Japanese Prime Minister Abe said Japan welcomed China’s peaceful rise, while repeating Tokyo’s opposition to acts that try to change the status quo by force and urging respect of the rule of law — principles expected to be mentioned in a statement after the summit.
“Japan Prime Minister Abe led discussion on the current situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Other G7 leaders said it is necessary for G7 to issue a clear signal,” said Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying retorted in Beijing that the South China Sea issue had “nothing to do” with the G7 or any of its members.
“China is resolutely opposed to individual countries hyping up the South China Sea for personal gain,” she said.
President Barack Obama called on China to resolve the sea disputes peacefully, reiterating that the U.S. was simply concerned about freedom of navigation and overflight in the region.
According to President Obama, “It’s something that we’ve put at the center of discussions and negotiations with China”.