Kyoto sends letter of support to sister city Kyiv on anniversary of invasion

The Japanese city of Kyoto has sent a letter to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv expressing its continued commitment to supporting its sister city.

Kyoto Mayor Kadokawa Daisaku sent an email to his Kyiv counterpart Vitali Klitschko on Friday. It said the residents of Kyoto are praying that people in Kyiv will soon live in peace and safety.

Kadokawa also said Kyoto will continue providing necessary support.

At the beginning of the Russian invasion, city authorities set up an organization in cooperation with private-sector groups to accept evacuees. Now 78 people who have fled Ukraine are living in the city.

Donations from citizens have reached nearly one million dollars. Officials say the funds are used to help the evacuees and restore damaged buildings in Kyiv.

City authorities plan to ask citizens for their continued support.

Kyoto official Nishimatsu Takuya says that as the invasion drags on, the city will continue helping the evacuees to learn Japanese and find jobs.

A stand receiving offers of flowers has been set up at the city hall. Many people brought sunflowers -- a symbol of Ukraine.

A man says that when he brought flowers last year, he never imagined that the conflict would continue for an entire year.

He says he hopes Ukraine will remain a sovereign country and that peace will return as soon as possible.