"There are three kinds of people in the world. People who you can talk to and reach an agreement with, people who you can't reach an agreement with even if you talk to them, and people who you can reach an agreement with without even talking. Politicians have to endeavor to reach agreement with those people who you can't get agreement with even from talking to them." These are the words of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Fifteen years ago, at the G-8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, Koizumi called for effort to settle disagreements through discussion at the summit dinner, which was held after the death of an anti-globalism protester. Afterwards, the summits began being held in easy-to-guard resort areas. The Ise-Shima Summit in Japan will follow this trend.
At the G-8 Gleneagles Summit in the United Kingdom in 2005, the capital of London was hit by terrorist bombings, the responsibility for which was claimed by Islamic radicals. These terrorist attacks against the innocent populace spread an atmosphere of hopelessness about attempts to reach agreement through discussion.
Of course, protests and terrorism cannot be treated as the same. However, there must be a direct look taken at the criticism and hate directed toward global economy and an international order centered on Europe and the United States. Additionally, this year's summit will face a serious challenge that no amount of beefed up security will solve: the discontent of the member nations' populaces.
In the United Kingdom, a desire has risen for an exit from the European Union, and in the United States, presidential candidate Donald Trump, who advocates putting the United States first, is causing waves. Elsewhere in Europe, far-right, anti-refugee political parties are making striking headway. It seems the G-7 Summit -- which aims for cooperation among leading countries to stabilize the world based on the principles of freedom, human rights, and democracy -- is on shaky ground.
As major countries' politicians look to turn their backs on their international responsibilities and focus inward, how will leaders at the G-7 Summit endeavor to "reach agreement" with their countries' own populaces? We hope that the leaders will have thorough talks at this upcoming summit. ("Yoroku," a front-page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)