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Japan urges G-7 to tackle global economic risks

AP May 27,2016 - 11:10 AM

US President Barack Obama (left) talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Ujibashi bridge as they visit the Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture, Japan on Thursday. (AP)

US President Barack Obama (left) talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Ujibashi bridge as they visit the Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture, Japan on Thursday. (AP)

ISE, Japan — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged fellow leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies to unite Thursday in forging a more urgent, coordinated response to the faltering global recovery.

Abe and his counterparts sat down at a big round table for the first of their summit working sessions after strolling through the grounds of the Ise (Ee-say) Shrine, a tranquil, densely forested landmark that is the holiest site in Japan’s indigenous Shinto religion, and then joining a group of children in a tree planting ceremony.

The G-7 gathering dovetails in many ways with Abe’s long-term diplomatic, political and economic agenda. A dramatic statement about global economic risks and a strong show of support for public spending to help spur growth could help Abe justify extra stimulus and possibly provide political cover for postponing an unpopular but badly needed increase in the sales tax next April.

An aide said Abe planned to use data charts dramatically illustrating the severity of the recent slump in commodity prices and the slowdown in China.

“There is a concern that the sluggish economy might last some time, and that Abe hopes to share a common notion about the potential risks,” said Hiroshige Seko, a deputy chief cabinet secretary.

Abe hopes the group would “take leadership as the G-7 and convey a powerful message to the rest of the world,” he said. Seeking to enhance Abe’s legacy, the message would be dubbed the “Ise-Shima” principle, he said.

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TAGS: Japan, Obama, USA

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