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Economy & Tech

Reconstruction of Ukraine: Japan to Sign New Agreements for Telemedicine and Agricultural Assistance

Over 20 new agreements are expected at a February 19 conference in Tokyo as Japan and Ukraine plan ways to assist in reconstructing the war-torn country.

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Kishida Ukriane
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 21, 2023. (Source: Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova's Twitter account)

On January 28, the Japanese government revealed targeted support measures for the reconstruction of Ukraine. The measures respond to the damage and destruction suffered in response to Russia's invasion. Specific information about the measures is scheduled for presentation at the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction on February 19 in Tokyo. 

The Japanese government has identified seven key focus areas for its assistance to Ukraine. They include improvements in humanitarian conditions and agricultural development. 

There are more than 20 collaboration agreements expected out of the conference. Among them is a proposed agreement totaling ¥10 billion JPY for a telemedicine system in the war-torn country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal are scheduled to attend the February 19 conference. Other officials from relevant sectors of their respective governments also plan to be there.

Organizers expect approximately 300 people at the conference, including representatives from private sector enterprises in both countries.

Focal Points for Japanese Aid

Japan has identified three main pillars of assistance. These are Emergency Restoration Support, Economic Reconstruction and Industrial Advancement, and Foundational Environmental Improvement. 

A joint public-private sector effort will focus on seven key areas within the pillars. These encompass the growth of Ukraine's vital industries, such as agriculture and livestock farming. They will also explore new manufacturing possibilities in biotechnology and advancements in digital, information technology (IT) and information and communication technology (ICT).

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Another example is a medical ICT venture that accompanied former Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on his visit to Ukraine in September 2023. The company aims to introduce a system combining portable medical equipment with telemedicine in Ukraine. It would enable advanced examinations and diagnoses even in areas without local hospitals. A different startup is proposing to produce prosthetics using 3D printing technology.

In another case, a Japanese bioengineering startup is considering locally producing highly absorbent polymers made from materials like fruit peels in an area affected by a dam breach where water shortages have damaged the agriculture-based economy. Simultaneously, communication platform providers are involved in the reconstruction of digital infrastructure.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks on January 30 at a preparatory meeting for the Japan-Ukraine Reconstruction Conference. At the Prime Minister's Office (© Sankei by Takumi Kamoshida)

Prime Minister's Commitment

The conference traces its origins to the meetings between PM Kishida and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine in March 2023. Then in May, Kishida launched preparatory meetings to explore the unique forms of assistance that Japan could provide. At the same time, he acknowledged Japan's restrictions against providing military aid.

The cabinet office Taking Ukraine's requests into account, the conference has focused on specific measures aligned with specific themes. Those include improving the investment environment, promoting investment, and enhancing collaboration with international organizations.

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(Read the report in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun

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