G7 Foreign minister meeting kicks off in Japan

By REUTERS
April 10, 2016 10:33
2 minute read.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations (G7) began arriving in the central Japanese city of Hiroshima on Sunday for a two day meeting.

They were greeted at the entrance of the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko.

The first guests to arrive were French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his spouse Brigitte, followed by Canada's Stephane Dion and spouse Janine, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his wife Emanuella, and finally the High Representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini.

The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived later after the welcoming ceremonies.

At the reception held for the ministers, Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida went through the long list of issues the ministers were to tackle during the two day meeting.

"In this meeting we hope to debate properly the many immediate issues the international community faces these days such as terrorism, the refugee issue, safety on the open seas, the non-Proliferation and disarmament initiative, the Middle East, the problems in Ukraine, and North Korea," he said.

"The G7 Foreign ministers' meeting is taking place in Hiroshima, the site of the atom bomb victims. I hope we will be able to send a strong message to the world from here for a world without nuclear weapons," he added.

Japanese media say the G7 foreign ministers are also likely to issue a statement on the peaceful settlement of territorial disputes. Without naming China, it is likely to be the first time the G7 ministers express concern about China's moves in the South China Seas, Kyodo News agency reported.

However all eyes will be on the ministers' visit on Monday (April 11) to the Peace Memorial Park. It will be the first time sitting foreign ministers of nations with nuclear weapons, such as the US, UK and France, visit the memorial dedicated to the victims of the one of the world's two nuclear attacks on a civilian target. The other memorial is in Nagasaki, also in Japan and commemorates the victims of the bombings of the two cities in 1945 at the end of World War Two by the United States.

The Foreign Ministers' meeting is the first of the meetings of ministers' from the seven industrial nations group that will culminate on May 25-26 with the leaders summit in Ise, central Japan.

 


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