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Japan speeding up preparations for G-20 Summit, ministerial talks

  • March 16, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:19 p.m.
  • English Press

Osaka, March 16 (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government is accelerating preparations for the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in the western Japan city of Osaka in June and related ministerial sessions to be held in other parts of the country this year.

The leaders’ meeting alone is expected to bring together as many as 30,000 people, including officials from member economies and journalists. It will be the first time for Japan to host a G-20 summit.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry, which is playing a central role in the preparations, faces a host of challenges, such as providing accommodations to delegates and ensuring security of conference venues.

In first, the G-20 economies are slated to hold a meeting of their agriculture ministers in the city of Niigata, central Japan, on May 11-12, to be followed by a meeting of their finance ministers and central bank chiefs in the southwestern city of Fukuoka on June 8-9 and other ministerial gatherings, ahead of the G-20 summit on June 28-29.

Some events are scheduled after the summit, including a meeting of foreign ministers in the central city of Nagoya on Nov. 22-23.

On Saturday, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited Osaka and Nagoya to inspect the venues to be used for the summit and foreign chiefs’ meeting, and other facilities.

“I hope we can show something unique to Japan and Osaka,” he told reporters in Osaka, adding that he will work to ensure that substantive discussions will be held at the summit and the series of ministerial meetings.

The secretariat for the 2019 G-20 summit at the Foreign Ministry started full-fledged preparations after receiving on March 8 a report from the government of Argentina, last year’s G-20 chair, on know-how on and lessons from the 2018 summit and ministerial meetings.

The secretariat is considering boosting the number of its members to up to about 400 from some 80 at present, by gathering staff from Japanese diplomatic establishments abroad, informed sources said.

The ministry will also ask other government agencies and ministries to send dozens of staff to cooperate for the preparations. It also plans to hire temporary workers, the sources said.

The G-20 members are the Group of Seven major industrial nations–Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States–and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey plus the European Union.

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