Japan Prime Minister Kishida sets off on tour of G7 countries

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has left for France on the first leg of his tour of five Group of Seven nations.

Kishida plans to visit France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States from Monday through Sunday to hold talks with their leaders in the run-up to the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May. Japan holds the presidency this year.

Before departure on Monday, the prime minister told reporters that he hopes to hold candid talks to further deepen trust among G7 members.

He said he wants to share a common understanding of the current severe security situation and other matters, and to confirm coordination by presenting Japan's stance.

Referring to the Japan-US summit, Kishida said it will be a valuable opportunity for the two nations to further consolidate their bilateral alliance and reaffirm close cooperation.

He noted that the meeting comes shortly after his government unveiled revisions to three key security documents to reinforce Japan's defense capabilities.