June 07, 2015

"G-7 members are split in their response to Beijing's [AIIB] initiative."

The Mainichi Group of Seven leaders will start a two-day meeting Sunday in Germany at which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will seek to drum up the major democracies' opposition to attempts by Russia and China to "change the status quo" in Ukraine and the East and South China seas, respectively, by force.

'Drawing parallels between the Ukraine crisis sparked by Russia's annexation of Crimea last year and China's massive land reclamation in disputed waters in the South China Sea, Abe, together with his G-7 peers, is expected to urge Moscow and Beijing to refrain from flexing muscles that escalate tensions with other countries and behave in accordance with international law, according to Japanese officials.

'Japan is not part of claimant states in the South China Sea, but it is embroiled in a row with China over a group of islets in the East China Sea. China has repeatedly been sending official ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in an attempt to undermine Japanese administration of the islands.

'"The situation in Ukraine is shaking the foundation of the basic rules of the international community," a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. "This is a problem not only for Europe, but the whole world including Asia."'

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