NHK reported on the start of the first session of the G20 Osaka Summit on the global economy and trade today. At the beginning of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe reportedly stressed the importance of a free and open economy as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity, calling for WTO reforms toward this goal. He also referred to concerns about rapid changes caused by globalization breeding protectionism and conflict among nations, pointing out that tit-for-tat trade restrictions do not benefit any country. A second session focusing on technological innovation began later in the afternoon.
In a special event for G20 leaders on rule-making for the digital economy in which Abe announced the launch of the “Osaka Track,” a G20 framework for discourse on rule-making for the digital economy, President Trump voiced opposition to restrictions on the free flow of data across national borders as they distort trade and violate privacy and intellectual property rights, apparently with China’s tightening its control on the Internet in mind. On the other hand, Chinese President Xi Jinping asserted that individual nations’ right to implement autonomous controls needs to be respected and that the G20 nations should create a fair and nondiscriminatory market environment. The network said this comment was probably a reference to the U.S.’s clampdown on Huawei.