Japan Prime Minister Kishida to visit France, Italy, UK, Canada, US next week

Japan's prime minister will visit France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States next week to seek their cooperation for the success of the Group of Seven summit set for May in Hiroshima. Japan chairs this year's G7 framework.

Kishida Fumio said at a news conference on Wednesday that he will set off on the tour of the five G7 countries on Monday to meet their leaders.

Kishida is expected to tell them that Japan will take a leadership role in tackling global challenges, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the food crisis, nuclear disarmament and climate change.

He is also likely to call on the leaders to boost collaboration on those issues.

Kishida is scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden in Washington on January 13, local time. The prime minister said the meeting would be a very important one, involving more than just coordination for the G7 summit.

Kishida indicated that he would use the talks with Biden to show how Japan and the US can further solidify their alliance. Kishida is also expected to outline his government's plan to increase defense expenditure.

The Japanese government revised three key security documents last month to comprehensively reinforce its defense capabilities. The revisions would allow Japan to launch counterstrikes only under specific circumstances.