Kishida and Scholz hold summit talks in Tokyo

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Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held summit talks on Thursday with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine high on the agenda.

The meeting took place at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo.

During the opening, Kishida said that Japan and Germany are strategic partners who share common values.

He said he wanted to discuss with Scholz how to strengthen bilateral relations and build closer cooperation within the framework of the Group of Seven nations to address the many challenges facing the international community.

Kishida noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine undermined the foundations of the international order.

He said Japan had imposed strong sanctions on Russia in cooperation with other countries and would step up its support for Ukraine.

Kishida stressed that the security of the Indo-Pacific region cannot be separated from that of Europe. He said any attempt to change the status quo by force should never be tolerated anywhere.

Scholz said the Russian invasion is a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity that is not acceptable, and that the democratic nations of the world are closely united.

He said it is very important that each of the G7 nations sends a strong message.

The two leaders are believed to have shared a sense of crisis that Russia’s military invasion is undermining the foundations of the international order.

They also reportedly reaffirmed close cooperation between Germany, which is the current G7 chair, and Japan, which will be the next G7 chair.

On the issue of China’s increasingly assertive activities in the Indo-Pacific region, Kishida and Scholz reportedly agreed to work together for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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