Deputy Foreign Minister Kenji Yamada is scheduled to visit New Delhi, India, to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from March 1 to 3, read Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.
“At this meeting, we will take our position and efforts as Japan, the G7 presidency, on important issues in the current international situation, such as multilateralism, food and energy security, and development cooperation, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues,” said Kenji. The development comes after Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi skipped G20 meeting due to a scheduling conflict with a Diet (Japan’s parliament) session.
The news sparked criticism from lawmakers and members of the public on social media, who said it was a lost opportunity to show leadership as Japan prepares to host the Group of Seven summit in May.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan in September to attend the state funeral for former Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and also held talks with his successor Fumio Kishida.
“It’s a regrettable decision that means forfeiting a chance to emphasize the importance of the rule of law to the developing countries that take part in G-20,” Goshi Hosono, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker said on Twitter.
Bolstering ties with India has been a priority for the Kishida government as it seeks partners beyond its sole treaty ally, the US, to counter security threats posed by the likes of China.
The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) is scheduled to take place in physical format from March 1-2, 2023 in New Delhi under India’s presidency.
The New Delhi meeting will be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
Prime Minister Modi is expected to address the foreign ministers of the member countries of G20 and he will talk about India’s growing influence globally.