G20 Osaka Summit

G20 Host City Holds “G20 Osaka Summit Forum: How the G20 Summit will open Osaka’s future”

Osaka will host the G20 Summit on June 28 and 29, and will be welcoming leaders from 37 countries and international organizations. On February 4, just 150 days before this historical event, the Kansai Promotion Council for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau co-sponsored the “G20 Osaka Summit Forum” in Osaka. The event attracted approximately 500 people from the local communities in Osaka.

Related Events 01 Message from G20 Sherpa, Ambassador Koji Tomita

Ambassador for Representative of the Government of Japan for the G20 Summit
Koji Tomita (G20 Sherpa)

As Japan’s Sherpa for the G20 Osaka Summit, Ambassador Koji Tomita made a speech mentioning that this Summit will revisit the rules and mechanisms of the free trade system, address global issues such as climate change and development, and pave the way towards finding solutions to challenges presented by the advancement in the digital economy.

Ambassador Tomita also delivered a message to the people of Osaka, the host city of the G20 Summit.

“As G20 leaders from members that account for about 80% of the world’s GDP will gather in Osaka, the event will attract a lot of international attention. Thus the Summit presents a major opportunity for Osaka to raise its profile as an international city. Although the G20 is typically held during the latter half of the year, just as the Buenos Aires Summit in Argentina was most recently held in November 2018, this year’s Summit will be held in June. Since the preparation time is short, I would like you all to join together and create momentum towards hosting a successful G20 Summit. The G20 Summit will welcome leaders from almost 40 countries and international organizations, including the G20 members. We are certainly looking to create opportunities for each leader to enjoy Osaka. During that time, there may be occasions for local residents of Osaka to interact with the leaders and delegations from the participating members, and my personal request is that you would extend a warm welcome to our guests.”

Related Events 02 Significance of hosting the G20 Summit in Osaka

Hirofumi Yoshimura,Osaka Mayor

Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura opened the “G20 Osaka Summit Forum” by expressing his thoughts on the significance of hosting the upcoming G20 Summit in Osaka. “The G20 Summit will be the first step towards growing Osaka into an international city that is able to compete with other global cities.”

Mitoji Yabunaka,Former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs

Mitoji Yabunaka, Former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and current Visiting Professor at Ritsumeikan University, made the keynote speech. As the G20 Summit “will gather prominent politicians such as President Trump, Putin, and Xi Jinping, it should attract unprecedented attention,” he suggested. Professor Yabunaka also passionately stated that the summit will be an opportunity for “Japan to exert leadership and influence the world,” while also referring to Japan’s diplomatic issues with members participating in the Summit.

Related Events 02 Panel discussion with guests from various sectors representing Osaka

The panel discussion on the expectations for the G20 Osaka Summit and impact of the Summit on the growth of Osaka, was held in the presence of Osaka prefecture’s Governor Ichiro Matsui and Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura participating as observers.

In his comment, Professor Yabunaka suggested that, “in this era of arms race, Japan should take leadership and communicate the value of peace.” Meanwhile, Noriko Takeuchi from Congress Corporation, a company that organizes international conferences, explained the economic ripple effect of hosting the Summit. Ms. Takeuchi said that “as media will gather from around the world, the Summit will be an excellent chance for Osaka to present itself to the world.”

Yuto Shiota, Chief Director of WAKAZO, a youth group supporting the Osaka-Kansai Japan Expo 2025, pointed out that the awareness of the G20 Summit among the younger generations is low. “I would like for more opportunities for young people such as high school and university students to participate in the Summit or related events. Further, if we could reach out beyond Osaka, more youth would be able to feel a sense of ownership of hosting the Summit in Japan.”

Osaka comedian, actor, and former politician Kiyoshi Nishikawa also expressed his expectations, noting that, “the G20 Summit presents a major opportunity to promote Osaka. We should focus our combined efforts on ensuring that overseas visitors who gather, discuss, and dine in Osaka return to their home countries with positive impressions.”

Ichiro Matsui,Osaka prefecture’s Governor

Governor Matsui also called for local cooperation. “Achieving a safe, secure and highly successful G20 Summit is key to Osaka’s growth. Hosting the Summit may be a temporary burden on local residents, but I would like for us to extend the warmest possible hospitality to ensure a successful Summit.”