One thing the world has been seeing since the start of the war in Ukraine is that the country’s government is constantly begging the world court for the weapons it needs. Not just begging, the country demands, ‘Let our skies be free from air traffic’. But begging is not available if you want. Ukraine’s leaders, however, have not publicly said what would happen if they did not receive arms from the West. We can assume that if they don’t get arms begging, they can forget about etiquette and do anything.
Some recent actions by the Ukrainian government indicate that. The country is not at all worried about what we mean by polite behavior. With the world’s leading state on its side, the country’s leaders may have assumed that they are strong enough to behave as they please now.
Japan has sided with Ukraine since the beginning of the ongoing war. Tokyo has generously provided financial and other assistance to the country. Even as a distant country, Japan has opened its doors to Ukrainian refugees. There has always been panic among the Japanese about accepting refugees. Even then, the Japanese government has taken rare steps for the Ukrainians.
But despite all this, Kiev has failed to show its gratitude to Japan. Proof of this is some videos posted on social media. In a video, the Ukrainian government thanked the countries that stood by them in the war. It names 31 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. But the name of Japan was not mentioned, which disappointed the Japanese leadership.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told a news conference that the explanation he received from Ukraine was that he had been thanked in a video message for providing military assistance. This means that Ukraine has not received more arms from Japan than arms begging. Therefore, despite receiving humanitarian and financial assistance, the country is reluctant to express its gratitude to Japan.
However, the Japanese foreign minister said that Ukraine was grateful to Japan for its humanitarian and financial assistance during the war. The country has informed Japan that the video in question is not of the Ukrainian government but of a military official.
Japan is in a different predicament with Ukraine. Another video released by the Ukrainian government shows a picture of the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan, along with a picture of World War II German leader Adolf Hitler and Italian fascist President Benito Mussolini. It says, “Fascism and Nazism were defeated in 1945.”
The video was released earlier this month. The video was widely discussed and criticized on social media. Then the matter came to the notice of the Japanese government. According to the Japanese government, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has not held formal talks with the Ukrainian government over the video. However, some Japanese politicians have personally protested against the move. The video was removed from online in the face of criticism. It was later edited and republished with the omission of Emperor Hirohito.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isojaki spoke about the video last week. He told a news conference that the late Emperor Hirohito was a man of great respect to the Japanese. It is unfortunate to associate him with Hitler and Mussolini. Even then, Japan will stand by the helpless people of Ukraine in the face of extreme adversity.