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The Model G8 Youth Summit 2008 Japan Successfully Closed with Announcement of a Communiqué Signed by Students from G8 Countries

Update:Mar. 19, 2008
Opening Ceremony: Greeting by President Yuichiro Anzai of Keio University
Opening Ceremony: Greeting by President Yuichiro Anzai of Keio University
Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony
Simulated diplomatic international conference
Simulated diplomatic international conference
Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion
Dialogue with high school students
Dialogue with high school students
Closing Ceremony
Closing Ceremony
Closing Ceremony: Closing remarks by Prof. Tatsuya Sakamoto, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education
Closing Ceremony: Closing remarks by Prof. Tatsuya Sakamoto, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education

Photo: Satoru Inoue and others

Model G8 Youth Summit, an event in which university and graduate school students from G8 countries get together to simulate the real G8 Summit, was held in Yokohama, Japan from 11 to 15 March, held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Keio University, City of Yokohama and Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Delegations from Brazil and China also participated as observer countries. Out of the eight delegates from Japan, four were from Keio University (one from the Faculty of Law, one from the Faculty of Business and Commerce and two from the Faculty of Policy Management).

This was their third G8 Youth Summit following the first held in Russia in 2006, and the second in Germany. The next Summit will be held in Italy in 2009. The Model G8 Youth Summit follows the real G8 Summit and is always held at the country where the real G8 Summit is held. This particular Summit is sponsored by Keio University as a part of the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Project "Design the Future Fund."

The delegation of each country consisted of Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Internal Affairs, Economy, Education, Labor and Sherpas. The delegates discussed the agenda as the real G8 Summit world discuss and also added what they thought important. The themes which most of the delegates showed strong interests were climate change, development issues and energy security.

As the host country, it was the Japanese delegation’s responsibility to play the role of chairperson. The Prime Ministers and Ministers experienced difficulties trying to lead the Ministers to achieve a consensus on some issues as the interests and positions of each country differed. As the chairperson, it was important to give everybody an opportunity to speak; however at the same time, they had to speak up and fight for their own government’s interest, which was another challenge that the Japanese delegation faced. It was a great opportunity for the Japanese delegation to experience these challenges.

The negotiations were not only taken place during the official conference hours; delegates made both bilateral and multilateral negotiations during the coffee breaks after returning to the hotel at night and so on. These unofficial negotiations were necessary as some delegates would extremely adhere to national interest, thus delaying the process of the official conferences. All delegates experienced and learned what diplomacy is like through these negotiations. In the end, with the tenacious effort of each delegate, they were all able to achieve a consensus. The Communiqué, reflecting their efforts was cemented by Mr. Koichiro Matsumoto, Deputy Director, G8 Summit Office and Economic Policy Division of Economic Affairs Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Unlike the real G8 Summit, this Summit was not only about conferences. Each delegate was given an opportunity to visit their own embassy, which helped them to acquire better understanding their government’s position. The Committee organized a cultural show in which the delegates enjoyed the Japanese music and the Canadian acting. A panel discussion was also held; Professor Heizo Takenaka played the role of chairperson and an active discussion about climate change with viewpoints from government, corporate, academics was held. At the end, delegates were given opportunities to ask questions to the panelists were able to do so. On the final day, there was an interaction event with the high school students in Japan and the delegates. The delegates taught the high school students about the issues they discussed the past few days and also gave presentations on their culture, deepening the high school students’ understanding of the G8 Summit and also international understanding.

The Model G8 Youth Summit closed with success as has been in the past. It is hoped to be held annually in the following years.