‘Ukraine today could be East Asia tomorrow,’ warns Japan’s foreign minister at G7 meeting

Group of Seven (G7) countries reiterated their support for Ukraine and issued warnings to Russia, China and Sudan on the final day of meetings between the group’s top diplomats in Karuizawa, Japan.

In the final statement on Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi revealed concern that the crisis in Ukraine could be repeated in Southeast Asia.

“This is an outrageous act that shakes the foundation of the international order and it is totally unacceptable. The security of Europe and the security of the Indo-Pacific are inseparable, and I, myself, have the sense of crisis that Ukraine today could be East Asia tomorrow,” he said.

“We confirmed that we cannot accept irresponsible nuclear rhetoric by Russia, their threat to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus […] We also agreed to strengthen our cooperation to deal with sanction evasions and provision of weapons to Russia from third countries.”

In his closing statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that he had called for a cease-fire between the two warring generals of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary in Sudan after an American motorcade was attacked on Monday.

“I made calls to Generals Burhan and Hemedti, urging them to agree to a 24-hour ceasefire to allow Sudanese to safely reunite with their families,”

“We had an American diplomatic convoy that was firebombed. All of our people are safe. But this action was reckless. It was irresponsible and, of course, unsafe.” 

In a separate incident, the European Union’s ambassador to Sudan was attacked in his home in Khartoum on Monday, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said.

On the sidelines of the G7 meeting, Antony Blinken met with French counterpart Catherine Colonna to discuss President Macron’s recent statements on Taiwan, and to reiterate the strength of the US-French alliance.

The discussions “only reinforced the convergence of views that we have”, Blinken said.

This foreign ministers’ meeting also served to prepare for the G7 leaders’ meeting in May, also in Japan, which holds the group’s rotating presidency.

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