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Ukraine star Karol in Japan, says her country will rebuild

by MARI YAMAGUCHI The Associated Press | May 19, 2022 at 3:43 a.m.
Tina Karol, Ukrainian singer and actress, poses prior to a press conference with Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, Inc. and Sergiy Korsunsky, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan, not in picture, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO -- Singer Tina Karol said Monday from Japan that she and her fellow Ukrainians will not give up defending their land and culture from Russian invasion and are determined to win the war and rebuild an even more beautiful country.

"My weapon is language and music," Karol said in Tokyo as she concluded a weeklong visit to rally support for Ukraine. "My words are strong, and my music moves emotions."

"The biggest tragedy today is the deaths of children. The children had to close their short lives ... for those children, a lullaby is not going to be sung," she said and sang a passage of a Ukrainian song during the news conference.

Karol came to Japan at the invitation of Rakuten Group founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, who first met her during his 2019 business trip to Ukraine.

Japan has provided humanitarian and financial support for Ukraine and has so far accepted about 800 evacuees from that country -- a rare move for Japan given its extremely strict immigration policy.

Mikitani, who made a personal contribution of $7.7 million for the Ukrainian government in February, said he hoped Japan's acceptance of Ukrainian war evacuees will "be a small but a big first step for Japan" to be more open to international society.

Japan quickly joined the United States and Europe in imposing sanctions against Russian invasion of Ukraine because of concern Moscow's actions may embolden China's already assertive actions in the region.

Separately, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Karol and pledged Japan's further support for Ukraine. "We will continue our effort with the people of Ukraine, as we are determined not to allow use of force to one-sidedly change the status quo, and think of the problem as our own."

Karol told Kishida that Ukraine was attacked for choosing freedom and that it is fighting for global peace, while Russia is destroying peaceful towns of her country.

While in Japan, she also performed at a charity fashion and music event and visited the city of Hiroshima on Sunday.

She paid tribute to the victims of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city and saw "a great calamity" at its peace museum and felt strongly that nobody should face the threat of nuclear weapons again.

She also said she was inspired by the people's resilience and effort to rebuild from the ruins of the atomic attack.

"We will win and we will rebuild our country," Karol said. "You will see a glorious country in the center of Europe."

  photo  Singer Tina Karol performs for Ukraine with the song 'Show me your love' during the Eurovision final at the Indoor Olympic stadium in Athens, on Saturday, May 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
 
 
  photo  Tina Karol, left, Ukrainian singer and actress, Hiroshi Mikitani, center, CEO of Rakuten, Inc. and Sergiy Korsunsky, right, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan, attend a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
 
 
  photo  From left, Ukrainian star singer Tina Karol, Rakuten's CEO Hiroshi Mikitani and Ukraine Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky attend a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
 
 
  photo  Singer Tina Karol performs for Ukraine with the song 'Show me yoyr love' during the dress rehearsal final of the Eurovision at the Indoor Olympic stadium in Athens on Friday, May 19, 2006. Organizers estimate more than 100 million TV viewers will watch Saturday's final. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
 
 
  photo  Singer Tina Karol performs for Ukraine with the song 'Show me your love' during the Eurovision final at the Indoor Olympic stadium in Athens, on Saturday, May 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
 
 
  photo  Tina Karol, center, Ukrainian singer and actress, Hiroshi Mikitani, left, CEO of Rakuten, Inc. and Sergiy Korsunsky, right, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan, attend a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
 
 

Print Headline: Ukraine star Karol in Japan, says her country will rebuild

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