G7 to express support for Tokyo Games

The G7 major industrial nations are expected to endorse holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and express this support in their declaration after a three-day summit meeting in England, according to several Japanese government sources.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to announce that Japan will take all possible measures for COVID-19 control as a precondition for holding the Games.

The G7 summit is to be held from Friday in Cornwall, southwest England. With domestic opinion split over holding the Games, the Japanese government hopes to win renewed overseas support at the summit and boost momentum for hosting the events.

Suga has secured foreign support in such talks as those in May with European Union leaders and in April with U.S. President Joe Biden. The Japan-EU joint statement said, “We support the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in defeating COVID-19.”

The upcoming G7 summit meeting will discuss the world economy, China, regional affairs, global health including COVID-19 control, democracy and climate change. Australia, India and South Korea, among others, will join talks on global health, democracy and climate change.

It is unusual for a G7 summit meeting to address China as an individual agenda item. Suga will express concern over China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China seas.

In light of China’s growing influence on developing countries through its assistance with infrastructure development, Japan also plans to stress the importance of providing high-quality development support. These ideas are expected to be included in the summit declaration.

Japan and the United States also want to state in the declaration the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, a sentiment already included in the G7 foreign ministers’ joint statement announced in May. The two countries are currently coordinating with G7 chair Britain over how to handle the issue in the declaration.

Regarding climate change, G7 leaders are likely to follow the joint statement issued in May by G7 climate and environment ministers, which sought to “accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonized power system in the 2030s,” among other targets.