Japan Hosts Key Summit for 1st Time since 2016

Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Thursday morning.

The three-day G7 summit starts today in Hiroshima, with issues such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the situation in the Indo-Pacific, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and economic security high on the agenda.

This is the first such G7 conference in Japan since the 2016 Ise-Shima Summit.

On Thursday, the leaders of Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union arrived in Hiroshima. U.S. President Joe Biden first landed at the U.S. air base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

“This is an important summit being held at a time when the international community is at a historic turning point,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Thursday morning before leaving for Hiroshima, his constituency.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife, Yuko, arrive at Hiroshima Airport on Thursday.

“The hope is that the G7 will reaffirm the determination to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and strongly demonstrate to the world the willingness to uphold a free and open international order based on the rule of law,” he said.

Kishida is scheduled to welcome the G7 leaders and their spouses at the Peace Memorial Park on Friday morning. They will then visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which has exhibits that seek to convey the reality of the 1945 atomic bombing of the city by the United States.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying that Biden would not make remarks about the U.S. atomic bombing.

“The president won’t be making a statement at the Peace Memorial Park,” Sullivan said, adding, “This is him, as one of the G7 leaders, coming to pay respects both for history but also respects to Prime Minister Kishida, who of course is from Hiroshima.”