When leaders of the world’s affluent democracies convene in Hiroshima, the symbolism will be powerful. The city’s name itself evokes the tragic consequences of war, and it is in this historic setting that they will address a range of pressing challenges, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and escalating tensions in Asia.
The focus on the conflict in Europe comes shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy embarked on a whirlwind tour to meet several Group of Seven (G-7) leaders who are now en route to Japan for the upcoming summit starting on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Zelenskyy’s objective during this tour was to secure additional weaponry for his country and garner political support in preparation for an anticipated counteroffensive to reclaim territories occupied by Moscow’s forces.
Matthew P. Goodman, Senior Vice President for Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted that Ukraine has fostered a sense of shared purpose within the G-7.
The commitments made to Zelenskyy just prior to the summit may further encourage member countries to increase their support. Goodman explained that forums like these often generate a form of peer pressure that can influence the level of assistance provided.
In addition to the concerns surrounding the conflict in Europe, G-7 leaders are also bracing themselves for the possibility of renewed tensions in Asia as their relationship with China deteriorates.
They harbor growing apprehension over Beijing’s increasingly assertive behavior and express fear that China may attempt to forcibly seize Taiwan, thereby igniting a broader conflict.
China claims sovereignty over the self-governing island and frequently deploys ships and warplanes near its vicinity, adding to the escalating concerns.
Written by staff