European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel will visit Japan next week and meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the European Union said Thursday, with Russia's war against Ukraine and China's assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region expected to be discussed.
The EU said the summit, scheduled to be held on May 12, will provide "an opportunity to display the increasingly deep and dynamic alliance" between the regional bloc and Japan, which have similar values including a commitment to defending the rules-based international order.
It will be the two EU chiefs' first visit to Japan since they took office in December 2019.
They and Kishida will discuss further cooperation and alignment on sanctions against Russia and tangible ways of providing humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine, the EU said.
They are also expected to talk about China's growing regional assertiveness and confirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Beijing regards the self-ruled democratic island as a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Agenda topics will also include strengthening collaboration on climate change and digital partnership, as well as the lifting of travel restrictions that have been implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kishida said Thursday in London that Japan will further ease its border controls in June to bring them in line with other Group of Seven nations.
At the end of the talks between the Japanese and EU leaders, a joint declaration is expected to be adopted. The last EU-Japan summit held in May last year took place via videoconference due to the pandemic.
During the visit, Michel will travel to Hiroshima, one of the two Japanese cities devastated by U.S. atomic bombings shortly before the end of World War II, according to a senior EU official.
He is expected to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and deliver a speech, the official said.