Suga leaves for UK to attend G7 summit

Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has left for the UK to attend the Group of Seven summit.

The meeting will be held in Cornwall in the southwestern part of England from Friday through Sunday.

Before his departure, Suga told reporters that he wants to exchange frank views with other G7 leaders, who share universal values, on the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, economic and regional issues, and other key topics. He said he wants to explain Japan's position and contribute to discussions.

Regarding the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Suga said he will explain that Japan will implement thorough anti-infection measures to host safe and secure Games, and seek support from other leaders.

It will be the first in-person G7 summit in two years. It will also be Suga's first face-to-face multilateral meeting since he took office in September last year.

His departure was delayed for about 90 minutes due to a mechanical trouble on the government plane he was scheduled to board.

He left Tokyo's Haneda Airport at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday on the backup plane.

Japanese officials say the delay will not affect the schedule of the summit.