Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday, March 21, to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
NHK, a Japanese public broadcaster, reported this citing its sources in the government. This is the first visit of the head of the Japanese government to Ukraine after the full-scale Russian invasion.
According to the report, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio set out for Ukraine on Tuesday for a surprise visit.
The Japanese prime minister was expected to arrive in Ukraine for summit talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
According to the Japanese media, it’s extremely uncustomary for the prime minister to visit a foreign country without prior notice. The exception was probably made for security reasons.
Kishida Fumio was invited to visit Ukraine when he spoke with Zelenskyy over the phone in January. However, problems with ensuring safety and scheduling occurred at the time, Japanese officials say.
According to the media, Kishida entered Kyiv by land avoiding airspace over Ukraine. The schedule of the visit wasn’t disclosed to the press for security reasons.
At the meeting with Zelenskyy, Kishida is expected to be willing to demonstrate the resolve of the G7 in upholding the international order and to attest Japan’s commitment to sustain its effort in this direction. As a representative of the country that presides over the G7 this year, Hishida will declare further solidarity and support for Ukraine.
The Japanese prime minister arrived in Ukraine after negotiations in India where he spent two days.
Kishida was the only prime minister of a G7 country who hadn’t visited Kyiv since the start of the full-fledged war.
Japan is helping Ukraine clear mines and restore its critical and energy infrastructure.