Hayashi: Japan to express will at G7 summit to uphold international order

Japan's foreign minister says the country will express its will at the Group of Seven summit in May to uphold the international order based on the rule of law.

Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa made the statement in his foreign policy speech at the ordinary Diet session, which convened on Monday.

Japan serves as the rotating chair of the G7 this year and will host the May summit in Hiroshima.

Hayashi, at the outset of his speech, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to shake the foundation of the international order.

He also said China's increased influence in various fields, including politics, the economy and the military, is presenting difficult problems.

Hayashi said Japan will state its intent to uphold the international order based on the rule of law by resolutely rejecting any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force as well as threats or use of nuclear weapons.

Regarding the reform of UN Security Council, Hayashi called for action instead of just holding discussions, indicating his determination to aim for early progress while continuing communications with other countries.

He also provided details on Japan's foreign policy on bilateral relations with a number of nations.

Commenting on Japan-US relations, Hayashi said Japan will engage in efforts to bolster the deterrence and response capabilities of the bilateral security alliance. He also said Japan will deepen cooperation toward the effective operation of counterstrike capabilities.

The foreign minister added that Japan will focus on cooperation with the US in the space and cyber fields.

As for China, Hayashi said it will be important for both countries to accelerate efforts to build a constructive and stable relationship.

Concerning South Korea, he said Japan will make efforts to promote communications to improve and develop bilateral relations, with such problems as the wartime labor issue in mind.

Hayashi also spoke about Japan's relationship with Russia. He said Japan will firmly maintain its policy of concluding a peace treaty with Russia through the resolution of territorial issues. But he added that the current situation does not allow him to speak about the prospects for negotiations.

He also spoke about North Korea, which has been stepping up its nuclear and missile development programs. Hayashi said Japan will continue to work in close coordination with the US and South Korea to address the issue.