Science ministers from the Group of Seven countries confirmed Saturday that inappropriate diversion of research results, including for military purposes, is a growing concern, with security risks mounting worldwide in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In a joint statement released after their two-day meeting, the G-7 ministers condemned Moscow's aggression against its neighbor for threatening the international order based on the rule of law amid fears about the potential illicit diversion of weapons by Russia.

Sanae Takaichi, Japan's minister in charge of science and technology policy, attends a press conference following a two-day meeting of the Group of Seven science ministers in Sendai, northeastern Japan, on May 13, 2023. (Kyodo)

The science and technology representatives of the G-7 gathered in Sendai, northeastern Japan, to promote the global sharing of research benefits while safeguarding each member nation's national and economic security.

"We share a growing concern that some actors may attempt to unfairly exploit or distort the open research environment and misappropriate research results for economic, strategic, geopolitical, or military purposes," the communique said.

The statement added, "We also acknowledge that science, technology, and innovation will play a key role in rebuilding Ukraine as a modern and sustainable economy."

At a press conference after the gathering, Sanae Takaichi, Japan's minister in charge of science and technology policy, said each country has a sense of crisis regarding security risks as the international situation is becoming more challenging.

Takaichi, chair of the meeting, emphasized the importance of implementing appropriate risk mitigation measures by the G-7 and other partners in a bid to foster continuous and safe international cooperation in research.

At their talks, meanwhile, the science chiefs called for urgent action for the safe and sustainable use of outer space, given the rising number of satellites and the diversity of extraterrestrial activities, which have led to an accumulation of debris in Earth's orbit.

The G-7 ministers said in the communique, "We strongly encourage further research and development of orbital debris mitigation and remediation technologies."

The agreement comes as Russia's antisatellite missile tests have generated a lot of debris in recent years, posing a danger, along with the remnants from a Chinese rocket last year that plunged uncontrollably back to Earth and re-entered the atmosphere.

The G-7 science and technology ministers also said the development and governance of emerging and breakthrough technologies are key to resolving social challenges through innovation.

The chiefs agreed that artificial intelligence, quantum and other cutting-edge technologies are vital to the green and digital transition, as well as economic and national security.