Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to attend a major international security forum next month in Singapore, Japanese government sources said Saturday.
If realized, the attendance of a Japanese prime minister at the annual meeting from June 10 to 12 will be the first since 2014, when his predecessor Shinzo Abe took part in the Asian security summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.
The government will make a final decision after examining upcoming events in parliament, including deliberations over a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year from April, the sources said.
At the international conference, Kishida is likely to express opposition to the use of force to change the status quo amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's increasing maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas.
He is also expected to call on participants, including defense chiefs from the Asia Pacific region, to cooperate in realizing a "free and open Indo-Pacific."
The annual event will be attended by defense ministers and military-related personnel mainly from the Asia Pacific region to discuss regional situations and defense cooperation.
The conference is held every year in Singapore, sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank. But the gathering was canceled the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.