Reporting on the G7 of 2023: There is No Future for Those Who Worship the Future and Forget the Past
A Brief History of the G7
The G7 is the political gathering of, you've guessed it, 7 nations to discuss matters of great global importance. This group often includes the United Kingdom (who sends a single person to represent Great Britain as a whole, rather than one minister for each devolved government within their borders) France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Italy, the United States, and the EU (the last two of which employ the same approach as the UK) but they have also invited several non-member countries over the years to join them if the central issue of that year’s meeting concerns them. The first G7 was hosted in 1975, dealing with the fallout of the Nixon Shock and the energy crisis of the decade. That year, the host country was France, with the summit taking place in the Château de Rambouillet, Yvelines - a forest in Versailles.
What’s the Significance of the Location of This Year’s G7?
This year’s host was Japan, a country that has had a lot to think about lately - from the tsunami and nuclear accident of 2011, to the Olympics of 2020, the assassination of their longest-serving former prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and the dethronement of one of the members of their royal family - you’d probably be forgiven for not searching further back into the country’s records. But, in the case of this year’s G7, the location has huge significance to Japanese history for (pun intended) infamous reasons; to ignore it would be a colossal disservice to the Japanese people. This G7 was hosted in Hiroshima, an area in Kyoto brought to global attention when it became the first of two locations to experience an atomic bombing by the Americans in 1945 via a uranium-235-core bomb deceptively nicknamed Little Boy - Japanese people call it Hibaku, meaning Original Child, and it is the name given to its survivors; the Hibakusha.
My Issue with the Focus of This Year's G7
Many people and media outlets have ignored that tragedy in favour of President Zelensky's pleas for more aid. While we should applaud him for his bravery, many people have forgotten why Russia's after Ukraine in the first place. President Putin is emulating Stalin's tactics of the Cold War - it began because there were spies within the Manhattan Project. In light of this fact, it seems remiss of those in attendance to minimise the historical importance of the atomic bombing - yes, they may have placed wreaths at the Hiroshima's peace arch, but did President Biden apologise for needing it in the first place? He didn't. What was the secondary focus of the discussion? It wasn’t nuclear disarmament - some of the Hibakusha have pointed out that all of the other discussions have overshadowed the hope of a world without nuclear weapons, which is saying something. In Hiroshima. If they downplay them anymore, it comes close to dismissing the possibility of using nuclear plants as a weapon!