TOKYO (AP) – Japan held a ceremony Wednesday to highlight its plans to donate 100 military vehicles to Ukraine as Tokyo seeks to provide gear of a wider utility than helmets and hazmat suits.
At a ceremony at the Ministry of Defense where the two half-ton trucks were on display, Japanese Vice Defense Minister Toshiro Inoue handed Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Korsunsky a document detailing the three types of donated vehicles. The donation includes 30,000 food rations.
“We hope the invasion ends as soon as possible and peaceful daily life returns,” Eino said. “We will extend all possible cooperation.”
The Japanese government is trying to ease its military equipment transfer policy under new national security provisions, allowing its armed forces to play a more offensive role. This meant a decisive break with the exclusively defensive doctrine in force since the end of World War II.
While other countries have equipped Ukraine with tanks, missiles and aircraft, Japan has limited its donation to non-lethal supplies because of a transfer policy prohibiting the delivery of lethal weapons to countries at war.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, Japan has provided Ukraine with bulletproof vests, gas masks, hazmat suits, small drones, and food rations.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised the trucks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Hiroshima on Sunday, during their meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit. He has also offered to take wounded soldiers to a Japanese military hospital.
The promised vehicles are half ton trucks, high mobility vehicles and equipment transport vehicles. The Agency for Procurement, Technology and Logistics said details such as the exact number of vehicles and delivery dates were being finalised.