Japan has systematically and consistently supported Ukraine since our independence. In 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of war, it was the only Asian country to consistently vote in favor of all UN resolutions on Ukraine and Crimea.

The country has supported Ukraine’s reforms in the areas of security, energy, humanitarian policy, and telecommunications technologies, and also provided humanitarian support to the eastern regions affected by russian aggression in 2014.

Since the beginning of russia’s full-scale invasion, Japan has provided us with financial and humanitarian aid, was the first Asian country to impose sanctions against russia, and publicly condemned russian war crimes against civilians. The Japanese government conducted an information campaign explaining its full support for Ukraine to the Japanese population. In May, its government officials visited a number of Asian countries to strengthen support for Ukraine.

Officially, the Japanese government emphasizes four key areas for our future cooperation. These are the reconstruction of Ukraine, nuclear safety, restoration of justice and punishment of russia for war crimes, and demining of the de-occupied territories.

In 2023, Japan will preside over the G7, one of the most important international platforms. At a time when the UN Security Council cannot work effectively due to russia’s vetoing of decisions, the G7 can fill this gap.

Therefore, ICUV International Center for Ukrainian Victory and the New Europe Center experts started the advocacy year in Japan. The main goal of the visit was to engage Japan in mobilizing world leaders for Ukraine’s victory. We aimed to discuss the nuclear threat, the need to strengthen sanctions against the aggressor, including personal sanctions against representatives of the russian authorities who are carrying out repressions in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and the newly occupied territories; and sanctions against Rosatom, the seizure of russian assets, the importance of establishing an international tribunal, and the future reconstruction of our country.

During the visit, we were able to meet with high-ranking government officials, senior executives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), parliamentarians, experts, and representatives of local companies that are ready to contribute to Ukraine’s recovery. We took part in a roundtable discussion at the Parliament and also held a large press conference at the National Press Club for the Japanese media, which was attended by over 70 journalists.

At numerous meetings, we talked about the issues that hurt both countries. Firstly, it is the issue of nuclear safety and countering nuclear terrorism in the world. For the majority of Japanese, russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons and the shelling of our nuclear power plants, in particular, ZNPP, resonate with them on the level of personal pain and are taken very seriously. After all, unlike the rest of the world, the Japanese have experienced surviving nuclear disasters and rebuilding their cities.

One of the most difficult moments during the trip for us was visiting Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the memory of the greatest tragedy in Japanese history. In the modern rebuilt city, you can see buildings destroyed by explosions. They stand as a reminder that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which claimed almost half a million civilian lives, should not happen again.

Our delegation has emphasized that nuclear terrorism is a red line that should be set by the G7 countries to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies in the world. So it is necessary to impose sanctions against Rosatom, the company that is russia’s main tool in nuclear terrorism.

The issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by russia in the occupied territories since 2014 was also a sensitive topic to discuss. 

These include enforced disappearances of civilians, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture, cruel and degrading treatment, including for the purpose of obtaining confessions, extrajudicial executions, political persecution, deportation, including children, destruction of Ukrainian identity in the occupied territories, indoctrination of Ukrainian children, and sexual violence as a scenario for suppressing resistance and forcing civilian cooperation.

For decades, Ukraine has had a limited understanding of Asia and its countries, mainly focusing on China, and has not established strong ties with many other countries in the region, including Japan as a democratic leader.
Japan has strong ties with countries with which Ukraine also has little contact, including India, where Prime Minister Kishida came from recently, as well as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Japan can become a driver of change in these relations and help establish ties between the democratic countries of the region and Ukraine.

As for sanctions, we urge and hope that Japan will take the lead on this issue and promote them in other Asian countries.

We are sincerely grateful to Japan for its comprehensive and consistent support and are pleased to continue working together to develop and deepen cooperation between our countries. The visit of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Kyiv is a landmark moment for strengthening friendly relations between our countries and bringing our victory closer.

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