Senior Researcher, G8 Research Group
May 29, 2008
This report on "Japan's 2008 G8: Plans for the Hokkaido Toyako Summit" is compiled by the G8 Research Group largely from public sources as an aid to researchers and other stakeholders interested in the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. It will be updated periodically as plans for the 2008 Summit evolve. This report continues, under a more accurate name, the earlier report on "Japan's 2008 Agenda." It adds material on the physical summit, Japan's internal preparations and G8 ministerial meetings. This edition only includes material post-2007. All material from before January 1, 2008, can be found in here.
Japan will host the G8's 2008 Summit from July 7-9, 2008 at the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort and Spa in Toyako, Hokkaido in northern Japan. The World Economy, Climate Change, Development and Africa and Non-Proliferation and Political Issues should be a prominent part of the Japanese focus.
[top of page]
[top of page]
Fukuda announced during his address at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the world economy, climate change, and development and Africa would all be key issues addressed at the upcoming G8 summit in July.1 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Prime Minister Fukuda planned to use the World Economic Forum in Davos to highlight the themes of the upcoming 2008 G8 summit. Among the themes are climate change and development, specifically in Africa.2 (January 19, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The other three issues areas, in addition to climate change and the environment, to be the focus of the summit are the world economy, development and Africa and political issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and the fight against terrorism.3 (January 1, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has indicated the global economy needs to be discussed at the upcoming G8 summit in July. "I would like to have discussions about the stability of financial markets, high crude oil prices and other global economic problems," Fukuda said.4 (January 21, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
After outlining the agenda for the upcoming G8 summit in Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda said, "The risk of the global economy taking a downward turn is increasing. We do need to have a sense of urgency as we engage in coordinated actions while each country also implements necessary domestic response measures."5 (January 26, 2008, Associated Press Newswires)
Concerning the recent turmoil in the global financial markets, Fukuda was expected to express high appreciation for the latest package of economic-stimulus measures proposed by the U.S. in response to the worldwide plunge in stock values, and promise that these issues would be substantially discussed at the G8 summit in Japan. He was expected to deliver a clear message that Japan would formulate and carry out specific economic growth strategies. 6 (January 25, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
In his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Fukuda indicated that he believes it is necessary for the G8 leaders to discuss the "21st century-style crisis" aspect of the global economy and financial markets. He indicated that a "swift response is absolutely imperative" and that "it is critical to nip in the bud potential credit crunches resulting from diminished capitalization among financial institutions."7 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
[top of page]
Japan is planning to create a 110 million yen IP fund later this year to step up its efforts to help African countries protect and make better use of intellectual property, government sources have indicated. This fund will form part of Japan's latest initiative to assist African development, one of the priority themes planned for their 2008 G8 agenda.8 (January 26, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
Carbon capture and storage will play a key role in climate change discussion. IEA Chief Economic Fatih Birol said "At the G8 meeting next month in Hokkaido in Japan, this will be our message: If you are serious on the climate change issues, your support, and the support of carbon capture and storage, will be your litmus test."9 (May 22, 2008, Reuters News)
Fukuda's stance on climate change is expected to be included in an envisaged "Fukuda Vision," which he plans to unveil in early June as Japan's new initiatives to fight global warming ahead of the G8 summit. Emissions trading "is useful as one policy" to combat global warming, Fukuda told of House of Councillors special committee on foreign aid.10 (May 16, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda plans to announce Japan's 2050 target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases in June ahead of July's Group of Eight summit, the top government spokesman said. The target will be announced as "Fukuda's Vision," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said in a speech in Sapporo.11 (May 10, 2008, Dow Jones International)
In preparation for the upcoming G8, Japan and the European Union have expressed support for the International Partnership for Cooperation on Energy Efficiency (IPEEC), which they have been developing with the U.S. and other countries, to be an open, broad and inclusive partnership of nations seeking to maximize the benefits of energy efficiency.12 (April 24, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The third Major Economies Meeting (MEM) is scheduled to take place in Paris at the end of April. The MEM is working on a "leaders' declaration" to be published at the G8 summit in Japan in July and on a raft of recommendations to be handed to the UNFCCC.13 (April 14, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Sustainable forest management will be a key issue for the Japanese G8 presidency, according to PM Fukuda at the Climate Change Forum in Basillia.14 (February 22, 2008, Thai News Service)
Prime Minister Fukuda reaffirmed that climate change and the environment would be at the top of the 2008 G8 Agenda after Japan officially took over the G8 presidency. 15 (January 1, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Prime Minister Fukuda, Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari planned to attend meetings on global warming at the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort and Spa in Hokkaido at the beginning of April where the G8 summit will take place. This will be Prime Minister Fukuda's first visit to the area since taking office last September.16 (April 4, 2008, Kyodo News)
Fukuda is scheduled to attend a meeting of a government panel addressing the global warming issue on April 5-6 at a local hotel where the G8 summit will take place, with discussions expected to cover the pros and cons of introducing the greenhouse gas emissions trading system and considering measures to promote emission cuts. The prime minister will also take part in a government-organized forum for dialogue with members of the general public on the theme of climate change. The moves are apparently aimed at displaying the Japanese government's proactive approach in tackling the global warming issue.17 (March 24, 2008, Kyodo News)
After the G20 energy and environment ministers' meeting in mid-March, Kamoshita and Akira Amari, the chairs' of the meeting, said it became clear what kind of role Japan needs to play in preparing for the upcoming summit after hearing a wide range of opinions both from developed and developing countries on how to craft a functioning successor to the Kyoto accord after it expires in 2012. Even though still somewhat controversial, the Japanese government wants to make the 'sectoral' approach one of the main points for discussion at the summit. By identifying high-emitting industrial sectors internationally, calculating each sector's CO2 reduction potential and combining them, Japan believes this method, dubbed a "bottom-up" sectoral approach, would eventually lead to a quantified national target. A senior Japanese official indicated that Japan plans to propose during the summit that a similar G20 dialogue process continue. "We felt that the G20 should play some kind of role," the official said. "We will officially file the proposal at a relevant stage."18 (March 16, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Japan plans to reach a final agreement on the multibillion-dollar climate fund during July's G8 summit in Hokkaido, where climate change will top the agenda. Japan is reportedly planning to pledge more than 100 billion yen over three years, compared with some 200 billion yen by the United States and 170 billion yen by Britain.19 (March 16, 2008, Kyodo News)
In mid-March, the world's top 20 greenhouse gas emitters met with the aim of coming up with a draft chairman's summary to be presented to July's summit of the G8 in northern Japan. Divisions between developed and developing countries remained throughout the negotiations.20 (March 15, 2008, Agence France Presse)
The Japanese government hopes to win agreement for its plan on global warming at the G8 summit this summer. The plan has eight major proposals to curb global warming and will be presented at a March meeting in Bangkok of an ad hoc working group of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP). In its proposal, the Japanese government has identified eight sectors subsequently broken down into various industries. For example, one sector covers industries that consume huge amounts of energy, such as steel, chemicals, cement, paper and pulp and aluminum. Carbon dioxide emission reduction goals will be established based on indicators for each industry. Taking the steel industry as an example, calculations will be made on how much emissions can be reduced to produce a ton of crude steel if highly energy-efficient technology is used. The overall annual emission goal for the entire steel industry would be calculated based on the projected crude steel production volume. Another proposal in the government plan calls for a "peaking out" of global emissions over the next 10 to 20 years. Critics said it would be difficult to achieve that midterm objective under the sector-specific approach. The plan also calls for a cooperative framework that would facilitate energy conservation technology transfer to developing nations. China and other developing nations expressed interest in the proposal for transfers of energy conservation technology. Interest was also shown by European Union nations. While the Kyoto Protocol only set emissions reduction obligations for advanced nations, the government plan calls on all major emitters, including China and India, to be included in the post-Kyoto protocol. The plan calls for a gradual increase in the reduction goals as those nations' economies develop. A provision will be included to allow developing nations to "graduate" to the next stage of development and apply reduction objectives that are closer to those of advanced nations.21 (March 7, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
Japan has will hold a gathering to discuss global warming on the sidelines of the G8 summit this summer. In addition to the G8, the participants for the talks will come from China, India, South Africa, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia. The 16 countries account for about 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The Japanese government, as chair of the G8 summit, hopes to produce a common understanding on a global framework for curbing greenhouse gas emissions after the commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.22 (February 29, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
Japan has invited leaders of eight countries, including China, India and South Korea, to attend an outreach session on climate change to be held on the fringe of this year's G8 summit. The Japanese government believes that it is necessary to invite emerging countries to the climate change meeting because their greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing in line with strong expansion of their economies. The five other countries being invited to the outreach session are Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. The 16 countries, including the G8 members, also comprise the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, a U.S.-proposed initiative for combating global warming.23 (February 28, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
The G8 will discuss country-by-country medium-term greenhouse gas reduction targets this summer, according to a senior Japanese official. Japanese sherpa Kono said medium-term reduction goals need to be agreed on not by Japan alone but by all members. In January, Fukuda proposed improving energy efficiency by 30% worldwide by 2020 as a medium-term goal.24 (February 19, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda and UK Prime Minister Brown have agreed to cooperation on climate change at the upcoming G8 summit in July. Fukuda was quotes as telling Brown that Japan will aim to bring the different positions among G8 members together as much as possible to find ways to curb global warming and make progress towards the creation of an effective post-Kyoto framework.25 (February 12, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The Japanese government is planning to co-host a meeting of major economies to address climate change in combination with the G8 summit in July. It is apparently a U.S. led initiative, which is being held with the hope of increasing productivity from non-G8 members. This does not mean that non-G8 members will not be invited to the summit—it will be in addition to any such efforts. European nations, Japan, China, India, the EU and the UN will all be involved. Certain government officials are asking that the climate gathering be held after and not concurrent to the G8 as they are concerned that the meeting would steal attention away fro the summit. Time schedules, however, may be the determining factor.26 (February 21, 2008, Asia Pulse)
Japan should look at cutting greenhouse emissions by even more than the 50 percent by 2050 sought by the last Group of Eight summit, Japan's environment minister has said. "A 50 percent reduction by countries including developed nations has been advocated but it is common sense that developed countries aim for deeper cuts," environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita indicated. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also told a parliamentary committee that Japan may need to do more. "Our country will halve emissions in 2050 as they peak out in 20-30 years," he said. "If other countries cannot halve them, Japan may have to do extra efforts on their behalf." Fukuda, speaking to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland called for every emitter to set an emissions cut target from 2013 and for the United States and China both to take part in a post-Kyoto framework. Fukuda also called for a change in the base year to calculate cuts from the current 1990.27 (January 29, 2008, Agence France Presse)
While at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Fukuda continued to indicate that climate change would be a "top priority" at the 2008 G8 summit and that he would press for a new global agreement with "fair and equitable" emissions targets involving "all major emitters."28 (January 26, 2008, Agence France Presse)
While at Davos, Japan presented a $10 billion package to help emerging countries tackle climate change without risking growth. The five-year "Cool Earth Partnership" fund, financed publicly and privately, will set aside up to $8 billion for assistance in climate change mitigation, and up to $2 billion for grants, aid and technical assistance for countries switching to clean energy. "There is no time to lose in addressing climate change," Fukuda said. "We will extend the hand of assistance to developing countries suffering severe adverse impacts as a result of climate change." Fukuda said the G8 would be committed to work on climate issues but must include emerging countries in the discussion. Fukuda's climate proposals included a global target to improve energy efficiency by 30% by 2020.29 (January 26, 2008, Reuters News)
It appears that Japan is going to push for a post-1990 baseline for greenhouse emission cuts in a post-Kyoto deal as chair of the G8 summit in July, according to Prime Minister Fukuda. Changing the baseline is being done in the hope of encouraging countries like India and China, whose emissions shot up between 1990 and 2000, to sign on to an agreement. "As chair of the G8 summit, I am resolved to take on the responsibility in working towards the establishment of a framework in which all major emitters participate, as well as the setting of fair and equitable emissions targets," Fukuda said. "In order to ensure a peaking-out of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is absolutely essential to create a mechanism in which everyone participates, including, inter alia, all major emitters." Fukuda also called for a new global target of a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 and announced a 10 billion dollar (seven billion euro) fund to help developing countries reduce emissions and cope with the impact of climate change.30 (January 26, 2008, Agence France Presse)
In Davos at the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Fukuda presented his "Cool Earth Promotion Programme." It was composed of three parts: a post-Kyoto framework, International Environment Cooperation and Innovation. In terms of the post-Kyoto framework, he indicated that all countries need to reach their global greenhouse gas emissions peak at soon as possible and start working towards halving their emissions. As part of the International Environment Cooperation, Fukuda proposed a global target of 30% improvement on energy efficiency by 2020 and a new financial mechanism to help developing countries, termed the "Cool Earth Partnership." He noted that the U.S. and Britain had already agreed to the mechanism and hoped others would sign on as well. In respect to the Innovation, Fukuda proposed that the leaders "formulate an international framework through which [they] could collaborate closely with international agencies such as the IEA to accelerate technology development and share the first of such efforts." He reiterated that the Japanese plan to use carbon offsets at the 2008 G8 summit, and asked that the G8 leaders cooperate with him on his "Cool Earth Promotion Programme" when they meet in July.31 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Prime Minister Fukuda planned to propose in his speech in Davos that the world's energy efficiency should be improved by 30% before 2020 as an interim means to stop global warming. According to the prime minister's planned speech, he was going to demand the establishment of country-by-country numeric targets for reducing greenhouse gases and that they be set via a bottom-up method, by which each country could survey its industrial and other sectors on how much emissions should be reduced. According to an early draft of his speech, Fukuda was going to reconfirm the country's long-term goal to combat global warming as a means of helping to halve worldwide greenhouse gas emissions before 2050—part of his predecessor Shinzo Abe's "Cool Earth 50" initiative.32 (January 25, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
The Japanese government plans to unveil a package of measures at the G8 to help developing countries combat global warming and infectious diseases. A major pillar of the initiative will be a program to train future "environment leaders" who will lead the charge in solving water pollution and other environmental problems. Extending a hand to joint international environmental conservation studies with developing countries will be another focus of the package.33 (January 21, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
Prime Minister Fukuda will likely propose, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and at the G8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan, that country-based targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 be set with 2000 or later as the base year rather than 1990 in a bid to lower the hurdles for major emitters such as China and India.34 (January 20, 2008, Kyodo News)
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Fukuda was expected to focus on global warming in anticipation of hosting the upcoming G8 summit. Post 2012 emissions targets and an aid package intended to help developing countries were at the core. Under the aid package, Japan would help approximately 40 countries including China and India reduce greenhouse gas emissions with energy-saving technology, work to prevent natural disasters linked to global warming and shift use to more renewable energy sources such as solar power. The Japanese hope that the other G8 leaders will sign on to the package and be able to announce a dollar-specific figure for the aid at the summit. It was also suggested that Fukuda might touch on the importance of setting a medium-term global greenhouse gas reduction goal. 35 (January 19, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Prime Minister Fukuda planned to unveil a set of specific carbon emissions reduction goal for Japan beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in his planned speech on January 26 in Davos, Switzerland. Fukuda planned to focus on the 'sectoral approach' where households, industrial sectors and other entities set individual reduction goals and contribute to cuts in overall carbon emissions. Industry circles were expected to voice opposition to Fukuda's plan to set an emissions reduction goal beyond 2012. But foreign and environment ministry officials have said that unless Japan shows its post-Kyoto reduction goal, the nation would find it difficult to exercise leadership as the host of the G8 summit in July.36 (January 17, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japan plans to use green energy for lighting and air conditioning at the G8 summit in July. The government is planning to buy a Green Power Certificate (GPC) with the hope of promoting environmentally conscious management among leaders of the participating countries. The GPC system was launched in 2000 to encourage the use of eco-friendly energy such as solar and wind power, which do not emit greenhouse gases. Though GPC purchasers actually consume regular electricity, they pay the difference in cost between regular electricity and natural energy, receiving certificates stating they have "used" eco-friendly energy. It is estimated that about 250,000 kilowatts of electricity will be consumed at the hotel where the meeting is to be held and at an international media center where more than 1,000 journalists are expected to gather during and prior to the summit. This is equivalent to about 800 average households in a month. The government is expected to pay about 2 million yen for its green certificate and they are thinking about using the GPC system for the ministerial meetings as well. The government is also planning to use "biogasoline" to power the vehicles used to transport leaders and government delegates of the G8.37 (January 16, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
Fukuda was expected to express his active involvement in the greenhouse gas issue in a policy speech delivered at the start of Japan's new parliamentary session. With climate change expected to be a focal point at the G8 summit in July Fukuda highlighted a 1 trillion yen five-year support program that the government is considering for developing economies.38 (January 12, 2008, Kyodo News)
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has decided to attend and deliver a keynote speech on global warming at a session of the World Economic Forum that will get under way from January 23 in the Swiss resort of Davos. In the speech, Fukuda will express Japan's determination to take a leadership role in the international community's efforts in the areas of the environment and energy in light of the G8 summit to be hosted by Japan in July. Fukuda wants to communicate a strong message to the global community with regard to international efforts to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It is customary for the leader of the country hosting the annual G8 summit to deliver a keynote speech at the annual Davos gathering. Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the Davos forum to call attention to the need to combat global warming prior to the G8 summit in the German resort of Heiligendamm. Fukuda is likely to unveil Japanese proposals connected to the issue of global warming, including a framework arrangement to help developing countries curb greenhouse gas emissions.39 (January 5, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japanese finance minister Nukaga and Indian ministers from various portfolios exchanged views on measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions and technological cooperation in the area of the environment as a step to prepare for the G8 summit, July 7-9 in Hokkaido.40 (January 4, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda is planning a "global climate change" summit immediately before the G8 leaders meet and has reportedly invited the leaders of China, India, Korea and Indonesia.41 (January 1, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
With the upcoming G8 summit in July in Hokkaido, Prime Minister Fukuda indicated that he expects that "Japan's high tech on environment protection and energy efficiency would play a leading role in the environment-focused summit."42 (January 1, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
A federal biofuels workgroup which includes EPA officials is facing high pressure from the State Department to quickly develop a biofuel sustainability framework ahead of the G8 because negotiations have increasingly begun to focus on developing a sustainability standard for certifying biofuel. The indicators, along with numerous agency position papers, will play a role in the G8 on the issue of biofuel. U.S. officials are expected to discuss biofuel at the summit, and plan to discuss lifecycle greenhouse gas emission calculations on a teleconference with EU official as well, Alan Hecht, EPA's director of sustainable development said.43 (May 23, 2008, EPA Weekly Report)
The issue of biofuels is now expected to appear on the G8 agenda in July as food prices continue to rise. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that crop-based fuels are vital to meeting current and future energy demands and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that biofuels have only accounted for 10% of the food price spike.44 (April 26, 2008, Financial Times)
Japan is concerned that biofuels are contributing to rising crop prices. They are encouraging other countries to rethink the use of such an energy source.45 (April 26, 2008, Financial Times)
Environmental issues are regarded as one of key topics to be taken up at this year's G8 summit. Japan's Vice Environment Minister Yoshio Tamura, delivering an opening speech at the conference, said Japan has continued to advocate the implementation of the 3R initiative in Asia, which is generating more waste as its economy grows.46 (March 18, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Nuclear Energy and Clean Energy
Japanese prime minister Fukuda reaffirmed his support for nuclear power at the opening session of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum's 41st annual conference in Tokyo on April 15-16. "Because Japan depends on other countries for almost all of its energy and natural resources, it is critical for us to strengthen the utilization of nuclear energy as a major source of power." Nothing that he will be chairing the G8 summit, Fukuda said he would 'take leadership' on climate change. "Nuclear power is the key to solving the problems of global warming," and during the summit he would be "giving special attention to the importance of nuclear energy in our fight against global warming."47 (May 23, 2008, Nuclear Engineering International)
Prime minister Fukuda expressed an intention to exert leadership as chairman of the G8 summit in holding discussions on the major agenda item of climate change while taking note of the importance of nuclear power in steps against global warming. "Nuclear power generation, which does not emit carbon dioxide in the process of generating electricity, is a trump card in measures against global warming," Fukuda said at the opening session of the two-day conference organized by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum. "Global warming is a major issue which the world faces in common, and I believe it is Japan's important role to contribute to the spread of safe and peaceful use of atomic energy in Asia and the world while making use of our high-caliber nuclear energy technologies," he said. Fukuda emphasized the significance of ensuring safety as the "principal necessity" for countries thinking of developing nuclear power and said that Japan has taken utmost care in terms of safety measures, particularly as it is an earthquake-prone country.48 (April 15, 2008, Kyodo News)
The issue of nuclear energy as a "clean energy" will be included in discussions by G8 chief negotiators at the senior working level and will be on the agenda for the leaders' summit, according to a senior Japanese official.49 (January 9, 2008, Kyodo News)
International Organization on Energy Saving
Sources have suggested that a proposal to set up a new international organisation to study countries' energy-saving measures may be in the works for the upcoming summit. The world body would provide emerging economies with the environmental know-how of developed countries. The new organisation would be funded by Japan, the United States and European countries, with the International Energy Agency in Paris being eyed as a possible location for the new body's headquarters. Japan's energy agency official, however, denied the report, saying: "It is true that we plan to discuss a wide range of energy-saving topics but we don't have any plan to set up such a new body."50 (January 8, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
The Japanese government aims to promote the integration of international assistance plans for the construction of road networks on the African continent, at a meeting of Infrastructure Consortium for Africa to be held in Tokyo in mid-March. The meeting will be attended by representatives from the G8, as well as international organizations such as the World Bank, the African Union and the African Development Bank. The results of the gathering will be discussed at TICAD 4, on May 28-30.51 (February 22, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Regarding development and Africa, Fukuda was expected to indicate in his speech at Davos that he intends to discuss public health, water and education issues with other leaders at the G8 summit meeting in July.52 (January 25, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
In a speech in the Tanzanian capital, Japanese foreign affairs minister Komura indicated Japan's intention to release a mid- to long-term support framework for Africa in May, stressing that if Africa starts to thrive and the world as a whole becomes prosperous, it will have a positive impact on the Japanese economy as well. He also added that Japan will not expect any direct, immediate returns from Africa for its support measures, underlining Japan's stance of strengthening long-term development assistance to the region.53 (January 4, 2008, Kyodo News)
The G8 are considering asking food exporting countries to refrain from restricting outflows. However, it is not clear whether their request will be accepted, given that the fight against inflation is one of the top priorities of food exporting countries.54 (May 15, 2008, Nikkei Report)
The Japanese government is considering Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's participation at a summit-level meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization slated for early June in Rome, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said. "Japan is the chair country of the Group of Eight summit, and it would be very meaningful if the prime minister can attend" the meeting organized by the UN group, Machimura said. In April, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the United Nations will upgrade the FAO meeting on June 3-5 to an emergency summit to discuss ways to tackle the global food crisis and try to come up with measures to counter the effects of soaring food prices that are seriously affecting developing countries.55 (May 14, 2008, Kyodo News)
With a global food shortage and rising prices, the Japanese government has indicated that the G8 summit will focus on assistance to combat such problems. At the summit, Japan will call on participants to refrain from restricting food exports because restrictions by food exporters could lead to a further rise in food prices, this measure is expected to have an effect in keeping prices down.56 (April 28, 2008, Asia in Focus)
Japan has included the current global leap in food prices in a draft agenda for the G8 summit, according to a senior Japanese government source. Fukuda has had letters sent to the UN secretary general and the World Bank president on April 18 asking them to state their positions on the issue at the summit.57 (April 25, 2008, Russia & CIS Business and Financial)
The Japanese government has decided to take up the issue of global food price rises at the G8 summit. Japan hopes to share a sense of crisis over the food price rises, which are seen hitting hardest poor people in developing countries. The G8 countries are likely to discuss short- to long-term measures such as emergency aid programs and boosting food production. The prices of wheat, corn and rice have shot up due to soaring demand from emerging economies such as China and India, together with the increasing use of such crops to produce biofuels. The higher prices are expected to worsen poverty in the sub-Saharan region. The Japanese government believes the food issue is closely linked to other key agenda items at the G8 summit, such as aid to Africa and the fight against global warming.58 (April 11, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japan announced that is had pledged $560 million to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Prime Minsiter Fukuda said the funds will be allocated "in the coming years" from 209, but he did not specify over how many years the aid will be disbursed. A foreign ministry official said that the pledge aims to "demonstrate Japan's diplomatic efforts to help Africa" as Japan prepared to host TICAD and the G8.59 (May 23, 2008, All Africa)
Japan has said it wants to put global health high on the agenda of the G8 summit to be held in July amid concerns that the world will not meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.60 (February 28, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan pledged a fresh 184 million dollars to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria ahead of hosting a G8 summit set to focus on global health. Japan has said it wants to put global health high on the agenda of the G8 summit to be held in July amid concerns that the world will not meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.61 (February 28, 2008, Agence France Presse)
In terms of health, Fukuda indicated that the G8 would focus on mother and child care, as well as on the shortage of health workers. He also noted that there needs to be a stronger cooperation in the area of global health, starting, "[the leaders] must formulate a framework for action to raise the overall level of the health care system, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, such as international organizations and health policy experts and experience, NGOs active in local communities, civil society groups and private sector entities."62 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Prime Minister Fukuda planned to focus on development as one of his main priorities at the World Economic Forum in Davos in anticipation of the upcoming G8 summit in Japan. Fukuda was expected to convey Japan's plans to help improve health and medical systems in developing countries in the hope of reducing the mortality rates for infants and pregnant women. Measures would include training doctors, nurses and midwives in developing countries and the introduction in Africa and elsewhere of maternity health record books for mothers and babies. Such record books originated in Japan, and health experts say the notebooks have helped monitor the health conditions of expectant mothers. It has also helped ensure growth in infants. (January 19, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Japan plans to use the upcoming G8 summit to get the world back on track for meeting its UN targets on poverty and disease. The issue of global health is to be raised. And Japanese officials have indicated that "it hopes to share its own experiences after World War II, when it launched nationwide health check-ups through schools and hospitals to build a country that now has the world's longest life expectancy."63 (January 1, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura indicated that Japan will share its expertise and technology to help improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in African and other developing countries, and called on the international community for a "strong political commitment." Japan is pushing for such measures as host of both TICAD and the G8 summit this summer.64 (February 22, 2008, Kyodo News)
In respect to water, Fukuda noted that there needs to be a stronger focus on water-related disasters, safe water supply, and a more effective management of water.65 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
At Davos Fukuda planned to say that Japan would help developing countries offer primary education to all children and build waterworks and sewerage systems as well as irrigation systems.66 (January 19, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
On education, Fukuda reiterated the Dakar Education For All goals, which aim at improve quality in basic education.67 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Fukuda will propose beefing up the G8's support for international peace-building activities at the G8 summit in July. Assistance measures, such as stepped-up training programs for UN peacekeepers and financial aid, will be included in a G8 leader's document. The G8 nations are set to agree on plans to carry out more training of UN peacekeepers in cooperation with the African Union and to provide more financial assistance for training programs. The G8 document is expected to refer to Japan's past assistance measures, including its financial aid to a facility to train peacekeepers which was set up by such countries as Ghana and Rwanda with the help of the UN.68 (May 15, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Millennium Development Goals
In terms of African development, Fukuda was expected to emphasize the importance of the Millennium Development Goals at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was also set to urge the acceleration of maternity health improvement and the establishment of measures to deal with infectious diseases in poor countries. These issues are expected to come up again at TICAD and the G8 summit later this year.69 (January 23, 2008, Kyodo News)
In relation to putting forward new efforts in the area of African development, Japan is planning to create a fund sometime this year to step up its efforts to help African countries protect and make better use of intellectual property, government sources have indicated. Discussion on this topic will likely arise both at TICAD and the G8 summit.70 (January 26, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japan wants to show a positive attitude toward peace-building in Sudan.71 (May 16, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
The Japanese have said that they plan to help in supporting efforts to implement the Sudanese's Comprehensive Peace Agreement as well as contribute over $200 million of aid for peace-building in the region.72 (January 9, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government plans to hold an outreach session on the sidelines of the G8 summit for discussions on African development. They plan to invite seven or eight countries to the meeting, including Tanzania, the current chair of the African Union, and Ethiopia, which chairs the AU-led New Partnership for Africa's Development, or NEPAD, the sources said.73 (February 28, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
[top of page]
The G8 countries are expected to announce a new $U.S. 470 million dollars to increase safety around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. The assistance is expected to be announced at the G8 summit in July.74 (April 28, 2008, Agence France Presse)
The Japanese government has indicated that it will lead discussions on tackling the North Korean and Iranian nuclear standoffs and strengthen the non-proliferation framework at the G8 summit, according to Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura. On North Korea, the Japanese have noted that "the path towards realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula remains long" and that their nuclear testing causes "serious threats" to East Asia and the world. On Iran, the Japanese noted that it is "extremely regrettable" that Iran continues to pursue uranium enrichment. The Japanese government has also indicated that they will push to encourage Iran to stop cooperating with North Korea on nuclear activities.75 (April 1, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
[top of page]
Japan's foreign minister told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that they plan to discuss aid to Afghanistan at the G8. Japan will call on the international community to strengthen efforts to help rebuild the war-torn country, the foreign ministry said.76 (May 22, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan promised to utilize its role as the chair of the upcoming G8 summit this summer to promote efforts to build peace and stability in Afghanistan. "Japan, in its capacity as Chair of the G8, will pursue synergy between the discussion in the G8 summit process and those reviews and discussions taking place in the U.N. and other forums, so that we may better support the efforts to consolidate peace and stability in Afghanistan,'" said Japanese Ambassador Yukio Takasu, in remarks before the United Nations Security Council during an open debate.77 (March 12, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japanese prime minister Fukuda vowed to Afghanistan foreign minister Dadfar Spanta to continue Japan's support for Afghanistan's reconstruction while expressing Japan's willingness to work, as chair of the G8 summit later this year, to coordinate the international community's efforts to help Afghanistan.78 (February 4, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The Japanese government will not immediately recognize Kosovo's independence because it wants to avoid an issue that splits the major leaders in the world, according to government officials. The issue, however, is likely to be discussed at the summit.79 (February 15, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
A special meeting has been set aside at the G8 leaders' summit in July to discuss the issues that are most import to the O5 countries. These will include food security, high oil prices and the parlous state of the global economy. The O5 sherpas are to begin their meetings again soon. During a recent meeting in Beijing between top official of the O5 countries [India was represented by foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon], it was clear that the O5 will go along with the G8 agenda. There had been earlier rumblings among the O5 that the G8 format was making their presence little more than tokenism, because while the G8 met for a day and a half, their meeting with the O5 was confined to a couple of hours. And the O5 had not been given any say in drafting the G8 resolution which annoyed the emerging powers. There has been no more talk of not showing up for the G8, however. Issues like the sub-prime crisis and the consequent lack of regulation of the international financial system, as well as development issues like Africa will be discussed. "We need a new global compact between the developed and the developing countries, between the land surplus and labour surplus economies, between food exporters and food importers, to stabilize global food prices," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.80 (May 20, 2008, The Times of India)
President Hu Jintao could visit Japan again in July after Beijing said it would "seriously consider" Tokyo's invitation to him to attend the G8 summit in Hokkaido. For its part, Beijing has invited Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to attend the seventh Asia-Europe Summit in October. CNS reported the Japanese side would seriously consider the invitation.81 (May 10, 2008, South China Morning Post)
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be invited to a G8 summit to discuss the world food and energy crisis, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.82 (April 16, 2008, Asia Pulse)
Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda has formally invited Korean President Lee Myung Bak to attend the G8 summit in July. This will be the first time Korea has attended a G8 summit.83 (February 26, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
The Japanese government has decided to add climate change and African development to the expanded dialogue agenda for the 2008 G8 summit. China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa will participate in the climate change dialogue. Indonesia and Korea may also be asked to join. In regard to African development, the government is expected to invite representatives from Tanzania, Senegal and Nigeria.84 (February 9, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
The Japanese government is cautiously trying to play down a call from some of the G8 countries to expand the membership of the annual summit and include China, India and three other emerging economies. Japan has no plan to officially take up the expansion proposal at the summit this year, a senior Foreign Ministry official says. Most Japanese foreign affairs officials are negative about expansion, arguing that the inclusion of countries without a solid democratic footing would undermine the forum's appeal as a place for leaders who share the same values to exchange candid views, a source close to the Foreign Ministry says. A government source stresses that Security Council reform has to come before a G8 expansion.85 (February 3, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japan has decided not to take up the issue of G8 expansion at the upcoming summit in July, according to government sources. "It's still too early," one government source said. While acknowledging that the issue of expanded membership is being discussed unofficially among the personal representatives of the G8 leaders, the source said, "We are not yet at the stage of deciding the direction of the discussions and will not include the issue in the main agenda for the summit." Japan has not ruled out future expansion. Regarding China and India, a senior official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, "They have a significant impact on the world economy, so I believe there will be no choice but to let them join in the future." A Foreign Ministry source suggested that Japan may agree to China's becoming a member in exchange for Beijing's nod for Tokyo's bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.86 (February 1, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
Fifteen non-member countries are to be invited to participate in the G8 summit. Countries, such as Ethiopia will attend the summit meeting's "expanded dialogue" which will focus on climate change and African development. Other African countries also invited to the summit are: Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. AU Chairperson-elect Jean Ping also is invited to participate in the dialogue. Major greenhouse gas emitters China and India as well as South Africa will also be invited to participate in the summit as non-member countries. Invited to take part in the expanded dialogue on climate change to be held July 9, the last day of the summit, are Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Korea.87 (March 24, 2008, All Africa)
Major greenhouse gas emitters China and India as well as African countries including South Africa will be invited to participate in the G8 summit as nonmember countries. The government officially announced 15 nonmember countries invited to participate in the summit meeting's "expanded dialogue" that will focus on climate change and African development. Together with the G8 countries, this will equate to 23 participants in the summit process.88 (March 20, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
Japan has said it will hold parallel summits on climate change and African development on the sidelines of the G8 in July. The Japanese government has invited heads of state and government from 15 nations for meetings involving the G8 members during the July 7-9 gathering, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said. For the parallel summit on Africa on July 7, Japan has invited Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and the chairman of the African Union, Komura told reporters. For the climate change meeting on July 9, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea and South Africa have been invited. The parallel summit on climate change is in line with a U.S. initiative aimed at showing leadership on the climate issue that brings together negotiators from 16 major emitting nations.89 (March 18, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan has formally announced it will invite Australia to the G8 summit in July. Tokyo will invite 8 countries not part of the G8, including Australia, to take part in a summit on climate change on the sidelines of the meeting.90 (March 18, 2008, Australian Associated Press General News)
Japan considers Indonesia's presence at a G8 summit next July very important as Indonesia is expected to voice the developing countries' views on current international issues, a senior Japanese official said. "Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries are invited to offer suggestions in an effort to build constructive discussions in the G8 meeting," an unnamed Japanese official said. Indonesia has been invited to participate at the leader's level, as well as at the ministerial level on financial and energy affairs at the Mita Conference Hall in Tokyo on April 5-6, 2008. "Indonesia is not only a mirror of developing nations but also a representative of ASEAN so that its presence is very important. Moreover, Indonesia has traditionally always been close to Japan," the Japanese official said. Countries and organizations not belonging to the G8 but invited to the financial ministerial meeting are Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Korea, South Africa, European Commission, ASEAN Secretariat, UNDP and the World Bank.91 (March 14, 2008, Asia Pulse)
Other sources have confirmed that the Japanese government has made the decision to invite to 15 countries to the G8 summit in July. This will make the forum the most representative in its history. Most of discussions will be held by permanent participants. Leaders of Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, India, China, Mexico, South Africa and Korea will join them on the last day of the three-day summit. They will take part in the discussion of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The agenda of dayone of the summit will be Africa's acute problems in education, health care spheres and water shortage. Leaders of the G8 and Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia will discuss these problems. An important issue will be reducing twofold the number of famished people on the African continent by 2015. Chiefs of the European Union will also attend the summit in the capacity of unofficial participants.92 (March 7, 2008, ITAR-TASS World Service)
Japan has invited Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to attend the annual G8 summit as an observer, following Mr. Rudd's decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol late last year. The decision to ratify Kyoto, a change from the policy of the Howard government, is believed to be partially responsible for the invitation, with the meeting expected to dominate discussions on climate change, as G8 members look at the progress of a push by the European Union, Japan and Canada to halve global emissions by 2050. Political observers also believe Japan wants to form closer ties with Australia to offset Chinas growing influence in the region.93 (February 29, 2008, Australian Financial Review)
Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda indicated again that South Korea could be invited to participate as a non-member in the 2008 summit this summer.94 (February 22, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific).
The Japanese government is considering inviting around 14 non-member countries to the G8 summit in July, according to government sources. Korea, Australia and Indonesia will be invited as they are important to Japan and the Asia-Pacific area. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions in the three countries are expected to increase further, prompting Japan to include them at the G8 meeting, where global warming will be the main agenda. From Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia and South Africa are expected to be invited. Kenya and Tanzania may be included, but it remains uncertain due to political unrest there. The meeting of the G8 members and African nations will be held July 7, the first day of the summit. Korea and two other countries will attend the meeting involving emerging nations, such as China, India and Brazil, to focus on environmental and energy issues, including global warming, the sources said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and other heads of major international organizations will attend the meetings as well, the sources said.95 (February 3, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
The 2008 G8 summit will take place July 7-July 9, 2008. The prospecitve program for the summit is as follows:
Day One-July 7, 2008: Meeting of G8 members and African Nations.
Discussions will focus on African Development including food security, water, health and education.
Additional Participants include Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and the chairman of the African Union.
Day Two-July 8, 2008: Meeting of G8 members only.
Discussions will likely include political security, non-proliferation and world economy.
Day Three-July 9, 2008: Meeting of G8 members and O5 members plus Korea, Indonesia and Australia.
Discussions will focus on climate change.
Leaders of major emitters of greenhouse gases will join those of the G8 countries to discuss climate change on the final day of the G8 summit in Japan. The first day of the three-day meeting will focus on issues related to development in Africa. Representatives from South Africa, Nigeria and six other African nations will meet with G8 leaders to discuss a number of issues including the UN Millennium goals on poverty eradication and how to provide effective assistance to Africa. On the second day, G-8 leaders will discuss climate change, the global economy and regional issues. On the third day, the G8 countries plus five emerging economies-China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa-will be joined by the leaders of Australia, Indonesia and Korea to discuss ways to fight climate change.96 (April 22, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
[top of page]
The Japanese government is considering having only two official statements issued from this summer's G8 summit in an effort to reduce the overwhelming number of statements that have been issued from previous meetings. At recent G8 meetings, an average of about 10 statements have been released, each of significant length. The government seeks to draw more public attention to the achievements of the summit by reversing this trend in document volume while also making the statements more meaningful. "Nobody reads all of the 10 or more statements. Yet each ministry uses the summit meeting statements as grounds for budget requests, claiming their projects are in the statements. We'd like to change this situation," a senior Foreign Ministry official said. They are considering limiting the statements issued to a chairman's statement, which will cover a wide range of issues agreed to at the summit, and a statement on climate change, which is to be the summit's key issue. However, some in the government also want a statement on Africa and development because eight African countries have been invited to the summit. It also is possible that other G8 member countries will seek to have more statements drawn up, and some in the government say it would not be easy to decline such requests.97 (March 31, 2008, Daily Yomiuri
[top of page]
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will visit the Lake Toya hot-spring resort area in Hokkaido on April 5-6 to tour the G8 summit site, according to government officials. Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari are scheduled to accompany Fukuda on the weekend trip. The prime minister is also scheduled to visit the G8 summit's international media center being constructed in the village of Rusutsu, located about 27 kilometers from the main venue.98 (March 24, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government announced the logo for the 2008 G8 summit. The logo shows young green leaves sprouting from a seed in a blue earth -- a motif aimed at giving a message of hope that a bud born at the summit grows and bears fruit, according to the designers. The logo was designed by a group of high school students from various parts of Japan.99 (January 3, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Windsor Hotel, the venue where Japan will host the G8 summit in July, is a strangely fitting symbol of Tokyo's aspirations for its year in the diplomatic limelight. After going through a difficult period in the 1990s, the hotel has been revived under new management to become one of Japan's most exclusive resorts, tracking the country's slow but steady economic renaissance. Aside from the Windsor's English name, a source of some embarrassment to patriotic Japanese officials, the hotel is seen as representative of Japan's continued economic clout and its consequent determination to be taken seriously on the international stage. The hotel's remote setting, in Hokkaido's magnificent wilderness, is also fitting given that Japan wants to use its presidency to champion the environment by hammering out a new deal on global warming. Even the hotel's ownership by security company Secom, sends a message, underlined by the resort's remoteness and difficulty of access, that Japan is in no mood to see its diplomatic efforts hijacked by anti-globalisation protestors.100 (January 1, 2008, Financial Times)
[top of page]
Fukuda is planning meetings with Merkel, Brown, Sarkozy and Berlusconi around the time of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit taking place June 3 to 5 in Rome. He will likely go to Berlin to meet Merkel, London to meet Brown and Rome to meet Sarkozy and Berlusconi who will both be attending the FAO summit. The trip is apparently aimed at laying the groundwork for the G8 summit in July. Fukuda hopes to win understanding of Japan's proposals on climate change issues by holding direct talks with the leaders. Chief cabinet secretary Nobutaka Machimura said that it would be "meaningful" to meet the leaders even if the G8 summit is only a month away.101 (May 21, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is planning on meeting with Japanese prime minister Fukuda for their first bilateral summit in June, as well as during the G8 summit in July.102 (May 15, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government is considering Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's participation at a summit-level meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization slated for early June in Rome, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said. The top government spokesman expressed hope that such a trip by Fukuda would also provide opportunities for the Japanese leader to meet with counterparts from other countries before hosting the G8 summit in July. Fukuda was considering traveling in early May to some G8 member states in Europe to prepare for the July summit, but had to give up the idea due to parliamentary commitments at home. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have expressed their intention to attend the meeting, according to UN officials.103 (May 14, 2008, Kyodo News)
President Hu Jintao visited Japan and the two countries discussed a number of relevant topics including climate change and energy. President Hu Jintao has said he will "seriously consider" attending the G8 summit in Japan this July.104 (May 8, 2008, China Daily)
Prime Minister Fukuda visited Russia on April 25 and 26. His meetings with President Vladmir Putin and President-elect Dmitri Medvedev included discussions on economic cooperation, preparations for the G8 summit and the Northern Territories disputes.105 (April 30, 2008, WPS)
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is planning on heading to Russia on a tour of G8 member countries ahead of the summit in July.106 (April 10, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan is in the final stages of arranging a visit to Russia by Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura from April 12 to 14. The trip is intended to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's planned visit to Russia in early May. In his meeting with Lavrov, Komura will ask for Russia's cooperation in making a success of this year's G8 summit. The two ministers are expected to discuss the longstanding bilateral territorial dispute over four Russian-held islands in the north-western Pacific that has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to officially end World War II hostilities. They are also expected to exchange opinions on the situation in East Asia, including the recent crackdown of antigovernment protests in Tibet by Chinese authorities.107 (March 21, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japan is planning to revive discussion on the 'Northern Territories' with the new Russian President at the G8 Summit in July.108 (February 8, 2008, Russia Press Digest)
Fukuda expressed his desire to hold talks with the Russians over the Northern Territories issue when the G8 summit convenes in July. Fukuda said, "I will talk about the issue by holding Japan-Russia summit talks in the Group of Eight summit in July."109 (February 7, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government wants to meet with as many G8 countries before the summit as possible, according to Prime Minister Fukuda. The government is also planning to hold sherpa meetings once a month until the summit in order to ensure detailed preparation.110 (February 7, 2008, Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies)
Personal representatives (sherpas) of the leaders of the G8 nations held their first meeting on January 10 in Tokyo to start full-fledged preparations for the July, 2008 G8 summit and to shape the issues on the agenda. Discussions in the two-day meeting of the representatives are expected to cover the main topics to be taken up by the leaders of the G8 major nations as well as the documents and declarations expected to be issued at the summit. The sherpas are expected to gather for three similar meetings over the next few months. Japan envisions setting four key topics for the summit -- tackling global warming and other environmental problems, spurring African development, preventing nuclear proliferation and terrorism, as well as addressing record high oil prices and sustainable growth. A major challenge for the sherpas is to narrow significant differences among the G8 nations over the setting of concrete goals for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Japanese sherpa Kono was believed to have presented to his counterparts Japan's draft proposal for the agenda of the summit.111 (January 10, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government is planning to send prime minister Fukuda's special envoy to India next week for talks on climate change.112 (May 21, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
Finance Minister Nukaga visited India and Vietnam as part of Japan's preparations for the G8 summit this summer in Hokkaido.113 (January 7, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to call the next lower house election for September-November 2008, after Japan hosts the G8 summit in July.114 (May 6, 2008, Economist Intelligence Unit)
Prime Minister Fukuda's ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost a recent by-election. The loss as well as some unpopular policies being put forth by the party is bringing Fukuda's leadership into question once again. Certain individuals are uncertain whether or not Fukuda will even be around to host the July G8 summit.115 (April 28, 2008, The Australian)
Calls to replace Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda are emerging from his own party. In a by-election seen widely as a reflection on Fukuda and his administration, the Prime Minister's Liberal Democratic Party was defeated. Analysts have suggested, however, that Fukuda will "hang on" at least until the G8 summit in July.116 (April 28, 2008, Reuters)
Japan's top opposition leader has indicated that there could be an election before the G8 summit to be held in July of this year. "There is a possibility that a general election will be held in May or June," Ichiro Ozawa, head of the main opposition Democratic Party, said at a seminar. Fukuda, who has been in office for six months, has suffered a sharp drop in popularity amid political deadlock over key legislation, including a gasoline tax and the appointment of a new central bank chief. But at the same time, recent polls suggest the opposition has failed to take full advantage of the fall in government support.117 (March 31, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Prime Minister Fukuda's determination to push through a piece of controversial anti-terror legislation has led some to believe that an election, which the Prime Minister was hoping to avoid, may result before the G8 summit in July.118 (January 11, 2008, Financial Times)
Fukuda, facing slumping approval ratings, is hoping to use the G8 summit to boost Japan's diplomatic clout and spotlight its efforts to help tackle global warming and food shortages in some developing countries.119 (May 22, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
The Japanese government will take all possible measures to prevent terrorist attacks ahead of its hosting in July of the G8 summit in Hokkaido, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said. Machimura's remarks were in response to a question on how Japan plans to deal with the development in which al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader hinted in an audiotape posting on websites used by Islamic militants that Japan could be a target of an attack. "I have heard that there was such a posting on websites. It is nothing new as there were similar postings before, so I believe it is not something to be so surprised about," the top government spokesman said. He said some of the steps Japan is taking to prevent possible attacks are to make sure immigration controls are conducted properly, clamp down on people staying illegally in Japan, keep watch on major infrastructure and take part in international exchanges of information and other such cooperative measures. "I believe we must expend all possible means to take measures in these areas ahead of the Toyako summit," Machimura said. Ayman Al-Zawahri, deputy of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, vowed to punish Western countries that had participated in the Iraq war, hinting that Japan could be a target of an attack in responding to questions received from Kyodo News and others on the websites.120 (April 22, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Metropolitan Police Department is busily preparing to dispatch more than 1,000 riot police officers to Hokkaido, where this year's G8 summit is scheduled to be held. In addition to summit facilities, important locations in Tokyo also might be targeted by international terrorists, radical antiglobalization movements and other such groups-something that Japan has never before experienced. The Metropolitan Police Department is stepping up its efforts to ensure security, such as asking for cooperation from local residents and former riot police officers. This is the first time the MPD has asked for residents' cooperation with regard to security operations. In the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo, residents associations and shop owners unions have formed organizations, boasting more than 3,000 members, to be on the alert for suspicious persons or objects around train stations and important facilities. "We can't prevent terrorist actions unless we create a network across the whole of society to help nip such actions in the bud," one senior MPD official said. Similar organizations had been launched within the jurisdiction of 19 police stations as of the end of March. By July, it is expected that such organizations will exist within the jurisdiction of about 96 police stations, excepting islands belonging to Tokyo. About half the nation's 3,000 MPD riot police will be dispatched to the G8 summit venue. As security in Tokyo could potentially be weakened as a result, temporary riot police teams, mainly comprising young police officers who usually work at koban police boxes, will be established.121 (April 15, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
About 20,000 police officers are to be deployed to ensure security at the G8 summit in July. "The scale of the planned security will be unprecedented and it is important that we make meticulous preparations," Kiyotaka Takahashi, head of Hokkaido prefectural police said. Dedicated security headquarters will be set up in three locations in Hokkaido the New Chitose Airport (the main gateway to the island prefecture through which G8 leaders are likely to travel) and the Hokkaido capital of Sapporo, according to the police. Two other law enforcement centers will be established as well. One will conduct intelligence activities to avert terrorist attacks. The other one will manage the traffic of motorcades carrying leaders and delegates.122 (March 21, 2008, Kyodo News)
The Japanese government is planning to deploy Air Self-Defense Force aircraft equipped with the Airborne Warning and Control System and the Maritime SDF's P-3C anti-submarine patrol aircraft around the G8 summit venue in Lake Toyako in July. It will also use the SDF's radar network to detect early signs of a terrorist attack. As a countermeasure to the threat of demonstrations and riots by anti-globalism activists, the government plans to apply anti-hooligan provisions under the immigration control law, which enables Japan to keep out any individual feared to be a lawbreaker with the potential to hurt people or damage buildings. The geographical features of the Windsor Hotel Toya, the summit venue, make it easier to defend against a land attack. The government is planning to initiate a no-fly zone around the summit to ensure air safety, however, there are no legal grounds to restrict flights of light airplanes, helicopters and radio-controlled model planes, so the government will ask for cooperation. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said the ministry is considering countermeasures against every possible situation, suggesting that shooting down a plane heading toward the venue is under discussion as an option. Sources said, however, it would be impossible to actually shoot down such a plane, and that evacuating participants from the venue is more realistic. The government will also tighten security patrols and baggage inspections at airports across the nation during the summit. In addition, police officers will be aboard civilian flights to prevent hijack attempts.123 (February, 19, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
A 55 kilometre no-fly zone is going to be established around the G8 venue this summer. This decision was taken up by the Japanese government, who have given up the previous intention to shoot down passenger airline seized by terrorists and steered towards the summit venue. Participants of the summit will be evacuated immediately if a dangerous object is discovered in the air. Ground-based radars, AWACS radar plans, and R-3C patrol aircraft of the Japanese Navy will monitor the no-fly zone. The government has also decided to increase armed guarding groups aboard passenger airlines and enhance luggage screening at airports. The Windsor Hotel area, where the summit is being held, will be heavily guarded on land and protected by air defence missile systems and flights on F-15 jetfighters from the Chitoshe airbase on Hokkaido.124 (February 18, 2008, ITAR-TASS World Service)
The Japanese Defense Ministry is considering the possibility of deploying Patriot-3 missiles around the site of the G8 summit to boost security. The missiles could be deployed at the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) bases around the summit site which is located beside Toya Lake of northern Japan's Hokkaido Prefecture. The ministry also plans to deploy frigates and missile-equipped boats in the nearby bay and Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean, adding that airborne warning planes and chemical defense troops may also be sent to Hokkaido. The Japanese government has assigned the Defense Ministry and the SDF anti-terror and security missions for the G8 summit.125 (January 9, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
[top of page]
The Japanese have indicated that they will use solar electricity panels and air conditioners using snow to make an eco-friendly media centre at this year's G8 summit. Journalists will be taken in fuel-cell and hybrid cars to the media centre, which will be made of thin wood walls and boast solar panels and air conditioners powered by snow. The summit will also showcase traditional Hokkaido houses, "which have such efficient heat efficiency that they don't even need appliances," according to one Japanese source.126 (March 7, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
Representatives from the Japanese government released the following information on ministerial meetings to journalists covering the Heiligendamm Summit:
[top of page]
The G8 are set to endorse two multilateral funds designed to help developing countries curb global warming during their June meeting. Forty developing and industrialized countries agreed last week in their meeting in Potsdam to create the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund. The funds will be launched at the G8 leaders' summit in July. Australia, France, Germany, Norway, Spain Sweden and the Netherlands will all provide funds. The technology fund will "accelerate investments in state-of-the-art technological solutions to help developing countries mitigate the rise in greenhouse gas emissions," according to the World Bank. The strategic fund will "Help more vulnerable coutnreis adapt their development programs to the impacts of climate change while also addressing issues of forest management and access to green energy."128 (May 27, 2008, Kyodo News)
Naoyuki Shinohara, Japan's vice minister for international affairs, ministry of finance said that "Japan wholeheartedly welcomes the significant progress made towards the establishment of the Climate Investment Fund and is planning to take it up at the forthcoming G8 Finance Ministers meeting."129 (May 23, 2008, States News Service)
At the G7 finance ministers meeting in June, there will be a follow-up session on the recommendations presented by the FSF in April. "The follow-up session will cover tasks that have to be urgently tackled, such as strengthening the regulatory framework for [financial institutions'] capital adequacy ratios, enhancing information disclosure, improving credit ratings and boosting authorities' crisis management capabilities," vice finance minister Hiroki Tsuda said. FSF Chairman Mario Draghi, who is governor of the Bank of Italy, will attend the follow-up session. Tsuda also said Japan's finance ministry and the IMF will jointly hold a symposium in Tokyo to examine the recent global financial market turbulence in the run-up to the G7 meeting in Osaka.130 (May 19, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japan's vice finance minister Hiroki Tsuda said that at their June meeting, the finance ministers are likely to discuss issues about the global economy, development and environment. "[Details] of the meeting have not yet been decided so it's difficult to tell [what will be discussed in the meeting] at this point," Tsuda said. "But I guess these [three issues] will be the main topics [of the meeting]." There will also be a progress update from the FSF on its economic report that was published in April.131 (May 19, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck won't attend the G8 finance ministers meeting in Osaka in June, a ministry spokesman said. Steinbrueck will stay in Berlin to oversee the 2009 budget talks, which are expected to end June 20, his spokesman Torsten Albig said. The G8 is scheduled to meet in Osaka June 13-14 and European Union finance ministers are scheduled to meet their Asian counterparts on Jeju Island, Korea, June 15-16. Steinbrueck won't attend either meeting.132 (May 14, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
The G8 finance ministers are likely to explore ways to tackle rising food prices across the globe when they meet in Japan in June, according to Japan's finance minister. "We have to think about what we can do" to counter food shortages and inflation in the world, Japanese finance minister Nukaga said. "That should be one topic of discussion at the G8 meeting to be held in Osaka in June." Nukaga also commented on the role of biofuels. "I think we have to be more mindful of the fact that rising commodities prices are linked to attempts to turn food into fuels," he said.133 (April 24, 2008, Dow Jones)
Pressure to sell the dollar increased, in part because of speculation that the G7 finance ministers and central bankers would not touch on the weakening of that currency. Usually, it would become difficult to sell the currency ahead of a G7 meeting. But this time, it is being sold on the view that the central bankers are unlikely to comment on its weakness. The majority view in the market is that on foreign exchange rates, the G7 statement will pretty much maintain the language from before.134 (April 11, 2008, Nikkei Report)
The Financial Stability Forum (FSF), which includes central bankers and global regulators who have worked on the problematic issues the G7 countries as facing for eight months, recommended the following to the G7 finance ministers and their central bank governors: By July, supervisors should improve their guidelines for the way banks plan for cash shortages. Banks should run "stress tests" to ensure they can get cash in emergencies; By year-end, teams of supervisors from major countries should be assigned to monitor the biggest banks which work across international borders; Financial institutions should improve risk management by establishing larger buffers for capital and liquidity needs, and the Basel Committee should impose higher capital requirements for off-balance sheet securities and complex instruments; Banks should increase transparency by more fully disclosing exposures to risk and offering fair-value estimates for complex securities, while the International Accounting Standards Board should quickly set tougher standards for off-balance sheet entities; Credit rating agencies should be required to distinguish the ratings set for structured products and improve their transparency as well as ensure information used to set ratings on structured products is of the highest quality; Central banks and supervisors should meet more frequently, exchange more information to ensure greater awareness of cross-border risks; Central banks should take steps to ensure they can effectively offer liquidity when the financial system is under stress and strengthen plans for dealing with weak or failing banks, whether domestic or cross-border institutions.135 (April 9, 2008, Reuters News)
It was reported that Japan would host a finance ministers meeting on April 5-6, 2008.136 (April 1, 2008, Philippines News Agency)
The G7 finance ministers were expected to focus on ways to boost financial stability at their April 11 meeting, while the topic of exchange rates was expected to take a backseat.137 (April 1, 2008, Reuters News)
Finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 will meet in Washington on April 11 for their regular spring gathering as they try to find a solution to the credit crunch. The Financial Stability Forum (FSF) of senior representatives of national financial authorities, meeting in Rome, will also present the G7 policymakers with its final recommendations on beefing up surveillance of the global monetary system. Analysts say the G7 are also sure to discuss the plunging value of the dollar as European and Japanese politicians are worried about their exporters losing competitiveness.138 (March 27, 2008, Reuters News)
Japan will host a finance ministerial meeting in April and the results of the meeting will serve as input and proposals in the G8 summit in July.139 (March 16, 2008, Asia Pulse)
The G7 is closely monitoring the global financial market turmoil and stands ready to take action to enhance stability in the market, according to Japan's top financial diplomat. Naoyuki Shinohara, vice finance minister for international affairs, cast doubt on calls for the establishment of a Japanese sovereign wealth fund, saying the country's foreign reserves are not a pure investable asset given its huge budget deficit. G7 finance chiefs warned in Tokyo earlier this month that credit turmoil could still unhinge the global economy and pledged a plan of action for restoring markets to financial health. "We have made it clear that we stand ready to take any action necessary to enhance stability in financial markets," Shinohara said. He added that the G7 keeps sending a message that excess volatility was undesirable. G7 finance chiefs reaffirmed their stance in Tokyo that currency levels should reflect economic fundamentals, and that excess volatility was undesirable for economic growth.140 (February 28, 2008, Reuters News)
At the G7 meeting in Tokyo in February, finance minister conceded that global economic prospects have deteriorated since they met in October and that individual and collective action is necessary to address the problems. It was recognized that U.S. output and employment growth have slowed and that risks have become 'more skewed to the downside.' They discussed the effects on each of the member's economies as well as concerns around oil and currencies. The ministers stressed commitment to strengthen financial stability and to implement the Financial Stability Forum's (FSF) recommendation. They reiterated their desire for a successful completion of the Doha round, and Japan, Britain and the U.S. raised the issue of setting up a climate change fund.141 (February 10, 2008, AFX International Focus)
Japan, Britain and the U.S. were set to propose a special climate change fund at the G7 meeting in Tokyo in early February.142 (February 7, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
The G7 leaders were to 'candidly discuss' credit crunch fears at their meeting in Tokyo in February, according to Japanese finance minister Nukaga. "It is important that we work together and send a message to stabilize the financial markets and keep the global economy growing," he said. Nukaga reiterated that each country should fix its own economy, as they are all very distinct. He indicated that maintaining growth in emerging economics was also likely to be a discussion topic. On the side of the G7 meeting, an 'outreach' session was to be held with China, Korea, India and Russia to discuss the impact of the U.S. economic slowdown on emerging economies.143 (February 8, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The G7 agree on the need for global financial institutions to fully disclose their losses stemming from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis at an early time. Financial institutions are expected to incur additional losses from the subprime-linked turmoil as the value of related securities keeps falling. "It is crucial for financial institutions to reveal their losses early and take action to cope with the problem," a senior official of Japan's Finance Ministry said. There will also be discussion on measures to prevent financial turmoil, based on an interim report to be submitted to the meeting by the Financial Stability Forum. But the report is likely to lack details, and the FSF will propose concrete measures to prevent financial crises at the next G7 meeting to be held in Washington in April. Officials are also expected to discuss the impacts of surging crude oil and food prices on the global economy and confirm the recent slowdown in global economic growth. They will discuss climate change and activities of sovereign wealth funds, which have been rapidly increasing their presence on global financial markets.144 (February 6, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
G7 financial chiefs are unlikely to single out the issue of currencies at the meeting in Tokyo, according to a senior Japanese official. Global economic fundamentals remain firm but uncertainty is rising, the Ministry of Finance official said. Finance ministers and central bankers will discuss high oil prices as a downside risk. "There are people who may discuss currencies," the senior finance ministry official told reporters. "But our heads are filled with imminent problems such as the economic outlook and uncertainty in overall financial markets." The money market is stabilising thanks to concerted liquidity injections by central banks in the industrialised world while the credit market remains shaky, the senior Japanese official said. The G7 is likely to assess such efforts and the U.S. stimulus package at the meeting, the official said. But each country is in a different economic and fiscal condition and should take appropriate steps on its own, the senior Japanese finance ministry official said, expecting the U.S. is unlikely to demand fiscal steps at the G7 meeting. "We won't say it's outrageous [for the U.S.) to implement the fiscal stimulus despite a huge budget deficit," the Japanese official said. "In the face of market turmoil, the global economy is in a challenging situation as to how to balance things with inflationary pressure."145 (February 6. 2008, Reuters News)
Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga indicated his intention to stress at the February 9 G7 meeting that banks need to enhance information disclosure in order to allay market concerns over the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Nukaga, chair of the G7 meeting said in a press conference that it is important for banks to disclose information, including the size of their losses, so that they can build good relations with financial markets. Nukaga expressed a negative stance on rising calls for fiscal spending to tackle the subprime problem, saying that the Japanese government has learned what fiscal action produces from its experience after the collapse of the speculation-driven bubble economy in the late 1980s. Nukaga also said that finance ministers of China, Indonesia and Korea would be invited to Tokyo for an outreach session with the G7 counterparts and that Russian officials will partially participate in the main G7 meeting.146 (February 4, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
The Financial Stability Forum (FSF) will present an interim report on proposals to improve the way financial markets work at the G7 meeting in Tokyo on February 9.The proposals are expected to address the roles and methodologies of credit ratings for securities linked to residential mortgages and other assets, as part of efforts to manage risks associated with increasingly complex financial products. The G7 meeting will also take up the issue of climate change, with Japan, the United States and Britain set to propose a new fund to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After their meeting, the G7 officials will invite their counterparts from emerging nations such as China and South Korea to an unofficial meeting to exchange opinions on "decoupling," in which emerging economies, separated from the United States, can continue to grow rapidly and drive global growth.147 (February 4, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japanese finance minister Nukaga said G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will discuss issues such as financial market movements since the U.S. subprime loan problems emerged last year. G7 officials will also discuss the role of rating agencies and securitised investment tools, high oil prices and their impact on the global economy, he said. Those topics will also be discussed at an outreach meeting with non-G7 members on the sidelines of the talks, he said, although he said it was too early to announce which countries would come to that meeting.148 (January 31, 2008, Reuters News)
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was expected to attend the G7 meeting in Tokyo on February 9 as head of the eurozone.149 (January 30, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Japan, Britain and the United States were planning to propose the creation of a special fund designed to fight climate change at the G7 meeting on February 9 in Tokyo, according to sources. The fund is mainly aimed at helping developing countries improve energy-saving technologies and the World Bank is expected to manage it. The three countries were planning to call on the other G7 members to back the plan and include it in their joint statement to be adopted at the end of the meeting.150 (January 28, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said he wants to find areas where the G7 can work together to deal with recent global market turbulence at the group's meeting on February 9. "As chairman of the meeting, I want to discuss where policy coordination is possible among the G7 members (in response to recent instability global financial markets) at the meeting, and I want to issue a message," Nukaga said. But he said each G7 member must first understand their own situations and take appropriate policy responses. "Before coordinating policy, each country must first grasp its own financial market and economy situation and take steps. Building on these steps, we'd like to find out where coordination is possible among the G7," he said. The Japanese finance minister also indicated that he wants to hear more at the meeting about the U.S. subprime loan issue and how it is affecting the U.S. economy. "The current falling global stock prices and financial market instability stem from the U.S. subprime issue. I'd like to know how the problem is being addressed by the U.S. at the (G7) meeting."151 (January 27, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
While in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Fukuda acknowledged that the risk of the global economic downturn is increasing against the backdrop of the subprime mortgage loan crisis in the U.S. and the surge of oil prices to record levels. He said that the matter would be discussed at the February 9th G7 meeting in Tokyo.152 (January 26, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga pledged to ''lead the discussions and issue a message'' to address the subprime meltdown and its impact on the real economies of member countries. However, despite Nukaga's firm denial, some market observers have think Japan still may intervene in the currency market to help the waning dollar, which briefly plunged to the 104 yen level recently.153 (January 25, 2008, Kyodo News)
Fukuda was expected to explain that the effects of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis on the Japanese economy are limited, amid a plunge in global stock markets stemming from the situation, and that his country is steadily on the path to economic recovery. This message was meant to urge the financial markets to take a calm approach in the lead-up to the G7 finance minister's meeting on February 9 in Tokyo where the situation of the global economy will be discussed.154 (January 23, 2008, Kyodo News)
The G7 will discuss ways to stabilize global financial markets affected by the deepening U.S. subprime mortgage crisis when they meet in Tokyo in February. They will see if they can build a solid framework for cooperation to address the crisis that threatens global growth. Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, who will chair the gathering, said that the meeting needs to send out a message aimed at stabilizing the global economy and financial markets. As part of the effort, G7 officials are scheduled to review proposals the Financial Stability Forum are discussing.155 (January 23, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japanese Finance Minister Nukaga said market turmoil would be a key topic at the G7 meeting at the beginning of February in Tokyo. "As the chair of the meeting, I would like to lead the discussions so that we send a message," he said. "It's important to have candid talks over the financial problems surrounding U.S. subprime loans to low-income households, high crude oil prices and the trend of global markets."156 (January 22, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan's Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari said coming up with effective steps to address the U.S. subprime crisis will be a priority in the upcoming global economic meetings, including the G7 financial meeting on February 9.157 (January 21, 2008, BBC Monitoring Newsfile)
The G7 is considering inviting China and South Korea to an informal gathering to be held after their official meeting in Tokyo on February 9. There are hopes that the strong growth of emerging economies in Asia will help to keep the global economy afloat with the U.S. heading into a recession.158 (January 17, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga called for a message from the G7 at their upcoming February 9 meeting in Tokyo that would help stabilize the global economy and financial markets. "In the February meeting, we will discuss our tasks in dealing with the subprime issue, such as banks' crisis management and methods of credit rating," Nukaga said. ''It will be important for G7 members to air a message to stabilize the global economy and financial market movements in the future.''159 (January 16, 2008, Kyodo News)
Top financial officials of the G7 are likely to discuss whether emerging economies can become leading forces in the global economy, at their meeting in Tokyo on February 9. The finance ministers and central bank chiefs will address the so-called "decoupling theory," which maintains that strong, growing, emerging economies, such as China and India, decoupled from the United States, can offset a U.S. economic slowdown caused by the subprime mortgage crisis. They are considering inviting the finance ministers and central bank chiefs of these emerging nations to an unofficial meeting after the G7 meets. The subprime problems have started to cast a shadow over the U.S. economy. However, it has also been noted that the United States is the biggest export destination for China, with U.S.-bound exports accounting for around 20% of China's total exports in value. In light of this fact, Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui has said the Asian economy is firmly tied up to the United States, stressing the need to watch out for the possibility of China being negatively affected when the U.S. economy slows down sharply. G7 officials plan to carefully assess the state of the global economy and its outlook at their Tokyo meeting. If the officials agree that deterioration of the U.S. economy will spill over to emerging economies, they may downgrade their assessment of the global economy.160 (January 12, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
Japan will host a meeting of G7 finance chiefs on February 9, 2008 in Tokyo.161 (January 8, 2008, Reuters News)
[top of page]
The Japanese government is planning to issue a joint statement on assistance for Afghanistan at the upcoming G8 foreign ministers meeting. The government has coordinated with the countries concerned to draw up a statement, which is to be released separately from the planned chair's summary. The Japanese concluded it was necessary to show the determination of the G8 to fight terrorism and rebuild the war-torn country. The statement likely will point to deteriorating security in the southern, south-eastern and eastern parts of Afghanistan as a key concern. The statement is likely to urge G8 countries to provide Afghanistan with assistance to stabilize the country. The assistance is expected to be offered in various forms, such as the building of schools and roads, removal of land mines, relief efforts for displaced people and food aid.162 (May 19, 2008, Daily Yomiuri)
Foreign ministers from the G8 called for the swift release of the results of Zimbabwe's disputed presidential polls, condemning recent violence there. The ministers urged "a speedy, credible and genuinely democratic resolution to this situation in accordance with the wishes of the Zimbabwean people." In a joint statement issued by Japan the ministers called for the result of the presidential election "to be released expeditiously and in accordance with the due process of law." "Violence and intimidation must have no place in this process," they added. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he beat 84-year-old President Robert Mugabe outright in Zimbabwe's March 29 presidential poll, but the ruling party says neither won a clear victory and insists a run-off will be needed. The G8 ministers expressed "deep concern" that the official results have not yet been released and said any verification of the vote should be done in the presence of all the candidates or their representatives.163 (April 17, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
Major energy consumer use the G8 energy ministers meeting on June7-8 to press for oil producers to become more open to outside investment, a senior Japanese official said. Officials from fifteen countries are due to attend the meeting. "We need to change the medium to long-term fundamentals of [the] crude oil [market] by improving the investment environment at the same time as promoting energy efficiency and alternative energy sources," Jun Arima, Counsellor of the International Energy Negotiation at Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry said.164 (May 27, 2008, Dow Jones News Service)
Japan will host a series of meetings on energy-saving ahead of this year's G8 summit where climate change will be high on the agenda. Talks will be held in Tokyo on January 22 and 23, 2008, to prepare for a meeting of energy ministers in June in northern Aomori prefecture. Sources have suggested that a proposal to set up a new international organisation to study countries' energy-saving measures may be in the works for the upcoming summit. The world body would provide emerging economies with the environmental know-how of developed countries. The new organisation would be funded by Japan, the United States and European countries, with the International Energy Agency in Paris being eyed as a possible location for the new body's headquarters. The energy agency official, however, denied the report, saying: "It is true that we plan to discuss a wide range of energy-saving topics but we don't have any plan to set up such a new body."165 (January 8, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
Justice and home affairs ministers of the G8 countries will confirm their intentions to increase efforts for a crackdown on criminals abusing personal identify as the so-called 'ID crimes' have amounted to serious threat to global economic activities, according to a draft of their statement. The ministers are also expected to call on financial institutions and regulators for cooperation to fight money laundering and other organized crimes. "Certain types of organized crimes such as money laundering, which hides financial benefits from criminal acts, and human trafficking are often found closely linked to ID crimes," the documents says. Under the initiative both financial and nonfinancial companies would be required to protect their customers' identification data from being fraudulently obtained, duplicated and abused, while ensuring smooth banking, credit card and other financial transactions. The G8 ministers will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Criminal Police Organization. "ID crimes are causing tough challenges to judicial and police authorities," one source said. "This is relatively new as a concept. The number of cases has been on the rise due to the development of the global economy and more popular use of the Internet." "Technological innovation and the prevalence of the Internet have enabled us to conduct transaction even without seeing the face of trading partner or beyond national borders. At the same time, however, the development ended up offering more opportunities for ID crimes, and their impacts are becoming serious," the draft says.166 (May 26, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
The G8 environment ministers issued a "Kobe 3R Action Plan" in a bid to promote the efficient use of resources and the harmonization of the environment and the economy.167 (May 26, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
The World Bank will raise at least $5.5 billion with the U.S., Britain and Japan this year for a climate change fund that will help developing nations use clean technology and tackle global warming. "We are hoping that initially the clean technology fund may begin with $5 billion and the other one may be $500 million for climate resilience," Katherine Sierra, the World Bank's vice president for sustainable development said. She also suggested that a further announcement may come at the G8 summit in July.168 (May 26, 2008, The New York Times)
The environment ministers said that biological diversity constitutes the indispensable foundation of lives and of global economic development. At their meeting, the ministers encouraged the implementation of the 10 Activities included in the 'Potsdam Initiative-Biological Diversity 2010' and the provision of science-based information on biodiversity and ecosystem services to the public and policy-makers. The proposal, 'Kobe Call for Action for Biodiversity,' highlighted the advancement of sustainable forest management, including the conservation of forest biodiversity, by improving forest governance and by addressing illegal logging and related trade collectively and individually, as stated in the G8 Forest Experts Report on Illegal Logging and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (RECC). The document also advocated a boost to international collaboration in research, monitoring, assessment and information sharing of biodiversity in particular by strengthening cooperation among existing organizations through the use of remote sensing and ground observation, so that the impacts of climate change can also be monitored.169 (May 26, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
Environment ministers from the G8 sidestepped the major issue of setting midterm greenhouse gas reductions targets for 2020 due to a divide between developing and developed countries over specific targets. Japanese environment minister Kamoshita said that when the G8 leaders meet, they should agree to push for emission reductions from all countries over the next 10 to 20 years. "Developed countries should take the lead in emissions reductions, and identify their fair and equitable quantified national targets so that global greenhouse gas emissions would peak within the next 10 to 20 years."170 (May 26, 2008, The Japan Times)
A low-carbon network will be included in the chairman's summary from the G8 environment ministers meeting. It will also be in a report from the environment ministers to the G8 leaders at the summit in July. The 'Kobe initiative' which was put forth at the meeting calls for technical cooperation to help developing countries take measures against global warming and pollution. It also calls for support to help developing countries set up systems to measure, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions, which would then become the infrastructure for gas reductions. The ministers also agreed to a '3R' action plan to help reduce garbage. The action plan puts priority on reduction use of plastic bags, seen as a symbol of disposable products. The plan also emphasizes using economic measures, such as charging fees for bags, to change consumer behaviour.171 (May 26, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
Environmental ministers from the G8 neared agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emission in half by 2050, but fell short of the more difficult task of setting midterm targets for 2020. "It is perhaps much more important that the negotiation process leads to meaningful and ambitious midterm targets, because midterm targets lead to… actions, while the long-term is always the long-term. It's far from here," European Commission representative Jos Delbeke said. However, Japanese environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita had a slightly different perspective. "Setting the midterm goals is the most difficult of all," he said. "That's the main point of the discussions leading to next year's meeting in Copenhagen." The ministers also largely defused a rift over Japan's sectoral approach to slash emissions by setting different goals for different industrial sectors. "Remarkably, we have quite a bit of consensus in the sectoral approach," Delbeke said. "I think this is a very important convergence we've begun to observe in the discussion."172 (May 25, 2008, Associated Press)
At the G8 environment ministers meeting in Kobe, Japanese minister Kamoshita proposed a 'Kobe initiative.' Referring to that initiative, he said, "emission reduction potentials through a sectoral approach will provide a scientific basis for negotiations on the post-2012" period, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.173 (May 25, 2008, Agence France Presse)
The asian countries of Japan, China and Korea jointly urged the rest of the world to substantially reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. At the G8 environment ministers 3R session, Japanese minister Kamoshita said that as the use of plastic shopping bags indicates having consumption of resources as well as dumping of a great deal of waste, it is of special importance to make joint efforts on the matter. Delegates at the session also deliberated on issues such as formulating policies on 3Rs, promoting the reuse and recycling of resources and building a worldwide recycling-oriented society.174 (May 25, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
On May 25, Ichiro Kamoshita called for the launch of an international network of institutions to facilitate the transition to low-carbon societies. "I hope that this goal will constitute a shared vision among the participating countries to the G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit this year," he said.175 (May 25, 2008, Kyodo News)
European and developing countries urged the U.S. and Japan to commit to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emission by 2020, a step they say is needed to defuse a coming ecological disaster. A major focus of the Kobe meeting was midterm targets for 2020, which scientists say are needed to avoid a potentially disastrous rise in world temperatures. "A long-term goal is not a substitute for midterm, mandatory targets," said German environment minister Matthias Machnig. Japanese environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita called for the countries to take the first steps in battling climate change, urging them to together reduce their emissions by more than 50% by 2050. "Developed countries should take the lead in emissions reductions and identify fair and equitable quantified national targets so that the global greenhouse gas emissions peak within the next ten to twenty years," he said.176 (May 25, 2008, Associated Press)
The G8 environment ministers were to release a plan at the end of their discussions on May 26 on technology transfer to developing countries on waste management. The proposals called for all countries, including China and India, to agree to reductions in certain industries instead of setting national targets. The proposal would only work, however, if the industrialized countries first meet their own responsibilities by setting mid-term targets, according to German environment minister Matthias Machnig.177 (May 25, 2008, Deutsche Welle)
The Chinese delegate called on developed countries to take the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emission and provide financial support and technology transfer to developing countries. The three major issues on the agenda for the meeting were biodiversity, climate change and the 3Rs.178 (May 25, 2008, Xinhua News)
In his opening speech, Japanese environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita said, "This G8 environment meeting is not a place to negotiate." "I hope we minister responsible for the global environment will come to common recognition on issues that need to be given directions for the future." The meeting is to include the G8 countries as well as the European Union, Brazil, China India, Indonesia, Mexico Australia, Korea and South Africa.179 (May 24, 2008, Agence France Presse)
The G8 environment minister held their first session on biodiversity conservation on May 24, highlighting that biodiversity and climate change are not isolated by related issues. During the session, environment chiefs reached a consensus on the importance of biodiversity and the adoption of effective measures to significantly hold down the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. They noted the problem of illegal deforestation. The ministers also stressed the important role that systematic monitoring and sustainable exploitation have played in maintaining biodiversity.180 (May 24, 2008, Xinhua News)
The Japanese environment minister conveyed condolences to those affected in the May 12 devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province and Myanmar's cyclone-hit areas, pledging Japan's maximum efforts to help the disaster-hit areas recover at an early date.181 (May 24, 2008, Xinhua News)
Climate change minister Penny Wong will attend the G8 environment ministers' meeting in Kobe, Japan. It is the first time Australia has participated in such a gathering.182 (May 24, 2008, Daily Telegraph)
The Japanese have said that the G8 much show initiative so poorer countries can do their part in fighting climate change, blamed for droughts, rising seas and more intense storms. "We need to send a message that we will make it easier for emerging countries to act, with financial mechanism and technological cooperation." Kamoshita said.183 (May 23, 2008, Reuters News)
U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will lead the U.S. delegation to the G8 environment ministers meeting in Kobe from May 24 to 26.184 (May 23, 2008, States News Service)
The G8 environment ministers and other major emitters, including China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa will try and build momentum for talks on emissions reduction targets at their upcoming meeting. The Japanese have said the three-day meeting of environment ministers would try to lay the groundwork for the leaders' summit in July but breakthroughs were unlikely since any agreement would ultimately be left to the heads of state. "Consensus-building among ministers will be a major agenda, but we are not necessarily aiming for a final conclusion," Ryutaro Yatsu, councillor for global environment at the environment ministry said. "A major part of the chairman's summary will be agreement among the G8 and outreach countries, but I think there will be a small percentage of the agenda where we cannot reach a consensus." Another area of contention will be medium-term targets for reducing greenhouse gases, such hammering out a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Japan has promoted a sectoral approach to emissions goals, with curbs set for particular industries such as steel or cement that could be added up to a national target. "In a way we've already gone through a breakthrough on addressing the sectoral approach, by starting to discuss how this could be utilised rather than whether it is worthy of being used or not," said Koji Tsuruoka, director-general for global issues at Japan's foreign ministry. "This is because people now appreciate the nature of the sectoral approach, not as some kind of a trap, with some kind of intention, it is a neutral tool," he said. Also on the agenda are ways to slow the rate of extinctions of species and steps to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.185 (May 19, 2008, Reuters News)
The G8 environment ministers will seek cooperation on promoting the "co-benefits approach" to help developing countries achieve economic growth while curbing pollution and waste. The ministers will also discuss steps to protect biological diversity and to ensure the efficient use of resources with the so-called "3Rs" approach of reducing waste by promoting reuse and recycling, officials said. Emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India plan to take part in the meeting in Kobe. With regards to emissions, the ministers "will first focus on a long-term target and then confirm the importance of having emissions peak, though we don't expect [them] to agree on a peak-out period." an environment ministry official said. As for medium targets, the ministers are expected to discuss methodologies, rather than figures, to ensure "equitable burden sharing" among developed countries and other major emitters in a new carbon-capping framework to be implemented after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The Japanese are still pushing to that the other G8 countries "understand that the bottom-up approach is useful for building an equitable framework." On biological diversity, Japan plans to unveil the "Satoyama Initiative" to ensure the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and to call for the participation of other countries. "Satoyama" is a zoning concept originated in Japan, which consists of coppice woodland, farmland and agricultural ponds surrounding villages. Natural resources have been used in a sustainable manner in Satoyama located between human residential areas and natural areas, with rice paddies, for example, providing feeding and breeding sites for waterfowl. The G8 ministers are also expected to study measures to strengthen monitoring of biodiversity and to reduce deforestation in developing countries, as well as to build networks among protected areas, which cover about 12% of the total land surface of those countries, to conserve endangered species and migratory animals. The ministers also plan to discuss how the G8 can assist developing countries in incorporating the concept of the 3Rs into their policies and how advanced countries can effectively transfer relevant technologies to developing countries. The minister are also likely to discuss steps to prevent illegal cross-border movements of hazardous waste, while considering a system to allow materials that cannot be managed properly in their country of origin to be processed in other countries.186 (May 18, 2008, Kyodo News)
Representatives from 20 Asian countries, G8 countries and international organizations had a meeting in Tokyo to discuss how to cooperate to reduce waste and recycle resources in fast-growing Asia. The Japanese government, which organized the Asia 3R Conference, plans to reflect outcomes from the meeting in discussions at the G8 environment ministers' meeting to be held in Kobe from May 24 to 26, Japanese Environment Ministry officials said. Japan's Vice Environment Minister Yoshio Tamura asked the participants to deepen discussions on how to promote the initiative in the run-up to the May environment ministers' meeting. Delegates from China, Korea, India and the UN Environmental Programme were among the participants.187 (March 18, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The agenda for the meeting of the G8 environment ministers will focus on three areas: climate change, biodiversity and the three R's [reduce, reuse and recycle]. There are also plans to extend invitations to the major developing countries and various international organizations to attend the meeting. There will also be meetings with NGO/NPO and other stakeholders in related industries.188 (February 5, 2008, Ministry of the Environment: Government of Japan)
[top of page]
The G8 agreed on the need to incorporate environmental protection into their labor policies under the International Labor Organization's (ILO) green jobs initiatives. "Economic development, social development and environment protection are the vital pillars to achieve a sustainable society," said a statement issued by the participants. Juna Somavia, director general of the ILO, expressed support for sectoral approaches in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an idea presented by business leaders from the G8 nations. "Sectoral and local approaches are necessary," Somavia said. "Industries, workers and communities will be affected differently."189 (May 15, 2008, Kyodo News)
Senior labor officials from the G8 recognized the need to create solid policies to address the so-called "working poor," one negative consequence arising from globalization, as well as to promote a work-life balance and career development amid long life spans. But the G8 participants failed to develop their dialogues on specific measures, a Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said on the second day of their three-day meeting in Niigata. "The definition of the term 'working poor' and the perspective toward irregular employment differ among the countries," the official said, while stressing that they agreed that "it has been a serious phenomenon among the countries." During talks some participants also suggested that local industries and research institutes should be utilized as a way to help revitalize rural areas that often fail to benefit from globalization, which intensifies the low-cost competition and the polarization between haves and have-nots. The participants also shared the importance of promoting the balance between work and private activities such as nursing care and child-rearing, as well as lifelong learning systems in the G8 economies where people are living longer lives than ever. Japan is hoping to demonstrate leadership in this field, as a nation experiencing graying of its society at a particularly rapid pace. But opinions were split in discussions over a flexible working style among the participants, according to another ministry official. Some addressed the need of encouraging flexibility in ways of working in order to secure stable employment throughout life, while others said too much flexibility may give rise to a further increase in part-time employment. Japanese labor minister Yoichi Masuzoe, the meeting chair, said in his opening speech, "Our societies are faced with negative aspects of globalization, and it's needless to say that we need to closely cooperate to ensure our labor market systems operate in a smooth and orderly manner." Masuzoe noted that climate change will be a central theme of the summit and said, "I hope to show our determination to tackle climate change from a labor perspective from here in Niigata to the world." Masuzoe is the only Cabinet labor minister attending the meeting, with the other seven nations being represented by vice ministers and other senior officials. Their talks on Tuesday will focus on links between labor and environment issues, the first time it is being attempted in the G8 framework. A chairman's statement will then be issued, in which the participants are expected to agree to ensure harmony between labor and environmental policies, according to a draft obtained. They are also expected to reconfirm the importance of accelerating job creation through the use of local resources and of promoting participation of local governments and nonprofit organizations to help redress disparities, the draft says. The three-day meeting kicked off [May 11]. On the first day, the officials held tripartite talks with labor unions and business groups, and shared an understanding on the urgent need to tackle issues related to increasing inequality within the G8 economies.190 (May 12, 2008, Kyodo News)
The G8 Labour ministers met with labour unions and business groups to discuss reduction of workplace emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming and other social challenges, officials said. The talks in Niigata are aimed at boosting support for global environmental initiatives before the summit in July. The labour ministers are also expected to address concerns about growing income disparities, aging and uncertainty over financial markets in seeking ways to achieve sustainability, Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry said. Participants issued the 'Business Statement,' urging G8 nations to find ways to create sustainable and rewarding labour markets and promote environmental protection measures at worksites. "The G8 countries should foster a societal approach moving all industry sectors in more environmentally friendly and energy efficient directions," the statement said, also urging workers to adjust to regulatory policy changes. Japanese officials also plan to discuss how industries that are likely to be hurt by climate change can seek alternative income sources, such as ski resorts facing snow shortages pursuing other forms of tourism during the G8 labour meeting. Thailand and Indonesia were invited to join an outreach discussion. 191 (May 11, 2008, Dow Jones International)
In addition to the G8 nations, the European commissioner in charge of employment, the heads of the International Labour Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are also taking part in the meeting.192 (May 11, 2008, Kyodo News)
[top of page]
G8 ministers and senior officials responsible for development met in Tokyo on April 5 and 6, 2008, along with representatives from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Korea, South Africa, the ASEAN Secretariat, the AU Commission, the OECD, the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, the WHO and the World Bank. At the meeting commitments to strengthening development assistance, make it more effective and add new donors were reaffirmed. They reaffirmed their commitment to double ODA for Africa by 2010. The importance of economic growth, climate change and human security were emphasized.193 (April 6, 2008, The Minsitry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Development ministers threw their weight behind a call for action to reduce soaring food prices, which they say hurt developing nations as well as donors' efforts to help them. G8 ministers said development assistance needed to be strengthened and partnership between traditional donors and new donors, such as emerging Asian countries, increased. Spikes in food prices cause serious problems for development as a whole, especially for Africa, and we shared the view that this is something the international community needs to tackle," said Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, who chaired the meeting. "The problem of food will directly hit lives of poor people. We reached a common determination that there is the need to take necessary steps," he added, without specifying details. Some Asian countries that attended "outreach meetings" said problems of rising food prices should be taken up at the G8 summit, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. But the official said there had not been enough time to discuss any concrete steps to tackle food prices this weekend.194 (April 6, 2008, Reuters Africa)
Japan plans to use the two-day development ministers' meeting as an opportunity "to share Asia's remarkable growth experience with Africa" and push emerging countries to up their development assistance and emphasis on human rights, according to Japanese foreign ministry officials.195 (April 3, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Japan plans to propose at the upcoming G8 development ministers' meeting the setting up of a new framework for cooperation with emerging donors such as China and India on aid to developing countries, government sources said. Japan is also going to consult with Korea to jointly hold a senior working-level meeting between the emerging donors and so-called traditional donors of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ahead of July's G8 summit, a senior Foreign Ministry official said. The moves are aimed at improving dialogue in hopes of getting the new donors, which unlike the OECD members are not obligated under the rules of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, also to follow the rules and coordinate with each other when giving aid. The traditional donors have criticized some emerging donors, such as China, for what they see as the lack of transparency and accountability of their rapidly growing assistance to other developing countries. There are also concerns that such unconditional aid would jeopardize the DAC nations' efforts to push forward democratization, human rights and other issues through official development assistance. Japan is hoping to win the support of the other G8 members at the April 5-6 development ministers' meeting to include the plan for the cooperation framework in the chairman's summary, a government source said. The ministerial meeting will discuss the recent trend of "South-South cooperation" in which the stronger developing countries are providing aid to other developing nations. But as many of the emerging donors lack experience in areas such as managing debt and conducting environmental assessments on infrastructural projects, Japan hopes the envisioned cooperation framework will help share know-how from the traditional donors.196 (March 28, 2008, Kyodo News)
G8 development ministers will meet in Tokyo in early April. In addition to smoothing out conflicting interests of multiple players in the donor community in tackling poverty reduction, a key role for Japan in this gathering will be to demonstrate its prowess in aiding the adaptability of developing countries to the challenges of climate change. Discussions will focus on expansion of partnerships in development, climate change and the achievement of MDGs in the run-up to the main G8 summit, according to the Foreign Ministry. "It's a very important thing nowadays how we can effectively coordinate with those new players in order to enhance the effectiveness as well as the impact of aid," a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, acknowledging that the role of emerging donors was "becoming bigger and bigger in the development world." "The issue now is how we can best coordinate our efforts for the development of developing countries" since "new donors have sometimes different ideas and different ways of conduct," the official said without elaborating.197 (March 27, 2008, Kyodo News)
The G8 development ministers will meet in Tokyo on April 5-6, 2008. The meeting will be chaired by Masahiko Koumura, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Japan. The meeting will contribute to discussions that will follow at the TICAD meeting in May and the G8 summit in July. The meeting will be held at Mita Conference Hall (Mita Kaigisho), Minato-ku, Tokyo. Additional participants in the meeting will include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Korea, South Africa, the AU Commission, ASEAN Secretariat, OECD, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank. The G8 countries will meet separately to discuss the development agenda of the G8 summit, while the outreach sessions will cover topics of 'expanding partnership for development,' 'climate change and development,' and 'human security and the achievement of the MDGs.'198 (March 11, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
The 'G20' environment and energy ministers agreed to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol at their meeting in Japan on March 14-16; however they remained divided on the roles the individual countries should play. "We reconfirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in negotiating the next deal for 2013 and onward," said Japan's Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita. Developing countries, however, continued to insist that they should not be held to the same standards as developed countries.199 (March 17, 2008, GreenWire)
"The G20 meeting turned out to be very successful," said Ichiro Kamoshita, Japan's environment minister who co-chaired the talks, noting that the momentum created in Bali has been reinforced. "Although some points in the discussions were not heading in the same direction," Kamoshita said it was meaningful for countries with conflicts of interest to sit around the same table before a new round of UN climate talks begins at the end of this month in Bangkok. The fourth ministerial meeting of the G8 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development was also the first ministerial-level event in Japan related to this year's G8. Kamoshita and Akira Amari, the Japanese industry minister who was the other co-chair, said it became clear what kind of role Japan needs to play in preparing for the upcoming summit after hearing a wide range of opinions both from developed and developing countries on how to craft a functioning successor to the Kyoto accord after it expires in 2012. Even though still somewhat controversial, the Japanese government wants to make the 'sectoral' approach one of the main points for discussion at the summit. By identifying high-emitting industrial sectors internationally, calculating each sector's CO2 reduction potential and combining them, Japan believes this method, dubbed a "bottom-up" sectoral approach, would eventually lead to a quantified national target. A senior Japanese official indicated that Japan plans to propose during the summit that a similar dialogue process involving the 20 countries continue. "We felt that the G20 should play some kind of role," the official said. "We will officially file the proposal at a relevant stage."200 (March 16, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari said during a meeting at the mid-March G20 gathering with Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's minister of environmental affairs and tourism, that a sectoral approach would be an effective tool for developing countries as it will boost energy security and lead to an improvement in energy efficiency and reductions in carbon dioxide, just like "killing three birds with one stone."201 (March 16, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japan is planning to propose at the G8 summit in July that the dialogue process involving 20 major carbon-emitting countries continue, according to a senior Japanese official. "We felt that the G20 should play some kind of role"' to bolster UN negotiations for a new carbon-capping framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond its expiration in 2012, the official told reporters after the two-day G20 ministerial meeting in Chiba. The meeting was to be the last of its kind, initiated by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005. "We will officially file the proposal at a relevant stage," the official said, hinting that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will do it at the G8 summit. Japan plans to host a workshop in May including scientists from Japan and abroad to discuss potential emissions reduction levels using the Tokyo-proposed sectoral approach to rein in emissions by Japan and other economies, the official said. At the Chiba meeting of the G8 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development, G20 ministers and officials discussed whether to continue this sort of dialogue on climate change in a different format after its final report to be submitted to the July G8 summit. The G20 countries are responsible for about 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.202 (March 16, 2008, Kyodo News)
G20 nations ranging from top carbon emitters the United States and China to big developing economies Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa held three days of talks near Tokyo to discuss ways to tackle rapidly rising emissions. While many individuals appeared happy with the way the talks were evolving, other still had concerns. Some G20 members and delegates voiced concern over Japan's proposal for sectoral caps for polluting industries. Japan wants top greenhouse gas emitting nations to assign near-term emissions targets for each industrial sector which, added up, would then form a national target. But it was unclear if this target was mandatory or voluntary and developing nations said the scheme needed to take into account their individual circumstances.203 (March 15, 2008, Reuters News)
The world's '20' biggest greenhouse gas emitters are to hold climate change talks in Japan in a bid to push forward slow-moving negotiations to draft the Kyoto Protocol's successor. Former British prime minister Tony Blair was slated to address the so-called 'Group of 20' dialogue at an opening session in the Tokyo suburb of Makuhari. Blair launched the G20 dialogue [officially called "G8 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development"] in 2005 when he hosted the G8 summit in Gleneagles. It is the fourth dialogue. "The biggest advantage of the G20 meeting is the opportunity for talks at a completely global level compared with those on Kyoto," said Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari, who will co-chair the meeting. It is important to make developing countries "understand that there is an approach [to tackling climate change] that would not sacrifice their growth," Amari said. "The initial purpose of the G20 was to draw a post-Kyoto plan which involves both the United States and developing countries," a senior Japanese foreign ministry official said. "Now that the United States is back in the UN framework, the G20 will need to focus on specifics of how to build a post-Kyoto framework," he added. The meeting was to have three main topics: finding technologies for energy efficiency, financing ways for developing countries to adopt such technologies and coming up with a post-Kyoto framework. The findings are to be reported at the G8 summit in July.204 (March 12, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Environment and energy ministers of the G20 countries and the EU will meet in the Makuhari district of Chiba, east of Tokyo, March 14 to 16 to discuss the problem of global warming, according to Japan's Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The ministers will exchange opinions about a new framework that will succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change that is set to expire in 2012. The G20 nations include the United States and China. Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari will jointly chair the meeting. They plan to insist on the need to have major greenhouse gas emitters like the United States, China and India join the post-Kyoto framework and stress the importance of cutting emissions by improving energy efficiency. Japan will report the outcome of the G20 meeting at the G8 summit in July.205 (February 28, 2008, Jiji Press English News Service)
At the G20 meeting, issues such as global warming and climate change will be discussed by environment and energy ministers of the world's 20 major greenhouse gas emitting nations as well as representatives from relevant international organizations, industries, NGOs and NPOs.206 (February 5, 2008, Ministry of the Environment: Government of Japan)
[top of page]
The latest draft of the Yokohama Declaration obtained notes that TICAD participants "paid special attention to the issue of soaring food prices and its negative impact on poverty reduction in Africa." The reference to food prices in the latest draft was apparently added to reflect the growing global concern. An earlier draft at the previous preparatory minister meeting in Gabon in March only noted the "sharp rise of food price" among the serious challenges face by Africa. The latest draft also includes more detailed references to issues of health and gender, such as concerns regarding the "brain drain" of skilled health professionals and the need to promote women's empowerment by addressing "disparity in education, violence against women, and insufficient participation of women in all spheres of decision-making."207 (May 27, 2008, Kyodo News)
More than 40 African heads of States will gather for the TICAD conference in Japan. The conference will focus on boosting economic growth, ensuring human security, including the achievement of the MDGs and addressing environmental issues and climate change. "TICAD IV will hammer out a mechanism to help us keep focused on mid and long-term issues five or ten years into the future," Japanese foreign minister Masahiko Koumura said. TICAD IV is scheduled to conclude with the adoption of the 'Yokohama Declaration,' outlining funding principles and approaches to African development among TICAD stakeholders, as well as the 'Yokohama Action Plan and the Yokohama Follow-up Mechanism,' laying out a road map for action-oriented initiatives with measureable targets.208 (May 26, 2008, JCN Newswire)
Japan is expected to present Africa's concerns as raised at the TICAD conference to the G8 leaders at the summit in July. The conference will examine boosting economic growth in Africa, including through human resources development, accelerated industrial development, agricultural development, trade and investment and promotion of tourism and the role of the private sector. It will also examine ways to achieve the MDGs. Sectors which have been selected for priority consideration include community development, education, health and gender equality. The conference will also examine ways of consolidating peace and good governance through extending assistance to Africa's own efforts to build peace-keeping capacity through the support of the activities of the African Union peace and security commission. This includes looking at NEPAD's Africa peer review mechanism. The conference will also address environmental issues and climate change where African countries have requested Japan to accelerate Clean Development Mechanism projects.209 (May 26, 2008, All Africa)
A 'bonanza' of aid to Africa from Japan will be dealt out at the TICAD conference to its 53 governments on a 'first come, first serve' basis. Doubled development aid by 2012 will be given to African countries with no conditions attached. More than 30 heads of state are planning to attend.210 (May 26, 2008, The Star)
For the first time in TICAD's 15 year history, the fathering will have an NGO forum as part of its official program, where different representatives will be able to discuss their views on African development with government officials. The NGO leaders are being allowed to attend as 'observers,' but that does not give them the right to address key TICAD sessions to discuss specific agenda such as development and environmental issues. The NGOs were originally told that only three representatives from groups based both in Japan and Africa would be allowed to attend the general meetings as observers. The NGOs demanded at least nine, among 85 officials, be allowed to enter. The Japanese foreign ministry later promised that around six would be able to enter. "But TICAD is still a high-level diplomatic meeting, like the G8 summit, and it is difficult to systematize and formalize NGO participation as a stakeholder equivalent with the various governments," Shigeyuki Hiroki, deputy director-general of the foreign ministry's international cooperation bureau. "While we recognize the growing presence and influence of civil society in many African countries, we need to also take into account the sentiments of other governments that are highly prejudiced against participatory democracy." The ministry did, however, take into account the opinions of NGOs in formulating the TICAD agenda and the content of the Yokohama Statement through its seven preparatory sessions with NGO leaders. In a nod to NGOs requests, the statement will underscore Japan's commitment to the UN MDGs and it will emphasize japan's commitment to the democratization of the continent and the importance of civil organizations in development work.211 (May 26, 2008, The International Herald Tribune)
Japan, who is scheduled to host 45 African nations for the TICAD IV conference, wants to play a higher-profile role in the resource-rich region ahead of the G8 summit in July.212 (May 22, 2008, Reuters News)
Japan announced an aid, loan and investment package ahead of the TICAD summit. Japan expects 2,500 foreign guests for the event, including Bono, Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour and Frene Ginwala, former speaker of the South African parliament. Over the next five years Japan has pledged to double its aid to $7.2 billion. This will be supplemented by $4 billion in soft loans, $7.2 billion in debt relief and promotion of $3.2 billion in foreign direct investment.213 (May 23, 2008, Cape Argus)
Fukuda is expected to announce a plan for Japan to offer $10 billion over the next five years to help African nations tackle climate change in his speech at the opening ceremony of TICAD in late May, government sources said. His speech is also expected to address Japan's initiative to launch a new lending scheme to promote investment in African countries. Fukdua will advocate the launch of the new lending system and the beefing up of trade insurance in order to reduce risk and promote Japanese investment in Africa.214 (May 18, 2008, Dow Jones International News)
Japan will reflect the outcomes of the TICAD conference in the discussion at the G8 summit. Japan has offered to assist Africa in three priority areas: boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and addressing climate change and environmental issues in general.215 (April 23, 2008, Ghanaian Chronicle)
Major donors and international agencies will assist Africa to comprehensively address climate change issues through mitigation and adaptation measures, and support the continent's participation in a post-2012 emissions cut framework, an action plan draft for the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development. In addition to the five-year road map, African nations and their development partners will also commit themselves at TICAD to promote "self-sustained" economic growth, ensure human security and set up a three-tier follow-up mechanism to monitor progress, according to a declaration draft. Moreover, African members are also considering having TICAD issue a separate document to highlight concerns over soaring food prices as this is a "critical and very contemporary issue that nobody can seriously ignore," Ghanaian Ambassador Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah said. Other commitments in the drafts include scaling up financial and technical assistance for region-wide infrastructure -- especially highway projects -- utilizing official development assistance to help attract foreign investment, improving maternal and child health, expanding post-basic education and promoting peace consolidation. TICAD members reached basic consensus on the declaration draft at a ministerial preparatory meeting in Gabon in late March, but the action plan is still being discussed between the Japanese Foreign Ministry and UN agencies involved, officials said. The Yokohama Declaration draft noted the "sharp rise in food price" and "increasing severe effects of climate change" as among the "serious challenges" faced by Africa. To help increase agricultural productivity, the draft plan placed emphasis on developing irrigation schemes, assisting water resources management in arid and semi-arid areas, and providing technologies especially to boost rice production in both rainfed lands and irrigated fields. "At the upcoming TICAD, we will make efforts to bring new elements, new arguments in this field of agriculture," Masato Kitera, director general for African Affairs and chief of the TICAD secretariat at the Foreign Ministry said, adding that food aid agencies are feeling the impact of soaring crop prices. At this stage, the draft included no new development aid pledges and only said that TICAD participants "stressed the importance for the G8 countries to honor the commitments already made" for African development. Representatives of some 50 African nations, including about 45 heads of state and government, major donors, as well as regional and international organizations are expected to attend the TICAD in May. Japan, the United Nations, the UN Development Program and the World Bank co-organize the event once every five years216 (April 11, 2008, Kyodo News)
Foreign Ministers from across Africa will meet in Libreville, Gabon, on 20-21 March to lay the groundwork for this year's largest global gathering on African development: the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), to be held from 28 to 30 May in Yokohama, Japan. The Libreville Ministerial Preparatory Conference, which also brings together representatives from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UN-OSAA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union (AU), builds on the results of regional preparatory meetings held last year in Zambia and Tunisia, and focuses on plans to translate the theme of TICAD IV, "Towards a Vibrant Africa: A Continent of Hope and Opportunity", into new initiatives. Results from TICAD IV are expected to be fed into the July G8 summit. The TICAD IV co-organizers are working in partnership with the AU to map out a comprehensive development plan for Africa as a follow-up to TICAD IV. Also participating in the Libreville Conference will be high-ranking representatives from countries in Asia and other regions supporting African development, other regional and international organizations, and civil society organizations. "The time has come for TICAD to make a significant leap forward by effectively taking up mid- and long-term issues for 5 or 10 years into the future, and the Ministerial Preparatory Conference for TICAD IV will begin hammering out a mechanism for that," said Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura. The focus will be on three TICAD IV priority areas: boosting economic growth, ensuring "human security", including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and consolidation of peace and democratization and addressing environmental issues and climate change. Other discussions will deal with cross-cutting elements for TICAD IV, including South-South cooperation; collaboration with the private sector, private foundations and civil society organizations; and gender. The regional preparatory meeting for TICAD IV noted that attaining the Millennium Goal of universal primary education is a priority, and that construction and staffing of schools and provision teaching materials is a major challenge, especially in rural areas. On health goals, strengthening programmes to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis continues to be a priority, and capacity-building to improve delivery of primary health services is needed. The TICAD regional preparatory meetings agreed that support is vital for the creation and implementation of national environmental adaptation plans and development of renewable and alternative energy with appropriate technology, especially for poor communities which are particularly vulnerable.217 (March 20, 2008, M2 Presswire)
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori called on African leaders to take part in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama in May. "This year will be an extremely significant year for Japanese diplomacy toward Africa," he said, making a speech as Japanese representative at the opening ceremony for the 10th Ordinary Session of the African Union's Assembly. "We hope that the conference will serve as a place that can accomplish concrete results on economic development, peace building and environment issues [facing Africa]," he said. "We would like to reflect voices brought up during the conference in the [G8] summit to contribute to the expectation and future of children."218 (January 31, 2008, Kyodo News)
Speculation is growing that Japan is having difficulty in securing a good attendance at TICAD meeting, although Japan's Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said earlier this month that Japan hopes to have at least 30 African heads of state and government take part.219 (January 31, 2008, Xinhua News Agency)
During his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Fukuda stated that the theme of the upcoming TICAD conference is to be "Towards a Vibrant Africa." He highlighted the themes of development assistance and economic growth, trade and investment including south-south cooperation and peacebuilding.220 (January 26, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Prime Minister Fukuda invited the Angolan Head of State, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, to participate at the International Conference on Africa's Development in Tokyo in May.221 (January 16, 2008, All Africa)
The Japanese have said that they plan to help in supporting efforts to implement the Sudanese's Comprehensive Peace Agreement as well as contribute over $200 million of aid for peace-building in the region.222 (January 9, 2008, Kyodo News)
Japan is set to introduce a "three pillar" plan at the TICAD conference in May. The three main pillars include: an "infrastructure initiative" which is supposed to help attract foreign investment, support for post-conflict peace building and cooperation in tackling environmental issues. As part of the plan, the Japanese government is considering providing aid to improve port facilities in Madagascar, a main distribution hub in Africa, and construct facilities for the development of resources in countries like Ghana and Guinea. The Japanese government hopes that the economic development in these "model nations" as a result of improvement in infrastructure "will eventually lead the whole region out of poverty," a senior Foreign Ministry official said.223 (January 8, 2008, Kyodo News)
In a speech in the Tanzanian capital, Japanese foreign affairs minister Komura indicated Japan's intention to release a mid- to long-term support framework for Africa during the TICAD conference in May.224 (January 4, 2008, Kyodo News)
At the TICAD gathering Japan "intends to take up the issue of health in Africa" according to foreign minister Masahiko Komura. "It hopes notably to share its own experiences after World War II, when it launched nationwide health check-ups through schools and hospitals to build a country that now has the world's longest life expectancy."225 (January 1, 2008, Agence France Presse)
[top of page]
The second G8 Health Experts' Meeting was held on April 9-10 in Tokyo at the United Nations University. Mr. Jun Yamazaki, Deputy Director-General for Global Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs chaired the meeting. They held an outreach session, where experts from UNAIDS, the UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the WHO attended.226 (April 10, 2008, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
The G8 Health Experts met in Tokyo at the United Nations University on February 14 and 15. Jun Yamazaki, Deputy Director-General for Global Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affair of Japan chaired the event. There was an outreach session where health experts from Norway, the African Union and eight organizations known at the 'Health 8" or 'H8,' which include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculoses and Malaria (GFATM), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, World Bank and WHO, were involved. The meeting allowed for discussion on health-related topics that are to be addressed at the 2008 summit.227 (February 15, 2008, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
[top of page]
Bono said that Japan's pledge to double its aid to Africa was "fantastic news" but poor nations deserved mores. "The Japanese government told us about doubling aid. It's a fantastic news. But you have to ask the question, is it really doubling the aid, or just one piece of aid?"228 (May 27, 2008, Agence France Presse)
Oxfam voiced concern ahead of the G8 environment ministers' meeting in Kobe that political momentum to tackle climate changes appears to be flagging under Japan's leadership. "The endless debate about 'considering' reducing emissions is long gone. We need carbon cuts and we need this to happen now," Oxfam campaigner Takumo Yamada said. "Japan must overcome its internal squabbling and show the same leadership on this as the Germans did last year. Anything less would be a clear step backward in the fight to combat global warming."229 (May 24, 2008, Agence France Presse)
At a round table discussion environmentalist urged quick action to stem the effects of the rise in world temperatures, which scientists say threaten to drive species to extinction, worsen floods and droughts, and thwart economic development. Bill Hare of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research says the rapid melting of the Arctic ice, increasing crop damage and other problems show the multiplying effects of higher temperatures.230 (May 24, 2008, Canadian Press)
Greenpeace called on the G8 environment ministers to follow the lead of the Governor of Albay Province, Joey Sarte Salceda, who declared Albay a coal-free zone: "We believe there is no place for coal in a world beset by climate change and certainly there is no place for coal in Albay," he announced. "The G8 countries need to realize that more coal is not the solution to the energy issues we face. If a developing country like the Philippines can do it, wealthy, developed countries, like the G8, can certainly do without new coal fired power plants and instead build up an efficient and clean energy system. Greenpeace's 'Energy Revolution' shows this can be done," said Jasper Inventor, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.231 (May 23, 2008, Targeted News Service)
A team of four youngsters have been chosen by leading children's organisation, UNICEF, to represent the United Kingdom at a young person's version of the G8 in Japan this summer from July 2 to 9. Nearly 200 youngsters took part in the J8 competition to win the chance to represent their country at the same time as the G8 Summit takes place. The winning teams from G8 countries will get the opportunity to present their own global communiqué at the G8 Summit, appealing to world leaders to listen to the views of young people. The team will write a communiqué of global proposals concerning the G8 topics — the global economy, poverty and development, the impact of infectious diseases and the environment and climate change — that will be given to the world leaders to persuade them to listen to young people's views. Teams entered the J8 competition, now in its fourth year, by submitting ideas about how to tackle global problems such as climate change and poverty.232 (May 5, 2008, Barry and District News)
Nongovernmental organizations from Africa, Britain and Japan urged the Japanese government to exert leadership in improving health and medicinal systems in developing countries as it gets ready to host the 2008 G8 summit. Speaking in Tokyo, participants asked Japan to issue policy recommendations on maternity and infant health and anti-tuberculosis measures, areas in which Japan excels.233 (February 7, 2008, Kyodo News)
NGOs are expected to play a big role at the 2008 G8 summit, and the 2008 Japan G8 NGO Forum, which groups various NGOs, will be presenting their views on a range of issues to participating governments and the international media. The forum consists of over 100 environmental, human rights and development NGOs from around Japan, including the Japan chapters of well-known Amnesty International, Oxfam and Greenpeace. To strengthen communication with participating governments, plans are in the works to hold a "Civil G8 Dialogue" perhaps around April or May. The planners are hoping this will bring together about 30 NGO activists from around the world along with the G8 sherpa advisers. Some organizations have already set dates for their events.234 (January 3, 2008, The Japan Times Online)
The 2008 Indigenous People's Summit is set to take place from June 28 to July 4 in Sopporo. Indigenous people from at least ten nations are expected to attend. The "Alternative Summit" is set to start one day before the G8 summit on July 6 and run to July 8. At this summit, there will be NGOs, as well as concerned citizens, where the major themes of the G8 summit will be discussed. It will also take place in Sapporo.235 (January 3, 2008, The Japan Times Online)
[top of page]
In a joint statement released after a one-day gathering in Tokyo, the heads of the G8 business lobbies said they will continue to address climate change by "voluntarily cooperating with works on sectoral approaches and helping to increase the understanding of the benefits and the role of them." The G8 business leaders urged their governments to agree on ways to curb global warming during their summit meeting so as to help craft a post-Kyoto Protocol regime later. The business leaders also said the new framework to curb global warming should include all major greenhouse gas emitters and ensure equitable actions in reducing emissions among the major emitters. "We call on the G8 governments to ensure that industry will continue to be competitive without being unduly penalized by unbalanced policy measures that would divert resources away from investments in innovation," they said in the statement. The G8 business chiefs said they hope their government leaders will reach a consensus to explore measures to reduce carbon emissions that are based on sound scientific, transparent, measurable and verifiable methodologies as well as sectoral and economy-wide consideration. As for their part, the G8 business heads also vowed to keep addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developing energy-saving products and innovative technologies, and transferring such technologies to developing countries. This was the second meeting of G8 business leaders. The first was convened in Berlin last April ahead of the Heiligendamm summit.236 (April 17, 2008, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific)
The Japan Business Federation announced that it plans to hold a summit focusing on industry with counterparts from the G8 nations on April 17, 2008 in Tokyo, providing a forum for discussing measures to tap technological innovation and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The influential business lobby, known as Nippon Keidanren, expects eleven foreign organizations to participate. A similar gathering was held last year in Germany.237 (January 23, 2008, Nikkei Report)
[top of page]
[top of page]
Yasuo Fukuda was born in Gunma Prefecture, Japan on July 16, 1936. In 1959, he graduated from the Faculty of Politics and Economics, Waseda University. Before entering into politics, he worked for a petroleum refining and marketing firm. He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1990 and has been re-elected six times since then. He is currently the President of the Liberal Democratic Party. On September 25, 2008 Yasuo Fukuda became the 91st Prime Minister of Japan, replacing Shinzo Abe who resigned from the position. This will be the first G8 summit that Prime Minister Fukuda has hosted. It will also be the first G8 summit that he has attended. Masaharu Kohno will serve as G8 sherpa.
Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan, Italy on September 29, 1936. In 1961, he received his Degree in Law from the University of Milan. Before entering into politics he worked in business and was quite the entrepreneur—building construction businesses, establishing cable networks, and forming media groups. Berlusconi was first elected Prime Minister in 1994. He served a second term as Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006. On April 29, 2008 Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy for a third time. This will be Berlusconi's seventh G8 summit. Giampiero Massolo will serve as G8 sherpa. Italy is schedule to host the 2009 G8 summit.
Stephen Harper was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 30, 1959. In 1985, he received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Calgary. In 1991, he returned to the University of Calgary and received his Master's degree in economics. Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993. On February 6, 2006 Harper became Prime Minister of Canada after his Conservative party won the January 2006 election. This will be Prime Minister Harper's third G8 summit. Leonard Edwards will serve as G8 sherpa. Canada is scheduled to host the 2010 G8 summit.
Nicolas Sarkozy was born in Paris, France on January 28, 1955. In 1978, he received his Degree in Law from the University of Paris. Sarkozy worked as a lawyer for a while as he pursued politics. From 1983 to 2002, he was served as Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Since 2004, Sarkozy has been President of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), France's major right wing party. On May 16, 2007 Sarkozy became President of France. This will be President Sarkozy's second G8 summit. Jean-David Levitte will serve as G8 sherpa. France is scheduled to host the G8 summit in 2011.
George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, United States on July 6, 1946. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University in 1968 and a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975. Before entering into politics he served in the National Air Guard and worked in the oil industry. Bush served as Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. On January 20, 2001, he became the 43rd President of the United States of America. This will be his eighth and final G8 summit. Daniel Price will serve as G8 sherpa. United States is scheduled to host the 2012 G8 summit.
Gordon Brown was born in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland, on February 20, 1951. He studied history at the University of Edinburgh and completed his PhD in 1982. Before entering into politics he worked as a lecturer and journalist. Brown was first elected to parliament in 1983. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) under Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007. He assumed the office of Prime Minister on June 27, 2007. This will be his first G8 summit as leader of the United Kingdom. He accompanied former Prime Minister Blair to summits in his ministry of finance position. Jonathan Cunliffe will serve as G8 sherpa. The United Kingdom is scheduled to host its next G8 summit in 2013.
Dmitry Medvedev was born in Leningrad of the former Soviet Union (now known as St. Petersburg, Russia) on September 14, 1965. In 1987 he earned a degree in Law from Leningrad State University. In 1990, he received his PhD in private law from the same university. Before entering into politics, he worked as a lawyer. He is scheduled to become President on May 7, 2008, replacing Vladmir Putin. This will be his first G8 summit. Arkaday Dvorkovich will serve as G8 sherpa. Russia is scheduled to host the G8 summit in 2014.
Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg, Germany on July 17, 1956. In 1978, she received her doctorate in Physics from the University of Leipzig. Before entering into politics Merkel worked as a physicist. She was first elected to the Bundestag in 1990. She became Chancellor of Germany on November 22, 2005. This will be Merkel's third G8 summit. Bernd Pfaffenbach will serve as G8 sherpa. Germany is scheduled to host the 2015 G8 summit.
[top of page]
Hu Jintau was born in Jiangyan, Jiangsu on December 21, 1942. In 1965 he received his degree in hydraulic engineering from Tsinghua University. Before entering into politics Hu worked as an engineer. He assumed the office of the Presidency on March 15, 2003. This will be President Jintau's fifth G8 summit.
Manmohan Singh was born in Gah, Punjab (now known as Chakwal district, Pakistan) on September 26, 1932. He received both an undergraduate and Master's degree from Punjab University in 1952 and 1954, respectively. He received an additional Undergraduate degree from Cambridge University in 1957 and a D. Philosophy from Oxford University in 1962. He has received several honorary degrees as well since then. Before entering into politics, Singh worked as an economist, including for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He served as Finance Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He became Prime Minister of India on May 22, 2004. This will be his fourth G8 summit.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was born in Caetés, Pernambuco, Brazil on October 27, 1945. He received no formal education and began working in a copper pressing factory at the age of 14. He became heavily involved in the Worker's Unions at a young age. Lula da Silva was first elected to Congress in 1986. He assumed the office of the President on January 1, 2003. This will be his fifth G8 summit.
Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa was born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico on August 18, 1962. He received his bachelor's degree in law from Escuela LIbre de Derecho in Mexico City. Later, he received a Master's in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México as well as a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University. He served as Secretary of Energy from 2003 to 2004. He became President of Mexico on December 1, 2006. This will be Calderón's second G8 summit.
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki was born in Idutywa, Transkei, South Africa on June 18, 1942. He received his Master's in economics from the University of Sussex, while in exile in the United Kingdom. He has received several honorary degrees since then. Mbeki devoted most of his life to the African National Congress, even while in exile. He became President of South Africa on June 14, 1999. This will be Mbeki's ninth G8 summit.
[top of page]
Abdelaziz Boutefilka was born in Oujda, Morocco on March 2, 1937. Before entering into politics he fought in the Algerian War of Independence. He assumed the office of the Presidency on April 27, 1999. This will be his eighth summit, including one occasion in 200 where he attended a pre-summit meeting hosted by the Japanese.
Kevin Rudd was born in Nambour, Queensland, Australia on September 21, 1957. He received his degree in Asian studies from Australian National University. Before entering into politics Rudd worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs where he held posts in Stockholm, Sweden and China. Rudd was first elected to Parliament in 1998. He became Prime Minister of Australia on December 3, 2007. This will be his first G8 summit.
Hosni Mubarak was born in Kafr-El Meselha, Monufia, Egypt on May 4, 1928. He has a degree in military sciences from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1948 and a degree in aviation science from the Air Force Academy in 1950. Before entering into politics he took an interest in the military. He became President of Egypt on October 14, 1981. This will be his fourth G8 summit, including a special pre-summit meeting that he attended in 1989.
Meles Zenawi was born in Adwa, Tigray, Ethiopia on May 8, 1955. In 1974, Zenawai interrupted his studies at Addis Ababa University to join the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front. He assumed the office of the presidency on August 23, 1995. This will be his second summit.
John Agyekum Kufuor was born in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana on December 8, 1938. He received a degree in Law from Lincoln Inn and a degree in Economics, Philosophy and Politics from the University of Oxford in 1964. He was elected President of Ghana on December 28, 2000. This will be his fourth G8 summit.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was born in Pacitan, East Java, Indonesia. He received his PhD in agricultural economics from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture in 2004. Before entering into politics, he served as a military general. He was elected on October 5, 2004. This will be his first G8 summit.
Umaru Yar'Adua was born in Katsina, Nigeria in 1951. He received his bachelor of science in education and chemistry from Ahmadu Bello University in 1875 and his master of science in analytical chemistry from the same institution in 1980. He worked as a lecturer and in the business sector before entering into politics. On May 29, 2007 Yar'Adua became President of Nigeria. This will be the second G8 summit that he has attended.
Abdoulaye Wade was born in Kébémer, Senegal on May 29, 1926. He received a PhD in Law and Economics from Sorbonne University in 1970. Before entering into politics, he worked as a professor and a lawyer. Wade assumed the office of the presidency on April 1, 2000. This will be his seventh G8 summit.
Lee Myung-bak was born in Kirano, Osaka, Japan on December 19, 1941. He received a degree in Business Administration from Korea University in 1965. He worked in the business sector before entering into politics. He became President of Korea on February 25, 2008. This will be his first G8 summit.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was born in Msoga, Bagamoyo, Tangayika on October 7, 1950. He received a degree in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1975. Before entering into politics he served in the military. On December 21, 2005 he became President of the United Republic of Tanzania. This will be his first G8 summit.
[top of page]
"Cool Earth Partnership" fund: $10 billion to help emerging countries tackle climate change, with $8 billion for assistance in climate change mitigation and $2 billion for grants, aid and technical assistance for countries switching to clean energy.
Climate fund: The Japanese have pledged ¥100 billion over three years, the U.S. ¥200 billion over three years and the UK ¥170 billion over the same period.
The World Bank will raise at least $5.5 billion with the U.S., Britain and Japan this year for climate change funds that will help poor nations use clean technology and tackle global warming.
Sudan peace building: $200 million.
Safety around Chernobyl: $470 million.
Fund to help African countries protect and make better use of intellectual property: ¥100 million.
African climate fund: The Japanese have pledged $10 billion over five years.
Over the next five years Japan has pledged to double its aid to Africa to $7.2 billion. (This will be supplemented by $4 billion in soft loans, $7.2 billion in debt relief and promotion of $3.2 billion in foreign direct investment.)
Japan has announced that it pledged $560 million to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
At the TICAD conference, doubled development aid by 2012 will be given to African countries with no conditions attached.
Emissions Table (million tonnes CO2 equivalent)
|Country||2006||2005||2000||1990||% Change 2006/2005||% Change 2006/1990|
239(May 23, 2008, Reuters News)
Sources: national submission to UN Climate Change Secretariat except for Canada, from Environment Canada
1 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
2 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (January 19, 2008), "PM set to gear up Japan's climate diplomacy in Davos."
3 Agence France Presse (January 1, 2008), "Japan to lead climate debate as head of G8 rich club."
4 Dow Jones International News (January 21, 2008), Japan PM Fukuda Calls For Careful Global Econ Policy-Making."
5 Associated Press Newswires (January 26, 2008,), "At Davos, Japan and Denmark set climate goals for the world."
6 Daily Yomiuri (January 25, 2008), "Fukuda to tell Davos of energy plans/ 'Japan to help boost world efficiency 30%.'"
7 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
8 Kyodo News (January 26, 2008), "Japan to create fund to help Africa with intellectual property."
9 Reuters News (May 22, 2008), "Burying CO2 vital in climate battle."
10 Dow Jones International News (May 15, 2008), "Japan PM Fukuda Hints Support For Emissions Trading-Kyodo."
11 Dow Jones International (May 10, 2008), "Japan PM To Announce 2050 Emissions Cut Target In June."
12 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (April 24, 2008), "Japan-EU joint press statement on climate change cooperation."
13 Agence France Presse (April 14, 2008), "Climate change: Major polluters to meet in Paris."
14 Thai News Service (February 22, 2008), "World: Sustainable management of forests priority of next G8 Summit, Japanese PM Fukuda announced."
15 Agence France Presse (January 1, 2008), "Japan to lead climate debate as head of G8 rich club."
16 Kyodo News (April 4, 2008), "Japan to hold climate meeting in Hokkaido for success of G-8 summit."
17 Kyodo News (March 24, 2008), "Fukuda to visit G-8 site in Hokkaido on April 5-6."
18 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (March 16, 2008), "Japanese co-chair pronounces post-Kyoto talks a success."
19 Kyodo News (March 16, 2008), "Japan preparing to allay worries over Tokyo-led carbon-cap method."
20 Agence France Presse (March 15, 2008), "Rich, poor nations clash at climate talks."
21 The International Herald Tribune (March 7, 2008), "Japan has compiled a sector-specific approach on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a post-Kyoto Protocol framework, but critics say the plan would be ineffective because it is too lenient on industries."
22 The International Herald Tribune (February 29, 2008), "The government is inviting leaders from 16 countries to Japan in the summer for one of the largest top-level meetings ever on global warming, sources say."
23 Jiji Press English News Service (February 28, 2008), "8 Nations Invited to G-8 Outreach Session on Climate Change."
24 Jiji Press English News Service (February 19, 2008), "G-8 to Discuss Medium Term Emission Targets."
25 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (February 12, 2008), "Japanese PM, UK Brown agree to lead G8 talks on post-Kyoto climate regime."
26 Asia Pulse (February 21, 2008), "Japan to Coordinate Climate Meeting with July G8 Summit."
27 Agence France Presse (January 29, 2008), "Japan minister eyes deeper cuts in greenhouse gas."
28 Agence France Presse (January 26, 2008), "Davos wraps up with warnings for 2008."
29 Reuters News (January 26, 2008), "Japan targets climate change with $10 billion fund."
30 Agence France Presse (January 26, 2008), "Japan wants to change 1990 emission baseline: PM."
31 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
32 Daily Yomiuri (January 25, 2008), "Fukuda to tell Davos of energy plans/ 'Japan to help boost world efficiency 30%.'"
33 Daily Yomiuri (January 21, 2008), "Govt to detail technology aid plan at G-8 summit."
34 Kyodo News (January 20, 2008), "Japan to call for emissions cut based on 2000 or later."
35 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (January 19, 2008), "PM set to gear up Japan's climate diplomacy in Davos."
36 Kyodo News (January 17, 2008), "Fukuda to unveil plan to set post-2013 emissions cut goal in Davos."
37 Daily Yomiuri (January 16, 2008), "Govt to buy green energy for G-8 meet."
38 Kyodo News (January 12, 2008), "Fukuda to stress pensions, global warming in policy speech."
39 Kyodo News (January 5, 2008), "Fukuda to take part in World Economics Forum at Davos."
40 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (January 4, 2008), "Japan, India to launch currency swap scheme."
41 Agence France Presse (January 1, 2008), "Japan to lead climate debate as head of G8 rich club."
42 Xinhua News Agency (January 1, 2008), "Japanese PM emphasizes people's livelihood in new year speech."
43 EPA Weekly Report (May 23, 2008), "EPA Pushed to Develop Biofuels Sustainability Framework."
44 Financial Times (April 26, 2008), "Energy watchdog backs drive to biofuels"
45 Financial Times (April 26, 2008), "Consensus descends into acrimonious row."
46 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (March 18, 2008), "International recycling conference opens in Japan capital."
47 Nuclear Engineering International (May 23, 2008), "Oma go-ahead."
48 Kyodo News (April 15, 2008), "Nuke power generation trump card in global warming measures: Fukuda."
49 Kyodo News (January 9, 2008), "Gov't think tank calls for promoting nuclear energy at G-8."
50 Agence France Presse (January 8, 2008), "Japan to launch G8 energy-saving talks: official."
51 Jiji English Press News Service (February 22, 2008), "Japan to Call for Unified Road Construction Aid Plans for Africa."
52 Daily Yomiuri (January 25, 2008), "Fukuda to tell Davos of energy plans/ 'Japan to help boost world efficiency 30%.'"
53 Kyodo News (January 4, 2008), "Komura says Japan will extend $260 mil. to Africa."
54 Nikkei Report (May 15, 2008), "China To Take More Steps to Stem Rice Exports As Prices Soar."
55 Kyodo News (May 14, 2008), "Japan mulling Fukuda's participation in U.N. food summit in Rome."
56 Asia in Focus (April 28, 2008), "Japan to use G8 to pressure nations not to limit food exports."
57 Russia CIS Business and Financial (April 25, 2008), "Japan seeking to put food crisis on G8 summit agenda."
58 Jiji Press English News Service (April 11, 2008), "Japan to Take Up Global Food Price Rises at G-8 Summit."
59 All Africa (May 23, 2008), "Daily HIV/Aids Report."
60 Agence France Presse (February 28, 2008), "Japan pledges extra funds to fight AIDS, TB, malaria."
61 Agence France Presse (February 28, 2008), "Japan pledges extra funds to fight AIDS, TB, malaria."
62 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
63 Agence France Presse (January 1, 2008), "Japan to lead climate change debate as head of G8 rich club."
64 Kyodo News (February 22, 2008), "Japan vows to share know-how to improve safe water access, sanitation."
65 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
66 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (January 19, 2008), "PM set up to gear Japan's climate diplomacy in Davos."
67 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
68 Jiji Press English News Service (May 15, 2008), "Japan to Propose G-8 Support for Int'l Peace-Building."
69 Kyodo News (January 23, 2008), "Fukuda to seek int'l coordination on global slowdown in Davos speech."
70 Kyodo News (January 26, 2008), "Japan to create fund to help Africa with intellectual property."
71 The International Herald Tribune (May 16, 2008), "Despite safety concerns, Japan plans to show it is actively engaged in addressing African problems by dispatching a fact-finding team to Sudan for a possible Self-Defense Forces' peacekeeping mission, sources said Thursday."
72 Kyodo News (January 9, 2008), "Japan calls for more efforts on 3rd anniversary of Sudan peace deal."
73 Jiji Press English News Service (February 28, 2008), "8 Nations Invited to G-8 Outreach Session on Climate Change."
74 Agence France Presse (April 28, 2008), "G8 to unveil fresh support for Chernobyl safety: report."
75 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (April 1, 2008), "Japan to lead discussions on North Korea, Iran nuclear issue at July's G8."
76 Agence France Presse (May 22, 2008), "Japan FM tells Rice G8 to discuss Afghan aid."
77 Kyodo News (March 12, 2008), "G-8 chair Japan pledges to promote int'l support for Afghanistan."
78 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (February 4, 2008), "Visiting Afghan foreign minister thanks Japan for resuming refuelling."
79 Agence France Presse (February 15, 2008), "Japan unlikely to immediately recognize Kosovo."
80 The Times of India (May 20, 2008), "G5 gets its say, G8 to discuss its wishlist."
81 South China Morning Post (May 10, 2008), "Education G8 Summit invitation leads to possibility of return visit in July."
82 Asia Pulse (April 16, 2008), "Indonesian President to be Invited to the G-8 Summit in Hokkaido."
83 Daily Yomiuri (February 26, 2008), "Fukuda, Lee now eye new era."
84 Daily Yomiuri (February 9, 2008), "G-8 summit agenda expands to include climate, Africa."
85 Jiji Press English News Service (February 3, 2008), "Japan Cautious about Call for G-8 Expansion."
86 Kyodo News (February 1, 2008), "Japan not to take up issue of G-8 membership for China at July summit."
87 All Africa (March 24, 2008), "Country Invited to Attend G-8 Summit."
88 Daily Yomiuri (March 20, 2008), "23 nations formally invited to G-8 summit."
89 Agence France Presse (March 18, 2008), "Japan to hold climate, Africa summits at G8: minister."
90 Australian Associated Press General News (March 18, 2008), "Fed: Japan formally announces Aust G8 invite."
91 Asia Pulse (March 14, 2008), "Indonesia's Presence at Hokkaido G-8 Summit 'Important': Japan."
92 ITAR-TASS World Service (March 7, 2008), "Leader of 15 states to be invited to G8 summit."
93 Australian Financial Review (February 29, 2008), "Rudd's seat at exclusive G8 table."
94 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (February 22, 2008), "Japan PM expresses eagerness to resume FTA talks with South Korea."
95 Kyodo News (February 3, 2008), "Japan plans to invite S. Korea, Australia and Indonesia to G-8."
96 Daily Yomiuri (April 22, 2008), "G-8 schedule released; meetings to include emerging economies heads."
97 Daily Yomiuri (March 31, 2008), "G-8 statements may be reduced."
98 Kyodo News (March 24, 2008), "Fukuda to visit G-8 site in Hokkaido on April 5-6."
99 Kyodo News (January 3, 2008), "G-8 summit logo underlines coexistence of environment, humankind."
100 Financial Times (January 1, 2008), "FT.com site: Japan aims to impress its G8 partners."
101 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (May 21, 2008), "Japanese PM plans to visit Germany, Britain in early June."
102 Kyodo News (May 15, 2008), "Fukuda, Rudd agree to prevent discord on whaling from harming ties."
103 Kyodo News (May 14, 2008), "Japan mulling Fukuda's participation in U.N. food summit in Rome."
104 China Daily May 8, 2008), "Fruitful Season for Bilateral Relations."
105 WPS: Defense & Security (April 30, 2008), "Russia knows what Japan is interested in: Japan and Russia Focusing on Trade Relations Rather than Islands Dispute."
106 Agence France Presse (April 10, 2008), "Japan minister to head to Russia for island talks: official."
107 Jiji Press English News Service (March 21, 2008), "Japan Arranging Komura's Visit to Russia for April 12-14."
108 Russian Press Digest (February 8, 2008), "Japan takes Kuriles to the Kremlin."
109 Kyodo News (February 7, 2008), "Fukuda calls for gov't, people to work together over territorial row."
110 Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (February 7, 2008), "Japan PM wants to separately meet G8 leaders before summit."
111 Kyodo News (January 10, 2008), "G-8 sherpas hold 1st meeting to prepare for July summit."
112 Dow Jones International News (May 21, 2008), "Japan To Send Envoy To India For Climate Change Talks-Kyodo."
113 Kyodo News (January 7, 2008), "Japan, Vietnam agree to set up currency swap scheme."
114 Economist Intelligence Unit (May 6, 2008), "Japan: Key developments."
115 The Australian (April 28, 2008), "World Fukuda under the pump over LDP's pledge on petrol tax."
116 Reuters (April 28, 2008), "Beleaguered Japan PM in pinch after by-election loss."
117 Agence France Presse (March 31, 2008), "Japan opposition leader says election possible by June."
118 Financial Times (January 11, 2008), "Japan to force through terror law."
119 Agence France Presse (May 22, 2008), "Japan PM to visit Europe for talks on food crisis: govt."
120 Kyodo News (April 22, 2008), "Japan to take measures to prevent terrorism ahead of G-8: Machimura."
121 Daily Yomiuri (April 15, 2008), "MPD steps up security for G-8 summit."
122 Kyodo News (March 21, 2008), "20,000 police officers to be deployed for security at the G-8 summit."
123 The International Herald Tribune (February 19, 2008), "The government plans to set up a 55-kilometer no-fly zone around the Lake Toyaka resort in Hokkaido and strengthen other anti-terrorism measures during the Group of Eight summit in July, sources said."
124 ITAR-TASS World Service (February 18, 2008), "No-fly zone to be set up around G8 summit venue in Japan."
125 Xinhua News Agency (January 9, 2008), "Japan mulls protecting G-8 summit with Patriot-3 missiles."
126 Agence France Presse (March 7, 2008), "Japan says building eco-friendly media centre for G8 summit."
127 Japanese Government (2007), "The Japan G8 Presidency in 2008: Locations of Ministers Meetings," Available in the G8 Information Centre archives.
128 Kyodo News (May 27, 2008), "G-8 set to endorse multilateral funds to tackle climate change."
129 States News Service (May 23, 2008), "Developing and Donor Countries Agree to Common Vision for Climate Investment Funds."
130 Kyodo News (May 19, 2008), "G-8 finance ministers to discuss global economy, development."
131 Dow Jones International News (May 19, 2008), "Japan Tsuda: G8 May Discuss Global Economy, Environment, Devt."
132 Dow Jones International News (May 14, 2008), "MOF: German Fin Min To Miss Osaka G8 Mtg Due To Budget Talks."
133 Dow Jones (April 24, 2008), "G8 Finance To Debate Food Issues-Japan Nukaga."
134 Nikkei Report (April 11, 2008), "Dollar Sold Again on View that G-7 Will Tolerate Weakness."
135 Reuters News (April 9, 2008), "Recommendations of the Financial Stability Forum."
136 Philippines News Agency (April 1, 2008), "Indonesia urges G-8 countries on carbon emissions."
137 Reuters News (April 1, 2008), "G7 focus on financial system, not FX-Ex-BOJ Hirano."
138 Reuters News (March 27, 2008), "G7 finance ministers will meet on April 11."
139 Asia Pulse (March 16, 2008), "RI Urges G-8 to Meet Their Commitment to Reduce Carbon Emissions."
140 Reuters News (February 28, 2008), "G7 ready to act to stabilize markets-Japan MOF."
141 AFX International Focus (February 10, 2008), "G7 Meeting At-a-glance guide to main points."
142 Dow Jones International News (February 7, 2008), "G7 to Consider Climate Change Fund: Japan."
143 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (February 8, 2008), "Japan: Minister says G7 to 'candidly discuss' tackling credit crunch fear."
144 Jiji Press English News Service (January 6, 2008), "G-7 to Seek Early Disclosures of Subprime Losses."
145 Reuters News (February 6, 2008), "Japan MOF official: G7 won't single out currencies."
146 Jiji Press English News Service (February 4, 2008), "Japan's Nukaga to Seek Banks Enhanced Info Disclosure at G-7."
147 Jiji Press English News Service (February 4, 2008), "G-7 to Confirm Cooperation to Tackle Financial Instability."
148 Reuters News (January 31, 2008), "Japan's Nukaga: No plan for sovereign wealth fund."
149 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (January 30, 2008), "Luxembourg PM to visit Japan 6-10 February."
150 Agence France Presse (January 28, 2008), "G7 to consider climate change fund: report."
151 Dow Jones International News (January 27, 2008) "Nukaga: Want G7 to Discuss Policy Coordination."
152 Xinhua News Agency (January 26, 2008), "No need to be overly pessimistic about current financial turmoils: Japanese PM."
153 Kyodo News (January 25, 2008), "Market turns to G-7 as litmus test for enfeebled Tokyo stocks."
154 Kyodo News (January 23, 2008), "Fukuda to seek int'l coordination on global slowdown in Davos Speech."
155 Jiji Press English News Service (January 23, 2008), "Concerted Efforts to Tackle Subprime Woe to Be G-7 Focus."
156 Agence France Presse (January 22, 2008), "Japan minister hails Fed rate cut."
157 BBC Monitoring Newsfile (January 21, 2008), "Japan minister says no immediate action on stock plunges."
158 Jiji Press English News Service (January 17, 2008), "G-7 May Invite China, S. Korea to Informal Meeting."
159 Kyodo News (January 16, 2008), "Nukaga calls for G-7 message to stabilize global economy, markets."
160 Jiji Press English News Service (January 12, 2008), "G-7 to Discuss Strength of Emerging Economies at Tokyo Meeting."
161 Reuters News (January 8, 2008), "Italy to join UK, France, Germany for financial talks."
162 Daily Yomiuri (May 19, 2008), "Govt eyes G-8 joint statement on assistance to Afghanistan."
163 Agence France Presse (April 17, 2008), G8 calls for swift release of Zimbabwe poll results."
164 Dow Jones News Service (May 27, 2008), "Japan: Energy Consumers In G8 Much Push For More Oil Invest."
165 Agence France Presse (January 8, 2008), "Japan to launch G8 energy-saving talks: official."
166 Kyodo News (May 26, 2008), "G-8 ministers to step up efforts for crackdown on 'ID crimes.'"
167 Xinhua News Agency (May 26, 2008), "G8 environment ministers announced 3R action plan at Kobe meeting."
168 The New York Times (May 26, 2008), "World Bank, U.S., Britain and Japan Take On Warming."
169 Xinhua News Agency (May26, 2008), "G8 environment ministers urge actions for biodiversity."
170 The Japan Times (May 26, 2008), "G-8 meet sidesteps midterm gas cuts."
171 The International Herald Tribune (May 26, 2008), "Japan on Sunday proposed creating an international research network to help achieve a low-carbon society at the meeting of environment ministers from the Group of Eight countries."
172 Associated Press (May 25, 2008), "G8 environment chiefs to set 2050 greenhouse gas target, leave 2020 target for later talks."
173 Agence France Presse (May 25, 2008), "Japan pushed its 'sectoral' approach in climate talks."
174 Xinhua News Agency (May 25, 2008), "Joint effort urged to slash use of plastic shopping bags at G8 environment meeting."
175 Kyodo News (May 25, 2008), "Japan pushed for G8 accord on climate change."
176 Associated Press (May 25, 2008), "Environmental ministers to seek deep emissions cuts."
177 Deutsche Welle (May 25, 2008), "G8 Environment Ministers Push for Post-Kyoto Agreement."
178 Xinhua News (May 25, 2008), "Developed countries should take the lead in reducing GHG emissions: Chinese delegate."
179 Agence France Presse (May 24, 2008), "G8, emerging economies try to bridge gaps over climate change."
180 Xinhua News (May 24, 2008), "G8 environment chiefs discuss biodiversity conservation."
181 Xinhua News (May 24, 2008), "G8 environment minister meeting opens in Kobe of Japan."
182 Daily Telegraph (May 24, 2008), "Local Wong at G8 gathering."
183 Reuters News (May 23, 2008), "Emerging nations seek G8 help for clean technology."
184 States News Service (May 23, 2008), "EPA Leads U.S. Delegation to G8 Environment Ministers Meeting in Japan."
185 Reuters News (May 19, 2008), "G8 climate talks to discuss targets, rift remains."
186 Kyodo News (May 18, 2008, Kyodo News), "G-8 climate chiefs to eye emissions cut target, anti-pollution steps."
187 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (March 18, 2008), "International recycling conference opens in Japan capital."
188 Ministry of the Environment:
Government of Japan (February
5, 2008), "Kobe Environment Ministers Meeting 2008," (Accessed
February 15, 2008), Available from: <www.env.go.jp/earth/g8/en
189 Kyodo News (May 15, 2008), "ILO studying impact of climate change on labor markets."
190 Kyodo News (May 11, 2008), "G-8 meeting calls for addressing working poor, seeking balanced life."
191 Dow Jones International (May 11, 2008), "G8 Minister Meet with Unions, Business Groups on the Environment."
192 Kyodo News (May 11, 2008), "G8 labour ministers start talks in Japan."
193 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan (April 6, 2008), "Chair's Summary of the G8 Development Ministers'
Meeting." Accessed 22 April 2008. Available from: <www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy
194 Reuters Africa (April 6, 2008), "G8 Development Ministers Call for Food Price steps."
195 Agence France Presse (April 3, 2008), "Rich nations to prod emerging donors at G8 meet."
196 Kyodo News (March 28, 2008), "Japan to present aid framework with emerging donors at G-8 confab."
197 Kyodo News (March 27, 2008), "G-8 seeks to work with emerging donors to fulfill development goals."
198 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan (March
11, 2008), "G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit: The G8 Development Ministers'
Meeting 2008." Accessed 31 March 2008. Available from: <www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy
199 GreenWire (March 17, 2008), "World leaders disagree on climate change goals."
200 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (March 16, 2008), "Japanese co-chair pronounces post-Kyoto talks a success."
201 Kyodo News (March 16, 2008), "Japan preparing to allay worries over Tokyo-led carbon-cap method."
202 Kyodo News (March 16, 2008), "Japan eyeing proposing continuation of G-20 process in July."
203 Reuters News (March 15, 2008), "G20 backs climate fight, argues over industry caps."
204 Agence France Presse (March 12, 2008), "20 biggest polluters seek progress on warming."
205 Jiji Press English News Service (February 28, 2008), "Japan to Host G-20 Meeting on Global Warming March 14-16."
206 Ministry of the Environment:
Government of Japan (February 5, 2008), "Chiba Gleneagles Dialogue 2008," (Accessed
February 15, 2008), Available from: <www.env.go.jp/earth/g8/en/g20
207 Kyodo News (May 27, 2008), "Africa raises food crisis as Japan seeks support on climate change."
208 JCN Newswire (May 26, 2008), "Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) Sets Agenda for Hope and Opportunity."
209 All Africa (May 26, 2008), "Mumbengegwi in Japan to Attend Conference."
210 The Star (May 26, 2008), "African countries to queue up for Japanese investment drive."
211 The International Herald Tribune (May 26, 2008), "The significance of NGOs is often emphasized, but their role to date still seems mute when it comes to a say in policymaking at the international level."
212 Reuters News (May 22, 2008), "Japan eyes troops to Sudan, bigger role in Africa."
213 Cape Argus (May 23, 2008), "News Japan in aid bonanza for Africa."
214 Dow Jones International News (May 18, 2008), "Japan $10B Climate Change Loans to Africa Seen."
215 Ghanaian Chronicle (April 23, 2008), "Japan Sees Continent of Hope."
216 Kyodo News (April 11, 2008), "Africa, donors to address climate change, monitor TICAD progress."
217 M2 Presswire (March 20, 2008), "Foreign ministers
in Gabon to chart course for Fourth Tokyo International Conference on
218 Kyodo News (January 31, 2008), "Ex-Japan PM Mori urges Africa to take part in African conference."
219 Xinhua News Agency (January 31, 2008), "Japan says to send peacekeepers for Africa."
220 The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan,
(January 26, 2008), "Special Address by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan On the Occasion of the Annual Meeting of the
World Economic Forum-Congress Center, Davos Switzerland." Available
221 All Africa (January 16, 2008), "Japanese Premier Invites President for Africa Conference."
222 Kyodo News (January 9, 2008), "Japan calls for more efforts on 3rd anniversary of Sudan peace deal."
223 Kyodo News (January 8, 2008), "Japan considering 250 billion yen aid for African infrastructure."
224 Kyodo News (January 4, 2008), "Komura says Japan will extend $260 mil. to Africa."
225 Agence France Presse (January 1, 2008), "Japan to lead climate change debate as head of G8 rich club."
226 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Japan (April 10,
2008), "G8 Health Experts' Meeting." (Accessed April 22, 2008),
Available from: <www.mofa.go.jp/announce
227 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Japan (February
15, 2008), "G8 Health Experts' Meeting." (Accessed February
26, 2008), Available from: <www.mofa.go.jp/announce
228 Agence France Presse (May 27, 2008), "Bono please at Japan's pledge to double aid, but wants more."
229 Agence France Presse (May 24, 2008), "G8, emerging economies begin climate talks."
230 Canadian Press (May 24, 2008), "G8 environment ministers meet in Japan to discuss climate change."
231 Targeted News Service (May 23, 2008), "Greenpeace Blocks Coal Shipment, Calls on G8 to Quit Coal."
232 Barry and District News (May 5, 2008), "Harry's off to Japan for G8 summit."
233 Kyodo News (February 7, 2008), "NGOs seek Japan's leadership in advancing health issues at G-8 summit."
234 The Japan Times Online (January 3, 2008), "NGOs gearing up for Lake Toya blitz."
235 The Japan Times Online (January 3, 2008), "NGOs gearing up for Lake Toya blitz."
236 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific (April 17, 2008), "G-8 business chiefs issue joint statement on climate change."
237 Nikkei Report (January 23, 2008), "Keidanren To Host G8 Business Summit in April."
238 Prime Minister of Japan
and His Cabinet (Accessed
October 15, 2007), <http://www.kantei.go.jp
239 Reuters News (May 23, 2008), "TABLE-Greenhouse gas emission in G8 members."
|This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G7 and G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.|
Please send comments to:
This page was last updated May 05, 2010.
All contents copyright © 2018. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.