By TAKUYA SUZUKI/ Staff Writer
April 18, 2023 at 19:02 JST
KARUIZAWA, Nagano Prefecture--Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sent a word of caution to China on April 18, the final day of the Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting here.
“(The invasion) is an outrageous act that undermines the foundation of international order. It can never be tolerated,” Hayashi, who chaired the meeting, said at a news conference.
The G-7 foreign ministers issued a communique at the conclusion of their meeting that stressed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
“For the first time, the meeting showed the G-7 member countries’ commitment to a free and open international order based on the rule of law,” Hayashi said.
“I think it is a significant achievement that we confirmed our strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo, no matter where it happens in the world,” he added.
Regarding China, the communique expressed serious concern about the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
“G-7 nations shared their concerns about the expansion of China’s nuclear capabilities and reaffirmed the importance of transparency,” Hayashi said.
The foreign ministers also discussed nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation ahead of the G-7 summit scheduled for May in Hiroshima.
Hayashi said the G-7 members welcomed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s “Hiroshima Action Plan,” which aims to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
The G-7 summit comes 78 years after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“I’d like (the G-7) to send a strong message to the world that nuclear weapons have not been used (since World War II), and that history must not be forgotten,” Hayashi said. “It is important to thoroughly tell the reality of the bombed cities to the world. It is the starting line of any efforts toward nuclear disarmament.”
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