Japanese prime minister strongly condemns Russia over invasion of Ukraine

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to the media after a teleconference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Monday evening.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has strongly condemned Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, saying “We will show clearly that this kind of outrage comes with a heavy price,” Kishida has said.

In addition to demonstrating a firm stance against Russia, Kishida may be aiming to avert criticism from ruling and opposition parties that Japan is lagging behind Western countries in sanctions against Russia.

“The international community now believes that because of Russian aggression, it can no longer carry on relations with Russia in the same way it used to,” Kishida said at the Prime Minister’s Office after announcing new sanctions Sunday evening.

The government has been under criticism for not imposing sanctions against Russia sooner.

Although some in the government say the delay was inevitable due to internal procedures and the time difference with Europe, dissatisfaction has been voiced even among members of the ruling parties.

During Monday’s upper house budget committee meeting, Masahisa Sato, director of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Foreign Affairs Division, called for Russian aircraft to be banned from flying in Japanese airspace, in line with fight bans imposed by European nations.

“We will respond appropriately while observing future changes in the situation,” Kishida said.