National / Politics

Abe makes surprise comedy show appearance in bid for public support for June Osaka G20 summit


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a surprising appearance on a comedy show held at the Namba Grand Kagetsu theater in Osaka on Saturday, seeking support for the Group of 20 summit to be held in the city in June.

“I’m Shinzo Abe, I’m real,” the prime minister said on the show run by Japanese entertainment powerhouse Yoshimoto Kogyo.

During the show, comedian Medaka Ikeno was asked by a member of the cast about the G20.

“To be honest, I don’t know much about it, but here’s a person who is very familiar with it,” Ikeno said.

Then, Abe appeared on the stage, surprising the audience.

“You’re impersonating [the prime minister], aren’t you?” a cast member told Abe, and the prime minister replied, “I’m real,” provoking laughter.

Abe explained to the audience that discussions will be held on a broad range of issues at the June 28-29 summit among leaders of the 20 advanced and emerging economies, including the United States, Russia and China, as well as Japan.

Abe also said he was seeking Osaka residents’ understanding and cooperation since strict traffic controls will be put in place during the summit period.

Earlier Saturday, Abe visited Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden to inspect Osaka Geihinkan there, which will be used for the G20 leaders’ dinner during the summit.

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