• Kyodo

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Thirty high school students from the Group of Eight nations kicked off a youth summit Saturday in Okinawa on such issues as peace, the environment and the economy ahead of next month’s G8 summit.

High school students from the Group of Eight nations discuss global issues during Saturday’s “Youth Summit” at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan.

The two-day G8 “Youth Summit,” bringing together three students each from Okinawa, Fukuoka and Miyazaki prefectures and three each from the seven other G8 members, opened with section meetings on three major themes — peace and conflict, ways to stop environmental destruction and the role of developed nations in achieving prosperity.

“Global warming is becoming a serious issue. We should cut the power supply for an hour every year in each country to increase people’s consciousness to save energy,” Hisano Umei, a student of Shushukan High School in Fukuoka Prefecture, told a section meeting on environment.

Another student from Britain said that rather than forcing people, they should increase awareness through education.

The two-day gathering is being held at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan. Fukuoka and Miyazaki prefectures are to host ministerial meetings related to the July 21-23 G8 summit in Nago.

The participants will issue a statement compiling their perspectives as an appeal to the world during a plenary session today. They are coordinating to send the document to the G8 leaders through the Foreign Ministry.

The G8 consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.