G7: World Leaders Prepare to Attend Summit in Hiroshima This Weekend

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Welcome to this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief… as world leaders prepare to convene this weekend for the annual G7 Summit, we’ll be analyzing 1) the meeting location, significance, and other details about this year’s summit, 2) a bit of history about the event, 3) main topics that are expected to be the focus of discussion among world leaders, and 4) the issue of nuclear proliferation with relation to this year’s Summit.

Quote of the Week

“The G7 is based on key, shared fundamental values, including a commitment to maintain international order.”

-Fumio Kishida

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With all that behind us, its now time to take a look at what to expect as world leaders convene this weekend at what is likely to be another historic gathering at the forthcoming G7 Summit in Japan. 

World Leaders Meet in Japan for the G7 Summit

This weekend, leaders from seven nations will be convening in Hiroshima, Japan, for the Group Seven (G7) summit, one of the world’s highest-profile political forums.

Consisting of leaders from leading industrial nations outside the former communist bloc, leaders in attendance will represent the US, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, and Italy.

Held at the site of the first attack involving atomic weaponry which ended the Second World War, attendees will discuss a range of global issues, including nuclear proliferation and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

The G7: Background

The Group of Seven, which has gathered since 1975 (with a similar informal meeting occurring as early as 1973) has emerged as one of the leading formal venues for the coordination and problem-solving related to issues impacting the world.

From economics and security to trade, military relations, and the global effects of climate change, the G7 allows an opportunity for world leaders to engage in discussion on a range of diplomatic issues facing all nations around the world, including countries that are not represented at the event.

G7 leaders appearing at a special NATO meeting in March 2022.

Although G7 officials often meet at various times throughout the year, the G7 Summit is an annual meeting held at different locations each year, selected from one of the representative countries.

Hiroshima was selected for this year’s event on account of it being Japan’s turn to host the gathering and because it is the hometown of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Topics To Be Addressed at the G7

Chief among issues being addressed at this year’s G7 includes the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of the country last spring marked a turning point in the dynamic of 21st-century geopolitics, the effects of which have been evident in the global economy. Decades ago in 1998, Russia had for a time joined the group of countries recognized as members, elevating its number to eight; however, the G8 thereafter expelled Russia in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

G7 leaders during 2014 meeting to address annexation of Crimea (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst/CC 2.0).

Along with condemnation of Russia’s invasion, the leaders in attendance at this weekend’s G7 Summit are expected to pledge their ongoing support of Ukraine. Apart from Russia’s actions, the G7 leaders will also address mounting concerns over China and its posture toward Taiwan, as well as issues related to China’s influence on the global economy.

Nuclear Proliferation

The selection of Hiroshima is anything but random, as the southwestern Japanese city’s intimate role in the history of nuclear proliferation has become emblematic of efforts to curb the threat of future loss of life resulting from atomic warfare.

In addition to addressing the challenges presented by Russia’s ongoing threats involving the use of nuclear weapons, Japan hopes to bolster its own pledges to nuclear disarmament and how they are viewed in the international community.

Fumio Kishida
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in 2021 (CC 4.0).

“I believe the first step toward any nuclear disarmament effort is to provide a first-hand experience of the consequences of the atomic bombing and to firmly convey the reality,” Kishida said last week, accompanying an announcement that he planned to bring world leaders in attendance to Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Museum, marking the first such group visit by world leaders that are also nuclear superpowers.

Plans have also been outlined to visit a memorial for Korean victims of atomic weaponry in acknowledgment of Japan’s ongoing effort to improve its historically conflicted relationship with the country.

International Attendance

Although he will not attend the event in person, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join remotely through a video call during a session where he is expected to address the G7 leaders and others in attendance.

Other countries that have been invited include Brazil, Australia, India, South Korea, and several others. In a statement, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida emphasized the significance of G7 countries networking and communicating with other countries around the world, especially developing nations.

That concludes this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief. You can read past editions of The Intelligence Brief at our website, or if you found this installment online, don’t forget to subscribe and get future email editions from us here. Also, if you have a tip or other information you’d like to send along directly to me, you can email me at micah [@] thedebrief [dot] org, or Tweet at me @MicahHanks.

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