MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The meeting is set to focus on countering terrorism, nuclear disarmament and shipping security, as well as addressing the crisis in Ukraine, Middle Eastern refugees, economic problems and the regional South China Sea dispute.
The ministerial meeting is part of preparations for the G7 leaders meeting due to be held between May 26-27 on an island in the Mie prefecture, near the city of Shima.
The G7 currently consists of Germany, the United States, Canada, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.
A press conference is due to take place at the close of the summit on Monday.
South China Sea
Territorial disputes are expected to be addressed even though Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed ahead of the meeting that the G7 ministerial should not focus on disputed territories.
The South China Sea contains a number of disputed islands. The Paracel Islands are controlled by China while being claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The Spratly Islands are contested by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Japan has vowed to raise the South China Sea issue in Hiroshima, while South Korea was reportedly weary of the move due to Japan's own claims over Liancourt Rocks (Tokto islands), controlled by Korea and located in the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
Last year's G7 summit in Germany discussed the anti-Russian sanctions imposed in the wake of Crimea's secession from Ukraine and rejoining with Russia, as well as the alleged Russian rule in the conflict in east Ukraine.
Earlier on Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the G7 member states would consider Russia’s role in settling international conflicts next year and would decide on conditions for the country’s return to the Group of Eight. The resolution of most conflicts is impossible without Russia, he added.
The issue of Ukraine will be raised once more. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived in Japan ahead of the meeting, holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Speaking at the Japan National Press Club, the Ukrainian president called on Japan and other G7 countries to influence Russia's policy toward Ukraine. Japan, which had joined anti-Russian sanctions, agreed to include the Ukrainian issue on the G7 agenda.
The internationally-brokered Minsk peace deal was later signed, with the European Union and the United States insisting on the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions being subject to the fulfillment of the deal.
North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb in early January and put a satellite into orbit a month later, violating UN Security Council resolutions and triggering condemnation from the international community.
"In such a time, it is important to send a clear signal on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said earlier in April.
Japan's foreign minister has proposed discussing the most urgent international issues, chiefly terrorism and extremism, Japanese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yasuhisa Kawamura told RIA Novosti after initials talks.
"Ministers taking part in the meeting have discussed chaotic attacks and cruel actions conducted by terrorists, as well as resolving for the G7 to come forward with an initiative to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against terror and violent extremism," Kawamura said.
The ministers have confirmed a united stance on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and the peace process in the Middle East, he added.