Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country will closely monitor the proceedings of an inquiry by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes after speaking with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Tokyo on Saturday.
The meeting between the two leaders took place to lay the groundwork for a G-7 summit to be hosted in Kishida’s home constituency of Hiroshima in May, according to Kyodo News. Germany was the G-7 chair last year.
Scholz also welcomed the ICC’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Putin on Friday for the Russian leader’s alleged role in war crimes involving accusations that Moscow has forcibly deported Ukrainian children to Russia amid its war on Ukraine.
It marks the first time a sitting head of state of a permanent member of the UN Security Council had an arrest warrant issued by The Hague-based court.
The ICC also issued an arrest warrant for the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.
Although neither Russia nor Ukraine are parties to the Rome Statute, which the allegations are in line with, Kyiv grants the ICC authority over war crimes.
At a joint press conference with Scholz following the summit, Kishida said they both agreed that they would never accept Russia’s threat to use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine while committing to continue enforcing sanctions against Moscow.
The G-7, an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies, comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US as well as the European Union.
In the weeks leading up to the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Kishida traveled for a week to the other G-7 nations besides Germany.
In light of mounting concerns that Russia may use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine in the ongoing war, Kishida has been keen to present his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, which was completely destroyed by an American atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945.