Japan PM leaves on tour of European, North American allies

Following his country’s largest defense policy revision in decades, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida embarked on a trip of Europe and North America on Monday with security-focused discussions on the agenda.

As the G7’s 2023 incumbent, Japan, Kishida will begin his tour of G7 nations on Monday with stops in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

His first trip to Washington as prime minister, Kishida’s final stop is the United States, where he will meet President Joe Biden on Friday.

Kishida told reporters on Sunday that the “realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific” would be discussed during the talks with Biden, reinforcing US-Japan cooperation.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is among the security issues that the two leaders are anticipated to discuss.

The denuclearization of North Korea and Taiwan are also scheduled to be covered in their joint statement, according to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which cited anonymous officials in the Japanese government.

Kishida has said he will discuss his nation’s bolstered defence policy with Biden.

Japan’s government approved a major defence policy overhaul last month, including a significant spending hike, as it warned China posed the “greatest strategic challenge ever” to its security.

It was the country’s largest defence shake-up in decades, with the government vowing to increase security spending to two percent of GDP by 2027 and acquire new equipment including advanced missiles.

Japan will host the G7 summit this year.

Kishida said he expects allies from the bloc to reaffirm support for Ukraine, and to also display “solidarity with the rest of the world” on issues such as climate change and the food and energy crises.

“I hope to have candid, heart-to-heart talks with my G7 counterparts and further deepen personal relationships of trust,” Kishida said Sunday.

“It will be important to confirm the basic stance of defending the rule of law and the international order based on rules.”

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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