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Japan to watch developments of investigation against Putin: Kishida

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that Japan will carefully monitor the developments of an investigation against Russian President Vladimir Putin after holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Tokyo.

The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Putin on the grounds he has overseen the war crime of forcible deportation of Ukrainian children during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kishida also said at a joint press conference after the summit with Scholz that they have shared the view that they will never tolerate Russia’s threat to use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine while pledging to continue imposing sanctions on Moscow.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hold a joint press conference at Kishida’s official residence in Tokyo on March 18, 2023. (Kyodo)

The meeting came as Japan, which holds this year’s Group of Seven presidency, seeks to lay the groundwork for the G-7 summit to be hosted in Kishida’s home constituency of Hiroshima in May. Germany was the G-7 chair last year.

The G-7 also involves Britain, Canada, France, Italy and the United States, plus the European Union. In January, Kishida made a weeklong trip to the G-7 countries other than Germany in the run-up to the summit in the western Japan city.

Kishida has been eager to pitch his vision of a world without nuclear weapons at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in August 1945, amid growing fears that Russia might use a nuclear device against Ukraine in the ongoing war.

Meanwhile, Japan and Germany held their first high-level intergovernmental talks Saturday.

Related coverage:

International court issues war crime warrant against Putin over Ukraine

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