Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country

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Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, (far left), and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, (far right), with other officials, attend a cooperation exchange ceremony of a memorandum during the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction at Keidanren Kaikan building in Tokyo on Feb 19. (AP)

TOKYO, Feb 19, (AP): Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday pledged his country’s long-term engagement in Ukraine’s reconstruction, calling it a future investment, as Japan stressed its commitment to supporting the war-torn country ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
In his keynote speech at a conference Japan co-organized with the Ukrainian government and business organizations, Kishida said Japanese public and private cooperation will be a long-term partnership based on inclusivity, humanitarianism as well as technology and knowledge.
Kishida stressed the importance of investment across industries for the future of that country’s development and ensuring that the support caters to Ukraine’s needs. More than 50 cooperation deals were signed by Japanese and Ukrainian government agencies and companies, and Kishida announced an opening of a new government trade office in Kyiv.
Among the deals was Japan’s pledge of 15.8 billion yen ($105 million) in new aid for Ukraine to fund demining and other urgently needed reconstruction projects in the energy and transportation sectors, the Foreign Ministry said.
Support for Ukraine’s reconstruction is about “investing in the future,” Kishida said. “The war in Ukraine is still going on at this very moment and the situation is not easy. The promotion of economic reconstruction, however, is not only an investment for the future of Ukraine but also investing in Japan and the whole globe.”
Japan hopes to build momentum for global support for Ukraine as the war drags on and attention has diverted to the conflict in Gaza. Japan’s focus on reconstruction – in part due to its legal restraints on providing lethal weapons – contrasts with many Western countries, whose largely military support faces increasing scrutiny over costs. A new US aid package to Ukraine is stalled in the Congress.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who led his country’s delegation of more than 100 people, expressed thanks for the encouragement and said that “today is the new start of cooperation between the two countries.”

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