Japanese PM ‘will consider’ visiting Ukraine as Russian offensive continues

New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday said Wednesday he is considering visiting Ukraine, after an invitation from President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Addressing Parliament, Prime Minister said, “Nothing has been decided at this time regarding my visit to Ukraine. I will consider this in light of various circumstances and conditions,”.

Ukrainian President Zelensky had invited the Japanese PM (to visit Ukraine) during a call on January 6. According to media reports, Fumio Kishida’s trip would be the first time in the post-war period that a Japanese PM visited a country during an ongoing conflict.

Tokyo has worked in lockstep with its G7 allies to sanction Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and boost support to Kyiv, even taking the rare step of offering refuge to those fleeing the conflict.

While Kishida has spoken to Zelensky several times, they have not met in person. The Ukrainian leader invited his Japanese counterpart to visit during a call on January 6.

The trip would be the first time in the post-war period that a Japanese prime minister has visited a country during an active conflict.

Japan will host the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May this year, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is expected to be high on the agenda. G7 countries consists of the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Britain — have met Zelensky in Kyiv or elsewhere, with the exception of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose predecessor met the Ukrainian leader.

Kishida this month toured several G7 countries, but considering the prevailing security concerns, the Ukraine visit has not been finalised.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from Belarus on February 24, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, as well as the displacement of millions.

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