Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, and Sankei wrote that Prime Minister Kishida held an in-person meeting with his visiting Irish counterpart Martin at the Kantei on Wednesday. This was the first time for leaders of the two countries to hold bilateral talks since 2013. According to the papers, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and Ireland will continue to support Ukraine and strengthen their security and economic cooperation toward achieving a free and open Indo-pacific. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the two countries condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by saying Russia should face “severe consequences” through economic sanctions. The Japanese and Irish leaders also expressed grave concern over China’s activities in the South and East China Seas by saying they oppose any unilateral attempts to raise tensions and stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.