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."'