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Kishida pledges $4.5 Billion more in aid for Ukraine

Kishida pledges $4.5 Billion more in aid for Ukraine

Tokyo, December 07, 2023, The Europe Today: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged $4.5 billion to Ukraine, including $1 billion in humanitarian aid to help support the war-torn country’s recovery effort in an online summit of leading industrial nations.

Kishida made the announcement late Wednesday in Tokyo while hosting his last Group of Seven summit as this year’s chairperson.

The $1 billion humanitarian and recovery aid includes funding for generators and other power supplies for the Ukrainian people to survive the winter, as well as measures to clear mines planted by Russia, the Foreign Ministry said. The remaining $3.5 billion includes funding for credit guarantees for World Bank loans to Ukraine.

“This is significant support for the recovery of Ukraine and our economy, said Japan stands firmly with Ukraine and our people,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his message posted on X. “We will keep working together to bring our common victory closer.”

Japan has donated more than $7 billion to Ukraine since the war started, mostly for humanitarian assistance, and military equipment limited to non-lethal weapons because of legal limitations under its pacifist constitution.

But on Thursday, Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky said his country and Japan are discussing a possible Japanese provision of anti-missile defense and anti-drone equipment.

“It’s not a lethal weapon. Actually, it’s a humanitarian assistance,” he said at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. “Because when you have Iranian drones flying over you, and they are very difficult to detect … but if you protect yourself from those drones, this is not a lethal weapon.”

Seiji Kihara, acting secretary general of Kishida’s governing party, said Japan has pacifist policies but the country will continue a dialogue on providing the most helpful support for Ukraine by using Japan’s expertise, including mine clearing.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, citing Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, praised Japan’s additional supply of generators to help people survive the severe winter weather.

Japan is discussing easing of its weapons export restrictions to allow equipment co-developed by other countries, to be provided to Ukraine. Japan seeks to bolster its defense industry amid growing threats from China, North Korea and Russia, while expanding support for countries under invasion, like Ukraine.

The G7 members agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia, including banning the country’s diamonds. The G7 leaders, in their joint statement, said they will introduce import restrictions on nonindustrial diamonds mined, processed, or produced in Russia, followed by additional restrictions on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries.

The G7 is comprised of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union.