Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Sunday that it is important to maintain the existing membership of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, a framework U.S. President Donald Trump has called "very outdated."
"It's very important to keep the G-7 framework itself, and I believe this is an overall consensus," Motegi said on a TV program.
The comment comes after news that Japan has objected to a suggestion by Trump of adding South Korea among other nations to the Group of Seven summit. According to diplomatic sources, Tokyo told Washington that Seoul is not in lockstep with G-7 members on China and North Korea issues.
The U.S. president in May broached the idea of inviting Australia, India and Russia along with South Korea to this year's summit that he will preside over, as he believes the current membership does not properly represent the global situation.
The G-7 members are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.
Motegi's remark follows a comment by Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga earlier in the month that the G-7 is an "important framework" for coordination in tackling global challenges.
Russia joined G-7 members in the Group of Eight but was dropped from the framework following an international outcry over its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Aside from the G-7, the Group of 20 nations held its inaugural meeting in 1999 when its finance ministers and central bank governors gathered. G-20 members, comprising the G-7 nations and emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China as well as Australia, South Korea and other countries, began holding summits following the 2008 financial crisis.