Japan's new foreign minister, Yoko Kamikawa, said the Group of Seven nations affirmed their support for Ukraine in its war against Russia during a meeting of top diplomats she chaired on Monday in New York, while arranging further talks in Tokyo in November.
Making her diplomatic debut at an annual session of the U.N. General Assembly, Kamikawa, who replaced Yoshimasa Hayashi in a Cabinet reshuffle last week to become the first woman appointed to the role in about two decades, was chairing her first G-7 gathering.
In the chair's statement issued after the meeting, Kamikawa said the G-7 members "once again reaffirmed their commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes and unequivocally condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia's war of aggression."
"Russia must withdraw its troops and military equipment from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine immediately, completely, and unconditionally," the statement said, criticizing Moscow's threat to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, its neighbor.
Kamikawa, meanwhile, said the G-7 foreign ministers are scheduled to get together in the Japanese capital for two days from Nov. 7. Japan holds the rotating presidency of the grouping of developed economies this year.
"We were able to have candid and in-depth discussions. I was warmly welcomed by the other foreign ministers," Kamikawa told reporters.
At the gathering, Japan explained its work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the safe release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, Kamikawa said.
She said she expressed gratitude to the G-7 countries for their understanding of the water discharge.
Earlier in the day, Kamikawa and IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi signed a cooperation document between Japan and the U.N. nuclear watchdog on the water release from the Fukushima plant, which was damaged by a devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2011.
The G-7 foreign ministers also exchanged views on China's increasing military and economic clout in the Indo-Pacific region, with the statement calling for the "peaceful resolution" of issues surrounding the Taiwan Strait.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party regards self-ruled democratic Taiwan as a renegade province to be united with the mainland, by force if necessary. Beijing and Taipei split in 1949 as a result of a civil war.
On Russia's war against Ukraine, which it launched in February 2022, the statement urged China to "press Russia to stop its military aggression" and support a "just and lasting peace, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine."
On the regional front, the G-7 members "strongly condemned" North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development programs in defiance of Security Council resolutions, putting pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearize.
With President Vladimir Putin's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia last week apparently in mind, the statement said the G-7 ministers "shared concerns" that the two leaders' cooperation could "undermine the peace and security of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond."
Putin and Kim met as the two nations aim to expand their military collaboration to aid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The gathering of the representatives of Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, came after face-to-face talks in Germany in February, in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa in April, and in Britain in June.