Japan to help Ukraine remove landmines

Japan will help Ukraine remove landmines and unexploded shells by offering training and mine detectors.

Many such ordnances have been left behind in regions occupied by the invading Russian forces.

Ukrainian authorities say the affected area spans 160,000 square kilometers, or roughly a quarter of the country. Removing the mines is crucial for the country's reconstruction.

The Japanese government will offer assistance through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, using knowhow accumulated through experience in clearing mines in Cambodia and Laos.

Eight members of Ukraine's State Emergency Service participated in the first training session held in Cambodia from Monday through Friday.

JICA also plans to provide Ukraine with four mine detectors. The ALIS, or Advanced Landmine Imaging System, was developed by Japan's Tohoku University.

JICA official Murotani Ryutaro says the number of landmines and unexploded shells is sharply increasing as fighting continues across Ukraine.

Murotani says JICA hopes to tap into its knowhow to efficiently carry out the time-consuming removal work in a way that will not cause harm to local communities.