Japan Spokesman Calls Ukraine Civilian Killings "War Crime"
Tokyo, April 6 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno on Wednesday called the recent suspected massacre of civilians near Kyiv "a war crime."
Numerous bodies believed to be those of civilians were found near the Ukrainian capital after Russian troops withdrew from the area.
"Killing numerous innocent civilians constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law and is a war crime," Matsuno told a press conference. Pointing to the need for a thorough investigation into what happened there, the top government spokesman said, "Russia's war crime must be punished."
It is the first time for the Japanese government to describe Russia's actions related to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine as a war crime. With Matsuno's comments, Japan followed in the footsteps of the United States and European nations in using such rhetoric to denounce Russia.
"We very seriously take the fact that many civilians have fallen victim (to the Russian invasion)," Matsuno said, adding, "We are deeply shocked." Japan will watch with great interest actions by the U.N. Security Council while working closely with the international community, including other Group of Seven major powers, he said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]