Statement by H.E. Ambassador SHINO Mitsuko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing, Agenda item “Threats to International Peace and Security”

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January 22, 2024

Mr. President,

I thank Deputy to the High Representative for disarmament affairs Adedeji Ebo for his briefing.

Russia has called for this meeting, claiming that Western arms transfers to Ukraine are aggravating the crisis and undermining efforts to achieve a peaceful solution. One loses count of how many times Russia has requested similar Security Council meetings since its aggression against Ukraine began in February 2022 simply for its political purposes.

Russia has expressed its concern about the support for Ukraine, which is to assist Ukraine in  defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity against. There is no doubt that this support is totally just and legal under international law.

On the other hand, Russia ruthlessly using its own weapons including those obtained from North Korea against Ukraine by violating Security Council resolutions, on top of its aggression violating the UN Charter in the first place.

Russia has killed so many civilians, and then calls for peace without hesitation. Given the countless number of victims and injuries, no reasonable person can be convinced by its words. Accountability remains of the utmost importance.

Mr. President,

As repeatedly emphasized, this is not merely a European issue. It affects the whole of the international community, including Japan.

Russia has been challenging the legitimate international judicial institutions such as the ICC and the ICJ, as well as ignoring the voices of the General Assembly and people around the world.

Its actions shake the very foundations of the international order based on the rule of law.

Therefore, this is not about choosing sides between Russia and others, nor is it a conflict between “the West” and Russia, as Russia often claims.

In this war of aggression, there are only those who violate the UN Charter and those who defend it. This is an undeniable fact which cannot be changed no matter what Russia attempts to do.

We respect the calls and efforts for peace by many countries. Peace is desired by all. Once again, Japan emphasizes that a just and lasting peace in Ukraine must be based on the UN Charter. And the call for peace should indeed be directed at Russia.

Just as Russia initiated this war of aggression, Russia can decide to end it.

Mr. President,

Japan has experienced many natural disasters, and has recently been hit by a major earthquake. We received messages of sympathy and solidarity from all over the world, including from countries in difficult situations such as Ukraine.

We are grateful for all of them.

The suffering of the Ukrainian people is not caused by a natural disaster. The aggression by Russia is an entirely man-made disaster. It can be stopped by Russia.

Japan once again urges Russia’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the entire internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. We stand by Ukraine as long as it takes.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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