Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Attends the G20 Cannes Summit: Developed and Emerging Countries Cooperate to Overcome Short-Term and Medium- to Long-Term Global Economic Issues

December 22, 2011

The G20 Cannes Summit was held on November 3 and 4 in Cannes, France. At the Summit, broad-ranging discussions were held among leaders with focus on the European sovereign debt issue and other global economic issues, and the Leaders adopted the Communiqué, the Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs, and the Cannes Summit Final Declaration.

Japan expressed its position mainly on the following matters through the Summit: Concerning the European sovereign debt issue, Japan praised the agreement in Europe in October, while stressing the importance of expeditious implementation of the agreement; Japan conveyed its intention to provide the necessary cooperation, contingent on decisive and coordinated action by Europe and its partners. Japan also pointed out that while it is making utmost efforts toward recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake, the historic strong yen presents downside economic risks, and it is important to cooperate to ensure exchange rate stability so as not to induce excessive fluctuations or disorganized movements. Japan also expressed its determination towards fiscal consolidation, explaining that it would put into action a comprehensive reform of social security and tax, including a gradual increase in the consumption tax and that the Government would submit the bills by the end of FY2011 to realize these policies. At the same time, Japan emphasized its intention to formulate the “Strategy to Revitalize Japan” and pursue both economic growth and financial consolidation. As regards emerging countries, Japan affirmed that a response through the IMF’s lending mechanism and a regional framework could play a vital role in maintaining the supply of liquidity and prevent the spread of the crisis. Furthermore, from the perspective that it is necessary to improve market transparency and stockpile at the regional level in order to prevent volatility in the commodities market, Japan explained its support for the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) and its emergency support of $50,000 for Thailand through the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR). In view of the importance Japan places on invigorating regional trade through infrastructure improvements, Japan explained its cooperation for strengthening the ASEAN Connectivity and presented its intention to hold the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 2013 in Japan.

At the Cannes Summit, the Leaders welcomed the decision by European leaders in October that aims to solve the European sovereign debt issue, and urged early implementation. Moreover, under the shared recognition that global demand should be rebalanced (from external to internal demand, and from public to private demand) to ensure medium-term growth, it is meaningful that the Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs was formulated, and the policies that each country will adopt were formulated. In addition, productive discussion was also carried out on such issues as development, trade, global governance, agriculture, energy, social dimension, and corruption. Regarding trade in particular, amid increasing downside risks to the global economy, it was also meaningful that an anti-protectionism message was issued and that agreement was reached on the need for attempts to advance negotiations, including fresh approaches, for the Doha Development Round.

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