Kyushu-Okinawa Summit 2000
(Basic FAQ about Summit Meetings)

Q. Where are Kyushu and Okinawa?

Okinawa Prefecture, where the Heads' Meeting will be held, comprises the group of small islands at the farthest southwestern part of Japan. Miyazaki Prefecture, where the Foreign Ministers' Meeting will be held, and Fukuoka Prefecture, which will host the Finance Ministers' Meeting, are located on Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's four main islands. Collectively these areas are known as the Kyushu-Okinawa region. Geographically the closest part of Japan to the rest of Asia, the Kyushu-Okinawa region has a long history of vibrant exchange with surrounding Asian regions.

Q. Why were Kyushu and Okinawa chosen as the sites for the Summit meetings?

A number of cities in Japan were vying to host the 2000 Summit, and then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi tapped Kyushu and Okinawa and had his choice approved at the 1999 Summit in Cologne. His selection was based on an overall evaluation of a number of factors: the fact that Kyushu and Okinawa have the facilities and environment needed for the Summit, the enthusiasm shown by the people and local governments of the region to host the meetings, and the historical background of the region, which is geographically the closest part of Japan to the rest of Asia and boasts a long history of exchange with the wider region.

Q. What are the main themes that will be discussed at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit?

The three main themes for discussion at a Summit can be outlined in the following way: first, the various agenda items that have been examined at previous Summits and other tasks carried forth from them; second, various urgent issues that may arise in the world economy and regional situations requiring leaders' immediate attention; and third, specific agenda items on which discussion is focused at the initiative of the Chair. The themes to be taken up at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit will be decided through discussions among the G8 nations leading up to the meeting, with attention being paid to the results of the 1999 Cologne Summit and changes in the international situation since then. Given that the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit will be held in Asia, and in the milestone year of 2000, the G8 political leaders gathered in Okinawa are expected to issue a positive and bold message for the next millennium to the people of the world that takes a global, as well as Asian, perspective.

Q. In what order will the national flags be arranged?

There are several different methods used to determine the order in which national flags are arranged at diplomatic events. At Summit meetings of Heads of State and Government, it is customary for the flags to be arranged as follows:

  1. Host nation.
  2. Countries represented at the Summit by a Head of State (president) (the United States, France, Russia).
  3. Countries represented at the Summit by a Head of Government (prime minister) (Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy).
  4. The European Commission.

The order of countries within 2 and 3 is governed by the length of time the Head of State or Government has been in office, with the longest serving coming first.

This method will be followed at the Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, where the order will be as follows: Japan (Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori), the United States (President Bill Clinton), France (President Jacques Chirac), Russia (President Vladimir Putin), Canada (Prime Minister Jean Chretien), the United Kingdom (Prime Minister Tony Blair), Germany (Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder), Italy (Prime Minister Giuliano Amato), the European Commission (President of the European Commission Romano Prodi). This method was also used at the Second and Third Tokyo Summits, and the order of flags displayed on this website also follows this method.

The order of flags at the Miyazaki Meeting of Foreign Ministers differs from that employed at the Meeting of Heads of State and Government. The flag of the host nation comes first, and that of the European Commission, which is not a state, comes last. The order of the flags of the other countries is determined by how long that country's foreign minister has been in office. However, as Deputy Secretary of State Talbott will be attending the Meeting the United States will be placed last in the order of foreign ministers, before the EC. According to this method, the flags will be arranged from left to right as follows: Japan (Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono), Canada (Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy), Italy (Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamberto Dini), the United Kingdom (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook), France/EU presidency (Minister of Foreign Affairs Hubert Vedrine, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana Madriaga), Russia (Minister for Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov), Germany (Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer), the United States ( Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott), the European Commission (Commissioner for External Relations Christopher Patten).

Unlike the Meeting of Heads of State and Government and the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, at the Fukuoka Meeting of Finance Ministers national flags will be arranged in alphabetical order by country name--the "United Nations method." Also, because Russia is scheduled to participate only in the latter half of the Finance Ministers Meeting, the flags of the G7 nations will be arranged first, followed by the European Commission and Russia. The order is therefore as follows: Canada (Minister of Finance Paul Martin), France (Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Laurent Fabius), Germany (Finance Minister Hans Eichel), Italy (Minister of Finance, Budget, and Treasury Vincenzo Visco), Japan (Minister of Finance Kiichi Miyazawa), the United Kingdom (Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown), the United States (Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers), the European Commission (Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes Mira), Russia (Minister of Finance Aleksei Kudrin).

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