Two senior Japanese vice ministers have visited Ukraine along with a business delegation to examine requests for Japanese contributions to the future reconstruction of the war-torn country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
Kiyoto Tsuji, a senior vice foreign minister, and Kazuchika Iwata, a senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry, met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv a day after arriving in the country on Sunday. Tsuji told Shmyhal that Japan's commitment to helping Ukraine will never waver and that the visit by both him and Iwata is "important in terms of further deepening the involvement of Japanese firms" in the nation's reconstruction, according to the ministry.
Iwata was quoted by the ministry as saying that the government will support Japanese businesses to that end.
Shmyhal expressed optimism about Japan's role, saying that Kyiv will continue to work with Tokyo for the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction, scheduled to be held in Tokyo on Feb. 19, the ministry said.
Fumiya Kokubu, chairman of the Japan Business Federation's special committee on Ukraine's economic recovery, accompanied Tsuji and Iwata. The federation is the nation's most powerful business lobby and is better known as Keidanren.
The delegation also included business people from about 10 Japanese companies, such as engineering firms JFE Engineering Corp. and IHI Corp., and agricultural machinery maker Kubota Corp.
In Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said at a press conference, "Through the economic mission's visit this time, we will further promote public-private support for Ukraine, and we hope it will lead to the success" of the conference.
In March, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a surprise trip to Ukraine, while Kamikawa's predecessor, Yoshimasa Hayashi, visited the country in September. Ukraine has been under invasion by Russia since February 2022.