Japan PM Fumio Kishida Seeks AI Agreement at G7 Summit

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during an interview at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Monday.

While nuclear weapons remain a threat to humanity, artificial intelligence is posing issues for society as well. Both will be on the agenda at the G7 Hiroshima Summit to be held this weekend, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that he is ready to lead the creation of international rules and a framework on the use of generative AI.

“I want to reach agreements on the issue during the summit and start the ‘Hiroshima AI Process’ as soon as possible,” Kishida said during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun and other Japanese media outlets.

The prime minister, who represents a Hiroshima constituency, also expressed his determination to deliver a message for realizing a “world without nuclear weapons.” Hiroshima, where the summit will be held from Friday through Sunday, was the first city to experience the horrors of an atomic bomb.

“It is historically significant that the leaders of the G7 and invited countries are gathering in the symbolic place of the pledge for peace,” Kishida said.

Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Office about conversational AI model ChatGPT and generative AI in general, Kishida said, “They have potential but also risks that could turn upside down our economy, industry and society.”

During the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting held in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, on April 29 and 30, an agreement to aim for “trustworthy AI” that is “human-centric” was reached.

“As the president [of the G7 summit], I want to lead the discussion on the potential for using generative AI in a responsible manner,” Kishida said.

Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s hegemonic moves, the prime minister said he wanted to use the summit as an opportunity to send a message to the international community that Moscow and Beijing’s unilateral changes to the status quo by force will not be tolerated.

“I want to send a strong message,” he added in reference to Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs. “I want to increase momentum for bringing the current harsh reality closer to what is ideal,” Kishida said.

As for domestic issues, Kishida was asked about the possible timing for the dissolution of the House of Representatives that would mean calling a general election.

“As we are tackling various major issues,” Kishida said, “the timing of when we seek the people’s judgment will be a matter of how we assess the situation from now on.”