Tokyo: Japan’s Emperor Naruhito met with Group of Seven and Ukrainian parliamentary leaders at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Friday.
The participants from overseas were parliamentary chiefs from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States plus the European Union–all members of the G-7 forum–and Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the country’s unicameral parliament.
From Japan, which holds this year’s G-7 presidency, Banri Kaieda, vice speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Asian nation’s parliament, joined the meeting. He took part on behalf of Lower House Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda, who was hospitalized Thursday for poor health.
Emperor Naruhito talked with the parliamentary leaders over soft drinks after receiving greetings from each of them.
The parliamentary leaders are in Japan for the 21st meeting of G-7 speakers.
It was the first time for the Emperor to meet with a Ukrainian dignitary after Russia launched its invasion of the country in February 2022, according to the Japanese Imperial Household Agency.
Stefanchuk thanked Japan for support such as accepting Ukrainian evacuees.
In reply, Emperor Naruhito said that he hopes peace will be restored in Ukraine as soon as possible, while expressing his sympathy for people in the country, who are in a very difficult situation.