tirsdag 21. mars 2023

Japan Prime Minister Kishida making surprise visit to Ukraine to meet Zelensky

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is making a surprise trip to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – a day after Chinese leader Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Kishida has already left India, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is now on his way to Ukraine, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. His trip is the first time a Japanese prime minister has visited a country or region with ongoing fighting since World War II, NHK reported. It will also be the first visit to Ukraine by an Asian member of the G7 grouping and the first by a US ally in the region.

The dual visits by Kishida and Xi underscore deep divisions in northeast Asia toward the war in Ukraine, with Japan pledging substantial aid for Kyiv, while China remains a lone voice supporting an increasingly isolated Putin – now a global pariah and suspected war criminal. In the face of China’s growing assertiveness and global reach, Japan and the United States have moved closer in recent years, especially on regional security and intelligence cooperation. Japan is also a member of the Quad, the informal group focused on security that includes India, Australia and the United States.