G7 support for Japan not expected

By Ding Xuezhen Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-11 0:53:01

Some ‘don’t buy’ S.China Sea militarization claim: expert

Japan's move to have an ongoing G7 foreign ministers' meeting in Hiroshima issue a document on the South China Sea and to downplay its image as an invader are not expected to gain support, since they are not in the interest of the countries involved, Chinese observers said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Saturday told visiting British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Beijing ahead of Sunday's meeting that "China hopes Britain will adopt an objective and fair stand on the issue and not take sides," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The G7 foreign ministers' meeting should not hype up the South China Sea issue, the Chinese foreign minister said.

Even if a document on the South China Sea is issued, "the wording probably would not be the same as Japan and the US want it to be," Zhang Lili, director of the International Studies Department at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

Except for Japan and the US, the other G7 member countries have not reached a consensus on the South China Sea issue, Zhang noted.

Zhang added that some countries did not buy Japan's and the US' claim of militarization and damage to navigational freedom in the South China Sea, as "the South China Sea issue was something hyped up."

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday became the highest-ranking US official to visit Hiroshima, one of only two cities destroyed by nuclear weapons in history.

"[Choosing Hiroshima for the meeting] was Japan's attempt to portray itself to the world as a victim [of World War II], especially at an occasion also attended by the US," Wang Pin, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times, adding it was done to influence international opinions,

"Japan always wants to downplay its image as an invader," Wang added.

Obama might visit Hiroshima and deliver a speech during the upcoming G7 Summit in May, the Washington Post reported Saturday, citing an unnamed "senior Obama administration official."

Regardless of Japan's intention, "Obama should discuss the harm and pain caused by nuclear weapons," Wang said, noting that the Hiroshima people were innocent.

The US president should not only underscore the hazards of nuclear weapons but also criticize Japanese aggression during WWII, Wang added.

What the Hiroshima people wish the most is to never see another war, the city's mayor Kazumi Matsui, who has been advocating worldwide nuclear disarmament, told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television on Sunday.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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