Japan to roll out plans to back Ukraine at ‘appropriate time’, US official says

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Japan is engaged deeply on issues in Ukraine and is expected to roll out plans at the “appropriate time” to support Kyiv against Russia's invasion, White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Tuesday.

“Prime Minister Kishida has a game plan and is already engaged deeply on issues in Ukraine,” Campbell told a Center for Strategic and International Studies event.

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met last week when Kishida was in Washington on the last stop in a tour of the G7 industrial powers.

“I fully expect that at appropriate time Japan will be rolling out specific plans to support Ukraine in a variety of ways. They are active in many of the contact group discussions about support for Ukraine and they are just a key member,” Campbell said, adding that Japan was “stepping up”.

Kishida last week stressed the importance of standing up to Russia's invasion, saying that if a unilateral change to the status quo went unchallenged, the same would happen elsewhere, including in Asia - an apparent reference to China's vow to reunite with self-ruled Taiwan, by force if necessary.

The Japanese premier also said the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May should demonstrate a strong will to uphold international order and rule of law after Russia's invasion.

Earlier in January, Kishida said he had told Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy in a phone call that he would consider an invitation to visit Kyiv depending on “various circumstances”, but nothing had yet been decided.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions driven from their homes since Russia launched in February last year what it calls a “special military operation” to eliminate security threats in Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western backers call Russia's actions an unprovoked land grab.

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