Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to virtually deliver his address to the Japanese parliament on Wednesday to rally international support for his country’s fight against Russian invasion.
Japan, unlike in the past, has been acting tough against Russia, in line with other Group of Seven countries, though Tokyo’s steps have triggered Moscow’s retaliation. A compromise could set a bad precedence in East Asia, where China is increasingly making assertive military actions.
Zelenskyy’s speech, expected to be about 10 minutes, will be shown in a meeting room at the lower house – the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida belongs to. Zelenskyy has made virtual addresses to the US Congress, as well as parliaments in Europe, Canada, and Israel.
Foreign dignitaries, including former US President George W Bush and former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, have delivered their addresses in person during visits to Japan as state guests, but an online speech by a foreign leader is unprecedented.
On Monday, Russia announced a decision to discontinue peace treaty talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril islands and withdraw from joint economic projects there, citing Tokyo’s sanctions against Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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