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Japan sends in riot police to deal with G7 protesters

By Sarah May
|
May 22, 2023

Shocking scenes broke out this weekend in Hiroshima, Japan, when far-left activists engaged in volatile protests during the G7 summit, and police were forced to take action to bring the situation under control, as the Daily Mail reports.

According to the BBC, the organizers behind the demonstrations that ultimately turned into a brawl were associated with the “Revolutionary Communist League National Committee,” and the group blasted the meeting of world leaders as an event characterized by “imperialism for nuclear war.”

Protests Target G7

As the Mail noted, broadcasting outlet NHK in Japan indicated that the aforementioned far-left group was demonstrating against what it believes is the role being played by the G7 nations – which include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, German, Italy, and Japan – of fomenting and encouraging ongoing war in Ukraine.

However, the protests did not remain peaceful for long, with fights breaking out between the crowd and law enforcement, with the latter ultimately having to take an active role in quelling the unrest.

Demonstrators making their voices heard in a Hiroshima shopping district got into heated discourse with police, causing the crowd to swell and pitch to one side of the protest zone.

That is when at least two protestors were taken to the ground by police officers, only to be released soon thereafter.

G7 Stands Firm on Ukraine

Despite the mobilization of protestors in Hiroshima, the world leaders in attendance at the summit did not balk in terms of their commitment to supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, as the Mail further noted.

Seeming to bolster that resolve was the dramatic arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who arrived for the purpose of marshaling even greater support for his cause.

Commenting on reports that Russian troops had just taken the hotly contested city of Bakhmut, Zelenskyy asserted that Ukrainian soldiers were still there, that the Kremlin's claims of success were untrue, but that the scene in the eastern town itself is a “tragedy” in terms of the destruction that has occurred.

“There is nothing on this place,” Zelenskyy said of Bakhmut, adding that all that was really left was “a lot of dead Russians.”

United Front Sought

Zelenskyy arrived in Japan on a French government aircraft, as CBS News noted, and quickly set about the task of further solidifying relationships with allies from the world's largest democracies.

Upon arrival in Hiroshima, Zelenskyy tweeted, “Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today.”

Amid expectations that a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia is poised to begin at any time and with Russia continuing to bombard Zelenskyy's country with aerial attacks, the leader from Kyiv has placed even greater urgency on securing advanced weaponry from its allies.

Given the pledges of continued aid coming from many of the summit's attendees, Zelenskyy's time in Japan appeared to be well-spent.

“Unwavering Support” Affirmed

On Saturday, the G7 nations issued a joint communique in which Russia's aggression in Ukraine was “condemned in the strongest possible terms, as CBS News noted.

The group of world leaders said in unified voice, “We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

That comprehensive backing appeared to include the United States in no uncertain terms, given that on the final day of the meeting, President Joe Biden unveiled a military aid package for Ukraine that would add an additional $375 million to what has already been given, and which includes armored vehicles as well as artillery, according to the Mail.

“Together with the entire G7 we have Ukraine's back, and I promise we're not going anywhere,” Biden stated, in sentiments that were surely welcomed by Zelenskyy, but which were undoubtedly disheartening to those who took to the streets of Hiroshma earlier in the weekend.