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Ukraine, China on G7 agenda as Albanese jets to Japan

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will arrive in Japan for the G7 summit and will meet with Quad leaders, including US President Joe Biden, on the sidelines.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Picture: Lukas Coch

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is jetting to Japan as world leaders gather in Hiroshima for a major summit.

Although not a part of the G7 - which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States - Australia has been invited to attend the meeting.

Mr Albanese said he was honoured to participate in the summit, saying Australia's invitation showed the country was "back" as a partner, leader and a force for regional growth and stability.

"This is a vital meeting at a vital moment for the global economy and our region, and it builds on the ambitious agenda for Australia we outlined in last week's Budget," he said, ahead of his arrival on Friday.

"I'm proud to take Australia's seat at a table that represents more than half a trillion dollars a year in trade - supporting Australian businesses, producers, jobs, innovators and industries."

The leaders of Australia, the US, Japan and India are also due to meet on the sidelines of the G7 after a Quad gathering scheduled for next week in Sydney was cancelled.

US President Joe Biden pulled the pin on the quadrilateral talks to deal with urgent negotiations with Congress over the US debt ceiling, sparking concerns his pull out could signal weakness in the Indo-Pacific grouping.

Mr Biden denied his decision was a win for China, whose power the Quad was established to counter.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he hoped the three-day G7 summit would mark a turning point towards peace in the world.

"The city of Hiroshima, where the event will be held, was devastated by the atomic bomb and is a city that is recovering strongly and longing for peace. I want it to be engraved in history," he said.

Mr Albanese will use the forum and a number of bilateral meetings in Japan to discuss climate change, the transition to clean energy and global security and stability.

On Friday, he will visit join the Mayor of Hiroshima in a visit to the city's Peace Park and the Atomic Dome, before meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and the President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The G7 leaders will address Russia's invasion of Ukraine, China's growing military presence in the Pacific, concerns about recent bank collapses and artificial intelligence.

Additional sanctions on Russia and changes to how existing measures have been applied will be on the agenda, as will a crackdown on the evasion of sanctions via third-party nations.

Beijing's envoy in Australia, Xiao Qian, criticised the G7 for negative rhetoric about China, saying the seven nations were focused on their personal interests.

"They are not only targeting China as a so-called threat but also trying to co-ordinate with other countries in the region and globally to contain China," the ambassador said.

He also attacked the Quad as being a bad idea.


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