Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries are meeting in France.
North Korea, Iran and cyber-security are among the main topics at the two-day meeting, which opened in the Atlantic resort of Dinard on Friday.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the G7 meeting a special opportunity to respond to peoples’ concerns over global peace and security.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not taking part in the event; his deputy, John J. Sullivan, is attending instead. It’s not known why Pompeo skipped the meeting.
Observers say it reflects the Trump administration’s intent to downplay the importance of the G7 forum.
Attention is focused on whether the participants can reach a consensus on Iran, Syria and other divisive issues.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono is expected to raise China’s Belt and Road initiative as a topic for discussion.
He’s hoping to confirm cooperation with other G7 members to deal with China’s maritime activities, as well as its practices on intellectual property rights.
Kono also hopes to reaffirm the importance of maintaining pressure on North Korea to seek its denuclearization.
He will also ask the G7 to support an early resolution of the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals.