Japan to send defense equipment to Ukraine

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office

The Japanese government on Friday decided to provide defense equipment to Ukraine following its recent invasion by Russia, according to government sources.

Sending equipment such as bulletproof vests and other items to a country under armed attack is a rare move for Japan. The decision was made at a National Security Council meeting held on the day.

Japan has already announced a policy to provide Ukraine with emergency humanitarian aid worth ¥11.5 billion ($100 million), among other assistance. The government concluded, however, that defense-related assistance should also be provided, over fears that the Ukrainian capital, Kiyv, and other key areas could be taken by Russia, the sources said.

The European Union, meanwhile, is set to dispatch weapons worth €450 million (¥58 billion) to Ukraine.

The government based its decision on the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, the sources said.

Transfers are prohibited if equipment is destined for “a country party to a conflict,” defined as “a country against which the U.N. Security Council is taking measures to maintain or restore international peace and security in the event of an armed attack.”

According to the sources, Ukraine does not fall into this category.