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G7 nations back strong supply chains for energy, food

TOKYO (AP) – Trade and economy officials from the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy democracies strengthened their pledge yesterday to work together to ensure smooth supply chains for essentials like energy and food despite global uncertainties.

The nations promised to maintain “a free and fair trading system based on the rule of law and enhancing economic resilience and economic security”, officials said in a joint statement.

Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who co-hosted the two-day event in the western city of Osaka, pointed to Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Hamas war as the latest threats to stable energy and food supplies.

“We nations that share important values have a position of responsibility amid growing uncertainties,” she said in closing the meeting, stressing democracy, inclusiveness and human rights.

Worries are growing among developed nations about maintaining a stable supply of computer chips as well as essential minerals, like lithium, which are critical these days amid the demand for electric vehicles and other green energy.

Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and the Japanese minister in charge of trade and the economy Yasutoshi Nishimura at the G-7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Osaka, western Japan. PHOTO: AP

The G7 includes the United States (US), Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.

The European Union, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia and Kenya were invited to take part in the two-day meeting, as were economic organisations such as the World Trade Organization.

The participants discussed how trade policy can contribute to tackling climate change, strengthening food security, promoting digital trade and working toward sustainable development.

The Japanese minister in charge of trade and the economy Yasutoshi Nishimura said G7 nations expressed support and understanding for Japan’s position, stressing the safety of Japanese food based on scientific evidence, including that from Fukushima. Japan will continue to press for the food bans to end, he told reporters. Nishimura also said the guest nations that took part in the G7 meeting, including Australia and India, were potentially powerful allies in strengthening the supply chain in valuable materials.

Bilateral agreements on the sidelines included one between Britain and Japan to work together on mineral-supply chains that both sides said were essential to achieve clean energy and effective national defence.

Kamikawa also met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and reaffirmed bilateral ties in support of “the free and fair economic order”, and traded notes about the importance of women playing bigger roles on the G7 stage.

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