NHK reported that Prime Minister Kishida plans to hold a teleconference with Ukrainian President Zelensky this evening. The network projected that they will discuss the escalating tensions on the border with Russia, including the evacuation of Japanese residents in Ukraine.
In a related development, Asahi reported on the disclosure by Foreign Minister Hayashi this morning that MOFA has opened a temporary office in Lviv in western Ukraine to handle consular affairs such as the protection of Japanese nationals. According to an unnamed senior ministry official, all functions at the embassy in Kyiv, which have already been scaled back, may be transferred to the office in Lviv as it is much safer than the capital. “We will continue to do our utmost to secure the safety of Japanese residents while taking into consideration the local security situation,” the cabinet minister said: “If Russia were to invade Ukraine, Japan would respond appropriately in coordination with the G7 and the international community, including possibly imposing sanctions.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno revealed today that some 140 Japanese citizens were still in Ukraine as of Monday.