Notwithstanding the fact that Japan and Ukraine are separated by a great geographic distance, the two countries have many things in common. First of all, they experienced accidents at nuclear power plants. Secondly, Japan and Ukraine are united by the issue of occupation of their territories by Russia. Thirdly, both countries share universal values such as democracy, rule of law and market economy. The year 2019 saw important developments on both sides. In Japan a new era commenced with the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, and in Ukraine a new president was elected. The first high level meeting of Reiwa was held in October 2019 between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo during Zelenskyy's visit to Japan in order to attend the Enthronement Ceremony. Such areas for bilateral collaboration as investment cooperation, dealing with the aftermath of nuclear accidents, further liberalization of visa regime for Ukrainian citizens, cooperation in the IT and security areas were mapped out as priorities. The friendship and partnership ties between Japan and Ukraine which are based on the deep trust and mutual respect are expected to see further development. First ever participation of Japan's Self-Defense Forces in Ukrainian-US co-hosted exercise "Sea Breeze" in the Black Sea planned in 2020 as well as intercultural cooperation in the framework of the Tokyo Olympics provide a good opportunity for further broadening of horizon of bilateral ties between Japan and Ukraine.
Violetta Udovik, Institute for Languages and Cultures of Europe and Asia, Japan
Stream: Japanese Studies
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