Japanese PM Calls for Global Unity in Achieving Peace in Ukraine Amid Major Power 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Emphasizes the Need for Collective Action Against Unilateral Force and Coercion.

Kishida Highlights Japan’s Role in Ukraine’s Reconstruction and the Importance of G7 Unity on China and Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday called for global efforts to achieve a “just and lasting peace” in Ukraine, addressing the ongoing conflict that has divided the world’s major powers, particularly the United States and China, over how to respond to Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.

“Any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion must not be justified,” Kishida asserted during his speech at an international gathering for peace in Ukraine, held in the scenic Swiss resort of Burgenstock. This statement came in the wake of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent accusation that China, which has strengthened its military and economic ties with Russia, attempted to undermine the “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” held in Switzerland.

Japan has shown eagerness to support Ukraine’s reconstruction, focusing on improving electricity supply, clearing landmines, and participating actively in discussions regarding Ukraine’s nuclear power safety, Kishida noted. He emphasized the significance of these efforts given Ukraine’s possession of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, which was occupied by Russia shortly after President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine in February 2022.

Reflecting on historical nuclear incidents, Kishida drew parallels between Ukraine’s Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis in 2011, highlighting the shared experiences and the importance of nuclear safety.

The United States, Japan, and other Group of Seven (G7) nations have imposed stringent economic sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine. However, China has increased its imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas from Russia, complicating the international response to the conflict.

Despite Japan’s support for Ukraine, it has been limited to nonmilitary assistance due to its war-renouncing Constitution, contrasting with the military aid provided by the United States and European nations, including battle tanks and fighter jets.

The two-day meeting in Switzerland, attended by about 100 representatives from various countries and international institutions, including around 60 leaders, aims to exchange views on peace proposals for Ukraine, as reported by the Swiss government.

Prime Minister Kishida also addressed the G7’s priorities, stressing the need to focus on issues related to the Indo-Pacific region, particularly regarding China, even as Europe has shifted its attention to the Middle East and migration. During a press briefing after the G7 summit in Fasano, Italy, Kishida highlighted the significance of building on the outcomes of last year’s Hiroshima summit, which he hosted.

Kishida emphasized the importance of G7 unity in addressing challenges posed by China and North Korea, particularly regarding nuclear and missile developments and Beijing’s market-distorting practices. He also mentioned Japan’s consideration of a new sanction package targeting entities in third countries, like China, that have helped Russia evade existing sanctions.

In their communique, the G7 leaders strongly opposed any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas and reaffirmed their commitment to achieving a “world without nuclear weapons,” referencing the Hiroshima summit.

Domestically, Kishida’s administration is grappling with low approval ratings amid a political funds scandal involving his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). When questioned about the potential dissolution of the House of Representatives before the end of the parliamentary session on June 23, Kishida stated his focus on addressing urgent issues, without commenting on the possibility of a snap election.

The LDP has faced scrutiny over unreported income from fundraising parties and the maintenance of slush funds. A recent bill proposed by the LDP to reform political party fund rules has been criticized by the opposition for not effectively addressing the long-standing issue of political corruption.

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