Kishida vows continued support for Ukraine

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has renewed his pledge to support Ukraine in response to Russia's invasion. He wants to continue it in coordination with other members of the international community.

Kishida laid out his government's policies on Wednesday, as a 150-day ordinary session of the Diet came to a close.

He said, "We must show that any actions violating the international law will incur a high cost. We have drastically changed our policy toward Russia. We've been working with other G7 nations and wider international community to impose strict sanctions against Russia."

Kishida said Japan will continue to try to align Asian countries with the G7's views.

He also vowed to drastically strengthen Japan's defense capabilities, bring the Japan-US alliance to a higher level, and push for a free and open Indo-Pacific with like-minded nations.

Kishida said his government will try to enable people to return to regular, pre-pandemic life as much as possible, while also better preparing Japan for infectious diseases.

He said, "We will ensure that necessary medical care is always available and that the system will function well in the event of an emergency. We will also bolster public health care offices and strengthen testing systems. And we will make sure enough vaccines and medical supplies are available. To carry out emergency measures promptly and effectively, we will enhance the government's function as a control center."

The prime minister announced a new agency in the works. It will comprehensively plan, oversee and control anti-infection measures.

He said the government also wants to create a new organization comprised of medical and public health experts, which he describes as the Japanese version of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.