Via an unannounced trip to Kyiv, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.
“Japan will resolutely reject Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and unilateral changing of status quo by force,” Kishida is expected to tell the Ukrainian president during summit-level talks, a statement from the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
Kishida will reaffirm Japan’s “determination to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.”
According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Kishida flew to Ukraine via Poland on a private business jet rather than a government plane “to minimize the prime minister’s entourage, and strictly control the outflow of information.”
He flew to Rzeszow in southeastern Poland around midnight on Monday from India, where he held a meeting with his Indian counterpart and invited him to the G-7 summit.
According to Kyodo News, Kishida’s visit “had been kept secret until right before arrival.”
“It is rare for a Japanese leader to make an unannounced trip to a foreign country,” the Tokyo-based news agency added.
Kishida’s trip to Kyiv coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official visit to Russia.
All eyes are on Moscow for the outcome of the summits between Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Russia launched a war on Ukraine in February last year, resulting in death and injuries to thousands of people while forcing millions more to flee the war-torn country due to Russian forces bombing and shelling.
The Japanese foreign ministry said Tokyo “will directly convey our solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine” at the upcoming G-7 summit in May.
Japan will host the summit of the world’s seven richest nations in Hiroshima where several other nations have been invited.