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Japan foreign minister skips G-20, putting parliament first

Questions swirl over Tokyo's priorities as Hayashi spoke for just 53 seconds at hearing

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke for just 53 seconds at the upper house budgetary committee session on March 1. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is not attending the two-day Group of 20 foreign ministers' meeting that began in India on Wednesday, instead prioritizing budgetary hearings in parliament.

This is the first time Japan's top diplomat skips the meeting since it became a regular event in 2017. His absence could potentially undermine Japan's international standing in a critical year, when it holds the Group of Seven presidency.

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