Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not attend the Victory Parade in Moscow on June 24, said Deputy Assistant Minister of the European Affairs Bureau of Japan’s Foreign Ministry Hideki Uyama on Friday.
"Considering the COVID-19 situation in our country and abroad, Prime Minister Abe will not attend this ceremony," he said at a parliament committee focusing on Okinawa and the "Northern Territories" (as the Russian Southern Kuril Islands are called in Japan - TASS).
According to him, currently there is no information as to whether any Japanese diplomat in Moscow had received an invitation to the parade. Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s top diplomat, noted that should there be an invitation, and the Japanese side would react appropriately.
Abe was scheduled to visit Moscow for Victory Day on May 9. Motegi then mentioned that the premier had been planning to meet with the Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow. However, this trip had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 26, Vladimir Putin in a meeting with the Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that the Victory Parade would be held on June 24. The landmark historical Victory parade of 1945 took place on the same day. Putin instructed Shoigu to exclude any health risks to the parade’s participants.