Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will join a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations this week in an effort to defuse tensions over Ukraine, which is under threat of a possible invasion by Russia, the Japanese government said Monday.
Kishida vowed to resolve the crisis in coordination with the G-7 and other members of the international community, telling a Diet session, "While the situation remains critical, Japan will continue to make diplomatic efforts with other countries to ease tensions."
Announcing Kishida's participation in the Thursday summit, to be hosted by Germany, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, "It is critically important for the G-7, which shares universal values such as freedom, democracy and rule of law, to unite and lead the global community."
Amid a massive Russian military buildup near Ukraine's borders, Kishida urged Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to find an "acceptable" diplomatic solution.
Kishida also spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and underscored Japan's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, Matsuno said the government has been urging Japanese nationals in Ukraine to evacuate, and that it has chartered an aircraft near Ukraine as part of an evacuation plan.
"What is most important now is for Japanese people wishing to evacuate to be able to move to a safe place quickly," he said.
There were about 120 Japanese nationals in Ukraine as of Saturday, according to the government.