Fumio Kishida is evasive about a possible visit to kyiv


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at his office in Tokyo on January 6, 2023, after having phone conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Kyodo)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida he was evasive on when or if he will visit kyiv, despite the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying on Friday that nothing has been decided at the moment.

Kishida stated that, during telephone conversations with Zelenskyy earlier in the day, he had told him that he would consider visiting kyiv “taking into account various factors”, while condemning Russia for its continued military attacks on Ukraine and promising your support to the Ukrainian people to help them overcome the harsh winter.

During a meeting on Wednesday with Kuninori Matsuda, the Japanese ambassador to Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president’s office, conveyed Zelenskyy’s wish that Kishida would visit the eastern European nation at some point.

Kishida also told the press after the conversation that Japan will strengthen cooperation with Ukraine as chairman of the G7 in 2023, which has imposed economic sanctions on Russia since February 2022 over the ongoing war.

Ukraine invites Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to visit

Zelenskyy showed his “deep gratitude” for the help provided so far by Tokyo to kyiv, while explaining the current situation in his country, according to Kishida.

Leaders or foreign ministers of other G-7 states, such as Britain, France and Germany, have already visited the Ukrainian capital, Japan being the only exception. Zelenskyy met with US President Joe Biden in Washington late last month.

Kishida is scheduled to take a week-long trip to France, Italy, Britain and North America starting Monday, but the Japanese government has not yet revealed whether he will visit Ukraine.

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Written by Editor TLN

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