National / Politics

Anti-terrorism, other safety measures paramount ahead of G-7 summit, says Mie governor

Kyodo

Mie Gov. Eikei Suzuki said Wednesday that preventing terrorism and ensuring safety was paramount ahead of the Group of Seven summit in the prefecture next year.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo, Suzuki said that the terror attacks in Paris last week reminded him anew of the “serious problems facing Mie Prefecture as it will host the Ise-Shima G-7 summit.”

“Prevention of terrorism and hosting the summit safely is a paramount task for the prefecture,” he said.

The May 26 to 27 summit will bring together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

A total of 41 organizations, including the Mie Prefectural Government, police and railroad companies, launched the Counterterrorism Mie Partnership Promotion Council in late October, with a view to sharing information on possible terrorism, said the 41-year-old governor, who has strong ties with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a former bureaucrat in the prime minister’s office.

“The attacks in Paris occurred at places where ordinary citizens gathered. It is impossible to guard all such places for a long time. So we need cooperation from the private sector,” Suzuki said.

As part of its efforts to secure safety for the summit, the prefectural government plans to enact an ordinance to ban the use of drones around Kashikojima island, the main summit venue, while budgeting a total of ¥5.88 billion ($47.69 million) for security and other purposes related to the summit, the governor said.

The governor also visited Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and asked the central government to step up counterterrorism measures for the G-7 summit in reaction to the Paris attacks.