Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has revealed his intention to invite the leaders of Vietnam and six other countries to the 49th G7 Summit 2023, hosted by Japan in May.
Kishida announced the plan to the media on Monday during his visit to India where he officially invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to this year’s annual G7 Summit, who accepted the invitation, according to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun daily newspaper.
Japan expects to invite Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, the Comoros, the Cook Islands, Indonesia, and South Korea to the summit, in addition to India.
The upcoming summit is scheduled to take place in Hiroshima Prefecture on May 19-21.
The Group of Seven (G7) nations consist of the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, and Japan.
PM Kishida did not give explanations about his wishes to include India and seven other non-G7 nations in the summit, but it is easy to see that all of them are Japan’s important or potential partners.
Currently, Indonesia is the rotating chair of the 10-member ASEAN bloc while India is the rotating chair of the G20 group, which includes the seven G7 countries.
Australia is an important partner of Japan in the QUAD group, including the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan.
South Korea recently resolved controversial historical issues with Japan and is moving toward a new stage of development between the two countries.
Brazil, the Comoros, and the Cook Islands are among the Southern Hemisphere countries with which Tokyo is looking to strengthen ties, according to a white paper on the Southern Hemisphere released by Japan last week.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has been an extensive strategic partnership of Japan since 2014 and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
Cooperation possibilities for Japan and Vietnam are limitless, PM Kishida said when attending a seminar on bilateral cooperation in digital transformation, technology renovation, and supply chain diversification in Hanoi on May 1 last year, as part of his two-day official visit to Vietnam.
Vietnam is now a member of the United Nation Human Rights Council for the 2023-25 term and has an important voice in ASEAN.
The country previously attended two annual summits of the G7 Group.
In 2016, Vietnam joined the 42nd G7 Summit, also hosted by Japan in Ise-Shima, at the invitation of then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who passed away last year.
Two years later, Canada invited Vietnam to join the 44th G7 Summit in Quebec.
In his message for the upcoming 49th summit, PM Kishida said the world is facing many challenges, “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, and global issues including climate change, global health, and development.”
He pledged that as the chair of the Summit, he will “facilitate candid discussions among the G7 leaders to articulate ideas and plans for the future,” according to the official website of the G7 Hiroshima Summit launched by the Japanese government.
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