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2014年6月 7日 (土)

G7首脳宣言 国際法秩序の維持へ結束せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
G-7 declaration rightly points out need for keeping intl rules intact
G7首脳宣言 国際法秩序の維持へ結束せよ

Acts in direct violation of the international community’s established rules should never be tolerated. It is highly commendable that major powers have put forth an unequivocal message expressing that conviction.

Brussels hosted a summit meeting of the Group of Seven industrially advanced countries on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the close of the summit, the group issued the Brussels G-7 Summit Declaration, condemning Russia for “continuing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine through the annexation in March of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Russia has been maneuvering to make its annexation of Crimea, an act in violation of international law, a fait accompli, while continuing to destabilize the eastern regions of Ukraine. It is more than reasonable that the G-7 major industrialized countries moved to criticize Russia in the declaration.

The Brussels declaration of the G-7 leaders expresses their commitment to supporting the reborn country of Ukraine. While urging Russia toward constructive dialogue with the Ukrainian government, the declaration intones the possibility of G-7 nations imposing further economic sanctions on Russia, depending on the actions Russia takes from this point on.

To bring this conflict to a resolution, it is crucial for the G-7 countries to be firmly united in dealing with Russia and to adopt a two-pronged approach of dialogue and pressure.

Although the declaration stops short of naming any specific country, it states that the G-7 leaders “are deeply concerned” over the current state of affairs in the East and South China seas, where China has been following a policy of strong-arm maritime advances. The declaration is explicit over the importance of securing the freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law, stating, “We oppose any unilateral attempt by any party... through the use of intimidation, coercion or force.”

G-7 still important

At the summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe linked the issue of China’s maritime assertiveness to that of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, stressing, “We mustn’t allow attempts to change the status quo by force in any part of the world.” It is very significant that the prime minister’s view is shared by all of the G-7 leaders.

The need to push China away from its current heavy-handed diplomatic postures is a challenge that must be taken up jointly by the international community. All countries concerned should work in close cooperation, centering on the G-7 major nations in tackling this challenge.

The G-7 also strongly condemned North Korea at the meeting for continuing its nuclear weaponry and missile development programs. The declaration further urges Pyongyang to address its human rights violations immediately, including the abduction of Japanese nationals.

Japan must firmly maintain its stance of seeking a comprehensive solution to the abduction problem and Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development programs, while continuing to strengthen the country’s cooperation with the international community in resolving these issues.

This summit meeting was limited to the leaders of G-7 countries, excluding Russia.

In 1997, following the Cold War’s end, Russia was officially admitted to the group, which thereby expanded to become the Group of Eight forum of major countries. The schism between the G-7 and Russia, however, has gradually widened over differences concerning Georgia, Syria and other issues. This has led to Russian President Vladimir Putin adopting an increasingly confrontational stance toward the United States in recent years.

Because of the rise of China, India and other emerging economies, the relative influence of the G-7 has been waning. The broader Group of 20 comprising 19 major countries and a region, however, remains largely incapable of reaching meaningful agreements because the members tend to be excessively assertive of their own interests.

The present and future role of the G-7 countries, which hold in common the values of freedom and democracy, remains large. Their dialogues with Russia going forward are essential to the stability of the international community.

The G-7 is at a historic turning point as an organization, and the way that it addresses the Ukrainian crisis and issues with China is likely to be a major touchstone.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2014)


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