It remains unclear whether he will attend a Friday meeting of the Quad nations, consisting of the US and Australia, alongside India, according to the official, who asked not to be identified in line with policy.
Japan’s top diplomat won’t attend the G-20
According to a government official, Japanese Foreign Affairs minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is unlikely to attend a meeting of the G-20 foreign ministers in India starting on Wednesday since he will be more focused on legislative business.
The requested anonymity in accordance with policy, it is still unknown whether he will attend a Friday gathering of the Quad nations, which also include Australia and the US along with India. The reports indicated that a deputy minister will likely be sent in his place.
It might anger the Group of 20 host India to keep the foreign minister at town for a domestic issue. As concerns about China’s forceful behaviour in the region and Russia’s war in Ukraine deepen, Japan is making the move as part of efforts to strengthen military and other relations with Narendra Modi’s administration.
As Japan gets ready to host the Group of Seven summit in May, the revelation drew condemnation from lawmakers and the general public on social media. Some claimed it was a missed opportunity to demonstrate leadership. When Modi visited Tokyo in September, he met with current premier Fumio Kishida and attended the official funeral for former prime minister Shinzo Abe.
The Kishida administration has made strengthening ties with India a top priority as it looks for allies other than its lone contractual ally, the US, to combat security concerns posed by countries like China. A well-known format for collaboration is the quad. As a rebuttal to Beijing, which has denounced the group as a “clique” that might ignite a new Cold War, it has gained prominence in recent years.
Japan and India conducted their first joint military air exercises in January and Kishida’s administration is making preparations to welcome Australia and India to the G-7 summit in May to discuss topics like Ukraine, nuclear disarmament, and climate change.
Goshi Hosono, a senator for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said on Twitter that the decision was regretful because it “means forfeiting a chance to underline the significance of the rule of law to the developing nations that participate in the G-20.”
Hosono noted that such decisions to favour parliament over diplomacy were frequently made to appease the ruling parties. Hosono had previously been a member of the opposition Democratic Party. On the sidelines of the meeting, Hayashi had previously scheduled bilateral meetings with some of his peers.
The decision not to go will harm Japan’s foreign policy and convey the false impression that Tokyo values just the G-7.
Later on Tuesday, Japan’s lower house of parliament is anticipated to approve the budget and send it up for debate in the upper house. The first meetings of the budget committee, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, are normally attended by all cabinet members.