Aspen Institute Japan: the tenth #UkrainianDialogue on how to create effective international system of security guarantees

Aspen Institute Kyiv held the tenth #UkrainianDialogue international discussion with its partner Aspen Institute Japan. Prof. Takashi Oshimura from the School of International Politics, Aoyama Gakuin University moderated the session. 

Teisuke Kitayama, President of Aspen Institute Japan, Ken Ito, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Japan, and Natalie Jaresko, Chairperson of the Aspen Institute Kyiv Supervisory Board and the Minister of Finance of Ukraine (2014-2016), made an introductory speech at the beginning of the event. Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Kyiv, made the concluding remarks.

Hisashi Owada: Russia has ignored the whole United Nations system.

Hisashi Owada is the Former Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN. Mr. Owada reminded us that Russia was one of the father-founders of the United Nations on whom the whole world has preached its trust. And Russia has ignored the whole system. 

— Whether it has been working or not, it has been there. What Russia did as one of the founding fathers of this whole system, and one to break it by itself. In other words, the whole world with the United Nations has to rise against this aggression in defense of the United Nations with its strength and the capacity to cope with the security crisis. This means the importance of some reform in the United Nations in the future. But the basic point is that the system is still there. This is one of the reasons why we have to stand with the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russian aggression.

Volodymyr Yermolenko: Russia is the only country in Eurasia that remains an empire and has imperial ambitions

Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher, writer, and journalist, mentioned that both Ukrainian and Japanese territories are occupied by Russia. These countries also understand that the Russian occupation brings disaster, chaos, and regress to civilization. 

Volodymyr also explained Russia as the last Empire in Eurasia. Russia attacked Ukraine not because of the NATO expansion. It is attacking our country because of its willingness to expand. 

— The Russian imperial project is the only political project Russia can survive. Russian statehood began in the late 15 century with the Empire. Russia first wanted to be an empire, and than it thought it would be nice to be a nation-state. Russia is the only country in Eurasia that remains an empire and has imperial ambitions. And which considers that de-imperialization, which took place in the Eurasian world, is a bad thing. We all should consider this Russian threat not only as a threat to Ukraine but as a political and moral threat to humanity. In this case, it is our common duty to fight against it. 

Sergiy Korsunsky: We should work together for the creation of a just and effective international system of security guarantees

Sergiy Korsunsky is the Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Japan. He compared security guarantees from Russia to security guarantees from North Korea. And stressed the importance of international support for Ukraine.

— 92% of Japanese people see the ugly face of Russia and Putin, who is paranoid about the extermination of Ukrainians from the Earth. It is crucial that this understanding will help us not just to build bridges between Ukraine and Japan but also work together for the creation of a just and effective international system of security guarantees in the future. 

Kuninori Matsuda: For Japanese citizens, Russian aggression is not a someone else’s tragedy but their issue

Kuninori Matsuda is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine. He underlined that with the invasion, Russia violated international law, and the international community must make them pay a high price for that. Mr. Matsuda said that from the first days of the war the Japanese government started to support Ukraine: with sanctions against Russia, humanitarian help, financial support, and military assistance.

— The great majority of Japanese citizens consider Russian aggression not as someone else’s tragedy but as our issue. That is why I can assure you that so-called war fatigue has not been observed in our society. We are ready to work with Ukraine. The impact of Russian aggression extends not only beyond Ukraine and Europe but also feels in Eastern Asia, where Japan is. It is clear if this violation attempt will be forgiven and tolerated, the war will shortly take place in our region.

Ichiro Fujisaki: We have to broaden the democratic camp

Ichiro Fujisaki is Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the USA. He underlined that the democratic world should broaden its basis, and the democratic countries or like-minded countries should fight for their camps.

— The American approach today of putting democracies in front has a good side, but at the same time has to be done skillfully. We should not antagonize countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, or Mexica but broaden the camp as much as possible and not put those countries in between with the other camp.

Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze: This war has divided the world into them and us

Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze is the Member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Chair of the Committee on Ukrainian integration into the European Union. She believes that Russia has to be isolated by all possible sanctions. In addition, as well as it was banned from G8, it should be banned from G20. Also, Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed the importance of fighting Russian narratives, whereas the recent one was about blaming Ukraine for the food crisis.

— This war has divided the world into them and us. They are barbaric, inhumane, and non-civilized, and we base our actions on values. I am sure that Ukrainian Armed Forces and Ukrainian people have astonished the whole world with their readiness to push back on this unprovoked attack by the Russian Federation. We all have similar responsibilities in this war. We should stand together with the Ukrainian people and make sure the aggressor that decided to erase another state from the map of the world will be defeated.

Aspen Institute Kyiv is grateful to Aspen Institute Japan for their support and the opportunity to have a dialogue with their Community.

In the Ukrainian Dialogue podcast Ukrainian leaders talk about reasons for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, its consequences to other countries, ways how the Western community can help to protect values and peace in the world. It is not only analytics and insights but their personal stories of fighting for freedom and dignity.  

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