• Kyodo


Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major developed countries plan next week to uphold their goal of achieving a world without nuclear weapons, according to a Japanese source, but the move could be challenged by the United States.

Ministers and officials from the G-7, which includes Japan, the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, will meet Monday and Tuesday in the central Italian city of Lucca with a focus on whether their foreign ministers can maintain the group’s resolution toward nuclear abolition expressed last year in Hiroshima.

It remains unclear how the U.S. will respond. President Donald Trump has signaled he will strengthen U.S. nuclear capabilities after reviewing former President Barack Obama’s efforts toward the elimination of such weapons.

Trump has also said the superiority of states having nuclear weapons should be maintained, as North Korea has claimed it can launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, apparently threatening to strike the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile.

The G-7 foreign ministers are expected to release a joint statement at the end of the meeting.

Their officials are discussing the wording of the communique, which may also mention the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria in attacking rebels as well as the nuclear and missile development by North Korea that violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will attend the meeting.

Japan, which hosted last year’s G-7 meetings, led the group’s foreign ministers in adopting the Hiroshima Declaration in April 2016 to build momentum toward nuclear disarmament.

The declaration calls for world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities devastated by the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings. Some Japanese officials say the declaration helped encourage Obama to visit Hiroshima last May, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

“The Hiroshima Declaration has universal values because it was compiled by overcoming (differences in) the positions of nuclear and non-nuclear nations,” the Japanese source said, adding that “the G-7 should inherit it.”

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