Ahead of the 2023 G7 Summit in Hiroshima, the Mansfield Foundation gathered fourteen young people from Japan and the United States to discuss their hopes for the summit and the issues of importance to the youth of the two countries.
These participants—graduate students and young professionals with an interest in a range of international policy issues—concluded with a workshop aimed at producing their vision for a G7 Leaders’ Statement, a consensus document traditionally produced by the host nation at the conclusion of each G7 Summit.
The following statement was edited for clarity by Mansfield Foundation staff:
We, youth leaders from Japan and the United States, gathered in Washington DC on March 22, 2023 ahead of the May 2023 of the Group of Seven (G7) Leaders Summit in Hiroshima, to share issues of importance for the youth of our countries.
Of primary importance to us is the preservation of democratic values. We are convinced that these values make us stronger in tackling global challenges and working towards shared goals. The G7 and our bilateral relationship are built upon the strength of these values. As Japanese and Americans, we view Indo-Pacific cooperation in strengthening democratic values as critical to driving economic security.
These democratic values include strengthening the institutions that allow free and fair elections at the domestic level. We support the G7’s pledge to work with civil society and our partners internationally to strengthen the resilience of our democracies, as laid out in the 2022 Resilient Democracies Statement.
We support the importance of people-to-people relations across nations. We pledge cooperation with China and all countries on the basis of the rule of law.
At our summit, we broadly recognized two additional themes of great importance to the youth of our nations: global security and ensuring a free and sustainable world. We hope to see our leaders address the following issues:
- Sovereignty and the rules-based international order
- Nuclear non-proliferation and condemning the threat of nuclear use
- Dispute resolution through peaceful and diplomatic means
- Emerging technologies and cybersecurity
- Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
- Energy access and security
- Stable economic growth
- Human rights
- Global infrastructure investment
Our wishes for how our two countries may address these issues are as follows:
- We affirm our commitment to supporting Ukraine’s success in ensuring its territorial integrity and sovereignty and human security and the well-being of peoples around the world. The baseline for international relations is the rules-based international order, and we vehemently oppose attacks on this method. As such, we support the International Court of Justice and further efforts to bring those responsible for crimes against humanity, including the systematic torture and killing of civilians in occupied regions, to justice under the order of international human rights law.We hope G7 states will continue to jointly seek to prevent arms shipments from third countries to Russia and continue to take measures against those that “materially support Russia’s war against Ukraine,” as the G7 foreign ministers have previously indicated.
- We condemn Russia’s threats of nuclear use against Ukraine and non-nuclear armed countries and bolster our commitment to nonproliferation around the world. We also condemn the nuclear weapon development and testing by North Korea, Iran, and other actors. We are united in our resolve to strengthen the nonproliferation treaty (NPT). We urge Iran to restore full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forever ingrained in the world’s memory, serve as stark reminders that the 76-year record of non-use of nuclear weapons must be maintained. Youth from Japan, as the only nation to have suffered atomic bombings in war, is joined by partners from the United States in wholly reaffirming their countries’ commitment to the NPT, which has been the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament for 51 years since coming into force.We hope our countries will continue the Hiroshima Action Plan’s core tenets of: recognizing the importance of a continued record of the non-use of nuclear weapons; seeking transparency of nuclear forces and the disclose of fissile material; maintaining the decreasing trend of global nuclear stockpiles; securing nuclear non-proliferation and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and promoting accurate understanding of the realities of nuclear weapons.
- We emphasize our countries’ commitment to resolving global security conflicts through peaceful and diplomatic means, as well as aligning deterrence capabilities to address threats and uphold the rules-based international order. Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, North Korea’s ongoing provocations, and growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait represent some of the most significant threats to international peace and security.We remain concerned about maritime security, particularly in and around the East and South China Seas. We strongly oppose any moves that increase tensions and undermine regional stability and the rules-based international order. We welcome the G7’s emphasis on the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We hope to see universal respect for the sovereign rights of each country’s Exclusive Economic Zones in accordance with international law.
- With the increase of cyber-attacks and ransomware attacks, we hope to see governments take decisive and robust measures in close cooperation against malicious use of emerging technologies and cyberspace both by states and non-state actors, including terrorists. We wish our governments to foster enabling environments by adopting transparent policy and legal frameworks that focus on improving connectivity and accessibility around the world for social and economic benefit, by promoting interoperability through information and communications technologies (ICT) standards.We encourage all countries to develop global and multilateral data security guidelines on cybersecurity and information security to combat disinformation. We hope our countries play a role in updating the UN Security Council’s International Cyber Stability Framework of 2021.We wish to see further implementation of the Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) framework, to realize cross-border free flow of data while addressing concerns over privacy, data protection, intellectual property rights, and security. We support establishing the Institutional Arrangement for Partnership and note Minister Kono Taro’s ideas on a bottom-up policy approach with private partners engaged in the effort. We recognize the importance of further progress based on the 2022 DFFT Action Plan.
- We affirm our commitment to combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report emphasizes the alarming need for urgent action to implement and go beyond the Paris Agreement. We call for strengthened investment and development in renewables, clean energy, and decarbonization.We celebrate our countries’ leadership in sustainable infrastructure and see potential in the continuation or expansion of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.We welcome our countries’ resolve to further collaboration via the International Climate Club established December 2022 and to work towards expanding the club’s structure and work via cooperating with our international partners including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). We support the Asia Zero Emission Policy, sustainable infrastructure, and sustainable urban development.With an eye toward cutting the use of carbon-based energy, the youth of Japan note that nuclear energy will be unavoidable to support the country’s energy mix. With such technologies and energy infrastructure taking a decade to implement, our Japanese delegation urges policies to restart and rebuild power plants right now while implementing ways to listen to domestic constituents.
- While ensuring access to energy worldwide, we resolve to strengthen and fortify energy access and security especially in the face of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. We hope the G7 countries will continue efforts to phase out Russia’s gas and hydrocarbon reserves from their domestic markets while considering how to minimize the impact on our economies and the economies of low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, we hope our countries will continue to support other countries with diversifying their energy supplies for collective energy resilience.
- We remain committed to a stability- and growth-oriented macroeconomic policy mix, which ensures sustainability of public finances and preserves the resilience of the financial sector while improving gender equality and inclusion. A tenet of a stable global economy includes effectively managed debt, and we wish our countries to commit to improving multilateral frameworks for debt restructuring.We also stand by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in facilitating a flourishing environment for global trade and efficient supply chains. Moving forward, we wish to see reform to our economic institutions in ways that reflect the needs of all nations to strengthen a free and fair system of economic growth.While maintaining the core influence of international entities including the WTO, we welcome the G7 finance ministers’ backing of a global corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent and hope for a future where economies compete by providing safe and sustainable environments for workers, rather than by racing to the bottom of corporate tax rates.
- We support the human rights and civil liberties of peoples across the world, noting that the particular restrictions on women’s rights in Afghanistan, the persecution of minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet, and the jailing and persecution of democracy activists in Russia, Belarus, and Myanmar among others affect the wellbeing and stability of all nations. Instability exacerbates the threat of trafficking in human beings. We call on G7 leadership to model enforcement of existing policies which uphold human rights and push forward new global policies upholding democracy, freedom of speech, and ensuring the rights and equality of all.Human rights require efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our countries should continue female empowerment efforts, with a specific focus on increasing female representatives in government. We wish to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ people and encourage our countries to smooth out the legal, social, and economic conditions that discriminate against these individuals.
- Due to the effects of climate change, and the blockage of food exports due to the Russian attacks on Ukraine, the growing food crisis has furthered instability and food insecurity worldwide, particularly impacting those in emerging economies. We recognize the importance of rapid response and investment in healthcare infrastructure to those countries deeply affected. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for global health collaboration is more critical than ever and we wish our countries to expand and strengthen worldwide public health networks and infrastructures, utilizing the G7 Pact for Pandemic readiness as a guideline, ensuring the development, production, and accessibility of vaccines and other medical resources. We recognize the importance of inclusive access to healthcare for all.
- We urge the G7 nations to honor their commitment to jointly allocate $600 billion by 2027 through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) to support global investment in quality infrastructure to promote economic prosperity. The G7 nations have acknowledged the need for more rapid and expansive infrastructure development in emerging economies across regions including Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. We also acknowledge the need to support decarbonization in the infrastructure sector and pledge to prioritize investments that will contribute to achieving national decarbonization goals in collaboration with partner countries.
This statement was edited for clarity by Mansfield Foundation staff. The Mansfield Foundation has attempted to accurately present the key findings from the workshop and capture the consensus of the group. This may or may not reflect the views of any individual. The views expressed herein may not reflect the views of the organizations with which participants are affiliated; all members of the workshop attended in their personal capacity. Conversations were conducted off-the-record to ensure an open and supportive environment.
- Participants List
- Chihiro Aita, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
Vivian Chen, Federal Employee
Amanda Earls, Graduate Student, M.A. in Asian Studies at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs
Ihechiluru Ezuruonye, Federal Employee
Dustin Hinkley, Graduate Student, M.A. in International Affairs at the American University School of International Service
Sayo Ishihara, Student in International Relations, Hitotsubashi University
Jung Seob “Scott” Kim, Graduate Student, Master in Cybersecurity at New York University Tandon School of Engineering
Meredith Maimoni, Graduate Student, MBA & Master of Science in Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan
Kenji Nagayoshi, Graduate Student, M.A. in International Affairs at the American University School of International Service
Rintaro Nishimura, Graduate Student, M.A. in Asian Studies at Georgetown University
Hideki Tomoshige, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Monica Weller, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Chelsea Suzuko Uchida Wells, Graduate Student, M.A. in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Miyu Yamanaka, Graduate Student, MPA at Columbia University/MPP at the University of Tokyo