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Inviting 8 additional countries.. The Group of Seven is trying to expand its influence during the Hiroshima summit


Tokyo and Seoul are seeking to mend their relationship long damaged by historical differences, and Kishida will take part in three-way talks with his South Korean and US counterparts on the sidelines of the summit.

The leaders of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations, who meet this week in Hiroshima, western Japan, will not be alone. Eight additional countries, including major economies, have been invited to try to influence opinion on Russia and China.

Major regional powers such as India and Brazil will be present in Hiroshima, as well as Indonesia, which represents the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam, South Korea and Australia, as well as the Cook Islands, which represent the Pacific Islands, and the Comoros, which chairs the African Union.

complex task

These countries will participate in a number of working sessions as well as bilateral meetings aimed at rallying some reluctant leaders in opposing Russia’s war in Ukraine and Beijing’s growing military ambitions.

“It has become common for the guest list at these events to be very long, but not everyone is invited,” said Tristen Nayler, a professor at the University of Cambridge.

This expert on international summits told AFP that the G7 wants to be seen as a “club dedicated to protecting democracy” and is seeking broader support for Ukraine and its efforts to confront China.

Nayler pointed out that India is a longtime military ally of Moscow, and its “contradictory stance” on the war in Ukraine is not in line with other major democracies, considering that the summit is an opportunity to “try to draw India into the cause” of the G7, even if the task seems complicated.

Fighting Chinese influence

While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be speaking by videoconference to the G-7, a Russian delegation is due to arrive in New Delhi in November for the G-20 summit, so India is unlikely to change positions suddenly.

Nayler considered that another “main goal” of the Hiroshima summit was to provide an alternative to China’s investments in infrastructure around the world.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited Beijing last month, where his country’s main trading partner pledged to continue “high-quality development” and open up “new opportunities” for Brazil.

But Lula, who during his trip criticized the dominance of the US dollar, is not the only leader China is courting, and the G7 countries want to show that they can offer him an alternative.

“The idea of ​​fighting Chinese influence and supporting a rules-based order in the countries of the South” will also be an important component of the summit, said Chris Johnston, an expert at the Center for International and Strategic Studies.

Japan is already working on this front, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi have taken a number of trips this year to countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Island nations.

Learn about diversity

On the other hand, last March in New Delhi, Kishida unveiled a $75 billion investment plan in infrastructure and other sectors in Asia and the Pacific by 2030.

He also stressed that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the “main cause” of the rise in food and energy prices, which hit developing countries the hardest.

“But there is a movement to divide the world by giving the false impression that the G7 sanctions against Russia are responsible” for inflation, Kishida said at the beginning of May in Mozambique.

Japan is also active in the informal “Quad” alliance that includes India, the United States and Australia as well.

On the other hand, Tokyo and Seoul are seeking to repair their relationship, which has been damaged for a long time due to historical differences, and Kishida will participate in trilateral talks with his South Korean and American counterparts on the sidelines of the summit.

But not all guests are likely to be in a conciliatory mood, according to Yoshi Hosoya, professor of international politics at Keio University.

“It should not be taken for granted that they will provide broad and strong support” on Ukraine and other G7 initiatives, he wrote in an article last month.

And he considered that Japan “should seek to understand what each country is specifically looking for, recognize the diversity of the international community and make specific contributions.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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