(BGF) – At a joint interview with Nihon Keizai Shinbun and The Financial Times, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, underscored his belief that the G7 nations should lead the destabilizing world on a path to peace.
Prime Minister Abe added that cooperation with Russia is indispensable when it comes to combating extremists such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and in dealing with Middle Eastern instability. He has expressed strong interest in visiting Russia before the next G7 convention (Ise Shima Summit) that convenes in May.
He told journalists that the international situation is becoming increasingly unstable due to the rise of ISIS and confusion in Middle East. As the U.S. is becoming more passive in dealing with international affairs, there have been more incidences of international law violations such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and China’s expansion in the South China Sea.
The Prime Minister suggested that the G7 Isa Shima Summit cover the uncertain world economy, terrorism, North Korea, problems in the Middle East, radicalism, climate change and the world’s poverty stricken population. He urged G7 countries to act in unity to show the world a course of positive action.
He emphasized that the G7 Summit is the place where the champions of freedom, fundamental human rights, and governance by law, and universal rights meet. He acknowledged, however, that it is becoming more difficult for the G7 to solve the problems of terrorism and instability in the Middle East as well as to call for self-restraint by China and Russia. With this in mind, the Prime Minister considers it essential for G7 countries, that share the common values, to unite under the leadership of the United States.
To deal with tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as the war between Syria and ISIS, it is important, not only to have G7 involvement, but to have constructive involvement by Russia as well. With this in mind Prime Minister Abe suggested he visits Russia or that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visits Japan to further this objective.
He also questioned China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea and the one- sided development of natural resources in the East China Sea. The threats China poses to world order are unforgivable, he said adding, that Japan will join in a united front with its allies on this issue.
On the Chinese economy, Prime Minister Abe noted that although fluctuations of RMB and share price in China are wide, the economy is steady and looks forward to steady economic growth.
With regard to North Korea’s nuclear test, he said Japan would deliver a resolution in the U.N. calling for effective measures to dissuade North Korea from such actions. Japan will also establish stricter sanctions of its own in response to the nuclear tests. He also said the stage for a meeting with Kim is not yet set and denied any plans to meet Kim Jung Un.
Reducing deflation, which has been a major goal since the start of Abe’s second term in office, is expected to occur over time, he said.
Regarding the need for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan (BoJ), he said that the BoJ and the Government will try their best but the bases are still the policies set out in the three “arrows” of Abenomics.
He considers it is important to increase the productivity through reforms to achieve the three major targets, one of which is 600 trillion yen GDP.
Mr. Katuyoshi Kondoh of Nihon Keizai and Mr. Lionel Barbar of FT conducted the interview, which have since become the same media group.