Major industrial countries that share common economic and political interests. The members are the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy. Typically, the head of the G-7 countries meet once a year in a ministerial meeting that is hosted by each country once every seven years. Finance and foreign ministers also attend their own annual meeting. Russia joined the group in 1998, and the group is now called the Group of Eight (G-8).