Japan showed its strong commitment to supporting Ukraine on Friday, the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of the Eastern European country, hours before hosting a Group of Seven summit online as the chair.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to join the video gathering, which would be the first summit presided over by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Japan is this year's chair of the G-7 and is scheduled to host the three-day in-person summit in May.

As chair, Japan will try to strengthen the unity of the grouping and demonstrate its unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.

Japanese peace activists observe a moment of silence as they stage an anti-war rally in Nagasaki Peace Park in southwestern Japan on Feb. 24, 2023, to mark one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Matsuno, the government top spokesman, added that Japan will "maintain severe sanctions against Russia and continue supporting Ukraine while working closely with the international community including the G-7."

Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky thanked the country for its support, including its acceptance of over 2,300 evacuees from Ukraine.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky speaks at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Feb. 24, 2023. (Kyodo)

"We see the leadership of Japan," Korsunsky said at a press conference, appreciating the country's "absolutely immense" ability to concentrate financial and technological resources.

In the run-up to the virtual summit, Kishida pledged earlier this week that Japan will provide $5.5 billion in additional financial assistance for the reconstruction of infrastructure in Ukraine that Russia has destroyed.

Japan has also agreed with Cambodia to join hands to support the elimination of Russian landmines and unexploded bombs in Ukraine.

Tokyo has contributed to demining efforts in Cambodia, where millions of landmines are believed to have been laid during the 1970-1991 civil war. Japan's war-renouncing Constitution prevents it from offering military aid to Ukraine.

At Friday's summit, other G-7 major economies, such as the United States and European nations, may express eagerness to impose further sanctions on Russia, amid mounting concern that Moscow might launch a large-scale attack on Ukraine in the spring.

The leaders may also discuss growing fears that China, Japan's neighbor, may supply weapons to Russia, sources familiar with the matter said.

The G-7 countries could also contemplate measures to prevent Russia from using nuclear arms against Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin has recently claimed Moscow will suspend its participation in a nuclear weapons control treaty, called the New START.

Kishida, a lawmaker representing a constituency in Hiroshima, is slated to host the face-to-face G-7 summit from May 19 in the western Japan city, which was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in August 1945.

At the meeting, Kishida plans to pitch his vision of a world without nuclear weapons, sources close to him said.

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