G7 discusses economy, terror

Participants at the G7 summit (clockwise from front) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; French President Francois Hollande; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker; European Council President Donald Tusk; Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and U.S. President Barack Obama in Shima, Mie Prefecture, Japan on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: POOL

Group of Seven (G7) leaders voiced concern about emerging economies at a summit in Japan on Thursday as their host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made a pointed comparison to the 2008 global financial crisis but not all his G7 partners appeared to agree.

They did agree on the need for flexible spending to spur world growth but the timing and amount depended on each country, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters, adding some countries saw no need for such spending.

Britain and Germany have been resisting calls for fiscal stimulus.

“G7 leaders voiced the view that emerging economies are in a severe situation, although there were views that the current economic situation is not a crisis,” Mr. Seko said after the first day of a two-day G7 summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan.

Maritime security

Other summit topics include terrorism, cyber-security and maritime security, especially China’s increasing assertiveness in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian nations.

G7 leaders agreed that it was important to send a clear signal on the South and East China Seas, Mr. Seko told reporters, adding that China was mentioned in discussions on maritime matters on Thursday. At a news conference late on Wednesday, Mr. Abe said Japan welcomed China’s peaceful rise while repeating Tokyo’s opposition to acts that try to change the status quo by force and urging respect of the rule of law — principles expected to be mentioned in a statement after the summit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the South China Sea issue had “nothing to do” with the G7 or any of its member states.

Mr. Obama pointed to the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, saying the isolated state was “hell bent” on getting atomic weapons. But he said there had been improved responses from countries in the region like China that could reduce the risk of Pyongyang selling nuclear material. — Reuters

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 10:05:16 PM |

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