Monday, 7 July 2008

PostHeaderIcon Different Japan: G8 Summit

G8 Summit

The G8 Summit is being held in Japan at the moment. As usual, it is being hosted in a world class hotel in a picturesque town somewhere. This year, all the prestigious world leaders are sitting around a table on top of a hill in Hokkaido (the large island in the north of Japan.) The island is usually covered in snow in the winter but the summers are meant to be very pleasant. Anyway, apparently there are 40000 riot police stationed there just now. This may not seem immediately surprising to you but I'm trying to figure out who they are guarding the resort from.

It's different if the summit is held somewhere in Europe because hundreds of thousands of dirty, lefty students can easily travel to the host country. However, Japan is an island with only China, Korea and Russia as neighbours. I can't really see many of them willing to travel or put up with documentation just to go and protest in Hokkaido. Are all those lefty European types willing to pay for a flight to get here? There could be a fair few Japanese citizens who will attend it but they are (generalisation warning) just a.... reserved and calm group of people. I just can't see hordes of masked Japanese anarchists hurling Molotov cocktails. There are so few foreigners in Japan to begin with and the majority of them will probably need to stay in work or are saving their holiday days. So... why do they need forty THOUSAND riot police? I just don't understand. I reckon it's a case of Japan looking at the other summits and trying to get on that bandwagon without realising that only about a dozen students from Sapporo (Hokkaido capital) will turn up and do some synchronised clapping.

I always find that the selection of each location is becoming a bit of a competition. It's understandable that they'd pick a beautiful area to try and show off their country but at the same time it's kind of disgusting and hypocritical. There always seems to be a big announcement or a pledge that seems full of promise and ideal but turns out to be a load of rubbish.

Anyway, the other main reason for this entry was an article I read on the BBC news website. On the front page there was a quote from Gordon Brown in reference to rising food prices around the world. He told British citizens to "stop wasting food" and that "unnecessary" purchases were contributing to price rises, and urged people to plan meals in advance and store food properly. Cheers Gordon. It certainly doesn't read like some thrifty old woman's advice in the 'Life' section of any Sunday newspaper. Thanks for telling the world about your revolutionary idea.

The article did explain that millions of pounds worth of food are wasted and I'm sure that's the case. However, did he really need to make this his big statement on the international stage? Couldn't he have just said something about stopping the use of bio-fuels or pledged that the poor must be supported through such hard times? Nah... just freeze your leftover bread and make sure you store your food in plastic containers. I believe you can buy 3 for 2 in Woolworths.


Mike said...

I was talking to my Dad about this. Apparently the G8 discussed poverty, rising food costs and unnecessary waste, before sitting down to a lunch of 6 courses and an evening meal of 8.

Ahoy hoy said...

I hate all the set-up photographs myself. There's a picture from last year's in Germany where they are all walking in a line across a nice lawn. It looked like a really dull version of Reservoir Dogs.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.