THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
April 21, 2022 at 18:31 JST
Members of the Self-Defense Forces load bulletproof vests and other supplies onto a transport plane bound for Ukraine. (Hideyuki Oya)
Japan’s plan to deliver relief supplies to Ukrainian refugees has been delayed because of inadequate planning with other governments, ruling party policy chief Sanae Takaichi said April 21.
“A situation has arisen in which India has refused to allow a Self-Defense Forces plane to land and pick up supplies,” Takaichi said at a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers. “This is a clear case of insufficient preliminary coordination on the part of the government.”
A Foreign Ministry source, without divulging the name of any nation, admitted that all the necessary paperwork with relevant countries had not been completed.
Under the plan, SDF planes would fly once a week between late April and the end of June to pick up relief supplies in the Indian city of Mumbai and in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The planes would then deliver the supplies to Poland and Romania where many Ukrainian refugees have gathered.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which asked Japan to aid Ukrainians who have fled from the Russian invasion, has supply outposts in Mumbai and Dubai.
Japan has joined Western nations in imposing economic sanctions against Russia and in accepting Ukrainian evacuees. The SDF flights would have been another example of a specific assistance measure undertaken by Japan.
Although India shares democratic values with the fellow Quad nations of Japan, the United States and Australia, it has also had a long and friendly relationship with Russia.
India has not joined in the sanctions or in the harsh criticism of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
(This article was written by Yuichi Nobira and Kazuki Uechi.)
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