Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that Japan will carefully monitor the developments of an investigation against Russian President Vladimir Putin after holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Tokyo.

Scholz also said he supports the International Criminal Court's issuance Friday of an arrest warrant for Putin on the grounds he has overseen the war crime of forcible deportation of Ukrainian children during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It was the first time that the court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state of a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a party to the court, but Kyiv allows ICC jurisdiction over war crimes.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hold a joint press conference at Kishida's office in Tokyo on March 18, 2023. (Kyodo)

Kishida said at a joint press conference after the summit with Scholz that they have shared the view that they will never tolerate Russia's threat to use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine while pledging to continue imposing sanctions on Moscow.

The meeting came as Japan, which holds this year's Group of Seven presidency, seeks to lay the groundwork for a G-7 summit to be hosted in Kishida's home constituency of Hiroshima in May. Germany was the G-7 chair last year.

The G-7 also involves Britain, Canada, France, Italy and the United States, plus the European Union. In January, Kishida made a weeklong trip to the G-7 countries other than Germany in the run-up to the summit in the western Japan city.

Kishida has been eager to pitch his vision of a world without nuclear weapons at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in August 1945, amid growing fears that Russia might use a nuclear device against Ukraine in the ongoing war.

During the meeting on Saturday, Kishida and Scholz confirmed that they will join hands to pave the way for the success of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima.

The two leaders also agreed that Japan and Germany will work together to reform the United Nations, as they have expressed a willingness to become permanent members of the Security Council of the international organization.

Russia is one of the five veto-wielding permanent council members, along with Britain, China, France and the United States. All are nuclear powers.

Some critics have claimed that the council has appeared dysfunctional, particularly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Meanwhile, Japan and Germany held their first high-level intergovernmental talks on Saturday in Tokyo.

The countries confirmed that they will bolster their economic security cooperation in the mineral and semiconductor fields to strengthen supply chains in the face of China's increasing military and economic influences across the globe.

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