The Ukrainian government has apologized over a video shared on Twitter that juxtaposed a picture of the late Japanese Emperor Hirohito to those of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in describing Nazism and fascism.
"We had no intention to offend the friendly people of Japan," the Ukraine account said in a Twitter post Sunday. The original video shared on April 1 criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "contemporary ruscism" and used pictures of the three with a description "Fascism and Nazism were defeated in 1945."
Amid sharp reaction from Japanese Twitter users, Ukraine Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky apologized Monday in a tweet, saying the creator of the video lacked an understanding of history.
Our sincere apologies for making a mistake in the previous version of the video. We had no intention to offend the friendly people of Japan 🇺🇦🇯🇵. In the new video above we have corrected the mistake. https://t.co/rB3RkR6V4k— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) April 24, 2022
The Japanese government said Monday it has formally requested through a diplomatic channel the removal of the picture of the wartime emperor, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, from the video.
"It is inappropriate and extremely regrettable," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said about the use of the emperor's photo.
Isozaki added the removal request has been met and Japan's support for the Ukrainian people following the Russian invasion remains unchanged.
Japan is providing $300 million in loans to Ukraine as well as supplies such as gas masks and is also accepting people fleeing from the war-torn country.