Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine had struck at the ‘very foundations of international order’.
Hiroshima, Japan— Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned Russia and pledged “unwavering solidarity” with Ukraine in a symbolism-laden speech condemning attempts anywhere to change the status quo by force.
Speaking against the backdrop of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Japan’s Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first nuclear weapons attack, Kishida said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine struck at “the very foundation of international order”.
“Anywhere in the world, trying to unilaterally change the status quo by force is absolutely unacceptable,” Kishida said on Sunday in a speech marking the final day of the Group of Seven (G7) summit.
“The G7 will try to bring a just and lasting peace as soon as possible for Ukraine.”
Kishida said that Japan’s “mission” as the host of the G7 is to “firmly support a free and open international order based on the rule of law and to show our determination to fully protect peace and prosperity. “
A longtime advocate against nuclear weapons with family roots in Hiroshima, Kishida repeated calls for a world free from the threat of nuclear war, declaring: “We are all citizens of Hiroshima.”
“We G7 leaders are meeting here in this place that is running out of time,” Kishida said. “Together we hear the voice and prayers of Hiroshima.”
Kishida added that “there should not be any threat of using nuclear weapons, especially the use of nuclear weapons, to change the status quo by force”, in an apparent reference to threats of Russia to use nuclear weapons.
‘Strongly historic’ denuclearization statement
Under Kishida, Japan has taken the strongest stance against Russia’s war on Ukraine in the region, casting the invasion as a threat to peace everywhere and linking the country’s situation in Europe to the fate of Taiwan, which is under threat. in China to be taken by force if necessary.
Kishida said G7 leaders had agreed to a “powerful historic” declaration on denuclearization for the first time, although it was unclear what tangible action, if any, might result.
While Kishida sought to use the G7 summit to draw attention to the danger of nuclear war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s surprise attendance at the gathering firmly focused attention on the global response to his 15-month war. homeland.
Since arriving in Japan on Saturday night, Zelenskyy has embarked on a diplomatic blitz to increase pressure on Russia and gain more support for his war-torn homeland, holding bilateral talks with leaders of G7 and non-G7, including US President Joe Biden and Indian. Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Zelenskyy, whose trip to Japan comes after whistle-stop visits to Europe and Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to hold a press conference on Sunday evening before the end of the three-day event.