Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa arrived in the Ukrainian capital on 7 January with a message of Tokyo’s “determination” to maintain its strong support for Ukraine during the coming year.
Kamikawa soon became acquainted with the current wartime realities in Kyiv when air raid sirens forced her and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to hold their scheduled press conference in a bomb shelter. “Japan is determined to support Ukraine so that peace can return to Ukraine,” Kamikawa stated from the underground location. “I can feel how tense the situation in Ukraine is now.”
The Japanese Foreign Minister strongly condemned Russia’s ongoing drone and missile attacks on Ukraine and announced that Tokyo would allocate $37 million to provide a drone detection system. This is the latest element in Japan’s multi-billion dollar support for Ukraine, which has focused on humanitarian assistance and non-lethal military equipment. In December 2023, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged $4.5 billion to Ukraine, including $1 billion in humanitarian aid to help support the war-torn country’s recovery.
During her Kyiv visit, Foreign Minister Kamikawa met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who praised Japan as “a very important and powerful partner” and noted the strengthening strategic ties between the two nations. “I thank Japan for all the valuable assistance to our country, including security assistance, strong leadership within the G7 and in the international arena, and financial, economic, and humanitarian aid,” he posted following the meeting.
Kamikawa and her Ukrainian colleagues discussed strengthening bilateral business ties and explored potential cooperation with Japanese public and private sector partners in the Ukrainian recovery process. Japan plans to host a conference to promote Ukraine’s reconstruction and economic revival in Tokyo on 19 February.