STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden met with the leader of Japan in the city of Hiroshima. It’s here the three-day Group of Seven summit will start on Friday.
And it's perhaps a fitting location for the great-power conference: Here, in the first city ever hit with an atomic weapon, G7 members, which include host Japan, along with Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada, are increasingly concerned by what they see as Russia's repeated threats over use of nuclear arms.
They’re also alarmed by an ascendant China, with economically coercive policies and its rapid accumulation of sensitive technology.
Biden and Japan's Fumio Kishida met for talks, Thursday, aiming for closer cooperative in the face of these challenges:
BIDEN: “As you said, back in January, when you were at the White House, I think the quote is, ‘we face the most, one of the most complex environments in recent history. Security environments.’ And I couldn’t agree with you more. And I’m proud that the United States and Japan are facing it together. And you know, we stand up for shared values, including supporting the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign territory, and holding Russia accountable for its aggression.”
Japan, although a longtime buyer of Russian oil, has moved in tandem with G7 sanctions against Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That military action has also raised fears among Japanese that China could be emboldened to take action against neighboring, self-ruled Taiwan… unless Russia is stopped.
The U.S. will have a package of sanctions associated with a G7 statement that will center on the tightening and enforcement of Russian sanctions, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on board Air Force One.
As for China, which is currently hosting a summit of Central Asian leaders, officials from G7 member countries have said - in private - that tackling the country’s rise isn’t an easy task… particularly given the West's immense reliance on China, as both a trade partner and in some cases a manufacturing base.