Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting.
Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy.
Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that it was important to maintain the framework of the G7 as it is.
It was up to the US, this year’s host, to decide on arrangements for the next meeting, he added.
The G7 frequently invites other nations to take part as guests.
Japan and South Korea have seen relations deteriorate to their worst levels in years due to renewed disputes arising from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula. The tensions have clouded trade links and joint security for the two US allies, who both face a threat from North Korea and live in the shadow of China’s growing military.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would refrain from commenting on the Kyodo report.
Trump last month said that he was considering inviting Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to an extended G7 leaders’ meeting, alongside the seven member countries, saying the existing set-up was outdated.
Trump said the meeting could be held the weekend before or the weekend after the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled to open — potentially virtually — on Sept. 15 and run through Sept. 30.
“Maybe I’ll do it after the election,” Trump said late last month. “I think a good time would be before the election.”
The US presidential election is on Nov. 3.
A previous plan for an in-person meeting this month was scrapped amid coronavirus concerns. The US already has the most confirmed infections and COVID-19 deaths of any nation and was hit by a renewed surge of cases in the past few days.
The current G7 member countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. Several countries are opposed to the idea of including Russia, which was in 2014 suspended from what was then the G8 major economies after its annexation of Crimea. South Korea is a G20 member.
Twice a day Hong Kong’s virtually deserted airport fills with the sound of tearful goodbyes as residents fearful for their future under China’s increasingly authoritarian rule start a new life overseas, mostly in Britain. London flights tend to leave in the afternoon and late evening, and for a few hours it briefly feels like the COVID-19 pandemic no longer exists as the airport comes to life. Check-in desks fill up with crowds of passengers wheeling as much luggage as their tickets will permit. Accompanied by the loved ones they leave behind, the scenes are emotionally charged and shadowed by a palpable pall of
A man has confessed to defrauding Chinese-Canadian pop singer Kris Wu (吳亦凡) over a teenager’s accusation that he had sex with her when she was drunk, Beijing police said on Thursday. The announcement added a bizarre twist to a scandal that cost Wu endorsement contracts with brands including Porsche and Bulgari. The former member of South Korean boy band EXO has denied the accusation, which drew an outpouring of online support for the woman and criticism of Wu. On Friday, Louis Vuitton became the latest brand to end its contract with Wu. A man who saw rumors about the incident online contacted the woman
Ethiopia’s Afar region on Friday called on civilians to take up arms against rebels from neighboring Tigray, signaling a potential escalation in fighting that has already displaced tens of thousands this week. “Every Afar should protect their land with any means available, whether by guns, sticks or stones,” regional President Awol Arba said in an interview aired by regional state media. “No weapons can make us kneel down. We will win this war with our strong determination.” Tigrayan rebels launched operations in Afar last weekend, saying they were targeting pro-government troops massing along the two regions’ shared border. A government official said on
Buried in a long US indictment accusing China of a global cyberespionage campaign was a curious detail: Among the governments targeted by Chinese hackers was Cambodia, one of Beijing’s most loyal Asian allies. The target of the hack, which two sources with knowledge of the indictment said was the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was also revealing: discussions between China and Cambodia over the use of the Mekong River, a new battleground for US and Chinese influence in Southeast Asia. Four Chinese — three security officials and a contract hacker — have been charged for attacks aimed at dozens