Toyako Summit: A Review
By Eric Johnston
The Japan Times
Hokkaido International Business
The Toyako Summit:
G-8 Leaders agreed on long term green
house gas emissions reductions targets of
at least 50 percent by 2050
G-8 Leaders agreed to work to make the
climate change conference in
Copenhagen a success.
G-8 Leaders promised Africa that it would
would increase aid by $25 billion a year by
What Didn’t Happen
G-8 Leaders failed to commit to the
specific recommendation by climatologists
of cutting greenhouse gases between 25
and 40 percent by 2020 in order to avert a
global climate catastrophe after that.
G-8 Leaders failed explain how they would
deliver on their aid promises made to
Africa since 2005, and how they would
take responsibility for ensuring the money
was accounted for.
The Toyako Agenda
Aid to Africa
Nuclear nonproliferation (Iran, North Korea)
The world food crisis
The price of oil
Financial markets and the world economy
So, was the Summit a Success?
YES – say the G8 Leaders, some
elements of the Japanese media.
NO – says practically everybody else
TOO EARLY TO TELL –say the NGOs
involved with poverty and development
issues, especially in Africa.
MY OWN VIEW – It was neither a success
nor a failure.
Basic Problems with the Outcome
On Climate Change –G-8 Leaders did not
take into account the scientific evidence or
the advice, presented last year by the UN,
of rapid climate change and what the
world needs to do. The emerging
economies also failed to show political
leadership and imagination, putting their
own ``victim politics’’ above cooperation.
Basic Problems with the Outcome(2)
On Africa –G-8 Leaders failed to explain
or take action on how promised aid will
actually be delivered. They also failed to
address practical concerns on the
distribution of the aid, i.e. dealing with
corruption and making sure it reaches the
Basic Problems with Outcome (3)
There is, in effect, very little the G-8 can do to deal
with the rising price of oil. Past statements have
done absolutely nothing to stem the rise of oil
prices, which are being driven by oil speculators.
The G-8’s energy policy promotes controversial fuels
like biofuel and nuclear power, even as the leaders
tacitly acknowledge biofuels are at least partially
responsible for the current food crisis. They have no
real answer to increased nuclear power leading to
Part II: Hokkaido and the
Some media reports in Tokyo/Osaka said the
economic impact of the Hokkaido summit would be
as much as 60 billion yen –which is the estimated
total cost of the summit.
A sense of resignation among those living in the
Toyako area that a few would benefit but most would
A sense of déjà vu among people in other parts of
Japan when they heard stories about how the central
government promised Hokkaido citizens that they
would play and active role in the summit
preparations, only to see Tokyo move in and shut
out local merchants.
Eric’s questions for HIBA
Does the Hokkaido government have a
``Post Toyako’’ plan and a budget for
promoting international business,
including trade and tourism. If so, is the
plan being funded by Tokyo, or by local
Is the Hokkaido Prefectural Government
seriously committed to further
development of the international
convention and tourism industry here in
The English Media and post-
Toyako Summit Hokkaido
Many in the English language media are
wondering about the market potential of
Hokkaido, post-Summit. But we have the
1) Is there enough of a demand among
visiting foreign business people here in
Sapporo for an English language paper?
2) How do we reach the hotels and
pensions where foreigners are staying?
3) What kind of local news most interests
the Hokkaido foreign community?