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G8 Action Network

The G8 Summit will be held in Toyako Hokkaido in July 2008, following a series of ministerial preparation meetings in several places which will start in March. The G8 Action Network is an open network composed of individuals or organizations questioning the G8 Summit itself. The Network constructing a framework for exchange of information and getting in touch with each other is designed to support many events or activities against the Summit.

Nations joining the G8 account for just fourteen percent of the world's population. Besides, the G8 Summit is just an informal meeting which doesn't comply with the procedures as requested by international laws. However, what is agreed there defines movement of the world. For these reasons, we consider the G8 Summit undemocratic.

The aim of policy carried out by the G8 is based on neoliberalism, which is a view of the world holding that free trade or market liberalization could maximize people benefits. Neo-liberal proposals by the G8 have brought about many problems around the world to date.

1. The G8 has deteriorated problems of poverty or illegitimate debts through international institutions like IMF, World Bank or WTO, or agreements like FTA or EPA, insomuch that it could present development strategies in favor of advanced countries.

2. The G8 has favored big agribusiness firms. Liberalization of import of agricultural or stock farm products pressed by the G8 is not only breaking a footing of small farmers' life around the world, but also expanding production of genetically-modified crops or animals.

3. The G8 has pushed ahead with deregulation. Privatization of public services has allowed profit-oriented private companies to start commercial services of rail, mail or medical care. Accordingly, persons who don't get access to services required for their life are increasing in number. In addition, liberalization of capital investment or finance has made money game more active, leading to such chaos as currency crisis in Asia or subprime loans.

4. The G8 has produced instability of labor. Each of G8 nations intends to provide such a cheap labor that companies could employ it with more flexibility, by relaxing the standards on labor laws. As a result, there are so many irregular workers or jobless persons.

5. The G8 has put priority on corporate activities and paid no attention to environmental destruction. The G8 leaders set global warming as a major subject of discussion, and already expressed their decision to solve it. However, their policy on climate change will inevitably raise new problems including acceleration of more risky or speculative carbon trading or promotion of nuclear energy.

6. The G8 who formerly built a colony in many regions has responsibility for numbers of wars or armed conflicts. In addition, the vast majority of weapons export or military expenditure in the world is still held by the G8, major nuclear-weapon states. Hence, security in advanced countries is placed importance on at the G8 Summit, which never results in creating a framework for incorporating people's voice pursuing abolishment of nuclear weapons, arms control or elimination of military bases or peaceful solution.

7. In the name of war on terrorism, the G8 has deprived life and freedom of people and violated human rights by mobilizing domestic or overseas police or military forces. Who is to blame for armed attacks or military occupation in Afghanistan or Iraq is the nations constituting the G8. Besides, importantly, more tightened border patrol or communication monitoring is allowed under the excuse for war on terrorism, leading to justification of expulsion policy on migrants.

8. Issues of gender, ethnic minorities, indigenous people, socially-excluded people or the like are never discussed at the G8 Summit. This leads national or corporate benefits to have priority over issues of human rights.

The above problems are not completely unrelated to Japan. By attending the G8 Summit who advances security based on militarism, the Japanese government may insist that strengthening military alliance between Japan and the US or amending Article 9 (stipulating renunciation of war) of the Constitution is supported internationally, emphasizing Japanese superiority in Asia because Japan is the only nation in Asia to have a membership of the G8. However, the undemocratic nature of the G8 is so clear that false declaration by the Japanese government that the conclusion there is an international consensus should never be overlooked. In addition, economic collapse of local governments, as typified by Yubari City, Hokkaido in Japan, the situation on many youngsters called "Net Cafe Refugees" who stay at a 24-hour cybercafe because they don't have enough money to rent a tenement due to their contingent work or were forced to clear out of it due to back rent, or social impoverishment is inseparably related to neoliberal .

We at G8 Action Network do want to make problems about the G8 Summit clear together with all of you who share concern over the G8 with us. Now there is a growing trend toward creating another world which is quite different from that led by the G8 Summit, in the G8 nations as well as other nations. We do want to exploit the opportunity at the G8 Summit at Toyako Hokkaido in Japan and share doubt about neo-liberalism or war on terrorism with people from home and abroad to challenge the G8 Summit together.

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