This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
TOKYO, Japan – Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations will focus on the security of both Europe and the Indo-Pacific as they gather in Japan from Sunday, April 16, against a worrying backdrop of the war in Ukraine and China’s growing assertiveness.
The three-day meeting in the resort town of Karuizawa also comes amid concern that some European G7 leaders – notably French President Emmanuel Macron – could be perceived as taking a weak stance over Beijing’s threats over Taiwan.
China has in recent days held military drills around Taiwan, which it claims as its own, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the democratically-governed island under its control.
“The security of Europe and that of the Indo-Pacific cannot be discussed separately – they are intertwined with each other,” a Japanese foreign ministry official said of the upcoming meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The meeting – which includes ministers from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada, Italy, and a representative from the European Union – comes ahead of a leaders summit that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will host in Hiroshima in May.
Kishida visited Ukraine in March, at the same time the China’s President Xi Jinping was meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The conflict there has triggered a rare outpouring of support for Ukraine in pacifist Japan, with many Japanese seeing Russia’s invasion as highlighting the potential threat to nearby Taiwan from an increasingly assertive China.
“Part of the reason why Japan has been so strong in supporting Ukraine is because they want…broader Western support when it comes to issues of East Asia,” said James D. J. Brown, professor of political science at Temple University Japan.
Washington has been trying to build up G7 commitment on further actions to deter China from taking steps to change the self-ruled island’s political status quo, a US diplomatic source told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
It will be doubly important for the G7 to reaffirm its solidarity and support Ukraine given the doubts over Europe’s stance towards China after Macron cautioned against being drawn into any crisis over Taiwan, Brown said.
“The G7 has been an important partner in holding Russia accountable for its aggression in Ukraine,” US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Monday. “I have no doubt that the G7 will continue to play an important role in that, including at the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting.”
Security arrangements for the meeting were unchanged, Japan’s foreign ministry said after a scare on Saturday, when a man threw a smoke bomb while Prime Minister Kishida was campaigning in western Japan. The Japanese premier was unhurt and the suspect was arrested. – Rappler.com