Kishida vows Japan’s active role in Ukraine’s reconstruction

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrives at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged his country’s active involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction in international talks in Berlin on Tuesday.

Japan “will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine based on our country’s unique knowledge and strengths,” Kishida said.

Pointing to Japan’s experience of sorting and reusing debris from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that mainly hit northeastern Japan, Kishida added, “We will continue to play an active role in providing further assistance to the people of Ukraine as needed.”

Kishida made the remarks in a video message for the Berlin meeting to discuss reconstruction assistance for Ukraine, ravaged by Russia’s invasion launched in February.

The meeting, led by the Group of Seven major powers, was hosted by this year’s G-7 president, Germany. Japan will assume the presidency next year.

At Tuesday’s meeting, country leaders and heads of international financial institutions discussed creating an international framework to provide Ukraine with reconstruction funds, estimated at $349 billion or more by the World Bank.

In his opening remark, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed the need for a Marshall Plan for the 21st century, mentioning the U.S. initiative to provide massive financial assistance for the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe.

Scholz urged countries to contribute to the huge financial aid needed for Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen indicated that the European Union will shoulder a third of the funds needed immediately, planning to provide around €18 billion next year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for assistance in a video message, saying that Russia is destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure.

According to Scholz, the G-7 and EU members have provided emergency financial aid worth over €35 billion to Ukraine so far.

While the G-7 members are hoping that other Group of 20 members will also contribute, not all in the G-20 forum of advanced and emerging economies are on board with this idea.

While Japan has restrictions on military-related aid, the Asian nation is expected to play a large part in reconstruction efforts.