A tale of two visits: Kishida and Xi tread starkly different paths on Ukraine

One voiced his anger as he saw first firsthand the destruction caused by Russia’s invasion. The other toasted a close friendship with Moscow

On Tuesday, Japan’s prime minister laid a wreath for the dead outside a church in the blasted Ukrainian town of Bucha, while 800km away in Moscow Xi Jinping was treated to an opulent state dinner by Vladimir Putin, underscoring the division in Asia over Russia’s invasion.

The first Japanese leader to visit a country in conflict since the second world war, Kishida toured Bucha, a town that has become synonymous with Russian brutality, and where the mayor has said more than 400 civilians were killed.

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