- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Japan on Wednesday to ratchet up economic sanctions on Russia and pointed to the possibility of a nuclear disaster to find common ground with the Asian nation.

“Japan was the first in Asia who really began to put pressure on Russia to restore peace, who supported sanctions against Russia, and I urge you to keep doing this,” Mr. Zelenskyy told a packed audience of Japanese lawmakers in a video address.

The Japan Times reports Mr. Zelenskyy alluded to the atomic bombing in World War II, the Fukushima nuclear disaster after the 2011 tsunami and a chemical weapons attack in Tokyo in 1995 as the world worries about Russia using nuclear weapons or sparking a fallout crisis at one of Ukraine’s reactors.

“I have received reports that Russia is preparing to use chemical weapons, including sarin gas,” Mr. Zelenskyy said, an apparent reference to the gas used in the Tokyo subway attack by a cult movement.

The Japan Times said it was the first online address by a foreign leader to the Japanese legislature.

Mr. Zelenskyy has made a habit of invoking countries’ own histories in his appeals for help in defending Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army.

He mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. in an address to the U.S. Congress, quoted Winston Churchill in an address to the British Parliament and told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to “tear down” a wall that is emerging in Europe.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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