Travel | G20 host cities special

Timeless hospitality welcomes international guests

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Japan is gearing up to host its first-ever G20 Summit on June 28 and 29, as well as eight other ministerial meetings across several months.

While the main event in Osaka represents a broader undertaking, the other meetings are designed to gather experts of specific areas of expertise.

The first meeting will take place in Niigata and other ministerial events will run until November; the schedule is as follows:

  • Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting on May 11 and 12 in Niigata, Niigata Prefecture
  • Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting on June 8 and 9 in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
  • Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy on June 8 and 9 in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth on June 15 and 16 in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture
  • Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting on Sept. 1 and 2 in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture
  • Health Ministers’ Meeting on Oct. 19 and 20 in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture
  • Tourism Ministers’ Meeting on Oct. 25 and 26 in Kutchan, Hokkaido Prefecture
  • Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Nov. 22 and 23 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Overall, the G20 Summit meeting brings together the heads of member and guest nations as well as representatives of invited global organizations. Traditionally, the forum concentrates on global economic matters and collaboration, but has also tackled issues in the realm of climate change, among other critical topics.

The current roster of summit members comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., the U.S. and the European Union — all G7 members — as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

This mix of developed and developing nations accounts for around 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.

Individual guest nations invited to this year’s summit are the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore and Vietnam; other leaders who are welcome represent the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Thailand), African Union (Egypt), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Chile), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Senegal) and the United Nations.

Additional entities on the guest list are the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Labor Organization, Financial Stability Board, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Asian Development Bank and World Health Organization.

The G20 Summit Meeting was created to remedy the global financial crisis set off when the Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, prevent future crises and encourage balanced global growth and new perspectives in governance. With the exception of 2009 and 2010 when two annual meetings were held during both years, this influential gathering typically occurs once a year.

The first summit between world leaders was held in Washington, D.C. in 2008, but the G20 itself was formed prior in the 1990s in response to major economic crises of the time. The domino effect of these disasters showed international leaders the importance of including developing countries in discussions on the international financial system.

G7 finance ministers held the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999. Later, it was decided that the summit-level discussions involving the same members were necessary, leading to the G20 Summit Meeting as it is known today.

Japan has overseen similar events in the past, but the upcoming gathering of world leaders and experts is among the largest summit meetings the country has ever hosted. It also marks the beginning of a series of international events Japan will host over the next several years — the Rugby World Cup, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2025 World Expo in Osaka.

This new chapter in the country’s sweeping history sets the stage for visitors to discover the distinct culture and traditions present everywhere from modern cities to historical towns. Each municipality encapsulates a unique side of Japan, be it a manifestation of exquisitely preserved nature, outstanding cuisine or hidden wonders off the beaten path.

Some of these regional charms are the result of local communities cultivating their own diverse traditions, and regardless of whether travelers arrive this year or in the decades to come, the country’s hospitality is one enduring trait that will continue to welcome them wherever they choose to roam.

“G20 host cities special” pages are sponsored by the government of Japan.

G20 host cities special

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