Embassy of Ukraine to Japan

, Kyiv 16:30

Political issues of Ukraine and Japan

History of bilateral relations with Japan

Japan recognized Ukraine as an independent state on December 28, 1991. Diplomatic relations between our two countries were established on January 26, 1992.

The Embassy of Ukraine in Japan was registered in 1994. The official opening ceremony was held on March 23, 1995, during the official visit of Ukraine’s President to Japan. At the opening ceremony Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Henadiy Udovenko was present.

Previous Ambassadors of Ukraine to Japan were:

  • Mykhailo Dashkevych (January, 1995 – October, 1999),
  • Yuriy Kostenko (March, 2001 – May, 2006),
  • Volodymyr Makukha (June, 2006 – August, 2006),
  • Mykola Kulinich (February, 2007 - February, 2013)

On January 29, 2013 Ihor Kharchenko was nominated to the Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Japan. On April 11, 2013 Ambassador Kharchenko presented his credentials to His Majesty Emperor Akihito.

The Embassy of Japan in Ukraine was opened on January 20, 1993. The first Ambassador was Sumio Edamura, Ambassador of Japan in Russia and Ukraine. Further Ambassadors were Shoji Suezawa (May, 1993 – November, 1996), Yuji Kurokawa (November, 1996 – June, 1999), Hitoshi Honda (August, 1999 – October, 2002), Kishichiro Amae (October, 2002 – November, 2005), Mutsuo Mabuchi (November, 2005 – October, 2008), Tadashi Izawa (October, 2008 - October, 2011), Toichi Sakata (October, 2011 - October, 2014), since  October, 2014 - Shigeki Sumi

Political cooperation

Mutual approaches and positions concerning solutions for many current international matters and the absence of any signs of problems in political cooperation between Ukraine and Japan encourage further intensification of both countries' potential and build a strong foundation for productive development in all spectrums of relations.

Visits at the level of the Head of States

March 22-25, 1995. An official visit to Japan of the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma. This visit has laid a strong political basis for cooperation between Ukraine and Japan. The signing by the President of Ukraine and the Prime-Minister of Japan the JointStatement has become the main result of the summit in Tokyo (March 23, 1995).

The basis of a legal base for bilateral relations was found by the signing of Letters of Exchange by the Heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs which fixed the succession rights of Ukraine concerning certain agreements between USSR and Japan have been signed.

July 19-24, 2005. An official visit to Japan by the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko. This visit raised the all complex of thebilateral relations between Ukraine and Japan on the qualitatively new level of a partnership. Based on the results of negotiations, the President of Ukraine and the Prime-Minister of Japan signed the Joint Statement on a New Partnership between Japan and Ukraine in the 21st century.

January 18-21, 2011. An official visit to Japan by the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. The main result of the visit was signing by the President of Ukraine and Prime-Minister of Japan the Joint Statement on Global Partnership between Ukraine and Japan. In this document the both sides outlined the major directions, forms and mechanisms of further cooperation on wide range of bilateral and global issues as well as the prospective of relations between Ukraine and Japan and programme for realization  of the primary tasks in short and middle term have been determined.

The important result of the visit also became the signing of Loan Agreement between Export Import Bank of Ukraine and Japan Bank for International cooperation on providing our country the loan to the amount of 8 bln. Japanese yen (100 mln. US dollars) aimed at promoting export of goods and services from Japan and supporting the economic development of Ukraine.

April 5-7, 2016. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has paid an official visit to Japan at the invitation of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

During the visit the President of Ukraine had an audience with Emperor of Japan Akihito, meetings with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe,  Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan Tadamori Oshima,  Speaker of the House of Councilors of the Parliament of Japan Masaaki Yamazaki and Head of the Parliament Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine» Eisuke Mori.

During the meeting between leaders of both states Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe reiterated the position of Japan on the support for sovereignty and  territorial integrity of Ukraine, the condemnation and non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, expressed readiness of the official Tokyo to continue to provide the financial, technical and humanitarian assistance. Prime Minister of Japan also stressed on the readiness of the official Tokyo to support the implementation of important reforms in Ukraine.

Visits at the inter-parliamentary level

Inter - Parliamentary dialogue at the level of the Heads of Parliaments started in 1997 when J. Saito, President of the House of Councillors of Japan, visited Ukraine on an official visit, August 26-30, 2007. During the visit he held meetings with top leadership of ourcountry.

On May 26-29, 2003, the first official visit to Japan by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Volodymyr Lytvyn, was held.

In September 1997, Mr. Yasuo Hayashi, the Head of Parliamentary Japanese-Ukrainian Friendship Association visited Ukrainewith a purpose to deepen further inter-parliament dialog. In November 2001, Mr. S.B. Gavrysh, the deputy head of Verkhovna Rada ofUkraine visited Japan. During the visit he had few meetings with parliament members of Japan.

The visiting program included an audience with Emperor, a wide range of meetings on an inter-parliament level, particularly with Mr. Hideya Kurata, the president of the House of Councilors, with Mr. Tamisuke Watanuki, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and with members of the Japan-Ukraine parliamentary Friendship Association, headed by Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa, the Secretary General of the Association.

On August 2003, Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa, Secretary General of the Japan-Ukraine parliamentary Friendship Association visitedUkraine. On January 2005, as a special representative of the Government of Japan he attended the inauguration of the President of Ukraine, V. Yushchenko.

In May 2005, by the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. I. Ostash, the deputy head of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine visited Tokyo. In November, a Japanese parliament delegation headed by Mr. Yoshiaki Harada, the head of the committee for foreign affairs of the House of Representatives visited Ukraine.

In 2006, the following visits became an important steps for further reinforcement of the inter-parliament connections: delegation, headed by Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa, the head of the Japan-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Association, visited Ukraine from May 2 through May 6; Mr. S. Kivalov, the head of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for legal affairs visited Japan from December 4 through December 10; Mr. Mustafa Jemilev, the head of a sub-committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Ethnic Minorities affairs visited Japan from December 3 through December 6; Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine visited Japan from December 2 through December 10.

On September 4-7, 2011 the official visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Takahiro Yokomichi to Ukrainewas held. During this visit T.Yokomichi held a meeting with President of Ukraine V.Yanukovych and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine V.Lytvyn. Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan also visited Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

On March 7-11, 2012 the official visit of Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Lytvyn to Japan was held in order to discuss the prospects of cooperation between Japan and Ukraine in the sphere of elimination of the consequences of the nuclear power plants accidents, discuss a number of political and economic cooperation issues, including an intensification inter-parliamentary component of bilateral relations as well as to demonstrate of solidarity and support to Japanese nation in connection with the anniversary of the tragedy and honoring the memory of those who affected in the Great East Japan Earthquake Great and tsunami which triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

During the visit, the audience of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with eldest son of Emperor of Japan Akihito Crown Prince Naruhito, meeting with Prime Minister of Japan Y. Noda, meetings and talks with Speaker of the Chamber of Representatives of Japan T. Yokomiti, Head of the Advisors' Chamber of the Parliament of Japan K.Hirata, Head of Japanese Parliamentary Association of Friendship “Ukraine-Japan” Y. Mori, Minister of the Environment, Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accident, Minister of State for the Nuclear Power Policy and Administration G. Hosono were held.

V. Lytvyn also met with Head of the International Friendship Exchange Council of Japan K.Matsuzawa, members of the Japan Business Federation “Keidanren”.

Ukrainian parliamentary delegation headed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine visited Fukushima and MiyagiPrefectures where they had the meetings with the Governor of Fukushima Prefecture Y. Sato, the representatives of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

V. Lytvyn also visited Fukushima-1 Nuclear Power Plant and Mitazono No. 2 district in Natori, where temporary buildings for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake were constructed, as well as the Yuriage district (Natori) that suffered from tsunami.

On the 11 of March, 2012 the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine attended the commemorative ceremony dedicated to the casualties of the Great East Japan Earthquake (Natori).

On August, 2013. Visit to Ukraine by Head of Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine», Member of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan E.MORI, member of the  House of Councillors, Secretary general of New Renaissance Party, H. ARAI and his party members T.HIRANO former Minister of State for Disaster Management, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, K.HAMADA, former  Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. During the meeting the sides discussed issues on Fukusima-Chornobul cooperation and the prospect of deepening trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Japan.

On September, 2015 the Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine» headed by Eisuke Mori visited Ukraine and held meetings with Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Friendship of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.  

On February 26-March 2, 2017, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine A.Parubiy paid a working visit to Japan at the invitation of the Government of Japan.

During the visit, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine met with Prime Minister of Japan S.Abe, Crown Prince of Japan Naruhito, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan T.Oshima, President of the House of Councillors of the Parliament of Japan Ch.Date, Head of Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine» E.Mori, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan N.Mitsui, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the House of Councillors of the Parliament of Japan T.Uto, State Minister of Defense of Japan K.Wakamiya, Vice President of Japan International Cooperation Agency K.Kosikawa.

On June 11-18, 2017, the parliamentary group of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on inter-parliamentary relations with Japan, headed by its Co-Chairman L.Yemets, paid a visit to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine». The delegation also included People's Deputies S.Soboliev, V.Stashuk and O.Masorina.

The main events of the visit were meetings of members of the Ukrainian delegation with State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan N.Kishi, members of the Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine», headed by its Chairman E.Mori, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan N.Mitsui, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the House of Councillors of the Parliament of Japan T.Uto.

Visits at the level of Head of Governments

March 25-26, 2009. Working visit to Japan by the Prime-Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko.

During the visit the Prime-Ministers of both countries adopted the Joint Statement based on the results of negotiations.

The first visit of the Prime-Minister of Ukraine to Japan in the history of bilateral relations has embarked a new stage in development of further cooperation between Ukraine and Japan, especially in the sphere of economic, by means of further implementation of joint economic projects in the energy-saving sphere and ecology in the context of modernization of various sectors of the national economy.

Visits at the level of Foreign Ministers

June 30 - July 1, 1996. Visit to Ukraine by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, U.Ikeda.

May 18-20, 1997. Visit to Japan by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Hennadii Udovenko. During this visit, on May 19, 1997, the Memorandum on the establishment of the Japanese Center in Kyiv was signed.

March 1998. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Hennadii Udovenko, visited Tokyo as the Chairman of the General Assemblyof the United Nations.

In June, 2000, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Borys Tarasiuk, visited Japan as the Special Envoy of the President of Ukraine to participate in the Commemorative Ceremony on the occasion of the passing of the Prime-Minister of Japan, K.Obuchi.

August 31 - September 2, 2003.The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Y.Kawaguchi, paid an official visit to Ukraine. As a result of negotiations between ministers, a Joint Communiqué between Japan and Ukraine was signed.

June 9 – 11, 2004. Official visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko.

July 2005. During the visit to Japan of the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, the negotiations between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, BorysTarasiuk, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, N. Machimura, were held.

June 30 - July 1, 2006. Visit to Ukraine by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, T. Aso. During his visit the first (establishing) Ukraine-Japan Cooperation Committee Meeting was held at the Foreign Ministers level. As a result of the meeting, a Ukraine-Japan Cooperation memorandum on activities of the Ukraine-Japan Cooperation Committee and an agreement (in the form of Exchange ofNotes) between the Government of Ukraine and Government of Japan concerning the grant aid for the Project of the improvement of the lighting equipment of the Donetsk Academic State Opera and Ballet Theatre named after A. Solovyanenko) were signed.

March 24-26, 2008, in Tokyo, the second meeting of the "Ukraine-Japan Cooperation Committee") was held headed by Volodymyr Ogryzko and M.Koumura, Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Japan. As a main result of this visit a Joint Statement was signed by Foreign Ministers of both countries.

January 18, 2011. During the visit to Japan of the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the negotiations between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Seiji  Maehara, were held.

August 24-26, 2013. Visit to Ukraine by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan F.KISIDA. During his visit the  Third Meeting of Ukrainian-Japanese Committee on Сooperation at the Foreign Ministers’ Level was held. During the meeting the sides discussed the current state and prospects of development of the global partnership established between Ukraine and Japan during the official visit of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to Japan in January 2011, as well as possibilities of the visit of the Head of the Japanese Government to Ukraine.

July 17, 2014 Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan F.KISHIDA made an official visit to Ukraine. During his visit, he held a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. The current situation in the East of Ukraine, ways of its stabilization, the necessary of attracting more foreign assistance to rebuild the affected regions, the financial support of Japan to   improve economic and social situation in Ukraine and the issues of bilateral relations were discussed.

March 2-3, 2015 Minister for foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin paid an official visit to Japan. During the visit Pavlo Klimkin had a meetings with Prime-Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Fumio Kishida, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Yoichi Miyazawa and members of  the Japanese Parliamentary Friendship League «Japan-Ukraine» headed by Eisuke Mori.