Japan's Prime Minister Kishida arrives in France to start 5 G7-nation tour

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has kicked off his tour of five of the Group of Seven nations. Kishida is visiting France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States through Sunday. He is to meet the leader of each nation ahead of this May's G7 summit in Hiroshima to be hosted by Japan as the group's chair.

Kishida arrived in France on Monday. He plans to meet French President Emmanuel Macron for dinner in the evening.

Kishida is to call on Macron to help make the Hiroshima summit a success. The two leaders are expected to discuss how to respond to global challenges such as the war in Ukraine, food and energy crises, nuclear disarmament and climate change.

Kishida is also expected to call for cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region. He is to mention the opening of a Japanese consular office in the South Pacific French territory of New Caledonia to deal with China's increasing maritime activity.

Kishida is also expected to tell Macron about Japan's initiatives to boost its defense capabilities. He is to ask Macron to increase security ties between the country's Self-Defense Forces and the French military through such means as joint drills.