Contributed Article by Prime Minister Kishida to the Italian Newspaper Il Corriere Della Sera on the Occasion of the G7 Apulia Summit

June 13, 2024

[Provisional translation]


I am greatly honored to be able to visit Italy for the G7 Apulia Summit, which will be held from June 13. The international community is at a historic turning point – this was the recognition I held as I chaired the G7 Hiroshima Summit last year. One year later, the international community is grappling with even more heightened tensions. At the Hiroshima Summit, I set out two perspectives as key pillars: upholding and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law; and strengthening relationship with partners beyond the G7 including the Global South, and was able to demonstrate the G7’s unity in working towards realizing an international community characterized by cooperation, not division and confrontation. We also demonstrated our intention to take concrete actions in cooperation with the Global South on various issues facing the international community. Furthermore, in Hiroshima, a city that suffered an atomic bombing and has become a symbol of peace, the G7 leaders engaged in candid discussions, and achieved great successes, such as affirming their commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
Nevertheless, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine still continues more than two years after it began. The situation in Gaza demands the immediate release of all hostages and a sustainable ceasefire, and addressing the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people has become an urgent issue. Turning to the world more broadly, our cooperation in various areas, including climate change and energy, food, and development, as well as our approaches toward new challenges including economic security and AI, are becoming more important than ever.
Prime Minister Meloni of Italy, this year’s G7 Presidency, ensuring continuity from the previous year, has vigorously led the G7 discussions ahead of the Apulia Summit while setting new priorities such as Africa and migration. I would like to express my respect for Prime Minister Meloni’s leadership. Japan fully supports Italy’s efforts and intends to actively contribute to the discussions at the Apulia Summit.
Regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, I will seek to ensure that the G7 continues to strongly promote sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine, based on Japan’s unique contributions including the immediate financial support for Ukraine provided at the end of last year, and the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction held this February.
On the situation in the Middle East, I will explain Japan’s efforts, including humanitarian assistance to Palestine and approaches to the leaders of countries in the region, including Israel, the Arab world, and Iran, and affirm the G7’s close coordination.
Additionally, regarding the Indo-Pacific region, I will reaffirm the G7’s commitment towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” following on from last year and strengthen the G7’s cooperation with the region. The summit will also be an opportunity for the G7 to confirm its close collaboration on addressing various issues related to China, and dealing with North Korea, including the nuclear and missile issues and abductions issue.
In terms of economic security and AI, issues on which Japan showcased leadership at the G7 during its Presidency last year, I will seek to steadily advance the G7’s cooperation while taking into account the changing circumstances.
Cooperation between Japan and Italy, the G7 Presidencies of last year and this year, respectively, has also deepened. It was very meaningful that, following on from last year’s Hiroshima Summit, I welcomed Prime Minister Meloni to Tokyo this February, and was able to facilitate the transition between the incoming and outgoing G7 Presidency in person. Between the two countries, in the defense field, the joint development of a next-generation fighter aircraft by Japan, Italy, and the UK, and the Italian Navy and Air Force’s dispatch of their assets to the Indo Pacific region and joint training exercises were realized. In the economic field, the bilateral Social Security Agreement has entered into force, and in the cultural field, we signed the Japan-Italy Film Co-production Agreement. As seen in these developments, we have advanced concrete cooperation in various fields. I intend to further promote this strong bilateral relationship.
The Apulia Summit will be held amid increasing tensions in the international community. I hope that the G7 will show its solidarity in discussing solutions to the challenges facing the international community and demonstrating its intention to cooperate with partners including the Global South. I am looking forward to seeing Prime Minister Meloni and members of the Government of Italy, as well as the people of Apulia.


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