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Japan finalizes all 10 venues for G-7 ministerial meetings in 2016

Kyodo

The government on Friday confirmed all of the venues for the Group of Seven ministerial meetings that will held in the run-up to the G-7 summit in 2016, including Kobe, where the health ministers will convene, and the resort town of Karuizawa, which will draw their transport chiefs to Nagano Prefecture.

The science ministers will meet in the science city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, while the research, information and communication ministers will gather in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, and the education ministers in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture.

A total of 10 ministerial gatherings are expected to take place in Japan from March to mid-May ahead of the main Ise-Shima summit in Mie Prefecture on May 26 and 27.

Last month, the government announced that the G-7 foreign ministers’ gathering would be held in Hiroshima and the finance ministers’ meeting in Sendai.

On Friday, it said the environment ministers would meet in Toyama and the farm ministers in Niigata, both on the Sea of Japan coast, while the energy ministers would gather in Kitakyushu.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that each venue has “great features” related to the topics likely to be discussed. He noted that Kobe will host the health ministers’ gathering, for example, to promote innovation in the medical technology sector in the same place struck by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto said the G-7 ministerial meeting will be a “great opportunity” for the city to share its knowledge with the world.

Japan has hosted five G-7 and Group of Eight summits — in Tokyo, Okinawa and Hokkaido.

The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The G-8 is the G-7 plus Russia, whose participation has been suspended in retaliation for its annexation of Crimea in southern Ukraine.