On March 21, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in Kyiv. A particularly anticipated visit, also because in January 2023 Japan took over the G7 presidency, and the prime minister was the only head of state or government of this group who has not come to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. But also because Tokyo announced [un mois plus tôt] about its intention to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $5.5 billion.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to major changes in Japan’s security policy, as well as in its approach to relations with Russia and Ukraine. Thus, for the first time since the Second World War, Tokyo provided non-lethal military assistance in large quantities to another country – Ukraine. In the short term, this assistance can only be limited, as Japan refrains from exporting weapons to a country involved in a military conflict. Moreover, the pacifist attitude remains dominant both in the political class and in society. Over the years, Japan has built the image of a peace-loving country, and this image has become one of the pillars of the post-war mentality.

The Japanese sympathize with the Ukrainians

Since the beginning of the invasion launched by the Russian Federation, the Japanese people have shown unprecedented sympathy for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Its solidarity is evidenced by the fact that Ukrainian refugees in the archipelago do not enjoy the status of refugees, but of “evacuees”. Compared to the number of Ukrainian refugees currently living in the European Union, Japan has very few