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Prime Minister Koizumi set out to gain support for his proposed "no pain, no gain" structural reform of the Japanese economy at the Genoa Summit. With over 80% domestic approval, it was vital for Koizumi to perform well in gaining popularity for his reform policies in the international arena.
Grade Awarded: A
Japan received a high schore because Koizumi was very forthcoming in his explanation of his reform plans to the other G7 leaders. Most importantly, and as evident in the G8 Communique, all the leaders welcomed and supported the proposed reform initiatives as Japan's economic recovery will contribute to strengthening of the global economy.
A perfect grade was not awarded because the implementation of the reform policy seemed to rely on the upcoming Upper House election on July 29th. In this regard, the reform policy was very general in content and further details need to be drawn.
The Koizumi administration came to the Summit with the intention of discussing a more effective allocation of ODA. The Japanese delegation was expected to advance the idea that ODA from the G8 could be used more efficiently if funneled through reformed, and thus more efficient, Multilateral Development Banks.
Grade Awarded: B+
This high score was achieved by Japan in part because the G8 Communique stated that, "We will work with developing countries to meet the International Development Goals, by strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of our development assistance." The communique further stated that the effectiveness of ODA would be ensured by their commitment to "…implement the landmark OECD-DAC Reccomendation on Untying Aid to LDCs,"(paragraph 14) . In addition the G7 statement noted the need for MDBs reforms in order to "…sharpen their focus on core social and human investments."
Japan was not awarded a higher grade because neither the communique nor the G7 Statement provided a plan for how the MDBs would be reformed and where the resources for their "increased use of grants" would come from.
Having already engaged in measures toward 100% reduction of ODA and non-ODA debt, Japan desired to incorporate the topic of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries into summit discussions.
Grade Awarded: B+
At the Genoa summit, it was noted that 23 countries have now qualified for debt relief under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative - more than the 9 countries that qualified last year - and debt relief currently amounts to $53 billion. Thus it appears that the HIPC initiative has been quite successful. In the G7 statement all of the countries have agreed to provide a minimum of 100% debt reduction to the qualifying HIPC countries. The G8 countries continue to encourage those heavily indebted countries that do not yet qualify for the HIPC initiative to undergo the necessary reforms to reach their decision point. The G8 leaders also pledged to continue such progress by "… working together to ensure that the benefits of debt relief are targeted to assist the poor and most vulnerable."
Japan was not awarded a higher grade because the G8 communique appeared to put debt relief on back-burner in favor of more detailed discussions regarding increased trade and investment, which are primarily American development strategies.
The Japanese delegation planned to highlight human development, infrastructure development and capacity building as important strategies for poverty reduction.
Grade Awarded: B+
The poverty reduction strategies of human development, infrastructure development and human capacity building were of importance at the Genoa summit, especially in light of the Beyond Debt Relief initiatives. This initiative is focused on promoting health, education and food security in developing countries. The communique also highlighted "Strong national health systems" that ensure access to basic medical care. The G8 expressed that health care systems in developing countries could be improved by "strong and effective intellectual property rights protection as a necessary incentive for reasearch and development of life-saving drugs." (as stated in Paragraph 17). Education was also recognized as "…a central building block for growth and employment." The G8 noted the need for improved development asistance in support of locally-owned strategies for education, especially regarding universal primary education and equal access to education for girls. The communique states that "…resources made available through the HIPC initiative can contribute to these objectives." Also, the DOT force, MDBs and the ILO can all work to strengthen education, especially universal primary education, in developing countries. A taskforce of senior G8 officials, in conjunction with IGOs and developing countries, will be assigned to advise the G8 on how best to implement Dakar goals.
Although these objectives were given importance in the G8 communique, trade and private investment took the spotlight, thus the grade alloted to this category is somewhat lower than might be expected.
At the Genoa summit Japan wanted to ensure that development strategies and initiatives were created in collaboration with, and supported by, the developing countries themselves.
Grade Awarded: A
Japan was successful in carrying-out this objective, which is evidenced in Paragraph 5 in the communique which states that " We willl also continue to provide effective development assistance to help developing countries own efforts to build long-term prosperiety," and "…we support a strategic appraoch centred on the principles of ownership and partnership." It should also be noted that in the paragraphs on health systems (paragraph 17) and education (18 and 19) the G8 seemed committed to ensuring that developing countries are thoroughly involved in ODA from the G8 countries.
Objective: Kyoto Protocol
Japan's position on the Kyoto Protocol going into the Genoa Summit was to enter the Protocol into force by the year 2002. On this front, Japan had also promised to make its utmost effort "to the very last minute" to lure the U.S. back onto the negotiating table. In this way, Japan felt it had an important role as a mediator between the U.S. and E.U. member states.
Grade Awarded : B-
The Genoa Summit was a success for Japan in the way that all countries agreed on a common objective of the UNFCCC and recognized an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, each country expressed its commitments and obligations to achieving the goal outlined in the Convention. The countries agreed to seek global solutions fueled by international cooperation, especially in the field of science and research. The emphasis on cooperation and global solution correlates with Japan's objective of inclusiveness. Further, Japan had promoted transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity building and on this topic, the G8 Communique affirmed that further efforts will be made in these areas.
As for Japan playing a mediator role between U.S. and the E.U. , it fell short in reaching agreement among the G8 in terms of implementational issues of the Protocol. The G8 Communique touched briefly on this point, stating a need for some flexible mechanisms, as well as "drawing on the power of markets and technology" to achieve their common goal. Japan was pressured both domestically and from the E.U. to announce the ratification of the Protocol at the Genoa Summit, but the G8 Communique merely reiterated Japan's pre-Summit position. Obviously, Japan was not able to convince the U.S. to fully embrace the Kyoto Protocol and therefore, was only half successful in reaching its initial objectives.
At the Okinawa Summit, Japan positioned itself as a leader in the war against infectious diseases. Although Japan handed over this leadership role to Italy, who hosted the Genoa Summit, Japan intended to continue making an exemplary effort in fighting infectious diseases. Japan had announced its decision to allocate $200 million U.S. to the Global Health Fund prior to the Genoa Summit.
Grade Awarded: B+
Japan had also been a long standing advocate of combating infectious diseases through poverty reduction, human resources development, and strengthening institutions of health sectors in the developing countries. Moreover, the Hashimoto Initiative proposed by the then PM, Hashimoto, stressed the importatce of international cooperation in combating diseases. The above sentiments of Japan towards infectious diseases were reflected in the G8 Communique. As such, the Global Health Fund was seen as an important follow up to the Okinawa Infectious Diseases Initiative. Moreover, the Communique also stated the developing countries must participate to ensure ownership and commitment to the Fund and have strong national health systems. In addition, Japan had proposed prior to the Okinawa Summit last year, an Initiative in the Fight Against Parasitic and Infectious Diaseases which had stressed the importance of partnership with civil society, donor countries and international organizations. It was evident the this proposal carried through to the Genoa Summit as the G8 Communique clearly stated that these kinds of partnerships among the G8 and international organizations are crucial in the fight against infectious diseases.
However, Japan did not place a strong emphasis on pharmaceutical issues which was included in the Communique. As well, Japan had been strongly advocating the use of IT and telemedicine to combat infectious diseases but these issues did not appear in the G8 Communique.
This is an issue on which Japan took a leadership role in at last year's Okinawa Summit. Since then, the Genoa Plan of Action has been drawn up. Japan's objective at Genoa was to move ahead with the proposals in the Genoa Plan of Action.
Grade Awarded: A-
Progress was made at Genoa and work is currently being done to draw up an action plan addressing how an e-government can strengthen democracy and rule of law. Also, effort was made to draw NGOs and developing countries into discussions.
A higher grade was not given for two reasons. The first being that the DOT force was an issue Japan would have liked to see higher on the Summit agenda. Secondly, high tech crime was not addressed. Japan has been progressive on this issue domestically, with over ten laws currently being deliberated in the government. Considering the sensitivity involved in IT issues, if the laws are passed Japan will need international cooperation for its domestic laws to be effective.
Prepared by: Haruka Araki, Caroline Konrad and Amy Schwartz, G8 Research Group, University of Toronto
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