Japan Provides 4 Mine-Clearing Machines to Ukraine for Reconstruction Efforts; Aims to Send More Later This Year

Courtesy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency
A Japan-made large mine-clearing machine provided to Ukraine is seen in Kyiv on Tuesday.

The government announced Wednesday it has provided four large demining machines to Ukraine via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

It is the first time that the government has supplied such machines to the country, although Japan has previously supplied mine detectors to them. The latest provision is aimed at supporting the clearing of mines laid by Russia.

The handover ceremony took place in Kyiv on Tuesday – Kuninori Matsuda, the Japanese Ambassador to Ukraine, and Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko were in attendance.

The four demining machines, manufactured in Japan, include two shovel-type and two bulldozer-type machines. Training in the operation of the machines was conducted in Japan and provided to State Emergency Service of Ukraine staff.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a press conference on Wednesday that demining is “a prerequisite for the reconstruction and recovery efforts in Ukraine, such as the restoration of livelihoods, agricultural production capacity and logistics.” The government also plans to provide additional mine-clearing machines within the year.

About 30% of Ukraine’s land is estimated to be contaminated with mines and other unexploded ordnance. According to local media, there have been about 300 mine-related deaths as of April.