March 22, 2023
TOKYO — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced in New Delhi that Japan would invite the leaders of eight countries, including India, South Korea and Brazil, to a Group of Seven summit meeting to be held in Hiroshima City in May.
Kishida aims to strengthen solidarity with the so-called Global South and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific at the summit. The other countries to be invited to the summit are Indonesia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Australia and Vietnam.
The nation holding the G7 presidency chooses which countries to invite based on its key issues, with Kishida saying Monday that energy, food security and climate change would be on the agenda in Hiroshima.
“At the summit, we will demonstrate our strong will to defend the international order based on the rule of law,” the prime minister said.
Kishida hopes to use the summit as an opportunity to demonstrate the unity of the G7 and emerging economies in upholding the international order, which is being shaken by Russia and China.
Many of the Global South countries have maintained relations with both Western countries and with China and Russia. India and Brazil, for example, have not joined in sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and maintain economic relations with Russia.
“Russia cannot completely ignore the views of countries with which it has relations, and we can expect those countries to influence Russia. It’s important to keep them on the G7 side,” a senior official of Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.
Japan will also emphasize at the summit cooperation with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region, such as South Korea and Australia.
South Korea previously tended to take a “balanced diplomacy” approach, maintaining relations with both Washington and Beijing, but the current administration of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has made clear its position of emphasizing cooperation with Japan and the United States.
The invitation to the G7 summit is expected to further improve relations between Japan and South Korea.
Japan is also planning to invite the heads of seven international organizations, including the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.