Yokohama, Niigata eye cohosting of G8 in 2008

Kyodo

The city of Niigata hopes to cohost the 2008 summit of the Group of Eight countries together with Yokohama.

Niigata Mayor Akira Shinoda, Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida and Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada announced the plan at a news conference Tuesday in Tokyo.

Yokohama has already expressed hope to host the 2008 G8 summit.

Niigata, with a population of 803,000, is the biggest city on the Sea of Japan coast. It is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo.

Yokohama, with 3.58 million people, is Japan’s biggest city outside Tokyo’s 23-ward area.

Japan has hosted Group of Seven summits three times in Tokyo, in 1979, 1986 and 1993. In 2000, it hosted the G8 leaders’ meeting in Okinawa, while the G8 foreign and finance ministers’ meetings were held in Miyazaki and Fukuoka prefectures.