Photo/Illutration Prime Minister Fumio Kishida enters his official residence in Tokyo on Feb. 20. (Koichi Ueda)

Japan will guarantee a loan from the World Bank to provide an additional $5.5 billion (737 billion yen) of financial assistance to Ukraine that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently pledged. 

As the Russian invasion of the country is lasting longer than expected, Kishida hopes to signify Japan’s presence as the current Group of Seven president with the new financial arrangement, sources say.

Kishida pledged the fresh financial support for Ukraine at an event in Tokyo on Feb. 20.

“We will provide additional financial assistance of $5.5 billion to Ukraine, which is in need of support to help people who were robbed of their daily lives by the war, or to restore destroyed infrastructure,” he said. 

Of the $5.5 billion, the government will use the World Bank to provide $5 billion of the sum.

A new fund, which will be operated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an organization of the World Bank Group, will provide the loan to support Ukraine.

If late payments arise, Japan will provide up to $5 billion in cash to pay the overdue amount.

The benefit of this arrangement for the World Bank is that it will be able to more confidently loan funds because of this credit enhancement measure by Japan.

If problems with late payments don’t arise, Japan will not bear any financial burden.

The government has already submitted a bill to revise a related law to the Diet during the current Diet sessions to enable the arrangement.

G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors are expected to meet in India on Feb. 23.

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, Japan provided 606 million euros (87 billion yen, or $645.7 million), the smallest amount among G-7 members, in financial assistance to Ukraine between January and November last year.

Financial Minister Shunichi Suzuki said at a news conference on Feb. 21 that he “would like to share information about how each G-7 member will provide aid (to Ukraine), while explaining Japan’s stance” during the meeting on Feb. 23.