Suzuki: Japan did not walk out of G20 meeting but criticized Russia

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki speaks to reporters in Tokyo on April 13.

Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Wednesday that he did not follow the lead of the U.S., U.K. and Canadian finance chiefs in walking out when Russia spoke during a Group of 20 meeting in Washington.

“As a matter of fact, I did not walk out,” he said. “By not leaving, it means I sternly criticized Russia at the meeting venue.”

Suzuki spoke to reporters along with Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda after the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, when some Western officials protested Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.

He also commented on the rapidly weakening yen. The dollar rose to the mid-¥129 range on Wednesday, the highest level in 20 years.

“We confirmed at the meeting that we need to be highly cautious and closely watch market trends,” Suzuki said. “During the G7 talks, we also confirmed that we will maintain close communication in line with our previous agreements.”