TOKYO Kyodo Japan wasn't among nations that Ukraine thanked in a social media video highlighting the support it received in its fight against Russia, with the top government spokesman saying Tuesday that the omission may be a result of Tokyo not providing lethal weapons.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that the gratitude was shown in the context of thanking countries that provided military assistance.
Japan has not provided lethal weapons to Ukraine, but it has decided to send defense equipment such as bulletproof vests and clothing that protects against chemical weapons.
We are now confirming. Matsuno spoke at a press conference in Tokyo, with the Ukrainian side.
A woman in a military outfit with a voiceover that said Ukraine is thankful for your support in this hard time, while listing 31 countries, including the United States and Britain, was posted to Twitter by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Monday.
The decision to omit Japan came after the Ukrainian government apologized for another Twitter video juxtaposing a picture of the late Japanese Emperor Hirohito next to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini when referencing the Axis powers' promotion of Nazism and fascism in World War II.
Japan was allied with Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy in the war, but the inclusion of the former emperor provoked a strong reaction in Japan.
Japan said it will provide Ukraine with defense equipment, such as helmets, protective masks and commercial drones, in addition to bulletproof vests and military-grade clothing.
The government hasn't planned to provide lethal weapons due to its three principles on the transfer of defense equipment that bans defense supply exports to a country that is part of a conflict under the country's post-World War II pacifist constitution.
Matsuno said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior government officials thanked Japan for their contributions.