At a press conference in Germany following the Group of Seven Summit at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the site of the 2016 G7 Summit and Japan’s responsibilities as the host country.
Official logo of G7 Japan 2016
The red disc featured on Japan’s national flag is circled by cherry blossom petals signifying the G7 countries. The blue crescent represents the ocean surrounding Ise-Shima, the venue of the G7 Summit. This logo was designed by a high-school student.
“Japan will again chair the G7, and I will invite leaders from around the world to Ise-Shima. Shima’s magnificent sea spreading out before you stretches unbroken from the Pacific all the way to the Indian Ocean. Taking firmly to heart the feelings of a great many countries in both Asia and Africa, Japan as the holder of the 2016 presidency intends to discuss issues frankly with world leaders to foster world peace and prosperity. What’s more, as this also represents a special opportunity, I would like for the other leaders to fully experience the Ise Jingu shrine and other aspects of Japan’s traditions, culture, and natural beauty. I intend to make this an opportunity to send out to the world the message of how superb Japan’s ‘hometowns,’ or local regions, are.”
This will be the sixth time for Japan to host the G7/G8 Summit, which was previously held in Tokyo in 1979, 1986, and 1993, in Kyushu-Okinawa in 2000, and in Toyako (Hokkaido) in 2008. The 2016 G7 Summit will be held on May 26–27 in Ise-Shima, Mie Prefecture.
As Prime Minister Abe noted, Ise-Shima is an area with many attractions. It is the site of the Ise Jingu shrine, whose history goes back to ancient times, and it is a place of great natural beauty, including islands of various sizes and a coast with many inlets, offering an example of what may be described as Japan’s primal scenery. Visitors can enjoy the area’s rich harvest of seafood, including Japanese spiny lobsters, oysters, and abalone. It is where cultured pearls were first produced, and the pearls from here are world famous.
G7 ministerial meetings are to be held in 10 cities around Japan from April through September. They are all among Japan’s leading regional cities and have been chosen as appropriate sites for discussions on the topics of each of the meetings. All of these cities are now energetically preparing to host the meetings.
Kashikojima Island, the summit venue, is the largest island in Ago Bay, with a beautiful, deeply indented coast.
Today’s international community must work together to deal with numerous issues in a variety of areas. These concerns include the threats of terrorism and cyber-terrorism, the environment, energy, economic problems, and regional conflicts. The G7 Summit and ministerial meetings will seriously address these and other matters across a wide spectrum.
We hope that people around the world will pay attention to this year’s G7 Summit and related meetings in Japan. We also hope that many will come to Japan this year and experience the nature, culture, traditions, and other attractions of Ise-Shima and the country’s many other regions. We look forward to seeing you!