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International relations

China looms over Kishida's return to Ukraine, 9 years later

Kyiv's arms exports to Beijing at heart of secret 2014 mission

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visits the site of a mass grave in Bucha on March 21 during his trip to Ukraine. He had visited the country twice before as foreign minister.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's trip to Ukraine on March 21 was his first time setting foot in the country in nine years. And just like in his previous trip, China was a major factor in Kishida's show of solidarity with Kyiv.

Kishida was the last leader from the Group of Seven to visit Ukraine since Russia's invasion. As the prime minister explored a possible timing, this was his only window of opportunity ahead of the G-7 summit, set for Hiroshima in May.

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