Home > News >
G7 Hiroshima Summit Report

G7 Hiroshima Summit Report

From May 19 to 21, 2023, the G7 Hiroshima Summit was held under Japan’s presidency in the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima, Peace Memorial Park, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and Itsukushima Shrine, among other venues. Congrès Inc. was in charge of the venue set-up and operation of the Summit.

The G7 Summit is an international forum held annually for the leaders of the G7 member states of France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada (in order of rotating presidency), and the European Union (EU).
The first Summit was held in November 1975 at the Chateau de Rambouillet (located on the outskirts of Paris), with participation from six countries—France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Italy. Since then, Summits have been held annually with revolving Presidency.
(Source: G7 Hiroshima Summit official site)

Japan has held the presidency six times in the past, and this year marks the seventh time.

G7 Hiroshima Summit started with Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio and Mrs. KISHIDA, the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, welcoming the G7 leaders and spouses at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. They then visited and looked around the Museum about 40 minutes. It was the first time that the G7 leaders visited there together. After that, they wrote down their resolve and hopes for peace in the guest book and participated in the flower laying ceremony at the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims on the grounds of the Peace Memorial Park.
At the Summit meeting at the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima, the G7 leaders released the “G7 Leaders Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament,” which is the first their document with a particular focus on nuclear disarmament.

After the meeting, G7 leaders visited Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima for the Working Dinner at a long-established ryokan, “Iwaso.” They discussed foreign and security policy while enjoying “Washoku” (Japanese cuisine) that made the most of ingredients from across Hiroshima Prefecture and the Seto Inland Sea, along with Japanese sake and wine made in Hiroshima.

On the second day, May 20, in addition to the Summit meeting, G7 leaders along with the 8 invited countries and 7 invited international organizations held meetings, where they discussed issues of common global concern related to food, health, development, gender, climate/energy and the environment, etc.
Without waiting for the final day, the “G7 Leaders’ Statement” was announced, which stated the commitment to strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law, continuing support for Ukraine, and pursuing a realistic and pragmatic, responsible approach towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

On the final day, May 21, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy joined as a guest, and meetings between the G7 leaders, invited country leaders and Ukraine were held. President Zelenskyy was initially scheduled to participate online, but he changed his plans at the last minute and decided to attend the meetings face to face. He also had bilateral meetings with leaders of various countries, and it proved to be an opportunity that reaffirmed for all the quintessential, great sifnificance of face to face international conferences.

The G7 Hiroshima Summit concluded successfully with a press conference by Prime Minister KISHIDA, the summit’s chair, at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

G7 Hiroshima Summit Partners’ Program

On the occasion of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, a full program was also planned for the partners of the G7 Summit leaders and representatives of the invited countries.
On the first day, May 19, the partners of the G7 Summit Leaders visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, participated in a flower laying ceremony at the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims in the park, and then visited the Ueda Sōko Ryū Wafudo. At the luncheon hosted by Mrs. KISHIDA Yuko, the spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, Mrs. KISHIDA expressed her hope that the guests would enjoy the seasonal delicacies of the “Kaiseki” style cuisine making the most of the local ingredients from Hiroshima, along with the dishes and presentation featuring seasonal motifs. After the luncheon, the guests experienced a tea ceremony performed by the grandmaster of the Ueda Sōko Ryū, a warrior-style Japanese tea ceremony tradition with a long history. Mrs. KISHIDA gave an explanation on the steps in serving and drinking tea during a tea ceremony, and a friendly mood prevailed as the partners enjoyed a bowl of tea together.

Thereafter, the partners participated in the “Next-Generation Symposium” held at the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, where they engaged in discussions with young people from Hiroshima on peacebuilding. Following the symposium, Mrs. KISHIDA, the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, hosted dinner at the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower. The guests enjoyed the French cuisine created on the theme of “fermentation,” utilizing fresh ingredients from Hiroshima plus traditional Japanese “Miso” (fermented soy bean paste), and deepened their rapport as they shared their impressions of the Next-Generation Symposium they had just attended.

The partners visited Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima Island on the 2nd day of the program. Mrs. KISHIDA, spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, hosted a luncheon at the Miyajima Brewery. The guests were treated to a demonstration of one of Hiroshima’s specialties, “Okonomiyaki” (Japanese savory pancake), cooked on a “teppan” steel plate. The partners enjoyed the luncheon featuring plenty of local ingredients complemented by draft beer brewed especially for this occasion, and enjoyed the fascinating food culture of Hiroshima with all of their senses.

On the 3rd and final day of the partners’ program, the partners of leaders of the countries invited to the G7 Hiroshima Summit visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and participated in a flower laying ceremony at the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims.
Following the ceremony, they joined the partners of the G7 Leaders for a tour of the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum and Shukkeien Garden. While at Shukkeien Garden, the guests received an explanation on “Urushi” (Japanese lacquer) and the “Maki-e” technique of sprinkling gold powder on a lacquered surface from Living National Treasure, Mr. MUROSE Kazumi, and then experienced decorating their own sake cups using “Maki-e.” Finally, they strolled through the gardens, and enjoyed feeding the carp, which have a close affiliation with Hiroshima Prefecture.

All in all, from the official G7 Hiroshima Summit proceedings through to the Partners’ Program, the attendees’ time in Hiroshima proved to be a wonderful opportunity to experience and deepen their understanding of the history of Hiroshima, the city where the atomic bomb was dropped and known today as the City of Peace, along with the traditional culture of Japan.

Commemorative gifts highlighting local crafts

As with previous G7 Summits, Congrès designed and produced commemorative items, including the summit bag for G7 delegates and press.
The bag was created from “Bingo” denim made in Fukushima City, Hiroshima, and all steps in the process, from making the fabrics through to sewing, were undertaken by craftspeople in Hiroshima. Furthermore, the bag contained goods that conveyed the appeal of Hiroshima and other parts of Japan, plus, they were environmentally friendly, using as little plastic as possible. Practical items such as stationery goods were featured, for use by the delegations and press in their work during the summit period. The soccer ball was included as football is one of the most familiar and popular sports in the world, and the world can join together in peace through sports.

The purpose of holding international conferences is naturally not only for the significance of the discussion; it is also very important to leave a legacy by introducing the host city and all it has to offer to the world, plus organizing programs for the local community and children toward further vitalizing that community. The “Citizens Council for the Hiroshima Summit” was established, comprised of various prefectural and municipal entities, which put forth their best efforts to plan and prepare for the summit, such as holding educational and cooperative events about G7 for citizens.

Congrès was honored and delighted to be engaged for work on this historic G7 Hiroshima Summit operations, working together in collaboration with our stakeholders. We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the support and cooperation of everyone concerned.

All photos courtesy of G7 Hiroshima Summit official website.