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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s surprise visit to Kiev

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Kiev for a surprise visit on Tuesday, March 21, where he is expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This important diplomatic gesture comes the day after Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow and met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Fumio Kishida He intends to express his “respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people who stood up to defend their homeland” during his meeting with Volodymyr ZelenskyJapan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement said that as president of the G7, Fumio Kishida would express the group’s “solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine”.

The statement also said that the Japanese prime minister would “strongly condemn” Russia’s aggression and the Kremlin’s efforts to unilaterally change the status quo by force.

Japanese news agency Kyodo News He said it was rare for a Japanese leader to visit a foreign country without warning, and officials in Tokyo had earlier indicated that a trip to Kiev would be difficult for security reasons. Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed Fumio Kishida boarding a train bound for Kiev from Przemysl, Poland, at around 1:30 a.m. local time.

On Monday, the Chinese president Xi Jinping He visited Moscow for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine and met with the Russian president Vladimir PutinThey stressed the close relations between the two countries, with the continued escalation of tension between Beijing and Washington. In an opinion piece published by Russian state media, Xi Jinping reiterated many of Vladimir Putin’s concerns about Western domination and intimidation. Like the United States and its Western allies, Tokyo has also seen its relations with Beijing and Moscow deteriorate over the past year. In addition to invading Ukraine, Japan has expressed alarm over joint military exercises by Russia and China, two countries that Tokyo is locked in over territorial disputes.

Fumio Kishida’s visit to Kiev comes a day after he met with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra ModiAnd less than a week after his meeting with the South Korean President, Yoon Seok Yoel, in Tokyo. After meeting Narendra Modi on Monday, Fumio Kishida announced a new Indo-Pacific initiative aimed at countering China’s influence in the region. Japan and India are both members of the “Quad,” an Indo-Pacific alliance with the United States and Australia that Beijing has referred to as the “Asian NATO.”

Last week’s meeting between Fumio Kishida and Yoon Suk Yuell is seen as an important step in restoring friendly relations between the two US allies in East Asia. The two countries were previously engaged in a trade war, with Seoul demanding that Tokyo pay compensation for actions committed during World War II. However, rising tensions with China and nuclear-armed North Korea appear to have played a major role in bringing the two countries closer.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Siladitya Ray

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