: Forbes: Will Russia and China divide or unite the G7?

15:25 May. 25, 2016

Forbes: Will Russia and China divide or unite the G7?

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands next to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a sigining ceremony during the APEC summit on November 9, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Getty Images)

Russia was suspended form G8 in response to the annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine in 2014

When President Obama arrives in Japan this week to attend the G7 Summit and visit Hiroshima, he will do so in two roles with two different purposes. As President of the United States, he will discuss the commanding heights of the global economy at the G7 meeting while seeking to reaffirm relations with an indispensable ally and partner when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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As a Nobel Laureate, he will use his visit to Hiroshima as an opportunity to promote nuclear disarmament. This tension between humanitarian ideals and strategic considerations is inescapable, ensuring that the President will return to Washington facing criticism by critics and supporter alike regardless of what he says or doesn't say in Hiroshima.

Due to domestic political constraints in the U.S. and in Japan, Obama has chosen not to offer an apology for the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. Short of an official apology, Obama can still memorialize that regrettable and unprecedented human tragedy while advocating for nuclear disarmament and warning of the global threat of nuclear proliferation.

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Obama will likely emphasize how the United States and Japan were past enemies that became strategic partners in building the post-war liberal international order and that the U.S.-Japan security alliance remains the cornerstone of the "hub-and-spoke" security architecture in East Asia.

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