Biden, Kishida meet ahead of crunch G7 summit

(Update: adds info on Biden-Kishida meeting, edits headline, lede, minor edits)

Hiroshima, Japan, May 18 (EFE).- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with United States President Joe Biden in Hiroshima on Thursday to prepare for the G7 summit being held in the western Japanese city this weekend.

During their meeting, Kishida said he was confident the summit, which is expected to address issues such as the war in Ukraine and China’s growing global influence, would “demonstrate our unwavering will to uphold free and open international order based on the rule of law,” according to a White House statement.

“The Japan-US alliance is the very foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific,” Kishida said. “Japan and the United States have a strong relationship not only in the area of security, we have close and strong cooperation in all areas.”

Biden praised Tokyo’s stance in “supporting the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign territory and holding Russia accountable for its brutal aggression” and highlighted the two nations’ shared values and cooperation in facing “one of the most complex environments in recent history.”

Earlier on Thursday, Kishida said Thursday that he hopes that the summit in Hiroshima will be a turning point in the efforts of the international community to ensure global peace.

Speaking to reporters at the government headquarters in Tokyo before leaving for the western city, Kishida highlighted the importance of the meeting “when the international community is at a historic turning point” amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising tensions with Beijing.

“As chair, I would like to face this with a strong determination and resolution to lead the international community, including the G7,” Kishida said as Japan holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven.

The Japanese prime minister also highlighted the significance of holding the summit in his native Hiroshima, the first city in history to be struck by a nuclear bomb, which killed around 30 percent of its population in 1945.

“The city of Hiroshima, where the event will be held, was devastated by the atomic bomb, and is a city that is recovering strongly and longing for peace. I want it to be engraved in history,” Kishida said before heading to the airport.

As well as the war in Ukraine and China, the leaders of the G7, made up of Germany, Canada, the US, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, will meet Friday to Sunday to address issues such as recent concerns about bank collapses and concerns around the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

The group will be accompanied by a record number of partners, including Brazil, India, South Korea and Australia. EFE


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