APEC ministerial meeting to open on Thursday

Ministers from 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will open their meeting in Bangkok on Thursday amid a row over Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Japan will be represented by Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi.

This will be the first face-to-face gathering in four years. The ministers will discuss growth and sustainability in the region, free and open trade and facilitating investment in the post-pandemic era.

Japan plans to criticize Russia, saying peace and stability are vital for growth in the region. It is to also urge members to strengthen their supply chains for energy and food products.

As some nations in the bloc remain at odds with Russia over the situation in Ukraine, APEC ministers were unable to compile statements in previous meetings on topics that included open trade, finance and security.

The Group of 20 summit, which wrapped up on Wednesday, adopted a declaration. Whether APEC ministers can follow suit while reflecting differences in the participants' positions remains to be seen.

Ahead of the meeting, Nishimura expressed hopes to bring sustainable development to the region while maintaining free and fair trade and investment environment.