Anti-war activists gather in Osaka, pray for peace in Ukraine

Anti-war activists have gathered at a park in Osaka, praying for an early end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

About 70 people holding placards with anti-war messages took part in an event held by the Osaka International House Foundation and others on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.

The participants arranged about 500 candle-shaped LED lights to spell out the word "peace." They each offered a carnation and prayed for those who died in the invasion.

At 6 p.m., the participants observed a minute of silence and prayed that the fighting in Ukraine would end as early as possible.

Japan's Immigration Services Agency says that as of February 15, there were 365 evacuees from Ukraine in the Kansai region, including Osaka. The number increased by 110 from six months earlier.

A Ukrainian woman who fled the capital Kyiv to Japan in February last year is working to provide care to evacuees.

She said that Russia should stop killing people immediately. She also said that she wants to help promote exchanges between Japanese and evacuees as the war will likely be prolonged.