When their leaders meet on the sidelines of the two-day Group of Seven summit that starts Thursday, Japan, the European Union and four EU countries will express their intention to conclude years of free trade talks by the end of the year, according to sources.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the sources said Tuesday.

They will issue a statement at the end of the gathering, which will be held either Thursday or Friday, to "reaffirm (their) strong commitment to reach an agreement in principle as early as possible in 2016," according to a draft statement obtained by Kyodo News.