Reinstatement of the G8 format cannot be ruled under certain conditions, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a press conference on Tuesday.
"The G8 format existed before, so we cannot rule out the possibility of returning to it with Russia's participation under certain conditions," Kono said. He did not specify what those conditions were but noted that it is hard to tell how much time it will take, TASS reports.
Kono also stressed that Japan has not changed its position on Crimea and considers the peninsula's integration into Russia unacceptable.
US President Donald Trump said earlier that he considers it useful to invite Russia to the next summit in the United States but expressed doubt that other members of the G7 will agree to this. French President Emmanuel Macron noted that as a chair of the next summit, the US may invite Russia as a guest but the issue of reinstatement of the G8 is not on the agenda now.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow considers it impossible to reinstate the G8 format until member countries of the G7 reach a consensus on this issue.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an association of industrialized countries that brings together the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France and Japan. In 1997, it was renamed the Group of Eight (G8) after Russia joined the association. In 2014, Western countries decided to return to the G7 format after the developments in Ukraine and deterioration of relations with Russia.