Artificial Intelligence to be Discussed at G7 Summit in Hiroshima

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Keiichi Ono speaks during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Monday.

Cutting-edge artificial intelligence technologies, such as ChatGPT, will be one of the key agenda items at the upcoming summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in Hiroshima, Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Keiichi Ono said Monday in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Ono, who serves as a “sherpa” — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s personal representative for the summit — said the world leaders are expected to discuss what kind of international rules should be applied to the technologies.

The following is excerpted from the interview :

The Yomiuri Shimbun: What is the role of a sherpa?

Ono: I help and assist the leaders to reach the summit. Since Japan is the chair of the meeting, I am expected to play a leading role in coordinating the preparation of the outcome document with sherpas from other countries.

Q: What will be the focus of the Hiroshima summit?

A: The prime minister has emphasized two perspectives: To demonstrate our determination to maintain and strengthen the international order based on the rule of law, and to strengthen our engagement with our partners, including emerging and developing countries in what we call the Global South. The Ukraine issue remains paramount, and the discussions on China and North Korea are also very timely. Economic security and international health are also important issues.

Q: Is there any possibility that generative AI, such as ChatGPT, will become an agenda issue in the meeting?

A: As major economies and scientific and technological countries, the G7 nations have taken the initiative in dealing with advanced science and technologies, and have a record of discussions on AI. It is very meaningful for the G7 to discuss current up-and-coming technologies such as generative AI and the metaverse [a virtual space on the internet] as well as areas where governance mechanisms have not yet been established.

Q: What is the significance of holding the meeting in Hiroshima?

A: It is very meaningful for the G7 leaders to gather in the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima for frank discussions on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, and to disseminate their opinions to the world, when Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons in its aggression against Ukraine.

– The interview was conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer Shinji Abe

Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Keiichi Ono

Ono, 57, graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1988 with a law degree and served as the Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asia Division chief for about five years from 2010, negotiating with North Korea over issues such as the abduction of Japanese citizens.
He served in various Foreign Ministry posts in Japan and at the embassy in Indonesia before being appointed to his current position in August 2022.