India denies Japan request for Air Self-Defense Force plane to collect aid

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India denies Japan request for Air Self-Defense Force plane to collect aid

India has denied a request by Japan to allow an Air Self-Defense Force plane to collect aid for Ukrainian refugees, a lawmaker said Thursday, affecting Tokyo's plan for the flight later this month.

Under the original schedule, a C- 2 transport plane would pick up relief items such as blankets from a U.N. agency in India and the United Arab Emirates, and take them to Poland and Romania, both of which border Ukraine and have welcomed refugees from the war-torn country.

Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for India's ministry of external affairs, said at a press conference that we had received a request from Japan for permission to land in Mumbai to pick up humanitarian supplies.

He said India had only approved Japan's use of a commercial plane to collect the items, but not the ASDF landing.

India, which has traditionally maintained close military ties with Russia, has dissented from condemning Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Since March, the country has provided aid to Ukraine through Poland and Romania, including medicine and medical equipment. The Ukrainian government requested assistance after the Ukrainian government gave it.

A Japanese government official said at a Liberal Democratic Party meeting that India had agreed on a working level to allow the transport plane to land, but it suddenly withdrew consent Wednesday, according to the lawmaker.

The plan to send the aircraft, possibly late this month, was slated to be approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida s Cabinet on Friday, but the flight will be put off following India's withdrawal of consent, said the ruling party lawmaker who took part in the meeting.

Some of those who were at the LDP policy meeting accused the government of not taking into account the possibility that India, which is heavily dependent on Russian military and energy supplies, could reject the plan, according to the lawmaker.

Japan will try to send the ASDF plane to transport aid supplies for Ukrainian refugees. The plan was made after a request from the Office of the U.N. High CommissionerU.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Aircraft of Japan s Self-Defense Forces have already delivered bulletproof vests and helmets to Ukraine via Poland.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi has said earlier this week that Japan will use commercial flights to provide Ukraine with masks and clothing to protect against chemical weapons and civilian drones, as well as civilian drones, following a request from the Ukrainian government.