Subject: [cwj 64] Japan splashes out $750m for G8 summit
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 10:32:29 -0700
Seq: 64

Japan splashes out $750m for G8 summit
By Gillian Tett in Tokyo and David Buchan in London
July 18 2000
Financial Times

The Japanese government has spent =A581bn ($750m) staging the
meeting of leaders from the Group of Eight leading industrialised
countries this weekend in Okinawa.=20

It is believed to be by far the largest sum any government has
spent hosting a G8 - way ahead of the DM11.5m-DM12M
($5.4m) Germany said it spent on hosting the G8 in Cologne last
year, and more than the UK spent on the meeting in Birmingham
in 1998.=20

The UK Foreign Office said the bill for Birmingham was "higher, but not
much higher" than for
Cologne but refused to disclose the precise cost.=20

This year's G8 meetings will also cost more than the =A563bn Japan expects t=
pay when it
co-hosts the football World Cup in 2002 with South Korea.=20

The G8 bill highlights the importance Japan attaches to a summit it hopes
will allow it to
demonstrate its diplomatic skills on the world stage.=20

Unlike the other G8 countries, Japan does not belong to any of the big
organisations such as the European Union, Nato, or the UN security council.
"The G8 matters
more to Japan than other G8 members," said one diplomat. This was true in
1998, when
Japan's G8 delegation was 10 times bigger than that of the British hosts.=20

Japan has also used this year's meeting as an excuse to spend money on the
under-developed but politically important area of Okinawa.=20

Tokyo has spent lavishly to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly. As well
as constructing new buildings it will draft in up to 22,000 policemen and
eight warships, is flying in tonnes of food and has held training courses
for local hotels.

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