Japan to pledge food assistance at G7 summit

The Japanese government plans to announce food assistance to vulnerable countries at the Group of Seven summit meeting amid growing concern that Russia's invasion of Ukraine will lead to a global food crisis.

Food security is expected to be on the agenda at the summit scheduled in Germany later this month.

Ukraine is one of the world's top grain exporters, but Russia's blockade of Black Sea ports has prevented shipments.

Japan's government is making arrangements to pledge aid to Ukraine, as well as to the Middle East and African countries, where food shortages are posing a major impact.

The aid is likely to be made in the form of financial contributions to the World Food Programme and other international organizations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu told reporters on Friday that Russia's invasion has caused grain prices to surge and raised fears of global food insecurity.

Matsuno said the conflict is having a serious impact on the Middle East and Africa, which are highly dependent on Ukrainian exports.

He added that Japan will continue working with the other G7 members and the rest of the international community to consider providing assistance to affected countries.