(Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio contributed a message to "Diplomacy” Vol.78.)

March 31, 2023

Russia's aggression against Ukraine is not a matter for Europe alone, but a challenge to the rules and principles of the international community as a whole, and it truly indicates the end of the post-Cold War era. Witnessing the reality of unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force amid the severe security environment that Japan confronts, I felt a strong sense of crisis that "Ukraine may be the East Asia of tomorrow.” That is why last year, I, as Prime Minister of Japan, have made the decision to respond firmly to the aggression by imposing strict sanctions against Russia and providing strong support for Ukraine. I have also been engaged in active diplomacy together with the G7 and other like-minded countries.

This year, Japan assumes the G7 Presidency and will host the G7 Summit in Hiroshima on May 19-21. While Russia implied the use of nuclear weapons in its aggression against Ukraine, the 77 years of history since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, during which time no nuclear weapons have been used, must not be ignored. It is of great significance that Japan is holding the Summit in Hiroshima, a city that aspires to lasting peace in the world.

At the Summit, the G7 will firmly reject any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force or the threat of nuclear weapons, as Russia has done, let alone the use of nuclear weapons and will continue to uphold the international order based on the rule of law. I will lead the discussion as Chair and demonstrate the G7’s strong determination to the world with historical significant.

In addition, as emerging and developing countries in what is called the Global South face a variety of challenges, the G7 will work to resolve a wide range of issues such as the global economy, including energy and food security; regional affairs, including Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific; nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; economic security; as well as global issues such as climate change, health, and development. As the G7 Presidency, Japan will lead the discussions on these issues. I would like to hand over the achievements from the G7 Hiroshima Summit to the G20 under the Indian Presidency and bridge them with the Special Summit Meeting with ASEAN (to be held in Japan in December), marking the 50th anniversary of friendship and cooperation between ASEAN and Japan. Thereby, Japan will strengthen communication from Asia to the world.

The G7 Hiroshima Summit will serve as a valuable opportunity for the youth and children of Japan and the world to turn their attention to global issues and take action. I will provide opportunities for young people, who will lead the next generation, to become involved in some way in Summit-related events through various exchanges and learning opportunities.

At a time when the international community is at a historic turning point, as the G7 Presidency, I will do my utmost to ensure the success of the Summit and ministerial meetings, and to realize a bright future for the international community.

This message was received on March 12, 2023.

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