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Fri, 06/11/2021 - 04:08
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Japan's Suga Leaves for Britain to Attend G-7 Summit

Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga left for Britain on Thursday to attend a three-day summit of the Group of Seven major industrial countries from Friday. A government jet carrying Suga departed from Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. His departure was delayed for more than 90 minutes because a problem was found with aircraft interior lighting equipment, causing him to board a reserve aircraft that was standing by. Ahead of the departure, Suga told reporters that he hopes to win support from his G-7 counterparts for holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer by explaining his policy of ensuring safe and secure games through strict coronavirus measures. Key issues at the summit in Cornwall, southwestern Britain, include measures against the novel coronavirus, ways to deal with China, which continues hegemonic moves, and climate change. Leaders from the G-7 countries of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, aim to show their solidarity in countering China, sources said. This is the first time for Suga to attend a G-7 summit since he took office in September last year. The gathering will mark his debut at a face-to-face meeting of world leaders. At the summit, the G-7 countries are expected to show their opposition to China's unilateral attempts to change the status quo in waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, and in the South China Sea. The Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are claimed by China. The G-7 leaders are also seen voicing their concern over the situation in Hong Kong and human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region. Also at the summit, the G-7 members are expected to reiterate their call for North Korea's complete termination of its nuclear and missile development programs and efforts to resolve the issue of its abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago. It will be the first face-to-face G-7 summit in two years. The G-7 economies see a need to rebuild their framework, weakened by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who pushed his "America First" policy, pundits said. Other expected agenda items include COVID-19 vaccine support for developing countries, the world economy, free trade, responses to Russia and the situation in Myanmar. Suga's wife, Mariko, joins the visit to Britain. They will return home Monday afternoon. END