Japan and several European countries expressed concern over the British proposal to invite Australia, India and South Korea to the G7 meeting.
Bloomberg, citing some sources from diplomats, said Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s government had “reacted strongly” to the British initiative. The Japanese government said that the goal of this year’s summit is to rebuild the G7, not to “institutionalize” the relationship with guest countries.
Other European member countries, such as France, Italy and Germany, have expressed similar views to Japan. Some diplomats in the bloc are concerned that Britain is trying to “go the back door” to “reshape” the G7.
|British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the G-7 Leadership Summit in Cornwall. Photo: The West Australian|
Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited South Korea, India and Australia to attend the G7 summit in Cornwall (UK) in June last year. Inviting more guest states has become common practice for the host countries, but the role of the guest countries is still significantly limited.
Prime Minister Johnson is said to want to further strengthen the role of the guests in the G7 forum. During an online meeting between G7 leaders on January 22, the UK proposed that they were planning to invite three guest countries to participate in a few parts of the foreign minister-level meetings, and to sign together. “Open Society Charter” with member countries.
According to European diplomats, the move would risk pushing the G7 into a position of confrontation with China and other countries, something that the member countries have alluded to avoid after efforts to prevent the former US President Donald Trump does the same thing.
New US President Joe Biden said he would take no side in this matter.
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