Second International Forum “Ukraine and Japan in regional and global context” took place
2 February 2022, 16:03

The Second International Forum “Ukraine and Japan in the regional and global context” was organized by the New Europe Center. Experts from Tokyo, Kyiv, Vilnius, Warsaw and Brussels discussed the most pressing issues Ukraine and Japan, Europe and Asia are facing today.



The main goal of the Forum is to create a platform for dialogue between experts from Ukraine and Japan to reach a deeper understanding of the challenges and to provide a possibility of joint search for answers. “This is not a forum of declarations, this is a forum of expertise,” said Alyona Getmanchuk, the Director of the New Europe Center, at the opening of the event.


The forum was timely and on demand – Ukraine does not leave the first columns of newspapers around the world. The international community is anxiously watching Russia’s threatening statements. Japan as an influential global actor, the G7-member, plays an important role in responding to threats posed by Moscow. Recently, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks on cooperation in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


The special symbolism of the Forum took place the day after Ukraine and Japan celebrated 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations. We offer to have a look at the key ideas that were expressed during the opening of the Forum.




Alyona Getmanchuk, the Director of the New Europe Center:

-What Russia is doing today in Eastern Europe, China can do tomorrow in East Asia. That is why attention to the threatening situation around Ukraine should be focused not only in the United States or Europe, but also in Asia. Especially in Japan as a democratic partner of Ukraine and a member of the G7;


-Today it is more important than ever to talk not only about bilateral relations between Ukraine and Japan, but also about cooperation in the regional and global context. This is in line with the partnership status of the two countries, which is officially defined as “global”;


-The New Europe Center prepared a unique study specifically for the Forum, in which it compared the tools of China and Russia ‘s influence in Europe and Asia. One of the conclusions is that China is behaving more peacefully in Europe and more aggressively in Asia, while Russia’s is behaving vice versa;


-Japan has previously focused on the regional dimension of cooperation with Ukraine – Tokyo, for example, was particularly interested in cooperation with GUAM. Our center draws attention to new promising areas of cooperation – in particular to the possibility of interaction between Tokyo and the Lublin Triangle (Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania). That is why, for the first time, the Lublin Triangle + Ukraine is being discussed with the participation of experts from Poland and Lithuania (former Foreign Minister Linas Linkavičius).



Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine:

-The forum is extremely timely – just the day before, on January 26, our countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. I was part of a team of Japanese diplomats who thirty years ago worked to lay the foundations for cooperation between the two countries;


-Japan will continue to consistently support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We appreciate her calm and restrained response to the current situation provoked by Russia. Japan, together with the G7 and the international community, will support and assist Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region;


-Like Europe, East Asia faces serious security challenges. For example, China’s unilateral efforts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas. Another example is the recent provocative actions of North Korea (in particular, a series of ballistic missile launches). We have also witnessed joint military exercises between Russia and China in the Sea of Japan and the western Pacific. All these actions threaten the peace and security of Japan, the region and the world;


-Despite the fact that Ukraine and Japan are far from each other, they are practically neighbors – with some countries in between them. Our security environment is holistic, indivisible and interconnected;


-More than thirty years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of a new world order, which we all enthusiastically welcomed. Today the world is facing the greatest crisis. We need wisdom and sober thinking more than ever. I hope that this forum will contribute to finding a solution to the current crisis.





Sergiy Korsunsky, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan:

-The situation around Ukraine is of great interest in Japan. These days, Tokyo’s policy on tensions on our border is being worked out. We are witnessing the coordination of G7 joint actions; an online summit between Japan and the United States was recently held to discuss Ukraine;


-Japan clearly understands the direct connection between what is happening in our country and what will happen in Asia;


-During all negotiations with Japanese officials, the idea is reiterated that the principle of immutability of state borders by force should be adhered to everywhere in the world. The principle of free navigation must also be adhered to – this applies equally to Asia, Europe, Africa and America;


-Kyiv and Tokyo should continue cooperation, despite pressure from Russia. I hope that Russian pressure and military presence will not hinder our economic cooperation.
Japan is a soft superpower: it is listened to and trusted in the region; it is the flagman state for countries throughout the Southeast Asia. Therefore, the opinion of Japan is important to us not only in the bilateral aspect;


-The Japanese press is now more objective than a year and a half ago. We see a real desire to go to Ukraine – I feel great interest from Japanese journalists;


-It is very important to talk about security challenges and that the world is very globalized. The butterfly effect really works in this case: if something happens in the Pacific, it will resonate in the Atlantic.




The study of the New Europe Center where we compare the instruments of influence of China and Russia in Asia and Europe, which was prepared specifically for the Forum, can be found at:

In Ukrainian here.
In English here.


The authors of the study are Sergiy Solodkyy and Natalia Butyrska. The author of the idea is Alyona Getmanchuk.


Presentation of the speakers:

Seta Makoto here.

Bonji Ohara here.

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