Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has visited Tokyo, meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida to discuss aid Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) in Tokyo on February 19, 2024. © Getty Images / AFP/ Anadolu / Kazuhiro Nogi

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged his support to help rebuild Ukraine’s economy after the conflict with Moscow ends, making the commitment at the Japanese-Ukrainian reconstruction conference in Tokyo on Monday.

A massive Ukrainian delegation of over 100 people was led by the country’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, who touted the event as a major diplomatic win.

According to Shmyhal, over 50 cooperation agreements were signed at the event, including “an intergovernmental convention on the avoidance of double taxation, which is extremely important for Japanese companies planning new projects in Ukraine.”

“During our meeting, [Kishida] said that Japan will provide Ukraine with $12.1 billion in aid, including the announced and implemented amount,” Shmyhal claimed in a Telegram post.

It was not immediately clear when exactly and in what form the funding would materialize. According to the Japanese side, during the conference Tokyo pledged $105 million in new aid for Ukraine to fund demining work and emergency repairs in the energy and transport sectors.

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The Japanese prime minister also pledged to open a new government trade office in the Ukrainian capital. Japan sees the rebuilding of Ukraine as an “investment” beneficial for both sides, he said.

“The war in Ukraine is still going on at this very moment and the situation is not easy. The promotion of economic reconstruction, however, is not only an investment for the future of Ukraine but also investing in Japan and the whole globe,” Kishida said during the conference.

Unlike most of Ukraine’s benefactors, Tokyo has primarily stuck to humanitarian rather than military aid, as well as eyeing potential long-term projects for post-war development of the country.

That approach was described by Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa as the “uniquely Japanese way” and stems from the pacifist stance enshrined in the country’s constitution along with legal restrictions on exports of lethal weaponry.

However, late last year Tokyo agreed to export Patriot PAC-3 anti-aircraft missiles to the US, which it produces under a US license, ending a ban on military exports imposed under the country’s fundamental document back in 1947.

The move was largely perceived as an indirect way for Tokyo to aid Kiev militarily by enabling Washington to send more US-made Patriot missiles to Ukraine without depleting its own stocks. Japan’s decision was condemned by Moscow, which warned it would further damage bilateral relations and “have tangible negative consequences for global and regional security.” (RT)