Prime Minister Fumio Kishida left for New York on Tuesday to deliver an address at the U.N. General Assembly, with Japan calling for a rules-based international order amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's growing maritime assertiveness.
During the trip, Kishida is also arranging to meet with other leaders gathering for the assembly's one-week general debate session starting the same day, including U.S. President Joe Biden, diplomatic sources said.
"As the international order has been shaken by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I will convey Japan's positions, such as strengthening the role of the United Nations," Kishida said at the prime minister's office before his departure from Tokyo.
His remarks came as concern is growing that the U.N. Security Council has become dysfunctional since Russia -- one of the five permanent members of the principal body to tackle threats to international peace -- launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Kishida may also hold talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in New York, as Tokyo and Seoul try to improve relations that have deteriorated over wartime history and other issues.
In his speech during the U.N. session, Kishida is expected to call for a world free of nuclear weapons. Japan will host next year's Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, where his constituency is located.
The annual U.N. event comes amid the war in Ukraine and tensions over Taiwan, which has divided U.S.-led major democracies, and Russia and China.
The G-7, comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union, has imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
China has been intensifying its military activities in the Indo-Pacific region. It held large-scale, live-fire drills near Taiwan last month following the visit to the self-ruled island by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary, opposes official contact between the island and the United States.
The war in Ukraine has revealed the dysfunction of the U.N. Security Council. Russia vetoed a U.S.-led draft resolution condemning the invasion, with China abstaining from voting.
Kishida will call for reinforcing the roles of the 193-member United Nations and reforming the 15-seat council, Japanese officials said.
In order to increase momentum toward the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Kishida is slated on Wednesday to host a leaders-level meeting of the "Friends of the CTBT" on the sidelines of the U.N. assembly, the officials said. Representatives from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands will also attend.
Kishida is also considering giving a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, according to the officials. He is expected to call for investment in Japan.
Kishida put off his departure initially scheduled for Monday to monitor damage caused by a strong typhoon in Japan.