The World is Watching! The G7 Ise-Shima Summit Slated for Next Month
The annual international summit where the representatives from various countries of the world discuss the challenges that the global community faces today will be held this year in Shima of Mie Prefecture. The summit to be held on the 26th and 27th of next month is fast approaching and so our feature is on the Ise-Shima Summit that is getting increased attention both domestically and globally.
What is the Ise-Shima Summit?
The summit was started in 1975 with the objective of dealing with economical problems of leading nations of the time. Historically, Japan has hosted the summit a total of 5 times, in 1979, 1986, 1993, 2000 and 2008. This year, which marks the 42nd summit, Japan will be the hosting country. The last time Japan hosted was 8 years ago at Hokkaido Toyako Summit. Other than Shima, 8 other locations in Japan such as Sendai, Niigata, Karuizawa of Nagano Prefecture were considered as candidate locations. However, certain aspects lead for this island to finally be selected as the venue of the summit –the beautiful nature of Ise-Shima, the existence of Ise Jingu Shrine which has a long history of being a representative site of Japan, and from a security stand point for the only access to the island from the mainland being two bridges of Kashikojima Ohashi Bridge and Kashikojima Bridge
The participating members of the summit, collectively called G7 are Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada as well as President of the European Council and President of the European Commission.
Also, in relation to holding the summit, there are summit meetings and other related meetings to be held in various parts of Japan. The Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the 10th and 11th of April will be the start of various other Ministerial Meetings to be held in 10 cities throughout Japan.
The Main Venue for the Summit
The main venue for the summit will be the Shima Kanko Hotel, “the Classic”. It is a hotel designed by Japan’s representative architect, Togo Murano and it overlooks the beautiful scenery of the Ago Bay. The Kashikojima Island of Shima, where the hotel is located is in the heart of sightseeing destinations surrounded by the mountains and the sea; it is in the Ago Bay, famous for the beautiful rias-type coastline and pearl farming. During the term of the summit, the area will be in high security alert with inspection checkpoints and traffic regulations.
The Significance of Holding the Ise-Shima Summit
When it started, the summit was held with the objective of discussing challenges related to economical issues. However, with the drastically changing environment of the world, the breadth of topics to be discussed has become more diverse; not limited to the initial objectives but also covering a wide breadth of topics such as actions to be taken toward global warming as well as information technology.
The topics to be discussed at the upcoming Ise-Shima Summit includes, global economy/trade, politics/foreign policy, climate change/energy, development, quality infrastructure investment, health and active engagement of women in society, etc with particular emphasis on dealing with the repeated attacks of terrorism and dealing with the world economy. There is much interest gathering on how many solutions can arise as a result of the discussions. Additionally, the Panama Papers that have been getting a lot of attention for stirring up the entire world has now been added as an agenda topic. The global scale reaction and resolution regarding the Panama Papers issue as it is just happening may be one of the most intriguing points of the upcoming summit.