Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Monday that Japan would provide Ukraine with a new $5.5 billion aid package.
Kishida also announced Japan would host an on-line Group of Seven (G-7) summit on Friday—joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—to mark one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Japan is among the international coalition that has imposed economic sanctions on Russia. The first relating to the war in Ukraine were imposed by Japan on February 23, 2022—one day before Russia invaded. They included suspending visas for officials and banning exports from the Russian-labeled Donetsk People’s Republic (“DPR”) and Luhansk People’s Republic (“LPR”). On that date Tokyo also banned the issuance and trading of new Russian sovereign bonds in Japan.
Japan introduced the most recent of its 14 separate sanctions packages on February 6 of this year, in relation to oil products of Russian origin.
In his Monday announcement, Japan’s Kishida acknowledged he made a decisive move because of “strong concern that Ukraine may be tomorrow’s East Asia.” China’s military has grown increasingly assertive and has escalated tensions around its sovereign neighbor Taiwan, which Beijing claims as Chinese territory.
In January, top security officials from the U.S. and Japan agreed to changes in their nations’ joint defense posture to confront rising threats from both China and North Korea, which Japan reported on Monday had test-fired two ballistic missiles in the region.
Over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Harris each warned China against providing weapons to Russia.
Japan has provided loans equivalent to more than $520 million to Ukraine in emergency economic assistance, and the country has accepted more than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees.