Leaders of Japan and China visit rival capitals in Ukraine war

kyiv: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida started a surprise visit to Ukraine early Tuesday, a few hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping arriving in neighboring Russia for a three-day visit. The dueling highs come as longtime rivals are on diplomatic offensives.
Kishida will meet the President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Ukrainian capital.
He will “show respect for the courage and patience of the Ukrainian people who are rising up to defend their homeland under the leadership of President Zelenskyy, and will show solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine as the leader of Japan and president of the G-7”, during his visit. in Ukraine, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said when announcing his trip to Kyiv.
During the talks, Kishida will show his “absolute rejection of Russia’s unilateral change to the status quo through invasion and force, and to affirm his commitment to upholding the rules-based international order,” the ministry statement said. .
Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Xi to the Kremlin during a visit that the two countries describe as an opportunity to deepen their “boundless friendship”.
Japanese public broadcaster NTV showed Kishida on a train from Poland to kyiv. His surprise trip to Ukraine comes just hours after meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, and the week after a breakthrough summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yoel.
In New Delhi, Kishida called on developing countries and countries in the Global South to speak out in defense of the rules-based international order and help stop Russia’s war.
Japan, which has territorial disputes over the islands with China and Russia, is particularly concerned about the close relationship between Beijing and Moscow, which has conducted joint military exercises near Japanese shores.
Kishida, who is due to chair the G-7 summit in May, is the only G-7 leader not to have visited Ukraine and has been pressured to do so at home. US President Joe Biden took a similar route to Kyiv last month, just before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Due to the limitations of Japan’s pacifist constitution, his trip was arranged in secret. Kishida is the first post-war Japanese leader to enter a war zone. Kishida, invited by Zelenskyy in January to visit Kiev, was also asked before his trip to India about a rumor of his possible trip in late March, denied it and said nothing concrete had been decided.
Japan has joined the United States and European nations in sanctioning Russia for its invasion and providing humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine.
Japan has been quick to react as it fears the possible impact of a war in East Asia, where the Chinese military has become increasingly assertive and has heightened tensions around self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing claims it as its territory.
Kishida is expected to offer continued support to Ukraine during his meeting with Zelenskyy.
Television footage on NTV showed Kishida boarding a train from Poland’s Przemysl station near the border with Ukraine, along with a number of officials.
Due to its pacifist principles, Japan’s support for Ukraine has also been limited to non-combat military equipment such as helmets, body armor and drones, and humanitarian supplies including generators.
Japan has given over $7 billion to Ukraine, taken in more than 2,000 displaced Ukrainians and helped them with housing assistance and support for jobs and education, a rare initiative in a country known for its strict immigration policy.


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