Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday that Japan will provide $5 million in support after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam caused severe damage in the nation, the top government spokesman said.

Kishida and Zelenskyy held a telephone conversation days after tens of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate following flooding triggered by the destruction of the dam, for which Ukraine has blamed Moscow with the war with Russia showing no sign of ending soon.

During their first talks since the two leaders met in Hiroshima on May 21, the closing day of the three-day Group of Seven summit, Kishida also expressed sympathy to victims of the dam disaster, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.

The dam is crucial for Ukraine as it supplies cooling water to the country's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant -- the largest in Europe. Failure to cool the nuclear fuel could lead to a serious accident such as a core meltdown. Both facilities are under Russian control.

Kishida, who visited Kyiv on March 21, told Zelenskyy that any attempt to change the status quo by force must not be accepted, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said, adding the two leaders confirmed the importance of the global order based on the rule of law.

Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, where he called on the international community to keep supporting Ukraine, which has been at war with Russia since February 2022.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy chat during a Group of Seven summit photo session on May 21, 2023, the final day of a three-day G-7 summit in the western Japan city of Hiroshima. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

At a regular press conference in Tokyo, Matsuno said Zelenskyy, who has been seeking military assistance from Western democracies, voiced his gratitude to Kishida for his efforts to realize his in-person participation in the summit as a guest.

Tokyo has continued to offer financial and humanitarian aid to Kyiv, and the government recently arranged for two Ukrainian soldiers who were wounded in the war to receive medical care at the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital in Japan.

Japan has only given nonmilitary assistance to Ukraine against a backdrop of restrictions on the provision of weapons under the war-renouncing Constitution.

With Ukraine apparently stepping up preparations for a massive counteroffensive against Russia, Zelenskyy also held phone talks with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week.

At the G-7 summit, the leaders from the industrialized economies agreed to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and stand by Kyiv, with concern lingering that Russia might use such a weapon against Ukraine, in the worst case scenario.

The G-7 leaders urged Russia to "immediately" and "unconditionally" withdraw its troops from Ukraine, pledging to bolster sanctions on Moscow to further undermine the nation's "capacity to wage its illegal aggression" against its neighbor.

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