Japan to hold 2008 G-8 summit from July 7-9
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday that the 2008 summit of leaders from the Group of Eight nations to be hosted by Japan at a hot-spring resort would be held from July 7-9.
Abe, who went on an observation trip on Saturday, stood at the edge of the Lake Toya, known for its nature reserves and pristine forests, to announce the dates for the main summit, where environment would be a key agenda.
"This place is just perfect to discuss the theme," Abe said. "I plan to appeal nature's beauty in Japan."
Lake Toya is on the northern island of Hokkaido. Other venues for ministerial meetings, announced earlier this month, have a more urban feel.
Finance ministers will meet in the western city of Osaka, foreign ministers in the ancient capital of Kyoto and environment ministers in the nearby port town of Kobe.
Justice and home affairs ministers are slated to meet in Tokyo, while labor ministers will convene in the northern coastal city of Niigata. The Tokyo suburb of Chiba will host a Group of Twenty conference on global warming and clean energy, and Yokohama will hold talks on African development.
The G-8 summit is comprised of the world's seven leading industrial democracies plus Russia. Tokyo takes over the G-8 presidency on January 1, 2008, from this year's chair, Germany.
Japan has hosted four summits, most recently on the southern island of Okinawa in 2000.