Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.39 (July 11, 2008) ============================================================
"Overcoming differences. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, which began on July 7 -- the day of Tanabata, the Star Festival -- ended successfully the day before yesterday without major incident or trouble. This was a tribute to the cooperation of the people of Hokkaido, the security personnel, the volunteers, and many other people. I would like to take this opportunity to extend to everyone involved my deepest appreciation for their support.
This year's Summit was extremely important and drew a high level of interest from around the world, to an even greater degree than recent ones.
The reason for this was because this Summit took place at a time when global challenges such as ongoing global warming, soaring oil and food prices, and tension in financial markets are having a great impact on the everyday lives of people very close to home.
Addressing these issues, the leaders gathered around one table engaged in serious and candid discussions -- which, at times, got heated -- day and night over three days, producing numerous results.
First, we agreed to seek to adopt as a global target the long-term goal -- which, at last year's Summit, the leaders went no further than agreeing to "consider seriously" -- of at least a 50% reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050. This, needless to say, is based on the premise that the G8 including the US agree on this goal.
We also discussed actively the roles of each country in responding to soaring oil and food prices that have hit family budgets and have become a matter of life or death in the world's poorer countries.
On oil issues, the leaders agreed to accelerate efforts to have oil production increased, and to conserve energy and introduce new sources of energy. We also agreed to ensure that more detailed inventory information is made available and to strengthen supervisory frameworks for the futures markets, in order to avoid financial markets having a detrimental impact on prices.
On food issues, we decided to further strengthen support for the efforts by developing countries to step up their agricultural production and called for the removal of export restrictions, as well as for the release of food stocks, as emergency measures.
In discussions on the political area, we placed emphasis on nuclear non-proliferation and had substantive discussions on North Korea and Iran.
On North Korea, we agreed to verify the situation thoroughly toward the realization of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I received encouraging support from the leaders of other countries, including US President George W. Bush, with regard to the importance of resolving the abduction issue.
In addition to the leaders of the G8 nations, Japan invited to this year's Summit the leaders of 16 other countries, including China and India, and the representatives of five international organizations. We carried out frank exchanges of opinions over many hours with a view to reaching resolutions on the important issues that the world is facing.
It is only natural that different countries have different stances and opinions. That said, issues we are facing now are global issues that no one country or even one group can resolve alone. The leaders all acknowledged that a concrete resolution can only be realized when we overcome our differences, and we expressed to the world our firm resolve to move forward in tackling these issues together.
Thirty-three years ago, a group of countries that "shared common beliefs and responsibilities" gathered for the very first Summit, which was held in the Chateau de Rambouillet, in France. That "Rambouillet spirit" was reconfirmed at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, which was, I believe, a starting point to expand it out into the world beyond the G8.
While serving as Chair of this year's Summit, I became keenly aware of the weight of the world's expectations for Japan's contributions to the endeavors to resolve various global issues, including global environmental issues. With the aim of Japan being an indispensable nation for the world, and a nation that its people can be proud of internationally, we will continue to move forward, step by step, together with the people.
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<1ch> Prime Minister
<3ch> G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit
- Creating a Beautiful Water Environment
- Technology for Energy Efficiency and Recycling
- G8 Summit Related Meetings--Towards the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit--
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Commemorative Tree Planting / Japan-Russia Summit Meeting /
Japan-Italy Summit Meeting / Other Events (Tuesday, July 8, 2008)
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