Japan, U.S. condemn Russia’s civilian killings

BRUSSELS (Jiji Press) — Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday condemned Russia for its alleged civilian killings in Ukraine.

The acts are totally unacceptable as they amount to violations of international humanitarian law, Hayashi and Blinken said in their meeting in Brussels, held on the sidelines of a gathering of the Group of Seven foreign ministers.

In their talks, which lasted about 35 minutes, the two agreed that their countries will continue to sanction Russia and provide assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Apparently bearing in mind China’s hegemonic behavior, Hayashi and Blinken shared the view that their countries will not accept any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force, like the one happening in Ukraine, in the Indo-Pacific region or East Asia.

They confirmed close bilateral cooperation to deal with various issues related to China and realize a visit to Japan by U.S. President Joe Biden and a summit of the Quad nations—Japan, the United States, Australia and India—at an early date.

Hayashi and Blinken also affirmed close cooperation between their countries and among Japan, the United States and South Korea over issues related to North Korea following the reclusive country’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on March 24.

Hayashi also met with the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell. They agreed on close bilateral cooperation to end the Ukraine crisis.

Also in Brussels, Hayashi attended a meeting between North Atlantic Treaty Organization member nations’ foreign ministers and their counterparts from partner countries including Japan and Ukraine.

In the meeting, Hayashi said China has not criticized Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. There are countries that support this aggression directly or indirectly, he said, adding this is a grave situation.