Leaders of the G7 group of nations are set to meet this week in Hiroshima, Japan – the site of the world’s first atomic bombing.
Host, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to use the occasion to call for a pledge on nuclear weapons, amidst growing concerns over Russia’s refusal to rule out their use in Ukraine and North Korea’s development of more sophisticated missiles.
President Joe Biden, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak and other leaders began arriving yesterday. On Saturday, they will visit the city’s peace memorial museum which includes exhibits depicting the devastating effects of the 6 August 1945 bombing that killed an estimated 140 thousand people by year’s end.
Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky is expected to join the summit in person on Sunday. Zelensky will be making his furthest trip from of his war-torn country as leaders are set to unveil new sanctions on Russia for its invasion.
The decision to select Hiroshima to host the summit comes with a heavy dose of symbolism. Pressure is building for a reference to nuclear weapons, with the un secretary general, António Guterres, this week calling on the G7 leaders to declare they will not use nuclear weapons “in any circumstances”. The G7 gathering is also a bit larger than in previous years that’s because Australia, India, Brazil, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Comoros and the Cook Islands have a seat at the table this year.