From Japan to Iran: How Ukraine should behave in the East

The International Charitable Civil Diplomacy Foundation and the Faculty of International Relations of the National Aviation University initiated a panel discussion “Ukraine and Asia: Strategic Dimensions of Partnership” at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Japan is trying to play perhaps the biggest role among Asian countries in supporting Ukraine. Why does this happen? According to Alina Hrytsenko, Senior Consultant at the National Institute of Strategic Studies, the personal factor of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as a politician and his personal views and feelings on the issues of aggression and injustice are very important. In addition, the Japanese want to show solidarity with their main allies, especially the USA.

“The issue of image is also important,” the expert emphasized. “For Japan, the question of restoring authority after World War II is still open. There is still a certain level of mistrust and skepticism towards Japan in some Southeast Asian countries that were occupied by Japan. Therefore, Tokyo seeks to position itself on the world stage as a peaceful state that condemns any aggressive actions. For this reason, the country is trying to actively participate in resolving the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

Analyst Petro Shevchenko spoke about Ukraine’s vital interests against the backdrop of Asia’s emergence as a global economic center and China’s transition from a “world factory” to a “technological hub”.

In his opinion, the current situation is similar to the one that was a century ago. Empires lived in the understanding that this time could last for a very long time and that cavalry could continue to win victories on the battlefield. However, World War I broke out and everyone realized that in fact a different time had come for inorganic chemistry, metallurgy, and heavy industrial production.


He believes that a completely different international architecture will emerge, and in these conditions, Ukraine must look for its place in a new realistic world order. The expert said that despite global changes, the Ukrainian market would remain very interesting for China, and in this sense, it is important to develop promising logistics projects and prepare ready-made solutions that can be offered by Ukraine on Asian markets.

It is certainly worth studying the experience of post-war modernization of Japan and South Korea, but we must realize that Ukraine will hardly manage to fully reproduce it. This is the opinion of Valentyn Hladkykh, Political Consultant, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Political Sciences of the Faculty of International Relations of the National Aviation University, expert of the United Ukraine think tank.

“The prerequisite for this success was to a large extent a huge resource of the labor force and this force’s potential for urbanization. Today, we see depopulation in Ukraine. Moreover, it remains one of the most urbanized countries in the world. Thirdly, I tend to think that the process of Ukrainians’ departure will not end even after the war,” he explained.

Danial Saari, Director of the Centre for Political Studies, Programme Manager of the International Relations and Economics specialty at the School of Politics and Law of Almaty University of Management, Programme Director of Enactus, focused on Kazakhstan’s experience in integrating into the new economic reality and how it can be interesting for Ukraine.

Maksym Yali, Senior Researcher, Professor of the Department of International Relations, Information and Regional Studies of the Faculty of International Relations of the National Aviation University, devoted his speech to the Iranian topic. He noted that this country was among the first to recognize Ukraine’s independence. Ukrainian companies were supposed to implement a number of ambitious joint projects, but due to geopolitical changes, they lost these opportunities.