By Mathew Carr
May 19, 2023 — Having this summit at Hiroshima, the location of one of the most brutal acts of war in world history, hopefully bodes well for less aggressive militarism starting in 2023 (but I’m not holding my breath for that).
Hiroshima was bombed on the morning of August 6, 1945. The city, flat and surrounded by hills, was in many ways an ideal target for the atomic bomb, at least from the perspective of its creators. Their goal was destruction and spectacle, to show the Japanese, the Soviets, and the whole world, what the potential of this new weapon was. The geography of Hiroshima meant that a bomb with the explosive yield of “Little Boy” (the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT), detonated at the ideal altitude, could destroy nearly the entirety of the city. (Perhaps as many as 200,000 people died in a few seconds/days, similar in scale to the 14-month Ukraine war in 2022-23.) See link above.
This section of today’s G7 statement is vaguely interesting:
Regarding global economy, Prime Minister Kishida stated that he has advocated an economic policy of a “New Form of Capitalism,” advanced supply-side reforms for sustainable economic growth, emphasized on strengthening “investment in people” along with increasing wages and expanding internal investment, and promoted virtuous cycle of growth and distribution.
Through the discussion, the G7 leaders concurred on the importance of close coordination among the G7 as well as the cooperation with international partners towards transition to clean energy economy, reduction of dependency on specific countries, and the making of reliable supply chains.
The reference to reducing dependency on “specific countries” sounds to me like more pivoting away from China, yet there is some evidence of cooperation between developed and developing nations. See bolded sections of the following otherwise-unedited statement from the Japanese government published today:
On May 19, commencing at 3:15 p.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Mr. Mauro Vieira, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, who was on his visit to Japan to attend the Outreach Meeting of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. The overview is as follows.
- At the outset, Minister Hayashi expressed his pleasure to have a meeting with Minister Vieira again following the Japan-Brazil Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Brasilia in January, and Minister Vieira concurred with Minister Hayashi.
- The two ministers shared the view that the whole international community needs to work together in order to uphold a free and open international order based on the rule of law.
- The two ministers confirmed that great potential exists in the bilateral economic relations and that the two countries would strengthen trade and investment ties, including in the digital and green areas.
- Minister Hayashi welcomed the progress in Brazil’s accession process to OECD from the perspective of business environment, and stated that Japan would continue to contribute to the process. Minister Hayashi also expressed his hope for the advancement of Brazil’s tax reforms, stating that it would stimulate investment by Japanese companies.
- Minister Hayashi stated that it is with pleasure that Japan would actively support the healthcare and other sectors as a Japanese yen loan worth JPY 30 billion would be realized soon, and that Japan would like to continue to work together with Brazil for its early implementation.
- Minister Hayashi expressed his welcome for Brazil’s candidacy to host COP30 (30th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in 2025.
- The two ministers exchanged views, among others, on the situations in Ukraine and East Asia. The two ministers also shared the view that the two countries, as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, would work together and lead Security Council reforms in union as members of the G4.
G7 Hiroshima Summit(Session 1 (Working Lunch) Toward an International Community Characterized by Cooperation, not Division and Confrontation
On May 19th, the G7 Hiroshima Summit Session 1 (Working Lunch) “Toward an International Community Characterized by Cooperation, not Division and Confrontation / Global Economy” was held from 1:45pm for approximately 80 minutes. Global economy and trade was also discussed during the session. The summary of the session is as follows:
- Prime Minister Kishida stated that the overall main theme of the summit is to confirm the unity of the G7 and strengthen the roles of the G7 toward an international community characterized by cooperation, not division and confrontation, and to demonstrate active and concrete contributions toward this aim. Prime Minister Kishida then stated that he would like to clearly set out as the G7 two pillars, namely upholding the free and open international order based on the rule of law and strengthening outreach with international partners beyond the G7. As a result of discussion, the G7 leaders agreed on the importance of these two perspectives.
- Regarding global economy, Prime Minister Kishida stated that he has advocated an economic policy of a “New Form of Capitalism,” advanced supply-side reforms for sustainable economic growth, emphasized on strengthening “investment in people” along with increasing wages and expanding internal investment, and promoted virtuous cycle of growth and distribution. Through the discussion, the G7 leaders concurred on the importance of close coordination among the G7 as well as the cooperation with international partners towards transition to clean energy economy, reduction of dependency on specific countries, and the making of reliable supply chains.
- Regarding digital, the G7 leaders confirmed the necessity of governance for generative AI and immersive technologies based on the values of the G7. The leaders agreed that they will have ministers in charge discuss generative AI as “Hiroshima AI process,” and have them report the results before the end of this year. Moreover, Prime Minister Kishida stated that he would ask for the G7’s cooperation toward the early establishment of an international framework based on an agreement at the ministerial level to materialize Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT). Based on this discussion, 4.Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan will contribute as Chair, including making suitable financial contributions.
- With regard to trade, Prime Minister Kishida mentioned that the free and fair trade system based on rules centered on the WTO is the foundation of global growth and stability. As a result of discussion, the G7 leaders concurred on the necessity to work toward maintaining and strengthening the free and fair trade system, including in WTO reform.