The increasingly serious limitations and contradictions of the G7 framework - on the G7 Hiroshima Summit
Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo
May 21, 2023
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 21 issued a statement entitled "The increasingly serious limitations and contradictions of the G7 framework -- on the G7 Hiroshima Summit". The full text of Shii's statement is as follows:
The G7 Hiroshima Summit highlighted the serious limitations and contradictions faced by the G7 framework, which is made up of countries participating in military blocs led by the United States, in dealing with global challenges. It also exposed Japan's unique and extraordinary position of being behind the times.
With this year's summit being held in Hiroshima, many people in Japan and abroad expected that the leaders would send out a positive message calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The G7 leader's response, however, has directly dashed those expectations.
There is a growing sense of disappointment and increasing criticism as the G7 leaders have openly endorsed the "nuclear deterrence" doctrine, which seeks to restrain other countries from waging war through the threat to use nuclear weapons, while ignoring the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), an established international law already signed by 92 nations in the world.
Atomic bomb survivor Thurlow Setsuko said, "It is intolerable to disseminate a message from the A-bombed city, which only affirms nuclear arms for one's own country, but condemns the weapons of other nations in conflict." This criticism effectively highlights the problematic nature of the G7 Hiroshima Summit.
It is necessary for the G7 member nations to fundamentally reconsider the "nuclear deterrence" doctrine and give serious consideration to the TPNW.
Regarding the world peace order, it is a matter of course that the G7 Hiroshima Summit strongly condemned "Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine" and opposed "unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force" anywhere in the world.
At the same time, it must be pointed out that the G7 member states are responding to these developments by strengthening their military blocs, which is making the division of the international community more serious and accelerating the dangerous vicious spiral of military-to-military confrontations.
The G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communique reiterated the "free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" framework for the security of the "Indo-Pacific" region, a framework which has a potential to morph into a quasi-bloc aimed at excluding and encircling China. During the G7 Hiroshima summit, the four leaders held a quadrilateral summit meeting of "the Japan-U.S.-Australia-India Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)", which is conceived with the encirclement with China in mind.
At the same time, the G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communique notes that they reaffirm their "commitment to promoting cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific". The AOIP is a proposed framework for peace that encompasses all stakeholder countries in the region, including China and the U.S. The Communique's reiterated commitment for such cooperation has shown that the G7 leaders can no longer discuss regional security without taking ASEAN nations' influence into account.
This points to the contradiction the G7 nations are facing.
It needs to be emphasized that the most orthodox and viable way to create peace in East Asia is to establish and strengthen a framework of security that includes all countries in the region, rather than excluding particular countries.
Among many issues concerning Japan, which hosted the summit, two points need to be highlighted.
The first is about support measures for Ukraine. the G7 Leaders' Statement on Ukraine states that "We are renewing our commitment to provide the financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support Ukraine requires for as long as it takes". It must be stressed that Japan, with its Article 9 of the Constitution, should exclusively offer non-military assistance in the forms of humanitarian aid and reconstruction support and Japan's primary stance should be to avoid any actions that could contribute to the escalation of the international conflict.
Secondly, the G7 Hiroshima Summit highlighted that Japan lags far behind other G7 members in addressing major challenges facing the world.
Due to Japan's opposition, G7 leaders failed to set a deadline for phasing out coal-fired power generation, a pressing issue in the fight against the climate crisis.
The G7 Leaders' Communique states that they "strongly condemn all violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms for women and girls and LGBTQIA+ people around the world". Japan is the only G7 member nation in which same-sex marriage is not legally recognized and there is no law banning discrimination against members of sexual minority communities. This is widely considered to be highly problematic both within Japan and internationally.
The Communique states that they reaffirm their commitment to "protecting refugees, supporting forcibly displaced persons and supporting host countries and communities, ensuring the full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of refugees and displaced persons". A bill to revise Japan's immigration law, which is now under Diet deliberation, runs counter to this commitment as it will pose a threat to the lives of migrants and foreign nationals.
The Japanese government should recognize that Japan is far behind in terms of efforts to tackle environment, gender, human rights and other major issues and must start working hard to catch up.