’s strong support for efforts to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

He added: “Japan, like Poland, regards Russia’s aggression as a serious threat to the global order.” 

'Strategic partnership' with Japan

Müller described Japan as “one of Poland’s major political and economic partners in the Asia and Pacific region,” noting that “in February 2015, bilateral relations were elevated to the level of strategic partnership.”

The Polish and Japanese prime ministers last met on March 24, 2022, when they discussed “further political and economic steps that must be taken in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the spokesman said.

Japanese PM visits Ukraine, meets Zelensky, visits Bucha

Kishida met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Tuesday as he made a rare, unannounced visit to the war-torn country, the PAP news agency reported.

His trip underscored Tokyo’s emphatic support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, according to the Reuters news agency.

After arriving by train from the southeastern Polish city of Przemyśl, Kishida was greeted by Zelensky in central Kyiv, according to news outlets.

The Ukrainian leader posted a video of him greeting the Japanese prime minister, calling Kishida "a truly powerful defender of the international order and a longtime friend of Ukraine."

Earlier, Kishida visited the town of Bucha, where over 400 civilians were killed by Russian troops last year,  according to local officials, and which has become a symbol of Russian atrocities committed in Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

'Japan will keep aiding Ukraine'

Kishida laid a wreath outside a church before observing a moment of silence and bowing, according to the Ukrainska Pravda website.

Kishida said, as quoted by Ukrainska Pravda: "The world was astonished to see innocent civilians in Bucha killed one year ago. I really feel great anger at the atrocity upon visiting that very place here."

He added: "I would like to give condolence to all the victims and the wounded on behalf of the Japanese people. Japan will keep aiding Ukraine with the greatest effort to regain peace."

The Japanese prime minister said that the G7 summit in May should demonstrate a strong will to uphold international order and rule of law in response to the Ukraine war, the Reuters news agency reported.

Meanwhile, in an apparent response to Kishida's trip, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday that two of its strategic bomber planes flew over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours, according to news outlets.

Japan has its own territorial dispute with Russia dating back to World War II, and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has also heightened Japanese concerns over what would happen to Japan if China were to invade Taiwan, Reuters reported.

A key ally of the United States, Japan in December pledged to double defence spending to 2 percent of GDP within five years, its biggest military shakeup since World War II, according to the France24 news outlet. 

Wednesday is day 392 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, Ukrainska Pravda, France24