Japan to promise developing nations tens of billions of yen in food aid at G7 summit

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida makes a roadside speech in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on Friday afternoon.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to declare, at the Group of Seven summit to be held in Germany from Sunday to Tuesday, that Japan plans to provide food assistance to developing countries facing a food crisis due to the impact of Russia’s armed aggression in Ukraine. Coordination is underway to extend the assistance, worth tens of billions of yen.

As Russia has blockaded ports on the Ukrainian coast facing the Black Sea, the supplies of farm products from Ukraine have dropped sharply, which has sent global grain prices soaring. This has caused a food crisis in areas including the Middle East and North Africa.

The government intends to increase its contribution to such organizations as the World Food Program, which supplies food to developing countries.

Meanwhile, Japan will also contribute its assistance to the expenses of building additional storehouses in Ukraine as the stock of grains produced in the country has been rising due to declines in export volume. Japan also intends to extend assistance to Ukraine to secure an alternative route for exporting grain from Ukraine via Romania.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other organizations, Ukraine is an agricultural powerhouse, as the world’s fifth-biggest exporter of wheat and one of the top three for corn. Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports is said to have halted grain exports from Ukraine on the scale of 20 million tons.

At the G7 summit, international food security caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine will be the main theme.