Some advice for Group of Seven leaders planning a trip to Japan in May: do a conference call instead.

No offense to the good people of Ise-Shima, an absolutely lovely place in Mie Prefecture. Officials there have yen signs in their eyes, and you know why. The leaders of the biggest industrialized nations are about to arrive with huge entourages, press contingents, motorcades and international buzz, filling hotel rooms, airline seats, eateries and local government coffers.

Judging from the pre-G-7 rhetoric, though, the rest of us can expect to get zero out of the summit. There will be hollow communiques, ambiguous pledges of cooperation and cringe-worthy photo ops in locally designed shirts. What there probably won't be are concrete steps to shore up growth and or ensure that a 2008-like crisis can't happen again.