Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting.
Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy.
Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that it was important to maintain the framework of the G7 as it is.
It was up to the US, this year’s host, to decide on arrangements for the next meeting, he added.
The G7 frequently invites other nations to take part as guests.
Japan and South Korea have seen relations deteriorate to their worst levels in years due to renewed disputes arising from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula. The tensions have clouded trade links and joint security for the two US allies, who both face a threat from North Korea and live in the shadow of China’s growing military.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would refrain from commenting on the Kyodo report.
Trump last month said that he was considering inviting Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to an extended G7 leaders’ meeting, alongside the seven member countries, saying the existing set-up was outdated.
Trump said the meeting could be held the weekend before or the weekend after the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled to open — potentially virtually — on Sept. 15 and run through Sept. 30.
“Maybe I’ll do it after the election,” Trump said late last month. “I think a good time would be before the election.”
The US presidential election is on Nov. 3.
A previous plan for an in-person meeting this month was scrapped amid coronavirus concerns. The US already has the most confirmed infections and COVID-19 deaths of any nation and was hit by a renewed surge of cases in the past few days.
The current G7 member countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. Several countries are opposed to the idea of including Russia, which was in 2014 suspended from what was then the G8 major economies after its annexation of Crimea. South Korea is a G20 member.
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Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
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