Representatives from the Next Generation Assemble in Chitose in the J8 Summit
July 2, 2008
Young representatives from around the world assembled in Chitose, Hokkaido, on July 2, 2008, and the Junior 8 (J8) Summit of 2008 opened in Lake Shikotsu area of Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Seinor Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
The J8 Summit of 2008 is hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and UNICEF, with cooperation from Hokkaido Regional Environment Office of Ministry of the Environment, the city of Chitose, and the local J8 executive committee formed by citizens. To commence the opening ceremony, children from Shikotsuko Elementary School welcomed the youth from all 15 participating countries, which was followed by speeches by Mr. Onodera, Senior Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, an official from UNICEF, and Mr. Yamaguchi, the mayor of city of Chitose. Ms. Harumi Takahashi, the governor of Hokkaido, was invited to the ceremony, and she also gave a speech on a celebratory note.
After a brief introduction of the delegates from each country, a toast proposed by Ms. Makiko Yanagiya, the park ranger of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, opened the reception, wishing the success of the J8 Summit. In the reception, children from Shikotsuko Elementary School and the delegates from the participating countries performed "Yosakoi Soran dance".
After the reception, Ms. Yanagiya introduced Japan's national park system and the highlights of Shikotsu-Toya National Park to the J-8 delegates in Shikotsuko Visitor Center, a nature information facility established by Ministry of the Environment. Afterward, the participants took a field trip and enjoyed the nature of Lake Shikotsu.
participants enjoying the nature in the field trip
Ms. Yanagiya's presentation
In the programs and events scheduled for eight days in Lake Shikotsu area and its vicinity in Chitose, the J-8 delegates are to discuss global warming and other international issues. The J8 Summit is scheduled to conclude on July 10 with a declaration as a recommendation to the leaders of the G-8 countries and the whole world.