LONDON: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned on Thursday that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained.
Kishida, speaking in London via a translator after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said that now was the time for the Group of Seven (G7) leading nations to solidify its unity.
"Collaboration among countries sharing universal values becomes ever more vital," he said. "We must collaborate with our allies and like-minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the Indo-Pacific, especially in East Asia."
"Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow."
Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has raised its alert level since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, wary of the possibility that Beijing might make a similar move on the island, though it has reported no signs this is about to happen.
"Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical not only for Japan's security but also for the stability of international society," he said.
"Japan maintains its position to expect a peaceful resolution through dialogue to issues surrounding Taiwan. And the situation will be watched carefully from that perspective."
Kishida said the G7 must show that there are consequences to Russia's violence in Ukraine, and said around 140 other people would be added to a Russian asset freeze list while an export ban will be expanded to Russian military firms.
Kishida arrived in London following an extended visit to Southeast Asia where he had hoped to consolidate responses to Russia's invasion after only one nation, Singapore, joined sanctions against Russia, officials said.