Conference in Tokyo to Discuss Ukraine’s Reconstruction; Kishida, Kamikawa Expected to Deliver Speeches (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a meeting to prepare for the “Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction” at the Prime Minister’s Office on Jan. 30.

The government will hold the first Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction in Tokyo on Feb. 19 where government officials and representatives from 200 companies — spanning industries such as agriculture, information technology and energy — from both countries will convene to discuss the recovery and reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine.

Participating companies are expected to exchange 20 cooperation deals, primarily involving infrastructure restoration. Japan is aiming to show its commitment to continuous support for Ukraine through public and private economic assistance both inside and outside the country.

At the event, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal are expected to attend and deliver speeches on efforts related to reconstruction.

Last year, Japan sent an economic mission, comprised of private-sector executives, to accompany former Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on his visit to Ukraine to explore reconstruction demand in an effort to boost investment by Japanese companies and also to make use of Japan’s technological expertise for support measures.

IHI Corp. is considering using easy-to-assemble temporary bridges for road restoration and is coordinating to sign a document with a Ukrainian company on Feb. 19. The leading heavy machinery manufacturer plans to make bridge components at a facility in neighboring Romania and transport them to Ukraine for assembly with assistance from the Ukrainian firm.

“Some projects are difficult to proceed without a cease-fire, but we can still contribute to reconstruction in many areas,” an IHI director who visited Ukraine last November told The Yomiuri Shimbun. “We want the government to come up with measures with us to ensure safety for Japanese companies to work smoothly.”

The Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning to “evacuate and avoid all travel” throughout Ukraine, the highest level on its four-level warning, calling for Japanese nationals not to go there. The warning has kept Japanese firms from operating in Ukraine, and some businesspeople have called for the restriction to be eased.

Kamikawa said Friday at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting that the ministry would “do the utmost to create the best possible environment” for the activities of Japanese companies.