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Japan Quietly Becoming One of Ukraine’s Most Important Backers: Report

Japan is quietly becoming one of Ukraine’s most important financial backers amid the ongoing Russian invasion, DW News has reported.

When many countries struggled to source funds for the war-torn nation, Tokyo silently came to the rescue with more than $7.6 billion in aid to Kyiv in January.

Though not necessarily weapons, the aid included medicine, bulletproof vests, demining equipment, and food rations for displaced families.

In total, Tokyo has reportedly provided $12 billion in aid since the start of the war and was the sixth top provider of aid to Ukraine in the early months of 2024, according to the influential Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Japanese Missiles in Ukraine?

Rumors of Japan-made missiles getting into the hands of Ukrainian soldiers surfaced last year when Tokyo announced a move to send them to the US.

The Asian country manufactures missiles for the American-made Patriot air defense system.

Sending munitions could free up Washington to send its own stockpiles to the war-ravaged nation.

Tokyo clarified that its missiles could only be sent to the US and would need its approval for transfer to a third country.

Russian Foreign Ministry representatives also warned that the presence of Japanese missiles in Ukraine would have consequences for Moscow’s relations with Japan.

Military Vehicles

In a move to provide equipment that can be of broader military use for Ukraine, Japan shipped 100 tactical vehicles to Kyiv late last year to aid in ground operations.

The shipment also included half-ton military trucks, high mobility vehicles, and material handling vehicles.

The donation was considered a significant effort by Tokyo to ease its strict military transfer policy to countries at war.

“We hope the invasion ends as soon as possible and peaceful daily lives return,” defense minister official Toshiro Ino said. “We will provide as much support as we can.”

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