G7 Summit in Ise Shima Significant emphasis on rule of law
Group of Seven (G7) leaders adopted a declaration which summarized the achievement and concluded 2-day discussions at the advanced nations’ summit in Ise Shima.
It is highly significant that G7 countries emphasized the “rule of law,” mindful of China which continues its strong-willed maritime expansion.
Mindful of China’s maritime expansion
It has been eight years since the G7 summit was held in Asia last time. The leaders discussed important issued the international community faces such as the world economy, counter-terrorism measures, maritime security, climate change, energy and environment at the Ise Shima Summit.
On the evening before the opening of the summit, the US-Japan summit meeting was held for one hour, far exceeding the originally allocated time. President Obama expressed his regret about the recent incident in which a U.S. military employee was arrested for disposing if a woman’s body in Okinawa Prefecture. He stated that “the US-Japan alliance is a very important foundation for both countries’ security.” It was the moment when he recognized the necessity of the alliance relationship supported by the people of the United States and the people of Japan.
Concerning the maritime security which Japan considered to be most important, the leaders’ declaration clearly stated their concerns about the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea” without naming China. The declaration incorporated three principles which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has advocated, namely (1) a nation should make a claim based on the international laws, (2) a nation should not use force or intimidation to back up its claim, and (3) disputes should be settles by peaceful measures including judicial proceeding.
China is conducting military buildup in the South China Sea by reclamation of rock reefs. China has been repeatedly invading Japan’s territorial water surrounding the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa Prefecture. Such forcible maritime expansion threatens reginal peace and stability as well as freedom of navigation. In response to G7 leaders’ adoption of the declaration. China expressed “strong displeasure and thorough opposition.” However, China needs to realize that such claim can never be accepted by the international community.
The leaders’ declaration also condemned Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine again. Change of the status quo by force should never be accepted.
With regard to North Korea, the declaration condemned in strongest terms North Korea’s nuclear bomb testing in January and subsequent launch of ballistic missiles. It is highly evaluated that the declaration mentioned the abduction issue. The international pressure has to be increased centered on G7 countries in the future.
At the North Korea Workers’ Party Congress, Chairman Kim Jong Un emphasized that North Korea is a “responsible nuclear-weapons state” and tried to make its possession of nuclear weapons a fait accompli. Unless North Korea abandons nuclear weapons, economic sanctions will never be lifted and economic reconstruction will be difficult.
The leaders agreed on an action plan to fight terrorism in addition to the declaration. The action plan includes enhanced information sharing among relevant authorities of G7 countries, utilization of Passenger Name Record (PNR) and promotion of coexistence of diverse cultures and religions through education. This needs to lead to prevention of terrorism.
G7’s approach based on solidarity
On the world economy, the leaders expressed their determination to carry o ut all policy responses to avert a new crisis and confirmed to use three arrows of financial, fiscal and structural policies separately or comprehensively. It is important for G7 countries to tackle important global challenges based on their solidarity.