February 19, 2024

Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio delivering a keynote speech at the Japan-Ukraine Conference for the Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction. He stated that support for Ukraine is “investing in the future” of the country, Japan, and the whole world.

 On February 19, 2024, the Leaders’ Session of the Japan-Ukraine Conference for the Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction was held in Tokyo, at which Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio delivered the following keynote speech. At the end of the meeting, a total of 56 signed cooperation documents were unveiled in the presence of both countries’ prime ministers. In addition, a joint communique, coordinated between the governments of Japan and Ukraine, was released as an outcome document of the conference.

 Prime Minister Shmyhal, Ladies and Gentlemen.

 Firstly, let me express my utmost respect again for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people, who have been standing up in defense for the freedom and independence of their country for two years since the outbreak of Russian aggression. As the G7 Chair last year, Japan led international discussions on supporting Ukraine and has provided robust package, including financial assistance. Japan has stood with Ukraine and will continue to do so.

 The origin of today's Conference dates back to my own visit to Ukraine March 2023. I visited Ukraine as G7 Chair. In my meeting in Kyiv with President Zelenskyy, he outlined his strong expectations for Japan's experience, its technology and private investment by our country for the long term reconstruction of Ukraine.

 Following the visit, I decided to hold this Japan-Ukraine Conference for the Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction with a conviction that Japan has much potential to make what I call “Japan’s unique contribution.”

 President Zelenskyy once stated, “Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in global security and democracy.” I would like to make one additional statement. That is “investing in the future.” 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 investment for the future of Ukraine but also investing in Japan and the whole globe. We must strive for the future of all of us. Japan, through both the public and private sectors, will provide robust support for economic reconstruction and industrial enhancement that will lead to the economic growth of Ukraine, a country with significant potential. It is our aim to support Ukraine so that the country can achieve comprehensive economic development from the primary to tertiary sectors, including in such key areas as agriculture, manufacturing, and the IT industry.
PM Kishida at the podium, attendees listen attentively, flags of Japan and Ukraine are in the background.

 With these themes in mind today, I would like to share with the Ukrainian people “3 Principles,” “5 Actions,” “50 Commitments” for the purpose of realizing “Japan’s unique contribution.”

 To start with, there are three important principles for promoting “Japan's unique contribution.”

 The first of the 3 Principles is “inclusiveness.”

 With an emphasis on “human dignity,” we will stay right beside with all the Ukrainian people, including women and children, and from a “Women, Peace and Security” or WPS perspective we will support Ukraine's self-sustaining development and reconstruction for the long term.

 The second is “partnership.”

 The main actors in realizing Ukraine's reconstruction must be the people of Ukraine. The very key to promoting the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine in a sustainable manner is to work together with the Ukrainian people, rather than providing unilateral support from Japan. Japan will faithfully address the needs of the Ukrainian side and respond to those needs attentively.

 The third is “knowledge and technology.”

 Japan’s public and private sectors will all work together through an all-Japan approach, utilizing the knowledge derived from Japan's postwar and disaster reconstruction efforts, as well as advanced technology and knowhow from the private sector. Of course, the door is open to participation not only by major companies but also by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-end technologies.

 In addition to these 3 Principles, we will take the following five actions to promote Japanese private investment and create employment in Ukraine. I would like to announce those as important deliverable of today’s conference.

 First, we will conclude the new Tax Convention as part of the development of a legal infrastructure. We will also commence negotiations for a review of the Investment Agreement.

 Second, to boost Ukraine's reconstruction, we will support Ukraine through international financial institutions by contributing to by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s capital increase and by providing a two-step loan through the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank by JBIC.

 Third, as a form of bilateral cooperation we will implement public-private partnership projects through ODA and JICA's Private Sector Investment Finance for Ukrainian venture capitalists.

 Fourth, we will establish a JETRO office in Kyiv to expand business ties, investment and trade between the two countries. In addition, NEXI will establish new credit lines to reduce investment and trade risks for Japanese companies.

 Fifth, we will also introduce measures to relax the multi entry visa requirements for Ukrainian people involved in Japan-Ukraine cooperation projects.

 Specific commitments based on the 3 Principles and the 5 Actions are reflected in the over 50 cooperation outcome documents between Japanese companies, including startups, and their Ukrainian partners.
Ukrainian and Japanese Prime Minister sitting at a table, Ukraine’s and Japan's flags on the table.

Prime Minister Kishida holding a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. He stated that Japan will continue to stand with Ukraine until peace returns to that beautiful land.

 Japan will steadily follow up on these measures and items. Japan will continue to do our very best to support Ukraine's economic development at various phases ranging from initial emergency assistance and the day-to-day livelihood reconstruction of to more robust stages of industrial reconstruction and enhancement. We will also assist Ukraine in its efforts in day-to-day rebuilding of people’s lives and in creating new industries through various measures of ours to build economic foundations of the country, which will help make its recovery/reconstruction processes more sustainable and, ultimately, make its whole economy more strong.

 The reconstruction of Ukraine will not be achieved overnight. The solidarity of the international community in this line of effort also needs to be strengthened. We will work with our partners and international organizations, and closely coordinate with the G7 and other countries. We will make our measures and efforts closely in line with various developments in the international discussion, including an international Ukraine Recovery Conference to be hosted by Germany in coming June.

 It is the very interest of Japan and the international community as a whole that, overcoming the scars of Russia’s aggression, Ukraine realizes its reconstruction and regain its vitality. We sincerely ask for your cooperation of all the participants gathering here for today’s Conference.

 Thank you.

* The above text was republished from the website of the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan: