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China and regional security topping agenda when G7 leaders meet

May 26, 2016 - JAPAN

The G7 summit in Japan will be the first for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the last for U.S. President Barack Obama.

The venue offers logistical advantages while manifesting the prime minister's reported dedication to the Ise Shrine in Mie.

Japan's intended focus on Asian security expresses its concerns about China. Its 2015 Defense of Japan White Paper explicitly identifies China as Japan's biggest security threat, particularly with regards to growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and ongoing military buildup.

The Diplomat notes that the home of the Ise Shrine has security advantages, as it regularly hosted visits by both the Imperial family and Japanese political leaders. It is also close to Chubu International Airport, offering easy access.

The publication, which specializes in Asian current affairs, also points out that the prime minister has long had a fascination with the shrine, which is dedicated to the ancestral deities of the Japanese Imperial family. He visits it every year.

The G7 has united against Putin, and he has been barred from the group - the G8 when it included Russia - since his annexation of Crimea in Mar 2014. The 2015 summit in Germany issued a joint communique that warned Russia it would face increased sanctions for its Ukraine "aggression."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin gets an invitation "is undecided yet," according to Indian television network NDTV.

The G7 groups France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Japan Announces Dates for G7 Summit in 2016 (NDTV 23 Jun 2015)

G7 2016 Summit to Be Held at Site of Mie's Ise Shrine (The Diplomat 20 Jul 2015)

G7 (Germany Gov.)

Date written/update: 2015-08-19